The Word's MUM . . .

Comedian Susannah Perlman e-mailed recently, saying that if you say MUM at the door, you will get a discount when you see her show in New York, which spoofs menstruation and feminine hygiene. MUM's the word, as always. Enjoy!

. . . But not in Richmond, Virginia!

Meaning, that is, that people in Richmond have read about MUM in a little magazine called Throttle, in an article by Kara West, who also took the accompanying pictures right here in the museum (see yours truly in all his glory). Now you too can read the article on the Internet; it says the nicest things!

The only other article mentioning MUM on the Web that I know of is the Village Voice article on the tampon industry a couple of years ago, although many media have done things about this museum.

I'm Taking a Week's Break

As I've already mentioned, next week I attend the 12th conference of The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research at the University of Illinois in Chicago. I'm giving a presentation about this museum for the first time to a large group of people professionally involved in menstruation and women's health. It will be fun!

Look HERE for news of the conference in two weeks, plus photos of all the action - well, at least of people and speeches.

Toxic Shock Organism Increasingly Resistant

A Japanese hospital reports that vancomycin, an antibiotic of last resort in treating diseases resistant to other medications, has failed to cure a woman infected with staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium that lives naturally in the vagina, but which can cause toxic shock under certain circumstances. Other Japanese hospitals report this same resistance, and American hospitals will soon start to look for vancomycin-resistant organisms.

Toxic shock has killed and maimed thousands of women using tampons and pads, the most famous outbreak centering around Rely and other super absorbent tampons in the early 1980s. Toxic shock can also affect men, and figures in many infections.

Dr. Philip Tierno, Jr., probably the most prominent researcher of menstrual products and a MUM board member, says in the film Under Wraps that if he were a women, he would not use tampons, because of several dangers, but especially toxic shock.

See also the Karen Houppert's article of a few years ago in the Village Voice discussing the tampon industry (and this museum).

Treatment NOT a Big Factor in Cancer?

A researcher at the University of Chicago, long a skeptic of the efficacy of cancer treatment, said in the New England Journal of Medicine that most of the recent improvement in mortality comes from the decline in smoking and improvement in the early detection of cancer.

Philip Cole of the University of Alabama disputed John Bailar's contention, although conceding that the decline in smoking does account for a large portion of the decrease.

Girls Becoming More Violent

In our violent society, girls account for a increasing share of arrest rates, as much as 20 percent now, compared with boys.

And the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry reports that in a study of 436 poor women from Worcester, Massachusetts, almost two-thirds reported that they had suffered harsh physical violence or sexual molestation by the age of 12 from people charged with their care.

Abigail Trafford in the 27 May Health section of the Washington Post writes that girls are becoming more violent because of the violence done to them.

America champions the cowboy, crook and cop, all in the name of excitement and settling scores. Deep down, America's the problem.

Weight and Passive Smoke Affect Women

Higher blood pressure and similar metabolic problems caused by obesity caused 2.5 times the rate of ischemic stroke in moderately overweight women when compared to the leanest in a study conducted of almost 120,000 nurses, as reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The same researchers at Harvard studied 32,000 nurses who has been regularly exposed to second-hand smoke, but who had never themselves smoked. The journal Circulation reported recently the group's finding: that even women who had reported only occasional second-hand smoke exposure had a 60 percent higher heart attack rate than those who had never been exposed.

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