Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A dose of information, a dose of reason and a dose of moderation too in this world of vaccine SUPER SIZE ME!

At the pediatrician's office today, I read with interest the article published on Boston.com

They had made many copies available for pick up.

I am not a pediatrician nor a medical doctor but I am a PhD and have a deep understanding of how our body works and responds to diseases.

I have enjoyed reading the article, it is pretty accurate, however, it is still not quite the full story.   
Of course these type of diseases do not kill every child who contracts them, we always have the child with underlying conditions (e.g immunosuppression) or simply an unfortunate genetic make up (e.g. allergies, asthma). Truth be said, side effects and death from vaccination is much much less that the terrible side effects and death by each of these diseases.

So where does the real problem lie? The problem is not in the PANIC Virus, rather in the VACCINE MANIA this country has been experiencing for some time now. What has happened to fast food, it is now happening to vaccines: SUPER SIZE ME.

We now have 5 (penta-) in one and even 6 (hexa-) in one vaccines?  Why does everything have to be an extreme? First and foremost these vaccines are not tested (no matter what anyone says, if you care to search deep in the medical and scientific literature, you will find that the performance of some of our currently used vaccines will be known to us in years to come! ).  In addition, some multiple vaccine combinations have begun to  contain even non obligatory vaccines as well.   Is the public aware of this? Lets be honest these are definitively sneaked in!

The public is not informed properly, the leaflets we get from our pediatricians have zero useful information. To name one, fever is not a true "adverse effect"... we do not mention the real ones because of course we do not want to panic the masses, at the same time if we do not educate them, we can't complain when Jenny McCarthy assumes  MMR caused her son's  autism.

It should also be noted that we have different kind of vaccines (made from purified proteins, attenuated, live)...which one of those causes less overload and shock to the immune-system when multiple vaccine combinations are administered? Well let me tell you my children are not going near a multiple attenuated vaccine (MMR?!).

And so how can the public be educated  if the scientific and medical staff has not appropriately conducted tests and evaluated risks on vaccines currently and commonly used ?

Lets say that a vaccine is used and it is successful for many years, disease incidence goes down and percentage of recorded side effects  per patient stays the same ...eventually the vaccine side effects will be higher than the ones caused by the disease...and so people will start refusing vaccination!
Are we there?

I keep discussing this with my husband, who works in the field of infectious diseases and I keep getting the usual "no matter what, vaccination is ultimately better", better for who?  I think he means better for the society as a whole...but I am a mother, so what about my child? Is this vaccination better for my child? Not necessarily and this is the true answer!

We (scientist and medics) do not know what are the benefit vs risks of these multiple vaccinations on small children.

So I simply ask why should a child be submitted to all of those vaccines at once?
I have always respectfully refused.

Is it necessary for a few hours old child,  to be vaccinated with hepatitis B? And a few weeks later bombarded with multiple vaccines?

 In my country the multiple vaccine are still  hard to find and nobody got crazy about the thimerosal and the consequences of mercury levels in vaccination. The panic in America ensued only when they started administering multiple vaccines at once in babies so young! Then it occurred to them that perhaps they would be getting too close to the levels of acceptable mercury a child could get in one go! No shit dick tracy!

I am going to end it here by saying that education, reason and moderation are all needed not just a dose of reason!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunny California...the glamor ...the glitz...

Hello fellow bloggers...

sorry for the absence but indeed I was soaking up the sun in California....and now I am back in Boston where everyone is cold and grey just like the weather.

I visited my local whole foods this morning and suddenly it did not feel as glamorous as the whole foods in Santa Monica or Studio city...I took my time and even smiled at the cashier while he was ringing up my groceries... he studied my facial expressions attentively...asking himself why was I smiling? and why on earth was i so happy ...when I realized my smile, still warm from the bright Californian sun, was not well received, a sense of doom came upon me!I Clearly in order to be accepted here i have to quickly return to being grumpy, often rude, unfriendly and always on hedge!

Still meeting my fellow actor friends for lunch in West Hollywood was fantastic, everyone so happy, everyone so joyous and full of life... and fashion fashion fashion.....
....I would even put up with leaving in the little boxes on the hillsides!

Oh well back into darkness...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Owen Wilson is back from the dead and Hollywood is having a baby!!

Something in the California waters?? Or is Hollywood sympathizing with the recent credit crunches and natural catastrophes?? Maybe it's still the Obama Baby Boom.

Victoria and Beckam, Kate Hudson, Jane Krakowski (30 Rock blondie), Natalie Portman, Neil Patrick....
and so many more...

Surrogates, egg donors, or simply old-fashioned shagging...a baby boom is on the horizon.

Even Owen Wilson went from dead to dad...


recently the Italian tabloid "Il Sole 24 ore" claimed Owen Wilson died due to a snowboarding accident...not quite! But check out this facebook page in his honor :)!

Well thumbs up for the bumps but watch out for the baby blues after the baby boom!!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Giada De Laurentis who are you?

Seriously Italians do not know you!

Here is the interview that set me off

After all I have been irritated by her demeanor for years so it was only a matter of time before she ended up On a Little Dash Of Sanity.

Where to start ...I am not sure what is worse,  her embracing the role of "traditional wife" (and what exactly is that role?) or her being " Everyday Italian".

 An entire blog could be dedicated to the repercussion of her statements in the interview above. What is a traditional wife? Have we not fought enough against these traditional roles?

So who are you? Apparently a role model, "a legend" and "obsession" for some. I can assure you there is very little everyday Italian in you and judging by the interview very little depth behind your character too!

On a more serious note we have to at least acknowledge her efforts in enhancing a very old culinary genre the "Italian American" cuisine. But that is not Italian, lets be clear about this.

Now it would have been nice if my new food blog was more developed so that readers could directly appreciate the differences between the Italian recipe proposed by me, and the same one bastardized by our everyday Giada. Unfortunately  simplyandonlyitalian.blogspot.com is still at the very beginning ...after all I need time to be a traditional wife too:)!

Lets get back to Giada,  so who is she in America? A Real Chef? A Pretty Face? A Role Model for how to be traditional and subservient? I suppose a traditional wife is better than a "traditional" men where 100% of the time traditional is a synonym for "backward"!

For now in Italy people that come across her name are left wondering if she is another porn star obtaining notoriety!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Victoria and Beckam: boy or girl?

Well according to some reports "Aristotle used to say that what determines whether the baby is a boy or a girl is the ardor of the men during conception". If that is indeed the case one could explain the repeated success by Beckam!

All sorts of scientific explanation have been put forward for skewing the 50:50 ratio, diet, natural supplements, geographical position, seasonal trends, social and cultural reasons. All of those may indeed skew the outcome but what is certain is that if a female egg is fertilized by a a sperm carrying the Y chromosome then its a boy!

And so what about Posh and Beckam? To those of you trying to guess lets not forget modern reproductive technologies can also skew the outcome...
...I think its going to be a girl!!!!!

March 13 ...and indeed It's a girl...how predictable :) CONGRATS

Zucchini and Bacon

Check out my super food blog at:

It's the day for zucchini and bacon!

This recipe is fantastic: it is quick and delicious! It can be a quick family dinner or a dish for a special occasion either way its a winner!  it is also very cheap and authentic:

Ingredients (4-5):
Pasta (penne, large shells or similar) PALFO TIP: Barilla, De Cecco or Colavita
Zucchini (4 to 5) small green zucchini/squash, PALFO TIP: do not buy the large squash/zucchini as they are full of water and don't cook well
Bacon (smoked 5 slices, cubed)
Extra virgin olive oil (PALFO rule: medium to large frying pan, cover the bottom and a little more), PALFO TIP: Bertolli is the best and cheapest on the market !
Cherry tomatoes (optional)
Fresh Basil

Cut zucchini Julienne style (lengthwise), place in medium to large frying pan with extra virgin olive oil and cubed bacon. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Do not have the heat to low or too high. After zucchini have mostly cooked, add cherry tomatoes and cook a few more minutes until all is cooked.

A little before zucchini are cooked, boil water for pasta, add salt to water (PALFO TIP: in the beginning just add some salt and then later taste pasta before it is done, and adjust as needed).
Cook pasta al dente (or as specified on package). Drain and mix with zucchini.
Add a few fresh leaves of basil and grated parmesan cheese


What a tragedy

My heart goes out to the family of the little girl as well as the families of all the other victims:

The death of the little 9 year old girl does break my heart, born on a tragedy also died on a tragedy the bbc reports.

Maybe indeed she was the face of hope, we should reflect.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Peter Principle

So the morning started off with a series of management meetings with some very difficult issues to discuss:
develop, implement and improve current institutional career structures and employee recognition programs!

All I could think about is the Peter Principle. You never heard of it? Then check out this article

Last year improbable Nobel Prize was not so improbable after all! Check out this solid Italian research group at the University of Catania:

They developed a computational method that proved that in a hierarchical structure promoting at random,  or randomly alternating the promotion of the best and the worst members actually improves the efficiency of an organization.

It is no news to anyone that most management is indeed incompetent ! and now we have scientific proof! No matter what we do, we will reach our level of incompetence soon or later and the warning signs are many.

So what to do?? Not promoting is not an option. I am personally a strong proponent of rewarding based on performance. However the latter requires evaluation of performance by management, and so we really are in a pickle of a situation! Any suggestions??

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Did I not tell you?

I knew Sarah Palin had God-like powers....suddenly since my last post comments have been disabled...and I cannot find out why or how!!!

The power of suggestion

Should we really believe that Palin's remark about removing Senator Giffords from the office ended this way?

Well it was only a matter of time before her god-like powers had a direct effect on human beings, she had already taken Fruit Flies and Sticklebacks ...


Still can't help laughing ...you must admit she has charm!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hi-TECH Mums

The life of suburban American stay at home mums is idyllic! Particularly for those with IPads (and just to be clear the Apple kind rather than the ones sold at CVS !)

I am clearly missing out, kids, full time job, no Ipod, no IPad... What was I thinking...

I should quit my job just to fully appreciate the Whole food recipe apps ....

One can only take some guilty pleasure in hoping that these Stepfordy mums hide some of the famed dysfunctionality !

Good night

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's the night for a real carbonara

Checkout my  super authentic and cool foodblog at:


Hurray we have safely made it to Friday, this week the aupair has not burst into tears, my kids were not locked in the car with the keys and I survived another week at work feeling not less exhausted than usual.

Given that I am not inspired to write anything to deep, I wish you a happy weekend by giving you the real carbonara recipe! How do I know it's real, keep reading my blog and you will find out eventually!:)

Ingredients (4-5):
Barilla Pasta (either Rigatoni or Spaghetti or Penne), (approximately 3-4 oz per person)
1 large egg
Black pepper
A shallot
Heavy cream (1/4 cup)
Smoked bacon (or pancetta if you can find it), (7 to 10 slices)
Extra virgin olive oil (do not even think about attempting to cook Italian without this!)

In a small pan place extra-virgin olive oil enough to cover the bottom and a little more. Add bacon cut in small cubes. If you use american bacon (I usually remove the very white fatty bits). Add shallot also sliced thinly.

Cook on high heat for a few minutes until bacon appears cooked but not crispy. Add some white wine (a little or more depending on taste), let it evaporate for a few minutes and set aside.

Bring water to boil in a large pan. Add salt after boiling begins and then add pasta cook until al dente, and definitively do not throw it against the wall to see if it sticks!

A few minutes before the pasta is cooked beat the egg in a bowl add 1/4 of a small glass of cream to it and lots of black pepper. Place the bacon back on the high heat until it sizzles. Drain pasta and place it back in the pan on low heat. Throw egg/cream mixture over it followed immediately by the sizzling bacon/oil/shallot mixture. Switch heat off. Stir vigorously for one minute and serve with lots of grated parmesan cheese on it!

All together it won't take you more than 20 minutes

Enjoy and Happy Friday

Can we really communicate with each other?

On a more scientific note it is believed (and scientifically proven) that what distinguishes humans from apes  is language and our ability to communicate. While some communications skills exists in chimps they remain equivalent to those of a two year old child and do not significantly evolve throughout the life of a chimpanzee. While humans of course develop a much more sophisticated language structure.

I beg to differ!

Apparently we are supposed to be able to make  requests and follow instructions and even understand meaning...well sometimes management meetings can be truly revealing...all I see is a stimulus response with very little understanding of meaning.

Also one of the most important distinguishing feature is the fact that we can communicate about almost everything...now this is hilarious!

Are we then regressing since these studies were published?

Try to look around and observe those around you, are we really communicating?

still I am blogging...not sure what to make of it :)

I am leaving you with these thoughts..

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Psycho Mums are everywhere

Oh yes ...the day did not start smoothly ...then again it never does !

Outside my son's preschool, as I always do, I park my car in an unmarked spot to be closer to the entrance (very naughty) ....
Normally it all goes smoothly but this morning psycho mum shows up and, of course in her monstrous track, tries to squeeze next to me.
What a perfect double whammy! when I see her so close I roll my eyes and softly mumble "seriously?", she notices but she can't open her door, the tension rises.... she backs up and tries again ... she makes it out of her car  and starts to rant and rave.....
I ignore....then again who am I kidding?..... I don't ignore...I am one who adds very little sugar to her pronouncement, particularly in the mornings....{[you have to watch TRUE GRIT]}
I start pointing out her incredible stupidity.....she does not like it, she is on hedge by now and warns me to be careful (was that a threat?)...
...dazed and confused, I compose my self and  ask why the aggression, and in a deplorable voice she says:
" why did you give me that yucky face when I parked close to you, that was not nice" ...
I simply surrendered, got in the car and moved on with the day....

Lunch break over

A trip to the Cinema

Well TRUE GRIT is just what I needed to see! The Coen Brothers did it again!

Here are my thoughts:

Early on an advert suggests to not spoil the movie by adding your own personal soundtrack e.g cell phones or a crying baby!

As I look around, those who seemed humans in appearance upon entering the cinema, have now turned into monkeys!

I had forgotten how tense the minutes waiting for the film to start could be....or maybe I had not realized how antisocial I have become....suddenly the fear of every person carrying popcorn,  sitting either next to, behind or in front of me was too much to take!

My breakfast break is over                      

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


New Year Resolution _ do not hold anything back
So here I am, not holding anything back......anymore...

After 12 years in the States I have just learned the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard...SLEEP TRAINING FOR TODDLERS (I am talking about a fine toddler!)

 I am amazed! Is there anything we now do that does not involve using a guide book!!! Seriously....I have children too (three) and I just put their pajamas on, kiss them good night  and they fall asleep. What am I doing wrong?

So one might ask is it the children or the parents? I am on to something.

I need some spontaneity in my life and in the  life of others. No more "what to expect when I am expecting" presumably a baby in 9 months if you are a human being.

Well it was definitively a lot of fun to start this blog by getting this off my chest.

Got to run talk to you soon.