Category Archives: Conversational

Examples of writing that uses a conversational tone, with the intent of building a community or engendering a response.

Closure of the Consumer Health Information Service

I did not write the post that follows, however it was a sad day for all of us and I want to ensure that this post survives.

The Consumer Health Information Service at the Toronto Public Library provided invaluable assistance to Ontarians across the province, in both official languages, helping them to find reliable health information that they could understand.

CHIS began in a very much pre-Internet era, a testament to good, old-fashioned librarianship and dedication to service. Susan Murray, the heart of consumer health information at TPL and in Canada in general, was the driving force behind a comprehensive and proactive information service that it was a privilege to be part of. Susan’s mission was and remains the provision of health information people can understand, exactly when and where they need it. To fulfill that mission, Susan literally moved mountains. Continue reading

Teens in Canada: Sex, contraception, pregnancy and STDs

Are Canadian teens having sex?

Of course they are!

CondomThe latest available StatsCan report about sex, condom-use and STDs among young people in Canada was published in 2005. The study looked at youth aged 15 to 25, finding that about 62% of young people in this age category had had sex at least once in their lives. The proportion was the same among males and females, and once they began sexual activity most remained sexually active.

Of course, the older the young people were the more likely they were to have had sex: 28% of 15-17 year-olds stated they were sexually active, compared to 65% of 18-19 year-olds and 80% of 20-24 year olds. The average age at first sexual intercourse for both males and females was 16.5 years. The survey found that older people were more likely to have long-term, monogamous relationships and that youth aged 15 to 19 were more likely to have had multiple partners in the past year.

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Post-holiday blues

The holidays are over for another year and we are all back to our everyday routines: guests have left, get-togethers are over, and the cold, bleak, very long winter stretches Depression Jessia Hime Nov17_2008before us with no respite until (for some) Family Day in February. And even THEN it’s not over!

Feeling a little blue? That is very common this time of year. Shorter days, colder temperatures, post-holiday financial debt… January is a hard month for many people.

Positive steps

  • Exercise (help shed those festive pounds you might regret in the cold light of January)
  • Eat well
  • Volunteer (helping others makes us feel better about ourselves)
  • Learn something new Continue reading

CAM and stress: Can CAM help you cope with stress?

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Stress is not necessarily a negative thing: it can push you to perform better and faster than you might normally have done, leaving you with a great feeling of accomplishment. In dangerous situations, it may even extend your life. At least one study even suggests that a small amount of short-term (“acute”) stress may help boost your immune system!

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Food and health

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At Thanksgiving, many people’s thoughts turn to food. Autumn is one of the best times to eat healthfully, since so many fresh foods are available this time of year.

What are some of the ways you try to eat healthfully?

For example, because we don’t have a car, my family gets a weekly delivery of fresh, organic vegetables. Being vegetarian, we have a regular regimen of soaking our dried beans overnight and popping them in the slow cooker in time for supper. We often sprout a few of them, too, for extra, crispy tasty fresh goodness.

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Bisphenol A: A health risk for Canadians?

The adverse effects of this chemical are in the news again, causing many people to wonder if it shouldn’t be banned outright.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical commonly used to line food and beverage containers and to harden plastics. It is the chemical Health Canada cited when recommending that we stop using certain hard-plastic water bottles and baby bottles this past spring.

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