The Dinosaurs Are Coming!

A Month of Letting Your Imagination Run Wild

The Dinosaurs Are Coming!

One of the best things about being a parent is the fact that it gives you the freedom to act like a kid under the guise of engaging with them, teaching them, sharing their interests, and so on.

Of course, parents really know that’s all just psychobabble—playing with toys is fun!

With that in mind, and with reverence to Movember, which starts soon as well, I bring you: Dinovember.

Dinovember was the inspiration of writer Refe Tuma, who posted a hilarious account of how toy dinosaurs took over his home in 2011. This year he’s bringing it to the next level with How to Spark Your Child’s Imagination: The official guide to Dinovember.

In the guide, Refe provides step-by-step instructions on how to set up various dinosaur capers in your home to spark your child’s imagination. Everything from a dino dress-up party to a cereal incident is covered with illustrations for the visual learners among us.

Of course, the guide is only a starting point, the idea is actually pretty amazingstop worrying about instruction manuals or guidelines, and just let your imagination run wild.

The idea of having an imaginary story, one that doesn’t involve a child getting a present, candy, or chocolate covered anything, is a great way to spark that childhood imagination that often leads them to the most amazing places.

Coincidentally, my youngest daughter loves dinosaurs, probably because daddy often plays one and lets her ride around on his back. For her birthday she desperately wanted some toy dinosaurs, so we bought her some, and now they are her babies. The dinosaurs have been pretty tame up until now (right now they live in a bucket in the living room), but something tells me they might have some adventures forthcoming.

And for the not-kid-friendly version of this species, there's always dinosaur porn. It's a thing. For real!


Why Knowing Isn't Always Better

When is the treatment worse than the disease?

Why Knowing Isn't Always Better

When it comes to our health, we always want to have the latest information. We want data, answers, results, studies, and tests. But does all that information really make us healthier?

A recent report by the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care is recommending that men who are not in a high risk category for prostate cancer actually avoid being screened. Why? Well it turns out that the majority of detected cancers are over-diagnosed, meaning that the disease would never have killed the men or even caused problems during their lifetime.

The reason why this is an issue is because often the treatment, even when conducted properly, can have drastic impacts on men that far exceed the risk factor posed by the cancer itself. Impotence, incontinence, and other complications mean that quality of life could actually be lower than if the cancer had simply been left alone.

Of course, this goes against everything we are taught about health. If something is wrong, you fix it. If there’s a risk, you eliminate it. The problem is that our ability to detect these conditions currently outpaces our ability to treat them without complication. Sometimes leaving things alone is the best course of action.

This kind of counter-intuitive advise is not new. A couple years ago, a similar report suggested that women are receiving too many breast screening exams for very similar reasons. Of course, there are certain risk groups for whom this does not apply, including those who may carry mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, but generally speaking, the finding was that extra screenings do not lower the mortality rates and actually increase false positives.

This is all such a tricky thing to address, especially considering next month is Movember, where men’s health, including things like early detection, is in focus. The fact is that men’s health receives relatively little attention, mainly because we don’t self-advocate. Men are hesitant to express weakness, fear or uncertainty, which leads us to avoid important questions and symptoms. In the end, the onus is on health practitioners to provide me with a better understanding of risk vs. reward when it comes to treatments, tests, and diagnoses.

Quality of life is such a difficult thing to quantify. Unlike a scientific test, how do we measure the increased anxiety from a false positive, or a procedure that permanently damages someone’s sex life? Much like the debate over euthanasia, there is a distinction between being alive and living and it’s something the medical community is only beginning to tackle as our life spans get longer.

Regardless, awareness is never a bad thing, so with Movember approaching, consider sponsoring me and Team YMC to help fund the answers to these difficult questions.


Men's Heath Risk You Haven't Heard About

Pink & Blue Movie Brings Breast Cancer Awareness

Men's Heath Risk You Haven't Heard About

If you have watched a football game, baked a cake, tied your shoes or ventured into the outside world lately you would know that this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. That’s not meant as a criticism, the cause has made great strides in raising awareness, but rather to contrast with something you may not know–this past week was Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week.

Wait, what? Male breast cancer? Yes, despite the fact that the male nipple serve no known purpose, men do have breasts, or more specifically, chests. Male breast cancer is actually more deadly on average than the female variety. Of course that is likely due at least in part to a lack of awareness that this is even a thing.

This little-known disease has had a big impact on the life of Alan Blassberg, an award-winning TV producer, who after watching the battle of several of his family members, decided to get tested himself. Blassberg’s family had a history of BRCA mutation, a severe risk factor or breast cancer, and after his girlfriend had her second recurrence of the disease, Blassberg himself tested positive for the BRCA 2 mutation. What followed was a powerful journey that Blassberg has documented in his upcoming movie Pink & Blue.

Pink & Blue examines the issue of male breast cancer and specifically the BRCA mutation. BRCA is the same mutation that led Angelina Jolie to have a preemptive double mastectomy. BRCA is also found in men and has an extremely high correlation with the development of breast and ovarian cancer. The movie features experts such as Dr. Kristi Funk from the Pink Lotus Breast Center (Angelina Jolie’s surgeon), Dr. Armando Giuliano from Cedars Sinai, and Jon and Mindy Gray — founders of the Basser Center in Philadelphia.

This year over 2500 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S., and more than 400 will die. Within the last month alone, three men from the film have lost their lives to breast cancer.

The movie was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign in late 2013 and is expected to be released in January 2015. You can check out the trailer below or visit the Pink & Blue website or more information.