Kinfolk Issue Sixteen: Rwandan-born model Nadja Giramata

Kinfolk coverWhat a nice surprise to see that Kinfolk Volume 16 shines a light on the beautiful Nadja Giramata. I learned of the issue on Instagram.

I bought an earlier issue of Kinfolk a few years ago and have enjoyed their short films over the years. I love the magazine’s focus on slow living and gatherings with family and friends.

But it always bothered me that I never saw any people that look like me. After a while, if a publication never includes people of color, I assume that they don’t intend it for me and don’t want me buying it. I feel the same way about commercials that I see on television.

So it was quite nice to see a lovely model of color gracing Kinfolk‘s current cover. You can purchase Kinfolk on their website or on Amazon at a discount. Which I just just did. I also signed up for a free trial of Amazon Prime, so I get free shipping and it should arrive tomorrow. Can’t wait!

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Screenshot: Kinfolk Issue Sixteen

Your Body temperature is a Vital Sign You Should Know

thermometer reading temperatureQuick! Do you know what your body temperature is?

If not, grab a thermometer. If you’re feeling healthy and assumed it was 98.6 degrees, you might be surprised.

“It’s a useful vital sign for you to know,” says Harlem Hospital Center Physician Assistant, Craig Braithwaite. “It’s just like noting your resting heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate.”

If you’re staying healthy by eating well and exercising, you’re probably familiar with your blood pressure numbers. For those who are more athletic, you might even take your pulse before and after a workout. But many of us may not know our normal body temperature. But I think we should. Braithwaite seems to agree.

Knowing your basal body temperature is empowering. The individual is made aware of a fundamental body function which is to maintain body heat under a wide range of conditions. It gives useful clues to when things are changing in expected as well as unexpected ways. A classic example is using basal body temperature fluctuation to predict ovulation and fertility.

A Temperature Range 🌡️

The temperature of 98.6 degrees that we grew up learning as normal is actually an average of the range of human body temperatures (96.8 – 100.4 degrees) according to Dr. Ejiro Eduvie, who practices Emergency Medicine in New Jersey.

Fever is when your core body temperature is greater than 100.4 degrees in infants and 100.9 degrees in adults. When your core body temperature is less than 95 degrees, this is hypothermia.

If you’re generally a healthy person, unless your temperature is below 95 or over 101, you’re probably okay. Braithwaite adds that the “set point” varies from person to person. The experience of cold or hot initiates a thermoregulatory response through our own internal “thermostat” called the hypothalamus.

Eduvie elaborates. “For example, when you are hypothermic due to the environment. Your body will naturally try to conserve heat by shivering and vasoconstriction of your vessels. When these mechanisms cannot keep up with your heat loss, you will feel cold.”

While our bodies can become too cold, generally our concern is getting too hot. Hyperthermia is elevated body temperature where the increase is out of control and the body can no longer loose the excess heat.

Braithwaite gives examples of military recruits, marathon runners and summertime roofers performing heavy activity in hot weather. They can end up with heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which is a medical emergency.

At temperatures above 105 degrees the brain literally starts to cook. This degree of temperature elevation can also be caused by a reaction to certain pharmaceuticals or even recreational drugs like cocaine, PCP or ecstasy, which cause increased muscle activity.

He recalls an elderly patient that had been admitted to the hospital with a temperature of 108 degrees after passing out in a car during the heat of summer. Surprisingly, the patient survived.

Probably the more common way that we see a high body temperature is due to a fever. After the Ebola scare last fall, depending upon the places where people traveled, they were subject to having their temperature taken by airport security. An elevated temperature caused concern and fear.

You Give Me Fever 🌡️

Fever itself is not a disease. It’s a sign and symptom of an underlying condition. Eduvie says that if you have a fever, you should also notice how you are feeling overall. This reminds me of group meditations where we are told to take a quick scan of our body.

Are there other symptoms? If you have altered mental status, severe headache, neck stiffness, seizures, shortness of breath, chest pain, or decreased urinary output, you should go the emergency room.

She also advises to seek medical attention if you have a high grade fever of 103 – 104 degrees. If you have a persistent fever that you cannot get under control after taking over the counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, then you should also see a medical professional.

Just one last thing about body temperature. Why does it often seem that women often feel colder than men? Many of us may have struggled with this issue at work. Yes, folks. The struggle is real and it’s personal.

Braithwaite says that women generally have lower blood counts (hemoglobin content) than men and also have less muscle mass, which could cause women to feel colder. But then he adds that women have a higher percentage of body fat, especially skin fat, so we should be more insulated.

Still no smoking gun. That answer remains a mystery. And I know to always bring a warm sweater to work.

This Weekend: The Big Tiny House Festival

the BIG tiny house Festival

More people are starting to become aware of the tiny house movement. I wrote a magazine article about it a few years ago. This summer I watched a movie on Netfix called TINY: A Story About Living Small. It’s a great movie by the way.

If you don’t have Netflix and you live near Somerville, Massachusetts, you can see a screening of the film on Saturday, September 20th from 7:30pm to 9:30pm.

The screening is taking place at The BIG tiny house festival this weekend. People of all kinds who are involved in the creation of tiny homes to those just interested in finding out more will be gathering to discuss this more simple lifestyle. On Sunday, there will be workshops. Learn more about the festival by clicking here.

Have a great weekend!

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Photo Credit: Somerville Arts Council