New Jersey capitol [temporarily] survives toilet paper emergency

City employees are flush with relief today after officials with Mayor Tony Mack’s administration said they’d moved forward with an emergency purchase of toilet paper and paper towels as supplies dwindle in city buildings.

Meanwhile, Mack’s office announced last night it had accepted donations from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to provide a six-month supply of toilet paper…The move ends a stalemate between council and Mayor Tony Mack’s administration that has lasted since September when council first rejected the $46,000 contract over concerns about a $4,000 price tag for hot drink cups.

Stocks of toilet paper have been dwindling for weeks and are nearly depleted at City Hall and police headquarters. The emergency contract with the Pennsauken-based Amsan authorizes the city to purchase $16,000 worth of toilet paper, paper towels, and toilet-seat covers…

In a letter to Mack earlier this week, PETA offered to step in with a six-month supply of toilet paper for city buildings. The catch: it’s printed to say, “Slaughterhouses are so filthy that more than half of all meat is contaminated with fecal bacteria. Wipe cruelty from your diet. Go vegan. PETA.”

“If Trenton’s City Council cannot reach an agreement today, I have a cheeky solution that will help offset your financial troubles and call attention to public health and cruelty to animals at the same time,” PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman wrote. “This unique bathroom reading material would help city employees consider a vegan diet, and prevent their health from going down the toilet.”

Meanwhile, Dyson is donating 15 of its Airblade hand-dryers, machines that produce 400-mile-per-hour sheets of wind that push water off hands instead of drying them with the use of a heating element.

“Using paper to dry hands can be costly and creates waste,” said James Dyson, inventor of the machines. “With Airblade, our engineers have developed a way to dry hands hygienically and efficiently.”

The company claims the machines can dry 22 pairs of hands for the cost of a single paper towel and could generate $220,000 in savings over five years.

Sounds like the City Council would probably refuse to pay the electric bill for the hand dryers, as well.

Dontcha love beancounters?

Donating breast milk for neonatal intensive care


Frozen for storage

Hospitals and other organizations routinely urge people to give blood, bone marrow and even some organs, but Texas Children’s Hospital is launching a different kind of donor program: breast milk.

The Houston pediatric hospital is asking nursing mothers in the area to donate their excess milk, which has proved life-saving for prematurely born babies whose mothers are unable to produce enough to meet the infant’s needs.

“The evidence is overwhelming that these critically ill preemies do best on mother’s milk, the reason we only feed breast milk in our neonatal intensive care unit,” said Nancy Hurst, a Texas Children’s nurse and director of the new donor milk program. “Ideally, they get their own mother’s milk, but donor milk is the next best thing.”

Around the nation, the use of donor breast milk has grown dramatically in recent years. The nation’s nonprofit donor milk banks last year processed and dispensed 1.8 million ounces, up from about 325,000 in 1999. The increased demand has caused the banks to issue urgent appeals for donors.

That demand mostly relates to the nation’s roughly 51,000 very low birth weight babies who survive childbirth every year, babies who weigh 3.3 pounds or less. It would take nearly 9 million ounces of donor milk to provide all those babies what the mothers themselves can’t produce…

Since 2009, Texas Children’s had got its donor milk from the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin, one of 10 U.S. nonprofit banks, all of which screen the donor mothers’ blood and pasteurize the milk. Texas Children’s will now maintain its own bank, though the pasteurizing will be done at a for-profit plant in California…

In another form, donor milk dates to more than 2,000 years before Christ, when the Code of Hammurabi set forth the qualities for a good wet nurse, women who breast-fed others’ babies. Wet nurses fell out of favor in the developed world around the turn of the 20th century, after researchers found the milk could transfer diseases to newborns. Milk banks emerged not long after.

The appeal of donor breast milk is particularly strong because it’s common for mothers of premature babies to struggle to produce milk…Also, premature infants often arrive at hospitals such as Texas Children’s well before the mother, transferred from remote locations.

All good news AFAIC. Real healthcare for children that need it the most.

I hope they’re not screwing around with too many plastic additives. Natural ain’t bad.

Funeral home caught stacking bodies in a garage


This is from their “gallery” – which doesn’t include the garage

A Maryland funeral home has lost its license after investigators found about 40 bodies stacked on top of each other, leaking fluid, in a garage, a state official said.

The state Board of Morticians and Funeral Directors revoked the license of Chambers Funeral Home & Crematorium in Riverdale, Maryland after an April 26 visit to the site.

Hari Close, president of the the state funeral board, told CNN Tuesday that some of the bodies were cadavers who had been donated to a local university for research. Other bodies came from other funeral homes, Close said…

When investigators inspected the funeral home they were warned by an employee, who told them, “Don’t get upset about all the bodies in there,” according to documents released by the state funeral board.

Inside the room was a “large pile, approximately 12 by 12 feet, of body bags containing human remains strewn on the floor of the garage in front of a removal van. There was visible leakage from the body bags as well as a pungent odor,” the documents said.

“The investigator also observed writing on some of the body bags,” they said. “However, fluid leakage from the body bags caused the writing to smear and become illegible. As a result, it was not immediately possible to determine the identity of the remains.”

There will be a hearing at the end of the month to determine whether the funeral home will get its license back, Close said.

The state of the bodies is a crime. Whether or not they get their license back – of course – is a question of politics.