Good news for those who DIDN'T get into a UC!

Good News! You can apply to 3 UCs and start in Jan 2018!The University of California just announced that several of their campuses will accept undergraduate admission applications for students who would like to start in winter or spring 2018.  This is good news for those who applied and didn’t get in.  By completing the UC application by July 31st, 2017, you could start at a UC as soon as Jan 2018.

Here are the campuses that are accepting applications between July 1-31, 2017:

UC Merced: Accepting applications for first-time freshmen and sophomore, junior, and senior transfer students for spring semester (starts Jan 2018).

UC Riverside: Accepting applications for sophomore, junior, and senior transfer students for winter quarter (starts Jan 2018).

UC Santa Cruz: Accepting applications for junior transfers for winter quarter (starts Jan 2018).

This is a great time to apply to these UCs because the applicant pool will be considerably smaller.  Good luck!

We're Running Out of Precious Helium!

We all love helium.  My college roommates would inhale helium in science labs and then do hilarious impersonations of Donald Duck.  We buy helium tanks to fill birthday balloons to create the festive ambiance at kids’ parties.  But according to astrophysicist Ethan Siegel, we will soon exhaust the world’s supply of helium. 

Although helium is the second most abundant element in the universe (hydrogen is #1), keeping it on Earth is difficult because it is the second lightest element.  This means that it is lighter than air – hence its levitation qualities that we love – so once released, it heads up to outer space.

Unfortunately for us, it takes hundreds of millions of years to produce helium by radioactive decay deep at the core of the earth.  In other words, if we don’t conserve helium soon, we will run out and won’t be able to produce it again within our lifetime. Helium is needed as a coolant for particle accelerators, MRI machines, superconductors, and other uses.

So don’t buy helium balloons for parties, graduations, or other celebrations.  Instead bundle balloons together creating a bouquet and hang them from the ceiling or attach them to rods as table decorations.


Lock Up Your Guns - Protect Our Children

SIXTEEN CHILDREN – innocent childrenare hospitalized everyday due to firearm injuries. That’s almost 6,000 a year. Most of these children who were under 15 years old were ACCIDENTALLY shot.  That means that these kids somehow got access to guns that weren’t safely locked up.  That also means that those gunshot wounds could have been 100% prevented if the owners of the guns removed the bullets and locked up the guns in their homes.

H E L L O !!!  Is anyone listening? 

Rather than sit by the sidelines watching the NRA, lobbyist, and politicians drag on the debate about who should or shouldn’t own guns or semi-automatic weapons, if everyone would remove the bullets and lock up their weapons, we could immediately save 6,000 children (under 15 years old) from getting shot every year.


What's the Attraction to Eating Hot Peppers?

When Nicole, my eldest daughter, told me that she won a jalapeno-eating contest when she was an undergraduate at Stanford, I seriously wondered if she lost her mind.  Both of my girls love their food hot and spicy, and they must have gotten that taste for the torturous pain from Rob – certainly not from me.

Rob loves to cook with all kinds of spicy peppers, and our friend Mario keeps Rob in good supply with the variety of peppers he grows in his garden.  Last week, Rob “accidentally” forgot to take out the peppers before serving dinner, and when I took my first bite, I thought I was going to have a heart attack!  I ran to the sink and sprayed cold water on my tongue but it only relieved the pain for about 3 seconds.  Apparently, whole milk is the best remedy for the burn.

I was intrigued by this article “Feel the Burn! Why do we love chilli?Apparently for men, eating super hot chillis is a form of machismo; but for women, it’s a form of excitement.  Back in 1912, Wilbur Scoville, a pharmacist and pharmaceutical researcher, discovered a method for measuring a pepper’s hotness.  Before tasting hot peppers, I highly recommend that you understand the heat in the peppers you eat.

500 Scovilles       = Anaheims

1,000 Scovilles   = Poblanos

5,000 Scovilles   = Jalapenos

15,000 Scovilles = Serranos

40,000 Scovilles = Cayennes

100,000 Scovilles = Thai Bird’s Eye

300,000 Scovilles = Habaneros

2.2 million Scovilles = Carolina Reaper

I’m still not sure why anyone would eat anything hotter than a jalapeno.  So I guess I’m neither macho nor exciting because I like “mild” peppers.  Pain is usually something I don’t inflict upon myself.  But to each their own!


Celebrating Nicole's EM Graduation

Supported by a loving family, we continued to celebrate Nicole’s EM Residency graduation at my cousin’s gorgeous home in Palos Verdes Estates. 

Over 25 family members joined us for a slideshow, Nicole Trivia (of course!), and a Nicole Roast!  So proud that Nicole has achieved her childhood dream of becoming an emergency doctor.  Big dreams, and a little hard work, do pay off!

She starts her UCSF EMS Fellowship in 2 weeks.  So happy she’s moving back to the Bay Area!

First Merit Academy Graduate Is Now An Emergency Medicine Doctor!

After 24 years of school (Merit Academy, Stanford Undergrad, Stanford Medical School, and Harbor-UCLA EM Residency), I’m proud to say that Nicole is officially an Emergency Medicine Doctor!

We watched her graduate with her 15 co-residents on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA.  She starts her EMS Fellowship at UCSF in 2 weeks where she plans to develop efficient systems for pre-hospital care and disaster preparedness protocols.  Nicole D’Arcy was in the first graduating class at Merit Academy, and she has set the bar and serves as a role model to so many Merit students. 

Congratulations Nicole!

Global Seed Vault At Risk

In 2008, the Norwegian government collected a million packets of seeds from around the world to place them in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.  They did this to secure seeds to protect food crops from climate change, wars, and natural disasters.  It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze so we could restart civilization in the case of a massive disaster. They buried the Global Seed Vault deep into a mountain inside the Arctic Circle with the hope that we would never need to retrieve it. Thank you Norway!

But with our extreme heat wave of 2016, meltwater has gushed into the entrance of the tunnel where the Global Seed Vault is located. The permafrost is melting and the “failsafe” protection that we were relying on in the case of a natural or man-made disaster is at risk. So far, the seeds are still safe but further melting of the permafrost leaves the Norwegians concerned.  They are building a waterproof 100-meter tunnel and digging trenches to channel the water away.  Thank goodness their government understands the importance of protecting seeds and searching for solutions to climate change.

I hope people are listening and doing their part to reverse climate change.  I just wish our government – the oligarchs – would set policies to save civilization rather than destroy it. ARGH!

Food and the Gut

I’m concerned about the food we eat.  Everything from cheese, to meats, to oils, and grains contain irritants that cause inflammation. Even though I grow veggies in an aquaponics system and collect eggs from chickens on our property, my body is inflamed because it is reacting to the foods I eat. 

Decades ago, it was simply choosing between organic and non-organic veggies and fruit.  But today, our veggies are genetically modified (GMOs) so they grow bigger and can survive long hauls to grocery stores.  The animals we eat are raised in inhumane conditions where they can’t move and never see the outdoors. And our packaged foods contain over-processed ingredients with preservatives and chemicals so they can stay fresh on the shelves for decades. This can’t be good for our bodies.

I read a fascinating article “The Truth Behind All Those Gut Health Claims; No Alternative Facts Here.” 

It discusses how the digestive system affects every organ in our bodies and how what we eat affects our energy, immune system, mental agility, happiness, and skin.  My doctor just recommended that I cut out meat and dairy to cut inflammation and to better regulate my blood sugar.  

Sounds like we need to go back to eating food the natural way – the way they grow out of the ground.  Not sure about cutting out meat though!


Jaclyn is Going to Start Kellogg's MBA Program!

I’ve got exciting news: Jaclyn will start Kellogg’s School of Management on June 21st.  It’s part of Northwestern University in Chicago, and it’s ranked #4 in the nation.

While many of the MBA students fly in for weekend classes, Jaclyn will be moving to Chicago for 15 months so she can take full advantage of the incredible marketing courses, professors, and networking.  She is thrilled to have this opportunity to meet high-caliber business students who share her passion for marketing. 

We’re so proud of her! And we’re happy that she plans to return to the Bay Area next September!