Archive for March, 2011

High BMI? What it means for your child, and what you can do about it

Posted in Uncategorized on March 23, 2011 by Black Roses Articles

Lylah M. Alphonse, Shine Staff

In an exclusive post published on Shine today, First Lady Michelle Obama offers some advice, drawn from her own experience, about the Affordable Care Act and how parents can get the most out of visits to the pediatrician. One of her suggestions: Learn about your child’s BMI.
The First Lady was surprised to learn that her daughters’ BMI numbers were “creeping upwards.” “I didn’t really know what BMI was,” she writes. “And I certainly didn’t know that even a small increase in BMI can have serious consequence

s for a child’s health. But as Dr. Susan J. Woolford explains, despite the medical jargon, BMI (Body Mass Index) is actually a very easy way to answer a very difficult question: Is my child overweight?

“We’re concerned about obesity because of the complications of obesity,” Woolford says. “Increased risk for developing problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, liver disease—all the things that can happen as a result of having a high BMI.”

The medical director of the Pediatric Comprehensive Weight Management Center at the University of Michigan, Woolford says that it’s not practical to directly measure each and every child’s body fat. “So the BMI is a good way of getting a sense of that, because we compare weight to height and it gives us a sense of whether a person’s weight is too much for their height.”

http://www.hulu.com/yahoo/http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hulu.com%2Fwatch%2F148508%2Fthe-obama-administration-giving-children-a-healthy-start-on-life/embed/ZpAY1vDuZJmjQLQ-cZn1NQ

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy for Pediatrics recommend that pediatricians start screening children around age 2. Because boys and girls have different amounts of body fat, and because the amount of fat on a healthy kid changes as they age, there are different charts for evaluating BMI results based on age and gender. According to the CDC, if a child’s BMI falls in the 85th to 94th percentile for his or her age and weight—meaning that the child’s BMI is higher than 85 to 94 percent of other children in the same age and weight categories—the child is considered overweight. Anything in the 95th percentile or above is considered obese. A healthy BMI is one that’s between the 5th and 84th percentiles; less than 5th percentile means that the child is underweight.

Some states have asked school districts to measure students’ BMIs, causing an uproar among parents who are concerned that the focus on weight could lead to eating disorders or other problems for kids with body-image issues. (If you have recent height and weight measurements for your child or teenager, you can figure out his or her BMI using this calculator.)

Body Mass Index doesn’t directly measure body fat—it’s a screening tool, not a diagnostic tool, Woolford points out. And BMI isn’t always accurate; since muscle weighs more than fat, most athletes, even as children, may be considered overweight or even obese when looking at their BMI numbers alone. “But for the majority of Americans, that’s not what we find,” Woolford points out. “For the vast majority of Americans, when weight is too high for height it’s because we’re dealing with adiposity,” or an overabundance of fatty tissue.

If a parent learns, as the Obamas did, that their child’s BMI is getting too high, the best thing to do is to speak with the child’s primary care physician to determine how at-risk the child is for obesity and obesity-related complications. If the parent and pediatrician decide that there is something to be concerned about, there are plenty of simple ways parents can address the problem.

“One of the most important things that can be done is to model a healthy lifestyle for the chid,” says Woolford. “I don’t think it works terribly well to just identify that this child has a problem and identify changes we’ll make in the child’s diet alone or their exercise habits alone. It’s much more successful if the entire family makes the changes, and if the parents model healthy lifestyle practices.”

Those practices should include increasing exercise, decreasing sedentary activities like watching TV and playing video games, and changing eating habits.

P.K. Newby, a nutrition scientist who is an associate professor and research scientist in the Department of Pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Department of Epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health says that cutting back on sugar-sweetened beverages like sodas and juice-like drinks is a good place to start. “It’s really a source of empty calories and sugars,” she points out. Water is a better alternative, she suggests.

Parents should also be careful about portion sizes, something that’s easier to do at home than in a restaurant or cafeteria. “If you’re eating a lot outside of the home where you’re not as able to control the portion sizes, that’s going to lead to excess caloric intake,” she says.

Newby, who has done extensive research into dietary patterns, plant-based diets, and obesity, says, “The more plant-based the diet is, the better, for kids as well as the environment.”

“Having plant foods and whole foods being the center of the plate, rather than the meat, is really the best way to go here,” Newby says. “That means vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and minimally processed foods.” Whole foods (think fruits and vegetables) have a greater nutritional benefit than foods that have been highly refined. “Whole foods are higher in fiber, higher in water, lower in total fat, and lower in calories,” she explains. “Shifting your plate toward those types of foods will help kids and adults maintain healthy weight.”

Snack time is an excellent time to offer fruits and vegetables as opposed to typical snack foods, which tend to be highly processed. “Another good piece of advice, I think, is to not keep your high-sugar, high-fat, processed snacks in the house,” she says. “Keep them as treats, otherwise they may be too tempting.”

via – Shine

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Before You Chose That College…

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21, 2011 by Black Roses Articles

Written by: Veronica DagherDow Jones Newswires

As college acceptance letters start to roll in, parents will soon have a better idea of their children’s educational options for the years ahead.

But before students select a college and head off to school, financial advisers say there are a few things many families need to consider about how to handle the costs, get the most for their money and protect themselves against unexpected developments.

Below, five advisers share their words of advice for parents and their college-bound children.

1. THE ADVICE: Encourage your child to select a career first, and then a school.

THE REASON

Many parents and children approach college as a time to sort things out, to delve into a lot of areas and see which ones the child finds most inspiring. Greg Gilbert, an Atlanta-based financial adviser, sees it differently.

College, he says, is preparation for a career. But children often first think about what school they want to attend and then determine what career they will pursue. That can result in wasted time and money.

Thinking first about career options “helps children focus their college experience instead of hopping around from school to school,” says Mr. Gilbert. It also may help cut down on costly extra classes in college and reduce or eliminate the need to retrain in the future, he says.

Of course, many high-school students have no idea what kind of work they want to do after college. Mr. Gilbert recommends that clients have their children work with a professional career counselor who can walk them through career options. In addition, he recommends that children shadow or at least visit with their parents’ friends or other professionals in their field of interest and try to get volunteer or paid experience in the given field as early as possible.

“The key is not just saying ‘Oh, I want to do this,’ but instead, really actively vetting out the [career] idea to see if it’s the right choice,” he says.

2. THE ADVICE: Don’t promise your child you’ll pay the entire tuition.

THE REASON

It isn’t that you don’t intend to do it when you say it. But, warns Bob Goldman, a Sausalito, Calif., financial planner, “when the time comes, the parents may not be able to pay it.” Being realistic, he says, will help the student make better-informed decisions.

The promise has become even more difficult for some of his clients to live up to after they have lost their jobs or suffered some other financial setback, he says. “The parents may now have to wrestle with [the choice between] paying for college or saving for retirement, and that makes for infinite pressure and pain on both sides,” he says.

Mr. Goldman recommends skipping the promise, no matter how well-meaning and heartfelt, and instead have an honest talk with the child about the financial realities of the situation. He suggests parents might say, “I can pay X amount. If you want to go to a more expensive school, you’ll have to borrow the money.”

3. THE ADVICE : When deciding between an in-state public university on the one hand and a private university or out-of-state public university on the other, make your child responsible for at least some of the costs of choosing the more expensive option.

THE REASON

This takes away the “blank check” mentality when students weigh their education options, says John Gugle, a certified financial planner based in Charlotte, N.C. He also believes students are more likely to value their education when they bear some responsibility for the financial impact of their decision.

He recommends parents say the following to their children: “If you choose to go to the in-state public university, then we will pay all four years. However, if you choose to go to the private or out-of-state public university, then we will pay for three years and you will be responsible for one year.”

Also, if the child goes to school beyond four years, the child should have to fund that additional cost, Mr. Gugle says.

This makes the child think “long and hard” about what they can afford, he says. Many of his clients have taken his advice, he says, and it has helped defuse a “thorny” decision-making process.

“Unfortunately money issues will often influence the college choice,” Mr. Gugle says. “Parents and children need a way to balance the costs with the future benefits.”

4. THE ADVICE: Make a deal with your child: Underperform and you’re out.

THE REASON

“The whole concept is to promote responsibility and help the children understand this is a very important financial endeavor,” says Donald Duncan, a certified financial planner based in Downers Grove, Ill.

Going to college should be considered the child’s first real job, says Mr. Duncan, and job success should be defined by the child’s GPA.

“If their GPA isn’t satisfactory, they get fired from the job,” he says. That means finding a less expensive option, perhaps a different college or a trade school.

If the parents are footing the bill, they should agree with the student on a certain minimum GPA before the child starts college. If the child is going away and the parents anticipate an extended adjustment period, the agreement might allow a certain amount of time for the student to make the grade. But the parents need to enforce the agreement if the child doesn’t live up to the bargain, Mr. Duncan says.

In that case, a good community college may be a better value for the parents until the child is mature enough to realize the financial burden of a college education on the parents and is dedicated enough to make the cost worthwhile.

5. THE ADVICE: Help children protect their health and finances from uncertainty and risk.

THE REASON

Once a child turns 18, parents no longer have the legal authority to access the child’s medical records or make health or financial decisions for the child, says Laura Mattia, a Fair Lawn, N.J., certified financial planner.

That loss of control over a child’s care “is a hard thing for a parent to hear,” she says, but families need to create a “game plan” to address the unexpected.

It should include three documents—a health-care directive, a HIPAA release and power of attorney—which together allow parents to access a child’s medical records and make decisions on the child’s health care and finances if necessary.

Ms. Mattia gave this advice to a client whose child was going to study in London for a semester. The client initially was shaken by the realization that she could no longer make crucial decisions on her daughter’s behalf without taking legal action, Ms. Mattia says.

But it prompted a conversation between mother and daughter that brought into the open the anxiety they were both feeling about being so far apart and introduced the daughter to the importance of financial and estate planning. It also prompted the mother to take another look at her own estate plan.

“It was an empowering discussion for both the mother and daughter,” Ms. Mattia says.

Corrections & Amplifications

HIPAA is the acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to it as HIPPA.

Ms. Dagher is a reporter for Dow Jones Newswires in New York. She can be reached at veronica.dagher@dowjones.com.

via – Wall Street Journal

 

Cleansing Earth with Giant Cloned Trees

Posted in Uncategorized on March 14, 2011 by Black Roses Articles

 

Redwoods and sequoias towering majestically over California’s northern coast, oaks up to 1,000 years old nestled in a secluded corner of Ireland, the legendary cedars of Lebanon…

They are among the most iconic trees on Earth, remnants of once-vast populations decimated by logging, development, pollution and disease. A nonprofit organization called Archangel Ancient Tree Archive is rushing to collect their genetic material and replant clones in an audacious plan to restore the world’s ancient forests and put them to work cleansing the environment and absorbing carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas largely responsible for global warming.

“In our infinite wisdom, we’ve destroyed 98 percent of the old growth forests that kept nature in balance for thousands of years,” said David Milarch, the group’s co-founder. “That’s what we intend to put back.”

Milarch, a tree nursery operator from the northern Michigan village of Copemish, and sons Jared and Jake have been producing genetic copies of ancient trees since the 1990s. They’ve now joined with Elk Rapids businesswoman Leslie Lee and a team of researchers to establish Archangel Archive, which has a staff of 17 and an indoor tree research and production complex.

Its mission: Clone the oldest and largest individuals within the world’s most ecologically valuable tree species, and persuade people to buy and plant millions of copies — on factory grounds and college campuses; along riverbanks and city streets; in forests, farms, parks and back yards.

“The number of these ancient survivors that go in the ground will be the ultimate measure of our success,” said Lee, who donated several million dollars to get the project off the ground and serves as board chairwoman. The group hopes donations and tree sales will raise enough money to keep it going.

Scientific opinion varies on whether trees that survive for centuries have superior genes, like champion race horses, or simply have been in the right places at the right times to avoid fires, diseases and other misfortunes. But Archangel Archive is a true believer in the super-tree idea. The group has tracked down and cloned some of the biggest and oldest of more than 60 species and is developing inventories.

The plan is eventually to produce copies of 200 varieties that are considered crucial. The trees preserve ecosystem diversity, soak up toxins from the ground and atmosphere, store carbon while emitting precious oxygen, and provide ingredients for medicines. Rebuilding forests with champion clones could “buy time for humanity” by mitigating centuries of environmental abuse, said Diana Beresford-Kroeger, an Ontario scientist who studies the roles of trees in protecting the environment.

California’s coastal redwoods and giant sequoias, the world’s largest trees, are best suited for sequestering carbon because of their size, rapid growth and durability, said Bill Libby, a retired University of California at Berkeley tree geneticist and consultant to Archangel Archive. The longer a tree lives, the longer its carbon remains bottled up instead of reaching the atmosphere.

“They grow like crazy,” Libby said. “I have a clone of what used to be the world’s tallest redwood tree in my back yard. It’s still a baby, only 30 years old. It’s already taller than anything around it, probably 80 to 100 feet.”

Archangel Archive crew members have taken cuttings from redwoods and sequoias between 2,000 and 3,000 years old. Among them: the Stagg tree, ranked the world’s sixth-largest sequoia by the U.S. Forest Service; and the Waterfall sequoia, considered the widest tree on Earth at ground level — 155 feet around.

Three dozen coastal redwood clones and nine of the giant sequoias have taken root in the Copemish facility and another in Monterey, Calif., David Milarch said. The group also has successfully cloned sprouts from stumps of a dozen redwoods that were felled years ago, including one 35 feet in diameter.

The group uses several processes to develop clones. One is micropropagation, in which branch tips less than an inch long are planted for weeks in baby food jars containing gel-like mixtures of vitamins, fertilizers and hormones and placed on shelves under artificial lights. Eventually they are moved to pots of soil. Another method is to place tips up to 8 inches long in soil blends and grow them in mist chambers.

Terry Root, a Stanford University climate change expert, said giant tree clones could help fight global warming if large numbers are planted where conditions favor their long-term survival. “You can’t put a redwood or giant sequoia just anywhere,” she said. Location is also an issue in cities. Big, shady trees could lower home energy costs in the summer but could shed limbs and cause damage to houses if planted too close.

Finding genetically superior trees has been challenging, but group leaders acknowledge their biggest hurdle may be selling the public on the urgency of restoring the world’s ancient forests.

David Milarch said he was aghast to learn that vast tree plantations were being cultivated in Ireland — not with native oaks, but with pine and cypress imports from California that would grow quickly and be harvested instead of helping cleanse and cool the planet as native champions would do.

“It makes no sense to plant monocultures of exotic species while the last of your giant native trees are in danger of blinking off the earth,” he said.

via npr

Tide of Bodies Overwhelms Quake-hit Japan

Posted in Uncategorized on March 14, 2011 by Black Roses Articles

Written by: Jay Alabaster and Todd Pittman, Associated Press

Tagajo, Japan – A tide of bodies washed up along Japan’s coastline Monday, overwhelming crematoriums, exhausting supplies of body bags and adding to the spiraling humanitarian, economic and nuclear crisis after the massive earthquake and tsunami.

Millions of people faced a fourth night without water, food or heating in near-freezing temperatures along the northeast coast devastated by Friday’s disasters. Meanwhile, a third reactor at a nuclear power plant lost its cooling capacity and its fuel rods were fully exposed, raising fears of a meltdown. The stock market plunged over the likelihood of huge losses by Japanese industries including big names such as Toyota and Honda.

On the coastline of Miyagi prefecture, which took the full force of the tsunami, a Japanese police official said 1,000 bodies were found scattered across the coastline. Kyodo, the Japanese news agency, reported that 2,000 bodies washed up on two shorelines in Miyagi.

In one town in a neighboring prefecture, the crematorium was unable to handle the large number of bodies being brought in for funerals.

“We have already begun cremations, but we can only handle 18 bodies a day. We are overwhelmed and are asking other cites to help us deal with bodies. We only have one crematorium in town,” Katsuhiko Abe, an official in Soma, told The Associated Press.

While the official death toll rose to nearly 1,900, the discovery of the washed-up bodies and other reports of deaths suggest the true number is much higher. In Miyagi, the police chief has said 10,000 people are estimated to have died in his province alone.

The outspoken governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, told reporters Monday that the disaster was “punishment from heaven” because Japanese have become greedy.

Across Japan, most people opt to cremate their dead. With so many bodies, the government on Monday waived a rule requiring permission first from local authorities before cremation or burial to speed up funerals, said Health Ministry official Yukio Okuda.

“The current situation is so extraordinary, and it is very likely that crematoriums are running beyond capacity,” said Okuda. “This is an emergency measure. We want to help quake-hit people as much as we can.”

Friday’s double tragedy has caused unimaginable deprivation for people of this industrialized country — Asia’s richest — which hasn’t seen such hardship since World War II. In many areas there is no running water, no power and four- to five-hour waits for gasoline. People are suppressing hunger with instant noodles or rice balls while dealing with the loss of loved ones and homes.

“People are surviving on little food and water. Things are simply not coming,” said Hajime Sato, a government official in Iwate prefecture, one of the hardest hit.

Sato said deliveries of food and other supplies were just 10 percent of what is needed. Body bags and coffins were running so short that the government may turn to foreign funeral homes for help, he said.

“We have requested funeral homes across the nation to send us many body bags and coffins. But we simply don’t have enough,” he said. “We just did not expect such a thing to happen. It’s just overwhelming.”

The pulverized coast has been hit by hundreds of aftershocks since Friday, the latest one a 6.2 magnitude quake that was followed by a new tsunami scare Monday.

As sirens wailed, soldiers abandoned their search operations and told residents of the devastated shoreline in Soma, the worst hit town in Fukushima prefecture, to run to safety.

They barked out orders: “Find high ground! Get out of here!” Several soldiers were seen leading an old woman up a muddy hillside. The warning turned out to be a false alarm and interrupted the efforts of search parties who arrived in Soma for the first time since Friday to dig out bodies.

Ambulances stood by and body bags were laid out in an area cleared of debris, as firefighters used hand picks and chain saws to clear a jumble of broken timber, plastic sheets, roofs, sludge, twisted cars, tangled power lines and household goods.

Ships were flipped over near roads, a half-mile (a kilometer) inland. Officials said one-third of the city of 38,000 people was flooded and thousands were missing.

Though Japanese officials have refused to speculate on how high the death toll could rise, an expert who dealt with the 2004 Asian tsunami offered a dire outlook.

“It’s a miracle really, if it turns out to be less than 10,000” dead, said Hery Harjono, a senior geologist with the Indonesian Science Institute, who was closely involved with the aftermath of the earlier disaster that killed 230,000 people — of which only 184,000 bodies were found.

He drew parallels between the two disasters — notably that many bodies in Japan may have been sucked out to sea or remain trapped beneath rubble as they did in Indonesia’s hardest-hit Aceh province. But he also stressed that Japan’s infrastructure, high-level of preparedness and city planning to keep houses away from the shore could mitigate its human losses.

According to public broadcaster NHK, some 430,000 people are living in emergency shelters or with relatives. Another 24,000 people are stranded, it said.

One reason for the loss of power is the damage to several nuclear reactors in the area. At one plant, Fukushima Dai-ichi, three reactors have lost the ability to cool down. A building holding one of them exploded on Monday. Operators were dumping sea water into all three reactors in a final attempt to cool their superheated containers that faced possible meltdown. If that happens, they could release radioactive material in the air.

Though people living within a 12-mile (20-kilometer) radius were ordered to leave over the weekend, authorities told anyone remaining there or in nearby areas to stay inside their homes following the blast.

Military personnel on helicopters returning to ships with the U.S. 7th Fleet registered low-level of radioactive contamination Monday, but were cleared after a scrub-down. As a precaution, the ships shifted to a different area off the coast.

So far, Tokyo Electric Power, the nuclear plant’s operator, is holding off on imposing the rolling blackouts it earlier said it would need but the utility urged people to limit electricity use. To help reduce the power load, many regional train lines were suspended or operating on a limited schedule.

The impact that lack of electricity, damaged roads and railways and ruined plants would have on the world’s third-largest economy helped drag down the share markets on Monday, the first business day since the disasters. The benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average fell 6.2 percent while the broader Topix index lost 7.5 percent.

To lessen the damage, Japan’s central bank injected 15 trillion yen (US$184 billion) into money markets.

Beyond the stock exchanges, recovering from the disaster is likely to weigh on already debt-burdened Japan, which has barely managed weak growth between slowdowns for 20 years.

Initial estimates put repair costs in the tens of billions of dollars, costs that would likely add to a massive public debt that, at 200 percent of gross domestic product, is the biggest among industrialized nations.

___

Pitman reported from Sendai. Associated Press writers Eric Talmadge in Soma, Kelly Olsen in Koriyama, Malcolm J. Foster, Mari Yamaguchi, Tomoko A. Hosaka and Shino Yuasa in Tokyo and Niniek Karmini in Jakarta contributed to this report.

via – Associated Press

Powerful Quake, Tsunami Kills Hundreds in Japan

Posted in Uncategorized on March 12, 2011 by Black Roses Articles

 

Written by: Malcolm Foster, Associated Press

Tokyo – For more than two terrifying, seemingly endless minutes Friday, the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in Japan shook apart homes and buildings, cracked open highways and unnerved even those who have learned to live with swaying skyscrapers. Then came a devastating tsunami that slammed into northeastern Japan and killed hundreds of people.

The violent wall of water swept away houses, cars and ships. Fires burned out of control. Power to a cooling system at a nuclear power plant was knocked out, forcing thousands to flee. A boat was caught in the vortex of a whirlpool at sea.

The death toll rose steadily throughout the day, but the true extent of the disaster was not known because roads to the worst-hit areas were washed away or blocked by debris and airports were closed.

After dawn Saturday, the scale of destruction became clearer.

Aerial scenes of the town of Ofunato showed homes and warehouses in ruins. Sludge and high water spread over acres of land, with people seeking refuge on roofs of partially submerged buildings. At one school, a large white “SOS” had been spelled out in English.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said an initial assessment found “enormous damage,” adding that the Defense Ministry was sending troops to the hardest-hit region.

President Barack Obama pledged U.S. assistance following what he called a potentially “catastrophic” disaster. He said one U.S. aircraft carrier is already in Japan and a second was on its way. A U.S. ship was also heading to the Marianas Islands to assist as needed, he added.

The entire Pacific had been put on alert — including coastal areas of South America, Canada and Alaska — but waves were not as bad as expected.

The magnitude-8.9 offshore quake struck at 2:46 p.m. local time and was the biggest to hit Japan since record-keeping began in the late 1800s. It ranked as the fifth-largest earthquake in the world since 1900 and was nearly 8,000 times stronger than one that devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, last month, scientists said.

The quake shook dozens of cities and villages along a 1,300-mile (2,100-kilometer) stretch of coast and tall buildings swayed in Tokyo, hundreds of miles from the epicenter. Prime Minister Naoto Kan was attending a parliamentary session at the time.

“I thought I was going to die,” said Tokyo marketing employee Koto Fujikawa. “It felt like the whole structure was collapsing.”

Fujikawa, 28, was riding a monorail when the quake hit and had to later pick her way along narrow, elevated tracks to the nearest station.

Minutes later, the earthquake unleashed a 23-foot (seven-meter) tsunami along the northeastern coast of Japan near the coastal city of Sendai in Miyagi prefecture. The quake was followed for hours by aftershocks. The U.S. Geological Survey said 124 were detected off Japan’s main island of Honshu, 111 of them of magnitude 5.0 or greater.

Large fishing boats and other vessels rode the high waves ashore, slamming against overpasses or scraping under them and snapping power lines along the way. A fleet of partially submerged cars bobbed in the water. Ships anchored in ports crashed against each other.

The tsunami roared over embankments, washing anything in its path inland before reversing direction and carrying the cars, homes and other debris out to sea. Flames shot from some of the homes, apparently from burst gas pipes.

Waves of muddy waters flowed over farms near Sendai, carrying buildings, some of them ablaze. Drivers attempted to flee. The tarmac at Sendai’s airport was inundated with thick, muddy debris that included cars, trucks, buses and even light planes.

Highways to the worst-hit coastal areas buckled. Telephone lines snapped. Train service was suspended in northeastern Japan and in Tokyo, which normally serves 10 million people a day. Untold numbers of people were stranded in stations or roaming the streets. Tokyo’s Narita airport was closed indefinitely.

Police said 200-300 bodies were found in Sendai, although the official casualty toll was 185 killed, 741 missing and 948 injured.

A ship with 80 dock workers was swept away from a shipyard in Miyagi. All on the ship was believed to be safe, although the vessel had sprung a leak and was taking on some water, Japan’s coast guard said.

In the coastal town of Minami-soma, about 1,800 houses were destroyed or ravaged, a Defense Ministry spokeswoman said. Fire burned well past dark in a large section of Kesennuma, a city of 70,000 people in Miyagi.

A resident in Miyagi prefecture who had been stranded on his roof, surrounded by water, mud and fallen trees, was rescued by a Self-Defense Force helicopter Saturday morning, TV video showed.

Officials declared the first-ever state of emergency at a Japanese nuclear power plant and ordered evacuations after the earthquake knocked out power to a cooling system at the Fukushima Daiichi facility near the city of Onahama, about 170 miles (270 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo. They said radiation levels inside the facility had surged to 1,000 times more than normal.

Some radiation had seeped outside the plant, the nuclear safety agency said early Saturday, prompting calls for more evacuations of the area. Some 3,000 people have already been urged to leave their homes.

The Defense Ministry said it had sent dozens of troops trained to deal with chemical disasters to the plant in case of a radiation leak.

An American working at the facility said the whole building shook and debris fell from the ceiling. Danny Eudy, 52, a technician employed by Texas-based Atlantic Plant Maintenance, and his colleagues escaped the building just as the tsunami hit, his wife told The Associated Press.

“He walked through so much glass that his feet were cut. It slowed him down,” said Pineville, Louisiana, resident Janie Eudy, who spoke to her husband by phone after the quake.

The group watched homes and vehicles carried away in the wave and found their hotel mostly destroyed when they reached it.

A large fire erupted at the Cosmo oil refinery in the city of Ichihara and burned out of control with 100-foot (30-meter) flames whipping into the sky.

Also in Miyagi prefecture, a fire broke out in a turbine building of a nuclear power plant, but it was later extinguished, said Tohoku Electric Power Co.

Japanese automakers Toyota, Nissan and Honda halted production at some assembly plants in areas hit by the quake. One worker was killed and more than 30 injured after being crushed by a collapsing wall at a Honda Motor Co. research facility in northeastern Tochigi prefecture, the company said.

Jesse Johnson, a native of Nevada who lives in Chiba, north of Tokyo, was eating at a sushi restaurant with his wife when the quake hit.

“At first it didn’t feel unusual, but then it went on and on. So I got myself and my wife under the table,” he told the AP. “I’ve lived in Japan for 10 years, and I’ve never felt anything like this before. The aftershocks keep coming. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t know whether it’s me shaking or an earthquake.”

Tokyo was brought to a near standstill. Tens of thousands of people were stranded with the rail network down, and the streets were jammed with cars, buses and trucks trying to get out of the city.

The city set up 33 shelters in city hall, on university campuses and in government offices, but many planned to spend the night at 24-hour cafes, hotels and offices.

NHK said more than 4 million buildings were without power in Tokyo and its suburbs.

Jefferies International Ltd., a global investment banking group, estimated overall losses of about $10 billion.

The tsunami hit Hawaii before dawn Friday, with most damage coming on the Big Island. The waves covered beachfront roads and rushed into hotels. One house was picked up and carried out to sea. Low-lying areas in Maui were flooded by 7-foot waves.

On the U.S. mainland, marinas and harbors in California and Oregon bore the brunt of the damage, estimated by authorities to be in the millions of dollars. Boats crashed into each other in marines and some vessels were washed out to sea.

Rescue crews were searching for a man who was swept away in northern California while taking pictures. Two people with him tried to rescue him, although they were able to return to shore.

Thousands fled homes in Indonesia after officials warned of a tsunami up to 6 feet (2 meters) high, but waves of only 4 inches (10 centimeters) were measured. No big waves came to the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory, either.

Islands across the South Pacific were hit by bigger-than-normal waves, but no major damage was reported. Surges up to 26 inches (66 centimeters) high were reported in American Samoa, Nauru, Saipan and at the far northern tip of New Zealand.

In Tonga, water flooded houses in the low-lying Ha’apai islands early Saturday, police said. Thousands in the capital, Nuku’alofa, sought refuge at the king’s residence on higher ground, Radio Tonga said.

The quake struck at a depth of six miles (10 kilometers), about 80 miles (125 kilometers) off Japan’s east coast, the USGS said. The area is 240 miles (380 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo. Several quakes hit the same region in recent days, including one measured at magnitude 7.3 on Wednesday that caused no damage.

“The energy radiated by this quake is nearly equal to one month’s worth of energy consumption” in the United States, USGS scientist Brian Atwater told The Associated Press.

Early Saturday, a magnitude-6.6 earthquake struck the central, mountainous part of Japan — far from the original quake’s epicenter. It was not immediately clear if that temblor was related to the others.

Japan’s worst previous quake was a magnitude 8.3 in Kanto that killed 143,000 people in 1923, according to USGS. A 7.2-magnitude quake in Kobe killed 6,400 people in 1995.

Japan lies on the “Ring of Fire” — an arc of earthquake and volcanic zones stretching around the Pacific where about 90 percent of the world’s quakes occur, including the one that triggered the Dec. 26, 2004, Indian Ocean tsunami that killed an estimated 230,000 people in 12 countries. A magnitude-8.8 temblor that shook central Chile in February 2010 also generated a tsunami and killed 524 people.

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Associated Press writers contributing to this report Jay Alabaster, Mari Yamaguchi, Tomoko A. Hosaka and Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo; Seth Borenstein and Julie Pace in Washington; Michael Kunzelman in New Orleans; Jaymes Song and Audrey McAvoy in Honolulu; Denise Petski and Daisy Nguyen in Los Angeles; Garance Burke in San Francisco; Nigel Duara in Seaside, Ore.; Jeff Barnard in Crescent City, Calif.; Alicia Chang in Pasadena, Calif.; and Mark Niesse in Ewa Beach, Hawaii.

Los Angeles Fashion Week Calendar

Posted in Uncategorized on March 9, 2011 by Black Roses Articles

Black Roses will continue to post new events to the calendar.

March 9

Two Point Oh! LA’s Pre-Fashion Week Party honoring Mila Hermanovski and Chelsea Rebelle’s Sarah Brannon
8 p.m.–midnight
Falls Lounge
Downtown L.A.
Cost: free for members; $10 for nonmembers
www.twopointohla.com

March 10

Concept Los Angeles Fashion Week kickoff event
Ace Gallery
Los Angeles
7–11 p.m.
Rsvp10@conceptfw.com

Roark Collective collaboration with photographer Ian Morrison
Concept Los Angeles Fashion Week
Ace Gallery
Los Angeles
8 p.m.
Rsvp10@conceptfw.com

Henry Duarte collaboration with bands The Meek and The Black Ryder
Concept Los Angeles Fashion Week
Ace Gallery
Los Angeles
9 p.m.
Rsvp10@conceptfw.com

March 11

Mike Vensel, Valerj Pobega, martinMARTIN and Liason fashion installations
5–9 p.m.
Concept L.A. Fashion Week
Ace Gallery
Los Angeles
www.conceptfw.com

Chemline runway show
7 p.m.
Concept L.A. Fashion Week
Ace Gallery
Los Angeles
www.conceptfw.com

Lavuk runway show
9 p.m.
Concept L.A. Fashion Week
Ace Gallery
Los Angeles
www.conceptfw.com

March 12

L’une, Curly-V and Melanie Mills fashion installations
5–9 p.m.
Concept L.A. Fashion Week
Ace Gallery
Los Angeles
www.conceptfw.com

Science & Numbers runway show
5 p.m.
Concept L.A. Fashion Week
Ace Gallery
Los Angeles
www.conceptfw.com

Jen Awad runway show
7 p.m.
Concept L.A. Fashion Week
Ace Gallery
Los Angeles
www.conceptfw.com

Project Ethos fashion, art & music presents Carpe Diem
8 p.m.
Avalon
Hollywood
www.projectethos.com

Thai Nuyen runway show
9 p.m.
Concept L.A. Fashion Week
Ace Gallery
Los Angeles
www.conceptfw.com

March 13

Skingraft, Kittenhawk and ISM Mode fashion installations
5–9 p.m.
Concept L.A. Fashion Week
Ace Gallery
Los Angeles
www.conceptfw.com

The Battalion runway show
5 p.m.
Concept L.A. Fashion Week
Ace Gallery
Los Angeles
www.conceptfw.com

B:Scott runway show
7 p.m.
Concept L.A. Fashion Week
Ace Gallery
Los Angeles
www.conceptfw.com

Fremont runway show
9 p.m.
Concept L.A. Fashion Week
Ace Gallery
Los Angeles
www.conceptfw.com

March 14

Los Angeles Fashion Market
Through March 17
California Market Center*
The New Mart
Cooper Design Space
Gerry Building
Lady Liberty Building
Academy Awards Building
The Primrose Building
824 Building
*Some CMC showrooms will be open on March 13.

L.A. Kids Market
California Market Center
Through March 17
(Some CMC showrooms will be open on March 13.)
www.californiamarketcenter.com

Designers and Agents
Through March 16
The New Mart, third floor
www.designersandagents.com

Directives West presents “First.LA” Fall 2011 runway show
6 p.m. (5:30 p.m. cocktails)
The Patio at the California Market Center
Downtown Los Angeles
Cost: event is invitation-only
RSVP (212) 994-4660 or e-mail jmurphy@bcg-pr.com

March 15

Select trade show
Focus trade show
Transit shoe show
Through March 16
California Market Center
www.californiamarketcenter.com

CMC Contemporary Collections runway show
Noon
California Market Center, 13th-floor penthouse
www.californiamarketcenter.com

WGSN’s Post-Fashion Week Wrap-Up
California Market Center 13th-floor penthouse
2 p.m.
www.wgsn.com

Style Assembly press preview
4–8 p.m.
Cooper Design Space
Downtown Los Angeles
allie@thestyleassembly.com

Ai for Ai presentation
8 p.m (doors open at 7 p.m.)
Satine
W. Third Street, Los Angeles
aiforairsvp@gmail.com

Alternative Apparel presents Season of Change fashion showcase for Fall 2011
8–10 p.m.
Location TBA
www.alternativeapparel.com

Style Fashion Week L.A. opening night party and runway show
Time TBA
Vibiana
Downtown Los Angeles
www.stylefashionweek.com

March 16

F2 runway show
California Market Center 13th-floor penthouse
Noon
www.californiamarketcenter.com

Up Next L.A. Designers, featuring Alakazia | Hat = Art, a fashion installation and live jazz performance by Kaylene Peoples
7–10 p.m. (show at 8 p.m.)
EM & Co.
W. Third Street
Los Angeles
rsvp@emandco.com

Gypsy 05 runway show and performance by Cirque du Soleil
7:30 p.m.
Style Fashion Week L.A.
Vibiana
Downtown Los Angeles
www.stylefashionweek.com

March 17

Up Next Designers: Micha Designs and Modern Neo-Tribe, jewelry installation on live models
7–10 p.m.
EM & Co.
W. Third Street
Los Angeles
rsvp@emandco.com

Go Red for Women: Celebrity Red Dress fashion show
Time TBA
Style Fashion Week L.A.
Vibiana
Downtown Los Angeles
www.stylefashionweek.com

March 18

Sue Wong presents “My Fair Lady” Fall 2011, fashion presentation and champagne brunch
11 a.m.–2 p.m.
The Cedars
Los Feliz
rsvp@suewong.com

Up Next Designers: Micha Designs and Modern Neo-Tribe, jewelry installation on live models
7–10 p.m.
EM & Co.
W. Third Street
Los Angeles
rsvp@emandco.com

Simply Stylist’s Spring 2011 seminar featuring Ilaria Urbinati, Soyon An and Karla Welch
7 p.m.
Eden Lounge
Hollywood
Cost: $75 general admission, $150 VIP
www.simplystylist.com

L.A. Fashion Weekend runway shows featuring XCVI, Denim of Virtue, Doctrine and Adiktion
8 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.)
Sunset Gower Studios
Hollywood
Friday@LosAngelesFW.com

The Design Suites at L.A. Fashion Weekend featuring FSP, Tash Folds, Alejandra G and Nicole Lee
6 p.m.
Sunset Gower Studios
Hollywood
Friday@LosAngelesFW.com

Style Fashion Week L.A. closing-night party and runway show
Time TBA
Vibiana
Downtown Los Angeles
www.stylefashionweek.com

March 19

L.A. Fashion Weekend runway shows featuring Z Brand, Civil society, Biatta Intimates and Nuvato
8 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.)
Sunset Gower Studios
Hollywood
Saturday@LosAngelesFW.com

The Design Suites at L.A. Fashion Weekend featuring FSP, Tash Folds, Alejandra G and Nicole Lee
6 p.m.
Sunset Gower Studios
Hollywood
Saturday@LosAngelesFW.com