Archive for August, 2009|Monthly archive page


In Uncategorized on August 21, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Nothing whatsoever to do with birth and babies but I have something to say for which a blog is the perfect place!


Yes, those invisibly color-coordinated bits of cars back and front that are expected to protect passengers (and cars) in rear- and front-end crashes.

What the hell happened?!!!

When I learned to drive, umpteen decades ago, bumpers were big, black, rubbery-looking things that could withstand a fair amount of impact without damage to the car. On a visit back home to England I remember my cousin and her daughter laughing as they squeezed the car into a tight spot, tapping the bumper behind them in the act. Immediately, cousin and daughter laughed and announced in unison “Bumpers are for bumping!”

Today, lightly tapping the part of a car laughably called a bumper will cost you at the very least a couple of hundred to fix the paint, likely points on your record, and possibly, if the tap was less than light, a couple thou to fix the dent. Dent? What happened to “bumper”?!!! Oh, and not to mention the possibility of an additional claim for whiplash! So much for protecting car and passengers!

MAZDA front-small

My previous car, the Mazda 323 I owned for 15 of its 16 years, had solid-looking black bumpers. They had survived one being knocked off kilter by a car skidding across black ice on a Vancouver corner (just had to pop it back on to its mounts—no harm done), countless minor bumps and scrapes over years of driving and parking–mine and others, protected me from possible whiplash injuries in a couple of fender-benders—and never once required dent removal or painting. Actually, I thought they made my little car look sturdy, a little more macho, and trustworthy, living up to the AAA inspector’s description of the car as “bullet-proof”—figuratively speaking, of course.

MAZDA rear-small

So what happened to bumpers that work—that do the job they were originally designed to do? Was it just valuing cosmetic appeal over safety that made them disappear? Another way to make money off the hapless consumer? Despite the matching paint, do they do as good a job of protecting car and passengers? Did they make the rules more lax and begin to rely instead on airbags?

I simply don’t understand. All the slick, uniformly painted cars on the road today (mine included) just don’t compare to a car with great, chunky, reassuringly black bumpers. Who do I have to talk to to bring them back?

Reducing Infant Mortality: A free film

In baby, Birth, infant, maternity, mortality, mother on August 21, 2009 at 10:03 pm

From Debby Takikawa, the Director of “What Babies Want,” comes a new 17-minute film free for downloading, with permissions to burn it to DVD, send the link to anyone, and show it anywhere, with the only requirement being to keep the film intact. For more information, see


For a country that spends so much money on pregnancy and childbirth, our infant mortality rates are appalling. Listen to obstetricians, doulas, neonatologists, midwives, psychologists, pediatricians, and other physicians explain how our health care system is failing babies and mothers and what we can do about it.

Please view the film, then share it with your colleagues and friends, show it in your community, and send it to your legislators. Our babies (and their parents) will thank you!

Here is a link to President Obama’s committee on health care reform. You can send the link to the video directly to the committee–the more of us sending the link, the better chance it will be recognized as an important issue for consideration in the re-visioning of our health care system.

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