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November 02, 2007

What to do with all that Halloween candy?

Dr. Terry Preece in Utah has figured out what to do about all his patients and the Halloween candy they pick up. He buys it from them at a dollar a pound!

Davis County dentist holds 'candy-for-cash' Halloween buyback: http://www.abc4.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=ba15b913-1eb9-4015-9f1a-ea2f858e8460

He isn't the only dentist doing this. Across the country, countless dentists are engaging in similar programs to encourage children to reduce the consumption of Halloween candies. Closer to home, Dr. Paul W. Allen from Saginaw and Dr. Kevin Flood from Grand Rapids are doing the same thing.

Dentist's sweet deal tops half-ton of candy: http://www.mlive.com/news/saginawnews/index.ssf?/base/news-24/1194020567306600.xml&coll=9

He gives $1 a pound for Halloween candy: http://www.mlive.com/grandrapids/stories/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1193770655172490.xml&coll=6

Dentists collect candy to ship overseas to the troups in Iraq in Chico, California; Bristol, Tennessee; and Harrison, Pensylvania.

Bristol dentist pays kids for Halloween candy to send along to soldiers in Iraq: http://www.tricities.com/tristate/tri/news.apx.-content-articles-TRI-2007-11-02-0011.html

Treats for the troops: Children turn in Halloween candy: http://www.chicoer.com/news/ci_7348501

Dentists pay children for their Halloween candy, send it to Iraq: http://www.thejournalnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071102/NEWS02/711020348/1018/NEWS02

Other folks are also coming up with ideas for how to use up all the worrisome bounty. The ideas include:

  1. buy it from the kids,

  2. hide it,

  3. throw it out,

  4. share it with neighbors,

  5. take it to work,

  6. cook with it,

  7. use it in art projects,

  8. save it for goody bags at a party,

  9. stuff a pinata for your child's next party,

  10. use it to barter for good behavior, or

  11. as a homework reward.

Five ways to use all that candy: http://specialchildren.about.com/b/2007/10/31/five-ways-to-use-all-that-halloween-candy.htm

Manage a candy stash for kids: http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071031/LIFE/710310340/1005

A rather creative approach is sharing candy with the Pumpkin Fairy (mysterious donations outside your door) or the Haggle Fairy (parents bartering change for candy) as mentioned in this article from San Francisco.

Halloween Candy Meltdown Time: How do parents deal with all the kids' toxic treats? Bribes, theft, fairies and total apathy: http://www.sfgate.com/flat/archive/2007/10/30/g/a/2007/10/30/candy.html

One idea that has really gotten attention this year is building a gingerbread house from Halloween candy. The famous FLYLady recommended gluing candy to a cardboard box framework with an eggwhite-based frosting, "the kind that dries into something resembling sheetrock". She included pictures of the gingerbread house made by her grandchildren, but you can find other patterns or ideas with an Internet search engine.

HouseFairy: Best Rooms: Bright Ideas: Building a Gingerbread House: http://www.housefairy.org/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=5

For my child, a big point is how to not get the candy in the first place, since he has special health requirements that mean he cannot have artificial food additives (especially dyes) or chocolate, poor thing. Some years we've gotten lucky with people giving treats that were things he could have, but this was not one of those years. He received two treats he could keep -- a container of applesauce, and a marshmallow. Rarely, we find white chocolate or organic candies, but don't really expect that. We are thrilled when people consider offering non-candy treats. Here are some ideas from good things he received in other years, and other non-candy ideas for treats. Remember to get things that are safe for children, and have a mix of items appropriate for a range of ages and genders.

  1. Balloons filled with helium
  2. Beads (as in small jewelry making kits and supplies for girls)
  3. Bubble stuff (small bottles)
  4. "Bugeye" viewing lenses
  5. Bugs or dinosaurs (plastic toys)
  6. Cars or trains (plastic toys)
  7. Cereal bars / snacks
  8. Chips or crackers (snack bags)
  9. Cinnamon sticks (with a packet of instant cider?)
  10. Coloring books
  11. Coupons for fastfood restaurants
  12. Decks of cards
  13. Fake blood (small tubes)
  14. Fake tattoos
  15. Fruit bars
  16. Fruit leather
  17. Glow in the dark (glow stick) necklaces or wristbands
  18. Glow sticks - chemical "flares"
  19. Granola bars
  20. Halloween theme toys (small ones)
  21. Keychains
  22. Keychains with lights!
  23. Laser pet toys
  24. Magic tricks
  25. Magnifying glasses
  26. Marbles
  27. Mardi gras beads
  28. Mini-books (scary stories or monsters)
  29. Mini-flashlights
  30. Money (real or play)
  31. Monster toys / decorations
  32. Noisemakers
  33. Notepads (seasonal themed)
  34. Nut bars or peanuts (remember, some kids are allergic to these, too!)
  35. Origami paper and patterns
  36. Party favors & dollar store items
  37. Playdough minis
  38. Ramen
  39. Rubber stamps (seasonal)
  40. Safety lights
  41. Skeletons or skulls (plastic)
  42. "Slime"
  43. Snakes (rubber or plastic)
  44. Spider rings
  45. Straws (as in fancy, plastic ones, especially Halloween themed)
  46. Superballs
  47. Tops
  48. Tracing paper (small pads)
  49. Vampire teeth (plastic)
  50. Whistles


Leftover Halloween candy recipes: http://www.squidoo.com/leftovercandy/

Halloween candy is a magical recipe ingredient: http://www.mlive.com/food/grpress/index.ssf?/base/features-2/119383891019280.xml&coll=6

Left-over candy - a few ideas for you: http://www.wtopnews.com/index.php?nid=456&sid=1285065

Got extra Halloween candy? Make candybar cookies: http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/3443

How to ... use up Halloween candy: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/lifestyle/337293_stayhowto30.html

Posted by pfa at 11:56 PM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2007

Ask the Podcast Doctor - Live Blogging

Today saw the inaugural event in the Health Sciences Libraries lecture series. The speaker was Dr. David Stutz, a.k.a. the Podcast Doctor. Several people wanted to attend who asked where they could find the podcast, however (ironically) there was no podcast. As a wholly inadequate fill-in for the lack, please find below live-blogging from the event (which was in a room that lacked wireless network access also).


Ask The Podcast Doctor: A Patient-Driven Web-Based UMHS Resource
Dr. David Stutz
November 1, 2008

AUTHOR: (Consumer Reports) The Savvy Patient (Book) / 40+ Guide to Fitness

What / about / e-realestate / listeners / professionals / consumer ehealth / future

or UMHS / iTunes / rss feeds

cartoons.com - paid for cartoon right-to-use

fascinated by dr-pt relationship which should be the pt-dr-dr-pt partnership
how to communicate in pt language

background - radio talk show, live medical advice
Recommendation: To Your Good Health / Dr. Donohue
limits: 1 paragraph of print

Bruce Freedman: podcast brainchild - Nov 2005
asked Dr. Larry McMann - supported proposal


where to send medical questions
listen to previous programs on website
not meant to provide timely and personal advice
accessibility - driving, running, etc.

GarageBand + Mixer + Digital recorder and microphone
interview takes 20 minutes, final product takes 5-7 minutes

podcast = mp3 audio recording
rss = subscribe


ICAN for domain names
like taking a mining claim in the gold rush
$10/yr for domain name
DN registrar & hosting: godaddy.com
Michigan Marketing & Design

"Learning to use a Mac is like driving in Boston -- once you know where you're going, you're fine, but if you don't know wher eyou're going, you just keep going in circles. Actually, a lot of things are like driving in Boston."

Once the web site would go live, I needed to hit the ground running and have a fully-furnished site.

Entire development process took 16 months.


Generate questions, such as "My wife says I have to eat more fish. Do I need to eat fish to have a healthy diet? Please say no!"

Two broad question types:
1) Immediate cry for help (refer to UMHS Physician Referral Service) "desperate questions"
2) general interest

As a physician is hard to be objective about what is interesting to general public.

Balance between depth of information and attention span.

Upload finished podcast to LibSyn.com - podcast service (Liberated Syndication)
Google Analytics
"Google Juice"


positive response
more willingness to collaborate / speak
opportunity for UM experts to educate listeners, subtleties of treatment, red flags for patients - when you need help
important that Dr. Stutz is not presenting himself as overall clinical expert
international stage


InternetWorld stats 1.24 billion people use internet, ~20% of world population
questions rcd internationally

medical consumers use internet as giant encyclopedia

biggest problem is too much information
how to filter and edit information
reams of printouts, most irrelevant to their personal problem

podcast not intended to be encyclopedic, more a general interest feature and entertainment value

unique in medical podcasts in that listeners generate/shape content


continue w/ 1/wk

FIG grant - fostering innovation
topic index for site

biggest problem is marketing
no promotion, but have 13,000 downloads


1) How do you get people to use the site?
- UMHS homepage
- put site logo in UMHS screensaver for one week, will repeat later
- Aaron Block and Jessica Salero
- PR/outreach - site does not generate revenue; site subsidized by UMHS

equipment and domainname purchased out of pocket, not through institution

how to promote individual clinics? tear-offs?
presenters steer patients to content for pt education.

don't promote too heavily until there is enough content - about 100 est.

2) about questions

goaskalice as a similar type of site in "print" via web format

3) about accessibility or abstracting to enable searching of answers provided

haven't done that

4) why go to experts instead of answering questions yourself, as a generalist

suggested list of questions, semi-scripted
goal 1: answer question asked
goal 2: add relevant and useful information

monologue would not be interesting; dialog is more so

marketing is part of the concept
broader promotion for UMHS professionals

5) when selecting questions to answer, do you anticipate topics of interest?

no. timeliness is serendipitous rather than intentional.

6) is included more info? followup of further reading information?

yes, refer to UMHS health topics pages

7) How is that UMHS Health Topics content selected?

Don't know. He usually uses sports medicine info which does not go out of date quickly.

Posted by pfa at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)