Archive for November, 2010

Penguin Helps Prevent Chemo Hair Loss

November 6, 2010

One of the most traumatic side effects of undergoing chemotherapy for cancer is the inevitable the loss of hair. But, the Penguin Post has learned that a new tool may help some women preserve their crowning glory. The device is called the Penguin Cold Cap. It’s based on the theory that cooling the scalp can help prevent chemotherapy medications from causing hair loss. The devices are already popular in Europe, and are starting to be used in the U.S. and may come to Canada. Minnesota-based cancer survivor Shirley Billigmeier tried the penguin cap earlier this year when she had chemo for breast cancer. Even after six rounds of chemo, she retained her long, thick hair. “My hair is all there. It definitely works,” she says.

The device, appropriately named the Penguin Cold Cap, was developed by a company in the U.K. The cap is filled with a gel similar to that used in cold packs for knee injuries, and then attached to the head using fabric hook-and-loop fasteners. The theory behind the cap is that it slows blood circulation to the follicles, thereby slowing the flow of the chemo chemicals that destroy young follicle cells. The cap developers say the cap allows most hair follicles to withstand the chemo medications, though there is sometimes some thinning. The icy therapy was tested a few decades ago, but it was messy and was abandoned. But a new design has revived the idea. Patients wear the cap for 30 minutes on a chemotherapy treatment day, then switch it for a second cap, rotating between the caps for seven hours. The few small studies that have been conducted on the cold caps in Europe suggest the caps worked for 87 per cent of patients, depending on the chemotherapy medications used. Other studies suggest the idea of scalp cooling “is effective but not for all chemotherapy patients.” But some cancer specialists don’t like the caps, worrying that blocking chemotherapy from reaching the scalp leaves the risk of cancer spread down the road. Research is underway at Laval University in Quebec Still women are trying it at a cost of $1,500, even if firm scientific proof is not quite there. “It gives you an overall sense of control that you can do something with this disease that can be out of control,” says cancer patient Ditah Rimar. “This is something you can do. It’s part of the fight.”

Penguins Set For Dingle

November 6, 2010

The Penguin Post has learned that about a dozen breeding penguins are to be placed at the Dingle Oceanworld aquarium, as part of an ambitious new polar room which pays homage to a west Kerry Antarctic explorer.

The display in the facility, costing almost €1 million, is linked to explorer Tom Crean, who hailed from nearby Annascaul, and took part in three polar expeditions during the “Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration”.

The penguins are being introduced from British and Irish zoos and will include mainly the gentoo and rockhopper species – smaller breeds than the large and more famous Emperor penguin.

The polar room in Dingle will imitate the Antarctic’s icy conditions and will require one full-time penguin minder and at least two part-time staff, said marine expert Kevin Flannery.

Penguin Project

November 6, 2010

The leadership class at Silver Lake Regional High School in Kingston, Mass has been assigned the Penguin Project by teacher Tony Pina. The goal is for the students to work together as a group and complete the given tasks.

Group members must have their picture taken with the penguin at different places and different people for credit. This picture with Assistant Principal James Mulcahy was one of the tasks the students had to complete. Some of the other tasks they must complete include going to the beach, going to Fenway Park, getting a picture with someone famous, and getting their penguin in the newspaper.

Now that they’re in the Penguin Post they might be half way to their goal.  Perhaps they can bring their penguin to Penguin Place and take a picture here?

Penguin Place Customer is Simply “Great”

November 6, 2010

A GREAT grandmother’s passion for penguins has seen her amass a staggering collection of memorabilia and keepsakes. Hartlepool’s Marguerite Gant brought her first penguin ornament 35 years ago – and her love of all things black and white snowballed from there. The self-confessed “mad penguin lady” has spent hundreds of pounds on her 3000 plus-strong collection but the majority is brought for her from loving family and friends.  These pictures reveal just the tip of the iceberg as the mum-of-five’s flat at Anchor Court, on the Headland, is jam-packed with penguins. Every nook and cranny of her flat is crammed with ornaments, toys, T-shirts, slippers, dressing gowns, paintings, pillows, jewellery – and even a coffee table. Marguerite also eats her dinner of a penguin plate, drinks her tea out of a penguin mug and the bathroom is filled with black and white mats and robes.The memorabilia has come from all over the world including Spain, France and Australia, where Marguerite got up close and personal with dozens of penguins.  But, in recent years Marguerite has taken to the internet where she found Penguin Place to fill her penguin cravings and have her penguins waddle across the Atlantic to her.  The 80-year-old retired barmaid, who is originally from Bradford, told the Mail: “It all started 35 years ago when I popped down to the shops at Northgate and spotted this pair of penguins in a shop front. “I went in to buy them and it has really just snowballed from there. Whenever my family and friends go anywhere they always buy me something penguin-related. “I’ve had them from all over Europe and even Australia. I was over there last year and a family friend took me on a boat trip off Sydney to a little island. “We were paddling at the seafront and dozens of tiny penguins started hopping out of the sea. It was wonderful. “I love everything about them, they are just so cute. There is just something about them.”Everyone knows about my love of penguins and they all call me the mad penguin lady of the Headland,” joked the keen bowler, who represents Hartlepool Ladies Club. Marguerite, who has 10 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, is mum to Ralph, 57, Christopher, 53, Michael, 48 and David 47. Her second eldest son Andrew died of a brain haemorrhage at the age of 35. Her husband Ralph died five years ago at the age of 84. The pair had been happily married for 53 years. Marguerite, who enjoys visiting penguins at zoos, is looking forward to adding to her collection when she celebrates her 81st birthday on November 14. She added: “Buying me a birthday or Christmas present is never a problem and I will no doubt get dozens more penguins in a couple of weeks. My friends and family think it is great but people do get a bit of a shock when they pop in.”


U.K. Penguin Stabilizers

November 6, 2010

The London Natural History Museum Ice Rink opens today with some extra help for young skaters from the new penguin stabilisers. The penguin stabilisers are for children up to the age of 8 years and will help them glide across one of London’s most spectacular skating attractions. The Museum ice rink has become a much-loved part of London’s winter scene. It is surrounded by fairy lights, a beautiful fairground carousel and a stylish Café Bar with an open-air balcony. Friendly ice marshals are there to give skaters a hand and there is a junior ice rink linked to the main rink by an ice bridge. To launch the ice rink for this winter, the unique UK boy band the Great British Barbershop Boys provided entertainment at a special event last night. ‘We are delighted to bring back the Natural History Museum’s Ice Rink in its beautiful setting,’ says Louise Emerson, Head of Business and Commercial Strategy at the Museum. ‘Since it first opened 5 years ago, the ice rink has continually increased the funds available for our scientific work. ‘So, whilst skaters enjoy the festive spirit on the ice or in our café, they are also helping our scientists to answer some of the pressing issues facing the natural world today.’

Ice Rink Penguin Stabilizers