Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Putting TEETH into Anti-Rape Solutions :-)

Thank you, Hayfa, you always find the most amazing articles. What I love about this one is that if everything is where it is supposed to be, nobody gets hurt. Only invasive behavior results in . . . .lets hope excruciating pain 🙂 It also gives an attacker something else to focus on. This invention is a public service.

Rape-aXe: The Anti-Rape Condom

This is so brilliant! An anti-rape female condom invented by Sonette Ehlers.… A South African woman working as a blood technician with the South African Blood Transfusion Service, during which time she met and treated many rape victims. The device, known as The Rape-aXe, is a latex sheath embedded with shafts of sharp, inward-facing microscopic barbs that would be worn by a woman in her vagina like a tampon. If an attacker were to attempt vaginal rape, their penis would enter the latex sheath and be snagged by the barbs, causing the attacker pain during withdrawal and (ideally) giving the victim time to escape. The condom would remain attached to the attacker’s body when he withdrew and could only be removed surgically, which would alert hospital staff and police. This device could assist in the identification and prosecution of rapists.

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A medieval device built on hatred of men? Or a cheap, easy-to-use invention that could free millions of South African women from fear of rape, in a country with the world’s worst sexual assault record?

Dubbed the “rape trap”, trademarked “Rapex”, the condom-like device bristling with internal hooks designed to snare rapists has re-ignited controversy over South Africa’s alarming rape rate, even before plans for its production were announced in Western Capethis week.

Some say the inventor, Sonette Ehlers, a former medical technician, deserves a medal, others that she needs help.

The device, concealed inside a woman’s body, hooks onto a rapist during penetration and must be surgically removed.

Ms Ehlers said the rape trap would be so painful for a rapist that it would disable him immediately, enabling his victim to escape; but would cause no long-term physical damage and could not injure the woman.

Some women’s activists call the device regressive, putting the onus on women to address a male problem.

Charlene Smith, an anti-rape campaigner, said it “goes back to the concept of chastity belts” and would incite injured rapists to kill their victims.

“We don’t need these nut-case devices by people hoping to make a lot of money out of other women’s fear,” Ms Smith said.

But Ms Ehlers contends that South Africa’s rape problem is so severe women cannot wait for male attitudes to improve.

“I don’t hate men. I love men. I have not got revenge in mind. All I am doing is giving women their power back,” Ms Ehlers said. “I don’t even hate rapists. But I hate the deed with a passion.”

The United Nations says South Africahas the world’s highest per capita rate of reported rapes – 119 per 100,000 people. Analysts say the total, including unreported rapes, could be nine times higher.

Ms Ehlers sees her invention as particularly attractive to poorer black women, because they often walk long distances through unsafe areas to and from work. She foresees women inserting the device as part of a daily security routine.

She said a majority of women surveyed said they were willing to use the device, which will go into production next year and sell for one rand (20 cents).

Ms Ehlers said she was inspired after meeting a traumatised rape victim who told her, “If only I had teeth down there.”

February 20, 2013 Posted by | Africa, Community, Counter-terrorism, Crime, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Experiment, Family Issues, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Women's Issues | , , , | 2 Comments

The Magnolia on Cervantes in Pensacola

We consistently hear good things about The Magnolia, a little boutique restaurant tucked in between a dog grooming establishment and a do-it-yourself laundry at the corner of Perry and Cervantes, in East Pensacola. What we hear, over and over, is how good the food is, so finally, we decided to give it a try.

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Parking is limited in back, with crabby householders reminding you NOT to block their driveway, can’t say that I blame them. Several businesses share the parking area, and some of those parking are excess from Jerry’s, across the street, so things can fill up fast. It’s a busy corner, with Jerry’s, My Favorite Things, Taste of India, Magnolia’s, all together, and Georgio’s, Horizen, Cazadores and New York Nicks just steps away . . . there is always something to eat in this neighborhood.

Magnolia has an impressive bar, and seven or eight tables. They are friendly and welcoming, and you feel comfortable the moment you walk in. We saw a good selection of beers and wines, not overwhelming, but – as the new in word says – “curated.”


Our friends were right about the food. Every single thing we ate was full of flavor. We started with the Mushroom Soup; thank goodness I remembered to take a photo before eating every single bite! It was lush and woodsy, heavy with flavor in a light broth.


AdventureMan had the Hummingbird Sandwich (Hummus, goat cheese, sundried tomatoes & house-made olive salad on Italian) which he said was totally YUMMY:


I had the Almost Famous Rosemary Chicken Salad (Hummus, goat cheese, sundried tomatoes & house-made olive salad on Italian) served on Ritz crackers. Whoda thunk it would be such a dynamite combination? It was! Delicious!


We don’t often have dessert, but because everything had been SO good, when the owner recommended the Tres Leches, we succumbed. Oh my. Real rum, real cream and some delicious cake. Very clever, very unusual, very delicious.


We will go back again in a heartbeat – there are so many other things on the menu we want to try.

February 20, 2013 Posted by | Community, Cooking, Customer Service, Eating Out, Food, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Restaurant | Leave a comment

Benedryl / Diphenhydramine Linked to Delirium and Alzheimer’s

One of the big impacts of being long term expats is that as you move from country to country, you also move from doctor to doctor. We managed by getting most of our health care while back in the US, but for those things that can’t be scheduled, we had to see local doctors. No one followed our cases. We knew we were paying a price, and determined that it would be a priority when we retired to find good health care. We were determined to find a doctor who would be a partner in keeping us fit and healthy.

We found a really great doctor, a young guy who really keeps up with things. He gave us complete exams, then started us on rounds of other exams, those annoying tests like colonoscopies, mammograms, lung function, etc.

We’re doing well. To my great surprise, however, he told me at our last visit that I needed to give up my nightly Benedryl capsule.

I’ve always been a light sleeper. I took this news with dismay, but I gave up Benedryl. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to sleep, but I find I sleep just fine without it. It took some time to make the adjustment; Benedryl had helped me bridge those wakeful times between sleep cycles. Now, I sleep differently, but I sleep.

It occurred to me that I never looked it up online, so this morning I did. This is from a US News and World Report article in 2011:


By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, June 4 (HealthDay News) –Older people taking common over-the-counter drugs for pain, cold symptoms or help with sleep may increase their risk for cognitive impairment, including delirium, University of Indiana researchers report.

These drugs include Benadryl, Dramamine, Excedrin PM, Nytol, Sominex, Tylenol PM and Unisom.

All of these over-the-counter (OTC) drugs contain benadryl (diphenhydramine), a molecule that blocks the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is essential for normal functioning of the central and peripheral nervous systems, the researchers explained.

“Before taking any medication prescribed by your doctor or an OTC medication, make sure there is no negative impact of this medication on your brain,” said lead researcher Dr. Malaz Boustani.

His group analyzed data from 27 prior studies on the relationship between anticholinergic effects and brain function, as well as looking into anecdotal data. The team found a consistent link between anticholinergic effects and cognitive impairment in older adults.

“Any OTC medication with the term ‘PM’ will indicate the presence of benadryl, which is bad for the brain,” Boustani concluded.

He noted that the effects of benadryl can add up, so the more medications you take that contain benadryl the worse it may be for cognition. “There is a relationship with the number of medications and the burden on your aging brain,” the researcher said.

People aged 65 and older who take these medications also run the risk of developing delirium, Boustani said. Delirium is a decline in attention-focus, perception and cognition, or “acute brain failure,” as Boustani calls it. Delirium typically increases the odds of dying or being institutionalized, he said.

In addition, taking these medications for 90 days or more may triple your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, Boustani said.

Given the risks, older adults should look for drugs that don’t contain benadryl, he said.

“A lot of these medications are not recognized for these side effects,” he contended. “It’s time for the FDA to start taking this negative impact of these medications on the aging brain seriously.”

The report is published in the May online issue of the Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging.

According to Boustani, researchers in brain pharmacoepidemiology at Indiana University’s Center for Aging Research is conducting a study of 4,000 older adults to see if the long-term use of medications with anticholinergic effects is associated with the development of severe cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Clinton Wright, an associate professor of neurology at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami, agreed that more study is needed to assess the effects of these drugs on the brain.

“These findings don’t surprise me at all,” Wright said. “People tend not to think of their OTC medications as medication, but any medication that has anticholinergic effects can affect people’s cognition.”

Wright believes the drugs should carry a warning of this potential side effect.

Deborah G. Bolding, a spokeswoman for GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Sominex, defended the product and said it complies with all current FDA regulations. However, she would not comment specifically on whether diphenhydramine is associated with an increased risk of delirium in older adults.

“Sominex is a mild sleep aid designed to help individuals through periods of nervous tension or stress, which are accompanied by sleeplessness. It has been proven safe and effective in medical tests when taken as directed, and has been safely used by millions of satisfied customers,” Bolding said.

“For all formulations, Sominex’s active ingredient is diphenhydramine hydrochloride. This is marketed under a final FDA monograph as an over-the-counter sleep aid,” she added.

February 20, 2013 Posted by | Aging, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Technical Issue | Leave a comment