TLCs (Scattered) Thoughts

Location: Gilbert, AZ

I am a writer, a photographer, and a Dork Chop FO-tog. I can be found on FB at and also on Flickr at Mostly I capture what I see from my perspective.

Monday, November 29, 2010

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2010Finally! My book is on it's way to the publisher!!!After a few creative bumps along the way, my book is finally off to the publisher. The process was a learning one, and the next book will be better.(Isn't that the way it should be?)The next book is already half written-and I'll be doing my own illustrations from now on. (One of those lessons learned) I'll keep y'all posted when I know more details about how/where you can buy a copy. You KNOW you want one... ;)Lots of love-Tracy Lynn

Finally! My book is on it's way to the publisher!!!

After a few creative bumps along the way, my book is finally off to the publisher. The process was a learning one, and the next book will be better.

(Isn't that the way it should be?)

The next book is already half written-and I'll be doing my own illustrations from now on. (One of those lessons learned) I'll keep y'all posted when I know more details about how/where you can buy a copy.

You KNOW you want one... ;)

Lots of love-

Tracy Lynn Cook

Monday, November 22, 2010

What if YOUR kid IS the bully? #education #parenting #examiner #bully

Personally, I was always the "receiver" of the bullying. It hadn't really occurred to me what I would do with a kid who is a bully. Hmmm.... maybe, oh, I don't know...a **punishment** of some sort!?!

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What if your child is a bully?

Media attention has been focusing lately on children who are bullied.  The bullies are made out to be evil kids (or adults) who are awful and hateful people.  It can be difficult for parents to learn that their child is being bullied. 

However, it may be just as difficult to hear that their child is a bully.  What should a parent do?  What if your child is the child making other children feel bad?


The efficient brain- (wish I had one-haha) #science #health #brain #examiner

The way the mind works is...well...mindboggling.

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The efficient brain: a study of sound, hearing and how the mind processes info

Like musical compression saves space on your mp3 player, the human brain has ways of recoding sounds to save precious processing power.

To whittle a recording of your favorite song down to a manageable pile of megabytes, computers take advantage of reliable qualities of sounds to reduce the amount of information needed.  Collections of neurons have their own ways to efficiently encode sound properties that are predictable.

Tracy can be found on Facebook (Tracy Lynn Cook) and on Twitter @TLCsThoughts.


Oceanic conservation degree program in New York. #education #environment #science #conservation #ocean

What a unique program!

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Oceanic conservation policy program - university in New York offers new program

There is a new M.A. program directly related to oceanic conservation and policy at a Stony Brook University in New York.  This is the first university program in New York to offer such a program, and among only a few such programs nationwide

Scientists from the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook University (SBU), who also are members of the university’s faculty, are teaching the first course offered through the new graduate program, M.A. in Marine Conservation and Policy.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Science News: nuclear power for North Korea #examiner #nuclearenergy #science #news

Scary and unnerving!

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North Korea science news: nuclear uranium enrichment facility causes intl. fear

North Korea has secretly and quickly built a new facility to enrich uranium, according to an American nuclear scientist, raising fears that the North is ramping up its nuclear program despite international pressure.


Anorexia Study finds genetic link #science #genetic #anorexia #examiner

Interesting link between Anorexia and disorders like autism. Science gets better and better!

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Anorexia study: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia finds genetic link

Scientists at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have identified both common and rare gene variants associated with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa.

In the largest genetic study of this psychiatric disorder, the researchers found intriguing clues to genes they are subjecting to further investigation, including genes active in neuronal signaling and in shaping interconnections among brain cells.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Environmental advocates supporting their causes #science #environment #examiner

Should Scientists be Policy Advocates?

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Environmental advocates supporting their causes

Should Scientists be Policy Advocates?  Can they be scientifically objective?  Can scientists be swayed when they live and die by scientific processes?  That is the question addressed in a recent Conservation Biology article.  


Friday, November 19, 2010

FDA News: Darvon is an unsafe drug #FDA #gilbertnews #examiner #health

Our country lags behind again! The FDA is (finally) protecting Americans from painkiller Darvon - after several years of evidence suggesting it is unsafe. Better late than never...unless you've lost a relative due to complications from Darvon.

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FDA News: American drug company pressured to stop sales of painkiller Darvon

The maker of the painkiller Darvon is pulling the drug off the market under pressure from public health officials who say it causes potentially deadly heart rhythms.

Darvon, which was first approved in the 1950s, is an opioid narcotic used to treat mild to moderate pain. The consumer watchdog group Public Citizen had petitioned the FDA to ban the drug, saying its benefits didn't justify a risk that added up to several hundred deaths a year.

Tracy Lynn Cook is a writer in Gilbert, Arizona.  To read more, please visit her blog at, or browse by topic:


Healthy Habits - to live a long life - eat less. #Science study published in #Cell journal

We know eating less is better for us. Now the science behind why this is true.

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Healthy habits: live long life- eat fewer calories

Healthy eating habits - an abundance of information exists on this topic.  We know that healthy eating habits have an impact in terms of body image, and how we feel on a day to day basis.  Science is suggesting that healthy eating habits can lead to a longer life when people eat fewer calories daily. 

Tracy Lynn Cook is a writer in Gilbert, Arizona.  To read more, please visit her blog at, or browse by topic:

Friend her on Facebook (Tracy Lynn Cook) and follow her on Twitter @TLCsThoughts.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Handwriting problems - kids, teens with #autism #gilbertnews #examiner

Handwriting problems in kids with autism- doesn't modern technology take care of this issue for the most part?!? Most people type rather than write. I say choose your battles-and battle for something with long term benefits! ;)

Physicists take Long Beach by storm for annual meeting #science #DFD #APS #gilbertnews

A city full of scientists! THAT will be a great time!! ;)

(I TEASE the science peeps)

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Flowing fluid study: Jupiter's oil, mucus, and other flowing fluid

The 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society's (APS) Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) is happening this month from November 21-23, 2010 at the Long Beach Convention Center, located in downtown Long Beach, California.

However, being married to a 'scientifically inclined' man, I would like to take an opportunity to warn Long Beach about the strange breed they'll be hosting.  They tend to be "deep thinkers" who "contemplate" alot.  Often, asking a question can mean a prolonged discussion where a simple yes or no would have sufficed. 

At my home in Gilbert, AZ, the fool who asks the question that elicits a long drawn out explanation of the origin of the "spork", deserves to be "stuck" while the rest of the family slinks away into the inky shadows to escape being put to sleep by the virtues, pros and cons, and technological advances of the plastic utensil. 


Embryonic stem cell research - science mixed with art #embryonicstemcell #research #gilbertnews #science

What will this art and science bring for us in the next ten years? I can hardly wait to find out!

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Embryonic stem cell research - science mixed with art

The art of embryonic stem cell research is a growing field offering hope to many, and a fascinating learning opportunity for scientists who research the possibilities.

Growing human embryonic stem cells in the lab is not a small feat. Culturing the finicky, shape-shifting cells is labor intensive and, in some ways, more art than exact science.


Tracy Lynn Cook is a writer in Gilbert, Arizona.  To read more, please visit her blog at, or visit any her columns:

National Environmental News

Special Needs Kids

Environmental Health
Headline News
Health and Happiness
National Education Headlines
Gilbert Elections 2010 Examiner


Friday, November 12, 2010

MIT research takes on cat 'lapping'. Physics and ph-elines #MIT #gilbertnews #examiner #cats

A great study...from surprising sources.

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MIT researchers lead physics study-cat lapping studied and explained (MIT style)

When an MIT study comes out, one thinks of big scientific breakthroughs, right?  MIT research screams "MATH" or "PHYSICS".  Naturally when a new MIT study hits the newswire, one who likes to stay up to date on all matters scientifically "newsy", hastily follows the link offering a promise to enlighten  and educate.  Imagine the suprise when the link goes to the following headline:

"New MIT study reveals the subtle dynamics underpinning how felines drink"

Yep, researchers at MIT completed a study on the gravity-defying grace and exquisite balance of our feline friends.  Ok, it is a study on cat lapping - done MIT style which automatically makes it cool and hi-tech. 


YouTube of funny kitty getting a drink...kindof

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stem cell research unraveling autism #autism #stemcell #gilbertnews #rettsyndrome

The latest news in stem cell research is very promising for all kinds of disorders. Yeah for progress!!

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Stem cell research news: Autism recreated from stem cells in lab study

Autism cells have been successfully recreated from stem cells in a lab study.  The study, being released to the news media today, will be published in an upcoming medical journal.  This may be big news to those of us raising children with autism.

A collaborative effort between researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the University of California, successfully used human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells derived from patients with Rett syndrome to replicate autism in the lab and study the molecular pathogenesis of the disease.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

health care reform-will employers drop coverage? #healthcare #gilbertnews #examiner

Our insurance costs are going up...are yours?

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Coverage survey - American business and health care reform effect on insurance

A new survey regarding American business and the amount of health insurance coverage businesses will be providing to their employees in the wake of health care reform found most American businesses are not planning to drop health insurance coverage for their employees. 

Interestingly, one Gilbert family just completed their annual enrollment packet for their health insurance coverage next year, and they did notice some changes to their coverage.  More tests such as MRI's will no longer be covered, or require a larger co-pay. 


Monday, November 8, 2010

New breakthrough stem cell discovery #stemcell, #medicalresearch

Very impressive discoveries!

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Scientists create skin from blood - new breakthrough stem cell discovery

In an important breakthrough, scientists at McMaster University have discovered how to create human blood from adult human skin.

The discovery, published in the prestigious science journal Nature, could mean that in the foreseeable future people needing blood for surgery, cancer treatment or treatment of other blood conditions like anemia will be able to have blood created from a patch of their own skin to provide transfusions. Clinical trials could begin as soon as 2012.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hired hit, boys, eggs, lies, and...Hannah - The truth about the recurrent vandalism at the Cook home.

For over a year, my house has been the victim of hoodlum attacks from kids who think it's funny to throw eggs at our garage door and my car.

Cleaning eggs off of concrete is gross. The smell of raw egg that has splattered into our garage and baked is gross. Egg on a black car can leave 'car scars'. We've been lucky in that we have always been able to clean it up before any permanent damage was done...until now.

A month ago I caught the boys in the act, but they went to a neighbor's house where she protected them from the police. The next day the restraining orders and lies began to fly. There was a hearing, and more lies, but in the end-other than a tainted view of our local court system-no lasting harm was done. Well, unless you count the verbal abuse from the judge - causing my feelings to sting a bit. A complete stranger decided I have a filthy foul mouth and verbally assaulted a child. It still bothers me. (such tender "feelers" I have...) for more on the in court story


Roger celebrated his birthday last Saturday and our house was hit with egg again. Set to confront the neighbor, my daughter became argumentative about how we knew it was them.

One thing led to another, then came my daughter's stunning announcement. She said it was not the neighbors, and she knew this because she has been behind the egging. She had been the instigator inviting her vandal friends over to egg the house. She said she knows who the last set of boys/vandals were because she told the boys to do it. Why would our spoiled over- privileged child do such a thing? She smiled an evil smile and said it was because she knew it made her dad and I mad.

There was probably an hour of stunned silence while the events sunk in. Sisters were consulted (mine and Roger's) and a grim new plan was put in motion.

That day my daughter began her journey on the "My friends are more important than my family" lesson.

It happened like this: first there was the statement "My friends are more important than you!", followed by..."hey...what do you mean you aren't going to pay for my gymnastics anymore?!?" (three hundred a month plus time in the car to and from practice?!? I think NOT!)

Followed promptly by..."HEY...what do you mean you are taking back the iPod touch 4 that you bought me?!?" It was a birthday gift purchased right after the court hearing with the evil judge- where she had withheld the names of the boys we were trying to hold accountable (along with the parent who provided cover for the boys, and the eggs).

By the time the day was done, she lost her camera, two iPods, gymnastics, her brand new custom skateboard, cable tv in her room, her bedroom door, and the respect and trust of both of her parents.

She also lost about 2 thousand dollars from her savings account. The money will pay for a security system to surround our home. We shall call it "HannahCam".

Poor Hannah (NOT)!!

The whole thing took all the fun out of Halloween this year. I only half heartedly put up spider webs and I didn't even dress up. I LOVE Halloween, but this year I just kept thinking about the treacherous kid I have accidentally raised.

My sister volunteered to help me feel better by taking hannah's former belongings in a 'firesale' of sorts.

(Think craigs list on speed)

I gave sarah my 3rd generation touch iPod, and have "moved in" to the iPod 4 (which is wicked awesome!) but it may take awhile to stop thinking of the iPod as Hannah's-triggering the thought of why it is now mine instead of hers. :(

At school, Hannah **might** be beginning to realize that the sacrifices she made in order to protect her vandal BFFs may not have been worth it.

"Would they give up everything for you?"

That is the question I have asked her several times, and it may be starting to bounce around in her brain. She lost alot- it has been 5days and she still refuses to cough up their names.

Hannah and I have both begun the countdown to 18. Only 682 more days...

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Scientific News: DNA/RNA needs spell check #health #genetics #science

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Scientific News: American Society of Human Genetics-new DNA study

Our genes may need spell check. 

Mingyao Li, a geneticist at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in Philadelphia presented her research findings from a new DNA study at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics.

Could this latest finding lead to magical cures? 

Could a species wide panacea be at hand?

Can you belive I just used the word 'panacea'?  (panacea means a "cure all" for diseases or troubles)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Political News: 2010 election results Obama's schellacking #exmnr #elections2010 #examinerelex #obama

Summary of the Obama speech will be interesting to see how this is going to work. I am pessimistic...

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Political News: 2010 election results-Obama's speech after "schellacking"

President Obama held a press conference today, addressing the mid-term elections. 

Democracy rests with people served, not those who are serving.  He acknowledged that people voted out of frustration about jobs, and the economy and opportunities for their children.   He said he understands that too many Americans have not felt progress in the direction of America because of these issues. 


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Political News: medical marijuana could boost AZ sales tax revenue due to an increase in the muchies

ha ha... heard this on NPR... ha ha...

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Political News : Election 2010-medical Marijuana could boost food tax revenue

While Arizona counts votes for proposition 203 (medical Marijuana), those who oppose the measure may feel a bit better when they stop to consider the recent passage of the 1 cent food tax recently placed upon groceries in the fine state of Arizona, and the effect the muchies could have upon the state budget. 


Political News: Election 2010-Arizona Schools #election #election2010 #exmnr #examinerelex

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Political News : Election 2010 - election results for Arizona schools

True to the trend in Arizona - Republican John Huppenthal appears to be the person responsible for improving the schools in Arizona, and the presumed winner of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Will this be good for schools in Arizona?  


Political News: Elections 2010 results in Arizona #examiner #examinerelex #election #Arizona

Ouch. Republicans slam Democrats in Arizona Elections.

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Political News : Election 2010 results in Arizona - Republicans sweep the state

In Arizona, the Republican Party swept the elections.  There are a few lonely Democrats, but the vast majority went to the conservative right.

John McCain and Jan Brewer gave acceptance speeches vowing to "forclose" on the White House, and promising to do away with "Obamacare". 



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Environmental News: California voters want clean, green energy

In the California election, voters upheld clean energy standards.

Proposition 23 aimed to set aside mandated clean energy requirements, and was soundly defeated by Californians.  The failure of the "Dirty Energy Proposition" maintains California's position as a trailblazer for clean energy policies across the country and around the world. 

Environmentalists all over the U.S. are cheering for California! 

California, YOU ROCK!!  


Political News: Election 2010 results #elections2010 #examinerelex #examiner

Yeah... another governor who will embarrass and humiliate us. woo hoo!

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Political News : Election 2010 - election results (live stream) Rebublican sweep

Political Election Coverage:  Updated 9:20pm

Republicans are sweeping the state offices - Jan Brewer just finished her acceptance speech - (Well, I think it was a speech...)

Lets get the party started shall we?

Let the announcements begin!!