January 25, 2020

'Gotham' Star Uses Villain Role to Keep Baby Brother in Line

Talk about a way to keep a young sibling in check.

Clare Foley, who plays Ivy Pepper in Fox’s Batman prequel “Gotham,” says she’s got her baby brother convinced that she is the future Batman nemesis ? and she’s using it to her advantage.

In an interview this week, the 13-year-old actress said she thinks “it’s kind of funny” that 4-year-old Declan, the youngest of her four brothers, truly believes that she and the character she plays ? the orphan daughter of the man framed for the murders of Bruce Wayne’s parents ? are one and the same.

Her mom says Declan was so frightened at one point that they had to assure him that his big sister was the “good Ivy.”

As for her other brothers, Foley laments that she doesn’t get the same respect. Also Batman fans, they think it’s “very cool” she has the role but she says they realize that “I’m just their sister.”

In “Gotham,” which airs Mondays at 8 p.m. EST, Ivy becomes homeless after her dad is shot dead by police and her mother commits suicide. The actress says this sets the stage for the hatred the one-day villain develops for the Dark Knight.

“We are seeing the beginning of that relationship,” says Foley.


Online: http://www.fox.com/gotham/


Follow Lauri Neff on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lneffist

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'Gotham' Star Uses Villain Role to Keep Baby Brother in Line

Eagle Scout using goats to attain scouting honor


What do you get when you mix together an award-winning Boy Scout and 38 goats? You get a story about poison ivy and huge appetites.

A beautiful day at Blackwell Forest Preserve near west suburban Warrenville. A beautiful day for people, and for goats eating enough to bust their bellies. It’s a 10-hour day for these vegetarian, nonstop leaf munchers. And it’s all because of Eagle Scout Gavin Burseth.

“We have 38 goats eating poison ivy,” he said. “They’re eating all the other invasive plants here today. And they’ll be fertilizing the land also and bringing back the native vegetation.”

Burseth is already an Eagle Scout and he’s now working for one of the scout’s highest honors, The Hornaday Award. He has already completed two conservation projects towards that goal this is the last part of his big test.

“It’s a really hard award,” Burseth said. “Last year only five scouts got this award last year. So it’s really hard to win.

This is a favorite spot for campers in this DuPage County Forest Preserve. They camp here, they hike here and yes there’s lots of poison ivy.

“The poison ivy was pretty extensive through this area and we really wanted to control it,” said Burseth.

He is working with his older brother Derek, who owns a company called “Thor Goats Eco Lawn Care” and together the brothers and the goats are an environmental super team.

Goats, as you probably know, can eat almost anything. Their stomachs are like Kevlar, bulletproof. So these are the perfect employees for this job.

“They’ll never take a break until the sun sets. Even after that they’d probably work the whole night through,” Derek Burseth said.

There is a low voltage fence to keep the goats in and people out, so no goat-napping, please.

(Copyright ©2014 WLS-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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Eagle Scout using goats to attain scouting honor

Personal Health: Steering Clear of Poison Ivy

Alexa Grace
Personal Health
Personal Health

Jane Brody on health and aging.

I was once among those who claim, “I could walk through a field of poison ivy and not get it.” One day I learned otherwise: On a hike, I needed to relieve myself in the great outdoors and ended up with an impossibly itchy, blistering rash on a most delicate body part.

Too late I learned that you can develop an allergic reaction to poison ivy after previously uneventful exposures, which induce a sensitivity to the plant’s oily sap, urushiol. Once sensitized, your skin is likely to react to every subsequent exposure. Even people repeatedly exposed who appear to be immune may react to high concentrations of the toxin.

I also learned not to rely on the popular warning, “Leaves of three, let them be,” to alert me to the presence of Toxicodendron radicans, as the poison ivy plant is aptly called by botanists. It is not just the leaves that can provoke a reaction; the stems, roots, flowers and berries all contain urushiol.

Touching or brushing against any of these plant parts, even if they are dead, can cause a reaction. The sap is hardy and can cause a rash in the dead of winter, or even a year after contaminating clothing or shoes that are not thoroughly cleaned.

Poison oak.iStockPoison oak.
Poison sumac.Zoran Ivanovich/The New York TimesPoison sumac.
Poison ivy.iStockPoison ivy.

Urushiol shows up elsewhere, including in the skin of mangoes (and the leaves and bark of the mango tree), as I discovered when I ate a mango still in the rind and ended up with a blistering rash on my mouth. Cashew shells also have the toxin, which is why cashews are sold shelled and processed (either roasted or in the case of “raw” cashews, steamed) at a temperature high enough to destroy urushiol. Poison ivy is not the only problem plant one might encounter while hiking, camping or simply strolling in the countryside. T. radicans has two relatives, poison oak and poison sumac, that don’t always form the classic clusters but are equally toxic troublemakers.

Myths and misconceptions abound about these three plants and the reactions they can cause. Knowing the facts can help to spare you and your family considerable distress.

First, learn to recognize the plants in their various growth patterns. While poison ivy is most often encountered as a small ground plant, it also grows as a shrub and vine. The vines, which turn bright red in fall, were once used to adorn buildings in England.

Poison oak, which has compound leaves made up of three (or sometimes five) leaflets, usually grows as a shrub, but will form a vine in the Western states.

Poison sumac, which grows as a tall shrub or small tree, produces leaves with rows of paired leaflets and a single leaflet at the end. It likes a wet habitat, growing in peat bogs in the Northeast and Midwest and swamps in the Southeast.

Urushiol can penetrate cloth. Although long sleeves, pants and gloves can reduce the risk of exposure, they cannot guarantee protection. Even rubber gloves can be breached. If you must handle the plants or are likely to contact poison ivy when gardening, wear vinyl gloves.

You don’t have to touch the plant directly to react to urushiol. Gardening tools, sporting equipment, even a pet that has been in a patch of poison ivy — all can cause a reaction. My brother, who has been sensitive to urushiol since childhood, once developed the rash on his arm after retrieving a baseball that had rolled through poison ivy.

Before possible exposure, use an over-the-counter skin-care product containing bentoquatam (IvyBlock) to prevent or reduce absorption of urushiol. The combination of this barrier product and protective clothing is your best defense against an inadvertent encounter.

But there is no scientific evidence that jewelweed, feverfew, plantain or other herbal remedies prevent or cure a urushiol-induced rash.

Nor do you become immune to urushiol through repeated exposures to small amounts. Quite the opposite. There is no way to desensitize a person to urushiol as there is with pollen and peanut allergies. Eating mangoes or cashews will not work.

Contrary to popular belief, a poison ivy rash is not contagious. It cannot be spread by oozing blisters, or by scratching or touching the rash. Only direct contact with urushiol causes a reaction. (Scratching can result in an infection, however.)

The rash can appear on different parts of the body at various times. This may happen because the parts were exposed at different times, or because areas with thicker skin are less easily penetrated by the oil. The delicate skin of the genital and perianal areas, for example, is more easily breached than tougher skin on the hands.

Repeated tilling or mowing can eventually kill poison ivy plants, as can repeated applications of an herbicide like Roundup. The latter should be applied with serious caution and only on a warm, sunny day with little or no wind when the plants are actively growing.

If you are highly allergic, or wary of applying herbicides, clearing your property of the plants may be best left to a professional. While goats are said to have a hearty appetite for poison ivy plants, they may eat everything else in the yard, too.

Never try to burn a poison plant. Burning releases the toxin, which may land on skin or, worse, be inhaled and cause a serious internal reaction.

Should you contact a urushiol-containing plant, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends washing your skin immediately. Lukewarm, soapy water is best, but even plain water can limit exposure to the sap. Take care in removing contaminated clothing, and wash it separately as soon as possible.

You can relieve a rash by applying cool compresses with an astringent like Burow’s solution, soaking the affected area in colloidal oatmeal, or using calamine lotion; all are sold over the counter. Do not apply products containing a topical antihistamine, like Benadryl, which can cause a sensitivity reaction that makes matters worse.

Severe reactions may require medically prescribed treatment with an oral corticosteroid like prednisone.

A version of this article appears in print on 06/17/2014, on page D7 of the NewYork edition with the headline: Steering Clear of Poison Ivy.

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Personal Health: Steering Clear of Poison Ivy

Focus 2014 Part 2: An itch to innovate sparked Tec Labs

Evelyn Smith of Corvallis had two things in 1962 that helped to change the world: small children and a yard full of poison oak.

The wife of chemist Robert Smith, a former executive with Mead Johnson, Evelyn was tired of the two youngest of her five children coming in from the yard and developing itchy rashes. So she went out one day and, barehanded, yanked up each plant.

She cleaned up with a waterless skin cleanser originally meant to remove the radioactive dust from nuclear fallout. It had been sitting around the house since Robert had invented it. Afterward, she told a neighbor about her efforts.

The neighbor wanted to know: Did the poison oak affect her, too?

Actually, Evelyn said, it hadn’t. Later, she told her husband about the yardwork and mentioned the cleanser.

According to Tec Labs lore, Robert initially brushed off the whole incident as a case of “puny” poison oak, not nearly as potent as the plants in their native Iowa. To prove it, he rubbed a patch on his arm.

Gary Burris, Tec Labs’ director of public relations, doesn’t have on record whether Robert ended up saying anything along the lines of, “I’m sorry, dear, you were right.”

But his arm did break out in a rash. And he did test the cleanser on a new patch of skin.

And that’s how Tec Labs’ signature product, Tecnu, was born.

Robert found the product kept the oil in both poison oak and poison ivy from bonding with skin, which meant it not only kept the rash from spreading, but could keep it from forming in the first place.

Out of the garage

Over the next nearly four decades, Tecnu helped Tec Laboratories grow from its home in the Smith garage in Corvallis to a 58,000-square-foot building in Albany. It now employs 35 people full time; more during the summer season.

The pharmaceutical manufacturer now has six products under the flagship Tecnu brand, and another three under its increasingly popular LiceFreee line.

Burris estimates Tec Labs has sold some 53.3 million units of its various products since 1977, and can find its products in more than 47,000 stores. Chief Executive Officer Steve Smith — Robert’s son and brother of Vernon Smith, the company’s vice president of operations — is proud to note at least one Tec Labs product is on the shelf of every chain drug store in the United States.

Steve Smith is careful about giving away any plans for future products, but the company is always on the lookout for new ideas.

Anytime Tec Labs hears from a customer who’s pleased with one of its products, Steve said, “We’ll ask, ‘What other problems do you have?’ We’ll see if there’s an opportunity there. Sometimes there is, sometimes there isn’t.”

Burris said every employee who goes to a conference or a trade show is asked to come back with a list of 10 ideas, maybe about something impressive they saw, or maybe about a perceived gap in possible service.

Regulatory Affairs Director Wendy Langley is one of those employees, although her idea came from first-hand experience.

In the late 1990s, Langley was among moms struggling with the bane of elementary school classrooms everywhere: head lice.

Available products at that time were runny, smelled like bug spray and didn’t even work, as far as Langley was concerned. “I thought there just had to be another way.”

Research took her to a folk remedy centered on sodium chloride: table salt. She worked to formulate the salt into a gel that would hold its place on a child’s head, a concoction that became LiceFreee.

The product immediately took off, but Langley didn’t stop thinking about ways to improve. A spray-on solution would be even easier to use, she thought, and might even work more effectively.

“And I tried it in the lab, and it did, and I thought, cool,” she remembered. Three years ago, LiceFreee hit the market.

Poison oak is a North American peeve, Steve Smith said, but lice is a problem worldwide. That’s part of the reason he’s working on taking Tec Labs solutions to an international level.

Burris said Tec Labs builds its whole culture on looking at the big picture, both for the care of its customers and its employees.

“The one thing we do is look at problems that are driving everyone crazy, that we can solve better than anyone else has,” he said. “We’re looking at symptom-driven ailments. If we can solve it better, for a good price, it really is amazing to people.”

It all goes back to Evelyn, he said: “If it wasn’t for a mom trying to protect her kids, we wouldn’t be here today.”

Contact Jennifer Moody at jennifer.moody@lee.net.

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Focus 2014 Part 2: An itch to innovate sparked Tec Labs

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