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September 22, 2018

'Once Upon a Time' recap: 'Darkness on the Edge of Town'

Superhero franchises tend to follow a familiar, tried-and-true pattern. They launch with origin stories catalyzed by personal tragedy; they feature love interests who are pert and plucky and not granted very much screen time; they increasingly focus on quests to snatch an All-Powerful Glowing Thingie from the bad guy who wants to use it to take over the world, at least if they take place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They also tend to make one assumption as they age: The more villains that can be crammed into a sequel, the better.

Often, but not always, this is a strategy that reaches its apotheosis in the franchise’s threequel. Spider-Man 3 didn’t think Harry Osborn breaking bad would be enough to sustain an entire story, so it also threw in Venom and Sandman for good measure. (The movie was not very good.) X-Men: The Last Stand crammed in a whole legion of brand-new bad guys, including The Juggernaut, Multiple Man, and Quill. (Everyone involved with X-Men likes to pretend this movie never happened.) The Dark Knight Rises couldn’t make do with Bane and a semi-evil Catwoman alone, so it tossed Talia al Ghul into the mix as well. (Nobody liked the movie as much as The Dark Knight.) Superman III provided a shaky blueprint for all of those films, mucking things up by forcing the Man of Steel to contend with not only the villainous Ross Webster, but also his own evil double. (It wasn’t as poorly received as Superman IV, but it didn’t exactly garner rave reviews.) Other franchises—think The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Iron Man 2—play the Too Many Villains card earlier, usually to just as mixed results; still more franchises don’t really go nuts until the fourquel (i.e. Batman and Robin, which is a mess for many reasons, but mostly because the titular heroes have to contend with Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy and Bane and a Batsuit with nipples).

But despite all those cautionary tales, Villain Creep continues to plague cinemas—maybe because franchises naturally tend toward excess as they age, maybe because a good bad guy is often more fun to watch than a good good guy… so it naturally follows that two good bad guys should be twice as fun. Mostly, though, Villain Creep probably persists because storytellers worry that sequels won’t pack the same punch as their predecessors unless they raise the stakes, and adding multiple antagonists is the easiest way to up a story’s ante.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that, after multiple arcs that have focused on taking down one major baddie—Cora, Peter Pan, Zelena, the Snow Queen—Once Upon a Time too has decided that a single Big Bad (in addition to shades of grey like Regina, Rumplestiltskin, and Hook) just won’t do. Enter season 4B’s trio of terror: Kristin Bauer von Stratten’s Maleficent, Merrin Dungey’s Ursula, and Victoria Smurfit’s Cruella de Vil.

On one hand, it’s exciting to see the show get back to its roots by introducing characters from stories older than the year 2013. On the other, Once has never exactly suffered from a dearth of characters, and it seems like it’ll be impossible to give each of these ladies the attention they deserve when they’re all constantly fighting against one another—not to mention the billions of other personalities already in Once’s Disney vault—for screen time.

We’ll put an evil pin in that thought for now, though—because tonight’s midseason premiere is all about simply getting its wicked ducks in a row, poised for future mayhem. The fairyback explains how the Mistress of All Evil, a mysteriously be-legged sea witch, and a Gatsby theme party reject came to know each other in the first place; the present-day story line focuses on how two of them find their way to Storybrooke. And naturally, both plotlines hinge on string-pulling courtesy of Once’s chief meddler: Rumplestiltskin.

The Dark One is, of course, the one who first calls Cruella, Maleficent, and Ursula together for a Random Villain Caucus. (Timeline nerds: This fairyback apparently takes place earlier than episode 411’s fairyback.) As Rumple reveals, he needs their particular set of skills to help him secure a dark curse. What’s in it for them? He promises said curse will help each of the three ladies achieve their own personal happy endings. (If you drank every time someone said “happy endings” tonight, I’m assuming you’re reading this recap from a hospital bed.) As of now, it’s unclear whether the hex they’re stealing is the same Dark Curse Regina will eventually use to create Storybrooke—didn’t Rumple create that one himself?—but either way, the spell is currently being hidden deep below Hogwarts in the Cave of Wonders inside of a place called Bald Mountain, guarded by a series of “lethal magic obstacles.”

Those obstacles, in order, are: some bugs that Cruella disperses via magical halitosis (sick superpower, De Vil), a ring of dragon fire Maleficent sucks up with her staff, and… a short distance. (Ursula foils that one by reaching across it with one of her tentacles.) Um, maybe “lethal” means something different in the Enchanted Forest than it does here. Also, Rump: You, uh, couldn’t just do any of this yourself?

There is, however, one more thing protecting the curse Ursula has just handed over to Rump: the Chernabog, a.k.a. the winged hellspawn first introduced in this utterly traumatizing Fantasia segment.

Fun fact: According to the Disney wiki, Walt himself thought this guy was “the most horrible Disney villain.” How horrible? “If all the Disney villains held a contest to see which was the most truly, purely, evil, Chernabog would just throw them into the fires of hell.” Now I’m a little bummed Once didn’t keep him around longer, revealing in three episodes or so that Chern’s only aggressive because of his strained relationship with his father. In this scenario, his father is Shere Khan.

NEXT: Evil takes the front door

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'Once Upon a Time' recap: 'Darkness on the Edge of Town'

Don't Get Fooled by Poison Ivy

If you think you know what poison ivy looks like, think again. Poison ivy can take the form of a vine, shrub or ground cover. It has leaves that are shiny and leaves that are dull. Its edges can be smoothed or notched.

So how can it be recognized and avoided? The old phrase “leaves of three,” let it be” is a good way to do it, says Lou Paradise, president and chief of research of Topical BioMedics, Inc., makers of Topricin. And if the berries are white, we should “take flight.” That’s true whether you’re hiking in the woods or spending some time in your yard.

Poison ivy tops the list of plants to avoid, Paradise says, because it contains urushiol, an oily resin that binds to the skin on contact and may result in itching, burning skin eruptions. This rash-causing poison ivy sap is a clear liquid found in the plant’s leaves and the roots.

Urushiol oil is extremely potent, and only one nanogram (billionth of a gram) is needed to cause a rash, Paradise says. Even if you’ve never broken out you cannot assume you are immune; in fact, the more often you are exposed to urushiol, the more likely it is that you will break out. About 90% of the population develops an allergy to it.

What’s more, urushiol oil remains active for several years, so even handling dead leaves or vines can cause a reaction. In addition, oil transferred from the plant to other objects—gardening tools or an article of clothing—can cause the rash when it comes in contact with human skin.

(It’s also possible to get poison ivy from your pet. The primary danger to the pets themselves is ingesting the plant; if that happens, go to a vet immediately or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control line at 888-426-4435. Luckily, pets can’t “get” poison ivy, according to the company Pet Veterinary Insurance, because their coats are usually too long for the oil to reach their skin.To be on the safe side, Paradise says, bathe your dog or cat after exposure. Use thick rubber gloves, not latex.)

To prevent poison ivy, Paradise recommends that when going on a hike or walking through a wooded area, you minimize the possibility of exposure by wearing long pants, a shirt with long sleeves, booths and gloves. The same is true if you’re cutting down trees or mowing or removing brush. If you stay at a campsite, give it a once-over so you’re aware of any hazards. Look around any campsite.

Prior to any outdoor activity, it can also help to apply a cream or lotion that creates a barrier on the skin.

If you get poison ivy, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests that you:

Rinse your skin with lukewarm, soapy water – ideally, immediately after touching.

Wash your clothing, even down to your bootlaces, Paradise says, and use bleach if possible. The oil can stick to clothing, and if that touches your skin, can cause another rash.

Wash everything that may have the oil on its surface. Besides clothing, Paradise and the AAD say, the oil can stick to gardening tools, golf clubs and leashes. Wash with warm, soapy water.

Do not scratch, the AAD says. Scratching can cause an infection.

Leave blisters alone. If they open, don’t remove the overlying skin, because that skin can protect the wound beneath.

Take short, lukewarm baths in a colloidal oatmeal preparation that you can buy at a drugstore. You can also add a cup of baking soda to a bath. Short, cool showers can help as well.

Consider applying calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. But talk to your doctor before applying an antihistamine cream, because that can actually worsen the rash.

Poison ivy can’t always be handled with self-care, though. Paradise says that symptoms requiring immediate medical attention include trouble breathing or swallowing; many rashes/blisters or a rash that covers most of the body; a rash on the genitals; swelling, especially of the eyelid.

For more information, visit topricin.com and the American Academy of Dermatology, aad.org.

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Don't Get Fooled by 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

Poison Ivy Survival Tips for Fall from Topical BioMedics

Pretty Poison: “Leaves of Three, Let it Be”

It’s a particularly strong year for poison ivy, so it’s important for everyone to be aware there are ways to prevent outbreaks, or safely treat rashes.

Rhinebeck, NY (PRWEB) October 16, 2013

The cool, crisp days of autumn bring with them the pleasures of leaf peeping, apple picking, pumpkin carving, and brisk walks. For most Americans, it also means fall yard pickup—and along with it, an increased exposure to poison ivy. According to a report published in Weed Science, research indicates that poison ivy has grown much more aggressive since the 1950s, with leaf size and oil content measurably increased. This is bad news if you are one of the more than 350,000 people who are stricken by poison ivy annually.

Poison ivy tops the list of plants to avoid because it contains urushiol, an oily resin that binds to the skin on contact and may result in a hypersensitivity reaction characterized by itching, burning skin eruptions. This rash-causing poison ivy sap is a clear liquid found in the plant’s leaves and the roots, which many people develop an allergy to over time.

Urushiol oil remains active for several years, so handling dead leaves or vines can cause a reaction. In addition, oil transferred from the plant to other objects—such as gardening tools, an article of clothing, or even a pet—can cause the rash when it comes in contact with human skin. If poison ivy is eaten, the mucus lining of the mouth and digestive tract can be damaged. And if poison ivy is burned and the smoke inhaled, a rash may appear in the lining of the lungs, causing extreme pain and respiratory difficulty that may become life-threatening.

Lou Paradise, president and chief of research of Topical BioMedics, Inc., makers of Topricin, says, “It’s a particularly strong year for poison ivy, so it’s important for everyone to be aware there are ways to prevent outbreaks, or safely treat rashes and minimize the discomfort and duration should they occur.”

ABOUT THE PLANT

Captain John Smith was the first to describe the plant, coining the name “Poison Ivy” in 1609. Poison ivy grows throughout much of North America, and is extremely common in New England, the Mid-Atlantic, and southeastern U.S. It’s typically found in wooded areas as well as exposed rocky areas and open fields, and can be recognized by its group of three leaflets on small stems coming off larger main stems. For decades parents have taught their children the sing-song phrase “leaves of three, let it be” as a way of learning to spot this pretty but toxic plant. Poison ivy also has inconspicuous greenish flowers with five petals, and berry-like fruits that are hard and whitish.

There are two types of poison ivy, the climbing variety, toxicondendron radicans, and the non-climbing, toxicodendron rydbergil (from the Latin toxicum, “poison,” and the Greek dendron, “tree”). Because the varieties interbreed, they look similar and sometimes grow in the same places. They also create the same allergic rash, which may last anywhere from a week to three weeks.

Although some people are immune to poison ivy, most people develop a rash after coming in contact with the plant. After the oil has touched the skin it takes about 12 to 36 hours for redness and swelling to appear, followed by blisters and itching. Contrary to popular belief, scratching or oozing blister fluid cannot spread the outbreak or transfer it to other people. New lesions that appear a few days after a breakout of primary lesions means that there was less oil deposited on that area of the skin, or that the skin was less sensitive to it.

WINNING THE BATTLE AGAINST POISON IVY

Poison ivy’s urushiol oil is extremely potent, and only one nanogram (billionth of a gram) is needed to cause a rash. Even if you’ve never broken out you cannot assume you are immune as the more often you are exposed to urushiol, the more likely it is that you will break out with an allergic rash. In fact, upwards of 90% of the population develops an allergy to it.

You and your family can have a more enjoyable fall by following these tips for avoiding outbreaks of poison ivy, along with these helpful treatments for soothing and healing rashes if you do succumb.

Prevention:

  • Avoiding contact with the plant is, of course, the best prevention. Go on an expedition, wearing long pants, a shirt with long sleeves, boots, and gloves to minimize exposure. Tour your yard, the playground, the route your children walk to school, a campsite you’re visiting, and any other outdoor areas you frequent. When you spot poison ivy, show it to your kids and instruct them to stay away from it. If you have a large amount growing in your yard, consult with a professional landscaper for removal. (Unless you are a professional, do not “weed whack” as it sprays the poison ivy—and hence the oil—right at you.)
  • Prior to any outdoor activity, apply odorless, greaseless Topricin Pain Relief and Healing cream to any exposed areas of your body, including face, neck, hands, arms, etc. This will form a protective barrier making it more difficult for the urushiol oil to bond with your skin. Topricin contains natural medicines that also antidote and neutralize the adverse affect of urushiol oil. As an added plus, Topricin is the gardener’s favorite for relieving all those aches and pains from doing yard work.
  • At least 50 percent of the people who come into contact with poison ivy develop an itchy rash. The most dangerous type of exposure occurs when the plant is burned and the smoke is inhaled, which can affect your lungs.
  • Urushiol oil is extremely stable and will stay potent for years–which means you can get a rash from clothing or tools that got oil on them many seasons ago. After exposure to poison ivy, put on gloves and wipe everything you had with you and on you with rubbing alcohol and water, including shoes, tools, and clothing. Then wash clothes at least twice before wearing (if possible using bleach), hose off garden tools well, and apply leather moisturizer on footwear to prevent them from drying out (again, put on gloves).
  • Pets seem to be immune from getting poison ivy, but many people do get a rash from the residual urushiol oil on their fur. Therefore it’s a good idea to bath our dog or cat wearing thick rubber gloves (not latex). After washing the pet, wash yourself using cold water to keep pores closed. Consult with your veterinarian if you have any questions.

Treatment

  • Urushiol binds to skin proteins and begins to penetrate within 15 minutes of contact. If treated before that time, a reaction may be prevented. First, wash exposed site with cold water (hot water will open your pores, allowing the oil in). Follow this by bathing it in milk, which helps to get between oil and skin. Dry off well and then apply Topricin, which will help neutralize the effect of any remaining urushiol oil left on your skin.
  • Scrub under your nails. You can spread poison ivy to other parts of your body by having the oil on your fingers.
  • Wherever poison ivy grows, there is usually a plant known as jewelweed growing close by—especially in moister, shadier areas. Herbalists and Native Americans have used jewelweed for centuries to treat and speed the healing of poison ivy as it seems to be a natural remedy. When you are in the field and may have been exposed to poison ivy, pick jewelweed, slice the stem, and rub its juice on your skin to ease irritation and help prevent a breakout.
  • Some companies and herbalists offer poison ivy treatment soaps that contain jewelweed and other soothing natural ingredients, such as pine tar. Soaps are available from Poison Ivy Soap Company, Burt’s Bees, or search online for sources.
  • Take homeopathic Rhus Tox 30X tablets to help build immunity to poison ivy.
  • For severe outbreaks, or if you have any concerns whatsoever, see your doctor right away.

SYMPTOMS REQUIRING IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION

If you experience any of the following symptoms, go to the emergency room:

— Trouble breathing or swallowing

— Many rashes/blisters or a rash that covers most of your body

— A rash that develops anywhere on your face of genitals

— Swelling, especially if an eyelid swells shut

About Topical BioMedics, Inc.

About Topical BioMedics, Inc.: Topical BioMedics is a research and development leader in topical natural medicines for pain relief. The company’s product line includes original Topricin Pain Relief and Healing Cream, Topricin Foot Therapy Cream, and Topricin for Children. The natural formulas have been awarded a patent for the topical treatment of pain associated with fibromyalgia and neuropathy, and are safe for diabetics.

Topricin products are made in the U.S.A. and are in compliance with federal rules for homeopathic over-the-counter medicines. Topricin products are growing in popularity and are safe for diabetics and the entire family, including pregnant women. Topricin is also a lifestyle product that athletes and other active people appreciate for its ability to help with performance and recovery.

Topricin formulas contain: no parabens, petroleum or harsh chemicals, are odorless, greaseless and non-irritating, and produce no known side effects. Doctors and pharmacists can find more information about Topricin in the Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR). http://www.Topricin.com.

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SOURCES:

Topical BioMedics, Inc.

WebMD

Mayo Clinic

Discovery Health

American Academy of Dermatology

About.com


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Poison Ivy Survival Tips for Fall from Topical BioMedics

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