"It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood." - William Shakespeare (Macbeth)
I used to go regularly to make blood donations, but haven't for the last couple of years and had been feeling guilty about it. Lately, the Canadian Blood Services has been putting a push on for donors because, after a month of severe snowstorms, they are running short of every blood type. So I went down to the blood clinic this morning and opened a vein for the cause... it only took about an hour, I got to lie on a bed and watch TV while I was donating, and afterwards got chocolate milk and cookies. Oh yeah, and my donation will help someone who is sick or injured. There's really no downside to this.
Just as a matter of interest, the first known successful human-to-human blood transfusion was done in 1818 by Dr. James Blundell. He was a British obstetrician who, using her husband as a donor, transfused 4 oz. of blood into a woman suffering from postpartum hemorrhaging. Despite this success, blood transfusions remained extremely risky- often resulting in death- and were rarely attempted. This changed in 1901 when an Austrian scientist, Karl Landsteiner, discovered the human blood groups A, B, and O, and proved that mixing incompatible blood types causes an immunity reaction which can prove fatal. After this, blood transfusions became increasingly safe and a standard medical procedure which has saved many lives in the years since then.
In the afternoon, I did the "Aunt" thing and went to one of my nephew's basketball games (he's on the left in the above picture). I'm not a big fan of the game (it's not hockey) but it was fun to watch the kids play, and surprisingly suspenseful at times. It was a close game and the two teams took turns being in the lead throughout. Unfortunately, my nephew's team lost by three points due to a basket and penalty shot in the dying minute of the game. Still, it was a hard fought game, and they did really well, especially considering a lot of the players on the other team were at least a head taller than the average player on my nephew's team. A couple of things I didn't like: 1) it was a tournament, and there were three games going on, separated by heavy curtains. The problem with this was, when a buzzer sounded, you frequently couldn't tell if it was in the game you were watching, or the one next door. Even the players and refs were sometimes confused. 2) There was an intense sports mom very close to me, and I rapidly grew tired of the oft-shouted phrases, "FIND YOUR MAN!!" and "MOVE YOUR FEET, BEDFORD!!" (Bedford being the team). A little of that goes a very long way. Still and all, I had a good time and a great day. Here are a couple more pictures of the game: