Art Clokey, creator of Gumby, dies at 88

Art Clokey, the creator of the clay figure character Gumby, has died. According to his son, Joseph, he died in his sleep Friday at his home in Los Osos, Calif., after battling repeated bladder infections. The Gumby character was invented by Clokey and his wife Ruth in the early 1950’s.  Gumby originally debuted on “The Howdy Doody Show,”and soon after became the star of his own hit television series, “The Adventures of Gumby,” which was the first to use clay animation on television.

Gumby’s subsequently has a number of successful comebacks, as a bendable childrens’ toy (along with his side-kick horse Pokey), as an Eddie Murphy parody on Saturday Night Live, and in the 1990’s as a movie called, Gumby the Movie.

Infections of the urinary tract are the second most common type of infection in the body. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) account for about 8.3 million doctor visits each year.  Although UTIs are much more common in women, men older than 50 may be at risk of this type of infection because of prostate enlargement, a frequent problem in older men. An increase in the size of the prostate gland can prevent the bladder from emptying properly. If this happens, small amounts of urine are left to pool in the bladder, creating a perfect environment for bacteria to multiply and cause infection.

prostate and bladder

The symptoms of a bladder infection include:

  • Cloudy or bloody urine, which may have a foul or strong odor
  • Low fever (not always present)
  • Pain or burning with urination
  • Pressure or cramping in the lower abdomen (usually in the midline) or back
  • Strong need to urinate often, even right after the bladder has been emptied

The diagnosis is made by taking a culture of the urine to identify the organism involved, and thereby allowing treatment with the most  appropriate antibiotic.

For more information:

Urinary Tract Infection
Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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