Slate: Why will half the U.S. population have a mental illness?
“What was once considered psychological healthy (or at least not unhealthy) is now considered to be mental illness. Some of the behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that were within the then-normal range of human experience are now deemed to be in the pathological part of the continuum.” @$#$%@^. Take the whole thing with a grain of salt, but it’s still worth skimming through. Big Pharma’s going to have a profitable future (see my Tylenol post, below).
Vancouver Sun: Acetaminophen may reduce fear, anxiety, UBC researchers say.
“The common over-the-counter pain medication acetaminophen does more than cure headaches — it may also be an effective antidote to fear, anxiety and existential dread, according to a new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia.” I can’t help but be skeptical - this sounds so much like a marketing pitch. Tylenol’s a nightmare for ER workers [I remember your stories, Alwin]. Too much destroys your liver in a particularly nasty way.
Guardian.UK: Can shaving your legs offer any advantage for regular male cyclists?
“If you’ve got a little bit of hair on your legs it will turbulate [sic] the air so you get a better flow. Now this in itself creates friction, so you don’t want all your leg hairy you just want two thin strips, each about 10mm wide, just before the sides of your legs – though you will look really stupid.” I shave in-season, without a qualm. It’s only embarrassing on the earliest rides … looking fish-belly white.
ThinkProgress: Explosions At The Boston Marathon.
[I didn’t post this right away because I was checking my sister’s status, who has run the Marathon in previous years. She’s safe at home, planning to run in London this year (Thank GOD).]
Later: An emailer accused me of rumormongering about ‘dismemberments’. #8, beware. Do not view if squeamish.
ProPublica: FDA Let Drugs Approved on Fraudulent Research Stay on the Market.
“… the agency decided to handle the matter quietly, evaluating the medicines with virtually no public disclosure of what it had discovered. It pulled none of the drugs from the market, even temporarily, letting consumers take the ibuprofen and other medicines it no longer knew for sure were safe and effective. To this day, some drugs remain on the market despite the FDA having no additional scientific evidence to back up the safety and efficacy of these drugs.”
BBC: US animal activist laws ‘may impact globally.’
Bad news. They want us to remain ignorant of their process. Whether it’s filmed or writtein in text, information will be released. Yet the operations may not really care about what you (here in America) think. An interesting article (see the chart, esp.) of the growth of meat consumption in America vs China. Guess where we’re importing tons of meat to?
This is Bristol.UK: Metal from people’s cremated remains being turned into road signs.
“The metals are then melted down – and The Post has learned that in North Somerset, it has been used to make items including council road signs, lamppost poles and safety barriers for motorway central reservations.” Actually, I think that’s pretty great.
Pacific Standard: Long Commutes Can Shorten Your Life.
“Sandow noted existing studies that showed how commuting was linked to higher blood pressure, added stress, taking more sick leave, gaining more weight, a higher incidence of heart disease, and more.” Exposure to exhaust fumes tends to do this. I wondered about my time taking the trains; the smell of burning brakes can’t be good for you either.
Vision/contact lens update.
Follow-up to my original visit. This doc seems to just not want to let me try contacts for presbyopia. I asked, he brings me monovision again. I suspect he simply doesn’t carry the brand. He says he really wants me to have the astigmatism correction (presbyopic lenses don’t have astig correction), though I’ve told him repeatedly I don’t notice any lack of sharpness in my present non-astig prescription.
I tried some Acuvue Oasys in monovision (the left eye corrected for astigmatism), and had a terrible time in the office. I could *not* get the left astig eye to focus. Couldn’t read the chart at all. This is the second try with astigmatism correction in that one eye, and I can tell you some contact lens manufacturers do *not* have it sussed yet. The right eye was comfortable with Acuvues. Just the astigmatic lens was a problem.
Still in the office, a third try, we switched over to Ciba Air Optix, with the left eye corrected for astigmatism … and heaven-be-praised I could read the eye chart. Finally. My first time with a Ciba product. Note, the lens is properly thin … not overly thick and impossible-to-remove like my first pair. Not to heap too much praise on Ciba - they simply did what they were supposed to do, and that seemed rather miraculous at the time.
I’ll try ‘em out further this weekend - I can’t stand monovision while I’m working on the computer for hours on weekdays. Though the fit is supposed to be correct on that left eye, the astigmatic correction has strange refractive qualities. I see a black crescent at certain times off to the left in my peripheral vision. It may just be the lens needs to ‘relax’ and conform to my eye. I’ll be patient and see if that’s true.
I’m suspecting I need to try a new doc. My prescription is not at all exotic. Around -3 nearsighted with -2 reading added. I have a referral from a commenter here (Eric in SF), I may switch.
Vanity Fair: Felix Baumgartner’s Story—Who Is the Man Who Pierced the Sky?
A William Langewiesche article? Instant link.
SciAm: Is the Meaning of Your Life to Make Babies?
“Reproduction and genetic survival may be the meaning of Life, but it is not inescapably the meaning of your life. So, in the end, the full answer is no — we do not bestow having babies as the sole guardians of life’s meaning. But we do need to respect and grapple with the view.” Perhaps simply having enough intelligence to avoid acting like a virus.
Guardian.UK: British scientist killed in cycling accident.
“Her death comes just three months after a senior colleague, Prof Seymour Laxon, 49, died in a fall, hitting his head and suffering a brain haemorrhage.” Terrible. But I can’t help thinking, served by that pullquote, this is fodder for conspiracy theorists.
NY Times: Study Points to New Culprit in Heart Disease.
If you know folks who’ve gone Paleo, or have kids chugging energy drinks, you really need to read this.
Guardian.UK: Brisk walk healthier than running.
“If the amount of energy expended was the same between the two groups, then the health benefits were comparable.” Large study groups here, tens of thousands of runners and walkers.
The Atlantic: Medical Emergencies at 40,000 Feet.
Chicago Sun-Times: Roger Ebert’s Journal.
Sadly, Roger Ebert is suffering from another cancer. Yet he’s expanding his online presence at the same time. Bravo.
Washington’s Blog: Study—28% Increase In Thyroid Problems In Babies Born After Fukushima.
This is going to be linked all over the place. Take a deep breath, step back, wait for peer review. The previous studies by these scientists are apparently not well thought of. And did you notice the same thing I did? Phone calls? At least list who you talked to and when.
I’m no expert, but here are some thoughts.
After Three Mile Island (I was a couple hundred miles downwind when it blew), thyroid diagnoses went up because physicians were specifically looking, whereas normally they would skim over that examination.
America allegedly has an iodine deficiency problem (which can cause CH), from the increasing use of ‘designer’ salt (as opposed to iodine-fortified table salt) and other factors. The downward trend across the US has me dubious about the numbers in the study.
In addition, I wonder how many West Coasters popped potassium iodide pills — there was significant panic in the earthy-crunchy set, and the thyroid can turn hypo for both deficiency and glut. Taking iodide pills when pregnant? Neurological symptoms in the fetus are likely.
Expect internet hysteria. In the meantime, reach for plain table salt once in a while as you’re waiting for corroboration.
Hammacher Schlemmer: The Cyclist’s Virtual Safety Lane.
Clever, but experience with drunks in NM makes me believe they steer towards what they’re looking at. This would be novel enough that they’d harvest you like last season’s wheat crop.
I think I’ve hit the limit on monovision contacts.
Trying new contacts. My right eye can focus from 0 to around 16”, my left eye from 8’ to infinity. The eye doc said this would work, but bumbling around the house, life is a blur. I usually rely on progressives (glasses) these days, and have no issues at all. I prefer contacts … but this is just miserable. The difference is too stark. Anyone had any luck with bifocal contacts? Concentrics? I feel like a freaking handicapped fossil, about to go extinct in tar pits THAT I CAN’T SEE (and I’m roasting a chicken right now, or at least I think I am … come to think of it, I haven’t seen my wife in the last half hour … uh-oh ...).
Guardian.UK: Electrosensitivity—is technology killing us?
Offered just for entertainment purposes. I link it with trepidation, because Santa Fe’s well-known for wifi and cell-service ‘sufferers.’ [I hear Jeremiah’s comment on the title alone already (“No.”).]
SF New Mexican: Governor signs bill for health insurance exchange.
Well, it’s a step. A lot of money’s going to go to NMHIA. We’ll see what they come up with.
SF New Mexican: Police—Man held on 11th DWI charge.
It’s the stats. 12 beers. 4x legal limit. 7 aliases. 9 DOB’s. Think the man needs serious help?
NY Times: The Talmud and Other Diet Books.
“Modern science corroborates Maimonides: it takes about 20 minutes for the brain to receive messages from the stomach that it has had enough. Satiety can be achieved with less food than one might think, and it requires more time to reach it.” The groaning board wouldn’t be so lethal, if we understood that simple stat.
Discover Mag: The inevitability of eugenics … as preventative health.
New Scientist: Gut bacteria swap is key to knifeless gastric bypass.
I’ve said it before, if I had a life to do over again, I’d go into gut bacteria research.