Category Archives: Health

Artificial Intelligence that Can Find Cancer in Seconds

We have seen the wonders that artificial intelligence can do in software development, and now Japanese researchers have unveiled an AI that can find cancer in less than one second.

The AI that is being used to find the cancer has been demonstrated in a colonoscopy. The system was revealed during the United European Gastroenterology Week in Barcelona, Spain.

The ribbon for colon cancer awareness; photo from zazzle.com
The ribbon for colon cancer awareness; photo from zazzle.com

The system uses a magnified view of a colorectal polyp to study features and to compare it with over 30,000 endocytoscopic images. The AI learns more about the pictures by using them in studies.

The researchers said they were able to test the polyp and predict the pathology with a 86% accuracy. Out of 300 polyps, the AI was able to find cancer in 258 polyps.

Dr. Yuichi Mori, one of the researchers (and the study lead) from Showa University in Yokohama, Japan, was impressed with the results of the test.

“The most remarkable breakthrough with this system is that artificial intelligence enables real-time optical biopsy of colorectal polyps during a colonoscopy, regardless of the endoscopists’ skill set,” Mori said.

Now he wants to develop and work on a broader study aimed to creating a system that can find cancer automatically.

In a growing world of technology, artificial intelligence leads the way. The advances that AI can accomplish in so little time as led to people like Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook discussing the many benefits that can have.

Others , such as Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, feel that the government should have say and control over the AI’s building process. Musk feels that AI should only be used to prevent global disasters.

Artificial Intelligence has so much potential and value to the medical world that Musk’s beliefs are far from universal, and only time can tell what freedoms and restrictions will be placed on such advancements by the governments of tomorrow.

Does younger blood help Alzheimer’s patents

Can some “fresh” blood from a younger person reverse the damage of Alzheimer’s Disease. Researchers are currently trying to answer the question but they did find, the treatments are safe.

The team of researchers at Stanford University in California found that the infusions of plasma from healthy young men didn’t hurt the 18 Alzheimer’s patents who got the treatment.

A few of the patents did seem to do little better with their everyday skills but their memory did not improve.

This does not mean that blood transfusions are the cure to Alzheimer’s Disease, the researcher stated. However, future testing is possible.

The difference between a normal brain and an Alzheimer's brain; photo from healthlifemedia.com
The difference between a normal brain and an Alzheimer’s brain; photo from healthlifemedia.com

“This does show it’s worth going forward with more tests,” said Dr. Sharon Sha, the lead researcher.

“We need to do the next steps to understand what is in the young plasma,” Sha said.

Plasma is the liquid part of blood without the red cells and immune cells.

The research was based off another research also done at Stanford, in the lab of Tony Wyss-Coray. He found by infusing young human plasma into old mice, the blood would perk them up.

This work made national headlines and launched a company, Alkahest. They are working on developing young human plasma into treatments for aging-related diseases. They have plans to move forward with clinical trials as they currently have 40 volunteers for next year.

The test done this year only had 18 people volunteer for the plasma transfusions.

More than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and the number is expected to grow in the next few decades. There’s no cure and the treatments have looked promising but have ultimately failed when in the big trial.

Joe McCracken, the vice president for development at Alkahest says the company is working to figure out what is in the plasma that might just affect aging and disease but they will not use whole plasma.

 

 

A history of Daylight Savings Time

November 5th is Daylight Savings Time, and yes, you get to catch up on your sleep as clocks move back one hour—but that’s not the only thing Daylight Savings Time does.

Ben Franklin had proposed the idea centuries before it was implemented . This was after Franklin woke up at 6 a.m. and saw the morning sun. He repeated this for three days and found the same result.

photo from wallpup.com
photo from wallpup.com

Franklin’s idea for Daylight Savings was to save money and with this, expensive candle use would be cut down with free light from the sun but it wasn’t until 1895 before the idea was heard from again.

George Hudson from New Zealand saw the idea as a way to have more after-work sunshine to do things. His proposal was to have a two hour shift but again this didn’t happen

Seven years later, William Willett, a builder from Britain thought of the idea while riding his horse. He would take his idea to Parliament where he had support from Winston Churchill but the British Parliament rejected the idea.

Willett would argue for the idea until his death in 1915, he’s now known as the great-great grandfather of Chris Martin, frontman  of Coldplay.

A year after Willett’s death and two years into World War I, the idea was brought up by the German government. They needed to save energy, and with that Daylight Savings Time was utilized. Soon after, every country that was fighting in WWI followed suit and with just moving back the clocks, energy was being saved.

After WWI, the idea was dropped and picked up again during World War II.

After the war, the idea again was abandoned. However in the 1960’s, Daylight Savings Time was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson, helping the country though the Energy Crisis in the 1970’s.

In today’s age, Daylight Savings is no longer useful in the United States and doesn’t save energy. However, some areas around the world need the change to  survive.

Just relish in the fact that on November 3, you get to have that extra hour of sleep but only to lose it in March of next year.

Is it time for window blinds to get rid of cords

A recent study shows that companies should think about getting rid of their cords on window binds. Well, to state the obvious here, they should be.

photo from cpsc.gov
photo from cpsc.gov

Between 1990 and 2015, over 17,000 children have been injured by the cords which can tangle around your throat and choke you. Even through this doesn’t happen to older people, it does happen very often to a young child.

Even through the injuries to the 17,000 were minor, almost 300 kids have died due to strangulation from the cords.

A mother of one of the victims, Linda Kaiser says “this should be a wake-up call to the public, retailers, manufacturers, and the parents of young children all over the nation to really see how hazardous the cords are.” Kaiser’s one year old daughter in 2002 died because she got caught up in the cords and strangled to death. The cord that she strangled on was a hidden cord that was looped like a noose.

A spokesperson for the Window Covering Association says that stores and retailers will not be able to sell the window binds once new regulations are passed. However, you will be able to still buy the window binds from a custom order.

The regulations are awaiting approval from the American National Standards Institute and once approved they will be put in to regulation by late 2018.

However, this will only stop 80 percent of window bind order as another 20 percent will be allowed under regulation.

The study also looked at medical journals as far back as 1945 that show that children were in danger of choking after studying two accidental hangings that the children survived.

The study was published on Monday, December, 3 in the journal Pediatrics

 

NOTE: the image above is a simulation of a doll that is the size of a young child choking on a bind. This image is only used for story purposes only.

 

Is President Trump in bad health right now?

Being President of the United States of America comes with a lot of responsibility and stress, and it’s not surprising to hear that President Trump is one of many who have undergone this stress.

President Trump; photo from money.cnn.com
President Trump; photo from money.cnn.com

A new report from the New York Times finds out about Trump’s daily eating habits and most of them are not healthy at all.

The president has 12(yes, twelve, a dozen, a ton of) cans of Diet Coke everyday. According to Harvard T.H Chan’s School of Public Health, you should limit your consumption of diet soda to the “occasional” drink or in layman’s terms, once-in-a-blue-moon.  Drinking too much diet soda can cause you to gain weight, but it’s useful when trying to quit regular sodas.

The president also has a very unhealthy habit of watching TV (a fact that he frequently disputes).  If you watch his Twitter, you will see him constantly tweet out attacks against CNN and MSNBC while praising FOX News.

According to the Times, the president constantly watches between 4 to 8 hours of TV and the only people that can touch his remote are him and his technical support staff. An average American will watch 34 hours of TV per week but there are not the president. According to a British study, for one hour of TV watched, you will lose 22 minutes on your life.

Most people probably knows  about Trump’s love for McDonald’s, KFC, and pizza, and according to a book written by Trump’s top aides, “Trump Force One had four major food groups,” and it had all of those named above and of course, Diet Coke.

Not a lot of people currently like the president but he is currently your president as of right now. You do have to worry about the shape he could be in and how it can and will affect you in the future. A worn-out, unhealthy, stressed-out president is not good for anyone.

 

Who’s smarter, Cats or Dogs?

The ages old argument, who’s smarter… Garfield or Odie… Well if you ever read the comic strip, it’s definitely Garfield but according to science, it’s actually Odie.

photo from pinterest.com
photo from pinterest.com

An international team of scientists who work at universities and zoos around the world have found that dogs are indeed smarter than cats. Their findings will be published in the Frontiers in Neuroanatomy.

The report found that dogs’ brains have double the amount of cortical neurons (the cells linked to learning) than cats’ brains.

The team actually studied eight different carnivorans, a large class of mammals that have teeth and claws that can allow for them to eat other animals. (This class is NOT the same as carnivore class, a much larger class that includes bears, raccoons, and seals.)

Suzana Herculano-Houzel, an associate professor of psychology and biological sciences at Vanderbilt University was one of the researchers on the team. Vanderbilt was the school that developed the method to court the amount of neurons.

“I believe the absolute number of neurons an animal has, especially in the cerebral cortex, determines the richness of their internal mental state,” said Herculano-Houzel.

The research did account for physical brain size along with assessing the number of cortical neurons and it turns out that dogs do have more sheer brainpower than animals like African lions and brown bears (Who knew that Odie could be that smart if just used his brain).

Why could a dog be smarter than a lion or a bear, well as the paper explains: the bigger you are, the more energy you need.

Well Odie, you are smart. I think its time to kick Garfield off the couch and take your rightful spot as smartest pet.

 

 

Do concussions last longer for girls?

A study published October 2nd in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association revealed that girls playing in sports can have concussions that last longer than boys.

Concussion symptoms can linger twice as long for teenaged girls in comparison to boys. Dr. John Neidecker, a sports concussion specialist in Raleigh, NC who was the lead researcher in this study had his fears confirmed in this study.

“These findings confirm what many in sports medicine have believed for some time”, said Neidecker.

Previous research done showed girls may have underlying issues caused by concussion that are more prevalent. This includes migraines,  depression, anxiety, and stress.

Neidecker and his colleagues pointed out that this is why girls need more recovery time and why it takes longer for recovery for a girl.

It’s often at the age of a teenager for a concussion to be misdiagnosed and labeled off as just a headache. Concussions usually set in after the fact, leading to a long road to recovery.

In 2008, a report came out with 29,167 high school soccer girls with a concussion compared to 20,929 boys soccer players.

photo from ussportscamps.com
photo from ussportscamps.com

Neidecker and his research team focused on 102 girls and 110 boys aged between 11 and 18, with first time concussions.  Symptoms would last for a median 28 days for females and 11 days for boys.

Symptoms would clear up in three weeks in 75% of boys and 42% of girls.

Neidecker knows teenagers can be resisted on talking about their issues but as long as he talks, he can get it out of them.

Neidecker encourages doctors to always check their patient history to make sure there is no complications in recovery.

How to Handle the Black Friday Rush

It’s the best time of the year to find those deals and to get away from the family during the Thanksgiving Break; it’s Black Friday (or Black Thursday, just depends on the store). Here are some ways to make your shopping more enjoyable.

Make your spending budget right now!

You can’t just go into the store and buy whatever you want. You’ve got to remember that you are either taking care of a family or going to college (hopefully it’s here at Radford).  You don’t have the pockets of Bill Gates or of our current president, Donald Trump. So get what you really want for yourself or what you need to finish the Christmas list (put the Christmas list first, Mom and Dad will love your gift of a new coffee machine).

Maybe just stay on the sidelines and wait until Cyber Monday

Black Friday is not good for your health, especially with all of the tramping on people and that good stuff. So, staying at home doesn’t look all that bad. Especially when you can get the same deals on Amazon and you  don’t have to travel to Walmart to get tramped on.

Get ready to see these crowds on Black Friday; photo from fortune.com
Get ready to see these crowds on Black Friday; photo from fortune.com

If you go out to the stores, create a plan

If you are one of those brave souls that goes out to the stores on Black Friday, may I for one, wish you good luck. The second thing would be to create a game plan and practice (Practice? We talkin about practice- Allen Iverson) your plan. Okay, you don’t have to practice but try to create a plan to avoid the crowds as much as you can.

It’s not the end of the world if you miss out on Black Friday

If you do miss out on the madness, no worries. You still have Cyber Monday and deals before Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Of course, you will miss out on doorbusters but you will still find great deals throughout the holiday season. Don’t forget to support your local businesses on Saturday, the day after Black Friday.

Finally, just remember to take your wallet to the store and have fun shopping for that TV that’s going to be outdated in two months.

:)

 

 

Frustration in a Small Coal Mining Town

West Virginia, the home and deathplace of coal mining. Coal mining has been dying out for the past twenty years due to the studies on the health of miners and the people who live near by.

Three different lungs, one of a normal lung, one of a older person and finally, a coal miner's lung; photo from thecilo.com
Three different lungs, one of a normal lung, one of a older person and finally, a coal miner’s lung; photo from thecilo.com

Yes, it’s known to cause lung cancer and to give those who mine the coal black lung. If you have never seen a photo of a coal miner’s lungs, it’s not a pretty sight. However, our current president, Donald Trump had promised in his campaign to ramp up on the production on coal. Yes, that means forgetting about the health of men and women who go into the mines just to make a living.

One town in the Appalachia region has felt the pain of studies getting canceled, at this point they are even surprised at the aspect of a canceled study.  In Glen Daniel, W.Va. it’s just another day.

Chuck Nelson worked years in the mines and he knows in order to make a living it costs him his health. He blames the well water at the mine for his kidney and liver diseases and his wife’s  severe asthma on the coal particles and dust on mines near their home.

Some of Nelson’s neighbors agree with him and say that the mining near the mountains has been the main culprit for the various health issues. Some completed studies agree with them but when finished, the studies usually held the same result: inconclusive.

A new federal study was supposed to provide the most comprehensive report to date but only three months into the study, the Trump administration canceled the study, citing budget issues. The current administration is noted to be known supporters of the coal industry.

The end of the study doesn’t surprise Nelson and his neighbors anymore. It’s a part of daily life for them now. “If a study comes out negative against the coal industry, it gets swept under the rug, and the funding’s stopped by these politicians who cater to the coal industry,” Nelson said.

The people know why they have these health problems and the government does too. They don’t know when the government will answer to the problems of coal mining and they might not be here to see the day but when the day comes, Nelson and his neighbors will be ready and by telling their story, the day might come soon.

 

 

Air Pollution Linked to More than Global Warming

Air pollution is not good for you or me. Our current elected officials may say otherwise, but global warming is real and we can thank air pollution for that. And now we can thank it for the diseases it can cause.

The Donora Smog in 1948 ;Photo from www.post-gazette.com
The Donora Smog in 1948; Photo from www.post-gazette.com

In 1948, a little town in Pennsylvania awoke to an unusually sooty sky. This area was notable for its daily haze coming from the nearby zinc and steel plants. This was the price to be paid for feeding your loved ones. The next day, the smog was so bad that the local high school quarterbacks couldn’t pass the ball to the receivers.  For five days, Donora, Pa. was filled with so much smog that 20 people were killed, one-third of the town was sick, and another 50 died in the coming months. After the tragedy, the federal government began clamping down on pollutants, leading to the Clean Air Act in 1970, 22 years after the events in Donora.

Air pollution can lead to heart disease. The American Heart Association in 2010 updated their stance on air pollution, finding it consistent with morbidity and mortality. It also leads to weight gain. Frank Gilliland, an environmental epidemiologist at the University of Southern California became intrigued when studies suggested that pollutants interrupt the actions of hormones, leading to weight gain. At first, Gilliland said of the claims: “I was very skeptical.” He would go on to study 3,000 children across California and found an association to the claims, although they couldn’t rule out other explanations. Gilliland explained, “Maybe the kids aren’t getting exercise because there’s a lot of traffic out.”

The newest study linked ozone concentrations in the air to diabetes.  Children who live in neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of nitrogen dioxide have experienced great decline in insulin sensitivity. People with diabetes have trouble producing insulin.  Radford has an army ammunition plant that releases those same chemicals in open burns that can cause diabetes. The plant has been controversial for years now because of the open burns. Recently, however, the plant had a drone test the air quality in the open burn sites to “exchange public fears for facts.”

Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Radford, VA; photo from www.wsls.com
Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Radford, VA; photo from www.wsls.com

Whatever the case may be, the evidence is there. Air pollution can cause more than global warming; it could affect your life.

 

No, the World Didn’t End on Saturday

Yes, the world is going to end one day; we just don’t know when. That hasn’t stopped people from professing their belief that the world is going to end on a certain date.

We have been obsessed with “The End” of our bedtime stories of humanity. The latest nut-job is David Meade, a self-described specialist when it comes to the end of the world.  He predicted the Rapture, as foretold in the Book of Revelations, will begin on Saturday. (Wait a minute, it’s Sunday and we are still alive. What a shocker.)

David Meade – Photo from The Sun

There was no evidence supporting Meade’s claims of a Planet Nibiru or “Planet X” on a crash course towards Earth. That didn’t stop Meade from making claims. There are several ways in which the world can end. As long as someone can press the magical “red” button, nuclear war is the most likely way the world will end.

Of course, you might have a giant asteroid hit your house and car but the odds of that happening are 1-in-100 million in any given year. Those poor dinosaurs had a very bad year.

Then you might have climate change or global warming ruining your day, but it is doubtful this would lead to the end of the world. How about the over population of the world? Famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has stated that we only have until 2100 before we would have to find a new home that is suitable for humans. In 2100, the population is estimated at over 11 billion, but most people alive today would be dead.

Then you have black holes that are never full after eating many stars and planets, but the odds of that happening are so small that we don’t have numbers for it. Another event that could happen is a supernova – the closest one to us is Betelgeuse, a part of the Orion constellation.

A more likely event is a global pandemic like the flu and smallpox killing off the majority of the planet and a biological weapon launched by terrorists and maybe another country. Maybe a super- volcano or robots take us out.

Finally, we have survived everything but one thing: Father Time. The sun runs out of fuel and expands to engulfing Mercury, Venus and possibly the  Earth. The planet will be so hot, no life will be possible. So enjoy life on Earth right now; we only got a billion more years to go.

What is CTE and Why is it a Problem

Most people by now have heard of a neurodegenerative/brain disorder called CTE: chronic traumatic encephalopathy. This disorder is very common with those who have competed in contact sports like football.

Aaron Hernandez, former tight end for the New England Patriots and convicted murderer who committed suicide back in April, was found to have had stage 3 CTE after his brain was studied by Boston University. At the young age of 27, Hernandez is one of the youngest people to have the disorder since CTE’s discovery.

This news doesn’t take away from the fact that Hernandez murdered one person and may had killed two more. Hernandez however, is now one of the 112 former football players to have their brains studied post-mortem. Out of the 112, 111 had some type of CTE. That means that most likely, 99% of former, current, and future NFL players will have some type of CTE.

Don’t forget that football isn’t the only sport to have a issue with CTE.  Soccer, Hockey, MMA and Professional Wrestling like WWE have had former athletes posthumously diagnosed with CTE. Even MLB had a player diagnosed with CTE after his suicide in 2012.

Currently, there are multiple lawsuits dealing with concussion settlements. However, those who had played in high school and college but didn’t make it to the professionals don’t have a lawsuit. It can affect a high school student after a few years of participation in the sport. In 2010, 17-year-old Nathan Stiles died after playing in a football game in which he took several blows to the head. He would be diagnosed with CTE, the youngest reported case to date.

The doctor who discovered CTE, Dr. Bennet Omalu, once said that he wished he had never met Mike Webster, legendary NFL center and first person to be diagnosed with the disorder. Many players after hearing about the effects of CTE have retired, and those include Jake Locker and Patrick Willis. Some even regret playing the sport and even the great Bo Jackson discourages his children from playing the sport that made him famous.

Talk about CTE will never stop, but football and wrestling aren’t just going to stop tomorrow. It is encouraged to know about the effects of CTE before playing a contact sport and know most likely, you will have some type of it. That is the price of chasing riches and fame.

Flu Vaccine Linked to Early Miscarriages

Experts are stunned and puzzled over a study that may link the flu vaccine to early miscarriages.

Getting your regular flu vaccine – Photo from Healthline

The study paid for by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention did not find a conclusive result in the study but did link 17 women who had miscarriages with a vaccine. It’s too early to say that the vaccine is the culprit but it’s a troubling signal that they will follow up on.

In the meanwhile, pregnant women are urged to get their annual flu shot because they and their unborn babies are at a higher risk of getting the flu. That statement has been studied and proven with the study of tens of thousands of women.

“We don’t want people to panic over this headline,” states Dr. Laura Riley, an obstetrician at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She ended with, “Get your flu shot. It’s safe.”

This is a very tricky situation the medical community has gotten into as anti-vaccine communities may be reinvigorated. Their support is still very small as they believe the government, researchers, and even journalists are colluding to cover up the “dangers” of vaccines. The proof of one small study can elevate one of these groups. Senior Advisor for Vaccines at the CDC, Dr. Amanda Cohn, says the open release of the information shows there is no cover-up and proves that public health agencies are watching out for the safety of vaccines and humans.

The news of this may make you think about changing your mind on getting a flu shot this year. No blame here; there is a good reason why. However, it is advised that you get your shot. Besides, would you want to be laid up in bed all day, spending hundreds of dollars on medicine to help you or get a vaccine and call it a day?

 

National Coffee Day: So Here’s Some Health Benefits Coffee Gives You

Sept. 28th was National Coffee Day in the United States which meant it was the perfect day to get that cup-of-joe. However, there are health benefits that should give you more reasons to pick up that cup more often.

Coffee can be more than a drink; photo from http://metronomecoffee.com/
Coffee can be more than a drink; photo from http://metronomecoffee.com/

Besides waking you up… Coffee actually makes you smarter because of a stimulant called caffeine which most people associate with energy but actually blocks a neurotransmitter in your brain. When this happens, the other neurotransmitters like dopamine increase to make up for the lost one. This in return improves your memory, mood, awareness, energy levels, general functions and your reaction times.

Got to lose some weight… Drink some coffee. Once again the important ingredient here…is caffeine. Studies have shown that caffeine can boost your metabolism but will decrease it over time if you drink coffee constantly. Also, not everyone’s metabolism will be boosted, so base it on your dietary needs.

Happiness in a Cup-Of-Joe… Coffee can help you fight depression. A 2011 study by Harvard University found women who drank 4 or more cups of coffee a day are 20% less likely to have depression, and the drink also reduces the risk of suicide. Once again, not everyone will feel this effect and if you are battling depression, you should contact the counseling services here at Radford University.

You might live longer… By drinking coffee daily, you have a lower risk of death over an 18-24 year period. Coffee will lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, strokes, and brain diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. All those diseases lowered by drinking a cup-of-joe – you might want to sign up, but wait a minute.

Photo from nationaldaycalendar.com/
Photo from nationaldaycalendar.com/

Coffee has been proven to do miracles for your body, but not everyone will experience the same things the subjects did. Exercising, eating a healthy diet, and drinking a cup of coffee will help you live for a long time.

 

 

Maybe the Weather is Getting Better for Short People

Finally, shorter people get the last laugh, and it is in regards their health.  For the longest time, people who are shorter than 5’7″ have been the cow’s rear of jokes, and even a study from the National Bureau of Economic Research states that tall people are happier than shorter people. Now, new studies from CBS  News show that shorter people are less likely to develop DVTs or deep vein thrombosis than taller folks.

Photo from dailyexpress.com

A DVT is more or less a blood clot but they are very dangerous to your health as they start in your legs and they travel up to your lungs, raising the risk of a stroke. They sometimes occur after a long flight on an airplane and are referred to as “economy class syndrome”.  Why do shorter people have an advantage?  Well, according to Dr. Bengt Zoller, it starts with leg veins. Taller people have longer veins which means there are more areas for trouble to start.

Over 600,000 people in the United States develop some type of blood clot each year, according to the American Heart Association. There are many different types of risk factors that contribute to blood clots like surgery and cancer. Even through there is no official link yet as to why taller people get more blood clots there was a 40+ years research project in Sweden that studied sibling pairs of male soldiers and pregnant women. This study threw out genetic and environmental factors and found that men who are shorter than 5’3″ are 65 percent less likely to develop a blood clot than men who are 6’2.” Life gives its roses and sometimes its lemons. Dr. Zoller stated in a journal that “height is not something we can do anything about” and of course we can not do anything about our heights as it is a part of our genetics. Height is something we have to live with. It does not matter if you are 6’7″ or 4’5″; we are all human and that’s something that will connect us no matter what.

Opinion: Global Warming and A Note to Rush

This was the final straw; I have had it.  What Rush Limbaugh said about hurricane forecasts being “liberal conspiracies” so scientists can advance their “agenda” on global warming was completely erroneous.  Mr.  Limbaugh, hurricanes have been going on for thousands of years now and as matter of fact, the deadliest hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean was in the 1700’s. That hurricane killed over 20,000 people. Now, you want to say hurricanes are conspiracies – they are a part of the earth’s natural weather cycle! What’s next, are blizzards completely fictional storms from Frosty the Snowman or do we take tornados too seriously; they ain’t that bad, they’re just spinning clouds? Even that wasn’t the low blow. You tucked your tail between your legs and “evacuated” from Florida.  Oh come on Rush, you said yourself that Irma was not even that bad of a storm; it was blown out of proportion to advance an agenda. Wait, you changed your mind; you want to live so you can keep spitting out the same old crap that you have been saying for years now.

A mugshot of Rush Limbaugh; photo from The Smoking Gun
A mugshot of Rush Limbaugh; photo from The Smoking Gun

Nothing is going to change the fact that Irma is not a normal hurricane; that’s why Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, has tried to beat into everyone’s head that they need to evacuate from the vulnerable areas in Florida. Then what Limbaugh said most likely led to thousands of his “followers” staying put while he goes and hightails it out of Florida.  How can you believe in what you say, then retract it by leaving yourself? That’s just being a hypocrite, and I hate them; I hate to even use that word. That word is only used for special occasions when you catch someone in a lie. I’m not here to defend or support liberals but I’m not here on the conservatives’ side.

Rush, I hope you pass by this page and read this article; I will gladly give you the link to Science Magazine’s website and a history lesson in science on the studies of weather.  Most likely you will start talking bologna on that “talk show” of yours. Who knows, maybe you might say sorry to the people whose lives that you risked with your comments. I won’t be holding my breath on that one.

P.S. I hope you like the mugshot. I didn’t forget and neither should you.

 

New App That Finds Clean Bathrooms

I know, going to a public bathroom sucks. I hated going to a bathroom and seeing someone’s number two just because they were too lazy to flush the damn toilet. No more of that nonsense as we now have an app (Apple does at least; Android will have to wait until next month), that helps you find a clean bathroom. This, however, is only available in the San Francisco area; you will have to wait until next year for the app in New York.

The founder of Good2Go and CEO Fran Heller said in a statement, “We believe that technology can serve people’s everyday needs.”

The business model is highly attractive as people want to go in a nice, clean public bathroom if they need to go at some point. Stores will have to support the app which means they will pay the company to promote their bathrooms as user-friendly.

The main question people will be asking is why the app will cost $19.99 for monthly use and $2.99 for daily when bigger companies like Procter and Gamble run watered down versions for absolutely free. For a year’s use of Good2Go, you would be spending $240 just to use a clean bathroom and even then someone could be lying just to make their business look good.

I guess that’s the price for living in California. Maybe next time just use the bathroom with the unflushed crap in the toilet. At least it won’t cost you a dollar in the long run.

The brain connectivity of LSD and “ego dissolution”

When individuals take the psychedelic drug Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), they may feel as though the limits that isolate them from everything have disintegrated, as though they are connected with the rest of the world. A study has discovered a neural mechanism behind this occurrence, called “ego dissolution.”

According to the researchers, the study’s results, published April 13 in the journal Current Biology, suggest that further research on LSD and other psychedelic drugs could provide important insight into how the human brain works.

Ego dissolution is not a universally positive or negative experience, said Enzo Tagliazucchi. Tagliazucchi is  a neuroscientist at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in Amsterdam and co-author of the story. According to Tagliazucchi, depending on the experience of the trip and ego dissolution, it can be too overwhelming and lead to anxiety, panic and what is normally dubbed a “bad trip”.

Ego dissolution is at the core of the treatment of anxiety related to the fear of death in such patients. According to Tagliazucchi, for terminal-stage cancer patients, ego dissolution “can be a positive and transformative experience, leading to peace, acceptance, a new perspective on things.”

According to Tagliazucchi, the findings additionally propose that taking LSD may cause an improved sharing of data among various brain regions that reinforces a more powerful connection between an individual’s sense of self and their sense of everything else.

This is your brain on LSD. Graphic from Imperial College London.

In the study, the researchers examined the brains, through scanning, of 15 healthy individuals twice — once after they took a placebo, and once after the individuals took LSD.

The researchers discovered that, when the individuals were high on LSD, different regions of their brains had a stronger link to each other, when compared with the placebo’s effect on the individuals. The more connected these brain regions were in these individuals, the higher their sense of ego dissolution was.

According to the researchers, the results of the study suggest that individuals on LSD can experience ego dissolution because these brain regions become heavily interconnected.

According to Tagliazucchi, ego dissolution does not automatically occur every time someone takes LSD. The experience of this phenomenon may depend on the dose of the drug they take. When ego dissolution happens, it doesn’t last longer than the other effects of LSD, which typically last about 10 hours.

According to Tagliazucchi, he is planning to investigate how other psychedelic drugs modify consciousness by using neuroimaging and other methods.