Archive for Ease and Disease

Alone in the cold

The 24-hour bug persisted for a lot longer than 24 hours, and all of a sudden things look a great deal bleaker than they did a couple of days ago.

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Snot what one aspires to

Tam has been suffering with some wretched disease this week, and I think it was worse than what I have, based on this observation:

About the middle of the afternoon yesterday, I became one of the world’s leading exporters of mucus. It’s tapered off greatly this morning and is no longer coming out in festive colors, so everything should be good and copacetic by nightfall, but that was really unpleasant.

You probably don’t want to spend any time wondering who might import the stuff.

It occurred to me that we really need some new drugs to replace the wimpy stuff they sell over the counter at Rite-Aid: the bloody dismembering of NyQuil is still fresh in my mind.

Or maybe we need some old drugs:

One Night Cough Syrup

I defy anyone to cough after a tablespoon of that.

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Sick as the nearest canine

About 8:30 this morning, it hit.

“It” may be a rhinovirus, or it may be something much worse. I’m not planning on something worse, mind you; but anything that keeps me awake at night is horrible by definition, and the longer it takes for me to drift off, the more likely I’ll pray for eternal surcease.

In one of God’s little jokes, I have an actual medical appointment scheduled for tomorrow. (I figured that CFI Care — not its real initials — would be jacking up the rates at the end of this month, and indeed they are: copays will rise up to 17 percent, and the annual deductible is now $5,000. I didn’t get the usual handout, but I suspect the base rate for this gold silver bronze pyrite policy is now up over $6,000 a year. It could be worse; and I expect it will be next year. And no, I qualify for no subsidies.)

Then again, if it actually kills me — well, something had to at some point.

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I remember this scheme

I spotted this on the back of Parade yesterday:

If your loved one is currently taking twice-a-day Namenda tablets, ask the doctor about transitioning to once-a-day Namenda XR.

Namenda (memantine) is recommended for, as Wikipedia says, “managing Alzheimer’s disease,” and by “managing” is meant slowing the clinical deterioration associated with the disease, since there is no actual cure.

Still, a once-a-day capsule would seem to have only marginal benefits over a twice-a-day tablet, but … Never mind. I might have known:

Forest Laboratories wants more people to use its once-daily version of Namenda. It is, after all, the formula launched just last year, the one that theoretically stays on patent till at least 2025. So, it’s planning a “forced switch.” Forest will discontinue its original Namenda pill in August, pushing current patients onto Namenda XR — and hoping they won’t bother to switch back when generics appear next April.

A third option, an oral solution, remains available for the moment.

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Meanwhile in Denmark, this would seem to be concrete evidence for some sort of malfeasance:

National authorities have shut down a company that produced food for nursing homes and hospitals in a cement mixer.

The Danish Food and Veterinary Administration (Fødevarestyrelsen) discovered that the food company Nordic Ingredients violated hygiene rules by producing gelled foods in a cement mixer. The food was delivered to public nursing homes and to hospital patients who have difficulty swallowing whole food.

Thereby confirming your worst fears about hospital food, no doubt. And furthermore:

A Food and Veterinary Administration official said that in addition to producing food in a cement mixer, the hygiene levels at the company’s production facility were abysmal.

“It wasn’t just a bit of mess from the most recent production, and we determined that the cleaning standards were completely inadequate,” Henriette Mynster told DR.

I suspect government procurement rules, and all that lowest-bidder jazz. It will happen here soon enough.

(Via Bayou Renaissance Man. If you don’t get the title, get this.)


From the “It could be worse” files

Vinny, via Tatyana, speculates on the impact of Ebola on the country in general and on New York City in particular:

Ebola outbreak creates havoc in our major cities, doctors and nurses flee for safety, and local population ends up tending for itself. This is what is now happening in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. Economic impact will be more substantial than the number of people actually sick with Ebola, and it will be a nightmare living in a major metropolitan area. Food supplies will run short and you can forget about going to the emergency room in case you break something, develop an asthma attack, or even have chest pains. If what you have is less likely to kill you than visiting an emergency room teeming with Ebola victims, then you best stay home. I think about 1000 victims in NYC will create such a scene. If you consider that the virus doubles its victims every 3 weeks and that we are now bringing about one new carrier each week to the U.S. (about ½ will go to NY JFK and Newark airports), we are anywhere from 30 to 12 weeks from such a hellish possibility if the virus continues to invade the human population at its current rate. Still this scenario remains limited to causing most of its damage in 2014 and 2015, with life returning to normal afterwards.

Ranking “best case” to “worst case” one to six, this is number three.

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This made me weepy

I can deal with cold, and I can deal with dark, but the combination of dark and cold wears on me after a while, and for “a while” read “two days at most.” It’s this damn brain chemistry, maybe:

Scientists say they have identified the underlying reason why some people are prone to the winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

People with Sad have an unhelpful way of controlling the “happy” brain signalling compound serotonin during winter months, brain scans reveal.

As the nights draw in, production of a transporter protein ramps up in Sad, lowering available serotonin.

Apparently this is proper British usage, to capitalize (sorry: “capitalise”) only the first letter of the abbreviation. But it certainly reinforces the idea of, um, Sadness.

Lead researcher, Dr Brenda Mc Mahon, said: “We believe that we have found the dial the brain turns when it has to adjust serotonin to the changing seasons.

“The serotonin transporter (SERT) carries serotonin back into the nerve cells where it is not active — so the higher the SERT activity, the lower the activity of serotonin. Sunlight keeps this setting naturally low, but when the nights grow longer during the autumn, the SERT levels increase, resulting in diminishing active serotonin levels.

“Many individuals are not really affected by Sad, and we have found that these people don’t have this increase in SERT activity, so their active serotonin levels remain high throughout the winter.”

Mc Mahon is part of the Neurobiology Research Unit at the University of Copenhagen.


Doctor’s ordure

First, the setup:

Let’s make no mistake: the current Ebola epidemic is a terrible humanitarian disaster in Africa. We should be doing everything we can to help alleviate the suffering on the ground there. As a parent, it’s hard to bear images of children orphaned and parents bereaved. As a physician, I would hop on a jet and lend my hand — if I wasn’t such an insufferable, pampered wuss.

Feel free to sing along with the punchline.


The thirteenth is due

Because look what happened to the twelfth:

Doctor Who with ebola?

To quote Doug Mataconis: “Doctor Who has Ebola? Now we’re really screwed.”

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Hurting less

Fillyjonk, in a pensive mood:

I vaguely remember from Great Books (that was 25-odd years ago now) that some Greek philosopher or other described pleasure as being the absence of pain, and one of the thoughts I had in the class (can’t remember if I brought it up now) is that so often in the modern world, we now define “pain” as the “absence of pleasure” — that is, if you’re not actively enjoying yourself, you consider it painful. (“Math is hard,” said Barbie). And a lot of people do seem to have forgotten that there’s a joy in good old hard work and that even stuff that isn’t fun at the time can teach you something.

That was Epicurus, who in contemporary times seems to have acquired a reputation for being something of a swinger, or at least advocating being something of a swinger. In fact, he did nothing of the kind; what Epicurus advocated was striving to rid ourselves of pain and suffering, which would perforce leave us in the pleasurable state of ataraxia, defined spiffily as “robust tranquility.” I could definitely go for some of that.

But, last night, as I got into bed, I thought, yeah, when you’ve been in pain for a while and that pain goes away, it IS pleasure. And it’s something to be grateful for, and I was.

As Johnny Mercer teaches us, we need to accentuate the positive. (Mercer, for his part, says he got it from Father Divine.)

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Perhaps they’re drugged

The old online prescription refill at Target was clunky in the extreme, but it worked most of the time. And then they decided to outsource it, to an operation called PDX, Inc. It’s still clunky, but now it doesn’t work at all: since it didn’t read any existing cookies, it defaulted to filling my order at a store in Pennsylvania — except that it refused to fill my order because it didn’t like any of the prescription numbers I keyed in. Twice.

What’s more, it has a CAPTCHA.

Whatever the opposite of “I wish them well” may be, that’s what I wish.

Addendum: I whined on Twitter about this, prompting Target HQ to ask me for an email report.

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Sentimental on my mind

Glen Campbell, now in the final stage of Alzheimer’s, will soon leave the stage entirely. He has left us one last song, with the ironic title “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”:

The melody is somber and contemplative, but the lyrics show Campbell’s ability to find irony in his disease. The result is a beautiful combination of sadness and joy, which ends much too quickly.

At least the man from Delight goes out on a somewhat-happy note.


On the edge of the Everdead Forest

All eyes are turned to Dallas, no thanks to some schmuck who’s been incubating Ebola, and Nightmare Nights, a My Little Pony convention coming up in the area, answers the question “Would it kill you to attend?”:

The patient was been placed in isolation — separate medical staff, separate water supply, and in-room destruction of all materials — at a hospital just over 30 miles from our convention venue, and remains there today. “Dallas” is a metropolitan area encompassing 9,286 square miles. It’s bigger than Rhode Island and Connecticut combined. Trust us, we are well away from this hospital.

The venue is actually in the town of Addison, at the far north end of Dallas County.

Further reassurance:

We are not altering our plans for Nightmare Nights. Nor has school been cancelled, nor has public transit been altered, nor have any area concerts or sporting events been rescheduled. We know news organizations like to get your attention by talking about epidemics — remember when SARS, bird flu, or swine flu were going to bring the country to a standstill? — but everything here is pretty much normal.

And sneaked into the bottom:

TL;DR: There is no Ebola “outbreak.” However, as the patient reported symptoms on September 26th, we will note that Nightmare Nights is exactly 28 Days Later.

Well played, gang.

(Via EqD. Warning: Picture of Ebola Pony.)


Random afflictions

I worked, if not extraordinarily hard, at least hard enough today to push this old body into putting up some resistance; just short of the nine-hour mark I felt like someone had decided to shove a meat thermometer into my shoulder. It didn’t last long — a couple of seconds — but it apparently triggered every conceivable source of pain I have, and a few I didn’t comprehend at all. I’d had this happen once before without side effects, so this event was decidedly more disturbing, and my heart rate picked up markedly, especially after walking around distributing stuff. For a moment I contemplated not actually driving home, lest several systems fail at once, something that’s not good at rest, and even less so at 65 mph.

Symptoms continued to be wildly variable until dinnertime. It wasn’t that I was hungry, exactly, but climbing up on the stool at the breakfast bar got me off my feet for not quite half an hour. Still, I’m a bit woozy, and I still have shoulder pain, though it’s in the other shoulder. I did try one of my more recent mantras: “Outlive Zeke Emanuel.” It helped a little, but not enough.

I expect I’ll be back at work before sunrise: these things never last long — except, of course, for the last one.

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Catheters to the sky

Few organizations can build, build, build like big hospitals, especially big “non-profit” hospitals. Jack Baruth has damned near financed one himself:

The hospital in Upper Arlington that handled my trauma case in 1988 handled my trauma case in 2014. It’s quintupled in size, the original tower where I entertained my visitors now an embarrassing old relic surrounded by monstrous, architecturally-complex structures with the sheen and swagger of Las Vegas casino hotels. The population it serves has remained more or less static since ’88, so why have the buildings multiplied? The same thing hasn’t happened to my local fast-food restaurants or auto-parts stores.

Part of it’s the aging and sickening of the Boomers, but most of it is simply the fact that healthcare costs and profits are soaring in this country at a rate typically reserved for college tuition, and for the same reason: there’s a disconnect between the people who receive the service and the people who pay for it. Healthcare is the new oil boom or gold rush, but the resource we’re mining is a resource called ourselves. There’s no limit to the amount of money you can make.

Unless, of course, you’re a doctor. Doctors and nurses aren’t clocking all this crazy cash. It’s going to massive billion-dollar corporations that provide medical supplies, devices, tests, and all the junk that surrounds you when you enter a hospital. Cotton swabs made in a Mexican factory for fractions of a cent and sold to you like they were solid gold. Drugs that cost pennies to produce and thousands of dollars to buy. Patented tests and procedures that you’ll demand because they offer you a one-percent chance of living longer at the cost of your entire retirement savings. Because what’s the balance sheet of your employer or your insurance provider or even your own family against the prospect of life or death?

Just don’t tell Zeke Emanuel how old you are.

(Semi-amusingly, someone edited Emanuel’s Wikipedia page yesterday to show him as having died yesterday. I’m pretty sure he’s not dead.)

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Who moved my infected cheese?

You know, if they’re going to eat it themselves, it’s no loss to anyone. But just in case:

Investigators in Liechtenstein are probing the theft of 1.3 tonnes of cheese that was set to be destroyed because it contained dangerous bacteria, according to a report from the Swiss news agency ATS.

The country’s food inspection office is concerned the bad cheese will be sold either directly or indirectly, posing a health risk to anyone who consumes it, ATS reported on Tuesday.

And this is seriously bad cheese:

The problem is the “Alp Sücka” cheese was found to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterium that causes listeriosis, a potentially deadly infection.

Word to all you sückahs in the Alps: steer clear of this Deadly Cheese.

(Via Consumerist.)

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The coldest place you can go

McMurdo Station? Baffin Bay? Nothing so remote. You want chills like you’ve literally never had before, your destination is on La Cienega Boulevard in L.A.:

There, a business called Cryohealthcare promises visitors a cure for inflammatory problems — everything from rheumatoid arthritis to musculoskeletal injuries and autoimmune disorders. The process, overseen by the handsome Germany-born Dr. Jonas Kuehne, costs $65 a treatment and involves stripping to one’s underwear (or naked if you’re a woman); donning a robe, knee-length socks, gloves and a surgical mask; and entering a chamber that resembles a time machine. Aptly so as you are hurled back to the Ice Age, your body engulfed in a terrifying cloud of vapor and the temperature plummeting to -220°F. (The lowest natural temperature ever recorded has been -128.5°F in Antarctica.) Kuehne says such low temperatures stimulate cells to produce proteins called cytokines that fight inflammation. When I emerged 90 seconds later, did I feel great? Maybe at first, but that might have been euphoria about still being alive. I then was invited to do it again, which I agreed to for some inexplicable reason. A few hours later I began to not feel well at all, and for several days the skin on my legs felt a little freezer-burned.

You want colder than that, you’ll have to leave California. Oh, and you’d better be already dead:

[T]he body of famed computer coder Hal Finney was flown to the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Ariz., shortly after he died Aug. 28 of ALS. That night, his fluids were replaced with a proprietary chemical solution called M-22. His body then was chilled to -320°F and placed in an aluminum pod suspended within a 450-liter tank filled with liquid nitrogen. There, Finney will remain in suspended animation, or biostasis, until he can be revived. (Full-body cryopreservation costs $200,000, but one can preserve one’s brain for a mere $80,000.) Exactly how or when that might be achieved is unclear, but according to the Alcor website, the key lies in nanotechnology, by which molecule-sized devices could “recover any preserved person in which the basic brain structures encoding memory and personality remain intact.”

I’m not sure whether I should scoff at any of this or not.

(Via Commonsense & Wonder.)

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Once burned, ice shy

The late Lou Gehrig, an eminently sensible man, would probably not have encouraged people to dump water on their heads for the sake of research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. But being an eminently sensible man, he also wouldn’t have attributed the phenomenon to Beelzebub:

A WorldNetDaily writer can’t fathom why anyone would willingly dump ice water on themselves, so she did some digging and has now concluded that the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a satanic ritual.

“I began to think about the IBC,” Selena Owens explains in the piece. “Whose idea was this? Why would people so easily agree to being drenched in icy water? Who participated and who didn’t? Why do people feel obligated to take the challenge if offered to them? What’s the purpose of calling out three other people to take the challenge?”

It gets sillier after that, believe it or not.

Says Lynn:

I don’t even know what to say about this, folks, except that it’s really, really effed up. Someone please go dump a bucket — no, a trash can — full of ice over Selena Owens’ head. Maybe the ritual will reboot her brain.

And since it’s Friday, here’s Rebecca Black on the receiving end:

To the guy who said she should have been wearing white: give it a rest, why doncha?

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More than just a weird trick

Actual subject line from yesterday’s mail: “This Simple Action Poisons Your Organs (On National TV)”.

Inevitably, there’s a questionable link, with this text: “Why Eating Salad Makes You Old.” I rather suspect that I’d be old even if I’d never had a salad in my life. (Last actual salad: last night.)

And the sender, it says, is “Reverse Disease.” Um, what about all that organ poisoning?

There are, say the experts, people who respond to these things. How? Surely they’re dead by now.

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Friends with Benadryl

You may have thought you were up for a visit and maybe even some late-night sexytime, but think again:

Over-the-counter antihistamines, especially diphendyramine (Benadryl) and chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton), may alleviate your allergies, but temporarily affect your love life. The solution here could be as simple as carefully timing when you take the drug. “Many of these drugs do not last 24 hours and certainly their side effects don’t,” says Allison Dering-Anderson, Pharm.D., a clinical assistant professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. “Antihistamines should be cleared in eight hours in younger and healthier patients.” Keep in mind that antihistamines are also found in many combination cough-and-cold medicines so read the label. You may be taking antihistamines and lowering your libido without knowing it.

I’d worry about this more, I think, if they’d paid more attention to their spearchucker spellchecker: it’s actually diphenhydramine. (Then again, “chlorpheniramine” is now the officially adopted US spelling for what the rest of the world — including, until about ten minutes ago, me — calls “chlorphenamine.”)

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Meet the (Chinese) beetles

Jack Baruth tells you the horrible story of Agrilus planipennis:

The Emerald Ash Borer is scheduled to kill eight billion trees in North America in the near future. As a country, we had no defense against it. The predators which hold the EAB under control in China haven’t made it into an iPhone crate yet. Every ash tree in this country and Canada will die. Eight billion trees. Eight billion, most of them mature. The Nature Conservatory says they will plant a billion trees by 2025. Well, for every tree you plant, the Chinese beetle will kill eight. We’re told that the rainforest is disappearing at a staggering rate. It’s something like two or three billion trees a year. In other words, this beetle is kicking the ass of the Global Corporate Rainforest Destroying Bush-Hitler Machine, all by itself.

And yet you’ll never hear about those eight billion trees outside of a special-interest magazine because it’s critical that we not pay too much attention to what we actually suffer as a country by sending all our manufacturing and applied science to a country full of people who, as a rule, view us as uncultured, depraved monkeys. It’s critical that the manufacturing keep leaving this country so the power and the influence shift to the politicians and the major blogs and the thought leaders in Silicon Valley. Once upon a time, the wealthiest county in the United States was Oakland County [Michigan], where the auto executives and the $100,000-a-year blue-collar overtime workers lived. Now it’s #61 on the list. Four of the five wealthiest counties in the nation now directly border Washington, D.C. You see how the power shifts when money stops coming from commerce and starts coming from quantitative easing.

But then, this isn’t necessarily about trees — or commerce:

When the trees crashed down I thought about some other things, some other people. You can love someone and have a relationship with them but the beetles can get in there, they can burrow, they can leave the bark untouched but the damage beneath is enough to kill. Then one day the bark falls off and you realize how long it’s been dead, how long you’ve been ignoring it, how long you’ve been hoping that spring would come and you’d see leaves, knowing in your heart that you would only see branches.

When I moved here I had twelve trees, a pretty fair number for a quarter of an acre. Now I have thirteen, but three of them are standing only because neither saw nor wind in adequate quantity has been provided, and, as Jack says, “Having trees cut down is more expensive than having them planted, by the way, the same way a divorce attorney is more expensive than a justice of the peace.” Yep.

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When sphygs fly

This may mean nothing to you, but I assure you it means something to me:

The Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8) has released new guidelines on the management of adult hypertension.

The authors formed nine recommendations which are discussed in detail along with the supporting evidence. Evidence was taken from randomized controlled trials, the gold standard for establishing efficacy and effectiveness. Some of the new major recommendations include:

1. In patients aged ≥ 60 years, initiate pharmacologic treatment in systolic BP ≥ 150mmHg or diastolic BP ≥ 90mmHg and treat to a goal systolic BP < 150mmHg and goal diastolic BP < 90mmHg. (Strong Recommendation–Grade A)

The other recommendations didn’t come so highly, um, recommended. No matter. This is the one that pertains to me, inasmuch as I am indeed aged ≥ 60 years.

This also supports my ongoing hypothesis to the effect that any human-health risk factor supposedly graven in stone will eventually be eroded away and replaced by something else. In this case, the goal has been increased somewhat because the most recent numbers suggest a greater risk with lower blood pressure:

Patients with SBP between 120–129mmHg had a 10% greater risk of renal disease or mortality vs. those with SBP between 130–139mmHg; those with SBP from 140–149mmHg had a 40% greater risk. The lowest risk was seen at 137mmHg and 71mmHg.

Of course, this too is subject to change.

(Via Daily Pundit.)

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I have no idea why this should be so, but evidently this is so:

Germany is the world’s leader in penis enlargements, with five times as many people in the country undergoing the procedure than anywhere else in the world…Figures released by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery showed Germany performed 2,786 of the 15,000 penis enlargements across the globe in 2013. The second highest country, Venezuela, performed 473.

Then again, the other half of the species, in their search for Teutonic firmness, ordered twenty times as many bewb jobs, and probably got 0.05 percent as much spam suggesting same.

Side note: Twelve Iranian men ordered wangoplasty, the lowest number in the Society’s tally. Write your own joke.

(Via Interested-Participant.)

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Marginally refillable

You’d think that in this putative era of Medical Marvels we could do better than this:

Got a letter from Walgreens, a form letter out of a computer, but an actual printed-on-paper, delivered-by-snail-mail letter the other day. It’s telling me that one of my prescriptions has expired, and the doctor hasn’t stepped up and authorized any more. All this requesting and authorizing is done with fax machines, so if the doc is going to authorize more drugs for me, he’s going to need the fax number. Well, where is it? It’s not in the letter, it’s not on their website, so I call, fight with the robo-cop answering machine, wade through an armload of protocol with the operator and finally get the fax number. Call the doctor’s office and they tell me they don’t need the fax number, all this prescription s*** is handled electronically now.

I am particularly concerned because I’m at a place about one step in back of this: everything going in and coming out on my behalf is fax, even if it’s that weird-looking electronic fax that’s sent as TIFF files or something, and I have about ten prescriptions to deal with every month.

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Withering staff

Inoperable prostate cancer killed Frank Zappa at 53. Did he get off easy, so to speak?

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The rest is cat videos

“It is estimated most human beings use only 10 percent of the brain’s capacity,” intones Morgan Freeman’s character, a neuroscientist in Luc Besson’s film Lucy. (Characters played by Morgan Freeman always intone. That’s why they hire him in the first place: Morgan Freeman intones better than anyone else.) “Imagine if we could access 100 percent.”

This is, says Christian Jarrett, author of Great Myths of the Brain (Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014), complete and utter balderdash:

Certainly there is no truth to the idea that we only use 10 percent of our neural matter. Modern brain scans show activity coursing through the entire organ, even when we’re resting. Minor brain damage can have devastating effects — not what you’d expect if we had 90 percent spare capacity. Also, consider the situation when neural tissue representing a limb is rendered redundant by the loss of that limb. Very quickly, neighbouring areas recruit that tissue into new functions, for example to represent other body regions. This shows how readily the brain utilises all available neural tissue.

On the other hand, I think you could make a good case that the act of voting uses only 10 percent of the brain’s capacity, based simply upon the results of recent elections.

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A pittance for you, serf

You may remember this boilerplate, copied from a letter I received from CFI Care (not its real initials) two years ago:

The Affordable Care Act requires health insurers in the individual and small group market to spend at least 80 percent of the premiums they receive on health care services and activities to improve health care quality (in the large group market, this amount is 85 percent). This is referred to at the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) rule or the 80/20 rule. If a health insurer does not spend at least 80 percent of the premiums it receives on health care services and activities to improve health care quality, the insurer must rebate the difference.

I didn’t get anything rebated to me that year, but Brian J. did, and he got some this year, too:

Yeah, I got my $36 check with a letter mandated by law to remind me that Obama’s got my back.

Strangely, the letter from my insurer that said my health insurance was going up $200 a month did not mention the ACA.

I’m sure that’s an oversight.

But of course.

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Turd-world problems

Remember when advertising for constipation remedies was restrained, even vague? Well, forget that crap:

Ad for Dulcolax

Copyranter explains where this came from:

Above is a new ad just pushed out the PR poop chute this week by McCann China. Dulcolax is one of the world’s leading laxative brands, made by $15 billion German pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim.

The anthropomorphized “Shits” here are imprisoned in your anus, as you can see. The Shits have eyes. A couple of the Shits have boobs. Child Shits are present. One of the Shits, the one marking the days on the “prison” wall has been up your ass a long time. If you’ve ever had a colonic, you know this is accurate. Dulcolax will not save him.

And Copyranter has a lot more where that came from, so to speak.

Now I’m recalling George Carlin’s “Shoot”:

No one ever uses the word ‘shit’ really literally, y’know? … They have other words for that: doo-doo, ca-ca, poo-poo, and good old Number Two.

I suspect this assessment is dead in the water, and not the cleanest water either.

(Via Nancy Friedman.)

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No, the other glove

I don’t know about the rest of you, but something like this would definitely affect my singing voice, at least temporarily:

Last Friday … Vice President and General Manager of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Andy Milovich accepted a challenge to receive an in-game prostate exam while singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. The catch? Fierce Fallon’s Facebook Page had to reach 10,000 “Likes” by Thursday at 12:00 PM EST. Supports quickly jumped onboard and blew past the 10K goal shortly after 4:00 PM on Monday afternoon. Milovich is now set to receive the exam during [tonight’s] Prostate Cancer Awareness Night. The exam will be administered by Dr. Glenn Gangi of Atlantic Urology Specialists in Conway, SC.

[The] timeline of events will include Milovich on-air with Pelicans Radio Broadcaster Nathan Barnett before and after the exam as well as live video and radio broadcast of Milovich during the exam. The exam and the rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” will be broadcast live during the Pelicans play-by-play broadcast of the game.

Fierce Fallon, nine years old, does not have prostate cancer. (She has brain cancer, which I am inclined to think is worse; she’s currently undergoing chemotherapy.) Ganging up on cancer of any variety, I suggest, has a strong, maybe even visceral, appeal. Still, I’m not sure I’d want to see this on television.

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Of course you can eat that

One of a series of Public Lecture Podcasts from the University of Bath is titled “Say it with poison”:

In this lecture, Mr Russell Bowes, a freelance garden historian, will be sharing mysterious tales of how people have died in the garden, and how you can protect yourself against herbaceous murderers.

Of all things veddy, veddy British, this sounds like one of the veddiest.

(Via Finestkind Clinic and fish market.)

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