health

‘Grace Jones came by in her macho outfit with a big raving beauty Swedish guy, like 6′6″. He had such a weak handshake, really wimpy.’ –Andy Warhol

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A survey was performed to determine the frequency of unrecognized repetitive licking of fingers while reviewing hospital charts by various healthcare professionals who, by this habit, may be putting themselves at risk of acquiring a nosocomial infection. Nine of 14 charts demonstrated the presence of Staphylococci aureus, cultures obtained from three of nine charts grew methicillin-resistant S. aureus, and six grew methicillin-susceptible S. aureus. Of the 50 healthcare professionals surveyed, five (10%) admitted to habitual repetitive licking of fingers while reviewing charts. In addition, 30 (60%) of those surveyed had observed other professionals doing so. Forty-seven (94%) acknowledged that they did not routinely wash their hands after reviewing the charts, potentially placing themselves at risk of acquiring a nosocomial infection. As an immediate consequence of this study, staff members have been encouraged to wash their hands before and after reviewing a patient’s chart.

{ American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation }

photo { Lisa Taylor photographed by Francesco Scavullo, Vogue, January 1975 }

Tee the tootal of the fluid hang the twoddle of the fuddled, O!

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Of all the criticisms aimed at fracking, charges that it might increase the incidence of STDs – specifically gonorrhea – are seldom heard.

Yet there might be a link – according to a new research paper published in the Journal of Public Health Policy. […]

We find that fracking activity is associated with a 20 per cent increase in gonorrhea.

{ Improbable | Continue reading }

It was put in the newses what he did, nicies and priers, the King fierceas Humphrey, with illysus distilling, exploits and all

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The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first digital pill for the US which tracks if patients have taken their medication. The pill called Abilify MyCite, is fitted with a tiny ingestible sensor that communicates with a patch worn by the patient — the patch then transmits medication data to a smartphone app which the patient can voluntarily upload to a database for their doctor and other authorized persons to see. Abilify is a drug that treats schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and is an add-on treatment for depression.

{ The Verge | Continue reading }

photo { Bruce Davidson, Subway platform in Brooklyn, 1980 }

zzz.— Supposed to represent the sound of snoring. A snoring sound, implying that somebody is asleep.

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The common assumption that population sleep duration has declined in the past few decades has not been supported by recent reviews, which have been limited to self-reported data. The aim of this review was to assess whether there has been a reduction in objectively recorded sleep duration over the last 50+ years. […]

The results indicate relative stability of objectively-recorded sleep durations in healthy sleepers assessed over the last half-century. Similar results were found across all age groups, in both men and women. […] These data are consistent with recent comprehensive reviews that found no consistent or compelling evidence of significant decrements in self-reported sleep duration and/or prevalence of short sleep over a similar range of years. Together, these data cast doubt on the notion of a modern epidemic of insufficient sleep. […]

The cliche of an ever-expanding 24/7 society is not well-supported by empirical evidence, at least not over the past 50 y. For example, evidence suggests that the prevalence of shift-work has remained stable at about 15-20% over this interval of years. Such data might seem counterintuitive in light of the increased number of 24-h services and businesses. However, while many of these businesses (e.g., restaurants and convenience stores) can operate all-night with just a few employees, over the past half-century there has been a dramatic shutdown of factories which once employed thousands of shift-workers. Moreover, over the past 10-20 y, protective regulations and practices which limit shift-work and sleep deprivation and/or better accommodate individual’s preferences (e.g., flex time and telecommuting), have been implemented for various occupations, including medical residents, truck drivers, and transportation workers.

It is a widely repeated hyperbole that never before in human history have we faced such challenges to our sleep. It has been hypothesized that industrialization, urbanization, and technological advances have caused us to ignore or override our natural tendency to sleep more, and we do so at great costs to our health and quality of life. […] The light bulb has been blamed for sleep loss. However, recent anthropologic studies of people in societies with little or no electricity have failed to indicate that these people sleep more than people in industrialized societies. […]

The notion of a recent epidemic of insufficient sleep, and speculation that this is a primary contributor to modern epidemics of obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, etc., rests largely on the question of whether sleep duration has declined in the last few decades. Consistent with recent reviews of subjective data, this review does not support this notion, at least not in healthy sleepers. […]

Reasons for persistent assumptions about a temporal decline in societal sleep duration could include a larger number of people assessed and diagnosed with sleep disorders with the emergence of sleep medicine; greater knowledge about sleep and the risks of inadequate sleep; increased prevalence of depression; misperceptions about population norms; and persistent claims in the popular and scientific literature regarding a so-called modern epidemic of insufficient sleep.

{ Sleep Medicine Reviews | PDF }

photo { Aug. 5, 1962. Police officer points to an assortment of prescription bottles on the bedside table in Marilyn Monroe’s bedroom in Los Angeles, where she was found dead }

Qu’est-ce qui pose problème dans la vie? Tout pose problème dans la vie.

22.jpgNew scientific test finds up to 75 litres of urine in public pools. Hot tubs were found to have far higher urine levels. One hotel Jacuzzi had more than three times the concentration of sweetener than in the worst swimming pool

I’ve studied all the body’s fluids and used each in diagnosing disease, and urine stands out in the wealth of information it grants about a patient’s condition

Distilled urine from female cattle currently fetches at least as much as milk in India

art { Andy Warhol, Oxidation Painting, 1978 | copper metallic pigment and urine on canvas }

The world’s current hottest pepper, the Carolina Reaper

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Our objective was to analyze the association between consumption of hot red chili peppers and mortality. […] The frequency of hot red chili pepper consumption was measured in 16,179 participants at least 18 years of age. […]

Consumption of hot red chili peppers was associated with a 13% reduction in the instantaneous hazard of death. Similar, but statistically nonsignificant trends were seen for deaths from vascular disease, but not from other causes. In this large population-based prospective study, the consumption of hot red chili pepper was associated with reduced mortality.

{ PLOS | Continue reading }

photo { Stephen Shore, Albuquerque, New Mexico, June 1972 }

No one speaks English, and everything’s broken


As men are generally more short-term oriented in their sexuality than women, and given that cigarette and alcohol use are still considered masculine behaviors, we explored if female smoking and drinking can function as a short-term mating strategy. […]

The experiment showed that young men perceive women who use cigarettes and alcohol as being more sexually unrestricted. Furthermore, tobacco and (especially) alcohol use brought some short-term attractiveness benefits to women. In short-term mating contexts, drinking enhanced women’s attractiveness, whereas occasional smoking was found equally desirable as not smoking. However, in long-term mating contexts, frequent drinking and all smoking behavior harmed women’s desirability.

{ Evolutionary Psychology | Continue reading }

art { Edvard Munch, Girls on the Bridge, 1902 }

Hey, I’m married to a banker. You shouldn’t generalize. It’s a mere 99% that give the rest a bad name.

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The first column shows that the sun setting one hour later within a location reduces nighttime sleep by roughly 20 minutes per week. […] The second column shows that daily sunset time also affects earnings in a location. A sunset time one hour later reduces earnings by a significant 0.5%, on average.

Our analysis demonstrates that workers experiencing an earlier sunset get more sleep. […] In the short run the additional sleep largely comes at the expense of leisure, while in the long run it comes at the expense of both work and leisure. Insofar as these changes in other time uses impact worker productivity, our instrumental variables estimate of the effect of sleep on wages will also contain those effects. […]

We show that increasing short-run weekly average sleep in a location by one hour increases worker wages by 1%. Increasing long-run weekly average sleep in a location by one hour increases wages by 4.5%.

{ Time Use and the Labor Market: The Wage Returns to Sleep | PDF }

photo { Marton Perlaki }

‘History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.’ –Churchill

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wherever you go, here you are

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Some philosophers and physicians have argued that alcoholic patients, who are responsible for their liver failure by virtue of alcoholism, ought to be given lower priority for a transplant when donated livers are being allocated to patients in need of a liver transplant.

The primary argument for this proposal, known as the Responsibility Argument, is based on the more general idea that patients who require scarce medical resources should be given lower priority for those resources when they are responsible for needing them and when they are competing with patients who need the same resources through no fault of their own.

Since alcoholic patients are responsible for needing a new liver and are in direct competition with other patients who need a new liver through no fault of their own, it follows that alcoholic patients ought to be given lower priority for a transplant.

In this article, I argue against the Responsibility Argument by suggesting that in order for it to avoid the force of plausible counter examples, it must be revised to say that patients who are responsible for needing a scarce medical resource due to engaging in behavior that is not socially valuable ought to be given lower priority. I’ll then argue that allocating organs according to social value is inconsistent or in tension with liberal neutrality on the good life. Thus, if one is committed to liberal neutrality, one ought to reject the Responsibility Argument.

{ Bioethics }

Do you know she was calling bakvandets sals from all around, nyumba noo

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Two hedge fund “quants” have come up with an algorithm that diagnoses heart disease from MRI images, beating nearly 1,000 other teams in one of the most ambitious competitions in artificial intelligence.

{ Financial Times | Continue reading }

Qi Liu and Tencia Lee, hedge fund analysts and self-described “quants,” didn’t know each other before they won the competition, beating out more than 1,390 algorithms. They met each other in a forum on the Kaggle site, where the competition was hosted over a three-month period.

{ WSJ | Continue reading }

We are invited to imagine the return of all events

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With traditional birth control, a woman takes a hormone pill for 21 days to stop her cycle. Then she takes a sugar pill for a week, so she can have what looks like a period.

But Micks says, physiologically this isn’t a real period at all. And it isn’t necessary. “There’s absolutely no medical need to have a period when you’re on contraception,” she says.

So why have women been having all these “fake” periods for decades? “It’s actually a historical thing,” she says.

One of the doctors who helped invent the pill was Catholic. He thought the pope might accept the pill if it looked like women were having periods.

{ NPR | Continue reading }