Archive for illness

Oil spills send fish hearts into cardiac arrest

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SickFishw398h239

Who knew fish could have heart troubles? Then again, they're living beings with beating hearts. It's just that it never occurred to me to think about the little (and big) scaly guys in quite those terms. I should have, it's not like I never write about BP, Big Oil, and pollution, right? P.S. At this point, those words are all synonymous.

And they're also lethal.

In my morning Los Angeles Times, I came across a story about fish going into cardiac arrest because of the effects of the BP disaster... a story hidden on page A12. Of course, poisoning our waters is not only a health issue, it's also an economic one, and the two issues merge into one big fat mess.

Take it away, L.A. Times:

In studying the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on bluefin tuna spawning in the Gulf of Mexico, the research team discovered that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, block “signaling pathways” that allow potassium and calcium ions to flow in and out of cardiac cell membranes and sustain normal heart rates. [...]

Their study also suggests that PAH cardiotoxicity was potentially a common form of injury among a broad range of species in the vicinity of the oil spilled into one of the most productive ocean ecosystems in the world.

Previously, cancer was the concern when it came to the toxicity of PAH. Now this. By the way, PAHs are found in coal tar (see how "clean" coal is?), air pollution, urban runoff, and creosote:

Creosote is the portion of chemical products obtained by the distillation of a tar that remains heavier than water, notably useful for its anti-septic and preservative properties.[1] It is produced in some quantities from the burning of wood and coal in blast furnaces and fireplaces; commonly found inside chimney flues when the wood or coal burns incompletely, producing soot and tarry smoke, and is the compound responsible for the preservation and the flavor of meat in the process of smoking. ... The two main types in industrial production are wood-tar creosote and coal-tar creosote. The coal-tar variety, having stronger and more toxic properties..

Study leader Barbara Block is a professor of marine sciences at Stanford. Here's what she had to say:

This raises the possibility that exposure to environmental PAHs in many animals -- including humans -- could lead to cardiac arrhythmias and bradycardia, or slowing of the heart."

Now about that dirty, filthy, disaster-in-waiting, Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline that affects more people than it does fish...

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GOP'er Signs Bill Then Calls It A Turd

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turd

Hokay... now let's do a quick catch up, then boil it all down. But first, I want to go on record as saying I'm not really into name calling, it brings out the bullying in people. But when they name call themselves, then I don't have as much of a problem. Add to that a Republican name-calling his own actions and behavior as 'sh*t,' and though it's not quite champagne, I do get a kick out of it.

via HUFFPO:

A New Hampshire Republican seems to be feeling regret after backing a bill to expand the use of mental health courts, lamenting on Facebook that his "name is attached to this turd."

According William Tucker, writer for the blog miscellany: blue, Rep. Kyle Tasker (R-Nottingham) is one of the sponsors of HB 1442, which would allow circuit and superior courts to establish mental health courts. Those courts could lead to treatment for mentally ill, nonviolent offenders rather than incarceration.

Now this house bill in N.H. that Tasker put his name onto sounds like a very fair and compassionate action. After all, mental illness is just that, an illness. It's involuntary and those afflicted don't have the same faculties or abilities to assess and analyze their actions the same was as "sane" folks.

So what's wrong with this bill and Tasker putting his name on it? Logic for one:

But on a Facebook post from Feb. 2 and 3, Tasker commented that "[t]he idea that being crazy is a shield against the full force of the justice system is laughable."

"Crazy people need to face consequences equal or greater than everyone else," Tasker wrote.

"The idea that being crazy is a shield against the full force of the justice system is laughable," he continued. "Texas doesn’t have any problem executing the mentally ill."

"Damn it this is why you need the full language before you sign off on bills like this...now my name is attached to this turd," Tasker said in a separate comment.

A screen grab of his Facebook entry:

KYLE-TASKER-570

So crazy people (Tasker's term, not mine) need equal or GREATER punishment than everyone else? Are you crapping me? One of the great things about our system of justice, flawed as it may be, is that we distinguish between limited or impaired capacity of perpetrators of crimes. Judges and juries must know whether the accused is capable of understanding that they are breaking the law.

Take children for instance. We alter justice for them because of their age and ability to understand right from wrong. Take pornography. If the participants are 18 or older, it's determined they have the ability to understand the consequences of their actions and it's legal. If they are under that age, it's a felony for anyone to have possession of this content.

Now move onto murder even in adults. If a person is not capable of knowing right from wrong, they're not generally punished the same way as a non-crazy person. A defense available is diminished capacities or temporary insanity.  (Personally I think most people who commit murder are temporarily insane but that's another story).

So what's Tasker thinking here? It's certainly outside the norms of jurisprudence. He wants to heap additional burdens on the impaired?

Wait -- he does cite precedent: Texas. They execute the mentally challenged. Caution to Rep. Tasker -- don't visit Texas. You  might get executed because you won't have your diminished mental capacities defense taken into consideration.

Maybe Tasker is a turd. But because of his own words, I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he's one of the crazy people who deserve special consideration. He's seemingly afflicted with diminished capacities. So his self-proclaimed guilt for backing this bill will be taken into consideration. But this court mandates that he seek and receive mental health care/treatment until such time as he proves to the court that he's capable of sane decision making. Until then, Mr. Tasker, you will , just like your reference to this bill, be referred to as a turd. Smile. You've earned it.

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Blog Grounded This A.M.

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I'm having serious problems. Sorry.

ADDED, Laffy Note: Paddy's been under the weather and won't be around for a day or two, I'm guessing. David has a new job (!!), but has submitted a couple of posts that I'll put up later. I'm off to the doctor, but will try to post when I get back. We apologize for the slow day(s).

sorry

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The Wait Can Be Worth It, Certainly The Donation Can Be Life-Saving

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organ transplants

Two years ago wasn't such a good year for me.The show I was writing and producing got cancelled, my oldest child got a wonderful job and moved out and oh, one other thing -- I was told that I had fatty liver disease (called nonalcoholic steatohepatisis). The projected outcome was death. So I was put on a liver transplant list while being sized for a proper fitting toe-tag. But being the newest addition to the list, and with a chance to last a year at the most, my call number was way down --or as they say, you can't even hear the band from back here. A population of donors the size of Phoenix would have to all die and donate their healthy organs for me to survive. Even with John McCain and Sheriff Joe Arpaio running things in that area, there wasn't much chance of that.

In the meantime, my doctors didn't give up. I was submitted for and got accepted into a test group, half of us given a placebo and the other half given an experimental medication. We didn't know who was in which group, but there was some guarded hope. But the waiting was "killing" us... in at least half the cases, literally.

But somehow I adjusted -- I say adjusted guardedly because I didn't tell my family so I was kind of living a lie. I didn't want to worry them but they eventually found out as my health deteriorated and I was hospitalized. The ingrown toenail excuse could only run so long.

I waited and awaited, and at best I seemed to stay the same, then I would check the donation list and still find my name inching up the list, but I was still at least a Hollywood sized population away.

Fortunately for me, last year was a great year. I wasn't on the placebo list -- but on the actual experimental medication list -- and the concoction reversed much of my liver issues. I ultimately improved to the point I was no longer on the list but on the mend. Today I feel great.

But I was one of the lucky ones. And not everyone is so fortunate. One of the first things I did was fill out an organ donor card. Hell, if I was saved from this sod box ending, why shouldn't I give the life of sight, or hearing, or a heart, or kidneys or something else to those who're going through what I went through? If you think waiting for your drive-through window food order is stressful, try waiting to live.

If it's against your religion to make an organ donation, I understand. But if you're just lazy, not so much. Take the two seconds to check off the organ donation box on your next driver's license application. AND MAKE SURE YOU LET YOUR FAMILY KNOW. You can't imagine the miracle gift you can provide for those you leave behind. You have  no idea what that waiting is like and hopefully never will.

Here's a little video to put into pictures what those who are waiting go through. You won't feel a thing, but you'll know you've done something great. And it won't cost you anything you're going to have any use for, anyway.

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Video Mid Day Distraction- Does Being Cold Make You Sick?

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If so, I may be mortally ill. Via.

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You Say Tomato And I Say 'You're Stupid'

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tomato tomahto

Tomato, tomahto, potato, potahto, let's call the whole thing off. Thank you Gershwin brothers. Great song and so appropriate for this little expose.

Well, when we're talking about the Affordable Care Act, we're not going to call anything off. We'll tweek, fix, expand and provide coverage to all, but it's not now nor will it in the future be going away. And to borrow from another Gershwin classic, "our ACA's here to stay."

It's with nothing short of amazement that I've read the recent outrageous claims the Republican party are making about the ACA law. First they didn't like it despite it being their own plan. They they voted against it 45 or so times. After that they shut the government down over it. They followed that up with criticism and obstruction on the faulty rollout -- like none of their plans (like they've had any) have never faced a rocky start. Okay, give them this one -- the rollout was a disaster -- but the rollout wasn't the law. It was the delivery service.

That argument about the rollout is like blaming UPS when a package you were expecting didn't arrive or came damaged or late. It wasn't the fault of the contents of the package. It was the delivery service. Who you hired for the delivery service may have been a mistake, but your product didn't change. It was still as strong as when it was shipped.

After figuring that out once the website started running relatively well, the GOP nay-sayers needed another argument. So this one became, Obamacare is part of the war on women.

Oh yes, the pot calling the kettle black. The misogynist party went to some genius Republican strategist to concoct this one. Fight fire with fire, so to speak. Only the Democrats have flame throwers to the GOP's flicking their bic in this argument.

Here's the GOP's new take on the Democratic ACA law as voiced by Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), a nurse who serves as the chairwoman of the Republican Women’s Policy Committee. (Somewhat surprising that the GOP didn't pick a male nurse, so let's give them points for trying with dear, sweet but used, Renee.)

HUFFPO:

“If you want to talk about a ‘war on women,’ look no further than this healthcare law,” Ellmers countered in the weekly address. “After all, it’s often women who make the healthcare decisions for our families.  We put a lot of time and thought into these choices and how they’ll affect our budgets. So by canceling your insurance – despite a promise to let you keep your plan – the Obama administration is essentially saying it knows what’s best for you and your family.”

Let that digest a moment. Okay, that's long enough. No reason to wallow in the stupidity of those remarks very long.

This inanity drew a rather pointed and fact-based response from Ashley Etienne, Nancy Pelosi's spokesperson. Nancy undoubtedly was too dumbfounded to even utter a reply.

"This pathetic attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act is a profound insult to the intelligence of women across this country," she said.

"Under the Affordable Care Act insurance companies cannot charge women more than men for health insurance coverage, and hundreds of thousands of women are now enjoying access to preventive care, like breast and cervical screenings. The question before House Republicans is why they're trying so desperately to take these benefits away from women?," she continued.

There you have it. The GOP leaves no stone unturned, even if it's a rock that rolls back over and crushes them. The fact that women are covered without the stigma or expanded expense of being childbearing and therefore falling under the scrutiny of having a preexisting condition hasn't registered with GOP numbnut Renee Ellmers. Perhaps she forgot everything she learned in nursing school. I guess we should be glad she's in congress. They don't do anything there and in a hospital, who knows what harm a fool like herself could be doing to others.

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It's A Bird. It's A Plane. It's Instacurity And It's An Epidemic

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people on cellphones 2

Instacurity. By the time you look it up, it'll probably be too late. It's by far, the fastest growing disease in the states, hell, in the world. By the time you finish this post, you or someone you know will come down with it.

Instacurity's not fatal, but it is debilitating. It's also contagious as the flu. It'll catch up with you before you ever realize you're becoming infected. Face it, it's more rampant than "the walkers" stalking the survivors surrounding the Walking Dead compound.

Mastros

Yesterday I had a business dinner at a well known Beverly Hills eatery. I was fine when I arrived. Actually feeling quite buoyant, looking forward to this book interview. Aware of my surroundings and knowing that "the illness" strikes across all socio-economic lines, I was vigilant. I kept my attention scanning the room for possible carriers. And sadly, even before my meeting showed up, I realized I couldn't go through with it. The infected far outnumbered the healthy. I was right smack in the middle of ground zero. I had to escape to have any chance of avoiding this affliction.I put down my water glass, stowed my linen napkin, and darted for the door.

busy restaurant

Before I could reach the exit, I found myself face to face with the man I was there to be interviewed by. It was bad enough that he was tweeting on his cellphone and bumped into me, but it made it impossible,when he finally looked up and said, "Hey, it's you. Good timing. I just gotta finish this. A friend of mine just got a flat tire." I was stuck. I was caught. I had no escape.

At the table we exchanged pleasantries when suddenly his phone vibrated and he apologized,"Oh, I hope you don't mind. I just gotta take this. She misplaced one of her nuts" His fingers danced across his iPhone screen before I could answer, but I was thinking I knew where the missing nut could be found.

Just as he looked up to me, my cellphone rang. I didn't answer it, but noticed on the screen, I had five tweets. What could I do? The interviewer shrugged and told me to go check 'em out.

I clicked on to see who they were from. And before I could read the third one, I realized... I had it. I was infected. I had the disease. I had instacurity.

If you want to know more, if you want to see if you have it, and if you want to educated yourself or try to inoculate yourself, watch this. All I can say is, good luck.

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