Monthly Archives: July 2012
Let’s say you eat a hamburger. Nothing too unusual about that, right? Now imagine you’re eating that same hamburger in the pitch-black dark, and it’s laced with a strange fruit that has fundamentally altered the taste of the meat — so much so that you’re beginning to wonder whether this hamburger is really a hamburger at all. Would that creep you out? Could you remain seated at the table-in-the-dark to finish the rest of your burger, or would you run out of the room screaming?
See? Food consumption can in fact be quite adrenaline pumping, given the right circumstances. One way to ratchet up the excitement is to eat in a strange place: in a cave, underwater, on a Ferris wheel or even in a building made of ice (yes, you can find restaurants in these spots). In fact, there are even eateries where you can experience the force of a simulated 7.8 magnitude earthquake!
The other way to create dining adventure is to eat something you don’t normally eat and that most people you know don’t normally eat either (or even consider edible). Bizarre-to-you local fare can be found in places all over the world, from rattlesnake meat in Texas to pig’s blood cake in Taiwan. Just remember the saying: Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!
Having Surgery to Correct Cataracts May Protect Against Hip Fractures in Older People
July 31, 2012 — Helping older people see more clearly may help to lower their risk for falls and potentially disabling hip fractures.
A new study shows having surgery to correct cataracts may reduce the risk of hip fractures among elderly people by up to 23%.
Falls and the resulting bone fractures are a major cause of disability and death among the elderly. Researchers say fall-related injuries cost the U.S. more than $ 10 billion in health care costs in 2000.
The results suggest cataract surgery may be a cost-effective way to reduce the risk of falls and hip fractures among older adults.
“Cataract surgery has already been demonstrated to be a cost-effective intervention for visual improvement,” researcher Victoria Tseng, MD, of Brown University, and colleagues write in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “The results in this study suggest the need for further investigation of the additional potential benefit of cataract surgery as a cost-effective intervention to decrease the incidence of fractures in the elderly.”
Researchers say vision impairment is a known risk factor for falls, especially among the elderly.
But few studies have looked at the effect of cataract surgery on the risk of falls and hip fractures among visually impaired older adults.
Cataracts are a clouding of the lens in the eye, which blurs the vision. Most cataracts are related to aging, and more than half of all Americans develop cataracts by age 80.
Cataract surgery corrects the condition by replacing the clouded lens with a clear artificial one.
In the study, researchers looked at the risk of hip fracture within one year, with or without cataract surgery, among more than 1 million people on Medicare aged 65 and older who were diagnosed with cataract between 2002 and 2009.
Of these, more than a third (36.9%) had cataract surgery during the study period.
Overall, 1.3% or 13,976 people had a hip fracture during the study.
Although this type of study cannot prove cause and effect, the association between the surgery and hip fracture was significant. Researchers found people who had cataract surgery had a 16% lower risk of hip fracture one year after the procedure.
“In patients with severe cataract, the association between cataract surgery and lower odds of hip fracture was even stronger, with a 23% reduction in the adjusted odds of hip fracture in the cataract surgery group compared with the cataract diagnosis group,” the researchers write.
TUESDAY July 31, 2012 — The recent increase in the Illinois cigarette tax is an example of how making smoking more expensive can convince some people it’s time to quit.
For example, being a smoker in Chicago can easily cost $ 300 a month, which is more than twice as expensive as a monthly prescription of medications to help a person quit smoking.
But even when the cost of smoking convinces a person to quit, it can be hard to kick the habit, said Dr. Phillip McAndrew, an internal medicine physician and occupational health expert at Loyola University Health System.
“Nicotine really is that addictive. It’s a hard battle, but every one that we win, including increasing the cost of cigarettes through taxes, brings individual smokers to the tipping point where the pain of smoking overcomes the joys of nicotine and they quit,” McAndrew noted. “The tipping point could be a life-altering health experience, but often it’s the impact on the pocketbook that makes people really consider quitting,” he explained in a Loyola news release.
“To quit you need the time and teamwork approach. Don’t expect to do it overnight and you need a team of support around you to cheer you on. That team captain should be your physician,” McAndrew said.
“Nicotine is too strong an opponent for someone to go it alone. You need that team to help keep you on track when everything inside of you wants to go back,” he advised.
McAndrew offered the following tips to help people quit smoking:
- Assemble a support team that includes your family, doctor, friends and co-workers.
- Set a specific date to quit. Make it two to four weeks away so that you have time to prepare. When quit day arrives, make sure to celebrate it.
- Make preparations to limit the temptation of nicotine while you try to quit. Talk to your doctor about medications and other methods to help you; buy gum, carrot sticks or other snacks to keep your mouth busy; get rid of all cigarettes, matches, lighters and ashtrays from your home, office, car and other locations where you smoke; clean your clothes, home and car so they don’t smell like smoke; program your phone with resources such as tobacco “quit lines.”
- Find ways to cope with stress and boredom, which can trigger a return to smoking.
- Keep doing enjoyable things you used to connect with smoking, such as taking a break or going out with friends. That will help you break the mental link between these pleasant activities and smoking.
The American Cancer Society offers a guide to quitting smoking.
Posted: July 2012
En América Latina, los lideres consideran políticas mas permisivas como una manera de luchar contra la proliferación de violencia relacionada al tráfico drogas.
NYT > Marijuana and Medical Marijuana
BERLIN (Reuters) – Visitors to Berlin’s main modern art museum this summer should take care not to step on piles of horse manure, placed as a reminder of art that was stolen, destroyed or went missing under Nazi rule.
With his installation at the New National Gallery of four piles of artificial dung, painted blue, Austrian artist Martin Gostner has said he is paying tribute to Franz Marc’s painting “The Tower of Blue Horses”.
The Nazis seized Marc’s seminal expressionist work in 1937, branding it “un-German” and “degenerate”. To this day it is not known whether the work was destroyed or hidden away, but it has never been found.
Each of the piles of blue manure corresponds to one of the horses in the lost painting, and is intended to make it seem as though the horses were alive and trotting around the museum.
“What would happen if the painting still lived, if there were a sign of it, and the horses were to come by here?” said Dieter Scholz, the gallery’s curator.
Gostner’s installation also recalls a hoard of other modernist masterpieces that the Nazis destroyed or confiscated in an attempt to purge Germany of art they considered Jewish or Bolshevik influenced. The dung heaps are a tacit reminder that these works may still be retrieved.
The New National Gallery’s permanent collection includes work from many artists, including Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, who were labeled “degenerate” by the Nazis.
Some visitors milling around Gostner’s installation, entitled “The Oriel of the Blue Horses,” were bewildered.
“It’s exotic and foreign to me,” said Jota, a 57-year-old clerk who declined to give her surname.
Confiscated Nazi art periodically has reappeared in the decades since World War Two. In 2010, 11 “degenerate” sculptures were recovered during construction of an underground rail line in Berlin.
“Perhaps other works are still hidden away out there,” said Scholz. “Many could still come to light.”
(Reporting By Samuel Frizell, editing by Gareth Jones and Michael Roddy)
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