Tag Archives: Normal
In the uncertain weeks following the state’s vote to legalize small amounts of marijuana, how authorities handle minor drug cases depends less on the law than on location.
NYT > Marijuana and Medical Marijuana
Study Suggests Need to Reconsider What’s Healthy
Researchers in Canberra report a link between the shrinkage of two brain regions, the hippocampus and the amygdala, and normal blood sugar levels.
The hippocampus and amygdala are involved in memory, among other things, and researcher Nicolas Cherbuin, PhD, says shrinkage in these areas could worsen memory.
“It has been generally assumed that blood glucose in the normal range is not a risk factor for brain health in non-diabetics,” Cherbuin says. “If the present results are replicated in other studies the definition of normal fasting blood glucose levels and of diabetes may need to be re-evaluated.”
Results Are ‘Robust’
For the study, Cherbuin, a neuroscientist at Australian National University in Canberra, and his colleagues studied 249 people in their early 60s. Each of them had blood sugar levels in the normal range. At the beginning of the study, and again four years later, the researchers scanned their brains.
Comparing the before and after images, they found significant brain shrinkage among those whose blood sugar levels were high but still below the World Health Organization’s threshold for pre-diabetes. The researchers report that those high levels may account for a 6% to 10% decrease in the volume of the hippocampus and amygdala.
Cherbuin and his team then excluded people who were overweight or obese, and substituted the American Diabetes Association’s stricter normal range for that endorsed by the WHO. The results were virtually the same.
Cherbuin says they did not take their conclusion “lightly,” but the association between these higher blood sugar levels and brain shrinkage was “robust.”
Next, he plans to study the impact that such brain changes may have.
More Research Required
Cherbuin’s results suggest a need to reassess what’s considered a healthy blood sugar level, but more research must be done before any changes to recommendations are made, says neurologist Marc Gordon, MD.
“The research is too preliminary, and the association shown here does not establish a cause or mechanism,” says Gordon, chief of neurology at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Glen Oaks, N.Y., who describes the study as thoughtful and carefully considered. “To speak as a clinician and tell patients that they better cut out all candy because it will shrink their brain is a leap of faith.”
Cherbuin says that we still do not fully understand all the factors involved in regulating blood sugar levels. We do know enough to say that poor diet, lack of exercise, and constant stress likely play a leading role in maintaining unhealthily high levels, he says.
“It is this chronic exposure to high glucose levels that is more likely to lead to poorer brain health,” he says.
For Gordon, who says that there is good evidence that such factors all likely play some role in thinking and memory decline, the message is a simple one.
“It’s just what all of our mothers told us: Eat well and exercise,” says Gordon. “That’s a principle we would all do well to live by.”
A “normal light bulb” is also known as an incandescent light bulb. These bulbs have a very thin tungsten filament that is housed inside a glass sphere. They typically come in sizes like “60 watt,” “75 watt,” “100 watt” and so on.
The basic idea behind these bulbs is simple. Electricity runs through the filament. Because the filament is so thin, it offers a good bit of resistance to the electricity, and this resistance turns electrical energy into heat. The heat is enough to make the filament white hot, and the “white” part is light. The filament glows because of the heat — it incandesces.
The problem with incandescent light bulbs is that the heat wastes a lot of electricity. Heat is not light, and the purpose of the light bulb is light, so all of the energy spent creating heat is a waste. Incandescent bulbs are therefore very inefficient. They produce perhaps 15 lumens per watt of input power.
A fluorescent bulb uses a completely different method to produce light. There are electrodes at both ends of a fluorescent tube, and a gas containing argon and mercury vapor is inside the tube. A stream of electrons flows through the gas from one electrode to the other (in a manner similar to the stream of electrons in a cathode ray tube). These electrons bump into the mercury atoms and excite them. As the mercury atoms move from the excited state back to the unexcited state, they give off ultraviolet photons. These photons hit the phosphor coating the inside of the fluorescent tube, and this phosphor creates visible light. It sounds complicated, so lets go through it again in slow motion:
- There is a stream of electrons flowing between the electrodes at both ends of the fluorescent bulb.
- The electrons interact with mercury vapor atoms floating inside the bulb.
- The mercury atoms become excited, and when they return to an unexcited state they release photons of light in the ultraviolet region of the spectrum.
- These ultraviolet photons collide with the phosphor coating the inside of the bulb, and the phosphor creates visible light.
The phosphor fluoresces to produce light.
A fluorescent bulb produces less heat, so it is much more efficient. A fluorescent bulb can produce between 50 and 100 lumens per watt. This makes fluorescent bulbs four to six times more efficient than incandescent bulbs. That’s why you can buy a 15-watt fluorescent bulb that produces the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb.
- Playlist | One Step Beyond Videos
- Interested in learning more? See the full list of 69 one step beyond videos in this playlist.
- There are 69 videos tagged “One Step Beyond”
Of course, it’s not totally there yet (I voiced some concerns here in my Q&A with star Maya Rudolph), but there’s one element of the show that’s still making me laugh out loud and root for it to find its legs: the adorable, foul-mouthed, totally realistic couple at the heart of the story.
Regan (Christina Applegate) is a new mom who’s readjusting to life back at work, and Chris (Will Arnett) is her supportive husband who quits his cushy job as a lawyer to be a stay-at-home dad. I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again — it’s the best, most endearing and most normal I’ve seen both Applegate and Arnett in a long time (premieres Wed., Sept. 14, 10PM ET on NBC; moves to its regular time Wed., Sept. 21, 8PM ET).
I caught up with Arnett to hear all about his new gig imitating his real life, why his character Chris is nothing like Gob Bluth and some show secrets that are even more under wraps than the plot of that ‘Arrested Development’ movie.
And speaking of that movie, I’m kind of over speaking about it (just happen already!), so I went for some really advanced scoop and asked him about the eventual ‘Up All Night’ movie instead. “Great!,” he said with a laugh. “Who’s playing me?”
He also talked about his ideas for corporate synergy (short answer: all Arnett, all night), working with “talent robot” Jon Hamm for Season 2 of ‘Todd Margaret’ and tumors … but not the kind you’re thinking of.
Nick Cannon joining the show has been kind of a hot topic.
He’s awesome — he’s such a nice guy. You know, it’s funny, you read the stuff online and you get sort of mixed reactions, like “Why are they …” and “What’s going on? That’s weird!” Like, no. He’s a funny dude and a great performer and you don’t even know what we’re doing …
So what are you doing?
I don’t know. [Laughs] I’m actually not authorized to know.
[Laughs] So what made you decide to do this show?
I read the script and I really liked it … which is the kind of boring-but-true answer. I identified with Chris, I thought the story rang true, it felt authentic but funny, and I thought, “Yeah, I get it.” For the first time I wanted to do something that was kind of much more of a real story, with a more naturalistic vibe. Often times those things, I’m just not that interested in. I like playing much more arched characters or damaged, kind of f***ed up characters. They’re just generally more interesting.
I hear you. But Chris is so normal that I think that makes him interesting.
Yeah, exactly. I think that’s true. I think he’s a really normal guy. He’s a very solid dude, and he decided that he wanted to be at home and kind of change his career path a bit, mix it up. He got out of his partnership at the law firm and he’s like “I’m gonna raise my kid! And start making films or doing whatever …” you know?
Well, and that’s the thing. It’s not that I don’t love Gob Bluth or Devon Banks on ’30 Rock,’ but this guy is actually relatable in a way that those guys were never meant to be.
Yeah, they were not ever meant to be like that … I think I identify a lot with Chris’ experience. Like, “Yeah, I get that” or “I’ve said that,” and I think that it’s so much more representative of what the American family looks like today. You have a dad who’s at home, who’s the primary caregiver. And certainly there were big chunks of both of our sons’ young lives where my wife was working and I spent a lot of time at home. We wrote big chunks of ‘Running Wilde’ at our house — Mitch Hurwitz and I did — with our son Archie learning to crawl, coming into the room crawling for the first time.
You’ve got two kids now — what do you do when you’re up all night? I mean, hopefully they sleep a bit …
They do sleep, but you never know when all hell is gonna break loose. That’s the reality. So you’ve just got to be in a constant state of preparedness. It’s sort of like the ’50s, back in the Cold War, with the guys who were out on the DEW line. That’s an antiquated reference [laughs], but a distant early warning line looking out for Russian bombers. You just have to be ready for sh*t to happen.
[Laughs] Your children are like small Russian bombers?
Something like that, yeah, if we’re keeping up with the Cold War analogy.
Does the network offer some kind of deeper daycare discount for kids if both parents star on hit NBC shows?
[Laughs] Well I’m not the star of a hit show, but over at ‘Up All Night’ we have multiple nurseries, since both Maya and Christina have really little babies. Where our dressing rooms are, there are signs everywhere that say, “Quiet! Sleeping Babies.”
It’s weird that literally every single person involved in the show has a baby. Is there a new baby boom?
That might be a new thing. The new boomers. Maybe they’ll call them tumors, like baby boom two. “Are you a tumor?” [Laughs] Like 40 or 50 years from now, they’ll be talking about, “Oh, we’ve got this growing tumors problem!”
[Laughs] Since this show is on NBC, is there a chance you could pop by ’30 Rock,’ ‘The Office’ or your wife’s show ‘Parks or Recreation’ again for a little something? That’s the ultimate synergy.
Listen, I don’t want to suggest this, because obviously it’s incredibly self-serving, but maybe there’s a Thursday where I’m on every half-hour. Maybe we do a special night where ‘Up All Night’ is on Thursday, and then I’m just on every other show that night. What do you think? You’ll just see me walking by with a stroller. And to promote it they could say, “You thought you were sick of this dude before! You’re about to be super sick of him.”
You are kind of everywhere. What about ‘Todd Margaret’?
Yeah, I did a few episodes of that this year — we just wrapped it up — and I think it’s really good. I’m super happy with how it turned out. David [Cross] just did an awesome job … he really does everything on that show. He concocted this beautiful comedy gumbo on that, and I’m excited for people to see more. The second season really just rolls. It’s a complex, crazy story, and a lot of it is David trying to figure out how everything got so f***ed up, and Spike Jonze and I spend all the episodes as these amateur sleuths who are really just moronic in their pursuit of the truth.
And you guys have Jon Hamm coming to play this season as well?
Yep, we’ve got ol’ Hamm Bone in there. Hamm is just a multiple-threat weapon. He is just like a talent robot. Every appendage does a different thing, just comin’ at you full bore. We were so psyched that he came and did it — he was awesome, and he’s a great dude.
Get him on ‘Up All Night’! He’s done about as many random guest spots as you have …
I know! That’d be great. We have some wish lists for various things that are coming up, that are almost as tightly-held secrets as the plot to the ‘Arrested Development’ movie. [Laughs] We’ll see.