Simple Fix Freed This Boy’s Tongue Trapped in Bottle

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Oct. 31, 2019 (HealthDay News) — When a 7-year-old’s tongue got stuck in a juice bottle, one savvy doctor used an old trick to release it.

The boy was trying to get the last drop of juice when his tongue created a vacuum and he couldn’t get it out of the bottle. When he arrived at Auf der Bult Children’s Hospital in Hannover, Germany, his tongue was swollen and discolored.

At first doctors tried lubricating the tongue and twisting it out of the bottle. But that didn’t work. They wanted to avoid more invasive measures that would require general anesthesia and cutting the bottle away.

So they next tried putting a thin catheter into the bottle around the boy’s tongue, hoping that would release the vacuum. That, too, had no effect.

Then, one doctor recalled a way he had once popped a cork out of a wine bottle when he couldn’t find a corkscrew. They attached a syringe to the catheter and forced air into the bottle.

That did the trick, and doctors were able to separate the boy from the bottle at last.

“We found only one previous report of a positive pressure technique similar to the one used by us in our patient,” said Dr. Christoph Eich, a pediatric emergency doctor at the hospital.

“The idea to attempt to inject air into the bottle to produce positive pressure was inspired by my personal recollection of successfully uncorking a wine bottle while working as an anesthetic registrar, with the use of a syringe-and-cannula technique on an occasion when no corkscrew was available,” he said in a news release from the European Society of Anaesthesiology.

The boy was admitted to the hospital for 24 hours of observation, and given prednisolone and ibuprofen to reduce the swelling in his tongue.

When he left the hospital, the swelling had mostly disappeared, but it took about three days for the discoloration to go away. After two weeks, he had fully recovered.

The report was published Oct. 31 in the European Journal of Anaesthesiology.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCE: European Society of Anaesthesiology, news release, Oct. 31, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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WebMD Health

AHA News: 5 Scary Health Facts to Spook You This Halloween

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 23, 2019 (American Heart Association News) — Spooky, scream-inducing characters whose health has clearly taken a turn for the worse – skeletons and ghosts, for example – are as much a part of Halloween fun as pumpkins and candy.

But once the creepy decorations are put away, some frightening health facts can haunt us year-round – and should prompt us to take action.

“There’s been a lot of thought about how you motivate people to change,” said Mercedes Carnethon, a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. “Sometimes scare tactics do work, like the anti-tobacco ads that showed the person smoking through a hole in her neck.”

Dr. Tyler Cooper, president and CEO of Cooper Aerobics, a comprehensive health and wellness center in Dallas, said no single strategy works for everyone.

“Everybody has a different motivator,” said Cooper, a preventive medicine physician. “If that’s fear, OK. But some people have this belief that if something hasn’t happened to them yet, it’s not going to happen. The best thing we can do is present the information about what they can expect if they continue down the path they’re on.”

If you’re not scared yet, here are some terrifying health statistics:

Most Americans spend more time in the kitchen than in the gym.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculated in 2018 that just 23.2% of U.S. adults meet the federal recommendations for weekly exercise: at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as a brisk walk) or at least 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (such as running), and two sessions of muscle-strengthening activity. That figure was down slightly from the year before.

By comparison, a 2018 survey from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found people spend an average of more than four hours per week cooking and cleaning up the kitchen.

“People think that it requires some type of herculean effort to improve their health and that’s not true,” Cooper said. “If you’re not doing anything, start something. Just go for a walk around the block.”

Vaping among teenagers has soared.

In 2011, only 1.5% of high school students had used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, according to the National Youth Tobacco Survey. The figure in 2018 was 20.8%.

That increase, the CDC warned in a report earlier this year, “has erased recent progress in reducing overall tobacco product use among youths.”

E-cigarettes, which typically contain addictive nicotine, may damage blood vessels, raise blood pressure and increase the risk of clots. Beyond that, the CDC is investigating a nationwide outbreak of lung injuries linked to vaping that has resulted in a growing number of deaths.

Because the vaping phenomenon is still new, Carnethon said, “We don’t even know the effects on long-term cardiovascular health.”

Fewer than half of people who have a cardiac arrest outside a hospital get bystander CPR.

Immediate CPR can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chances of survival, according to the American Heart Association.

That means when someone suffers a cardiac arrest, bystanders are crucial until trained lifesavers arrive. Whether the reason is lack of CPR training or a reluctance to get involved, experts say doing something is always better than doing nothing.

There are 9.4 million American adults with diabetes who don’t know they have it.

Diabetes left untreated can lead to damage in nearly every organ in the body, with complications ranging from heart problems and strokes to vision loss, nerve damage and even amputation.

“If you don’t know you have it, you can’t treat it,” Carnethon said.

More than 14 million U.S. households are food insecure.

The term refers to people who can’t afford enough food for themselves or their families, or who may not have access to healthy foods to ensure a proper diet. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 14.3 million households were food insecure at some point during 2018, representing 11.1% of the nation’s households.

Even if people are not personally affected, Carnethon said, the national problem should alarm all of us.

“Social determinants like food insecurity contribute to health outcomes,” she said. “These are issues that as a society we can promote policy changes to improve the health of everyone.”

At Halloween and throughout the year, Cooper said, the message is the same: “Take charge of your own health. If you do your best to make even some minor changes, you’ll see the benefits.”

And if the facts and figures don’t scare you, Carnethon said, think about people.

“It seems data doesn’t motivate people, but personal stories and personal connections do,” she said. “We need to put a personal face on good health and make it as relatable as possible.”

So have a happy, healthy Halloween, she said. “And go easy on the candy.”

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019 – Daily MedNews

Give This Recipe for Tasty, Nutritious Beets a Try

FRIDAY, Aug. 23, 2019 — “Eating the rainbow” is a great way to harness the different micronutrients in fruits and vegetables.

Among the reds (and yellows), naturally sweet beets are a great source of folate, the B vitamin, fiber and potassium. If you shied away from beets as a kid, it’s time to give them a try.

A fun introduction involves using a spiralizer to prep the beets. It’s an essential kitchen tool for those who love a big plate of pasta but not the carb and calorie overload that comes with it. The spiralizer turns veggies like beets, as well carrots and sweet potatoes, into spaghetti-like squiggles.

Spiralized beets make a nutritious swap for the standard pasta used to make classic cold sesame noodles, a zesty, do-ahead dish that family and guests alike will love.

Cold Sesame Beet Noodles

  • 4 large beets, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce or Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup unsalted vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 4 scallions, chopped

Select the spiralizer blade for the thickness of the noodles you want to make. Fit a beet into the front of the spiralizer where spikes hold the vegetable in place. Next press the hand crank into the other side of the beet. To make noodles, turn the crank while pressing the beet into the blade.

Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame oil and the beet noodles, cooking two to three minutes until the beets begin to soften.

In a large bowl, whisk the peanut butter, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce or Sriracha, garlic and broth. Toss in the noodles and chill at least one hour. Just before serving, sprinkle with the peanuts and scallions.

Yield: 4 servings

More information

Read more about the nutrients in beets at the George Mateljan Foundation.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: August 2019 – Daily MedNews

Favreau’s ‘Lion King’ Continues to Roar This Weekend

While live-action fans will be keeping an eye on the action-packed Universal’s Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw this weekend, Disney aficionados will continue to pack the houses to catch Jon Favreau’s popular new take on The Lion King. The technologically impressive pic ended its second week with an estimated $ 117.4 million, making its total cume close to $ 392.7 million stateside and a worldwide total of $ 1.0236 billion. The movie will surpass $ 400 million on Friday and is expected to bring in up to $ 40 million in its third weekend. That means the movie is $ 104 million away from passing Beauty and the Beast, which is the studio’s highest-grossing animation remake in the U.S.

While everyone is focusing on Lion King’s numbers, let’s not forget Disney/Pixar’s brave little playthings. Helmed by Josh Cooley, Toy Story 4 has continued to draw in audiences since it debuted in June, and is expected to land on the fifth position this weekend, taking in another $ 7.1 million in the U.S. The movie has accumulated $ 401.5 million stateside, and a toal of $ 924.381 million worldwide since its release on June 21.

Here are Box Office Mojo’s predictions for the first weekend in August:

  • Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (4,253 theaters) $ 65.0 million
  • The Lion King (4,802 theaters) $ 38.4 million
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (3,659 theaters) $ 20.0 million
  • Spider-Man: Far from Home (3,446 theaters) $ 8.1 million
  • Toy Story 4 (3,225 theaters) $ 7.1 million
  • Crawl (2,085 theaters) $ 2.1 million
  • Aladdin (1,370 theaters) $ 1.9 million
  • The Farewell (409 theaters) $ 1.8 million
  • Yesterday (1,829 theaters) $ 1.7 million
  • Stuber (1,080 theaters) $ 0.7 million

Animation Magazine

This Couple Makes Cannabis-Infused Food That’s Also Vegan

Curtis Powell and Rebecca Goss loved to venture out to infusion events (where cannabis is infused in food), but their options as vegans were extremely limited. So they decided to start their own dinner club, which they called Vegan Stoner Club.

The couple partnered with a close friend from Rob the Art Museum in June to start creating THC-infused dinners and pairings. “We want to spread veganism and cannabis in our own unique way,” Powell says.

The feedback so far has been positive. “Everybody loves it,” Powell notes. “And what’s funny is that most people that show up aren’t vegan.”

With these infused dinners, Vegan Stoner Club is hitting a different subculture and changing perceptions about vegan food. Goss and Powell are able to introduce plant-based dishes to people who otherwise may not have given them a try.

Rebecca Goss anf Curtis Powell are the minds behind Vegan Stoner Club.EXPAND

Rebecca Goss anf Curtis Powell are the minds behind Vegan Stoner Club.

Curtis Powell

Each dish created is infused with different dosages of cannabis to spread the effects over a complete dinner. The pair recently participated in Denver’s first Vegan Restaurant Week this past May, serving a soul food-inspired dinner of fried tofu in an infused barbecue sauce, infused mac and cheese and infused baked beans.

Since Powell is originally from Miami, he’s also created Cuban-influenced marijuana dinners with empanadas, a traditional Cuban sandwich and a dos leches cake (leaving the dairy products out of the typical tres leches version). Other pot-permeated eats at recent events have included barbecue pulled pork (a meatless version, of course), fried mac and cheese balls, garlic knots, fettuccine Alfredo with mushrooms, onions and pesto, and tofu scramble with hash browns. The vegan gourmet says one of the most popular items thus far has been Rebecca’s banana pudding, loaded with 10 milligrams of THC per serving.

“We tend to veganize what people are missing,” Powell says of the supper club’s scratch-made comfort food.

Vegan Supper Club has been holding events at least once a month since launching, and dinners are held at private locations. For more information and to sign up for a dinner, visit Vegan Stoner Club and Rob the Art Museum on Instagram. Then prepared to get stoned like a vegan.

Toke of the Town

Why This Decades-Old Skincare Line is Now Farming Hemp

“My whole life lately seems to be about hemp,” says Lily Morgan. And for good reason: The founder of Colorado-based skin care company Lily Farm Fresh Skin Care has owned and operated eighty acres of farmland to supply her own production in Keenesburg, Colorado, for over thirty years, Now nearly 90 percent of it is devoted to hemp.

Morgan, who also owns an additional 170-plus acres spread throughout the state, has been making cleansers, moisturizers, toners, lip balms and other products for her certified organic skin care line since 1986. But she’s recently shifted, jumping on the CBD bandwagon and growing hemp for her new CBD-infused line of therapeutic lotions.

A relatively new addition to the skin care industry, CBD lotions, balms and patches are used to alleviate muscle, joint and nerve pain, as well as inflammation; Morgan thinks those products can also treat redness, puffiness and irritation. The Lily Farm team is currently finalizing the formula for a CBD cream that targets joint and muscle pain, and plans to eventually sell an expanded line of CBD-infused skin care — hopefully in Natural Grocers, which already carries Lily Farm non-CBD products.

“Why not?,” she asks. “I mean, we already have the lab, and I’m going to have all the hemp I could want.”

Marijuana Deals Near You

Morgan didn’t dive into the hemp trend immediately. After visiting a hemp symposium and offering her farm as a cultivation site for experienced hemp farmers, Morgan partnered with a hemp grower who had the equipment and expertise to cover that much ground. Without her partner, whom she declines to name, she would not have been able to grow more than a few acres of hemp for personal use, she says. But with her partner’s equipment, originally made to harvest tobacco but retrofitted to tackle hemp, Morgan was able to mass-produce hemp for CBD products that she had already been concocting for personal use.

Despite being a seventh-generation farmer and having a grandfather who also grew hemp, Morgan never thought she’d be participating in the CBD craze. She once tried incorporating store-bought hemp oil in her products, but found that it quickly made them go rancid. In the past, friends had suggested that she start growing marijuana or hemp\, but because both were still federally illegal, she felt it wasn’t worth the trouble.

A snippet of Morgan's extensive Keenesburg property.

A snippet of Morgan’s extensive Keenesburg property.

Cleo Mirza

But after the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp farming on the federal level, Morgan rented out one of her other farm properties to hemp growers. Upon mentioning that she had trouble sleeping to her new tenants, they offered her a sample of CBD tincture. Initially, she was hesitant, insisting she didn’t want to take anything that would make her feel high. After the growers explained that CBD isn’t intoxicating but might improve her sleeping, she decided to try it.

“I hadn’t slept that well in, like, 45 years. So I took it, and I put it in some of my creams, just for me. And I started using it for neck stress and shoulder pain, and I saw a big change,” Morgan says. “And then I started reading everything, testing formulations and making them for myself.”

Now Morgan is using her story to convince others to give CBD a chance. She’s even planning a hemp festival this fall on her Keenesburg farm to promote industry networking and hemp education.

Morgan sees the negative stigma around the cannabis plant as the greatest obstacle to normalizing hemp and CBD use. “A lot of people my age don’t want to go to dispensaries. I don’t,” she explains. “So I think a lot of people my age will be really slow to try it. I was pretty darn slow. I was not enthusiastic about [CBD] until I tried it.”

Now she’s changed her tune, and believes others will follow.

“People are saying that it is going to boom and then bust, but I don’t think so. The hemp farming is going to be exponential, but so is the demand — because everybody is talking about it, people that you wouldn’t suspect,” Morgan says. “But it still does have that affiliation with its cousin, and a lot of people just don’t want anything to do with that. But it’s not marijuana; you can’t get high off of it. That’s fundamental to me.” 

Toke of the Town

Ottawa Int’l Animation Fest Winds Up for Pitch This!

North America’s premiere toon event, the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), is returning to the Canadian capital this fall, with another edition of Pitch This! The contest has been held for over 15 years as a highlight of OIAF’s industry forum The Animation Conference, running September 25-27.

Pitch This! gives two finalists the rare opportunity to pitch their new, home-grown project to a room of influential industry decision-makers, and win a prize package courtesy of Pitch This! partners. Leading up to the show down, 10 semi-finalists will be partnered with a seasoned industry mentor to help perfect their concept for the big pitch, and give them invaluable feedback on their project.

“This is a solid opportunity to bring your magic to a room filled with industry professionals and creatives. Don’t stress out – this is not Shark Tank,” said Sylvie Rochon, a former mentor and jury member for Pitch This! and a Content Producer for the competition’s presenting partner, Digital Dimension. “Pitching in front of a crowd might sound daunting, so just focus on telling your story in your own unique way. This audience is longing for engaging storytelling. If your story resonates with them, you will make connections. Start here.”

The 10 selections go head to head on Wednesday, September 25 during TAC, where each contestant must impress a small committee of experts in under 10 minutes. The two strongest presentations will be selected for the official event on Thursday, September 26. Finalists pitch to a panel of platform executives, and the entire TAC audience – including more than 350 potential buyers and financiers.

“The OIAF can’t wait to see the fresh, Canadian ideas that come to this year’s Pitch This! We’ve partnered with Digital Dimension, a Montreal-based studio that is providing the successful pitch with a $ 5,000 cash prize – as well as software and legal services from returning partners,” said Azarin Sohrabkhani, Director of Industry Programming at the OIAF. “This package is designed to provide the successful pitch with all the ingredients to get their idea off the ground.”

Pitch This! 2019 is open to Canadian projects only, and pitched series should be aimed at children ages 2-11. Proposals should be emailed to presentations (at) by August 15, 2019 at 5 p.m. EST.

Animation Magazine

Watch: ‘This Is Us’ Star Chris Sullivan Hops to Disney’s ‘Amphibia’

In an upcoming episode of Disney Channel’s new magical animated comedy Amphibiaalready renewed for a second season — star of This Is Us Chris Sullivan pays a visit to the strange swampy land to voice Gunther, a southern tusked frog who lives on the outskirts of Wartwood. In the episode, Sprig’s rare and precious Blue Moon Shell is stolen, so he and Anne investigate to find the thief.

Amphibia chronicles the adventures of teen girl Anne Boonchuy (voiced by Disney Channel alumna Brenda Song) after she is magically transported to a rural marshland full of frog people and meets the excitable young frog Sprig Plantar and his family.

Sullivan’s guest-star episode, “Croak and Punishment,” premieres Monday, July 8 at 10 a.m. on Disney Channel.

Animation Magazine

Weed Washer: Can This Company’s Machine Clean Moldy Marijuana?

Gather round the joint circle, boys and girls, we’ve got a scary story: What if we told you that joint in your hands came from a moldy jungle of Petri dish pot? Unlikely, but possible.

Believe it or not, recalls over harmful molds and yeasts have hit Colorado’s cannabis industry — and probably not at a rate that reflects the real size of the problem. The state Marijuana Enforcement Division and Department of Agriculture don’t have the resources to keep an eye on every cannabis cultivation in the state, and only a handful of city health agencies have taken it upon themselves to police the safety and health impacts of their licensed pot grows. In a twenty-month span from 2017 to 2019, the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment issued at least four separate mold recalls on cannabis grows that affected dozens of dispensaries.

As cannabis becomes more of an agricultural trade, microbial and pesticide contamination issues will increase, according to Willow Industries founder Jill Ellsworth. Using her experience in fighting microbials in the juicing world, Ellsworth started a company that decontaminates moldy pot to the point where she says it’s safe to use. In fact, health agencies in Colorado and other states with legal pot have even released her client’s cannabis from quarantine after using her machine, citing successful lab tests.

We caught up with Ellsworth to learn more about her weed-washing techniques, which just raised $ 2 million in funding.

Westword: How does your technology remove pathogens from cannabis while keeping it safe for consumption?

Marijuana Deals Near You

Jill Ellsworth: When I came up with this idea, it was important to use technology that was being utilized in other industries. We use ozone gas as a medium to decontaminate. It’s used in food and agriculture, so when I decided to use it with cannabis, I spent a lot of time with research and development. We found that the ozone molecules will oxidize any contaminants on the flower: mold, yeast, mildew, bacteria, E. coli and salmonella. It attacks those pathogens and breaks down the cells so they’re non-recognizable and can’t get a consumer sick.

One of the things we did from the beginning was really focus on R&D. We utilized the ozone to oxidize and decontaminate the flower, but we wanted to make sure we weren’t destroying any terpenes and potency, so that’s what we really focused on.

Have any of your clients successfully used this to remove a product from a state or local government health quarantine and redistribute their cannabis?

Yes. We operate in ten states now. Colorado was our beta state, and we worked with Doctors Orders back in December, when they had a huge [mold] recall.

Ah, yes. We remember that one.

Yeah, it was a big deal, and they were freaking out. They called us, and we were able to go in clean all of their flower. It all passed microbial testing, but then it turned out they had a pesticide issue. But we were able to get the flower clean, in regard to state microbial testing.

Willow Industries founder Jill EllsworthEXPAND

Willow Industries founder Jill Ellsworth

Courtesy of Willow Industries

Forgive our ignorance, but what is ozone? We’re familiar with the layer currently being ravaged by humanity, but what is the ozone you’re using?

It’s a triatomic atom, so it’s O3. It’s essentially oxygen, as ozone is produced from oxygen. In our system, it pulls in ambient oxygen right out of the room it’s in. Then it concentrates the oxygen and goes through an electrical charge, where it adds that O-negative molecule, so it converts O2 [oxygen] to O3. Then it oxidizes, the O-negative drops off, it converts back to oxygen, and it’s a constant cycle. There’s no gassing; it’s just oxygen.

Does that work on concentrates, too?

Right now, we’re just focusing on flower. We’re trying to find ways to help oil, but right now, we’re just looking at flower. Since ozone is a gas, it’s hard to implement into a liquid. You could probably bubble it in, but that’s never really been done. So TBD on that right now.

How do you make sure the terpenes, potency and flavor aren’t affected when you’re treating flower?

That’s about ozone concentration. If you use too little ozone, you’re not going to get rid of the microbials. If you use too much, you’re going to destroy the flower. So we’ve found that perfect balance. When the product comes out of our machine, it’s still covered in ozone molecules, but those off-gas and degrade back to O2. Within three days, it all off-gases, and the bud is beautiful and smells exactly how it should.

Toke of the Town

Burn Joints and Email Inboxes at This Weed-Friendly Co-Working Space

Ever want to enjoy a little weed during a smoke break? A co-working space in Denver allows tenants to do just that, as long as they keep it outside.

At Balcony West, a ninth-floor co-working suite in the heart of lower downtown, owner Phil Falco now allows tenants to smoke cannabis on the suite’s private balcony. Actually, Falco has been letting tenants do it for a while if they asked, but he just decided to let everyone know about it.

“I just came up with the idea,” he explains. “I’ve owned the space for a number of a years, and I’ve had it as a co-working space. It’s ready to go. Now that I’ve got a new focus, I’m going to get some new furniture for the balcony.”

Tenants of his space get the usual co-working amenities: a business address, kitchen, desks and Internet access. Those 21 and up also have access to the private balcony, where Falco permits cannabis and tobacco smoke. If enough people ask, he might even add a vaporizer and some glassware.

Falco’s suite and balcony are in the Equitable Building at 730 17th Street, a registered historic landmark that was once the tallest building in Denver. Built in 1892, it was known for hosting parties with lavish top hats and tobacco pipes back in the day. Today it’s located less than a block from the 16th Street Mall and three blocks from the Colorado Convention Center, and Falco thinks there are a lot of busy people in the area who’d like to toke up and then get on with their day. His balcony could help them do that in peace, he suggests.

Marijuana Deals Near You

“As long as I can remember, we’ve been smoking out there, so this is nothing new. It’s just more out in the open. But it’s totally private — no public access,” he says. “There are a lot of people out there, like me, who just want to use cannabis. But the way the laws are written right now, everyone’s in the closet if they’re working downtown. This space can legitimatize their use. They can go out on the balcony, smoke, and go back to work.”

Falco says that because his balcony and co-working space are private, tenants can puff where they please. Once a new state law that allows licensing of social cannabis consumption businesses takes effect in 2020, he might apply to make his co-working space an officially consumption-friendly enterprise, allowing him to throw events. “I’m thinking hard about getting a license under the cannabis hospitality act,” he says. “I think it could help Denver, and I think my venue would be a perfect fit for it, so I probably will apply.”

Until then, you can get high with colleagues if you join Balcony West, which has membership options ranging from $ 250 to $ 500 a month.

Toke of the Town

Feature-Length VR ‘Doctor Who: The Edge of Time’ Arrives This Fall

In a landmark year of digital Doctor Who entertainment, and following the recent reveal of The Runaway, an animated VR experience playing in Annecy’s immersive program next month, comes news of a cinematic, feature-length Doctor Who VR videogame set to debut in September.

Published by PlayStack and developed by Maze Theory for BBC Studios, Doctor Who: The Edge of Time will transport fans into a globally-beloved world of aliens, mystery and wonder, letting them embark on a brand-new and fully-interactive adventure, inspired by the show’s 55-year history and starring the Doctor’s current incarnation, played by Jodie Whittaker.

“VR is the perfect home for a truly immersive Doctor Who adventure. Fans and newcomers alike will be able to experience the universe of Doctor Who like never before, working with the Doctor and facing enemies new and old,” said Bradley Crooks, Head of Digital Entertainment & Games for BBC Studios. “Gaming is a key part of the future of Doctor Who and allows us to tell new and exciting stories beyond the TV screen.”

Armed with the iconic Sonic Screwdriver, players will solve mind-bending puzzles, grapple with classic monsters and encounter new horizons in a quest to find the Doctor and defeat a powerful force that threatens to destroy the fabric of reality. They will face the infamous Daleks and other known faces from the Doctor’s world plus some brand new never-before-seen monsters as they travel through stunning cinematic environments that truly bring the show to life!

The Doctor has been hurled through time to the end of the universe. A virus that threatens to rip apart reality itself has been unleashed. Players can pilot the TARDIS on a journey across worlds both familiar and strange to recover a series of powerful time crystals that can repair spacetime and ultimately, save the universe itself.

“Maze Theory is committed to re-defining storytelling through awesome, innovative and immersive experiences in virtual reality,” said Marcus Moresby, Creative Director, Maze Theory. “Doctor Who is an incredibly exciting and timeless franchise with a passionate and committed global fan base. We are looking to give them an entirely new experience; an opportunity to team-up with the Doctor and feel like they are in the show. This of course includes piloting the TARDIS, a dream come true for fans!”

PlayStack CEO Harvey Elliott said, “Virtual reality is unmatched in its ability to transport people to far flung worlds. PlayStack has always seen this as the central promise of the technology, and for us there’s no better place to take players than the iconic, eccentric, and deeply fascinating world of Doctor Who. We are delighted to be working with Maze Theory and the BBC Studios on this flagship VR project, and can’t wait for fans to experience the game for themselves.”

Developed by immersive entertainment studio Maze Theory, led by former Activision and PlayStation veterans, Doctor Who: The Edge of Time will launch on PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, Oculus, HTC Vive and Vive Cosmos in September 2019.

Animation Magazine

Summer of Mosquito Swarms a Possibility This Year

May 24, 2019 — Mosquito season has already begun in the South and will spread north in the next few weeks, says Janet McAllister, PhD, CDC entomologist at the arboviral diseases branch of the division of vector-borne diseases in Fort Collins, CO.

Local disease control officials in Louisiana have already begun routine trapping of mosquitoes to test for West Nile even though the peak of West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis season isn’t until late July or early August, McAllister says.

“But mosquitoes are out and birds are starting to migrate,” she says.

As the climate changes, spring has been warmer and wetter than average across the nation, which could mean many Americans will deal with more than the usual number of mosquitoes this summer.

“If you have a rainy, warm season, it is always a good thing for ticks and mosquitoes,” says Dina M. Fonseca, PhD, molecular ecologist and professor at Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences in New Brunswick, NJ.

The average U.S. temperature for April was almost 2 degrees above average, and precipitation was about an inch above average.

Mosquito activity starts to pick up when temperatures move above 50 degrees, and if there are lots of wet places for them to breed, that can translate into large populations of the pest, scientists say.

Predictions and Guesses

Fonseca says predictions for any particular mosquito season are challenging because a sudden change in the weather, such as a long drought, can dampen, increase, or shift where mosquito populations emerge and whether they are more aggressive biters.

“Mosquito life cycles are such that a period of very wet and then very dry can make a difference,” she says.

Some mosquitoes carry potentially dangerous infectious diseases like West Nile and Zika. Between 2004 and 2016, the number of people sickened by mosquito, tick, and flea bites tripled, according to the CDC.

The mosquito-borne illness that has caused the most disease in the U.S. is West Nile virus. Culex mosquitoes are the primary source of the virus, which mosquitoes pick up after biting migrating birds.

“Everyone should be vigilant,” McAllister says. “Each year, hundreds of thousands of people are bitten by infected mosquitoes and get West Nile infection.”

West Nile disease has been found in every state except New Hampshire and Hawaii. In 2018, there were 2,544 cases of disease caused by West Nile virus, up 21% from 2,097 in 2017. The agency says that the number of people infected with West Nile is likely much higher — from 42,750 to 99,750 — but many cases aren’t reported.

In its mildest form, West Nile infection can cause flu-like symptoms, including fever and fatigue, which can resolve within a few days. In its most severe form, the virus can invade the nervous system and cause encephalitis and meningitis, or West Nile poliomyelitis, which can lead to paralysis and in rare cases, death. In 2018, 127 people died from West Nile.

The states with the highest number of cases of West Nile in 2018 were Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, and Mississippi, which are along the flight path of birds from south to north.

Other disease-carrying mosquitoes in the U.S. include Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus (also called the Asian tiger mosquito) and Aedes triseriatus. The aegypti and albopictus species are found in much of the U.S. and carry and transmit dengue fever and eastern equine encephalitis. They also both carry the Zika virus, which can cause severe birth defects in an unborn child. In 2018, no one got Zika from a mosquito bite in the U.S., though it has continued to spread in U.S. territories.

The triseriatus species, found in the upper Midwest, mid-Atlantic, and Southeastern U.S., can carry the La Crosse encephalitis virus. This disease is rare. In 2017, there were 63 cases of La Crosse encephalitis.

Testing and Spraying

Mosquito control programs in states, counties, and cities across the country are in charge of watching, testing, and spraying to control these disease-carrying mosquitoes. Disease control programs are also testing biological alternatives to spraying.

The federal government allowed 20 states in 2017 to experiment with releasing mosquitoes infected with a naturally occurring insect bacteria that is safe for humans, pets, and the environment and reduces overall Aedes aegypti populations. Researchers are also developing genetically modified mosquitoes that could be used to kill fellow mosquitoes.

“Both of these techniques show promise, but logistically they are difficult to deploy,” says Joe Conlon, technical advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association. “They are unlikely to serve as the sole means of control but will be utilized as adjuncts to known mosquito control products.”

Most state programs are in need of more resources to adequately control mosquito populations, says E. Oscar Alleyne, DrPH, chief of programs and services for the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

In October 2017, Alleyne’s organization published a report that says 84% of mosquito control programs in the U.S. need improvement. Since then, Alleyne says his organization has worked with programs nationwide to boost their surveillance and testing.

Mosquito control programs are also working closely with communities to address environmental concerns about spraying, including worries that sprays and chemical deterrents kill bees and other pollinators.

“We are acutely aware of our product’s risk to pollinators and go well out of our way to ensure that beekeepers are notified and that we spray at times when bees would not be exposed,” Conlon says.

Given that many state and local disease control programs may not be able to eliminate mosquito risks, public health officials urge people to pay attention to mosquito disease information posted by the CDC and local public health departments.

The CDC also urges people to:

  • Use insect repellent. DEET is an effective repellant, but “you don’t have to use DEET,” says the CDC’s McAllister. “If  you don’t want to use repellent because you don’t like DEET, find one you like that is EPA-approved and use it.” Besides DEET, other repellents with EPA-approved and effective ingredients include picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (also known as para-methane-3,8-diol), and 2-undecanone.  But note that oil of lemon eucalyptus is not a do-it-yourself product. It’s sold as the main chemical in certain brands of repellent, but it is not the same as the essential oil sold in natural food stores. The National Pesticide Information Center has a list for EPA approved products.
  • Cover up: Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, especially at dawn or dusk when some mosquitoes bite. Wear clothing treated with permethrin.
  • Keep mosquitoes outside: Use air-conditioning or window and door screens. If you cannot, sleep under a mosquito bed net. Stop mosquitoes from laying eggs. Check your property for standing water, including in flower pot saucers, bird baths, tires, toys, buckets, trash containers, and plant containers.


NOAA: “National Climate Report – 2019.”

CDC: “Illnesses from Mosquito, Tick, and Flea Bites Increasing in the US;” “Protection against Mosquitoes, Ticks, & Other Arthropods;” “West Nile Virus and Other Nationally Notifiable Arboviral Diseases — United States, 2017;” “West Nile Virus: Preliminary Maps and Data for 2019;” “West Nile Virus: West Nile Disease Cases by State 2019;” “Saint Louis Encephalitis: Statistics and Maps;” “West Nile Virus: West Nile Virus Neuroinvasive Disease Incidence by State 2018;” “West Nile Virus: Potential Range in the US;” “Zika Virus: 2018 Case Counts in the US;” “La Crosse Encephalitis: Epidemiology & Geographic Distribution.”

NACCHO: “Mosquito Control Capabilities in the US.”

National Pesticide Information Center: “Find Your Local Resources;” “Choosing and Using Insect Repellants.”

Janet McAllister, PhD, entomologist, CDC. Dina M. Fonseca, PhD, molecular ecologist, professor, Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, New Brunswick, NJ.

Joe Conlon, technical advisor, American Mosquito Control Association.

E. Oscar Alleyne, DrPH, chief of programs and services, National Association of County and City Health Officials.

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Pikachu to Capture Audiences This Weekend

It looks like Warner Bros.’ gamble with the live-action/CG-animation hybrid adaptation of Pokémon Detective Pikachu is going to pay off in a big way this weekend. The movie, which is directed by DreamWorks Animation veteran Rob Letterman (Shark Tale, Monsters vs. Aliens), and features Ryan Reynolds as the cute, yellow crime-solver, is expected to capture the No. 2 spot with an estimated $ 53.6 million. Moving Picture Company and Framestore delivered the vfx and CG animation for the movie.

Meanwhile Disney/Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame will take the top stop with an estimated $ 70 million (with a cume of $ 730.4 million) and will become the highest-grossing title of all time at the U.S. box office, crossing the $ 700 million only in its 16th day of release.

Pokemon: Detective Pikachu currently has a 62% critical score on the review website Here’s what some of the critics had to say about the movie:

“There’s something admirable about a film that isn’t afraid to have some fun with a property so established — and beloved — by its core audience.”
–Vincent Acovino, NPR

“The narrative seems designed to be followed by even those with the shortest attention spans; plot points get repeated in case you’ve decided to look down to send a text message. Pokémon Detective Pikachu has been shot on film, a nostalgic touch that’s now unusual for a movie that combines live action and cartoons. But the imagery lacks weight and texture.”
Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times

Though consistent with the game, the story doesn’t allow nearly enough Pokémon-related action, while the quality of the computer animation falls far short of the basic level of competency audiences have come to expect from effects movies….Neither Pikachu nor any of the other Pokémon look as though they belong in the live-action environments. What we can make out of Pikachu’s personality comes through Reynolds’ sardonic line readings, although most of the time, the furry yellow critter we see on-screen doesn’t look like it’s actually feeling the things it says.”
-Peter Debruge, Variety

Animation Magazine

U.S. Measles Cases This Year Reach 465: CDC

April 9, 2019 — The number of reported measles cases in the United States hit 465 as of April 4, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

That’s 78 more than in the previous week’s update, CNN reported.

The update said that Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts and Nevada had their first cases of measles this year, bringing the total number of states reporting cases to 19.

The other states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington, CNN reported.

The number of measles cases this year “is the second greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000,” according to the CDC.

Last year’s total was 372 cases. The largest outbreak occurred in 2014, with 667 cases, CNNreported.

Measles is highly contagious, but it can be prevented through vaccination. One reason for the rising number of measles cases is anti-vaccine misinformation being spread by so-called anti-vaxxers, experts say.

WebMD News from HealthDay

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