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Drat this working for a living all to heck.

Jun. 28th, 2014

11:15 am - 16 C = 61 F

Or at least close enough for most cases where one needs a quick mental comparison.

This isn't in relation to anything in particular - other than that I was taught fahrenheit and then we changed to celsius, and I'm still mostly confused about how warm a celsius feels.  I do know that I like an 18 C room for living, with a 16 to 17 room for sleeping, and both my work office and our bedroom have been relentlessly 25 C for the last few days and nights.  Ugh.

But, depending on the cloud cover and the wind, 16 C is light jacket weather (&, if you want to aggravate the kids, socks in your birkenstocks weather).

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Jun. 19th, 2014

03:23 pm - I mean: because then there is this:

A report on child miners:
http://bc.ctvnews.ca/dirty-and-dangerous-child-miners-in-africa-1.1873662

So, an multinational mining company wouldn't be buying pepper-spraying drones for altruistic purposes, would they.  Argh.

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02:33 pm - Pepper Spray Drones - argh

I am seriously freaked out about this:

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-27902634

I tried to post it on Facebook, but it doesn't seem to be landing on people's feeds.  This is really really creepy.

I know this is lame, but I don't know how to embed the story so the graphics show:

Skunk Drone also fires plastic bullets BBC News Tech 19Jun14

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May. 21st, 2014

06:28 pm - Nitro Fatty Acids and Olive Oil and the Mediterranean Diet

So you probably saw this the other day:
http://www.bbc.com/news/health-27470115

And I tracked down the King's College London press release:
http://www.kcl.ac.uk/newsevents/news/newsrecords/2014/May/Why-you-need-olive-oil-on-your-salad.aspx

And essentially it is that putting olive oil on nitrite (or nitrate) rich vegetables causes a synergy that creates Nitro Fatty Acids.  And the reason this is important is because it inhibits the formation of soluble Epoxide Hydrolase, and when you inhibit that, you reduce blood pressure.

So, it's time be generous with your slatherings of olive oil on vegetables.  Ones which are nitrite or nitrate rich, that is.  Which, strangely, when those substances appear in preserved meats, they are bad news.  Here is a tool to help find the richest such vegetables:
http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/

Tangent:
I find it hilarious in the BBC news report, after finding out that adding one type of complex food to another type of complex food creates a new complex nutrient with health benefits, all anyone can talk about is isolating the active compound to make single-purpose pharmaceuticals.  :)  What part of "emergent property" are they not getting?  :)  The thing about emergent properties is that they must have a matrix out of which to emerge.

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May. 15th, 2014

01:26 pm - Also ...

... now I'm afraid to log out.

01:24 pm - Well, that's ... weird

So, been away for a few days, and log in to LJ, and obviously something new has happened, but immediately a page-greying screen drops down and nothing is clickable.  Good.  Back, log in again: same.  Open new tab, click on bookmarked log in, go immediately to logged in page with the same greyout screen, but this time there is a popdown menu offering me to give feedback or go back to old version.  I accept with relief the chance to go back to old version, and my LJ experience is pretty much as before.  But I am hearing/reading much hating the new look and unmanagabilty (spelling optional) and have no desire to explore the "new" ew.

I wonder what will happen tomorrow.

Apr. 8th, 2014

11:38 am - And then the issue of Antibiotics in childhood.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/opinion/sunday/the-fat-drug.html

http://www.med.nyu.edu/medicine/labs/blaserlab/v1-mbr_cho.html

The idea being that administering antibiotics in early childhood kills off the normal intestinal bacteria, which hampers the person's ability to digest food properly.

It is probably going to be a multiple factor issue: not enough enzymes to digest carbohydrates properly, matched with the loss of whatever intestinal helpers there might have been to pick up the slack, plus the increase of sugar or wheat or corn starch in every single processed food[1], plus the access to cars to get us everywhere easily.  I suspect there might be a virus also (like there turned out to be a bacteria for ulcers - much against the "common sense" wisdom of the 80's) in the mix, but who knows.

On the other hand - I was given antibiotics early and (I think) often, but some of the things were really horrible (could have lost at least a leg), so - how do you not administer them for the things they work against?

[1] - seriously: I stopped buying the brand of salt my family has bought for three generations because it now has sugar as one of its ingredients (*really*? - salt needs sugar in it? - really?).

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Apr. 1st, 2014

03:43 pm - Salivary Amylase and interesting things about it.

Determinants of the Diurnal Course of Salivary Alpha Amylase (2007):
http://p113367.typo3server.info/uploads/media/Nater_Kirschbaum_Determinants_of_the_diurnal_course_of_salivary_alpha_amylase.pdf

Effect of Fluoride on Human Salivary Amylase Activity (1995):
http://www.fluorideresearch.org/282/files/FJ1995_v28_n2_p071-074.pdf

Amylase and Human Evolution (2008):
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/12/11/amylase-and-human-evolution/

Hartnell Lab manual for enzyme experiments (no date listed):
http://www.hartnell.edu/faculty/kharris/bio10labmanual/labs/Enzymes.pdf

Davidson College assignment page [only certain mammals have salivary amylase] (2010):
http://www.bio.davidson.edu/Courses/Molbio/MolStudents/spring2010/Webb/a-amylase.htm

Original study for Amylase and Human Evolution (2007):
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2377015/



I shall add more as I find them.

03:10 pm - AMY1 gene and carbodyrate digestion and obesity - well, there's a thing.

Not that this will influence the fat-shamers, but this is pretty darned exciting:
http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_31-3-2014-9-58-51

I'm excited because this is like being lactose-intolerant (loss of milk-digesting enzyme in adulthood). Nobody tries to say to me that if I JUST TRIED HARDER I could digest milk IF I HAD ENOUGH WILLPOWER and REALLY WANTED TO and wasn't a SELF-INDULGENT LUMP.

It also means that now I know why controlled carb gives me the best results when I can stick to it (I challenge anyone, who wishes to try, to get an inexpensive restaurant meal without a whole bunch of cheap white starch making up most of it). Woo. :)

No, seriously: woo! :)

Feb. 15th, 2014

02:56 pm - SOGP's surgery.

I just realized I never mentioned Lorne's surgery & recovery.  He is so well-recovered now that I have mostly completely forgotten that he was unwell or had surgery or anything.

Surgery happened two days before his birthday (mid October).  We got him to the UBC hospital for 7:00 am and they prepped him until 9:30 am when they took him in.  I counted 8 different people who (a) asked him when he had last eaten, and (b) asked him if he knew what he was there for.[1]  There was the main hospital receptionist, the department receptionist, the prepping nurse, the doctor, the intern, the anesthesiologist, the nurse who gave him medication, and the nurse who took him away to surgery.

They were expecting him to be awake again around noon or 1:00, but he didnt' wake up until around 3:30  - and only because they were trying to get him out of there so they could close shop for the day.  We had had some busy times (cat in emergency on the long weekend CDN Thanksgiving, + family visiting + yadda yadda) during the week running up to the surgery, and I think he wasn't over-drugged, but simply sleep-deprived.

He had one week of quite a lot of discomfort, and then he started to feel better.  My family filled him with scare stories about my uncle and a family friend who both had the same surgery and didn't pay attention to needing quite a lot of time to heal properly and so had to each have their surgeries again - so he was very good about patiently waiting for improvement.

He had the surgery on both sides, and has healed so well.  For a while there, while he was waiting for surgery, he became a very old man (and he was hitting birthday # 65 this year & retiring) because he felt he would never feel strong again.  He is now very strong and quite a young man again.  As I say - for days at a time I forget that he was ever ill.

So, bad things happen, occasionally, but by and large, Canada's medical system works and works well.  People trying to dismantle it or weaken it need to be staked through the heart like the wicked vampires they are.


[1] - sometime during this past year a woman was given a double mastectomy when she had gone in for something completely different, so I suspect all these questions were both a double-check and a reassurance that they cared to be doing the right operation.

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