Saturday, December 05, 2015

Stuff around the net plus comments

PopSci notes that ASCVD (aka hardening of the arteries) was present 400 years ago.

(via Instapundit)

Yes, and it has been found in ancient Chinese and ancient Egyptian mummies too. Nature article HERE.

To find out if that’s really true, Thomas and his colleagues performed CT scans on 137 mummies from four very different ancient populations: Egyptian, Peruvian, the Ancestral Puebloans of southwest America and the Unangans of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. ... The four groups had different lifestyles — the Ancestral Puebloans were forager–farmers, for example, whereas the Unangan were hunter–gatherers with an exclusively marine diet.  The researchers checked the mummies’ scans for calcified plaques in the wall of an artery or along the expected course of an artery. They diagnosed probable or definite atherosclerosis in 47 (34%) of the 137 mummies, and in all four populations, ranging from 25% of the 51 ancient Peruvians to 60% of the five Unangans. Ancient disease The researchers say that they found a level of disease equivalent to that in modern populations — a result Thomas describes as “a shock”.
It is partly genetic. But in the past, most folks didn't live long enough to die of cancer or a heart attack. And, of course, one suspects most of the mummies were from the affluent classes.

and in the past, people who died of a heart attack were said to die of "indigestion", "apoplexy" or maybe a "surfeit of lampreys"


I am following the Drudge on what  is happening in California; also Instapundit links to various updates on the California shootings. No, I haven't been following it on TV. Still a lot of details not available.

most sarcastic comment: about the thousands of rounds of ammunition in the apartment

To be fair, 5000 rounds of ammo is what we in Tennesssee call “a nice start.”

(but the pipe bombs suggest it was terrorism.)

Presumably this will blame the "holiday party" or the Messianic Jew coworker for setting him off.

lots more nonsense that I won't link to.

I was listening to Art Bell, who used to live here, and he claimed such things never happen here in the Philippines. Huh? Guess he didn't notice Zamboanga.

But tell the truth, usually terrorism here in the Philippines is via bombs: It's the politicians who kill their rivals with guns.
and with the election coming up, we are expecting more murders. LINK LINK2

Of course, we have strict gun control policies, since Marcos confiscated our guns. Translation: everyone has guns but they are hidden. Lolo used to have his WWII sub machine gun in the closet, and also a handgun, until he had a stroke and his born again son insisted he shouldn't break the law, so he gave them away.

Doesn't bother me: I am guarded by George the killer lab, plus a young man who sleeps here with a machete at night to protect us.

Professor Podles has an article on the trends for military equipment given to the police in the past and now being given back at the request of President Obama.
and he notes that the local SWAT team was doing anti terror training nearby, and got there within 4 minutes.

as for anti Muslim fears: Well, ask the German Americans in WWI and the Japanese Americans in WWII about that.

The real problem is that a lot of American mosques are built and paid for and staffed by Saudi money, so they preach intolerance: they do not officially back violent jihad but too many tend to look the other way when terrorists attend.

Again, a parallel would be how the IRA got most of their money from Irish Americans, usually using local bars, so there was an IRA Boston connection.

By no means all Bostonians supported the IRA. But far too many for comfort filled in the collecting tins that went round the bars of the south part of the city, where IRA terrorists were treated as heroes. This activity was smiled on by many local politicians, and overlooked for a time even by the FBI.

There is an Asian link to this: The wife of the terrorist has connections with the Red Mosque in Pakistan, a known center for terrorist recruitment that was shut down after the girls at their religious school started harassing Chinese health care workers (who gave massages as a cover for prostitution). China pressured the gov't there to shut it down, lots of folks killed, but the Imam has since been released and still preaching hatred.


Mammograms cost a lot, so lately these have been discouraged as a routine (to save money, but also because a subset of breast cancer in young women metastasizes very early so mammograms don't lower the death rate).

But high risk women were starting to be told to get MRI's: which are much more expensive.

So now, we are hearing that these too "overdiagnose" cancer (translation: They pick up slow growing cancers that probably would't  kill you quickly)

The researchers found that that nearly half of additional breast cancers detected by the preoperative MRI were overdiagnosed, which means that many of the cancers not detected by MRI would not have become clinically evident over the subsequent five years.

A similar problem is found with the PSA test for male prostate cancer.

Translation: These tests pick up all cancers. Some of the cancers will sit there and not kill you. Some of the cancers will kill you no matter how "early" you catch them, so why spend all this money to find them "early"?

Ah, but the third group is those who have their lives saved. But the actual numbers screened to save people is not "cost effective" so look for more studies like this one.


no link, but the press again posted a "gotcha" question to the Pope about using condoms with HIV.

Well, what no one noticed is that few African men are willing to use condoms, and even then, the condoms deteriorate in the heat.

But you know, if you give retroviral therapy to a person, the risk of transmission is very low.. So therapy, not condoms, is the way to go.

And if HIV is being treated, blame Bush.

alas, many cases died before they developed therapy, and many of them were the educated middle class...


for later reading: Mystery of Arsenic release in ground water revealed.

Groundwater in South and Southeast Asia commonly contains concentrations of arsenic 20 to 100 times greater than the World Health Organization's recommended limit, resulting in more than 100 million people being poisoned by drinking arsenic-laced water in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Myanmar, Vietnam and China. Stanford scientists have solved an important mystery about where the microbes responsible for releasing dangerous arsenic into groundwater in Southeast Asia get their food. Their findings, published in the journal Nature Geosciences, could guide future land management and future development.

a lot of this was because gov'ts built deep wells for drinking water to stop transmission of infectious disease (cholera, dystentary). and the arsenic also can get taken up by rice, especially brown rice, growing there if you irrigate using deep well water or if the water is contaminated by arsenic high ground water leakage

we sell brown rice, but so far the Philippines does not have a problem with arsenic in the ground water.


Speaking of water: it's raining and overcast, but no typhoon.
All the beggars with asthmatic kids will be coming here to get money for the asthma medicine.

We are in an "el nino" drought so any rain is welcome.

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