How We Die Has Changed

A few things – the number of transportation deaths per 100k people was 20% higher in 2000 vs 2020. – Suicides have gone up, but have always hovered around the transportation rate, so it didn’t take much to overtake it – Fentanyl scourge is China’s revenge for the Opium wars- cancer treatments have Improved

How I try to stay informed…

Since the news business has changed from reporting to profits, keeping eyeballs is what it is all about. 

Fox found this out after they accurately reported that Trump was projected to lose Arizona. Tucker Carlson then ranted about how their viewership was going down, along with the stock price with which he was richly compensated. He understood that their viewers were  there to hear what they need to believe. And if they didn’t get it, they would move to Newsmax, Onan and other alternative news sources that would feed the beast.

Rush Limbaugh always understood that and bragged that he was an Entertainer. Are you entertained?

For any democracy to it operate efficiently, it needs an informed electorate. So how do you sort out the news from the fire hose of information flow these days?

1)Realize that your. 00001 experience of the world contributes to 80% of your worldview. Approach your understanding with a scientist skepticism that he’s always willing to accept that he could be wrong.

 2)Intentionally expose yourself to opposing views. We don’t like to do this because it makes us uncomfortable. Over the years I have developed a diversity of writers that I follow on the hellscape that is Twitter. Most of us don’t have a luxury of time to do that. It’s not easy being free, when you don’t have an emperor to make all the decisions for you.

3) Turn off the Crisis News networks . If there isn’t good video footage, or if the victim isn’t attractive, you won’t hear about it . Just like the print media, television is all about eyeballs. Now there are live news events that television coverage excels at. Television Studios nowadays don’t need to wait for their cameras to warm up to go live. Walter Cronkite had to wait to give the world the shocking news about Kennedy being shot in Dallas.

CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite reports that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. Credit CBS via Landov

4) Read some news sources from outside the United States bubble. Here are some free websites that also have free apps for your handhelds. 

A good one to see the southeast Asian perspective on the world is the Asia Times

Also, try the Arab news source

France 24 for another perspective

The Guardian is one of the few British rags that isn’t just a tabloid

If you can afford subscription the Financial Times, The Week, The Economist, Wall Street Journal and NY Times will cover a lot of area.

A great little tool that I use is an aggregator that ranks stories by their number of hits in real time. Bookmark this handy page

5) Last, but not least, Social Media is just that and not a source of verifiable information. Outrage and anger build engagement. Realize that you are being baited with these emotions to click on their stories.

When Heroin was over-the-counter…

During the late 19th century, the pharmaceutical company Bayer gained prominence for its production and distribution of various medications. One such product was heroin, which at the time was considered a breakthrough in the field of medicine. Initially, Bayer held the trademark for the word “heroin” and marketed it as a remedy for common ailments like coughs and headaches.

Heroin, derived from morphine, was synthesized by Bayer’s chief chemist, Felix Hoffmann, in 1897. The company saw potential in the drug due to its potent pain-relieving properties. As a result, Bayer introduced heroin as an over-the-counter medication, widely available for purchase without a prescription.

The marketing campaign for Bayer’s heroin emphasized its effectiveness as a cough suppressant, particularly for children. It was positioned as a safer alternative to traditional cough remedies, such as codeine-based preparations. The company touted the drug’s ability to alleviate coughing and soothe headaches, presenting it as a versatile solution for common respiratory and pain-related issues.

During this period, the potential risks and addictive nature of heroin were not yet fully understood or acknowledged. Consequently, the public and medical professionals had limited awareness of the dangers associated with its use. As a result, heroin gained widespread acceptance and popularity as a household remedy.

It wasn’t until the early 20th century that the harmful effects and addictive nature of heroin became more widely recognized. As scientific understanding advanced, the medical community and regulatory authorities began to realize the detrimental consequences of its unrestricted availability. Subsequently, heroin was classified as a controlled substance, leading to stricter regulations and eventually its removal from the market as an over-the-counter medication.

The case of Bayer’s involvement in the marketing and distribution of heroin as a cough and headache remedy serves as a historical reminder of the evolving understanding of drugs and their effects. It highlights the importance of scientific research, regulatory oversight, and responsible pharmaceutical practices in ensuring public health and safety.

More Wuhan Evidence

After years of official pronouncements to the contrary, strong new evidence has emerged suggesting the virus known as SARS-CoV-2 escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).

Alexey Solodovnikov (Idea, Producer, CG, Editor), Valeria Arkhipova (Scientific Сonsultant)

Now, answers increasingly look within reach. Sources within the US government say that three of the earliest people to become infected with SARS-CoV-2 were Ben Hu, Yu Ping, and Yan Zhu. All were members of the Wuhan lab suspected to have leaked the pandemic virus.

As such, not only do we know there were WIV scientists who had developed COVID-19-like illnesses in November 2019, but also that they were working with the closest relatives of SARS-CoV-2, and inserting gain-of-function features unique to it.When a source was asked how certain they were that these were the identities of the three WIV scientists who developed symptoms consistent with COVID-19 in the fall of 2019, we were told, “100%”

The Times of London reported that State Department investigators “found evidence that researchers working on these experiments were taken to hospital with Covid-like symptoms in November 2019.” As previously reported in Vanity Fair, some of the information State Department investigators found in 2021 was “sitting in the U.S. intelligence community’s own files, unanalyzed.”

My Long Covid Story

Hyperbaric Chambers at Fantastic Wellness Center in West Palm Beach, Fl.

We may think COVID is over, but tell that to COVID.

Everybody’s COVID story is different. Here’s mine.

At the 2020 Super Bowl in Miami, I shared popcorn with the guy from San Francisco sitting next to me. At the time, COVID had supposedly only appeared in the Pacific Northwest. it was only later that it was discovered that it had already arrived by then in San Francisco.

When I got sick a few days later, my doctor gave me a flu test, which turned out negative. Over the next few days, as I lay on the couch during the day, I came to feel like what it must be to know that you are dying of a disease. It took me 6 months to fully recover back to my old self. It was great to finally be able to do all the active sports that I enjoyed now that I am retired and have the time.

I am a very active 73-year-old. I love to kiteboard in the ocean and paddle surf waves. I play tennis at least once a week and work out at the gym with a trainer for 90 minutes 3 days a week. So I’m in good shape.

A year ago, I drove over to Sarasota Florida for a memorial service for one of my cousins. I was one of the three attendees that came down with COVID. This COVID was just a bad cold. I took Paxlovid. After the regimen was over, I felt good enough; that for three or four days, my wife Maria and I went out and did things together again.

Then I got the dreaded rebound. This round was actually worse. I never seem to actually gotten over it for the last year. Yes, I had brief times, where I thought I was getting back to my old self and started doing all my favorite things outdoors. But this time was different. For the first time in my life, I developed asthma. I still have an annoying persistent COVID cough, even while using a daily inhale of Trelegy, which costs an eye-popping $625 for a one month supply. Now my trainer actually had to keep a handful of Kleenex handy for all the expectorant that I coughed up. You can be sure all the other people in the gym looked at me like Typhoid Mary. But I was testing negative for COVID. I was fully boosted with all of the Pfizer vaccines and supplemental boosters. My workouts exhausted me. When my wife finally got Covid, for the first time last month, I took no precautions; because my doctor had pointed out that I had enough anti-bodies for an elephant.

I’ve been going to a functional medicine doctor. She is a colorectal surgeon, who found that if she got her patients bio gut straightened out, she didn’t have to operate, except in maybe 20% of the cases. Every 6 months she draws a prodigious amount of blood, takes urine and fecal samples and sends them away to state-of-the-art labs. Most blood tests spin out the platelets, but one of the labs actually tries to figure out how much of the nutrition in your body is actually getting through the cell walls and measures it.

She had been able able to get my body to stop producing painful kidney stones, which were afflicting me on a frequent basis. Now she noticed, after this recent bout of COVID, that my Epstein-Barr virus had been triggered. If you have ever had mononucleosis, then you are still harboring the Epstein-Barr virus in your body. COVID triggered it and it came on with a vengeance. Where at one time it measured at only 18, now I was getting readings of 300 to 600 and the subsequent chronic fatigue. My white blood cell count was low and other vitamins and minerals were not in my usual balance.

Over the past year, whenever I got tired and run down, it seems the Epstein-Barr would fire back up again. Since this last time, from a little over a month ago, I haven’t been able to bounce back again. It appears I have developed what is called PEM (post-exercise malaise). Now, if if you’re feeling tired and run down you must be out of shape therefore got to toughen up and work out. It turns out that is the worst thing to do. Research indicates that PEM often affects Type A athletes. I have an athlete’s heartbeat that normally is around 45 now my resting heart rate is up in the low to mid-50s. My oxygen level which used to be 98 to 99 is in the low to mid-90s now.

Some research indicates that the flow of oxygen from the lungs into the blood is interfered with by nodules forming on its blood vessels. So I’m trying an experimental treatment to try and break those nodules free. Every weekday I go down the equivalent of 45 ft underwater in a hyperbaric chamber for an hour breathing 100% pure oxygen. When back I come up, my oxygen level is back to 98 or 99. Before I go in it’s 93% or 95%. Now that improvement doesn’t last all day but I’m hoping that over time it’ll eventually improve my condition.

Some reports of relief indicate that it doesn’t last. Hey, but at this point I’m willing to try anything. Yale researchers are pointing to a 5 to 10 day additional course of Paxlovid appears to help. I’ll consult with my doctor on that course of treatment.

There is no clear number on how many people have long covid, because the government doesn’t track it. Some estimates are as high as 30% of infected people have lingering symptoms in some form. There attempts being made to add Long Covid to the list of tracked diseases that the your doctor can check off. Insurance companies are fighting are fighting it, because if it becomes a recognized disease, then they would have to cover it. I’m fortunate enough to be able to afford the $2,750 for 10 Dives in a hyperbaric chamber. Hopefully it’ll be worth it.

Flesh Eating Bacteria Found in Sargassum

‘Pathogen’ Storm: Vibrio Bacteria, Sargassum and Plastic Marine Debris

Beach, Sargassum, Seaweed, Brown Microalgae, Vibrio, Plastic Marine Debris, Public Health, Florida

Some cultivation-based data show beached Sargassum appear to harbor high amounts of Vibrio bacteria. (Photo credit: Brian Lapointe, FAU Harbor Branch)

By gisele galoustian | 5/18/2023

A new study uncovers how the interplay between Sargassum spp., plastic marine debris and Vibrio bacteria creates the perfect “pathogen” storm that has implications for both marine life and public health. Vibrio bacteria are found in waters around the world and are the dominant cause of death in humans from the marine environment. For example, Vibrio vulnificus, sometimes referred to as flesh-eating bacteria, can cause life-threatening foodborne illnesses from seafood consumption as well as disease and death from open wound infections.

Since 2011, Sargassum, free-living populations of brown macroalga, have been rapidly expanding in the Sargasso Sea and other parts of the open ocean such as the Great Atlantic Sargassum Belt, including frequent and unprecedented seaweed accumulation events on beaches. Plastic marine debris, first found in surface waters of the Sargasso Sea, has become a worldwide concern, and is known to persist decades longer than natural substrates in the marine environment.

Currently, little is known about the ecological relationship of vibrios with Sargassum. Moreover, genomic and metagenomic evidence has been lacking as to whether vibrios colonizing plastic marine debris and Sargassum could potentially infect humans. As summer kicks into high gear and efforts are underway to find innovative solutions to repurpose Sargassum, could these substrates pose a triple threat to public health?

Diet Soda is killing you and not helping you lose weight

Just in case you were planning on shedding a few pounds before the Summer, the World Health Organization has informed us that diet sodas aren’t a fast track to success. According to a recent write-up in Science Alert, artificial sweeteners have no added health benefits when compared to traditional sugar and should not be utilized as a means of achieving weight loss. This news is devastating to many, as poor weight management can be a leading cause of deadly diseases such as diabetes and certain forms of cancer, which are leading causes of death all over the world.

Knowingly eating artificially sweetened foods might contribute to the “idea of ‘it’s better for me so I can eat as much as I want,'” registered dietitian Alissa Rumsey told Axios.

Sugar substitutes aren’t as satisfying as the real thing, so “for some people, this leads to them continuing to eat and graze on foods to try to find that feeling of satisfaction

The next epidemic could be home grown

Measles is wildly contagious, can linger in air for hours, and kills 1/1000 it infects. It also kinda resets your immune system so you can get sick from everything you’ve been sick from again, like you are a toddler in preschool

Interestingly, in a 1990 SC case that denied religious freedoms to Native Americans and privileged the rights of the gov’t, *Scalia,* the darling of conservatives, says religious beliefs don’t give ppl the right to reject “compulsory vaccination laws.”

The rest of the world stares in disbelief.

Meanwhile Russia persuades Americans to become anti-vaxers.

Putin’s Long War Against American Science
by William J. Broad

A decade of health disinformation promoted by President Vladimir Putin of Russia has sown wide confusion, hurt major institutions and encouraged the spread of deadly illnesses.

Have We been Wrong About MSG?

“When people tell me that they ate at a Chinese food restaurant and they had trouble breathing and tightness in their chest, I get worried – and I’d say, ‘you need to follow up on that because MSG is not an allergen. It’s not going to cause an allergic response. Our bodies make glutamate, so it would not be possible to have an allergy to glutamate’,” says Rains.

Almost all of the dishes served at New York City restaurant Bonnie's contain MSG, says owner/chef  Calvin Eng.

Almost all of the dishes served at New York City restaurant Bonnie’s contain MSG, says owner/chef Calvin Eng.Adam Friedlander/The New York Times/Redux

MSG is the most misunderstood ingredient of the century. That’s finally changing

“When people tell me that they ate at a Chinese food restaurant and they had trouble breathing and tightness in their chest, I get worried – and I’d say, ‘you need to follow up on that because MSG is not an allergen. It’s not going to cause an allergic response. Our bodies make glutamate, so…

By Maggie Hiufu Wong, CNN

Updated 11:15 PM EDT, Wed May 10, 2023

CNN — 

Calvin Eng, the owner of New York-based Cantonese-American restaurant Bonnie’s, isn’t shy about his love for monosodium glutamate.

Case in point – he has the letters “MSG” tattooed on his arm, and his restaurant’s menu includes a signature drink called the MSG Martini.

“Things just taste better with MSG, whether it’s Western food or Cantonese food,” the chef tells CNN.

“We use it in drinks. We use it in desserts. We use it in savory food. It’s in almost everything. Salt, sugar and MSG – I always joke that they’re the Chinese Trinity of seasonings.”

Openly admitting to using MSG – once a surefire way to keep your restaurant empty – certainly hasn’t undermined Bonnie’s success. It’s become one of the hottest tables in New York since opening in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in late 2021, winning numerous Best New Restaurant awards from multiple media outlets.

Eng himself was named one of the best new chefs of 2022 by Food and Wine Magazine and was included on the 2023 Forbes 30 under 30 list, just to name a few of his recent achievements.

Demystifying MSG: ‘It was a taboo’

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