Archive for the ‘health’ Category

Whatever happened to the Carnival Magic with the ebola scare?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Following up on the Carnival Magic story, my latest, Whatever happened to the Carnival Magic with the ebola scare? is up at Da Tech Guy Blog.

Venezuela: Deadly new illness

Friday, September 12th, 2014

El Nuevo Herald and La Patilla reports that Venezuelan doctors are on the alert for a mysterious new illness whose victims die within 72 hours and which the hospitals don’t know how to treat.

Eight people from the state of Aragua have died in the past ten days. The symptoms are general malaise, high fever, skin rash, and mouth sores that become infected, after which the patients develop internal and external bleeding.

Duglas León Natera, president of the Venezuelan Medical Federation, has gone on the record saying, “we don’t know what it is.”

Happening in the middle of a health crisis in the country, the Venezuelan government has denied the reports, accusing Natera of “engaging in a campaign of rumors and terrorism.”

In other medical news, Exported to Venezuela, miserable Cuban doctors clamor to get into U.S.


Let’s talk about clothes and enclothed cognition

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

“Enclothed cognition”? That’s what psychologists call the premise that the clothes you wear directly affect how you think and what you do.

It turns out the study was paid for by Lululemon, which has managed a lot of free publicity because of some see-through pants, and because the CEO managed to tell the truth – that their clothes are not for the overweight:

Psychology of Lululemon: How Fashion Affects Fitness
Does expensive athletic wear actually incline us to work out? “Enclothed cognition” proposes that the clothes you wear directly affect how we think and what we do.

“It’s all about the symbolic meaning that you associate with a particular item of clothing,” Adam said. And he thinks the study’s results can be applied to many more fields, including activewear and fitness. “I think it would make sense that when you wear athletic clothing, you become more active and more likely to go to the gym and work out.”

Especially if you have spent $300+ on an outfit you could get for under $40 at Old Navy.

Let’s compare:
Lululemon:
En Route Jacket $148.00
Hustle & Bustle Tank $58.00
Astro Pant (Tall) *Full-On Luon $98.00
Total: $304.00

Old Navy:
Micro-Performance Fleece Jacket $10.00
Active by Old Navy Compression Tank $14.00
Fold-Over Yoga Pants $14.00
Total: $38.00

Yes, the prices above are as of today, and you can get almost ten Old Navy outfits for the price of one Lululemon.

“But Fausta,” you’ll say, “Lululemon’s yoga and running gear are designed for sweaty workouts (Full-On Luon fabric is sweat wicking, four-way stretch and breathable)! Old Navy’s isn’t!”

Ask yourself how many times a week/month/year you run outdoors long enough to break a sweat: that’s when you need the high-performance materials. If you work out indoors, you’ll do fine with Old Navy. At the end of your sweaty workout, you’re done, and you’ll be showering and changing anyway.

Unless, of course, you have to impress yourself and everybody else with the brand name (be it Lululemon, Patagonia, Athleta, or whatever), in which case, by all means, do. It all has to do with enclothed cognition.

However, keep one thing in mind: I don’t weigh myself, and I keep to a low-carb diet because I must, so the way I keep track of my weight is by seeing whether my non-stretchy clothes are getting tight. Once you get into the habit of wearing stretchy clothes all day, clothes that “give” (particularly around the waist), you lose track of that.

Which brings me to the question:
If you spend $300 on an outfit, would you be wearing it all day, and skipping the gym because breaking a sweat would mean changing into something less stylish? Or do you really get the activewear for working out?

Only you can answer that.

Related: Althouse goes Heisenberg and asks,

What I think would be fun to talk about is articles of clothing that you have used to alter your perceptions. And have you rejected items of clothing that you thought would skew your perceptions in ways you didn’t like? Remember to exclude the idea of how others perceive you and how their response to you will affect you. It’s just you. You and that item of clothing.

For a snowy day,

Blogging on Latin American politics shall resume later.


Venezuela: Entire medical system collapsing

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Back when Hugo Chavez was alive, he imported 30,000 Cuban “doctors” (some of which eventually defected), and began buying most medical equipment through Cuba, China and Argentina instead of from the suppliers.

Now the whole country’s medical system – both the “free” healthcare and the private – is collapsing, as Frank Bajak reports:
DOCTORS SAY VENEZUELA’S HEALTH CARE IN COLLAPSE

Last month, the government suspended organ donations and transplants. At least 70 percent of radiotherapy machines, precisely what Gonzalez will need once her tumor is removed, are now inoperable in a country with 19,000 cancer patients – meaning fewer than 5,000 can be treated, said Dr. Douglas Natera, president of the Venezuelan Medical Federation.

Disintegration: Another look at universal health care in Venezuela

Needles, syringes and paraffin used in biopsies to diagnose cancer, drugs to treat it, operating room equipment, X-ray film and imaging paper, blood and the reagents needed so it can be used for transfusions are all in desperately short supply.

Alberto de la Cruz points out the Cubanization of Venezuela:

Under the “leadership” of their puppet governor Nicolas Maduro, this Cuban colony has managed to become almost completely Cubanized in just a few short months. Implementing the same strategies in Venezuela as they have done in Cuba, the Castro dictatorship has driven the health care system in that country into the ground. Unfortunately for them, they have no “embargo” to blame for this destruction. And another unfortunate situation for Cuba’s Castro dictatorship and their sycophants brought about by this development is that it once again proves that the atrocious health care system in Cuba (and now in Venezuela) has nothing to do with “embargoes.” Instead, it has everything to do with corruption and mismanagement at the hands of the criminal and totalitarian Castro regime.

Read the horrifying report here.

Argentina: Free (homemade) Viagra

Friday, August 9th, 2013

No, not this kind,

The Argentinian government version:

Argentina begins doling out free ‘Viagra’…

Argentina has begun distributing a free state-produced version of the erection-boosting drug Viagra for the first time, in a move intended to curb its misuse, health authorities announced Thursday.

They said 200,000 doses of sildenafil, better known under the Viagra brand name, is to be distributed free of charge through the public health network of the province of Santa Fe.

The drug is being produced in Santa Fe by the state-owned pharmaceutical firm LIFSE, which plans to eventually distributed it nationally.

Forgive my skepticism, but I wouldn’t trust “a free state-produced version” of anything, particularly if touted “to avoid the abuse or bad use of the drug and to warn the population about its correct use.”

The faux-iagra “is the first [drug] to be made by the state in Argentina.” That alone fills me with confidence.

The article didn’t mention anything on online sales, but, just in case, keep in mind that Argentinian servers have “ar” on the address. Those of you interested in medical tourism will like to know that Santa Fe is 467km from Buenos Aires, or approx. 5 hours by road.

So, guys, don’t forget to ask your doctor if your heart is heatly enough for sex (yeah, right), and ¡buena suerte, amigos!


G-r-o-s-s: Bolivarian “sanitary” towels

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

This is what women in Cuba have to use since the country can’t produce paper goods, and doesn’t have money to import them: Pads made of fabric, that must be washed by hand since no one can afford washing machines,

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Michael Moore and all of those touting “Cuban healthcare” probably don’t know about this detail of basic sanitation.

Now that there are shortages of tampons, pads, toothpaste, food, and paper goods in Venezuela, the chavistas have come up with a propaganda video extolling the pads made of fabric:

She claims it’s 100% biodegradable, reusable, and prevents you from participating in “savage capitalism.”

No mention of bacteria, stained clothes, or odors.

Meanwhile, someone else didn’t take well to this pre-industrial age idea (what am I saying? Pre-Roman times), and came up with snark,

“We couldn’t leave out [the] biodegradable Bolivarian tampons”

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TB at the border, and drug violence

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Risk of Deadly TB Exposure Grows Along U.S.-Mexico Border

Officials say that when drug-resistant cases show up in the U.S., there is often a Mexico connection. Of San Diego’s 14 multidrug-resistant TB cases between 2007 and 2011, half were either from Mexico or had a Mexico link based on the particular strain of the disease, said Kathleen Moser of the county’s Health & Human Services Agency, which sees many patients who live and work on both sides of the border.

Part of the problem, of course, is that Mexico’s rate of TB infection is much higher—in some cases 10 times higher. The resistant strains begin to breed, experts say, when doctors there give patients similar drug regimens over and over. Other times, patients who aren’t supervised closely abandon treatment before they are cured.

It’s worse because of the Mexican drug violence:

Funding isn’t the only issue. As a key part of prevention efforts, U.S. experts have regularly crossed the border in California and Texas to keep tabs on and help patients directly. But drug-related violence along parts of the U.S.-Mexico border has shot up, forcing workers to consult only from the U.S. side. Among them is Barbara Seaworth, the medical director of a TB center in San Antonio, who stopped a few years ago after making the trips for nearly 20 years.

Compounding the problem: Mexico lacks enough health workers to offer directly observed therapy to every patient.

Nanny Bloomberg: Feel the pain! UPDATED

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Don’t get injured in New York City, because Nanny Bloomberg knows better than your doctor:
New York City to Restrict Prescription Painkillers in Public Hospitals’ Emergency Rooms

Under the new city policy, most public hospital patients will no longer be able to get more than three days’ worth of narcotic painkillers like Vicodin and Percocet. Long-acting painkillers, including OxyContin, a familiar remedy for chronic backache and arthritis, as well as Fentanyl patches and methadone, will not be dispensed at all.

How often is Oxycontin prescribed in emergency rooms anyway, and why is Bloomberg sticking his nose on this?

And lost, stolen or destroyed prescriptions will not be refilled.

After I came up with this post’s title I found out Stephen Green had it, too.

A mayor’s job is shovel the snowcatch criminals. Not this stuff.

If NYC has a problem with junkies and painkillers, I suggest they start dealing with the junkies. Instead, Bloomberg will crack down mostly on people who aren’t breaking the law, by doing what governments do best: Creating shortages of vital goods.

But fear not, the short, plump mayor knows what’s best for you.

UPDATE:
Howard Portnoy:

Michael R. Bloomberg isn’t a doctor, and he doesn’t even play one on television. But that hasn’t stopped him from practicing medicine. Last July, he ordered New York City hospitals to begin hiding baby formula so that mothers of newborns would be forced to nurse their infant children. A month earlier, he enacted a ban on soft drinks larger than 16 fluid ounces, seeming to understand that if he didn’t take action, his patients – er, subjects … er, constituents … would drink themselves to an early, sugary death.

At your peak

Friday, September 28th, 2012

The Peak Time for Everything
Pack More in a Day By Matching Tasks To the Body’s Energy; Lung Power at 5 p.m.

with handy-dandy video and graphic

(more…)

Give up marathoning!

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Turns out that Phidippides, the Greek guy who died in 470BC after running 175 miles in two day, was trying to tell us something,
Excess exercise ‘hurts the heart’ and cause dangerous long-term harm, say scientists

Activities such as marathons, iron man distance triathlons, and very long distance bicycle races may cause structural changes to the heart and large arteries, leading to lasting injury.

Some people may overexercise since they enjoy the endorphins; psychology has named that the Jim Fixx syndrome

Some joggers, in order to heighten the pleasurable effect of the jogger’s euphoria, subject their bodies to excessive exercise. In this pursuit of pleasure, they may sometimes land themselves into serious trouble that has been described as the Jim Fixx Syndrome.

Fixx also dropped dead during jogging.

Now excuse me while I take a nap.