Archive for the 'Gesundheit' Category

Welding flash burn

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

I am taking welding lessons Wednesday nights at the local Community College, and so I spent three hours last night welding with a stick welder. At 2 AM, I woke up and I felt like my eyes had burning sand in them. That condition is called flash burn, or arc eye, and it is essentially […]

Biking to work

Sunday, September 23rd, 2007

When we moved closer Durham in June, I started seriously considering the idea of riding my bike to work. Several guys I work with already do that. It’s a great way to stay in shape and reduce your environmental footprint. So, now that the weather is cooler (less than 90F/32°C) I really ran out of […]

Africa Malaria Day

Wednesday, April 25th, 2007

Today is Africa Malaria Day. Malaria is an ancient global killer, and in Africa, more than 3,000 children die each day from malaria (Red Cross). In order to raise awareness about Malaria, and what to do about it, the WHO’s Roll Back Malaria initiative issued a statement that expresses hope that global collaboration can finally […]

Toxic waste cleanup in Abidjan

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

Here is a recent update about the cleanup from the Probo Koala toxic waste scandal: ‘We do these kinds of operations all around the world, but this is big,’ Alwin Booij, managing director Tredi Internationale, the French firm contracted to handle the cleanup told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa Thursday. So far, Booij said, his teams have […]

Dirty, filthy ‘puters

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

Computers are not a green product. Their production, use and disposal consume huge amounts of energy and involve toxic chemicals. At work, I buy and decommission dozens of computers every year, and I worry a lot about the impact of my decisions on our environment. So I find the Greenpeace “Guide to Green Electronics” very […]

Toxic tanker impounded

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Thanks to intense activism by Greenpeace , the ship involved in the Abidjan toxic waste scandal, the Probo Koala, was impounded by Estonian police and a criminal investigation appears to be under way. For three days, the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise blocked the Probo Koala in the Estonian harbor of Paldiski. The activists painted the […]

Toxic waste ship in the Baltic sea

Friday, September 8th, 2006

The Probo Koala, infamous now for the deadly toxic waste it unloaded in Côte D’Ivoire, is now in Latvia, en route to Estonia, Deutsche Presse reports. The tanker’s arrival is causing some concern in Estonia: “The Probo Koala will be under very special treatment when it comes into (the Estonian port of) Paldiski,” Allan Gromov […]

Africa Malaria Day 2006

Tuesday, April 25th, 2006

Today is Africa Malaria Day and this year the focus is on the need to provide universal access to artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). ACTs are the newest hope for making serious progress toward defeating the Queen of Diseases. African children are dying of malaria at the rate of one every 30 seconds. Take a minute […]

Yet more reasons to drink beer

Monday, April 24th, 2006

I have always liked Guinness, especially on tap. A nice, cool pint of Guinness slows things down a bit, as you watch it slowly settle to its characteristic dark stillness, with this creamy, meditative – but confident – head. Recently, Beer Advocate published an interview with Fergal Murray, one of the company’s head brewmasters, and […]

Toxic soda story heats up

Thursday, April 13th, 2006

Food safety researchers have conducted more tests on soda pop involving heat and UV exposure, and they found clear evidence that even short exposure of soda to heat increases the levels of benzene, a human carcinogen. This is caused by the presence of two common preservatives in the soda: sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid. “Heat […]

Don’t pray for me

Saturday, April 1st, 2006

… at least not when it’s time fo my triple bypass, because you’d increase my chance of experiencing complications during recovery by seven percentage points, according to a recent study: Percentage of Patients Having Complications After Surgery: 52% – Patients who were receiving prayers and did not know this. 52% – Patients receiving no prayers […]

Toxic soda – another reason to drink beer

Tuesday, March 7th, 2006

So the FDA figured out in the 1990s that two common preservatives used in soda pop, when combined, can produce enough benzene in the soda to exceed legal levels for this stuff in drinking water. They just neglected to tell us, reports: Chemists from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said they were […]

Hope for a cure for AIDS

Thursday, February 9th, 2006

This report in the news raises hope for a comprehensive AIDS cure – in a decade, or so: A chemical has been identified which could halt the progress of HIV, US scientists say. Lab tests of the chemical – CSA-54 – at Vanderbilt University show it disables the virus’s ability to infect cells. It was […]

The voices of those among us

Thursday, December 1st, 2005

Big promises, lots of talk today, and some quirky publicity, for World Aids Day. Anybody care to listen to the voices of those among us living with the dreaded disease? The stories of how the stigma, the ignorance, the silence kills millions? Anybody? Black Looks shares one of those stories, Rose’s story, with us: R: […]

Heckuva-Job, Stewart Simonson

Monday, November 28th, 2005

Worried yet about the bird flu? At least the Feds are on the job, now, right? There are competent public-health experts hammering out plans for a response to a flu pandemic, right? Meet Stewart Simonson. He’s the official charged by Bush with “the protection of the civilian population from acts of bioterrorism and other public […]

Effects of a flu pandemic

Sunday, November 27th, 2005

The Council on Foreign Relations held a conference on Nov. 16 in New York where a number of high-powered panelists discussed the threat of a flu pandemic and the status of avian flu preparedness in the U.S. and around the world. The intensity and complexity of the problem, as laid out in the discussions, is […]

Shrub cuts bird-flu preparedness

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

Europeans appear to take the bird-flu threat seriously: Germany now mandates that chicken be kept only inside. But although Bush said he read “The Great Influenza” his administration still slashes funding for public health preparedness by $129 million in next year’s budget. “Critical funding is shrinking just as public health agencies are being required to […]

Bird flu in Europe now

Thursday, October 13th, 2005

The bird flu has reached Europe, and the US government is slowly waking up to the threat of a global flu pandemic. The European Commission said Thursday that the lethal H5N1 strain of bird flu has been confirmed in Turkish poultry and probably is present in Romania. If confirmed in Romania, it would be the […]

Time to panic?

Thursday, May 26th, 2005

Considering the Chinese government’s record of dealing with public health issues (SARS!), I had been wondering about all these reassurances from Chinese officials that “Everything is OK. Don’t worry. Just a couple of dead birds …” But if there is no reason to be alarmed, why has China rushed to shut down all its national […]

Flu virus recombination or mutation?

Friday, May 13th, 2005

Recombination or mutation, that seems to be the big question regarding the avian flu (H5N1) virus in Viet Nam. In yesterday’s edition of the journal Nature, Klaus Stöhr reports that the WHO has not received enough samples of the virus to judge the genetic changes it has found in the few availabe samples. With so […]