Researchers Find Missing Link Between the Brain and Immune System
(2007) Vagus Nerve Is Direct Link From Brain To Immune System, Says Researcher
It used to be dogma that the brain was shut away from the actions of the immune system, shielded from the outside forces of nature. But that’s not how it is at all. In fact, thanks to the scientific detective work of Kevin Tracey, MD, it turns out that the brain talks directly to the immune system, sending commands that control the body’s inflammatory response to infection and autoimmune diseases…
Man Named Santa Claus In Favor Of North Pole Pot Dispensary
The city council in North Pole, Alaska, rejected a measure Monday that would have banned marijuana dispensaries. Marijuana became legal in Alaska in February, and sales begin next year.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported (http://is.gd/j1UWFE ) even Santa Claus — yes, that’s his real name — testified in favor of selling pot in this Christmas-themed town, where light poles resemble candy canes.
Claus said he is medical marijuana patient, and he’d like to buy pot in North Pole instead of making the short drive to Fairbanks.
Some worried how others might perceive North Pole if marijuana dispensaries are allowed. But one council member noted North Pole already allows the sale of alcohol, cigarettes and guns.
KFC Sues Chinese Competitors Over Rumors It Breeds 8-Legged Chickens
The fried chicken giant announced Monday it has filed suit against three companies in China, accusing the competitors of starting a rumor campaign questioning the quality of the restaurant’s ingredients. Among the more pernicious rumors: KFC’s chickens have eight legs and six wings…
Who supplies Yum Brands with chicken? That’d be Tyson and Pilgrim’s Pride.
Why Don’t We Treat Gun Safety Like Car Safety?
Here’s a question for you: Which causes more deaths, motor vehicle traffic accidents or firearms? I asked a bunch of people that question, including a bunch of doctors, and everyone said that motor vehicles did, by a lot. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2013, 33,804 people died from motor vehicle traffic accidents — and 33,636 died from firearms… [That’s about 92 per day.]
Your next question might be, how many people die from drug overdoses every day?
Every day, 44 people in the U.S. die from overdose of prescription painkillers…
(It doesn’t say which year these statistics are from.)
Drug Overdose Total: 43,982 [120 per day]
Prescription Analgesics Total: 16,235 [44 per day]
Heroin Overdose Total: 6,235 [17 per day]
Alcohol-Induced Deaths: 29,001 [79 per day]
Cannabis (Marijuana): 0 [Zero per day]
Intentional Self-Harm (Suicide): 41,149 [113 per day]
Influenza and Pneumonia: 56,979 [156 per day]
4 Great Reasons to Masturbate
Instead of investing in that exorbitantly-priced gym membership this summer, why don’t you instead try setting aside 30 minutes each week for a quality round of much-needed masturbation? Aside from the amazing looks you’ll incite on your colleagues’ faces when they ask you how you intend to get in shape this summer, the health benefits of some weekly self-love more than speak for themselves…
And guess what, folks? It’s free! Masturbation: The New Drug. 🙂
Obama Wants To Make It A Lot Easier To Find Doctors Who Take Your Insurance
A new Obamacare rule that will kick in later this year will require insurance companies that sell plans on the national health insurance marketplace to keep their provider directories accurate and up to date. The rule will allow entrepreneurs, nonprofits and the general public to download data about doctors and drugs covered by given plans…
“The directory must include information on the provider, location, contact information, specialty, medical group, [and] whether they are accepting new patients,” explained Lori Lodes, a spokeswoman for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers compliance with the core health policies and programs of the U.S. government. “These directories are going to need to be updated monthly, which is a big, big step. They must be provided in a way that’s easily understandable to folks.” …
How sad is it that we have to create a rule for providers to keep their directories up to date? But c’mon, monthly updates? That’s not going to help patients on a daily basis, which is usually how we seek health care.
Fail — either an interjection used when one disapproves of something, or a verb meaning approximately the same thing as the slang form of suck.
Today’s Smokers Are Having a Harder Time Quitting
Over the last 25 years, cigarette consumption by smokers in the United States decreased by almost one-third. Over that same period, however, many tobacco companies reengineered cigarettes to more efficiently deliver the nicotine that keeps their customers coming back…
Not only are today’s cigarettes different — so are smokers. They are more likely to experience stress, worry, and depression regardless of their income. Recent research shows that it is quitting that brings stress relief rather than the other way around; cigarette addiction itself is a source of stress, anxiety, and depression. As the number of smoke-free environments increased, and because smokers smoke fewer cigarettes on average, today’s smokers generally wait longer between cigarettes. This delay increases the psychological and emotional reward value of each cigarette…
Ostracized from private homes, work, cars, and public spaces, many smokers report high levels of shame when they leave social gatherings to get a nicotine fix. Our cultural norm of self-help places the burden of quitting, and blame of failure, squarely on smokers’ shoulders. Self-help, however, is clearly not working for many struggling to quit…
We can start by requiring manufacturers to limit or taper permitted nicotine levels in cigarettes. All tobacco and nicotine products should be standardized and openly disclose their nicotine levels, and how much is absorbed into smokers’ bodies the same way people track calories or carbohydrates…
If dispensaries are required to have labels on cannabis products, including THC levels, why not cigarettes?
IRS dubs First Church of Cannabis a nonprofit
“Come on feet, we are doing a HAPPY DANCE.,” Levin wrote on the church’s Facebook feed, later saying that love without sexism is the cornerstone of the church…
Perhaps I should start a chapter here in Albuquerque? Might be the only way I’ll have access to affordable medicine. 😀
Who’s Murdering Thousands of Chickens in South Carolina?
Nguyen’s farm wasn’t the only one hit that night. Three others also had their control systems sabotaged, killing the birds inside. Over the next week about 320,000 chickens died in attacks on farms throughout Clarendon County, in what appears to be the largest crime against industrial poultry farms in U.S. history. All the birds were owned by Pilgrim’s, which pays Nguyen and other farmers to raise the animals…
For people living flock-to-flock, it was a potentially ruinous blow, and one that can be understood only within the peculiar and brutal economics of chicken farming. Companies such as Pilgrim’s force contract farmers to compete against one another for their pay. One farmer’s bonus is taken directly from his neighbor’s paycheck…
Among the regular participants in these meetings was a farmer named James Lowery, a skinny man with close-cropped brown hair and glasses that make him look like a bookish accountant… Farmers interviewed by Garrett’s investigators said Lowery was having problems with Pilgrim’s, and the company wasn’t going to renew his contract…
The blame belongs to Pilgrim’s.
Why Are Prisoners Dying in County Jail?
Smart, 39 years old, was epileptic, and he told his jailers as much: He could go into an intense seizure if he didn’t take his prescribed medication twice a day. Employees of Corizon ignored those instructions, according to Harris. A little before 11 p.m. on Jan. 5, a day after his booking, Smart seized up. The jail employees on duty mistook his convulsions for resistance, so he was handcuffed and shackled, Harris says and records confirm. About half an hour later, paramedics arrived, and Smart was taken to a nearby hospital unaffiliated with Corizon. There, he was pronounced dead…
Three additional deaths followed at Allegheny County Jail, the most recent on May 20 and May 21. The county has announced that on Aug. 31, it will end its contract, three years early, with Corizon Health, the biggest company in the nation providing medical services to U.S. jails and prisons. Corizon, with annual revenue of about $1.5 billion, has faced claims from Arizona to Florida, which it denies. Now, New York City may end its contract with Corizon at Rikers Island, according to the news website DNA Info…
American Health Care: Making money off the poor, disabled, and desperate — Every. Single. Day.
Windows 10 with new security options coming July 29
Microsoft announced it plans to publicly release Windows 10 on July 29. Current users of Windows 7 and 8 will be able to upgrade free for one year after the release, and prices for those who don’t qualify for a free upgrade will range from $110 for Windows 10 Home to $199 for the Pro version.
Last month, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 would do away with the tradition of “Patch Tuesday” – issuing software updates (including patches to fix recently discovered security holes) on Tuesdays…
I’ve never heard of Patch Tuesday, but since updates are now on daily basis, I have no idea what they’re talking about.
Windows Hello is intended to bypass easy-to-steal passwords with biometric security options including “facial recognition technology,” according to Hallum. Users of Windows Hello can also choose iris-scan or fingerprint recognition although, as the Dark Reading security blog points out, any of the biometric Hello options will require additional hardware and software support…
Now that law enforcement has perfected face recognition technology, we all get to use it. I wonder how police officers (and DEA agents) are gonna like being recognized by cell phones? 🙂
U.S. Supreme Court Makes Big Pharma Pay for Drug Disposal
Alameda County [California] now joins Canada, Mexico and much of South America in asking a manufacturer to help clean up the environmental mess made by their product as part of the cost of doing business. It is not a widely-applied concept.
1,000-Plus Lawsuits Allege Pfizer Knew Zoloft Posed Birth Defect Risk
The birth-defect allegations against Zoloft mirror claims against GlaxoSmithKline Plc over its Paxil antidepressant. The London-based drugmaker agreed in 2010 to pay more than $1 billion to settle more than 800 suits accusing the drug of causing birth defects…
Glaxo also agreed to pay more than $3 billion to resolve criminal and civil allegations that it illegally promoted prescription drugs such as Paxil and failed to properly report safety data to regulators. The settlement included a criminal fine of almost $1 billion, prosecutors said…