Grab Bag Trivia:
Found these facts in Discovery magazine….
- Antibacterial soap is NO MORE EFFECTIVE at preventing infection than regular soap, and triclosan (the active ingredient) can mess with your sex hormones.
- It’s getting crowded in here. The average human body has more germs on it than there are people in the United States, divided up into about 1,000 different species.
- A seventh grader in Florida won her school science fair by proving there are more bacteria in ice machines at fast-food restaurants than in toilet bowl water. I’ll give you a moment to absorb that statement. Big Gulp.
- As a follow-up on a comment from a previous post, there is no “5 (or 3) second rule” when it comes to dropping food on the ground. Bacteria need no time at all to contaminate food.
- Just HOW fast are the little snigglets? Whipping their little tails, E.coli can travel 25 times their own length in 1 second, the equivalent of a horse running 135 miles per hour.
- Strength in numbers… bacteria and their cousins, the archaea (don’t their kids go to school with your kids?) vastly outnumber all other life-forms on earth, numbering 5 million trillion trillion… according to the latest census 🙂
- If you took all those little guys and stacked them up end to end, they would stretch some 10 billion light-years – literally from here to the edge of the visible universe. It’s good to be stacked.
Grab Bag “Give Your Thyroid Some Love” Moment:
Question: What do soft drink Mountain Dew (and others), many baked goods, fire retardants and pesticides have to do with your thyroid? Click the link to this article. Think this doesn’t apply to you? Maybe. But here’s a weird occurrence… statistics are now showing that about half of all women who live a normal life span have thyroid nodules when autopsied. While most of these are benign, I gotta wonder why this is happening.
Grab Bag “Take a Pass” Med Moment:
This is SO timely… (I already had this written up before the mammography/cervical cancer bombs were dropped on Tuesday). Consumer Reports on Health suggests the following tests “are unproven and can not only waste your time and money but also cause more harm than good”, explaining that false positives in many of these results often leads to more invasive and ultimately unnecessary procedures.
(Image above is from a cool site: Radiologyart.com)
- Urine cultures for bacteria (there are other reasons for urine tests) in men and for women who are not pregnant. Exceptions: People who have symptoms of a urinary-tract infection.
- Blood tests, manual exams, or ultrasound to screen for ovarian cancer in women. Exceptions: Your mother or a sister had the malignancy or you have symptoms of the disease, such as frequent lower abdominal pain and an unexplained sensation of bloating.
- The genetic test for the breast cancer susceptibility gene (BRCA). Exceptions: You have a history of breast or ovarian cancer or a relative who has tested positive for the mutation. Even then, talk with a genetic counselor before undergoing the test.
- Pap smears in women who have had a total hysterectomy for a noncancerous condition such as fibroids, or in those over age 65 who have had three or more normal smears in the last 10 years and who have not had cervical cancer.
- The PSA blood test for prostate cancer in men who are older than 75 or have less than a 10-year life expectancy. Other men should weigh the unproven benefit of that test against its possible risks, notably false alarms that can lead to unnecessary testing and treatment.
- Ultrasounds for plaque buildup in the neck’s carotid arteries. Exceptions: Your doctor hears a swishing sound, called a bruit, with a stethoscope, or you have had a stroke or mini-stroke.
- Ultrasounds for peripheral artery disease or clogged leg arteries. Exceptions: You’re at high risk of heart disease and your doctor detects weak or absent pulses in your feet, or you have symptoms such as pain in a calf while walking or foot wounds that won’t heal.
- Screenings for heart disease using electrocardiograms (EKGs), exercise treadmill tests, or electron-beam computerized tomography (EBCT). Exceptions: You have coronary artery disease or are at high risk for it and plan to start a vigorous exercise program.
And the latest news on mammographies and cervical cancer screening may have you wondering. I say each of us needs to consider our family history, our lifestyle and our instinct. Feel confident in making a choice that is right for you, whatever that may be.
Grab Bag Cool Stuff:
More touching, strange and astounding images. Click on “full” on the bottom bar to view in full-screen size (although quality degrades on some images when enlarged to full screen).
Grab Bag Fascination:
Kseniya Simonova is a Ukrainian artist who just won Ukraine’s version of “America’s Got Talent.” She uses a giant light box, dramatic music, imagination and “sand painting” skills to interpret Germany’s invasion and occupation of Ukraine during WWII. Thanks to Stina H. for sending this in:
Grab Bag Brain Game:
OK… read this first… Click on the picture or the title above to go the page → Press Start → Then, when it says “Chapter 1 The Machine” → hit “Skip” in the lower left hand corner. → After selecting Level 1, they will walk you through what to do. Basically, try to use the letters that pop up to make complete words, hit enter, and that gives the gun ammunition to kill the spiders. This is really fun when you get going, and it makes you think quickly.
Grab Bag Funny Stuff:
Been around before, but well-deserved, clandestine revenge is always tasty re-warmed…