May 25, 2010

2 Months to Recuperate

1 Spat Upon New York Bus Drivers Traumatized

In the last year 80 New York city bus drivers have reported being spit upon by irate passengers, 51 of which were so traumatized that they took an average of 64 paid days off of work to recover from the trauma. One driver took off more than half a year to recuperate. "Being spat upon ... spit in your face, spit in your mouth, spit in your eye ... is a physically and psychologically traumatic experience. If transit workers are assaulted, they are going to take off whatever amount of time they are going to take off to recuperate," explained a union representative. Few spitting arrests have been made, since a police officer must witness the assault.

More at New York Times | Posted 7 years ago by Mark

Tags: Spit, New York Transit Authority, Buses, Paid Leave, Days Off

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

Teaching Bad Nutritional Habits

2 Backlash Against Restaurant Children's Menus

The New York Times reports on an alleged mini-trend of restaurants without kiddy menus, the much loved meals of chicken fingers, fries or pizza. Frazzled parents not only want to save money, but they never learned how to force their kids to eat what's put on their plates, resulting in a generation of kids who are either junk food addicts or "vegetarians" (i.e., pastatarians who've never eaten a vegetable). Restauranteur Nicola Marzovilla runs an upscale restaurant without a children's menu, but says he wouldn't have one even in a pizza joint. "The table is very important. It’s about nutrition, it’s about family; ... the children’s menu is about ... making it quick, making it easy. Mr. Marzovilla's five kids are comfortable with sushi, snails, rabbit and octopus.

More at New York Times | Posted 7 years ago by Mark

Tags: Family Meals, Family Dinners, Children's Menus, Kids Menus, Restaurants and Children, Children's Nutrition

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

Don't Eat Raw Crayfish

3 Raw Crayfish Leads to Rare Parasitic Infection

Six people who had consumed raw crayfish from streams and rivers in Missouri have been diagnosed with a rare parasitic infection. Washington University infectious diseases specialist, Gary Weil, MD, professor of medicine and of molecular microbiology, treated some of these patients. He commented that the infection, paragonimiasis, is very rare and hard to detect. The 'lung worm' causes fever, cough, chest pain, shortness of breath and extreme fatigue. The oval-shaped parasitic worms travel from the intestine to the lungs and can migrate to the brain or under the skin. The infection is generally not fatal and can be easily treated if properly diagnosed. The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services have issued an alert to doctors, campers and residents across the state on this matter.

More at Science Codex | Posted 7 years ago by Yi Chen

Tags: Disease, Fish, Food, Infection, Microbiology, Paragonimiasis, Parasite, Crayfish, Raw, Lung, Worm, Gary Weil, Washington University, Missouri

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (44%) / No! (56%)

Switch to Tap Water Instead

4 High-Levels of Bacteria in Canadian Bottled Water

"Anti-bottled water screeds are the new Reefer Madness. Environmentalists shouldn't go off the rails with fake health scares."
- MiriamQQ in the comments

Drinking bottled water might not be safer than drinking tap water, especially if you're in Canada. Researchers from C-crest Laboratories in Montreal found high-levels of heterotrophic bacteria counts in more than 70 percent of bottled water samples. These counts exceeded the recommended limits specified by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). The study was initiated in response to a C-crest employee's complaint of foul taste and sickness after consumption of bottled water from the company. Sonish Azam, a researcher on the study, commented that although these bacteria do not cause any diseases, they could pose a risk for pregnant women, infants and the elderly. Azam urges the FDA, EPA and Health Canada to set a limit for heterotrophic bacteria counts in bottled drinking water.

More at Science Daily | Posted 7 years ago by Yi Chen

Tags: Bacteria, Disease, Water, Heterotrophic, Sonish Azam, Canada, Montreal, Hydrate, Bottle, Tap, Dangerous, C-crest, C-crest Laboratories

Read the Comments (8) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (52%) / No! (48%)

Ban Doesn't Make Sense in 2010

5 Time to Kill the Ban on Gay Men Giving Blood

"'Almost impossible' is great for most, but but hemophiliacs have constant transfusions, making 'impossible' merely 'unlikely.' Gay men's feelings are hurt, but they'll survive. And there's more involved than technology: the people using the technology are only human."
- Gerald in the comments

Gay men were banned from giving blood in 1983 in Canada and the United States, but that ban no longer makes sense, say experts. However, people who became infected with HIV by blood transfusions in the 80s have put pressure on blood agencies to keep the ban, write pioneering AIDS researchers Dr. Mark Wainberg and Dr. Norbert Gilmore, authors of a recent article on the topic in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ). Gilmore says, "Today's technology makes it almost impossible for HIV to slip through, and the total ban puts a huge burden on blood agencies and the blood supply." Wainburg adds that when a discriminatory policy, such as the ban on gay men giving blood, isn't scientifically justified, it leads to controversy.

More at EureakAlert | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Ban on Gay Men Donating Blood, Gay Men Can't Donate Blood, Men Who Have Sex with Men Banned from Blood Drives, Canadian Medical Association Journal, Norbert Gilmore, Mark Wainberg, HIV in Blood Supply, Contracting HIV Through Blood Transfusion

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (46%) / No! (54%)

High HDL Dangerous for Some

6 HDL May Not Always Be Good Cholesterol

While drug companies remain dedicated to developing drugs to increase HDL, known as good cholesterol, new research reveals that high levels of HDL may be dangerous for certain people. The study, published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, is the first to reveal that high HDL puts a subgroup of people at elevated risk of chest pain, heart attack or even death. These people have high levels of the inflammation marker C-reactive protein. Researchers say it's important to identify patients at risk from an increase in HDL so that they may be excluded from drug trials. "With these patients excluded, researchers may find that raising HDL cholesterol ... is effective in reducing cardiovascular disease risk," says study co-author Charles Sparks, M.D.

More at EureakAlert | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Added Sugar Leads to Higher Cholesterol

Tags: Good Cholesterol, High HDL, Raising Good Cholesterol, Drugs to Raise HDL, Dangers of Raising HDL, Cholesterol Drug Trials, Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, High Levels of C-Reactive Protein, Charles Sparks

Read the Comments (2) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

Workers Busy Playing Pac-Man

7 Google's Pac-Man Played 5 Million Hours

"Bums ... get back to work"
- First_Lady in the comments

A study suggests that workers spent 5 million hours playing Google's anniversary version of Pac-Man instead of doing their jobs. The Pac-Man game, now permanently available online, debuted on Google on May 21 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the popular Japanese game. Playing statistics on Google's Pac-Man were gathered by software firm Rescue Time, reports BBC. Rescue Time makes time-tracking software to reveal what workers do and where they go online. They suggest that the productivity lost to the game (assuming workers were paid $25 an hour) would be enough to hire every Google employee and pay them for about six weeks!

More at BBC | Posted 7 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Tags: Pac Man, Google Pac Man, Pac Man Played During Work, Playing Video Games During Work, Pacman Anniversary, Pac Man Anniversary, Google Pac Man Game Addictive, Looking Busy at Work, Software Firm Rescue Time, PacMan

Read the Comments (1) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (49%) / No! (51%)

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