Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Giants are REAL

Anyone listening to Art bell type radio knows about those terrible giants who lived in the past.

Now, Western Digs confirms: At least one of these giants existed.

The remains of a man buried 3,800 years ago in a richly decorated California grave bear some unusual but unmistakable features — a protruding brow, a lantern jaw, thick leg and arm bones, and teeth so crowded together that at one point they erupt in rows three deep.
According to a new study of the ancient skeleton, they are signs of acromegaly, a rare disorder of the endocrine system that’s similar to gigantism.

more HERE..

of course, most "giants" probably were only people who ate meat, and got larger from better nutrition.

When I was in Colombia, (rural city) my kids, who were 5 foot 7 teenagers, were "tall": most men were 5 foot 4, and women 5 foot...

And then we visited Ecuador (rural city); the men in traditional dress all seemed to be 5 foot 2 or less.

 So Native American buffalo hunters were larger than the white counterparts 150 years ago...but not quite "giants", but you can see how legends could easily exaggerate the height differences of normal folks.

Now, get an acromegaly affected man, and voila you do indeed have a giant. Think "Jaws" of James Bond fame, or Andre the Giant....

Friday, March 28, 2014

Butter is back

IT's official: In the NYTimes.

a meta-analysis published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found that there’s just no evidence to support the notion that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease. (In fact, there’s some evidence that a lack of saturated fat may be damaging.) The researchers looked at 72 different studies and, as usual, said more work — including more clinical studies — is needed. For sure. But the days of skinless chicken breasts and tubs of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter may finally be drawing to a close.
The tip of this iceberg has been visible for years, and we’re finally beginning to see the base. Of course, no study is perfect and few are definitive. But the real villains in our diet — sugar and ultra-processed foods — are becoming increasingly apparent. You can go back to eating butter, if you haven’t already.
This doesn’t mean you abandon fruit for beef and cheese; you just abandon fake food for real food, and in that category
and even I wonder about that last part; the "fake food" also correlates with overbusy moms, single men, inner city kids, lack of exercize, and of course, poverty.

ironically, another "evil fat" was coconut oil, which we were told would kill "us" even though few Americans ate it except on popcorn.

Now it's being pushed in the Philippines as a health food.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Can video games change the brain?

Strategypage discusses.
Then researchers began to note the advances in brain scanning that enabled observing brain activity while the subject was using or learning video games or weapons systems using. The studies conducted via scanning confirmed that those who played video games or used these new fire control systems had their brains changed. That’s not as bizarre as it sounds as this was the same as learning new mental skills. This key difference was that using the computer-based combat simulators and wargames users acquired useful new skills more quickly.
Now researchers are seeking to test another side effect of wargames noted in the 1970s; how games simulating the situations commanders face in combat can produce more successful combat commanders.

mainly bookmarked for later reading.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's the ricketts

Another article on the evolution of skin pigment in humans at archeoblog.

the assumption is that humans evolved white skin from tan, but in other articles, it suggests that the skin turned tan in sunny climes as the hair got thinner. But why did the hair get thinner, since monkeys do okay with short hair?

A lot of this speculation is tainted by racism on both sides.

But the faster evolution of lighter skin in northern climates (e.g. Scandanavia, Korea) would be fairly fast due to ricketts.

A couple generations of contracted pelvises and dead moms would lead to a fast evolution.

as for that part about "fish" allowing vitamin D in hunter gatherers?

yes and no.

What hasn't been answered in all of this is clothing.

Friday, March 21, 2014

sociopaths are heroines?

The Real McCain has a summary of the porn babe from Duke.

let me list the problem they point out:

1) She's a "cutter". Translation: A person who cuts their skin when they are anxious. This is a sign of borderline personality.

2) she claims she needed to do porn to pay tuition. He points out that she turned down a full scholarship to Vanderbuilt. (My take is that she could have worked her way through a state college, like I did).

3) She did a torture porn film. This is sick. And, as a feminist, it should be condemned. Most folks shrug at "debbie does dallas" or other happy hookers doing happy things, but a film that encourages violence against women is not something a self proclaimed feminist does. (this is why I stopped HBO when I had kids: because every other film was a "serial killer vs women" film that told the story from the serial killer's point of view). Then they wonder why so many teenaged girls and hookers are killed.

4) her expertise was looking young: i.e. letting pedophiles think it's okay. Indeed, one wonders if she made such films while underage herself.

5). she says she watched porn as a kid. WTF? Did she sneak it on her tv, meaning her parents didn't have it blocked (or she knew how to get around the block) or was someone watching it with her?

6) she now says she's a lesbian. No big thing here, but why do porn? I thought lesbians were normal, except that they preferred women (most lesbians I know are either bi or gay, but are pretty "straight" sexually, and fairly faithful, but then I tend to work in poor areas, not with the kinky).

7) she claims anyone who objects to her choices are "slut shaming".

Well, I'm old enough to remember when feminists opposed porn, wanted husbands to respect them as equals. Silly me.

or as the blog post notes:

Over the past five weeks, Duke University freshman Miriam Weeks has offered the world an increasingly elaborate series of rationalizations to justify her bad decisions, exploiting feminism as a defense mechanism to garner sympathy as a victim of “slut-shaming” while basking in admiration as a sort of “pro-sex” heroine...
Let’s run the check list: Intelligent, superficially charming, manipulative, deceitful, narcissistic, remorseless, lacking empathy for others, impulsive, with an appetite for risky behavior . . .
Can you say “sociopath,” boys and girls?

or apply the "taxi driver rule" of psychiatry: If the local taxi driver would call a person's ideas crazy, maybe they are crazy.

She should have stopped at: I needed money, and hey, I enjoyed it...but now it is getting crazy and full of manipulation.

can you say "evil" girls and boys?

Why is this on my medical blog?

Compare and contrast with Camille Paglia's warning in Time Magazine last week that we need to remember sex is linked with babies, and the promotion of promiscuity (by the media and now by the government) is giving our children a false picture of reality.

But then, MsPaglia is a lesbian, a mother, a feminist, and an expert on old fashioned porn.


Promiscuity is a social problem and spreads disease. The most recent s&M stuff being pushed is dangerous to the victim both mentally and physically, and dangerous physically to the perpetrator.

And we docs will be the ones trying to pick up the pieces. One wonders how many "test tube baby surrogates" are needed because mom put off having babies, and although age and endometriosis is enough to cause infertility, (been there, done that) the dirty little secret is that a lot of older women are infertile from STD or recurrant abortions...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spina bifida

Via Ann Althouse linking to a 
 a John Mellencamp interview

"They had to cut my head off basically, I have scar from ear to ear. That was my first experience." "You think circumcision's bad? Wait till they cut your fucking head off! But my grandmother told me for my entire life — everyday, 'John, you're the luckiest boy in the world.' And when you hear that everyday from somebody you actually start to believe it, which made me adventurous, which made me not afraid to try things, which made me not care about stopping myself from doing things that people said you shouldn't be doing." That's John Mellencamp, answering "What adventure changed your life?," the first question in an excellent interview.

the Spina bifida usually is fatal but at the lower spine. I assume he is talking about the problem of hydrocephalus. 

usually these are shunted with a tube that allows the fluid to drain into the blood stream or abdomen where it is absorbed.

 but the operation that slits you "from ear to ear" is the Arnold chiari malformation.

Surgical repair of myelomeningocele

Several surgical centers have attempted to lessen the effect of Arnold-Chiari II malformation, neurologic impairment, and need for shunting through the use of in utero surgical repair of the myelomeningocele. The first such repair was performed in 1997, after several animal models demonstrated a benefit from the procedure. Studies of the outcomes of these surgeries have been somewhat promising, although still inconclusive.[4, 5, 6]
In the Arnold Chiari malformation, the stem of the brain is pushed down into the hole at the base of the not only can stop the fluid from draining but can put pressure on the brainstem that regulates your breathing etc...there are several types. LINK

Type II is usually accompanied by a myelomeningocele—a form of spina bifida that occurs when the spinal canal and backbone do not close before birth, causing the spinal cord and its protective membrane to protrude through a sac-like opening in the back. A myelomeningocele usually results in partial or complete paralysis of the area below the spinal opening. The term Arnold-Chiari malformation (named after two pioneering researchers) is specific to Type II malformations.

I haven't had any patients with meningomyelocoel that had this type surgery, but you do see this with other congenital problems, and so one of my patients with achondroplasia (a form of dwarfism) had this surgery.

What other disorders can occur with Chiari malformations?
   Chiari malformations can occur with other conditions. Some are:
     * hydrocephalus (excessive fluid in the brain)
     * spina bifida (opening of the spine usually associated with an
       abnormality of the spinal cord)
     * syringomyelia (excessive fluid in the spinal cord, leading to a
       cavity detectable by MRI).
     * other conditions, including some inherited conditions like
       achondroplasia (a type of dwarfism), Hajdu-Cheney syndrome,
       Albright hereditary osteodystrophy (pseudohypoparathyroidism), or
       other rarer syndromes.

 He had the hole in the base of his skull made larger. Article here.

this article has photos.

no, it's outside my area of expertise.
In Africa, children died of measles. Malnourished children usually always died of measles, but even one of our nurses was deathly ill when she caught a case.

Ah, but not vaccinating your kid isn't dangerous because there is no natural measles around, right, and he is protected by "herd immunity", where most of the kids are immune so the epidemic won't spread.

Three problems with this:

One: Illegal immigrants. They bring in cases from outside, and even if their kids got the vaccine, there is always the question if it was properly administered. The vaccine is very heat sensitive, so if it is left defrosted too long, or if the storage area wasn't kept cold enough, it might not work.

Two: In some areas, rich yuppies, who never saw a measles case in their life, think it is a "minor" disease, and are scared by the celebrities insisting it causes autism. So they don't vaccinate, but that leaves a population of unvaccinated kids in some areas that will enable the disease to spread.

Three: The vaccine is not given until 18 months, because early experience showed doctors that if given too early, it just doesn't work. The reason is thought to be that until this age, they have some immunity from their mother that interferes with the vaccine's immunity.

Even when given at 18 months, the immunity wears off by the time you are a teenager, so they now give a second shot at age 5 or 6 to boost the immune system.

But that second shot wasn't given to everyone: So there are adults out there who could catch it.

And although babies are usually protected by their mother's antibodies, that might not be true for all babies. True, children of immigrants might be protected because mom had measles as a child, but with the widespread use of vaccine, it also means that maybe their moms didn't get the second shot, so have low immune levels.

And even kids born of moms who had measles can catch it.

When we worked in Africa, when there was a measles epidemic, we gave it to children starting at age 8 months, but instructed moms they had to get a second shot. It wasn't a good idea, since some would never get their second shot, but the alternative was dead babies.

ABC NYCity reports:

New York City health officials have identified another case of measles, bringing the total reported in the city to 20, nine children and 11 adults.
Residents from Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn have acquired measles, officials said. The outbreak remains centered in Northern Manhattan. Five hospitalizations have occurred as a result of this outbreak. Cases range in age from 3 months to 63 years...
Adults who are unsure of their vaccination history can be revaccinated or obtain a blood test to see if they are immune. Several adults who are included in this outbreak thought they had been vaccinated in the past, but lacked documentation.
As many as one in three people with measles develop complications. These complications from measles can be very serious and include pneumonia, miscarriage, brain inflammation, hospitalization and even death. Infants under 1 year of age, people who have a weakened immune system and non-immune pregnant women are at highest risk of severe illness and complications.
Ah, but your kid didn't get autism from the vaccine, you argue.

Well, as a doc who predates "autism", maybe it's because these kids in the past were not called autistic. They were diagnosed as mentally retarded and institutionalized, or else called "child hood schizophrenia". Like a lot of doccs, I'm not convinced there is an "autism epidemic", but just that more kids are diagnosed as "autistic". And the cause of their problem might be interuterine infection (mainly from viruses), chromosomal problems, or viral encephalitis that presents with a high fever then the child starts to deteriorate afterward.

And of course, the increase of drug and alcohol abuse, not to mention the increase of cigarette smoking in women, and the increase in chemicals and other pollutants in the water supply have nothing to do with the epidemic (which predates GM crops or that would  be blamed for the problem). I tended to work with the poor, and fetal alcohol syndrome was a major cause of both ADHD, autistic like behavior, and learning disabilities.

So there you have it.

Hysterical celebrities see a problem and find a scapegoat, and voila, thousand stop getting their children shots.

Soon there is a sizable number of folks who are not immune, meaning that the protection of "Herd immunity" won't stop the epidemic from spreading, and voila, an epidemic that is entirely man made.

Sham on the view and other shows from spreading such non scientific nonsense.


from OneWorldSAsia (2008 article)

4 December 2008: Measles deaths have plummeted by some 74 per cent worldwide since 2000, the United Nations announced today, while warning that the problem has still not been eradicated.
measles.jpg The estimated number of people dying from measles each year dropped dramatically from an estimated 750,000 to 197,000 between 2000 and 2007, thanks to improvements in routine and supplementary immunisation activities.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Psst: It's the food, guys

StrategyPage has an article on China's military, that includes this:

February 24, 2014:  The Chinese military has noticed that current recruit are larger than those of two decades ago. On average the current recruits are 20mm (.8 inch) taller and 50mm (two inches) larger at the waist. Designers of military equipment have been ordered to adjust the design of vehicles and other equipment to reflect this. This sort of thing is not unique to China....

This growth is one of the side effects of affluence. Prosperity does many things, one of the more obvious effects is to make children and grandchildren of those who started the economic boom obviously larger. More food, especially more meat, makes children grow larger. This was first observed during the 1980s in Japan where many family photos, which included three generations, revealed dramatic differences in the height of each generation. Those who grew up before World War II were noticeably smaller than those born in the 1950s when the food supply was more regular and more abundant than before the war. The kids born in the 1970s were, as adolescents, larger than their parents and towered over their grandparents. Now it’s happening to China, which experienced food shortages throughout the 20th century. This did not begin to improve until the late 1970s. Now many affluent Chinese have to worry about obesity.

Meth addicts in China

Long report on StrategyPage about North Korea's drug exports.

some of it ends up here, albeit often as a "way station" to China or elsewhere, often carried by local OFW who are poor and seduced into becoming "Drug mules"...and a couple times a year, we read about a poor Pinoy being executed in China for smuggling drugs.

From SP:

Most of these smugglers are being caught in China, where methamphetamine addiction has become a major problem. But it goes farther than that. In late 2013 five men were arrested in as they prepared to smuggle 100 kg (220 pounds) of 99 percent pure North Korean methamphetamine to the United States via Thailand. North Korea has long been a major supplier of methamphetamine in the region, but using Thailand as a jumping off point for methamphetamine smuggling into North America was new. Because of the U.S. connection Thailand extradited the five (who are British, Filipino, Taiwanese and Slovakian) to the United States for prosecution and, one presumes, intense interrogation.

they also note northern Burma is another source of Meth, which suprrised me since I know them mainly for being a major source of heroin.

the note that Meth addiction in China is a problem hasn't been noted elsewherre, although there are regions with a high rate of heroin addiction, along with a high rate of IV drug spread HIV.

 From AVERT:
 Most of the nearly one million people living with HIV in China, live within six of China’s thirty-three provinces*; Yunnan, Guangxi, Henan, Sichuan, Xingiang and Guangdong. These provinces report the highest number of HIV and AIDS cases, representing around 70 to 80 percent of the national total.7
the hip Shanghiist article:

Heroin? What is this, the 1980s? All of China's hottest drug addicts are smoking Burmese and North Korea crystal meth, and by 'hottest drug addicts' I mean destitute and homeless drug addicts with little to no state support.
Le Monde reports (translated by Worldcrunch):
The Yunnan province in southwestern China, near the border with Burma (Myanmar), was once known for its booming heroin trade. Today, methamphetamines have taken over the market, as synthetic drugs grow more popular in the country. In 2011, 65% of Chinese addicts were heroin users, down 13% since 2008. According to the National Drug Control Commission, methamphetamine users now make up 23% of addicts, up from 9% in 2008.

...As we reported in September 2012, away from the Burmese border, much of the meth being smoked in China originated in North Korea:

Remembering Baby Gerhard

The first victim of the nazi T4 program.

he had a name, and a "loving" father who wanted him dead.

He died from an overdose.

Not so the other 400 thousand

the newly discovered records show that it eventually extended to 296 medical facilities in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Poland, in which children and adults were drugged, gassed or starved.
Ms Weiss said: "We know that these crimes were meant to be kept secret. The relatives received fake letters of condolence. The doctors in charge worked under false names. This list is an attempt to admit what happened and put the record straight."

notice that part about "drugged gassed or starved"? What people don't realize is that the "euthanasia" cases the follow the protocol in places like Belgium and the netherlands are only the tip of the iceburg: The real problem is that too often people are deliberately "drugged ...or starved" in the name of "treatment", or killed by their doctors.

There is a fine line between not treating to kill and not treating so that you don't prolong dying. But this is the first line being blurred in medical training, and so soon we see the slippery slope is very very real...and this doesn't include the sociopaths who see killing as a "good thing" for all involved.

Headsup TeaAtTrianon

Monday, March 3, 2014