Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Study: Meth Can Help Fight The Flu -

Study: Meth Can Help Fight The Flu - 

 There might be a reason why no one on “Breaking Bad” gets the flu. Recent experiments with the drug methamphetamine shows that the drug acts as an inhibitor to the influenza virus.

Scientists in Taiwan were curious on how meth  interacts with the influenza virus.

Using tissue samples of lung cells the scientists exposed them to different amounts of meth, and the results were surprising. Scientists found that the meth-exposed tissue samples had a reduction of the influenza virus.

The virus that was used was the H1N1 flu, or what is commonly known as “swine flu.”

Although the results could lead to new flu treatments it’s not good to self-medicate. Meth still reduces the effectiveness of the immune system and previous studies found that meth reduces the body’s ability to fight off diseases, such as HIV.

Meth is also extremely addictive and leads to tooth decay.

Nevada is leading the nation in meth addiction. Meth use in the state is 180 percent higher than the national average.

The study was published in PLOS One.

Read more -

A motel in Montreal is one of several motels across Canada showing traces of C. difficile and MRSA -

A motel in Montreal is one of several motels across Canada showing traces of C. difficile and MRSA - 

A motel in Montreal is one of several motels across Canada showing traces of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to a CBC Marketplace investigation.

The investigation found traces of Clostridium difficile — better known as C. difficile — and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in major hotel chains in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Traces of the bacteria were found in the Super 8 in Vaudreuil.

"We're very disappointed in the results … all of our hotels are going to take a very close look at their policies and procedures, particularly in cleaning," said William Brown, executive vice-president of the Montreal Hotel Association.

According to University of Montreal biochemistry department chair Christian Baron, the bacteria are not a cause for panic, but they could be a problem for people with weakened immune systems and the elderly.

Microbiologist Keith Warriner, who did the tests for Marketplace, called the findings as “alarming.”

“It was a surprise at the start, but amazing that all these hotels had superbugs,” he said. “When you get … the antibiotic-resistant bacteria we're finding, that's not scare-mongering, that's real. These are real pathogens that can cause real illnesses.”

Using an ultraviolet flashlight and an adenosine triphosphate (ATP) meter that measures microbial contamination, Warriner found the worst bacterial hot spots in the hotel rooms.

Comforters proved the dirtiest, while faucets, remote controls, bed throws, bathroom sinks and toilet bases were the most commonly contaminated spots.

Hidden cameras in the rooms also captured maids using cleaning techniques that would actually help spread bacteria.

One camera captured a maid using a toilet brush to clean a sink, and another using the same rag to wipe a toilet seat and then a faucet.

Wyndham Hotels, which owns the Super 8 franchise, replied with written a statement that its hotels are all independently owned and operated, but all franchises will face action if they compromise quality or customer safety.

Read more -

Did Paula Broadwell’s Cuckolded Husband Write a Letter to Chuck Klosterman in the The New York Times? -

Did Paula Broadwell’s Cuckolded Husband Write a Letter to Chuck Klosterman in the The New York Times? - 

In the July 13th edition of Klosterman's The Ethicist advice column for the New York Times, an anonymous reader wrote in seeking advice about an affair his wife was having with a "government executive" whose job "is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership." The anonymous reader went on to praise the government executive as "gracious" and "absolutely the right person for the job." He then asked if he should acknowledge the affair or let it continue until the project succeeds. Sounds like the government executive could hold a position like, say, the director of the CIA, right? In other words, did Paula Broadwell's husband know about her affair with David Petraeus and then turn to, of all people, Chuck Klosterman for advice? Maybe!

Let's look at the facts. The reader says he's "watched the affair intensify over the last year," which matches the Wall Street Journal's timeline of the affair (August 2011 until "several months ago"). It also makes sense that Broadwell's husband would have some idea about the affair considering she apparently was always off jogging with Petraeus, not to mention the fact that she's spent a good deal of her career worshipping/writing "fan fiction" about the former general.

And since the reader asked Klosterman for help, we have to assume he'd at least consider the writer's advice, which was:

Don't expose the affair in any high-profile way. It would be different if this man's project was promoting some (contextually hypocritical) family-values platform, but that doesn't appear to be the case. The only motive for exposing the relationship would be to humiliate him and your wife, and that's never a good reason for doing anything. This is between you and your spouse. You should tell her you want to separate, just as you would if she were sleeping with the mailman. The idea of "suffering in silence" for the good of the project is illogical. How would the quiet divorce of this man's mistress hurt an international leadership initiative? He'd probably be relieved.

So maybe that's why the affair ended several months ago? Because of Chuck Klosterman? Did Chuck Klosterman's wisdom trigger a series of events that would eventually lead to the resignation of the director of the CIA?

It should be noted that Klosterman was suspicious of the letter writer's motives: "I halfway suspect you're writing this letter because you want specific people to read this column and deduce who is involved and what's really going on behind closed doors (without actually addressing the conflict in person). That's not ethical, either."

If any of this story is true, and I vote yes, it is all true, then one thing is for sure: Chuck Klosterman is an American hero.

Read more -