Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for July 6th, 2012

Terrific action-adventure-business movie, in English, French, & Serbo-Croatian

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Not your usual action film, but totally dynamite. And on Watch Instantly: The Heir Apparent: Largo Winch. I agree: bad title. But the movie’s terrific.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 July 2012 at 9:54 pm

Posted in Movies & TV

Terrific Western from long ago: Warlock

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And it was a good novel, as well. Richard Widmark, Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn, and Dorothy Malone, with DeForest Kelley in a small role: Warlock is the name of the town in the movie. From 1959. The subject is law.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 July 2012 at 5:06 pm

Posted in Law, Movies & TV

Mixing natural supplements and prescription drugs

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Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but in any event let your doctor know what you’re taking. As pointed out in this article by Catherine Ulbrecht at The Scientist, you can also minimize adverse interactions by taking the two at different times:

For more than 5,000 years, herbs and other natural ingredients have been used for medicinal purposes. Today, people use such concentrated natural products as supplements to help combat various diseases, from depression to cancer, as well as to boost health, including immunity and memory. Based on Natural Standard research, in the United States alone more than $40 billion is spent each year on these products. An estimated 60 percent of cancer patients try natural products, and 40 percent take vitamins or other dietary supplements.

Just because herbal products are developed from plants, they cannot necessarily be deemed harmless. Like prescription drugs, herbs and supplements may cause unwanted side effects and can interact with prescription drugs, other natural products, or foods, and may even alter diagnostic and laboratory test results. Unlike regulated drugs, however, dietary supplements can be marketed without approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. As a result, herbal products are often not thoroughly evaluated by the FDA unless there is sufficient evidence to prove that they are unsafe. Partly due to this regulatory freedom, as well as to a lack of available clinical research, interactions between herbs and conventional drugs are often overlooked.

Herbs and drugs can interact pharmacodynamically by mechanisms that may be additive, synergistic, or antagonistic. For example, concurrent use of an anticoagulant/antiplatelet drug and natural ingredients that possess antiplatelet activity, such as garlic, may increase the risk of bleeding. Similarly, herbs that lower blood sugar may have additive effects with antidiabetic drugs, thereby increasing the risk of potentially dangerous hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Some herbs, such as ephedra (ma huang in Chinese), on the other hand, are known to increase blood pressure and may counteract the beneficial effects of antihypertensive medications. . .

Continue reading. Later in the article, she points out this extremely useful website (of which she a co-founder).

Written by LeisureGuy

6 July 2012 at 9:57 am

Posted in Medical, Science

Metformin grows neurons

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Very interesting article by Hayley Dunning in The Scientist. I, like a lot of diabetics, take Metformin daily. I was thus intrigued to read that it helps with neuron growth:

The drug metformin is used in a range of metabolic disorders, but new research published today inStem Cell demonstrates its capacity to activate a pathway that promotes the genesis of new neurons in the brains of mice, leading to better performances in a spatial learning test.

“It’s gratifying to see it has a role outside diabetes,” said Fredric Wondisford, director of the Johns Hopkins Diabetes Research and Training Center, who was not involved in this study. Wondisford was part of the team that previously discovered metformin’s role in the same pathway in liver cells, where it helps to regulate metabolism.

Study co-author Freda Miller and colleagues were interested in how stem cells in the brain develop and differentiate, and had investigated the aPKC-CBP pathway—which relies on the interaction between CBP, a transcriptional coactivator that regulates gene transcription, and atypical protein kinase C (aPKC)—as an important factor in the development of embryonic neuron precursors. When they heard from Wondisford that metformin activated this pathway in liver cells, they set out to test whether the same was true in the brain.

Sure enough, by culturing neuronal precursors in metformin, the researchers were able to activate aPKC, which phosphorylates CBP, and promote differentiation of neuronal precursor stem cells into new neurons.

“While it was clear that the phosphorylation site had some role in glucose metabolism in the liver, the fact that it can actually change a developmental program in neuronal stem cells is surprising,” Wondisford said.

Miller and her team further found that metformin promotes . . .

Continue reading. This probably explains why I’ve become so much smarter since becoming diabetic. 🙂

Written by LeisureGuy

6 July 2012 at 8:52 am

Posted in Daily life, Medical, Science

Tradere revisited

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After laying off the Tradere for a while—it just seemed too nerve-wracking—I returned to it today to follow mpperry’s advice to use a very shallow angle. Partly from the layoff, I imagine, and partly from a focus on keeping the angle shallow, I had fine shave and it was much more comfortable to use. William James wrote in Psychology that we learn to ice-skate in the summer and to bicycle in the winter—that is, taking a break somehow allows the skill to become assimilated and integrated so that when we return to the activity, we find we’re much improved. So it was with the Tradere.

But to begin at the beginning: I picked again the Mühle silverfibre synthetic—I really do like the feel of brush and handle, though I think the Mühle silvertip badger I have with the same sort of handle is a tad bit better—and once more got a strikingly good lather from a Strop Shoppe sample, today being the totally charming Lemon Eucalyptus. Really, you should get a little sample box of these soaps. The unscented would work for anyone with skin sensitivities, I believe: very benign ingredients, and the list is short (as pointed out in yesterday’s shave notes).

A good shave with the Tradere, as noted above. It will now be in the regular rotation. For me, though, this head did not help me find the right angle—though it’s a poor workman who blames the tools.

A little dab of Saint Charles Shave Aspect aftershave lotion. It’s really quite nice, and that too I shall be using more often. And now to the day! Friday is laundry day here at Chez Megs.

Written by LeisureGuy

6 July 2012 at 8:33 am

Posted in Recipes

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