Later On

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

Archive for August 11th, 2017

Excellent (and important) advice if you use a kitchen sponge

leave a comment »

Read this article in the NY Times by Joanna Klein. One pointer as an example:

Don’t feed your sponge with dangerous bacteria

Don’t use your sponge to scrub off chunky food debris or wipe up fresh meat juices, dirt from fruits and veggies, unpasteurized milk stuff, vomit or your pet’s droppings. Just use a paper towel, cleanser or running water. Keep sick people away from food preparation areas. (And for those who asked, a vegan kitchen full of raw vegetables is not immune.)

To avoid cross-contamination, wash your hands (properly) and give different sponges their own jobs — like cleaning only your counter, floor or dishes. A proper handwashing means removing jewelry and using soapy water for 20 seconds before drying with a clean towel, said Argyris Magoulas, an information specialist at the Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Education at the U.S.D.A. Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 August 2017 at 4:26 pm

Posted in Daily life, Health, Science

Elevator innovation

leave a comment »

Written by LeisureGuy

11 August 2017 at 3:44 pm

Posted in Business, Technology

One in eight American adults are alcoholics, study says

leave a comment »

Marijuana is not nearly so dangerous a drug as alcohol, and marijuana is not nearly so addictive. Christopher Ingraham reports in the Washington Post:

new study published in JAMA Psychiatry this month finds that the rate of alcohol use disorder, or what’s colloquially known as “alcoholism,” rose by a shocking 49 percent in the first decade of the 2000s. One in eight American adults, or 12.7 percent of the U.S. population, now meets diagnostic criteria for alcohol use disorder, according to the study.

The study’s authors characterize the findings as a serious and overlooked public health crisis, noting that alcoholism is a significant driver of mortality from a cornucopia of ailments: “fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, hypertension, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, liver cirrhosis, several types of cancer and infections, pancreatitis, type 2 diabetes, and various injuries.”

Indeed, the study’s findings are bolstered by the fact that deaths from a number of these conditions, particularly alcohol-related cirrhosis and hypertension, have risen concurrently over the study period. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 88,000 people a year die of alcohol-related causes, more than twice the annual death toll of opiate overdose.

How did the study’s authors judge who counts as “an alcoholic”?

The study’s data comes from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), a nationally representative survey administered by the National Institutes of Health. Survey respondents were considered to have alcohol use disorder if they met widely used diagnostic criteria for either alcohol abuse or dependence.

For a diagnosis of alcohol abuse, an individual must have exhibited at least one of the following characteristics in the past year (bulleted text is quoted directly from the National Institutes of Health):

  • Recurrent use of alcohol resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home (e.g., repeated absences or poor work performance related to alcohol use; alcohol-related absences, suspensions, or expulsions from school; neglect of children or household).

  • Recurrent alcohol use in situations in which it is physically hazardous (e.g., driving an automobile or operating a machine when impaired by alcohol use).

  • Recurrent alcohol-related legal problems (e.g., arrests for alcohol-related disorderly conduct).

  • Continued alcohol use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of alcohol (e.g., arguments with spouse about consequences of intoxication).

For a diagnosis of alcohol dependence, an individual must experience at least three of the following seven symptoms (again, bulleted text is quoted directly from the National Institutes of Health):

  • Need for markedly increased amounts of alcohol to achieve intoxication or desired effect; or markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of alcohol.

  • The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for alcohol; or drinking (or using a closely related substance) to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms.

  • Drinking in larger amounts or over a longer period than intended.

  • Persistent desire or one or more unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control drinking.

  • Important social, occupational, or recreational activities given up or reduced because of drinking.

  • A great deal of time spent in activities necessary to obtain, to use, or to recover from the effects of drinking.

  • Continued drinking despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to be caused or exacerbated by drinking.

Meeting either of those criteria — abuse or dependence — would lead to an individual being characterized as having an alcohol use disorder (alcoholism).

The study found that rates of alcoholism were higher among men (16.7 percent), Native Americans (16.6 percent), people below the poverty threshold (14.3 percent), and people living in the Midwest (14.8 percent). Stunningly, nearly 1 in 4 adults under age 30 (23.4 percent) met the diagnostic criteria for alcoholism.

Some caveats . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 August 2017 at 12:27 pm

Abrupt Trump cuts to teen pregnancy program

leave a comment »

Does the Trump administration have any coherent policy goals (other than reversing everything the Obama administration accomplished)? Needless to say, those who cut the program (which will result in more teen pregnancies) also oppose abortion. Jesse Hellmann reports in The Hill:

The Trump administration has abruptly cut short grant programs aimed at ending teen pregnancy, leaving the institutions that receive the funds scrambling for answers.

An office within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified 81 institutions across the U.S. that the five-year grants they were awarded would end two years sooner than planned.

The Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) program, a national program created in 2010 under former President Barack Obama, funds organizations working to reduce and prevent teen pregnancy, with a focus on reaching populations with the greatest need.

But HHS informed the recipients in their annual grant award letters that programs would end next year rather than in 2020, a cut of about $200 million over two years.

The TPP program has funded initiatives in 39 states, including one ran by the Baltimore City Health Department.

“There was no communication about the reason. The notice of the award just stated that instead of a five-year grant, it is now a three-year grant,” said Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen.

Baltimore’s program aims to decrease the overall teen birth rate there, which is three times higher than the national average.

But the program will now lose $3.5 million in grant funding over two years, meaning 20,000 fewer students will have access to reproductive health education and other services.

“We don’t have another way to fill this deficit. This will leave a huge hole in our ability to deliver health education,” she said.

Bill Albert, chief program officer at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy in Washington, D.C., said HHS had “offered up very little explanation” for the change.

Grantees were told that the administration was looking for something that was a “better fit for its priorities, but those were not specified,” Albert said. . .

Continue reading. There’s a lot more. And the program is connected with the country’s very low teen birthrate. Conservatives hate that. So they will fund abstinence education, and that has definitely been proven not to work. But facts, schmacts.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 August 2017 at 8:47 am

Omega Pro 48 with Tcheon Fung Sing and the Baili BR171

leave a comment »

Excellent lather, as is common with Tcheon Fung Sing. Interestingly, I did not have to add any water, although I was loading a very large knot. Partly, I think, this is because my Omega Pro 48 (10048) is very well broken in, plus the length of the bristles makes them very flexible, so they worked the surface of the soap better. Also, I did not shake it quite so dry as I did with yesterday’s brush. And, of course, soaps do differ.

At any rate, the knot performed admirably. I do not find this brush too large for face lathering, and I enjoyed the feel. Once well lathered, I picked up the Baili BR171, a really fine razor (for $6!) and did an extremely comfortable three-pass shave, once more leaving a totally smooth result. No nicks, just comfort. This razor feels good in the hand: some heft and a nice handle.

A splash of RazoRock’s Zi’ Peppino finished the job.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 August 2017 at 8:40 am

Posted in Shaving

%d bloggers like this: