Later On

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

Archive for February 18th, 2019

Anti-vax and anti-abortion movements are filled with misinformation

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Terry Gallagher, an assistant professor and family nurse practitioner at Rush University College of Nursing, a 2018-2019 fellow of the Duke-Johnson & Johnson Nurse Leadership Program, and a Rush Public Voices Fellow through The OpEd Project, writes in the Hill:

The World Health Organization recently issued an alarm about the resurgence of measles globally as a result of immunization refusals. Teens in the U.S. are seeking ways to get vaccinations on their own, in spite of their parents’ anti-vaxxing positions.

As a nurse practicing for the past 10 years, I’ve see the recent rise of the anti-vax movement as well as the anti-abortion movement as symptoms of a lack of understanding of safe, evidence-based medical practices.

Falsehoods based on flawed logic at times appear louder than the facts from medical providers. This is especially true when the president of the United States falsely accuses medical providers of executions, preferring to garner support with revulsion rather than facts.

Witnessing these emotional issues debated in the public forum is disheartening. My job is to prevent illness in my patients and to treat their diseases as they occur. I advise patients to receive vaccinations. I refer patients to another provider for an abortion if they request it and my decisions are based on medical facts, evidence and protocol.

Parents in my clinic refuse vaccines out of fear for the health of their child, but their fear is misplaced. They should fear the life-threatening illnesses which have largely been eradicated from the modern world, not the side effects of vaccines that are either rare or misstated.

The same is true for legal abortion. The fear that millions of women would choose abortion on a whim or because they “changed their mind” is unfounded. What people should fear is women not having access to this procedure which continues to save lives.

Some misconstrue the data regarding vaccines. I witnessed this firsthand as a piece I wrote on the HPV vaccine and its ability to eradicate cervical cancer around the world, was met with a swarm of anti-vaxxer, baseless denials on social media that are easily disproved with facts.

In the anti-abortion movement, a similar aversion to facts seems to dominate. The term pro-life assumes binary opinions and presumes anyone who does not prescribe is “anti-life.” In my experience, all health-care providers are pro-life as the mission is for people to live.

Prior to the recent abortion laws approved in New York state and the hotly contested proposed bill on third trimester abortions in Virginia, many in the anti-abortion movement incorrectly thought “on-demand” abortions were already available to women. The truth is most state laws restrict abortions after 20 weeks of gestation.

“On-demand” is a term coined by conservatives to further stoke an emotional response. The uniformed, incorrect belief was that any woman at any stage of her pregnancy, could walk into any Planned Parenthood in the United States and get an abortion.

As some misinterpret the Reproductive Health Act in New York, the term “on-demand abortion” resurfaces to cloud the facts.

Recently Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin referred to abortion as “infanticide,” but infanticide is not a medical practice. The confusion apparently intended to further stoke an emotional response, however inaccurate.

Rubio and Palin were referring to comfort care, a common practice in health care where, should life-saving procedures prove fruitless, the decision is made to focus on reducing pain and suffering of the newborn. It is a peaceful time that allows the parents time to say goodbye to their newborn; it is nothing like the images the word “infanticide” conjures.

Certainly, proponents of the anti-vax movement are in the minority, and the anti-abortion movement does not represent the beliefs system and actions of all Americans. According to the Pew Research Forum, 58 percent of Americans believe abortion should be legal, while 37 percent believe it should be illegal.

Health-care professionals can also be misinformed. The most notable is Andrew Wakefield, the discredited physician who started the vaccines cause autism myth, with the recent 9th anniversary of that fraudulent study’s retraction.

Every day I need to reeducate my patients about misconceptions they saw on Facebook or read on a blog about medications I prescribe, ranging from contraceptives to anti-hypertensives (medicines to help manage blood pressure) to misinformation about risky pregnancies.

I’m pro-living, pro-humanity. The vaccines I give are life-saving, the abortions I refer patients to are life-saving.

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 February 2019 at 4:57 pm

Chiropractors are not what they used to be

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Formerly, chiropractors embraced a number of questionable—or outright wrong—ideas, among them:

  • that 95% of diseases are due to vertebral subluxation complex
  • claims of cures for visceral and other non-musculoskeletal conditions
  • opposition to vaccination
  • opposition to medical drugs and practice
  • disregard of clinical research and evidence-based practice

Theories evolve (as memes do), and nowadays most chiropractors explicitly reject the theories and ideas with which chiropractic began. Such chiropractors are called “modern”; those who hold fast to the old ideas are called “straights.”

Before making an appointment with a chiropractor, it’s a good idea to learn which type of chiropractor s/he is.

More information in this article in Medical News Today. And see also this article by Dr. Dwight Chapin, B.Sc., D.C., the on-site chiropractor for the Globe and Mail and the Ontario Chiropractic Association’s 2018 Chiropractor of the Year.


Written by LeisureGuy

18 February 2019 at 2:47 pm

Posted in Daily life, Medical

B.C. whiskies are starting to come of age

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Joanne Sasvari has an interesting article in the Vancouver Sun:

Canada is a whisky nation. We make it, we drink it, we love it. But until recently, we haven’t had a made-in-B.C. whisky to call our own.

Now, at long last, rye, corn and single-malt whiskies are starting to come of age, and the first few sips suggest we have something remarkable in the works.

Whisky is made from four ingredients: water, grain, yeast and, perhaps most importantly, time. In Canada, grain spirit must be aged for a minimum of three years in a barrel before it can be called whisky. It often needs more than that, though, to fully develop those toffee, spice, nutty and dried fruit notes we love so much.

B.C.’s oldest artisanal distillery, Okanagan Spirits, was only founded in 2004. We now have 65 distilleries, most of which opened after 2013 when the Liquor Control and Licensing Act’s somewhat onerous regulations were eased for distillers. That’s only five years ago. Five years isn’t a whole lot of time to develop a whisky culture, yet in that short period, B.C. distillers have already produced some exceptional products, with many more in the works.

Not surprisingly, Okanagan Spirts was first out of the gate, and now offers rye, corn and
barley-based whiskies, including its Laird of Fintry single malt, which is only available for purchase through a lottery system. A handful of other independent distilleries have released their own vibrant and exciting whiskies, including Odd Society, Shelter Point, Victoria Caledonian, Pemberton and Phillips. Many others have whisky gently slumbering in barrels.

The first few sips have been impressive.

A couple of years ago, . . .

Continue reading.

I just got 3 of the whiskies mentioned in the article:

G&W Distilling Western Grains (40% ABV) Lovely dark caramel colour. This is a smooth, easy-drinking whisky with lots of vanilla, oak and sweet spice on the nose and honey, stone fruit and toffee on the palate, along with a well-integrated woody character. Impressive for such a young whisky. $39.99

Lohin McKinnon Single Malt Whisky (43% ABV) Light bodied and well made, with surprising complexity. It has aromas of vanilla, butterscotch, light spices and almonds; on the palate, more spice and butterscotch, as well as fresh pears and green apples, and a slightly tart finish. $59.99

Mark Anthony Bearface Triple Oak Canadian Whisky (42.4% ABV) Surprisingly spicy for a corn whisky, thanks to its finish in Hungarian oak, one of three barrels it spends time in. Caramel, vanilla and a touch of maple syrup on the nose; lots of oak on the palate. Creamy-smooth and bold, though not overly complex. $39.95

Prices are shown in Canadian dollars, of course. As a reference, today CDN$60 = US$45, CDN$40 = US$30.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 February 2019 at 2:29 pm

Posted in Drinks

William Barr’s Son-in-Law Just Landed a Job Advising Trump on “Legal Issues”

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Corruption, pure and simple. The US is falling and failing fast. Bess Levin writes for Vanity Fair:

Later today, William Barr is expected to be confirmed as Donald Trump’s next attorney general, despite just three Democrats voting to advance his nomination earlier this week. But the Barr family is intent on gaining the nation’s trust. In order to avoid any thorny work situations, Barr’s son-in-law, Tyler McGaughey,will be leaving his job in the Justice Department . . . for a new gig that will seemingly provide even more opportunities for conflicts of interest, this time of the Russian variety!

CNN reports that McGaughey, the husband of Barr’s youngest daughter, has been hired as an attorney in the White House counsel’s office, where he’ll “advise the president, the executive office, and White House staff on legal issues concerning the president and the presidency.” While the division is separate from the legal team that defends Trump in the Russia investigation—a group of leading lights that includes Rudy “maybe there was collusion” Giuliani—its work nevertheless does “intersect with the investigation.” (Trump reportedly blamed former White House counsel Don McGahn for failing to bring the probe to a close.) Meanwhile, Mary Daly, Barr’s oldest daughter, will be leaving her current job in the deputy attorney general’s office for a gig at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which has had its own Russian intrigues.

Barr, of course, has his own special conflicts of interest when it comes to Robert Mueller’s probe. Last June, he sent an unsolicited 20-page memo to the Justice Department calling the inquiry into potential obstruction of justice by Trump “fatally misconceived” and Mueller’s actions “grossly irresponsible,” and insisting “Mueller should not be permitted to demand that the President submit to interrogation about alleged obstruction.” (Presumably, the memo didn’t hurt Barr’s position on the short list to replace the long-suffering Jeff Sessions.) While Barr said in January that he would not end the Mueller inquiry without cause if asked to do so by the president, he also toldlawmakers he saw no reason to recuse himself in light of the memo, saying he would “seek the counsel of Justice Department ethics officials” but would not necessarily take their advice.

Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics, said it was a “good idea” for McGaughey and Daly to leave the D.O.J., but added that McGaughey’s beeline for the White House was “concerning.” “That’s troubling because. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 February 2019 at 1:23 pm

How Donald Trump Got Involved in a Global Fraud

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Fascinating report and worth watching.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 February 2019 at 9:45 am

Warren Buffett, Melinda Gates and Sheryl Sandberg agree: This is the most important decision you’ll ever make

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Kathleen Elkins writes at

In the HBO documentary, “Becoming Warren Buffett,” the Oracle of Omaha says that there were “two turning points” in his life: “One when I came out of the womb and one when I met Susie.”

“What happened with me would not have happened without her,” Buffett said of his first wife, who died in 2004.

In fact, the billionaire says, the biggest decision of your life will be who you choose to marry.

“You want to associate with people who are the kind of person you’d like to be. You’ll move in that direction,” Buffett said in a conversation with Bill Gates at Columbia University in 2017. “And the most important person by far in that respect is your spouse. I can’t overemphasize how important that is.”

Melinda Gates, who runs the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with her husband, agrees.

“If you choose to have a partner in life, whoever you choose is probably the most important decision you make,” she said during a conversationwith her husband Bill and hundreds of high school students in New York City on Tuesday. It’s “even more important than what career you have, where you go to college, where you go to high school.”

That said, if you don’t make the right choice initially, don’t panic. “You can have a do-over. People do have a do-over with partners in life, but it’s easier to have a do-over in your job and to change careers a lot than it is to change partners,” she said. “So I say, try to pick very carefully and wisely.”

Facebook COO and author Sheryl Sandberg, whose late husband, Dave Goldberg, was the CEO of SurveyMonkey, has a similar perspective. “I truly believe that the single most important career decision that a woman makes is whether she will have a life partner and who that partner is,” she writes in her best-seller “Lean In.”

“I don’t know of one woman in a leadership position whose life partner is not fully — and I mean fully — supportive of her career.”

These claims are backed by research. One study, by Brittany C. Solomon and Joshua J. Jackson of Washington University in St. Louis, shows that having a conscientious spouse can boost your salary significantly.

“With every one-standard-deviation increase in a spouse’s conscientiousness, an individual is likely to earn approximately $4,000 more per year,” the Harvard Business Review reports.

Additionally, “employees with extremely conscientious spouses (two standard deviations above the mean) are 50 percent more likely to get promoted than those with extremely unconscientious spouses (two standard deviations below the mean).”

Conscientious spouses tend to . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 February 2019 at 9:26 am

Posted in Daily life

How Homemade Bread Survived Low-Carb Diet Trends

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Homemade bread didn’t survive my own low-carb diet, but I thought the film was quite interesting. Toward the beginning an ignorant man comments on how our bodies make protein from carbohydrates. That would be an amazing trick: protein contains nitrogen, carbohydrate does not. Perhaps he meant to say “bread” rather than carbohydrate. Bread does contain protein (in addition to carbs), but bread is not a complete protein, and that’s what our body requires. Bread and beans do make a complete protein, thus the popularity of beans on bread as a breakfast.

Still, it’s quite interesting.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 February 2019 at 9:21 am

Posted in Business, Daily life, Food

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