Friday, August 9, 2019

China swine flu

August will mark one year since the outbreak of African swine fever — or swine flu — that has decimated the country's pig herd.

The pork industry is worth about $128 billion in China and the country's 375 million pigs make up just under half the planet's total.

The number of pigs China will fatten to prepare for slaughter and sale this year is predicted to fall by 20%, from 2018. This is the worst annual slump since the U.S. Department of Agriculture — interested in exports to China — began counting China's pigs in the mid-1970s.

The virus spreads easily among the animals as it can be carried in clothing, infected blood, or fluids from urine, saliva or faeces, and on tires and shoes.

There are concerns that Chinese provincial governments are suppressing data and asking pork companies not to report new outbreaks

The pig flu was first detected outside Africa in 1957, in Portugal, but never before has it spread so rapidly and been so damaging as it did in China now. All of the 33 provinces and regions in China have been affected.

Other countries are battling the outbreak. The disease has been found in Mongolia, Cambodia and North Korea. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization believes that cases reported by local governments are underestimates

This outbreak was first detected in China in August 2018 in Liaoning province in the northeast. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs immediately responded with emergency measures.

According to guidelines, all pigs in a three kilometer zone around an infected herd had to be killed. Roadblocks were meant to be set up and inspection and disinfection stations established within a 10-kilometer buffer zone. This was not strictly implemented.

Pork is the meat of choice in China and no meal is complete without it. Braised in sauce, as Mao Zedong demanded, in dumplings or just plainly fried or boiled, pork accounts for nearly three-quarters of Chinese meat consumption.

Pig rearing in China, despite large industrialized farms, remains a predominately small-scale affair. Pigs also provide cheap garbage disposal services.

https://www.theglobalist.com/china-agriculture-swine-flu-food-supply/

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Are Negative Ions Good For You?

I have been critical of salt lamps that are touted to create negative ions which some people claim have health benefits.  There is a problem with this idea, which is that free ions aren't necessarily a good thing.  They are inherently reactive, like putting bleach into the air.  In the body these are called free radicals, which can cause cell damage.

This video does a really good job of looking at the health benefits of negative ions from a scientific perspective.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQ--scjcAZ4

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Copy of my Facebook post from 2 years ago today.

Events in recent years have impressed upon me the fragility of human life. I have lost friends, family, and associates. This happens with greater frequency as we get older, because most everyone we know is getting older too. However, I have also seen young people die from accidents. For example, a young couple I worked with were hiking in the mountains during a storm and were killed by lightning.

Cancer has claimed the lives of a few people I know.

What can we do about? I think that the first rule of living should be, "Don't do stupid stuff." Stupid stuff can get you killed. Don't take unnecessary risks. Obey the law. Don't do drugs. Drive defensively. Obey the speed limit. Keep your vehicle, especially your tires, properly maintained.

Keep fire extinguishers and working smoke detectors in your home. Get at least two carbon monoxide detectors, because if both alarms go off at the same time then you know it is not just a defective detector. This happened to me, but I also know a whole family that got carbon monoxide poisoning and had to be treated at the hospital.

I think that the second rule of living should be, "Take reasonable steps to protect your health." Don't smoke. Drink in moderation or not at all. Eat as healthy as you can. Consume more plant based foods and less red meat. Eat fewer processed foods and more fresh foods. Exercise.

By the way, there is much research to indicate that sugar is very bad for you and addictive. For this reason, I don't keep any sweets in my home, otherwise I know I would eat them.

This is all common sense, but humans in general have a tendency to ignore common sense. We think that nothing bad will happen to us, but I have seen bad things happen to too many people. There is potential disaster around every corner. This is the reality we live in.

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Best wishes,

John Coffey

http://www.entertainmentjourney.com

Sunday, November 4, 2018

How do psychopaths behave as children, especially around other children their age?

I find it interesting that 1% of the population are psychopathic, which is an innate condition, whereas another 3 to 4% are sociopaths, which is acquired through environment.  Either way, these people completely or mostly lack empathy for other people.  Psychopaths also don't feel anxiety the way other people do.  Bad things don't stress them as much.

It is sad that people are this way, but I am a bit curious about the fact that we have all these people running around in society.  They claim that most corporate CEO's are psychopaths, which sounds plausible, and many claim that Steve Jobs was a psychopath, which also sounds possible.  

Maybe it is an evolutionary survival strategy.  In the event that "the shit hits the fan", maybe the psychopaths will be more likely to survive.  I am certain of it.


Sunday, September 30, 2018

Still Not Convinced You Need a Flu Shot? First, It’s Not All About You - The New York Times

In a good year, we might see as few as 114,000 people hospitalized with flu-associated illnesses. In a bad year, that number rises to more than 700,000.

In 2014, more than 57,000 people died of influenza/pneumonia. It was the eighth-most common cause of death, behind diabetes (just under 80,000 deaths). It's also the only cause of death in the top 10 that could be significantly reduced by a vaccine. Lowering risks of heart disease, cancer or Alzheimer's are much, much harder to do.

In 1995, the worst year of the AIDS epidemic in the United States, fewer than 51,000 people died of it. In 2014, just over 6,700 deaths were attributable directly to H.I.V. Yet it is H.I.V., not the flu, that people dread far more.

Because the flu is so common, we tend to minimize its importance. Consider the contrast with how the United States responded to Ebola a few years ago. We had a handful of infections, almost none of them contracted here. One person died. Yet some states considered travel bans, and others started quarantining people.

Worldwide, just over 10,000 people died in the 2014-15 West African outbreak of Ebola: a relatively new, frighteningly contagious illness that people feared could become a global pandemic. It's not surprising that it got a lot of attention. Yet the tens of thousands who died of influenza in the United States the same year barely made the news.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Association of dairy intake with cardiovascular disease and mortality in 21 countries from five continents (PURE): a prospective cohort study - The Lancet

Higher intake of total dairy (>2 servings per day compared with no intake) was associated with a lower risk of the composite outcome, total mortality , non-cardiovascular mortality, cardiovascular mortality, major cardiovascular disease, and stroke. No significant association with myocardial infarction was observed. Higher intake (>1 serving vs no intake) of milk and yogurt was associated with lower risk of the composite outcome, whereas cheese intake was not significantly associated with the composite outcome. Butter intake was low and was not significantly associated with clinical outcomes.