Saturday, October 26, 2013

Walmart is How Big? Global Warming. Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics. Confused About The Deficit? Cancer Overdiagnosis. Erie Canal. OK Corral.


For "Summary Saturday", News, some new, some old that may be of interest to you:

Walmart's How Big? What the Huge Numbers Really Mean

Walmart's How Big? What the Huge Numbers Really Mean "When it comes to companies, it can be hard to get a feel for their size. They may say they're "big," but what does that actually mean? Consider Walmart (WMT), for example. This year, for the seventh time in the past decade, Fortune magazine awarded the retailer the No. 1 slot on its annual list of the 500 largest American companies, as measured by revenues (a.k.a. gross income or sales).

But how big is Walmart really? The numbers provided by Fortune are so insanely large that they're hard to wrap your head around in the abstract. So I did a little digging and came up with some pretty stunning comparisons.

According to Fortune, Walmart sold $421,849,000,000 worth of stuff last year. The largest purchase most of us will ever make is our house: If all Walmart sold were new homes, which averaged $268,900 in April, that would be almost 1.59 million homes.

That's also just about the same amount of money that the United States spent in 2009 for the entire year's worth of Medicare, the government program that provides health insurance to senior citizens and younger Americans who are permanently disabled. That $421.8 billion is also about $9 billion less than Taiwan's 2010 gross domestic product -- the total value of the country's goods and services in a single year -- and $7 billion more than Norway's 2010 GDP. In other words, if Walmart were a country, it would be the 25th largest economy in the world."  More at: by Loren Berlin Jun 6th 2011


From me:  One of the reasons that I try to stay out of Walmart is because of all the Mom and Pop stores that they put out of business.  Another reason is that they don't have much that I want.  Certainly not their food!



"Want to learn more about the phenomenon known as global warming? This video produced by National Geographic helps explain the origins of the theory and why a warmer Earth could have profound impacts on the planet.

Record high summers combined with melting polar ice has given some scientists cause for concern for the planet, predicting more severe weather and decreasing rainfall.

Global warming could do more than just melt polar ice. It could change our maps, and displace people from cities and tropical islands.

Click to watch the video and learn what you can do to lessen your impact on the environment."


Warning: Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics May Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

"US FDA recently issued a warning that fluoroquinolone antibiotics, taken by mouth or injection, carry a risk for permanent peripheral neuropathy; Cipro (ciprofloxacin) and Levaquin (levofloxacin) are examples.

This is not the first warning issued for this class of antibiotics; in 2008 the FDA issued a black box warning about severe tendon damage and actual tendon ruptures.

Two other recent studies found that fluoroquinolones increase your risk for acute liver toxicity (if you’re over age 66), and destabilize your blood sugar if you’re diabetic.

Fluoroquinolones have also been associated with memory loss, psychosis, headaches, depression, anxiety, kidney failure, cardiovascular symptoms, nausea and vomiting, blindness and other health problems.

Fluoroquinolones are antibiotics with an attached fluoride molecule, which gives them the ability to penetrate into sensitive tissues like your brain and central nervous system, where they can exert neurotoxic effects." More at: 

Another article at:


Confused About The Deficit? This 2-Minute Video Can Help

"The nation's debt has been grabbing headlines over the past few weeks and will likely continue to do so for weeks to come. But that doesn't mean you know how it works. Here's a two-minute video from The Washington Post that will tell you everything you need to know about the federal deficit in the time it takes to eat an apple."


Overtested Americans: When cancer isn't cancer at all

(CNN) -- "The patient slammed his fist on the table in Dr. Otis Brawley's office.  "Dammit, I'm American," Brawley remembers him saying. "You can't tell me I have prostate cancer and that we're just going to 'watch it.'"

Brawley is the chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, a world-renowned cancer expert and practicing oncologist. If you're going to get someone's opinion on a cancer diagnosis or course of treatment, he's a good choice. And in this case, he was recommending no treatment.

image It's a scenario that may happen more as science reveals cancer's secrets, the biggest one being that what we now call cancer maybe shouldn't be called cancer at all.

"The word 'cancer' often invokes the specter of an inexorably lethal process," a working group for the National Cancer Institute wrote in a recent recommendation. "However, cancers are heterogeneous and can follow multiple paths, not all of which progress to metastases and death."

Basically, cancer is scary, but some kinds may be more boogeyman-in-the-closet scary than serial killer scary.

We all harbor abnormalities, says H. Gilbert Welch, Dartmouth professor of medicine and author of the book "Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health." And new technology is increasingly able to find these abnormalities. When we do, our inclination is to act, even when the remedy turns out to be far more harmful than the disease would have been, had it run its course."  More at:


On This Day:

Erie Canal opens, Oct 26, 1825:

"The Erie Canal opens, connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean via the Hudson River. Governor DeWitt Clinton of New York, the driving force behind the project, led the opening ceremonies and rode the canal boat Seneca Chief from Buffalo to New York City.

Work began on "Clinton's Ditch" in August 1823. Teams of oxen plowed the ground, but for the most part the work was done by Irish diggers who had to rely on primitive tools. They were paid $10 a month, and barrels of whisky were placed along the canal route as encouragement. West of Troy, 83 canal locks were built to accommodate the 500-foot rise in elevation. After more than two years of digging, the 425-mile Erie Canal was opened on October 26, 1825, by Governor Clinton.

As Clinton left Buffalo in the Seneca Chief, an ingenious method of communication was used to inform New York City of the historic occasion. Cannons were arranged along the length of the canal and the river, each within hearing distance of the next cannon. As the governor began his trip, the first cannon was fired, signaling the next to fire. Within 81 minutes, the word was relayed to New York—it was the fastest communication the world had ever known. After arriving in New York on September 4, Clinton ceremoniously emptied a barrel of Lake Erie water in the Atlantic Ocean, consummating the "Marriage of the Waters" of the Great Lakes and the Atlantic."


Shootout at the OK Corral, Oct 26, 1881:

"On this day in 1881, the Earp brothers face off against the Clanton-McLaury gang in a legendary shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, leaving three men dead and three more wounded.  Sheriff Behan, who witnessed the entire shoot-out, charged the Earps and Holliday with murder. However, a month later the Tombstone justice of the peace found the men not guilty, ruling "the defendants were fully justified in committing these homicides.""



Ray and Shay left early for the local hospital as Shay's sister was having her fifth open heart surgery.  Her prognosis was only 30% chance of survival this time. It was either take a chance on another surgery or have a fatal heart attack. Many years ago, my late husband and I went to a Houston hospital to be with Linda for her third surgery.  Yes, I have known this family for a long time. 

Jay's neighbor took him to the doctor for a blood test as  Jay's mother and I both have our cars in the shop, the same shop. 

Grooming Misty was on my agenda, but lately she likes to sleep in the mornings, and I didn't have the heart to disturb her.  A sleepy dog is difficult to groom, as they want to lie down on the grooming table.

In the afternoon, Ray and Shay returned.  Linda had made it through the surgery again.  Ray took me to Pete's mechanic shop to get my van, but Jay's mother's car had a bad diagnosis… a blown head gasket.  Pete had the plugs out and when he just bumped the starter, water shot out of #3 cylinder.  At least it still has compression!

Leave me alone and all I will do is odd jobs around the house, tend to my critters, and research stuff on this computer, so that is what I did for the rest of the day.


Gypsy said...

I think levafloxacin is what my dr. prescribed for me last year, but then sent me to the ER instead so I never took it. You just can't trust any of that stuff.

Dizzy-Dick said...

The least amount of pharmaceutical medicine we take the better off we are. Let food be our medicine.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comments, Gypsy and DD.

We can't trust that each new medicine will not hurt us. As I have written before, 'We are their guinea pigs'.

Just listening to precautions on their TV ads is enough to put people off, but they take them anyway.

Then the chemicals in the Big Pharma products filter into our water systems, and poison the fish and wildlife, let alone the people who don't take the medicines.

It's all about the money!

Happy Tails and Trails, Penny.