Saturday, April 21, 2012

Speed Lottery. CPR, Now CCR. Medical Mistakes. You’re a Guinea Pig. Largest Oil Spill. Mackinac Pipelines. Paper or Plastic? Sutro Tunnel. "A World View, A New Humanism Fair."


For "Summary Saturday", News, some new, some old, that you might not have seen: 

Speed Camera Lottery

"The winning idea of the fun theory award, submitted by Kevin Richardson, USA. Can we get more people to obey the speed limit by making it fun to do? This was the question Kevin's idea answered and it was so good that Volkswagen, together with The Swedish National Society for Road Safety, actually made this innovative idea a reality in Stockholm, Sweden."

Mayo Clinic Presentation of Continuous Chest Compression CPR - Cardiocerebral Resuscitation
"Cardiocerebral resuscitation (CCR) is a new approach to patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest that has been shown to improve rates of neurologically intact survival by 250%--300% over the approach advocated by the 2000 American Heart Association guidelines. And EMS systems can realize these improvements without having to buy a single new gadget or device."

Kills as Many as 4 Jumbo Jet Crashes Per Week, But Widely Ignored 

image "Preventable medical mistakes are the third-leading cause of death in the US, right after heart disease and cancer. In all, preventable medical mistakes may account for one-sixth of all deaths that occur in the US annually

According to the latest estimates, between 210,000 and 440,000 Americans die from preventable hospital errors each year

imageThe US has the most expensive health care in the world. It spends more on health care than the next 10 biggest spenders combined, yet ranks last in health and mortality when compared with 17 other developed nations.

An estimated 30 percent of all medical procedures, tests and medications may be unnecessary – at a cost of at least $750 billion a year

Once you’re hospitalized, you’re immediately at risk for medical errors, so one of the best safeguards is to have someone there with you to act as your personal advocate."  Complete article at:

Are You Taking Medication?  You’re a Guinea Pig

"Remember Vioxx, the arthritis drug that increases heart attack risk by 50 percent, yet was allowed to remain on the market despite early warning signs of the risks involved? Sixty thousand people died before it was taken off the market.


More recently,  Avandia** has killed over 83,000 people who thought they could cheat the sugar monster with it and failed. Shockingly, this drug is banned in Europe but still available in the U.S. The FDA finally decided to restrict its use in the United States last month, but it will still remain on the market, despite the steep known heart risks.

My point is, if you are taking one or more medications, you are often acting as an experimental guinea pig, despite the guise of safety. Clinical safety studies are limited in scope, and even if they were done ethically cannot possibly predict every outcome that could occur when a synthetically created drug is introduced into your specific body.

If you’re taking multiple medications, the potential repercussions are even more of a mystery. And don’t even get me started on the 69 doses of 16 vaccines that children are now expected to receive from the day of birth to age 18 -- completely uncharted territory!

Further, many drug studies do find risk of serious harm, only to cover up the negative findings and push the drug to market anyway. Every drug and vaccine has risks, and it’s really a giant experiment to see who those risks will end up impacting first.

Let’s face it. Drug companies have fiercely defended every single drug ever recalled as being safe and effective -- until definitively proven dead wrong, and sometimes they still wouldn’t fess up to their culpability.

Drug companies are ALLOWED to continue marketing their medications despite being caught lying, defrauding, even knowingly killing, time and time again, and it’s all at your -- the guinea pig’s -- expense."    More at:



North Dakota farmer makes crude discovery: largest oil spill on US soil


The 20,600-barrel crude oil spoil on a North Dakota wheat farm. (COURTESY: NEAL LAURON/GREENPEACE)

"When Steve Jensen saw crude oil bubbling up from the ground on his North Dakota farm, he knew immediately he wasn't having a Jed Clampett moment. 

The "black gold" was coming from the pipeline that runs under his 1,800-acre wheat farm, carrying oil from the Bakken formation to a rail facility 45 miles north. Instead of getting rich, Jensen, 56, has been left with a huge mess -- his acreage in Tioga fouled by the largest oil spill on U.S. soil in history.

"It had been leaking for awhile," Jensen, who spied -- and smelled -- the leak on Sept. 29, told Tuesday. He said the oil was gushing from a "perfectly round, quarter-inch hole" with "about 100 pounds pressure."  More at:


What’s the Condition of the Pipeline Beneath the Straits of Mackinac: VIDEO -

image "The Straits of Mackinac pipelines, owned by Enbridge Energy, are 60-years-old and considered one of the greatest threats to the Great Lakes because of their age, location, and the hazardous products they transport – including tar sands derived oil.

If these aging pipelines rupture, the resulting oil slick would cause irreversible damage to fish and wildlife, drinking water, Lake Michigan beaches, Mackinac Island and our economy.

image To make matters worse, the recent shutdown of our federal government has left communities and wildlife with an increased risk of oil spills and failed response because pipeline safety and responding agencies have been scaled back or closed all together. The recent oil spill in North Dakota, of approximately 800,000 gallons, is living proof.

This footage revealed that the pipelines are suspended over the lake bed, some of the original supports have broken away indicating the presence of corrosion and some sections of the pipelines are covered in large piles of unknown debris."

"Please help NWF press for measures that will minimize the risk of an oil spill in the Mackinac Straits.

Take Action ButtonHelp protect Great Lakes wildlife—tell your U.S. Senators to protect the Great Lakes from tar sands oil spills.:     More at:





On This Day:

Construction begins on the Sutro Tunnel in Virginia City, Nevada, Oct 19, 1869:

"On this day in 1869, the famous Prussian-born mining engineer, Adolph Sutro, begins work on one of the most ambitious western engineering projects of the day: a four-mile-long tunnel through the solid rock of the Comstock Lode mining district.

One of the richest silver deposits in the world, the Comstock Lode had been discovered by prospectors in 1859, and it quickly became the focus of the most intensive mining activity in the West. But as miners sank shafts ever deeper into the rock in search of more silver and gold, they began to encounter large amounts of water that had to be pumped to the surface at great expense. If only some means could be found to drain the water horizontally, the mining companies would save a fortune.

Adolph Sutro's tunnel was intended to do just that. Sutro-who had already demonstrated his technical brilliance by inventing a new way to extract silver from waste rock-proposed to blast a large horizontal tunnel right through imagethe rock of the neighboring Mt. Davidson and straight into the heart of the Comstock mine. Mine water would thus drain through the tunnel without need for expensive pumps, and the mining companies would also be able to use the tunnel to move men and ore in and out of the mine, greatly reducing transportation costs.

While all involved agreed that technically Sutro's tunnel would be a boon to the Comstock, progress on the project was continually slowed down by resistance from some of the major mining interests who feared that Sutro would use his tunnel to take control of the entire lode. Only after securing European capital was Sutro able to complete the $5-million project in 1878.

Every bit as successful as promised, the Sutro tunnel drained some two million gallons of water from the mines per year and greatly reduced transportation costs. Unfortunately, by 1878, the richer sections of the Comstock Lode had been tapped out, and the mine had begun to steadily decline in profitability. Sutro, though, succeeded in selling his tunnel in 1879 at a fantastic profit. He moved to San Francisco where he became one of the city's largest landowners as well as the city's mayor from 1894 to 1896."


The first Cold War world's fair closes, Oct 19, 1958:

"In Brussels, Belgium, the first world's fair held since before World War II closes its doors, after nearly 42 million people have visited the various exhibits. Officially called the Brussels Universal and International Exhibition, the fair's overall theme was "A World View, A New Humanism." As such, the fair was supposed to celebrate the universality of the human condition and encourage dialogue and peaceful relations among the nations of a world only recently torn asunder by war, and now caught in the clutches of the Cold War.

Officials in the United States, however, saw the fair as something quite different: An opportunity to promote America's particular "world view," and to meet the Soviets head-on in the continuing propaganda battle for the "hearts and minds" of the world's people. The fair, therefore, became a showplace for the American and Soviet ways of life, and their exhibition halls became the headquarters for this battle.

The adversarial context was accentuated by the fact that the U.S. and Soviet exhibition halls were located directly imageacross from one another. The Soviet exhibit centered on the technological and scientific accomplishments of the communist state. A replica of Sputnik I, the unmanned satellite put into orbit by the Soviets in 1957, was the centerpiece of the imposing exhibition hall. The United States decided on a different tack, and focused on the everyday life of Americans. Mock voting booths were set up; beautiful women showed off the latest fashions; home furnishings and appliances were in abundance; and a typical American "Main Street" was constructed. It probably came as something of a shock to both U.S. and Soviet officials when Czechoslovakia won first place for best exhibition hall."



The night before, for the first time since last Spring, I had to turn the heater on.  But that was just for one night, then it warmed up a little bit again.

Mostly, I spent the day catching up on odd jobs, cooking for the church's potluck, and tending to the critters. 

A lady from 'Senior Solutions' came to visit me to see if I was enrolled in the best medical plan for me.  After hearing about the long waits at the clinic where I go, she suggested another doctor who is with the same insurance company.  The wait time there is supposed to be never more than 15 minutes, as this lady doctor is very picky about that.  On Monday, I'll check into this doctor and decide if I should switch.

Ray and Shay were beat after another day of clearing some lots for someone.  I made them some veggie and apple juice in my auger juicer, and they said it made them feel better.

It was a lovely 'windows-and-doors open' day.

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