When Marketing Affects Habits — and Can Kill Us

(This post was updated on June 4, 2018 to correct an embarrassing error.  My mother passed aged eighty-three, not seventy-nine.) During the last three months of my mother’s life (2010), when she was shuttled between two facilities in Oakland (California), I felt grateful for the way the hospital cafeteria at Summit-Alta Bates Medical Center’s Merritt Pavilion was organized. The healthiest food was near the entrance. When I visited my mother, I was careful to eat well so I wouldn’t be forced to miss seeing her because of illness.  I was overwhelmed, though, and appreciated every convenience.  If high-fat comfort food … Continue reading When Marketing Affects Habits — and Can Kill Us

Let’s Hope This is as Good as it Sounds

At the end of this post, please find a link to an article posted today on The Guardian’s site. Until recently, Theresa May preferred to avoid saying too much about National Health Service (N.H.S.) England funding because her party was avoiding saying too much.  Pressure from Jeremy Corbyn and quite a few other people — including the general public — may be working, though. Lack of N.H.S. funding has been fatal to some patients.  There’s no way around resolving the problem, especially with baby boomers getting older.  Don’t scapegoat immigrants.  More people are needing more care, regardless. It’s the same in the … Continue reading Let’s Hope This is as Good as it Sounds

Yes, This Still Happens

People who ignore international news may assume the progress made by the LGBT movement in the West is more far-reaching than it really is. All human rights victories have potential for expanding, though.  When some countries agree that a segment of society must be respected as individuals, there’s pressure for others to use similar common sense. That said, please read this BBC report, posted online yesterday.  A link appears below.  As horrifying as it is, we should appreciate the fact that an international news service finds this serious enough to report. Zanzibar is an island located in the Indian Ocean, … Continue reading Yes, This Still Happens

Austerity and the NHS

(If anyone who has personal experience with the National Health Service finds an error in this post or would like to add something, please let me know in the comment section.  This is a serious matter, and I’m making every effort to ensure accuracy.) I live in San Francisco, and I’ve never traveled anywhere outside the U.S.  However, I used to hear good things about the National Health Service in the United Kingdom.  Not anymore.  The news links at the end of this post concern maternity and neonatal care in NHS hospitals. There may be some confusion about whether the … Continue reading Austerity and the NHS

Bush’s Canned Beans Recalled

Bush Brothers has announced a recall of some of the company’s baked beans, due to a sealing problem at the facility where the food was canned. The products affected are as follows: 28-ounce Bush’s Best Brown Sugar Hickory with case UPC of 003940001977. 28-ounce Bush’s Best Country Style  with case UPC of 0003940091974 and 00340001974. 28-ounce Bush’s Best Original with case UPC of 003940091614 and 003940001614. (The second paragraph of this post is copied and pasted from USA Today’s site.  Please refer directly to the USA Today article or go to http://www.bushbeans.com if you need updates.) Do not eat these products, even … Continue reading Bush’s Canned Beans Recalled

Why the Anti-Vaxxers are Wrong

Disclaimer:  I have no background in healthcare.  My own opinions regarding health issues are based on personal experience, observation and print material available to general readers. Please click the two links at the end of this post.  One goes to an outstanding New York Times op-ed piece by Dr. Peter J. Hotez, and the other goes to an American Academy of Pediatrics document with additional links to research documents on childhood vaccines. I’ll admit I haven’t looked very closely at the latter. We can’t argue with the claim that a small number of people have become very ill after receiving one … Continue reading Why the Anti-Vaxxers are Wrong

Squirrels As Serial Thieves

I won’t suggest this is limited to Canadian squirrels.  Personally, I’ve met plenty of squirrels in the U.S. who have done the same damned thing.  It happens in the best neighborhoods, too. Chocolate is toxic to dogs, cats and some other animals.  I don’t know if it hurts squirrels, and hope no one is snickering about the possibility of the poor creatures being poisoned.  The squirrels in the video have demonstrated a preference for Toblerone, but maybe that’s just because it’s on a low shelf and near the escape route. As ridiculous as the video looks, the consequences for humans … Continue reading Squirrels As Serial Thieves

FDA Acts On Soap Chemicals

A link to an NPR story appears below.  It says manufacturers will continue to market antibacterial products, but with different chemicals to replace the ones the FDA is banning.  Whether those chemicals are any safer is in question, and the FDA has announced a schedule for follow-up. The general public’s preference for antibacterial soaps and household cleaners has an ignorant angle to it, but for some people it’s also a compulsion.  When the impulse to oversanitize your skin or your home is stronger than the concern that you may be creating a new strain of antibiotic-resistant infection, you’ll probably act … Continue reading FDA Acts On Soap Chemicals