June 2012

Pain killing alternatives

What to reach for when you don’t want to use drugs?

When you’re in intense pain—whether it’s for a backache, a toothache, or anything in between—you often just reach for a painkiller to get rid of it as soon as possible, don’t you? I know I’ve done this very thing. And with some types of pain, you almost have to, they are so intense. But we can also help alleviate our pain with other management techniques, such as these. And why not try, when so many pain killers are known to have dangerous, long-lasting side effects?

A cure For Ebola?

Scientists in Winnipeg have discovered a cure that is 100 percent effective on monkeys if given within 24 hours of infection

A Cure For Ebola?

Like many people, in the 1990s I was terrified of Ebola. Richard Preston’s all-too-vivid novels saw to that, along with a plethora of other books, television shows and movies like “Contagion.” The virus kills about 90 percent of the people that it infects, and the victims die terribly: choking on their own fluids, with blood seeping from places that blood does not ordinarily seep.

As the millennium ticked over and the years went by, it eventually became clear that, barring some kind of surprising mutation, Ebola was not really the stuff of apocalyptic nightmares after all. The good news, if one can morbidly use the phrase in this context, was that ebola was SO deadly and SO swift that it rarely spread far. If it had a slower progression, if it became airborne, if it left more survivors who could carry the disease into major population centers… if if if.

No one knows why we hate fingernails on a chalkboard

It's the world's worst sound, but no one knows why.

It's one of those odd little mysteries in life: why do we hate the sound of fingernails scraping a chalkboard? The sound is so universally detested that it is trite to compare something unpleasant to it. In fact, when Googling the question, you have to take care to rule out all the other times someone mentioned "fingernails on a chalkboard," with a total of nearly half a million results.
But oddly, no one can definitively state WHY we hate this sound.
 
Theories fall into three basic buckets: evolutionary, psychological, and physical. Of these three, the evolutionary tangent is probably the weakest. According to this theory, we hate the sound because it is so similar to the alarm calls of our primate cousins. And that therefore it's not that we hate the sound, but that it sends off primitive alarm bells deep within our psyches which say that we are about to be eaten by a leopard.