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333315.  Fri May 09, 2008 8:40 am Reply with quote

Two conversations at once: I agree about the head lice, that ought to make a question.

333327.  Fri May 09, 2008 9:21 am Reply with quote

The thing about head lice being only transmitted head-to-head. Ive always wondered - other than amongst primary school children, how does that happen? How much mutual bonce-rubbing occurs in the average life after the age of about 9?

Or does it happen? Does anyone other than small children ever get head lice?

I suppose in eras and areas of housing shortages youd get it from having several in a bed; but that still begs the question of how it travels from one family to another.

Jolly interesting topic. There must be some great pics?

333382.  Fri May 09, 2008 12:22 pm Reply with quote

Parents of small children get head lice from cuddling up to said children before the presence of head lice is known.

333571.  Sat May 10, 2008 5:31 am Reply with quote

Here's a funny thing - the net seems unanimous that if you're allergic to pets, it is their saliva that causes a reaction rather than the fur. Don't think it's all that useful for our purposes, but it surprised me.

333572.  Sat May 10, 2008 5:40 am Reply with quote

I think Fur will come into the topic of Fashion, so it's a note at least. Do we believe it?

333617.  Sat May 10, 2008 7:10 am Reply with quote

Extraordinary - I laways thought it was dander. (Or, as it's known in dogs, "Dander-ruff!")

If not, then that is a guaranteed forfeit, I'd reckon.

336924.  Thu May 15, 2008 7:40 am Reply with quote

We did something similar in an earlier series, but it turns out that a pound of lead feels heavier than a pound of feathers - something to do with the distribution of weight.

A pound of lead feels heavier than a pound of feathers - a thing long suspected, but not carefully tested until recently

After weighing and judging all the data, the scientists educatedly hazarded a guess as to why one box seemed heavier. Probably, they said, it's because "the mass of the feathers was distributed more or less symmetrically in the box (ie, the feathers filled the box), but the mass of the lead was distributed asymmetrically along the vertical axis (ie, the box was 'bottom-heavy'). Therefore the box containing lead was more difficult to control, and it felt heavier.",,2279456,00.html

336931.  Thu May 15, 2008 7:55 am Reply with quote

The conclusion is a bit unenthusiastic, regrettably:
Slightly more often than not, the volunteers said that the box-with-lead-in-its-bottom was heavier than the box-with-feathers-spread-thoughout-its-innards.

341716.  Thu May 22, 2008 5:06 am Reply with quote

After a disaster, dead bodies are not a threat to survivors.

"The micro-organisms responsible for the decomposition of bodies are not capable of causing disease in living people," the WHO technical officer said.

"Most infectious agents of public health concern that may be present at the time of death will themselves die within hours of the person dying.

The major disease threat after natural disasters is almost always the same: contaminated water, food, famine and poor sanitation.

I don't know if people would say that, or "dirty water", maybe the latter, but it's a myth peddled by Journallists all the time - it has been heard a lot recently with the Burma and China disasters.


341749.  Thu May 22, 2008 5:40 am Reply with quote

I was under the impression that the main threat from decomposing bodies was their habit of contaminating the water supply. Am I just unusually well-informed about the aftermath of major disasters?

341759.  Thu May 22, 2008 5:51 am Reply with quote

It seems that what the WHO is saying is that there are no contaminants in dead bodies that can jeopardise the water supply.

People struggle because they drink water that they would normally leave well alone. They also contaminate the water themselves due to poor sanitation.

341779.  Thu May 22, 2008 6:05 am Reply with quote

So was the old-time practice of poisoning the wells in countries you were laying waste to by chucking dead horses into them ineffectual?

341789.  Thu May 22, 2008 6:12 am Reply with quote

eggshaped wrote:
They also contaminate the water themselves due to poor sanitation.

That seems to imply that living people can contaminate water, but dead people can't.

Shurley shome mishtake.

341794.  Thu May 22, 2008 6:15 am Reply with quote

Here's a wiki on the subject which confusingly says:

According to health professionals, the fear of spread of disease by bodies killed by trauma rather than disease is not justified.

Which is what I was saying above, but then it goes on to say:

Contamination of water supplies by unburied bodies, burial sites, or temporary storage sites may result in the spread of gastroenteritis from normal intestinal contents.

So it appears to be sending out mixed signals.

341796.  Thu May 22, 2008 6:18 am Reply with quote

From CNN:

"A person who dies is not, in themselves, a health threat to people around," Dr. David Nabarro, executive director for sustainable development and healthy environments at the World Health Organization, said Wednesday.

"After a number of hours, the pathogens inside the dead person's body become not dangerous. They usually decompose and die. And the dead person therefore is not a primary threat to the health of others."


Survivors faced the greatest risk of disease from exposure to feces or other contaminants produced by live people



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