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156240.  Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:03 pm Reply with quote

MatC wrote:
...all the research I've ever seen suggests that it is not generally possible to make a sustainable change to BMI through dieting or exercise.

I am a living example of the falseness of this theory. By dint of eating too much and not exercising enough, I have made a great increase in my BMI which is proving all too sustainable.

156270.  Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:37 pm Reply with quote

A sample of one is just an anecdote, Jenny. But here's what bucks me up when I need bucking: we have horses here. At the end of their winter break they look like hell: fat, out of condition, fit for dogmeat. Then we impose upon them a diet and exercise regime which they would not choose but in which they have no say.

Twelve weeks later: nationally-competitive athletes. And there's more than one of them, so that's science.

157101.  Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:48 am Reply with quote

Not only cats get chucked out of aeroplanes ...

In California, fishing lakes are restocked by the simple means of flying over them at 200mph and dropping trout fingerlings into the water. On drugs. From planes called Otters.

“Before the advent of the airplane, trout were “planted” in hundreds of California Lakes by horseback-- a difficult task that would take an entire summer to complete. In 1947, the Department of Fish and Game began using airplanes to complete the task and even employed WWII pilots whose skills as bomber pilots were put to a new use.”

“Would trout live when dropped at the high speed necessary for safe flight? Fish were dropped in five-gallon ice-cream containers, the bottom sealed with wax, and in tin cans with no lids. Fish were dumped directly from the plane.
The “free falling” method was found best, in which the fish were “rained down” with the water which carried them. Today trout up to four inches in length can be dropped with 100 percent survival. Those weighing six to eight to the pound show a survival of 85 percent. But larger fish up to 15 inches in length are killed by the impact.”

“Experiments showed that sodium Amytal, a barbiturate, would quiet the fish when a half-grain of the drug was added to a gallon of water.
Thus only one-third to one-half as much water had to be carried, for the fish enter a state approaching suspended animation.”

“Because the minimum airspeed for these aircraft is 180 knots fish often miss the lake. The result is ten to thirty pounds of young fish scattered in trees and on the ground.”


157104.  Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:52 am Reply with quote

That's fabulous.

157107.  Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:56 am Reply with quote

Not if you're a fish it's not, you heartless beast.

I can't find a photo; there is one on one of the pages cited above, but it's just a plane with nothing identifiable falling out of it.

159974.  Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:31 am Reply with quote

The third military invasion of Anguilla took place on March 19, 1969, when the British sent in their 315 Red Devil paratroopers, who had been transported by frigate and who were supported by helicopters, the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force, and a stand-by detachment of London policemen waiting on Antigua. This time the Anguillans put up absolutely no resistance of any kind, and yet they defeated their invaders once again. The instant the first paratrooper boot touched the sand at Crocus Bay the Anguilla had won what is possibly their most glorious victory of all.

From "Under an English Heaven" by Donald E. Westlake.

160054.  Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:34 am Reply with quote

Don't understand that one, Chris. Any road, the policemen don't seem to have been parachuting, which I think was the point of the story, wasn't it?

160265.  Tue Mar 27, 2007 4:42 am Reply with quote

Yes, it wasn't quite what I thought it was...

161707.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 5:46 pm Reply with quote

Don't know what epidemiology is, really, but here's something from the BMJ on the medieval anaesthetic called 'dwale':

Dwale: an anaesthetic from old England

Anthony J Carter, consultant anaesthetist.

Department of Anaesthetics, North Staffordshire Hospital, Stoke on Trent ST4 6QG

Before the advent of general anaesthesia, it is generally believed, a patient undergoing an operation could have expected little in the way of support other than from the bottle or from an ability to "bite the bullet." But there is compelling evidence of an earlier age of anaesthesia. Descriptions of anaesthetics based on mixtures of medicinal herbs have been found in manuscripts dating from before Roman times until well into the Middle Ages. Most originated in regions of southern Europe where the relevant herbs grew naturally. A typical one, dated 800 AD, from the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino in southern Italy, used a mixture of opium, henbane, mulberry juice, lettuce, hemlock, mandragora, and ivy.

There is no evidence to suggest that similar recipes existed in the British Isles at that time. However, in 1992, an extensive study succeeded in identifying a large number of similar recipes in late medieval (12th-15th century) English manuscripts. All identified the anaesthetic, a drink, by the name dwale.

161749.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 6:35 pm Reply with quote

Interesting etymology (!) as xsomethingx-ale was the only drink available back in the 12-15 c. I think Mat's posted about this before but I've got loads about it from Quinlon's book.

161761.  Fri Mar 30, 2007 7:43 pm Reply with quote

Recipe for dwale:

“How to make a drink that men call dwale to make a man sleep whilst men cut him: take three spoonfuls of the gall [bile] of a barrow swine [boar] for a man, and for a woman of a gilt [sow], three spoonfuls of hemlock juice, three spoonfuls of wild neep [bryony], three spoonfuls of lettuce, three spoonfuls of pape [opium], three spoonfuls of henbane, and three spoonfuls of eysyl [vinegar], and mix them all together and boil them a little and put them in a glass vessel well stopped and put thereof three spoonfuls into a potel of good wine and mix it well together.

“When it is needed, let him that shall be cut sit against a good fire and make him drink thereof until he fall asleep and then you may safely cut him, and when you have done your cure and will have him awake, take vinegar and salt and wash well his temples and his cheekbones and he shall awake immediately.”

More details and a discussion of each of the ingredients and their function here.

161811.  Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:52 am Reply with quote

take vinegar and salt and wash well his temples and his cheekbones

Sounds almost like antiseptic.

162633.  Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:10 am Reply with quote

“Lord Craven also donated some land [in Paddington, London], now covered by Craven Gardens, which, if London should once more be touched by pestilence, will be made available as a burial pit. Presumably the current inhabitants of Craven Gardens are not aware of this noble intention.”

- London by Ackroyd.

162650.  Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:11 am Reply with quote

I have two potential bits of interestingness here, neither of which I have been able to confirm beyond a single source, and both of which have to come with very strong health warnings, since they both come from partisan sources. I’m posting them here only in the hope that someone else might be able to disprove or support them.

1. This is a Gen Ig, which should be fairly easy to disprove, if anyone has the knowledge or contacts: we all know, from being shown the photos at school and in health education material, that smokers’ lungs are brown and tarry. But according to this (as I say, admittedly partisan) source, this universally known fact is not true: Anyone?

2. Once again from an avowedly partisan source (“Murder a cigarette” by Harris and Hatton, Duckworth 1998) - but one which does at least offer sources itself - we have the question of post mortems, and how little they tell. If confirmable, this sounds like good, grim fun.

There was, Harris says, a paper in ‘Human & Experimental Toxicology’ 13 (1994) entitled “Accuracy of admission and pre-autopsy clinical diagnosis in the light of autopsy findings: a study conducted in Budapest.” This study found that post-mortem diagnoses frequently contradict pre-mortem ones. Harris says that evidence “from other sources” suggests error rates can be anything up to 50%.

He quotes a paper published by the Royal College of Pathologists - “The autopsy and audit” - August 1991: “In autopsies on patients thought to have died of malignant disease there was only 75% agreement that malignancy was the cause of death, and in only 56% was the primary site identified correctly.”

The Budapest study states: “It should be noted that even when there is agreement between clinical and post-mortem diagnosis in the underlying cause of death this does not necessarily imply complete agreement. Thus of 697 cases of neoplasia diagnosed at post-mortem, there was agreement that a neoplasm was the underlying cause in only 636, that it was in the same minor category in only 562, and that it had the correct 3 digit International Classification of Diseases Code in only 506.”

The book also quotes the saying that death certificates are “merely a passport to burial” and shouldn't be relied on for epidemiological data.

Anyway, I find quinteresting the idea that doctors can’t agree on what’s wrong with you either before or after your death!

164547.  Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:39 pm Reply with quote



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