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Saturday, November 5, 2016

"If I Were President" │ Another Study Criticizes the Value of Mammography │ Is Chocolate Healthy? │ Curcumin in Turmeric Proven to Ease Depression and Anxiety

I suspect that it was at least midnight before I made it to bed last night, but perhaps I am being too critical of myself.

I never bothered with a bathroom break overnight until just after 6:00 a.m., and I believe that it was 7:50 a.m. when finally I rose for the day.

And it's a fairly wet day.  It probably was raining all night since late last evening.

On the day's agenda was the completion of an edit of a January 11, 2012, post at my website My Retirement Dream ─ I have been working on it since last Saturday, so there was no way that I was going to postpone its completion yet another day:  Padang Tour Indonesia.

However, I did not expect that it would use up most of the noon-hour ─ this sort of thing becomes most taxing, and even inspires anxiety as frustration grows at the loss of my day.

I was reduced afterwards to lying down and resting worried eyes, and a stiff, aching frame.

Something peculiar happened, though, as I was working on that post.

From absolutely out of nowhere, an old song from my childhood popped into my mind:  "If I Were President."  I have no idea where the thought came from, for it has been decades since I was exposed to the song.

At first I thought that it might be a song on some childhood record we owned back in the latter 1950s.

But then I found the lyrics, and saw that it was from a Popeye cartoon released on January 30, 1948 ─ Wikipedia actually has an article on it:  Olive Oyl for President.

And here's the cartoon ─ I never realized that those old cartoons were only about six minutes long:

Wikipedia indicated that the song and cartoon were based upon an older song and cartoon released on November 4, 1932, featuring Betty Boop:

Betty Boop may be far hotter, but I prefer Olive Oyl's song and presentation.

Who needs Trump or Hilary?

Just before I commenced this post, I was looking through the morning's Vancouver Sun and saw an article about a Canadian marathoner by the name of Lanni Marchant, presently aged 32.

I was unfamiliar with her, even though she is apparently our country's top marathoner.

She had given a speech at the House of Commons ─ a one-minute clip of it is here ─ on October 26.

Her comments in that clip inspired all manner of criticism in various social media platforms and so forth, condemning her for wearing such abbreviated sports wear when she competes.

I don't know what in blazes is wrong with people.

She's a beautiful young woman.  And it is a treat to view her in her running gear ─ she is not the emaciated wraith that so many marathoners appear to be.

She's actually gorgeous:


Once again, a mammography review or analysis ─ one spanning about 40 years ─ has cast doubt on whether mammograms really are saving lives, or are just finding harmless tumors and creating needless fear.




When a study like this is reported on, I think it is ludicrous to include criticisms from huge groups like Fox Chase Cancer Center, American College of Radiology, and American Cancer Society ─ cancer is the livelihood of the specialists working in these entities, so of course they do not want tests like mammography impugned.

These people make their incomes from cancer research.

This was the final paragraph of the published analysis:
We do not pretend to present a precise estimate of either the amount of overdiagnosis or the contribution of screening mammography to the reduction in breast-cancer mortality.  The data regarding size-specific incidence, however, make clear that the magnitude of overdiagnosis is larger than is generally recognized. Furthermore, the data regarding size-specific case fatality rate clarify that decreasing breast-cancer mortality largely reflects improved cancer treatment.

Another review of studies has come to the conclusion that eating some chocolate daily appears to have health benefits:



Our study suggests that cocoa flavanol intake has favorable effects on select cardiometabolic biomarkers among adults. These findings support the need for large long-term RCTs [randomized controlled trials] to assess whether cocoa flavanol intake reduces the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular events.
So skip the chocolate ─ go for the undutched cocoa powder instead if you really want the full impact of the flavanols.


Of late, I have been trying to include turmeric in my diet on a daily basis ─ and results of a recent study keep me encouraged, as the title of this report about the study should make clear:


In conclusion, the present findings provide support for the antidepressant and anxiolytic effects of  curcumin in people with major depressive disorder, although no significant differences in efficacy between high and low-doses (500mg versus 1,000mg of BCM-95®, daily) were detected. The addition of saffron to low-dose curcumin also did not enhance treatment efficacy. This study also provides confirmation of the enhanced potency of curcumin in people with atypical depression compared to other depressed counterparts. However, this requires further validation using more strongly-powered studies.
Please note that I recently read that the curcumin of turmeric is not absorbed if it is not consumed with fat.  Thus, taking it in supplement form all on its own is sheer waste and ineffective.


The time has arrived for me to close off today's post with a journal entry from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster

I was renting the tiny unit in a house located on Ninth Street at Third Avenue.

My bedtime the evening before had been 7:00 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, November 5, 1975

I got up at 3:30 a.m.

My cold is now well into the phlegmatic stage, tho again, my throat is not technically sore.

Today marks the postal strike's 15th.

I leave for a Burnaby Lake circuit at 8:00 a.m. 

It was windy, and by the time I reached the Crest vicinity I was feeling a bit feverish; too, it rained just enough to keep my hair messy.

I stopped at Safeway and bought a few groceries.

I've been doing a deal of sneezing today, and some coughing as well.

Bed at 7:00 p.m.
This was my fourth day as victim of the cold virus. 

The hike I undertook to and around Burnaby Lake's far side involved first cutting through Robert Burnaby Park as I hope can be seen on this Google map, and then I would cross under the Trans-Canada Highway via a creek culvert. 

I can remember that sometimes I just ran across the freeway, but I think that I likely only dared that when it was dark and no one would be likely to see me ─ I didn't need vehicle occupants staring at me, and possibly honking or whatever else.

Once across, there was a trail that paralleled the freeway, and I would turn left onto it and follow it to a road at the far left of the lake.

Then I would follow the road to railway tracks at the far side of the lake, although I remember that there was also a nice trail there, as well.  Whatever the case, I would then continue on until I accessed roads such as Cariboo Road at the far right of the lake, and then worked my way back to my room in New Westminster.

The whole trip would take three hours or more, even with a little jogging.

The Crest was a shopping centre in Burnaby, and well on my way back to home. 

I led such a different life back then.  Without any Internet to be a slave to like I am today, I was a very active young man.  But had it been available as it is today, my life would have changed so dramatically from what it is now that "I" would be unrecognizable.

The person I am now ─ and the existence that I lead ─ simply would not exist.
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