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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Did a Study Actually Debunk Autism Risk of Flu Vaccine During Pregnancy? │ Reduction in Cognitive Control Actually Facilitates Performance of Aging Brains │ Low Blood Sugar and Hospital Death Risk

My eldest step-son Tho's need for a late shower last evening kept me up until something like 11:36 p.m.  That's not particularly late, but it was about a half-hour or more later than my bedtime otherwise would have been.

My latter night was ill-slept, mostly due to a blocked left nasal passageway.  I even rose once to attempt freeing it up so as to end my breathing impairment, but it was futile.

And it was nearly 8:00 a.m. before I felt like rising for the day.

As I type this, it is 3:39 p.m. and my youngest step-son Pote and his girlfriend are finally leaving ─ I hope he has to go to work, and that the pair are just not nipping out for something.  They did so during the midday, and then returned home and were soon back in bed.

That's practically how they spend all of their time when they are here together.

My sole big accomplishment of the day was finally publishing the post I commenced last Sunday at my website Lawless SpiritHolistic Magazines UK.

I complained yesterday how a new WordPress update lacked the text 'full justify' feature in the editor menu or toolbar.  That day, I manually inserted the coding anytime I wanted the text aligned right across the page.

However, this morning I read that 'Alt + Shift + j' would do the job.  In other words, one would highlight the text, and then:
  1. press and hold the Alt key at the far left of the keyboard with the left hand, then press the + key at the far right of the keyboard with the right hand, then
  2. press and hold the Shift key at the far left of the keyboard while still holding down the Alt key, and press the + key again at the far right of the keyboard, then
  3. press the letter j key.
And bingo!  The text is full justified right across the page.

It was initially awkward going until I got into the rhythm of it.

Before I got to work on the post, I read that Greg Lake had died of cancer sometime yesterday at the age of 69.  I didn't know who he was until I read that he was one of the three guys in the band Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

I'm 67, but I couldn't think of a song of theirs ─ that's usually the indicator that a rock artist or group never meant anything to me.

However, I did recognize a Christmas song that he sang and recorded in 1974, and which was released in 1975:  I Believe in Father Christmas.

He was a nice-looking young man back then ─ I was too.  Time sucks.

I want to post more photos that my wife Jack took in Bangkok on October 29, the first day that the Grand Palace was opened up to the public to file through and view the funeral urn of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Jack and some of her family and friends has taken a free train from Udon Thani for this purpose, but Jack never got to set foot into the Palace despite being in the line-up since, I think, 6:30 a.m.  They closed down at 8:00 p.m. before she had her chance.

At least her mother got in ─ older people had been given special favour, for the most part.

I suspect that this is Daniel, son of Jack's sister Penn:

As explained before, volunteers had set up an extensive tent city in order to provide free food to those thousands who had come on this special day.

Here are Jack's sister Penn and Penn's son Daniel:

Back to the anonymous faces of the crowds:

That is Penn again at the far left, but I am unable to identify the two women who are also part of the group; the boy is probably Penn's son Daniel:

More of the facilities and the anonymous crowds:

And that was it, I believe ─ the next photos seem to be taken at another location.

Before I move on, I want to say that I did a wee bit more shoveling of the icy snow in our driveway this afternoon, but today seems even colder than the previous two days ─ no melt has happened to loosen the grip of the ice from the concrete.

And I believe we are due more snow overnight!


I haven't the remotest interest in ever getting an influenza vaccination.  As far as I know, I have never had one ─ why the hell start now?

But that's me.

Note this headline concerning a recent study ─ there were headlines making similar declarations:

Yet this is what the Health Sciences Institute (HSI) had to say about the entire topic:


Normally I value the information the HSI provides, but that assertion about an FDA meeting last year that arrived at the claims made in the HSI article are beyond my ability to locate in a cursory search.

I don't like that.  Why did they not provide actual references to back this up?

One thing my research did find was a link to the various influenza vaccine packaging inserts ─ inserts the public never sees, since the public does not receive a package of influenza vaccine.  The public just gets the shot.

The inserts are lengthy and illuminating, and smack of nothing relating to the term 'safe.'

The inserts are at a website called Immunize.orgFDA Product Approval: Vaccine index.  If you select the Influenza link, you are confronted with a number of different influenza vaccine types:  Afluria, Fluad, Fluarix, Flublok, Flucelvax, FluLaval, FluMist, Fluvirin, and Fluzone.

The public generally has no idea at all which specific vaccine they will be given, as far as I know.  The average person just submits to whatever is being offered ─ no questions asked.

If a person could know ahead of time just which vaccine was being administered, then locating the specific packaging insert would be extremely useful.

This is good news for those of us getting on in years ─ we may have an edge over younger folks in an important aspect of learning:



This was the concluding paragraph of the study:
Several lines of evidence indicate that a reduction in cognitive control actually facilitates performance in particular learning, memory, and problem-solving contexts. Although high levels of control are necessary for goal-based tasks that depend on a narrow focus of attention and on interference resolution, low levels of control can boost performance on open-ended tasks that rely on the use of information from diverse sources and after delays. This lower level of control, which is typical of older adults, is associated with automatic forms of learning that guide everyday behavior and influence intuitive judgment and decision-making. In support of that notion, old age is associated with the ability to incorporate lifelong experiences into wise decision-making. While it is important to acknowledge that these benefits may come at the expense of performance deficits on various tasks that depend on selective attention, one can argue that the cognitive pattern of older adults is well suited for many challenges encountered in everyday life. For example, an individual does not know whether environmental stimuli irrelevant in one context will become relevant in a future one, and they do not know a priori what environmental patterns or co-occurrences need to be learned. Implicit learning of that information, afforded by reduced control, may aid problem solving in those settings, although further work will be necessary to show a direct link between reduced control and performance. It is no surprise then that age-related deficits often observed on laboratory-based tasks do not always extend to everyday life, where many healthy older adults are not only high-functioning but also strong contributors to society.

Apparently even non-diabetics could profit from occasionally knowing their blood-sugar levels, for a study has found that low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is a serious threat to life when anyone is suddenly hospitalized.

Here are a couple of reports on the study:



From the study:
In conclusion, our findings suggest that hypoglycemia, whether insulin-related or non-insulin-related, is associated with increased short- and long-term mortality risk. Mortality risk is higher in insulin-treated patients with moderate hypoglycemia, compared to patients without insulin treatment with similar glucose values. However, with severe hypoglycemia, there was no significant difference between insulin-related and non-insulin related hypoglycemia. 
Unfortunately for me, I do not get regular medical check-ups.  The last time I saw a physician was possibly in April 2011 when my knee surgeon gave me a final  post-surgical review.

But of course, that only involved testing my knee's ability to bend.  I didn't have an actual physical.

That surgery to reattach my left leg's quadriceps tendon to the patella (knee cap) took place the evening of November 5, 2011, so I would think that I was likely given some sort of diagnostic before the surgery. 


I sign off now with a journal entry from 41 years ago when I was 26 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

The house I was renting the cramped quarters in was located on Ninth Street, just a house or two above Third Avenue.

I had gotten to bed the evening prior to this entry at 9:00 p.m.  The "12" I will early on be referring to are laps at the New Westminster Secondary School track.
MONDAY, December 8, 1975

I slept rather badly, getting myself up before it was yet 2:30 a.m.

About 4:00 a.m. I left in the rain for my 12, and just may have done 13, my shirt wide open to prevent mammary irritation.  

Since supper last evening I've been afflicted with indigestion, but suffered it no more by the time of my rainy departure shortly beyond 9:30 a.m. for my 10:30 a.m. date with Ophthalmologist Miller.  I both wore my toque and sheltered beneath my umbrella.

I learned that my left eye, surprisingly and comfortingly, is normal; and was fortified with the old knowledge that my right eye is scarred and should really not be pandered with a lens for its, as he called it, "measurement."

Yes, reasonably encouraging news.

I headed back with my eyes washed with the pupil dilator.   

I stopped at Douglas College's library to see if it carried any vocational brochures, but after a cursory round I left due to the crowd within.

I bought $1.74 worth of shopping at Safeway, then continued on to Woodward's where I bought an $8 money order for Subarctic Indians stamps and a can ($2.25) of their peanut butter.

Then to the library for the recipe books Home Made by Sandra Oddo, and Thoughts for Festive Foods by various; a new card was typed up for me.

Around 2:00 p.m. I retired for a nap, not arising till about 3:45 p.m.

Bedtime 8:30 p.m.

I tried unsuccessfully to sleep, finally getting up; new bedtime:  10:20 p.m.
As a runner, I was prey to severe friction pain on my nipples due to the fabric of whatever top I was wearing rubbing across them.

The ophthalmologist's office was over by the Royal Columbian Hospital in Sapperton ─ I walked both there and back home again. 

I would expect that the Safeway I visited was one located in a shopping plaza at Eighth Avenue & McBride Boulevard in New Westminster.  Woodward's was located on Sixth Avenue where the Royal City Centre Mall now is.

The library was nearby on the other side of Sixth Avenue.  Back then, library cards were lined affairs where I believe the book title was listed along with a due-date stamp.  Once both sides of the card were filled, a new card became necessary.

I was quite busy on that walk home!

The stamps I was buying the money order for were Canadian commemorative stamps ─ probably a full pane that I intended to use for regular correspondence ─ I found the definitives to be too boring.

As for the eye test results, both of my eyes ─ my entire face ─ were burned back around 1960 from a fireworks mishap.  I was in the Royal Columbian Hospital for what now seems like a couple of weeks.

My right eye was always badly blurred after that.  In early 1997, I believe it was, an eye examination yielded the results that I was then legally blind in the right eye.

Things are much worse now.
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