Hiding MSG

I heard from a friend yesterday.  She was extremely angry because her young child has what appear to be allergic reactions to MSG – monosodium glutamate.  She bought and served some food that did not list MSG as an ingredient under that name, but used another term she didn’t recognize.  As a result, her child became quite ill, and needed urgent medical treatment to deal with the symptoms. There’s a lot of disagreement about whether there is such a thing as an allergy to MSG.  Medical science largely says there isn’t.  However, MSG can produce certain reactions that may be mislabeled an “allergy”, particularly

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Um . . . have they thought this through?

I note with interest a potential new scientific approach to bone loss. Deer antlers may hold the secret to curing osteoporosis and other debilitating bone diseases, researchers have revealed. A new study has identified the specific genes responsible for the growth and strength of antlers, paving the way for a future genetic treatment for human bone conditions. A form of temporary external bone, antlers grow at a speed unique in the animal kingdom. They sprout in the spring and by the summer can grow at up to 2cm a day, before beginning to shed by the start of winter. Peter Yang,

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Wincing in anticipation . . .

I’m scheduling this post before leaving the house, on the way to a podiatrist to follow up on the foot problem I wrote about some weeks ago.  That led to four toenails being removed.  Unfortunately, they’ve not been healing very well, and a minor infection has caused more issues. The podiatrist told me last week that the problem seems to be something called a “pyogenic granuloma“, a sort of lump or growth in and around the site of the former nail(s), where the flesh isn’t healing properly.  If my toes haven’t sorted themselves out, he’ll have to cut it/them out and

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OWWW!!!

This morning, as mentioned in my last post, the podiatrist cut a granuloma out of my big toe, where the nail used to be, and cauterized it.  Even with three injections of local anesthetic, it still hurt like a sum*****, particularly when he cauterized the nail bed to control bleeding. I’m under orders to stay off my feet for a while, and not do anything interesting, exciting or energetic involving my tootsies.  I’ll catch up with blogging again tomorrow morning. Peter

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“Correlation does not imply causation”, but when it comes to bedbugs

One of the most frequently heard observations about statistics is that “Correlation does not imply causation” – in other words, that just because two observations are observed simultaneously, it doesn’t necessarily mean that one is caused by the other.  Nevertheless, sufficiently high degrees of correlation do make one wonder. In that light, Orkin’s latest “Top 50 Bed Bug Cities List” made me wonder. For the second year in a row, Baltimore tops Orkin’s Top 50 Bed Bug Cities list, released today. New York fell four spots, while Dallas-Fort Worth joined the top 10. San Diego and Albany rejoin the list,

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Firearms, lethality, and politically correct surveys

I’m annoyed by the silliness of a recent JAMA article titled “The Association of Firearm Caliber With Likelihood of Death From Gunshot Injury in Criminal Assaults“.  Its statement of “meaning” reads: The findings are foundational to the debate over whether deadly weapons should be better regulated and provide evidence againstthe common view that whether the victim lives or dies is determined largely by the assailant’s intent and not the type of weapon. Words in italics are my emphasis. Frankly, I’d never heard of the “common view” that the article reports.  As far as I’m concerned, the “assailant’s intent” is demonstrated

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Updating your kitchen?

It wasn’t always so easy. Things have changed for the better, it seems!  When I was five years old, my parents bought a house that had been built at the turn of the 20th century.  It was in dire need of rehabbing, including the kitchen – which still contained a huge hollow at the base of a chimney, that was intended to accommodate a wood-fired or coal-fired stove and oven.  (With the chimney sealed off and sliding doors installed, it became a very useful cupboard.)  Thing is, when we moved in, it wasn’t too dissimilar to the old-style kitchen shown

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Synthetic drug overdoses: a national crisis, or the ultimate cure?

I was saddened, particularly as a retired pastor, to read of the mass overdose crisisin New Haven, Connecticut, a few days ago. This mass, rapid-fire overdose event was a sped-up version of what is happening across the US as local and federal governments struggle to reduce the colliding impacts of opioid, methamphetamine, cocaine and other addictions. . . . In 2017, drug overdoses killed nearly 200 people per day, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data released this week, a new record driven by the deadly opioid epidemic. Since K2 was first detected in the US in 2008,

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A special Sunday morning request

Normally I don’t put up regular blog posts on Sundays, instead offering something in my “Sunday Morning Music” series.  However, Kevin Baker, all-round good guy and author of “The Smallest Minority” blog, is in hospital.  He needs our help. Let his daughter describe what’s going on.  From the GoFundMe appeal she’s launched: Kevin was admitted back to the hospital last night (8/15/18) after collapsing and having to be taken by ambulance to emergency. He had just gotten out of the hospital on Tuesday. . . . A little about my fabulous father. This is a man who took me under his wing

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Bite-size snapshots of life in Chicago

Chicago Magazine has just published what appears to be the third in a series of vignettes of life in that city, as seen through the eyes of some of those who live and work there.  This one’s from the perspective of emergency room physicians.  Here are a few excerpts. “Your body is plumbing, electricity, and structure. Bones are the structure, electricity is the nerves in your brain, and plumbing is the blood vessels that supply oxygen to your tissues. Broken plumbing is going to kill you first, unless you get shot in the brain. I’m a glorified plumber at the end

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