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This Week in Health and Fitness

Welcome to this week’s Health and Fitness. This is an Open Thread.

Friends of Stroke Victims Reluctant to Call 911

Hesitation in Calling for an Ambulance Could Delay Lifesaving Treatment

May 13, 2010 — Stroke victims need immediate emergency attention, but a new study shows that most people who realize stroke warning signs are occurring in a friend or family member may not call 911, thereby delaying potentially lifesaving treatment.

This is alarming, Michigan researchers suggest, because people who suffer strokes need immediate assessment and treatment.

But people who would call 911 if they thought a friend or loved one was having a heart attack don’t seem to realize that strokes are deadly, too, the researchers write; strokes are the No. 3 killer in the U.S.

Stroke victims who are candidates for the clot-busting drug called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) may receive this treatment if they get to a hospital within three hours (and in some select cases up to 4.5 hours) of the time the first warning signs show up.

The Two Types of Stroke


*   Symptoms of an ischemic stroke (caused by a clot blocking a blood vessel) usually occur in the side of the body opposite from the side of the brain where the clot occurred. For example, a stroke in the right side of the brain affects the left side of the body.

   * Symptoms of a hemorrhagic stroke (caused by bleeding in the brain) can be similar to those of an ischemic stroke but may be distinguished by symptoms relating to higher pressure in the brain, including severe headache, nausea and vomiting, neck stiffness, dizziness, seizures, irritability, confusion, and possibly unconsciousness.

Signs and Symptoms of a Stroke


 Sudden numbness, paralysis, or weakness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on only one side of your body.

New problems with walking or balance.

Sudden vision changes.

Drooling or slurred speech.

New problems speaking or understanding simple statements, or feeling confused.

A sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches.

Do not disregard any of these symptoms even if they pass quickly. Symptoms of stroke can develop over minutes, hours or days. The symptoms can be progressive starting with a little tingling that evolves into paralysis.

Call 911 immediately. The faster you get to an Emergency Room at a hospital with a Stroke Center, the better the chances that there will be a good recovery. The Paramedics know where these centers are and it may not be the closest hospital It is important that the patient get to a Stroke Center within 3 hours of onset of symptoms.

As is now custom, I’ll try to include the more interesting and pertinent articles that will help the community awareness of their health and bodies. This essay will not be posted anywhere else due to constraints on my time. Please feel free to make suggestions for improvement and ask questions, I’ll answer as best I can.  

For Your Consideration: New Meaning for the Godwin’s Law

Definition of the Godwin’s Law:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.

On This Day in History: May 15

On this day in 1937 – Trini Lopez (Trinidad Lopez III) in Dallas, Texas) is an American musician, singer and guitarist. Raised in the barrio of Dallas, dropped out of high school in his senior year because hi father needed financial support. He learned to play guitar from his father and it was this talent that he used to help support his family. He rode to local fame playing in night clubs eventually moving his family out of the barrio.

His first record album included the song “If I Had a Hammer” which rode to the top of the charts around the world. The hits, “I’m Coming Home Cindy,” “Michael,” “Lemon Tree,” Kansas City,” “America,” and, of course, “La Bamba”, followed in quick succession.

During the 60’s and 70’s, he appeared in movies (“Marriage on the Rocks”, “The Dirty Dozen”)  and on TV (“Adam-12). He does charitable work and took part in the world wide concert to raise funds for the victims of the 2004 Indonesia Tsunami/Earthquake.

Happy Birthday, Trini

On This Day in History: May 14

On this day in 1936, Bobby Darin (born Walden Robert Cassotto) was born in the Bronx. In his short career he became the legend that he said he wanted to be before his death at 37 in 1973. His hits “Mack the Knife”, “Splish Splash”, “By the Sea”, “Dream Lover”, “Beyond the Sea” and “You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby” are still heard today. Darin successfully moved into movies garnering an Academy Award nomination for “Best Supporting Actor” in the movie Captain Newman, M.D. (1963).

In 1960, Darin married Sandra Dee. They had one son and divorced in 1967. In 1971, he underwent heart surgery in Los Angeles to repair damaged heart valves that he had lived with since childhood. He spent the next year recovering from that surgery and became a spokes person for the American Heart Association.

In 1973, after failing to take medication before a dental procedure, he developed a blood infection that further weakened his heart. On December 19, he under went a second surgery to repair the same two valves that had previously been repaired. After 6 hours of surgery that initially appeared to be successful, he died suddenly in Recovery without ever regaining consciousness on December 20.

This is from a TV special recorded 9 months before Bobby Darin’s death at age 37.

Happy Birthday, Bobby

For Your Consideration: TARP not Helping Small Businesses

Elizabeth Warren, Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel:

called it “infuriating” that the Troubled Asset Relief Program has not achieved its objective in funneling some of the $700 billion in appropriations to small businesses. Troubled Asset Relief Program has not achieved its objective] in funneling some of the $700 billion in appropriations to small businesses”.

A report the commission released Thursday found that big-bank lending portfolios to small businesses dropped 9 percent from 2008 to 2009, more than double the 4.1 decrease of its overall lending portfolio.

“Two out of every three new jobs created in America come out of a small business. Fifty percent of the private work force is in small business,” Warren said in an interview. “If they don’t have access to credit it’s not only a problem to them now, but they can’t help fund the recovery.”

We are nearly two years into this financial boondoggle and the only light at the end of the tunnel seems to be a freight train.

Why is this woman not the Treasury Secretary? Oh right, she’d hold Goldman Sachs accountable.

On This Day in History: May 13

On this day in 1964, Stephen Colbert, American comedian and actor, was born in Washington,D.C., the youngest of 11 children. He was raised in Charleston, South Carolina on James Island until the death of his father and two brothers in a plane crash in 1974, when his mother moved the family to Charleston city proper. During high school he participated in plays and a Rolling Stones cover band.

After graduating from Northwestern University’s School of Communications, he was hired by “Second City” answering phones and selling souvenirs later performing with the touring company as an under study for Steve Carell. He has since written, created and performed a number of comedy shows from “Exit 57” to “Strangers with Candy” and even a gig on “Good Morning America”. He was hired in 1997 by the producer of “The Daily Show”.

His correspondent character, which he described as “a fool who has spent a lot of his life playing not the fool”, would eventually evolve into the parody “Stephen Colbert” character of the much acclaimed “The Colbert Report”. He carries off his parody character so well that many believe that it is really Colbert himself. His performance at the “White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner” in 2006, while not well received that night, became wildly popular on the internet and with the media.

Colbert has also acted in films and TV dramas (Law & Order: Criminal Intent)and provided the voice for animated characters (Phil, “Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law”, “The Venture Bros.” and “The Simpsons”). His book, “I Am America (And So Can You!)”, was #1 on the NYT Best Seller. He was assistant team psychologist for the 2010 US Olympic Speed Skating team and was part of the NBC coverage.

Colbert is married to Evelyn McGee-Colbert, has three children, 2 boys and a girl, and lives in Montclair, New Jersey. He is a self proclaimed Democrat and stated in a speech at Kennedy School of Government at Harvard Institute of Politics, that “he has “no problems with Republicans, just Republican policies.”

Happy 46th Birthday, Stephen

For Your Consderation: Seven Years and Counting

The Iraq War has been officially extended with the issue of this Notice to Congress (warning: pdf file):

   I have sent the enclosed notice to the Federal Register for publication, continuing the national emergency with respect to the stabilization of Iraq. This notice states that the national emergency with respect to the stabilization of Iraq declared in Executive Order 13303 of May 22, 2003, as modified in scope and relied upon for additional steps taken in Executive Order 13315 of August 28, 2003, Executive Order 13350 of July 29, 2004, Executive Order 13364 of November 29, 2004, and Executive Order 13438 of July 17, 2007, is to continue in effect beyond May 22, 2010.

   Obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. Accordingly, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to this threat and maintain in force the measures taken to deal with that national emergency.

h/t emptywheel @ FDL

On This Day in History: May 12

On this day in 1937, George Denis Patrick Carlin was born in the Bronx. He was raised by his mother in Morningside Heights which he and his friends called “White Harlem” because it sounded tougher. He was raised Irish Catholic and educated in Catholic schools. He often ran away from home. After joining the Air Force while stationed in Louisiana, Carlin became a DJ in Shreveport starting on his long career in entertainment. Carlin rose to fame during the 60’s and 70’s, generating the most controversy with his famous “Seven Dirty Words”:

Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tits. Those are the heavy seven. Those are the ones that’ll infect your soul, curve your spine and keep the country from winning the war.

His arrest and the subsequent FCC rulings ended up in the Supreme Court which upheld the right of the FCC to regulate the public airways. In the ruling it called the routine “indecent but not obscene”.

In 1961, Carlin was also present in the audience the night that Lenny Bruce was arrested in San Fransisco for obscenity. He was arrested, as well, after the police, who were questioning the audience, asked Carlin for ID. He said he didn’t have any because he didn’t believe in government-issued ID’s.

We all know the rest. His popularity as a comic and “commentarian” on politics, religion and social issues made him a popular guest on late night talk shows. His death in  June 22, 2008 saddened many. He left behind his second wife, Sally Wade, whom he married after his first wife Brenda died of liver cancer in 1997. He left a daughter by his first marriage, Kelly.

Happy Birthday, George, you are missed.

On This Day in History: May 11

On this day in 1888, the composer and lyricist, Irving Berlin (Israel Isidore Baline) was born in Tyumen in Eastern Russia. When young Irving was 5, his father, a cantor in a Jewish Synagogue, moved his family to the United States in 1893 as did many other Jewish families which was sparked by the pogroms of the new Russian Tsar. Berlin only recollection of his life in Russia was the burning of his families home during a Cossack rampage of their village.

The Baline family eventually settled on the lower east side of New York City. After his father passed away when he was 8, young “Izzy” drooped out of school taking odd jobs delivering papers and, eventually making a living singing “street songs” for pennies. Eventually, he hooked up with another street kid who was getting by singing his own songs, George M. Cohan and other young song writers. In 1911, Irving Berlin hit the charts with “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and he was off and running for decades with hit after hit many of which are still heard today. We all know “White Christmas”. And who can forget this classic “immortalized” by the late Peter Boyle and Gene Wilder in “Young Frankenstein”

Irving Berlin died September 22, 1989 in NYC. Happy Birthday, Mr. Berlin.

Lena Horne, June 30, 1917 – May 9, 2010

Lena Horne, Singer and Actress, Dies at 92

Lena Horne, who was the first black performer to be signed to a long-term contract by a major Hollywood studio and who went on to achieve international fame as a singer, died on Sunday night at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. She was 92 and lived in Manhattan.

On This Day in History: May 10

On this day in , lead singer of U2, Bono was born Paul David Hewson in Dublin, Ireland. He has written almost all of the lyrics to U2’s song using political, social and personal experiences. Bono’s philanthropic work have made him one of the world’s best known performers. he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, received an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II and named Time’s Persons of the Year in 2005. His work and performance for Amnesty International, Band aid and Live Aid. His advocacy for third world countries has brought the AIDS epidemic in Africa to the attention of the world and it’s leaders.

Happy Birthday, Bono, and thank you.

On This Day in History: May 9

On this day in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson issues a presidential proclamation that officially establishes the first national Mother’s Day holiday to celebrate America’s mothers.

The earliest call for the establishment of Mother’s Day in the US came in 1870 with the “The Mother’s Day Proclamation” written by Julia Howe. It was a pacifist reaction to the US Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War. It was Ms. Howe’s belief that women had a responsibility to shape society at a political level.

Arise, then, women of this day!

Arise all women who have hearts,

Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears

Say firmly:

“We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,

Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage,

For caresses and applause.

Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn

All that we have been able to teach them of

charity, mercy and patience.

“We women of one country

Will be too tender of those of another country

To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.”

From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with

Our own. It says, “Disarm, Disarm!”

The sword of murder is not the balance of justice!

Blood does not wipe out dishonor

Nor violence indicate possession.

As men have of ten forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war.

Let women now leave all that may be left of home

For a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means

Whereby the great human family can live in peace,

Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,

But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask

That a general congress of women without limit of nationality

May be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient

And at the earliest period consistent with its objects

To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,

The amicable settlement of international questions.

The great and general interests of peace.

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