How to Cool Off and Stay Safe in Public Pools

The cool, glistening waters of public pools are certainly seductive on a hot summer day. But if they’re not properly maintained and treated, these public pools spread germs that can cause unpleasant illnesses and ruin the fun. Here’s what you need to know to stay safe (and cool) in a public pool.

Source: How to Cool Off and Stay Safe in Public Pools

“Another One Bites the Dust” works too, but you might not want to be caught humming it while doing CPR. 😉

You could teach swimmers to communicate their status over the water, the same way scuba divers do under it. If I point at a kid, they need to make a fist and tap the top of their head with it. That’s the “I’m okay” sign. If I don’t get a response, I need to go get you.  That said, I’ve swam in water where visibility is 6 ft at most, with goggles.

Heroic Scientists Want to Clean Up Cow Farts to Save the Planet

Most of us consider farts to be little more than a mild embarrassment. But cow farts (and burps) are a scourge upon the Earth, releasing heat-trapping methane that wreaks havoc on our climate. Now, heroic scientists want to put an end to global warming-by-flatulence once and for all.

Source: Heroic Scientists Want to Clean Up Cow Farts to Save the Planet

While it is fun to talk about farts, really most of the methane comes out the front end of the cow.

My takeaway is that methane deserves more attention than it’s getting relative to the CO2 emissions we’re flipping out about, especially if it’s true that climate change may result in the release of large amounts of methane trapped underground/undersea.

If pivoting somewhat to methane relieves some of the economic pressure that CO2-focused legislation is causing, then the pivot seems like an opportunity to have our cake (cut climate change risk) and eat it too (lessen the economic hit from the CO2 focus) somewhat.

Using a Dyson Hand Dryer is Like Setting Off a Viral Bomb in a Bathroom

Bathrooms are a prime location for smearing disease-causing microbes all over your hands. Yet, despite societal pressures and prodding signage, a lot of people don’t clean their grimy mitts after a potty break. Some audacious folks just skip the sink all together, while others don’t wash for long enough (experts recommend singing “Happy Birthday” twice in your head) or omit the cleansing soap step. All of those sanitation-slackers threaten to spread disease—particularly in healthcare settings packed with vulnerable patients. But what the latter groups do to dry off their un-cleaned hands may end up setting off a germ bomb.

Source: Using a Dyson hand dryer is like setting off a viral bomb in a bathroom

Not surprising – the forced air hand dryers had been found to have this effect years ago.  The idea for both was to reduce waste & use of paper products, but paper products are recyclable and isolate microbes rather than spread them.

Why You Should Stop Using Hydrogen Peroxide

The only thing it’s used for in my house is to get blood out of clothes. Victims or mine, doesn’t matter 😉

There has been really no evidence that hydrogen peroxide slows down wound healing (source), because at 3% it just isn’t strong enough to harm human epithelial cells. Because we actually have enough catalase in order to prevent real cell damage from occurring. Ironically for the same reason, it does actually a pretty crappy job of preventing you against a staph skin infection, because staph is a catalase positive bacteria and also is really unaffected by hydrogen peroxide.

So using it for a typical cut probably won’t do anything at all, except break up pus or debris, which is what the AMA recommends it for. Also if you actually cut yourself out away from easy access to medical care and land into a pile of mud or manure it’s probably handy there because it will kill off the non-catalase positive bacteria really well, which is better than nothing. But something like Neosporin is ultimately a lot more effective in that situation. And in that situation please use some sort of anti-septic or antibiotic, because even if your healing time was slightly longer, it’s well worth not getting a major skin or even worse systemic infection.

Wash Your Hands at the Hospital or Doctor’s Office to Avoid Bringing Nasty Germs Home

Encouraging doctors and nurses to wash their hands frequently has always been considered an effective way to curb the spread of infection in hospitals and other health facilities.

But a research letter published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine points to another key group of people who aren’t always keeping their hands so clean and probably should: patients.

Source: Patients Leave the Hospital with Superbugs on Their Hands

Bring hand sanitizer with you and use it when you leave the office, get off the elevator, leave the building and one last time when you’re safely in your car. You are touching thousands of sick people each step of the way.

If you don’t have to touch things in a hospital or doctors office, don’t.  Magazines are probably the worst things to handle – your phone or tablet is a safer option.

To a certain extent you need exposure to everyday germs to stay healthy, but not at that level.

Smart Video Reveals How Antibiotics May Have Created a Dangerous Apocalyptic Scenario

There is plenty of places to spread the blame around, and this is coming from one of my doctors: The patients who do not take all of their meds when they are sick, then wonder why they often feel like crap again when they relapse, and then the doctor’s who overprescribed antibiotics as if they were candy. In both instances are opportunities for increased resistance. There were warnings of this years ago and they were mostly written off as “Chicken Littles”.

I also wonder if the modern [North American] parental insanity to keep their kids clean to the point of a sterility guarantee may also share some of the blame because exposure to daily life I would think strengthen the immune system making it more able to fight off infections. When I was a kid we played, and we played hard, to the point of looking like Pig Pen when we walked in the door. Virtual dirt playing Minecraft on an iPad inside all day does not quite equate to the same thing.

Scientists Have Discovered a Bacteria That’s Evolved to Eat Plastic

A team of Japanese scientists has discovered a bacteria that’s evolved to break down and consume PET—one of the world’s most environmentally damaging plastics.

Source: Scientists Have Discovered a Bacteria That’s Evolved to Eat Plastic

Q: What do they poop?

That’s actually a relevant question. Unless they have black hole core, “cleaning” organisms can’t make something just disappear. And if it feeds off of it, it means the byproduct will have even less energy and might be even harder to dispose of.

This Genetic Alteration Could Prevent the Next Potato Famine

Unlike humans, plants only react to infections when they sustain specific kinds of damage. Now we know that the solution is to get them to produce special “decoy” proteins that can be damaged, in order to get the plant to spring into action.

Source: This Genetic Alteration Could Prevent the Next Potato Famine

But could anything grown with this in the genome be sold in the EU?

This is a GMO. Kudos to the folks who came up with and implemented this idea.

All The Food Safety Questions You’ll Have On Thanksgiving Day, Answered

Family disagreements at Thanksgiving aren’t limited to politics at the dinner table: if you’ve ever stood in the kitchen arguing with your grandma about whether the turkey is done, you know what we mean. So we asked food safety expert Ben Chapman to settle your most likely disputes.

Source: All The Food Safety Questions You’ll Have On Thanksgiving Day, Answered

The US government is now posting warnings advising against cooking the stuffing inside the bird, since the correct cooking time for the turkey is not long enough to ensure that the stuffing is cooked enough to be safe.  Stuff the bird after cooking to get that extra flavour boost without the food safety worries because the turkey meat tends to hit the appropriate temperature before the stuffing does.

What “Net Carbs” On Food Labels Actually Means

 A myriad of low-carb products are marketed as having “zero net carbs”, but a closer look at the nutrition label reveals most of the “cancelled” carbs to be from dietary fiber or sugar alcohols. What does this wizardry mean for calorie and carbohydrate counters? Not as much as the marketing would have you believe.

Source: What “Net Carbs” On Food Labels Actually Means

Net carbs is vastly more important to read that total carbs. The tortillas I buy are about 22g carbs, 6 net carbs. Eating two or three makes all the difference between having an elevated blood sugar, or up 100 points for a few hours.