Tag Archives: health

Eye update

Since so many readers asked, here is a short update on my eye surgery. I saw the doctor again today, and he says all looks good. For me, however, use of the right eye is presently difficult if not impossible. For the moment the eye is covered with a patch, as it hurts too much to use it. In addition, bright lights make both eyes hurt. I find I can only read the computer screen if the room is dark.

Posting should continue, but it will be at a slower pace until the right eye recovers more.

Thanks again to everyone who has expressed their good wishes. I truly appreciate it.

Cat purrs prevent heart attacks

Research has now shown that the purr of a cat appears to prevent heart attacks.

A 10-year study at the University of Minnesota Stroke Center found that cat owners were 40 per cent less likely to have heart attacks than non-cat owners. A cat at home reduced the risk of other heart diseases and stroke by 30 per cent.

But then, all cat owners have always known this.

Scientists last week published a paper claiming that the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown caused 14,000 U.S. deaths.

Junk science: Scientists last week published a paper claiming that the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown caused 14,000 U.S. deaths. You can download the paper here [pdf].

I expect the mainstream television press to push this story in the coming days. The story however is crap. I’ve read the paper, and all it shows is a small statistical increase in deaths in the fourteen weeks after the earthquake/meltdown, compared to the previous year. The scientists provided no context with other years, nor did they factor in changes in total population or a host of innumerable other variables that would influence these numbers. Worse, they presented no direct evidence linking the fallout from the meltdown with the deaths.

In other words, this is agenda-driven science, designed mainly to attack nuclear energy. We should not give it much credence.

One more point: the lead author of the paper is the executive director of Radiation and Public Health Project, an organization whose only purpose appears to be to prove that low level radiation has a negative effect on human health. From a science perspective, this is not a good way to do science. The only way the scientists in this organization can justify their fund-raising and research is to find evidence to prove their theory.