Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Swine flu in NYC?

This weekend, while everyone was out enjoying the lovely (if a bit hot for April) weather, news was breaking all over the place about the new swine flu variant that has killed 20 and infected 1,000+ in Mexico. There are confirmed cases in the U.S., including several at a private school in Queens, but no deaths and only one hospitalization have occurred in this country. The flu virus, a mix of pig, bird, and human flu viruses, has the possibility to become a pandemic because it seems to be easily transmissible from human to human, and it is killing young adults rather than infants, the elderly, and those with weak immune systems.

Of course, people are beginning to panic, and the European Union has issued a warning urging its citizens to avoid travel to the U.S. and Mexico in hopes of heading off a global pandemic, but don’t shutter yourselves inside and prepare to wait out the flupocalypse in your bunker just yet.

The Centers for Disease Control have said that this particular strain is vulnerable to two commonly available flu medications, and the U.S. has not issued any travel advisories for its citizens (though they’re expected to issue one for travel to Mexico shortly). Common sense should prevail – wash your hands frequently, especially if you’re around someone who is sneezing or coughing. If you have flu symptoms, call your doctor, and don’t rush to the nearest ER if you just have a slight fever. And finally, read only reliable sources (scroll down for links to CDC and WHO) and stay away from “end of the world” and conspiracy websites. Don’t panic! You have more to fear right now from crazy taxi drivers than swine flu.

African-Americans Needed to Save the Life of a Six-Year-OLD

Little Jazmina only has 2 months to live, at best, if she doesn’t get a bone-marrow transplant right away. Jazmina, a 6-year-old, who attends PS41 in Greenwich Village, has a rare and aggressive form of leukemia. She is adopted, so there is no access to her biological family.

All New Yorkers — but especially African-Americans — are needed for a bone marrow screening today [Saturday] at PS41 from 10am to 2pm, at 116 W. 11th Street, west of 6th Avenue in Greenwich Village. This screening will put you in the National Bone Marrow Registry, so even if you are not a match for Jazmina, you may be able to help someone in the future. And it’s completely painless; no blood, and no needles. The screening is done by a saliva swab from the inner cheek.

Soy milk survey results

So the overwhelming and somewhat surprising results are offcially in. Most people order soy milk because they are lactose intolerant.

Coming in at a close 2nd is that because people actually prefer the taste of soy and nut based milks to the taste of regular milk.

Among the “Other” answers given, some people don’t take milk at all in their coffee while some others do not know whether the milk being used by their particular shop is organic or not. As in, they do not know if the cows whose milk they’re drinking has been ethically derived or not. So these are all legitimate reasons.

The sneaky reason I had for taking this survey was because sometimes when I visit Abraco Espresso, they are out of their freshly made almond milk. This is due to people that I thought were ordering almond because they thought it had less fat. The survey shows that this is not the case – most people are lactose intolerant or just prefer the taste. So what happens when vegans actually go into the shop is we get screwed. Because while someone who likes the taste has been hogging all the almond milk, we will have no milk substitute available for us.

Anyhow, what I learned was that people just love the taste of milk alternatives or they are lactose intolerant – as is most of the world. But sometimes they’ll just bite the bullet and get regular milk.

I should become a market researcher. . . . . . NOT (channeling Borat).

NYC Tap Water better than Bottled Water

Water. Agua. Life source. The conduit of existence along with air. This very essential part of our lives has now become a commodity; something we purchase instead of something we intake for free. A lot of that has to do with the idiotic bottling companies, who use more than 47 billion fossil fuels annually to create these environmental disasters.

But it’s not only about the environment. Bottled water is contaminated. Here’s an excerpt from the latest study on the topic:

The study’s lab tests on 10 brands of bottled water detected 38 chemicals including bacteria, caffeine, the pain reliever acetaminophen, fertilizer, solvents, plastic-making chemicals and the radioactive element strontium. Though some probably came from tap water that some companies use for their bottled water, other contaminants probably leached from plastic bottles, the researchers said.

“In some cases, it appears bottled water is no less polluted than tap water and, at 1,900 times the cost, consumers should expect better,” said Jane Houlihan, an environmental engineer who co-authored the study.

What we forget is that water is essential. The kind of water we use needs to be clean and according to the latest reports, bottled water has no less contaminants.The process of the way the water comes to us is also cleaner than any bottling plant or source.

And according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2007, NYC has some of the finest drinking water not just in the United States but anywhere in the world.

Each day, more than 1.1 billion gallons of fresh, clean water is delivered from large upstate reservoirs – some more than 125 miles from the city – to the taps of 9 million customers throughout New York State.

The system responsible for this feat is an engineering marvel. It consists of 19 reservoirs and
more than 6,000 miles of pipes, aqueducts and tunnels. The Delaware Aqueduct, at 85-miles
long, is the longest continuous tunnel in the world, and runs at depths of more than 1,500 feet
in some places. Even more impressive, the system is almost entirely gravity driven, delivering
high-quality water to you without emitting climate-changing greenhouse gases.

Drinking two liters of NYC water each day will cost just $0.50 a year, whereas drinking two liters of bottled water a day will cost more than $1400 a year.

Bloomberg has already banned bottled water in city offices due to the cleanliness of what we get here in NYC. Shouldn’t you be next?

Question of Etiquite

So, you are in the restroom in a public building. Let’s say you’re in the stall next to, or perhaps standing at a urinal. In one of the stalls you hear a phone ring. If it was you would you

A)Pick it up without thinking
B)Check the caller ID and only pick it up if you know you need to take the call
C)Pick it up because you are in the fucking bathroom taking an audible shit

Well dude in the stall next to me chose C.

What would you choose?

Fun times in the ER

Both my fiance and our roommate had colds in the past week or two and despite my desperate attempts to avoid their icky, icky germs, I managed to catch one too. At least I thought it was just a cold – but instead of moving up into the ol’ schnozz, whatever it is moved up into my ear and settled there to torture me. After toughing it out all day Saturday, the ear pain got so bad late Sunday night that I called my doctor and he told me to go to the emergency room at Beth Israel, conveniently located just a short walk from my apartment.

I am really weird about the ER and feel like I shouldn’t go there unless there’s something broken or I can’t breathe. In fact, before Sunday night, I had only been to the ER three times – once to give birth, once because I had a 105 degree fever and once because I sprained my ankle really badly and couldn’t walk on it without searing pain. I didn’t have a fever, I most certainly was not pushing anyone or anything out of my uterus, and I walked to the hospital, so I kind of felt like a dick. But it turns out I have a really bad ear infection, so they gave me some antibiotics and a Percocet – which didn’t make a dent in the ear pain – and sent me on my way. I felt less like a dick after that. I mean, I was in a lot of pain.

Highlights of the ER visit after the jump.

It’s Only A Game: Right??

Stay cool on Sunday– It’s only a game. live a long life and die with smile on your face while cheating on your spouse like a normal person. ( Spouses should fire from left to right) Repeat after me– They are the New Jersey Giants, not the NY Giants.

German researchers tracking cardiac emergencies during the 2006 World Cup of Soccer (which Germany hosted), found that on the days when Germany played, the rate of cardiac events, such as heart attacks, angina attacks or cardiac arrhythmias was 2.66 higher than the norm.

The rate of such events among women was 1.82 times higher than average, while the rate for men was a whopping 3.26 times higher than normal.

Among those who suffered heart emergencies on days when the German team played, 47 per cent had been diagnosed with heart disease in the past. Normally, only about 29 per cent of patients who head to hospital for a heart emergency have already had a diagnosis of heart disease?”

World AIDS day tomorrow

For those of you who don’t know, tomorrow is World AIDS Day. It’s both a day to mourn those lost to AIDS and to look forward to change, to commit to working to wipe out AIDS worldwide. I just came back from a trip where I watched several hundred people from different cities run a marathon in support of AIDS charities. These people raised well over a million dollars that went to help people in their communities – with education, prevention, and research. So what are we doing here, in our communities in New York, to help educate and protect at-risk people?

One organization in our community that works tirelessly to help is Gay Men’s Health Crisis. They have a full calendar of events around World AIDS Day, including free HIV testing at David Geffen Center for HIV Prevention. There’s also a film festival and a number of other events.

Obviously, this disease doesn’t just affect gay men. Women, particularly women of color, are at high risk. In NYC, HIV/AIDS are the leading cause of death of women of color, according to Iris House, which is a Harlem center for women living with AIDS. But the bottom line is, whether you’re at high risk or not, you should be educated about HIV and AIDS, and understand the risks and what you can do about prevention.

More World AIDS day events listed at Project WAVE NY. If you know of any events in your area, please feel free to post them in the comments.

MD, MPH, and… Superhero?


I first read about Dr. Jay Parkinson in this Gothamist interview; and now that I’ve combed through his website, I’m convinced: the man is a visionary (I resisted typing “super-human”).

Not content to wait for government or industry to fix our seriously broken healthcare system (which clearly will never happen), he’s instead re-creating the entire doctor-patient “business model” by using techniques and technologies that work within–and even make the best of–existing realities. Pretty amazing stuff.

It would be hard not to admire his vision and his values. Plus, he likes cheap Mexican food and some pretty sweet tunes.

Miso Soup, just like Mom’s

Photo from

It may not seem like a soup day today, but my man wasn’t feeling well, so I decided to make something that always helps me feel better: Miso Soup.

The best place to get ingredients for any Japanese dish in my neighborhood of Astoria is Family Market. They have everything Japanese there. Tons of different noodles, beverages, edamame, seaweeds, fish snacks, Japanese pastries, and delicious lychee gummy candies. Plus, some teenie bopper Japanese magazines.

This store has everything to make a mean Miso soup that’ll help any cold. (Click Below for Miso Soup recipe).

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