Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Trillion$ In Secret Loan$

The U.S. Federal Reserve (Central Bank of the United States) promised $7.8 trillion in loans to U.S. banks without Congress's knowledge during the financial crisis between Aug. 2007 and March 2009 / with $1.2 trillion going out the door in actual loans -- even as lawmakers fiercely fought over the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) which was $700 billion. The Feds low rates gave the banks $13 billion in direct profits -- which was 1/4 of the profits that the six biggest U.S. banks turned during that period.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Opinions Gone Bad...

"Men will never fly, because flying is reserved for angels."
Episcopalian Bishop Milton Wright, father of the Wright Brothers

"There is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality."
Abraham Lincoln in a speech delivered in Charleston, Illinois, 1858

"People give ear to an upstart astrologer who strove to show that the earth revolves, not the heavens… This fool wishes to reverse the entire science of astronomy."
Martin Luther, on Copernicus, 1543

“I see no good reasons why the views given in this volume should shock the religious sensibilities of anyone.”
Charles Darwin, on The Origin of Species, 1869

Note: Just because you express an opinion doesn't make it right. And you'd better be willing to express more balanced views and change them as truths come to light.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Nix Plastic Bag Ban

In Austin, whether or not to recycle your plastic bags is "still" a personal choice. However, throwing them into the street or the blue recycle bin is not. Plastic bags are to be either collected separately and deposited in the collection bin at the grocery stores' front door, or else, they go into the gray trash bin. I choose to stuff "nonrigid plastics" that are not accepted in my blue bin into an attractive 2-gallon round plastic bucket with a loose fitting lid and plastic grocery bag as a liner that can be easily knotted and lifted out on my way of my kitchen to the grocery store. If Leffingwell's ban is enacted, stores will no longer collect soft plastics and I'll be forced to send them to the landfill instead of supporting the industries that use post-consumer resin. And I'll be expressing my displeasure at the next local election. Consumer education is preferable.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

HPV Vaccine: Not Just For Girls

The CDC recently recommended that preteen boys get the HPV vaccine. Besides preventing them from spreading cancers amongst our females, it also protects the guys from HPV induced cancers (including head and neck cancers).Note: The mouths of one in 15 Americans are infected with the HPV STD. The incidence of this and head and neck cancer is 3 times higher in men than women.]

We need to remind ourselves that HPV is not just transmitted by sexual intercourse. Diseases like HPV or herpes are skin-to-skin transmitted (kissing, petting, oral sex). So while condoms are very, very effective in preventing transmission during sexual intercourse, condoms are ineffective when it comes to these two sources of STDs.

NOTE: Remember that this is a vaccine against cancer -- and more than 3/4ths of people who become infected with HPV over the course of their lives are exposed within just a few years of their first sexual experience.


Listen (04:11)-

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Why Don’t Condoms Stop HPV?

First, know that quality latex condoms are effective against typical STDs if used properly: 

So, Why Don’t Condoms Stop HPV?

"Human papillomavirus differs from other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in its method of transmission; it is not spread from one person to another through the exchange of bodily fluids. Rather, like Herpes, it spreads through skin-to-skin contact. Since HPV is a regional, multicentric disease, it infects the entire genital area: the penis, scrotum, vulva and surrounding areas. 

[Note: Head and neck cancers are an increasingly common result of HPV.]
Condoms do not cover the scrotum, nor most of the other areas that can be infected with the virus. There also tends to be contact between the anogenital skin of the partners before a condom can be correctly placed on the penis. No known effective barrier exists that will protect the vulva or prevent vulvar transfer of the virus."