Clearly the experts on contraceptives: these guys.
Why caring for my aging father has me wishing he would die
However ghoulish, it is a world we will all soon get to know well, argues Gross: owing to medical advancements, cancer deaths now peak at age 65 and kill off just 20 percent of older Americans, while deaths due to organ failure peak at about 75 and kill off just another 25 percent, so the norm for seniors is becoming a long, drawn-out death after 85, requiring ever-increasing assistance for such simple daily activities as eating, bathing, and moving.
This is currently the case for approximately 40 percent of Americans older than 85, the country’s fastest-growing demographic, which is projected to more than double by 2035, from about 5 million to 11.5 million. And at that point, here comes the next wave—77 million of the youngest Baby Boomers will be turning 70.
The Straw That Can Save Lives
Danish water purification company Vestergaard Frandsen’s latest development could very possibly save millions of lives of those who struggle to find and produce clean water.
Their invention is the LifeStraw, a low-tech, low-hassle personal water filter that enables the user to simply stick one end into a water source of questionable cleanliness, such as a river, and suck. Several layers within the straw manage to filter out 99% of bacteria and viruses. Previously, people of areas with little clean water would be forced to boil water to ensure its safety, using up other resources in the process. With this invention, little maintenance would be required, and it could last for a year or two.
In addition to the personal filter, the company has developed a LifeStraw Family, which uses gravity rather than suction to filter water. By hanging this up in their homes and filling it with water, families would be able to open the bottom for clean, safe water.
These products do, however, have their limitations. While 99% of pathogens are removed, the filter is unable to prevent Giardia Lamblia from entering the filtered water, as this particular parasite is too small for the filters. The company is diligently working on a solution to this problem. Another potential problem is availability, since Vestergaard Frandsen is a small, struggling company that cannot quite afford to give out too many handouts.
Hopefully these problems can be overcome, as this product, in its current state, and especially once perfected, has the potential for aiding many who need it most.
Shortly after the 2010 earthquake and hurricane that struck the country, Haiti was (and is) deeply immersed in an outbreak of cholera. Amazingly, social networks accurately tracked the spread of the disease, faster and more accurately than traditional tracking methods. As Rumi Chunara of Harvard Medical School details in CHE:
The social media matched the official reports very closely right at the start of the outbreak, in October 2010, and right after another surge when the hurricane hit, in early November. But the reports were ahead of the official records by two weeks. And with Twitter in particular, they identified the geographic locations of the cases “because a lot of people were Tweeting from their phones, right where they saw patients” in villages, Ms. Chunara said. Not all cholera patients go to hospitals to be counted officially, she noted.
It’s safe to assume that tracking a disease by social media alone wouldn’t be perfect, and further studies will be required to prove that this is a reliable method by which to base the distribution of medicine and supplies. Even a few days advantage can make a huge difference in an outbreak like this, though. By tracking real-time data, patients could be located and catalogued before they even saw a doctor.
I’m fascinated by the blossoming uses of geographic information coming out of Twitter’s API. Just this week, these infographics by Eric Fischer showed up on FastCo.Design:
You can practically re-draw traditional maps based on the density and geography of geotagged tweets. The possibilities for real-time information tracking seem endless (for good and evil). Any ideas?
(via The Chronicle of Higher Education, photo by AP)
Informative infographic on sleep and sleep deprivation over at Fast Code Design.
The human heart stripped of fat and muscle, with just the angel veins exposed.
Summer’s over kids. Everyone’s going back to school and vacations are just a memory. Good news though, The Informed Vegan is ready to bring you some intriguing, exicting, and inspiring news this September.
Before we can move forward, let’s look back. Here are the top stories for August:
McDonalds uses the fine print to get out of having to plant stupid trees to save the stupid earth.
One of the world’s coolest vegan companies builds a sweet tricked out veggie meat factory in Oregon.
Social networking Big Brother has issues with people sharing animal rights articles.
When an elephant used by Ringling collapses in the streets, everyone wonders “if this is what happens in public, what’s going on behind the scenes?”
Tragic story from the Chinese bear bile industry. A mother’s bear tries to spare her cub from a life of incredible suffering.
August saw some big changes at The Informed Vegan and there’s more on the way. No more music section on the site. We are going to put all our energy into sharing important news and facts about veganism and animal rights. Check out our new facts section, “like” us on Facebook, and follow us on twitter. Thanks for reading!
This might disturb you at first, but remember: the free market is always right, so clearly we’ve collectively made a rational choice here. We’ve decided that although our healthcare costs are far higher than in Europe, this is worth it in return for far higher death rates from hospital infections.
Richard Florida reports on America’s fittest cities – the answers may surprise you.
MARCY DOLIN: I’m lying on my bed, smoking a joint. I smoke about eight a day, and eat a marijuana cookie before I go to sleep at night. I like the peanut-butter ones. I’ve been using marijuana for about 35 years, ever since I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. It takes the pain and muscle spasms away. Without it, I would be living on morphine and other horrible drugs. I couldn’t do that to my family. That’s no life, and I would have ended it. That’s the truth. I used to take a drug called Neurontin, and I just never stopped crying. I was in a fog, totally depressed. I told my doctor that I was going back to just marijuana; he said he would have me arrested if he could. What are they going to do? I’m 71 years old. Are they going to put me in jail? I’m not hurting anybody. It’s just here in my own house.