Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Alzheimers and Cancer: Does One Decrease the Liklihood of the Other?

A study published today on AOL Health News has an intriguing find – that there is a negative correlation between Alzheimers and cancers. You can read the entire study by clicking on the type above. Below is a quote from the study:Ei

Benito-Leon said that scientists need to better understand the link between Alzheimer’s disease, which causes abnormal cell death, and cancer, which causes abnormal cell growth.”

It refers also to a study published last year on

Skin Cancer May Be Linked to Lower Alzheimer’s Risk, Study Says

A new study finds a link between non-melanoma skin cancer and a decreased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

 

From an earlier study on AOL EveryDay Health:

WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2013 — A new study found an association between a history of non-melanoma skin cancer and a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The observational study, published in the journal Neurology, analyzed a cohort of 1,102 participants of the Einstein Aging Study at Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Institute of Aging in the Bronx, N.Y.

The researchers report that study participants with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer were close to 80 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than people who did not have skin cancer.Among the 141 participants who had non-melanoma skin cancer, only two developed Alzheimer’s disease. But the researchers say they’re still unsure why this link may exist.

“Our goal is really to identify risk factors and genetic factors for Alzheimer’s,” said Richard Lipton, MD, of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, and lead author of the study. “One explanation is that there is a biological link, and another explanation is there’s a link between risk factors. Really what we need to do is sort out the reasons for these associations.”

Researchers followed participants for an average of 3.7 years. The average age of study participants was 79. At the start of the study, none of the subjects were reported to have dementia, though 109 people had a history of skin cancer. During the study, 32 additional people developed skin cancer, while 126 of the subjects developed dementia. Out of the subjects with dementia, 100 of them had Alzheimer’s-related dementia.

“In neurodegenerative disease, specific cell populations have a tendency to die,” said Dr. Lipton. “In cancer, cells tend to divide out of control. Good health requires a balance between cell death and cell division. Skin cancer may reflect a predisposition to cell division, which protects against Alzheimer’s disease.”

But Lipton also said that subjects in the study with a history of skin cancer may also have lived a more active life, engaging in outdoor activities such as running, playing tennis, or swimming. “We know that physical activity and cognitive activity can prevent against Alzheimer’s,” he said. Therefore, more physical activity would also likely mean more time spent under the sun and in the great outdoors.

Some experts, such as Ahmedin Jemal, PhD, vice president of Surveillance & Health Research at the American Cancer Society, speculates that these findings simply reflect how healthy lifestyle choices can reduce Alzheimer’s risk. “Those people who develop skin cancer are more likely to be physically active and if those people are physically active, they are more likely to eat healthy food, such as fruit and vegetables,” he said.

Dr. Jemal also said there’s research suggesting that high levels of vitamin D can also protect a person from developing Alzheimer’s disease. “For our body to synthesis vitamin D we need sunlight,” he said. One study published earlier this year in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, suggests that high levels of vitamin D may jump-start certain genes in the immune system that are able to help dissolve amyloid plaques in the brain. These plaques are found to cause Alzheimer’s disease.

But Lipton recognizes there are limits to his study. While the researchers did adjust their findings for age, gender, education, and race, they did not base any analysis on diet or vitamin D levels. He added that his team is seeking funding to analyze blood samples of study participants, which may be able to detect certain nutrition-based biomarkers, which may help to better understand the study findings.

Heather Snyder, PhD, director medical and scientific operations at the Alzheimer’s Association finds the study’s findings compelling, but she’s also skeptical, since the number of skin cancer incidences in the study pool is relatively small. However, she said the study points to the value of further research.

“[The study] really underscores the need to understand the biology of these disease mechanisms,” said Dr. Snyder. “If we highlight what mechanisms might be connected in disease processes, if we can understand these disease processes, then we can develop therapies.”

 

April 13, 2014 Posted by | Aging, Experiment, Health Issues, Statistics, Survival | , , | Leave a comment

Puzzle

Screen shot 2014-04-04 at 4.54.13 PM

This happens.

A very average day, nothing spectacular posted. All of a sudden, a spike in stats so obvious . . . but my WordPress doesn’t say where it is coming from, Stat Counter doesn’t say where it is coming from or what it is about. I am stumped!

Update: They are all coming from Germany. Spammers? Hackers? Did I write something about Germany? (That’s just me puzzling out loud . . )

April 4, 2014 Posted by | Blogging, Germany, Statistics | | Leave a comment

Atlanta #1 For Sex Trafficking

I’ve always loved statistics. You can use statistics, shuffle them, re-arrange them and they can help you see the same old things in new ways (or they can be used to point you in the wrong direction entirely, admittedly). Tracking the money, Atlanta is ranked #1 primarily because of the number of conventions Atlanta attracts. Conventions attract sex traffickers. They plan, they co-ordinate, they follow the conventions.

Which U.S. City Ranks No. 1 in Sex Trafficking?
A new federal study looked at the sex economies of several major U.S. cities.

Posted by Brian Slupski , March 13, 2014 at 05:57 PM

By Deb Belt

A study of sex trafficking around the United States ranked the metro Atlanta area No. 1, in part because of the many conventions held in the city.
The report, conducted by Washington D.C.’s Urban Institute for the U.S. Justice Department, looked at the sex trade in eight major American cities and found that Atlanta had the largest sex trade between 2003 and 2007.

“Atlanta went from $232 million to $290 million over that five year span,” Meredith Dank, the lead author for the report, told WSB Radio. As a comparison, $290 million is more than the revenue generated by metro Atlanta’s illegal drug and gun trade combined.

Atlanta’s revenue also was far above any other city studied, with Miami second at $200 million. Denver’s sex trade was worth $40 million, San Diego’s $97 million and Dallas’ $99 million. Seattle came in at $112 million and Washington, D.C. at $103 million.

Why is Atlanta No. 1? Dank says the many events and conventions bring people to town with lots of time and money. Some escorts charge more than $1,000 per hour.

One pimp the researchers spoke with in Atlanta made, on average, about $33,000 a week, according to the WSB story.

According to FBI statistics, Atlanta ranks among the top 14 cities in the United States for domestic minor sex trafficking. And some 300 girls across Atlanta are lured into trafficking every month.

Trending on Patch is a category showcasing popular stories from across Patch’s network of 900 local news sites.

March 16, 2014 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Counter-terrorism, Crime, Law and Order, Social Issues, Statistics | Leave a comment

Two Interesting Map Views

My friend Grammy sent me a fascinating e-mail with all kinds of maps. They were all fascinating, but I will only share two with you – two very sad maps for the USA:

Screen shot 2014-02-13 at 3.04.26 PM

Screen shot 2014-02-13 at 3.07.57 PM

February 15, 2014 Posted by | Financial Issues, Geography / Maps, Statistics | , , | 5 Comments

Rape Goes Unpunished in US Military

This is disgusting. We’ve all known it’s true. The warrior culture protects those cowards who impose themselves sexually on both men and women. God willing, things will change. It’s already started, with the relieving of those in power who have imposed themselves on women who came forward with their complaints. Let there be more, until this culture is wiped clean of their disgrace.

Rape isn’t about sex. It’s about power. Rape is a personal violation.

It’s time for the good men and women in the military to police this up, to stop the outrage. Expose those bullies and cowards who prey on others.

Military Sex Abuse Investigation: Documents Reveal Chaotic Punishment Record

AP
by RICHARD LARDNER and YURI KAGEYAMA

TOKYO (AP) — At U.S. military bases in Japan, most service members found culpable in sex crimes in recent years did not go to prison, according to internal Department of Defense documents. Instead, in a review of hundreds of cases filed in America’s largest overseas military installation, offenders were fined, demoted, restricted to their bases or removed from the military.

In about 30 cases, a letter of reprimand was the only punishment.

More than 1,000 records, obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act, describe hundreds of cases in graphic detail, painting a disturbing picture of how senior American officers prosecute and punish troops accused of sex crimes. The handling of allegations verged on the chaotic, with seemingly strong cases often reduced to lesser charges. In two rape cases, commanders overruled recommendations to court-martial and dropped the charges instead.

Even when military authorities agreed a crime had been committed, the suspect was unlikely to serve time. Of 244 service members whose punishments were detailed in the records, only a third of them were incarcerated.

The analysis of the reported sex crimes, filed between 2005 and early 2013, shows a pattern of random and inconsistent judgments:

—The Marines were far more likely than other branches to send offenders to prison, with 53 prison sentences out of 270 cases. By contrast, of the Navy’s 203 cases, more than 70 were court-martialed or punished in some way. Only 15 were sentenced to time behind bars.

—The Air Force was the most lenient. Of 124 sex crimes, the only punishment for 21 offenders was a letter of reprimand.

—Victims increasingly declined to cooperate with investigators or recanted, a sign they may have been losing confidence in the system. In 2006, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which handles the Navy and Marine Corps, reported 13 such cases; in 2012, it was 28.

In two cases, both adjudicated by the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, the accusers said they were sexually abused after nights of heavy drinking, and both had some evidence to support their cases. One suspect was sentenced to six years in prison, but the other was confined to his base for 30 days instead of getting jail time.

Taken together, the cases illustrate how far military leaders have to go to reverse a spiraling number of sexual assault reports. The records also may give weight to members of Congress pushing to strip senior officers of their authority to decide whether serious crimes, including sexual assault cases, go to trial.

“How many more rapes do we have to endure to wait and see what reforms are needed?” asked Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., chair of the Senate Armed Services personnel subcommittee. She leads a vocal group of lawmakers from both political parties who argue that further reforms to the military’s legal system are needed.

Air Force Col. Alan Metzler, deputy director of the Defense Department’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, said the department “has been very transparent that we do have a problem.” He said a raft of changes in military law is creating a culture where victims trust that their allegations will be taken seriously and perpetrators will be punished.

The number of sexual assault cases taken to courts-martial has grown steadily — from 42 percent in 2009 to 68 percent in 2012, according to DOD figures. In 2012, of the 238 service members convicted, 74 percent served time.

That trend is not reflected in the Japan cases. Out of 473 sexual assault allegations within Navy and Marine Corps units, just 116, or 24 percent, ended up in courts-martial. In the Navy, one case in 2012 led to court-martial, compared to 13 in which commanders used non-judicial penalties instead.

The authority to decide how to prosecute serious criminal allegations would be taken away from senior officers under a bill crafted by Gillibrand that is expected to come before the Senate this week. The bill would place that responsibility with the trial counsel who has prosecutorial experience.

Senior U.S. military leaders oppose the plan.

“Taking the commander out of the loop never solved any problem,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., the personnel subcommittee’s top Republican. “It would dismantle the military justice system beyond sexual assaults. It would take commanders off the hook for their responsibility to fix this problem.”

Gillibrand and her supporters argue that the cultural shift the military needs won’t happen if commanders retain their current role in the legal system.

“Skippers have had this authority since the days of John Paul Jones and sexual assaults still occur,” said Lory Manning, a retired Navy captain and senior fellow at the Women in the Military Project. “And this is where we are.”

___

Lardner reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Leon Drouin-Keith in Bangkok and AP researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.

February 9, 2014 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Character, Community, Counter-terrorism, Crime, Cultural, Law and Order, Living Conditions, Political Issues, Relationships, Social Issues, Statistics, Survival, Values | Leave a comment

191 Nepali Laborers Died in Qatar in 2013

From Agence France, a report that 191 Nepali laborers died in Qatar in ONE year:

Qatar-copy_20111108091846

Nearly 200 Nepali migrant workers died in Qatar last year, many of them from heart failure, officials said Monday, figures that highlight the grim plight of labourers in the Gulf nation.

Tens of thousands of impoverished Nepalis head every year to Qatar, where a construction boom is gathering pace as it prepares to host the 2022 football World Cup.

The Nepal embassy in Doha said it registered 191 deaths last year compared with 169 the year before, with a foreign ministry official describing many of the deaths as “unnatural”.

“In the year 2013, a total of 191 Nepali migrant workers died in Qatar,” Harikanta Paudel, a senior embassy official, told AFP by telephone.

“The highest number of deaths occurred in July when 32 workers died,” Paudel said.

Qatar is under mounting pressure over poor conditions for migrant labourers, particularly during the blisteringly hot summer, in the gas-rich nation’s booming construction industry.

A Kathmandu-based foreign ministry official told AFP that a third of the deaths recorded were due to “unnatural” heart failure.

“Young and healthy men in their twenties and thirties have died… it is unnatural,” said official Subhanga Parajuli.

“Cardiac arrest is followed by traffic accidents as another main cause of death. The third cause of death is injuries during work,” Parajuli said.

An Amnesty International report released last November said migrant workers in Qatar endured a series of abuses including “non-payment of wages, harsh and dangerous working conditions, and shocking standards of accommodation”.

The rights group said its researchers overheard one construction firm manager use the term “animals” to describe migrant workers, while a labourer told the watchdog that “Nepalis are treated like cattle”.

Qatari authorities last October said allegations of abuse of labourers working on World Cup facilities were exaggerated but insisted they took such claims seriously.

More than one million Nepali migrant workers toil in the Gulf region and Southeast Asia. Qatar alone hosts around 400,000 Nepalis as part of its two-million strong migrant workforce.

January 30, 2014 Posted by | Circle of Life and Death, Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Qatar, Statistics, Work Related Issues | , , , , , | 6 Comments

4600 Wooo HOOO!

Screen shot 2014-01-30 at 11.44.08 AM

January 30, 2014 Posted by | Blogging, Statistics | 4 Comments

Humbling Intlxpatr Statistics

I have a lot of followers. Many of them “like” my articles. Some write me in the background, asking how they can achieve blogging success.

I answer them truthfully. Since I left Kuwait, blogging hasn’t been so much fun and it’s harder for me to find interesting things to blog about, other than the news, and the kinds of odds and ends that catch my eye. At my peak, I had between 1500 – 1800 viewers every day, and once, over 10,000 in one day.

But blog entries attain a life of their own. In all humility, I will tell you that the entries I just wrote because it was mildly interesting to me seem to be those that live on and on. It’s not the impassioned plea for parents to put every child in a car seat, or at least put the children in the back seat, it’s not the photos of Mubarakiyya or the changing Doha skyline . . . it’s the trivia that keeps the readers coming back, LOL.

Here is the list of favorites just since the start of January:

Screen shot 2014-01-25 at 3.39.09 PM

And here are the all time favorites, from the beginning of the blog:

Screen shot 2014-01-25 at 3.48.36 PM

Humbling, isn’t it?

So my words – maybe not wisdom, but my experience – to those who aspire to statistics if not longevity – is to please yourself. Blog because you have something you want to say. Blog persistently, even if you don’t particularly have something to say; something trivial that interests you may interest others. Every now and then AdventureMan will hoot with laughter; he will Google something and one of my entries will end up being in the first three or four references. It’s not that I’m good, it’s that I published, even on something obscure, like the African tribe, the Lemba, who claim to have the Ark of the Covenant.

There are times I don’t feel like blogging; we all have those feelings at some time. It’s your blog. You can blog or not as you please. If you don’t feel like blogging today, you might have some inspiration tomorrow.

For me, this all started as I read some letters I had written from Tunisia, with episodes and events I no longer even remember. They came back to me in such vividness as I read that I wanted to find a way to write a little about my daily life in a way that down the road I could look back and wonder at how so many interesting things had happened that I had forgotten. Sadly . . . it’s already happening, there are stories from Kuwait and Qatar that I’ve already forgotten, but that they are written here.

Blogging is selfish. You do it because you can and because it fills a need. You can dance as hard as you want, and if you dance for your own joy, you will be happy, but if you are dancing for the attention of others, you will be disappointed. If there are readers now and then who enjoy your writing and come along for the ride, all that is good, but . . . most of them just want to know the benefits of drinking green tea ;-)

January 27, 2014 Posted by | Blogging, Civility, Communication, Community, ExPat Life, Statistics | Leave a comment

Milestone 4500

Screen shot 2013-11-21 at 8.28.26 AM

November 21, 2013 Posted by | Blogging, Statistics | Leave a comment

Airline Fees We Love To Hate

Frequent Flyer.com reveals a new survey identifying the fees airline travelers hate the most:

SkiftSurvey_Fees-500x329

It goes without saying that of the many gripes travelers currently have about flying, the so-called ancillary fees charged by the airlines for, well, everything they can disaggregate from the core service would rank near the top of the most-despised list.

But of the multitude of such fees, which irk travelers the most?

A new survey conducted by Skift shines some light into that dark corner of the travel experience.

According to a poll of 1,000 adults, the most and least reviled airline fees are as follows:

Bag check fees (50.1%)
Seat selection fees (18.4%)
Inflight WiFi fees (12.4%)
Inflight food or beverage fees (9.7%)
Early boarding fees (9.4%)
Although there was general unanimity across age and other groups, there were a few interesting demographic disconnects:

Wealthier travelers were less bothered by bag fees but more bothered by seat-selection fees.

Less wealthy travelers were notably less bothered by inflight meal/drink fees.
Younger flyers were more bothered by inflight WiFi fees.

Travelers 65 years and older were most bothered by inflight meal/drink fees.

October 16, 2013 Posted by | Financial Issues, Statistics, Travel | Leave a comment

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 692 other followers