Saturday News Dump

News that you may be able to use……

Covid is still the big story in the media…..and the vaccines are making the news….J&j vaccine has some bad news……

Another setback for the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine: The FDA has added a new warning to on the one-shot vaccine after reports of a rare side effect. The CDC says there have been around 100 reports of people contracting Guillain-Barre syndrome after receiving the J&J vaccine. Most of them were hospitalized and one person died, though regulators say it’s not entirely clear whether the shot caused the problem, the AP reports. The CDC says around 12.8 million doses of the vaccine have been administered and there does not appear to be a similar increased risk of the autoimmune disorder with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, the Washington Post reports.

The CDC describes the syndrome as a “rare disorder where the body’s immune system damages nerve cells, causing muscle weakness and sometimes paralysis.” The CDC says most of the estimated 3,000 to 6,000 people who develop GBS each year in the US recover fully. People sometimes develop the syndrome after the flu or other infections, including COVID-19. The CDC says the cases linked to the J&J vaccine mainly occurred in men over 50 around two weeks after vaccination. Health officials describe the issue as a “small possible risk.” The FDA says people who receive the J&J shot should seek medical attention if they experience symptoms including tingling sensations and double vision.

As a massive coffee drinker I am always reading about the benefits and the side effects of the caffeine I consume…

It seems that I am in a ‘altered state’ because of my love of coffee….

When author Michael Pollan decided to tackle the subject of psychoactive drugs—specifically, opium, mescaline, and caffeine—for his new book, This Is Your Mind On Plants, he consumed the first two in the name of experimental journalism. But he actually stopped using caffeine, just to see what would happen, and it’s that experience he documents in an excerpt published Tuesday in the Guardian. Besides detailing his withdrawal symptoms once that “dark day” of eliminating coffee from his diet arrived, Pollan also takes a look back at the centuries-old use of caffeine found in coffee and tea, with everyone from Buddhist monks trying to stay awake during meditation sessions to writers in English coffeehouses gulping down the drug. Caffeine has even become political at times: England’s King Charles II, worried that said coffeehouses were incubators for political rebellions, kick-started an ill-fated “war on coffee” to shut such foment down.

Pollan delves into both the physical benefits caffeine confers—he cites studies that show the drug has been tied to increased alertness, memory, focus, and even physical performance such as endurance—and its issues, notably the havoc it causes to our sleep cycles. This, he notes, leads to an “insidious” irony: “The drug is not only a leading cause of our sleep deprivation; it is also the principal tool we rely on to remedy the problem.” He also comes to realize how ingrained caffeine is in our daily existence and functioning. “It’s so pervasive that it’s easy to overlook the fact that to be caffeinated is not baseline consciousness but, in fact, an altered state,” he writes. “It just happens to be a state that virtually all of us share, rendering it invisible.” More here on how Pollan fared during his caffeine-free three months—and what happened once he finally allowed himself a double-shot espresso again.

Since I am getting oh so old coffee is one of the last addictions that I have….but I refuse to drink those uber caffeine drinks that the kids are addicted to….I prefer my coffee and black.

You know that the ‘oval office’ (my name for the bathroom) is time of silence and contemplation…but what happens when that ‘me’ time is disturbed?

This report is hilarious and at the same time a bit scary…..

An elderly Austrian man had an unpleasant surprise waiting for him while answering nature’s call early Monday: a python, in his toilet. The man, identified by the BBC as 65-year-old Walter Erhart, tells the broadcaster that he “went to the toilet as usual” in his Graz apartment around 6am on Monday, “switched on the light, turned, sat down as I always did”—and then “suddenly felt a nip” in his genital area. Police in the province of Styria say that nip was from a 5 1/4-foot albino reticulated python hanging out in the bowl, an escapee from the apartment of Erhart’s 24-year-old neighbor, per the AP. A reptile expert retrieved the python from Erhart’s toilet, cleaned it up, and returned it to its owner. Erhart was said to have suffered just minor injuries.

Police think the python may have ended up in the drainpipes of its owner’s apartment and then made its way into Erhart’s bathroom. They note that the neighbor keeps a total of 11 nonvenomous constrictor snakes, as well as a gecko. He’s under investigation on suspicion of causing bodily harm by negligence. Meanwhile, back in the States, the public is breathing a sigh of relief in Baton Rouge after a Burmese python named Cara was found early Thursday, two days after she escaped from her enclosure inside Louisiana’s largest shopping mall, per WPLG. Cara, described as a “nonpoisonous” and “very sweet” snake, slithered out of her home in the Mall of Louisiana’s Blue Zoo on Tuesday; the zoo shut down during the search for Cara, though the mall remained open. She was recaptured just after 4am on Thursday.

I do not know if I would have been so kind as to return the snake to owner.

There is your Saturday news dump….

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6 thoughts on “Saturday News Dump

  1. The authorities returned the snake to the owner because the law required it. In addition, when the owner accepted the snake, he also accepted responsibility for it getting loose. My guess is that the authorities told the owner that his snake had bit someone AFTER he accepted the return of his snake.

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