Health & Spirit

Heart of the Matter

Scott LaFee on

"Hell, my cataracts are so bad I can't see to pour the coffee," complained another.

"I can't even turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck," opined a third, "and my blood pressure pills make my dizzy."

"Well I guess that's the price we pay for getting old," declared the first man. "On the plus side, at least we can all still drive."

Hypochondriac's Guide

Argyria is a condition in which the skin turns blue -- not the transient bluish tinge of being cold but a permanent blue caused by the accumulation of silver in the body. Unlike other compounds, the body does not excrete excessive silver but rather gradually accumulates it in various parts of the body. Argyria can be localized to patches of skin or turn virtually the entire body blue. It's not clear whether the condition results in specific physiological harm, but it currently cannot be reversed.


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"If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as the souls who live under tyranny."

--American founding father and U.S. president Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826). Reportedly, among Jefferson's favorite foods were waffles, chocolate, macaroni, Parmesan cheese, figs, raisins, almonds, mustard, vinegar, oil and anchovies and French cuisine.

Medical History

This week in 1998, scientists announced that they had deciphered the entire genetic blueprint of an animal, the tiny nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The worm's genetic code is worked out to 97 million genetic letters corresponding to 20,000 genes. In humans, it's 3 billion letters corresponding to roughly 20,000 genes.


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