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October 2016
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December 2016

November 2016

Stopping a bloodthirsty killer

This HND piece focuses on the world's most dangerous animal (to humans). And that, of course, is the lowly mosquito, responsible for the deaths of more than 1 million people every year.

We go on to explain that this little fly is really a vector for the actual pathogens, and then go on to discuss the history of orgnaize3d efforts in mosquito abasement. As one of my friends—who lives in a mosquito-infested area of metro NYC—noted, "All but the most lunatic Greenies are on board with killing these miserable creatures."

Since we have already covered the tragedy of banning DDT, and what it did to Africa, that sordid aspect of this story wasn't included.

Read the complete article.

Good advice from a public health dean?

This HND piece analyzes the silly pontifications of a well-known dean of a well-known school of public health. His particular comments were actually posted before the election, but he recast them as suggestions for President-elect Trump.

Since the guy is an academic, it's no surprise that he's not a fan of Trump, but I was astonished at the lack of originality in any of his suggestions. More than that, his suggestions reveal an astonishing lack of appreciation as to how his tired ideas have failed—badly—in the real world.

Really now, what's the point of having the bully pulpit, not to mention a captive audience of impressionable students, if all you're going to do is trot out the same failed solutions that date back to the 1960s, if not earlier?

Read the complete article.

Education and wellness: protecting people from a public health crisis

This is a guest post from Micah Ali, of the Compton Creek (California) Mosquito Abatement District

One of the chief responsibilities of government is to educate people about the risks of exposure to—and ways to prevent the spread of—a public health crisis. I refer, specifically, to mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus and the Zika virus, potentially lethal conditions that demand a combination of civic outreach, community-based preparedness, action by individual men and women, and couples and families, as well as the engagement of schools and other institutions.

I write these words from experience because, as President of the Compton Creek Mosquito Abatement District, I know that an epidemic like the one described above—a threat that continues to spread with unprecedented speed and ferocity—requires leadership, on the one hand, and the dissemination of relevant information, on the other. I understand that, for the good of my constituents and the betterment of all citizens throughout the United States, we must make this matter a top priority.

That process begins like any other campaign to improve personal health and wellness: It operates from a foundation of intelligence and wisdom, where you must make the former intelligible so you can ensure respect for the latter; it involves patience and conversation, inviting questions about issues big and small; it includes practical steps to isolate this or that challenge; it revolves around attentiveness, from public officials, and answers, for concerned members of the public; it requires constant vigilance on behalf of achieving a consequential victory.

These rules extend to so many facets of life, because they show how they can influence the outcome of one situation and inspire positive results for a multitude of other scenarios. The emphasis, then, is where it should; where it must be—on education and in-class programs for students and teachers, which mobilize people of all ages and interests, guaranteeing that no one is unaware of—that no one is without recourse to—the solutions to avoid a crisis or stop an epidemic.

Think of these guidelines as a primer for individual safety and collective protection.

If we adopt this advice, and if we abide by these suggestions, then we will be stronger—and healthier—for many years to come.

President-elect Trump, science, and healthcare

As you might expect, some of the sore losers from the world of Science are piling on Donald Trump, and are getting all frantic about how he will ruin their cushy arrangements. I'm talking about foreign slave labor (grad students), as well as overly large and often pointless grants from the NIH. That, and more, are in play in this HND piece.

Trump's supposed "anti-science" bias seems to derive from his climate skepticism; his sympathetic attitude to parents who believe that vaccines caused their kids' autism; and his disenchantment with the NIH. The article deals with all of these topics. We also touch on some favorite themes, including "health care, not disease care."

Read the complete article.

Beat the holiday blues by improving your posture

This HND piece anticipates the dreaded holiday downers, and documents how a better posture could improve your mood. For one thing, a good posture is linked to increases in testosterone and decreases in cortisol levels. Likewise, it has long been known that stretching—which improves posture—causes endorphins (pain-reducing, feel-good hormones) to be released.

Ironically, for those who already have bad posture, slouching might feel more comfortable. That's because the very act of slouching weakens core muscles, making it more difficult to sit upright. There's your vicious cycle!

We then cover a cool breakthrough product from chiropractor Evelyn Haworth. Her Tru-Align is a passive system that does wonders for improving posture, and relieves many symptoms.

Read the complete article.