Surprising Things I Came Across Today

H/T Juliette Tworsey for this photo of David Bowie taken last friday:


He looks in good shape, even though there’s something a bit uncanny about this image. The enormous left foot, for one thing.

Elsewhere on Rush Limbaugh:

The Hillary Clinton campaign, at least the way the Drive-Bys are reporting it, is imploding. None of what is in the news today was ever supposed to be in the news. Bernie Sanders was never supposed to be anything other than a placeholder and an occupier of a chair to make it look like Hillary had overcome and had won a fight, won a struggle, that, therefore, she was capable. But he was never supposed to get anywhere near the lead on anything, and now he has a massive lead New Hampshire.

Don’t ever say I don’t listen to both sides:

Donald Trump Leads an Insane White Cult

and I always thought this is what they were doing:

The EU should “do its best to undermine” the “homogeneity” of its member states, the UN’s special representative for migration has said.

And Richard Dawkins talks some sense for once:

In a text that is coursing about on social media, professional God-slayer Richard Dawkins begrudgingly admitted that Christianity may actually be our best defense against aberrant forms of religion that threaten the world.

“There are no Christians, as far as I know, blowing up buildings,” Dawkins said. “I am not aware of any Christian suicide bombers. I am not aware of any major Christian denomination that believes the penalty for apostasy is death.”

In a rare moment of candor, Dawkins reluctantly accepted that the teachings of Jesus Christ do not lead to a world of terror, whereas followers of radical Islam perpetrate the very atrocities that he laments.

Because of this realization, Dawkins wondered aloud whether Christianity might indeed offer an antidote to protect western civilization against jihad.

“I have mixed feelings about the decline of Christianity, in so far as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse,” he said.

And finally:

Is having no social life as bad for you as smoking?


About Frank Davis

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33 Responses to Surprising Things I Came Across Today

  1. prog says:

    Ah, Dawkins’s beginning to see the light…

  2. jaxthefirst says:

    “Is having no social life as bad for you as smoking?”

    I bet the antis didn’t foresee that coming. Maybe a few did (the pub haters, who didn’t care), but certainly not all, and certainly not a lot of the not-much-bothered-because-it-doesn’t-affect-me non-smokers. Of course, all of the antis foresaw that smokers wouldn’t have any social life (or at least, not one which they could relax and enjoy – which is effectively the same thing), but then they never cared about smokers one jot. But I think that a lot of them genuinely thought that non-smokers would simply “carry on as normal,” just without all the nasty smokers, or at least with the “nasty smokers” vanishing outside every so often. What they failed to see, and still steadfastly refuse to admit, is that often smokers were the best company – so that once smokers started coming out less often (or not staying so long as they used to, or spending large amounts of the evening outside with other smokers), then fewer and fewer of their erstwhile non-smoking pals would bother coming out, either.

    For many non-smokers, going out with a crowd which didn’t fully include their smoking pals was a bit like going to see a band you really, really liked, but being told at the start of the show that the band couldn’t make the gig after all, so only the support acts would play. Now, some support acts are good, but few are as great as the band you bought the tickets to see (if they were, you’d be buying ticket to see them instead in the first place!), and if that happened regularly enough for you to be pretty sure that the band you bought tickets to see would end up pulling out of the show, leaving you with the lottery of just the support acts, who might or might not be worth it, eventually you’d simply stop buying tickets, wouldn’t you?

    So it seems that non-smokers are now suffering the ill-health effects of the ban almost as badly as smokers are. So much for the smoking ban being a “major step forward for public health.” Bwahahaha!

    • Nicely said Jax! Yes indeed, but unfortunately the effect will be very hard to prove. Studies on bar/pub populations would largely have been needed back around the time the bans came in so that e.g. populations of 10,000 smoking and 10,000 nonsmoking pub-goers could have been enrolled in a prospective study and then reexamined every five years for pub-going habits, depression, and overall health/life/death.

      – MJM

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Mike first flaw in the study, we know all the pubs were going bankrupt at about 50 a week after the ban. Which means the pub clientele was likely 80% smoker. Otherwise the pubs wouldn’t have gone under. Meaning youd have a hard time getting your 10,000 non-smokers for the study group.

  3. Some French Bloke says:

    Dawkins reluctantly accepted that the teachings of Jesus Christ do not lead to a world of terror, whereas followers of radical Islam perpetrate the very atrocities that he laments.

    Perhaps he – and others – should ponder this apophtegm by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche: “Not their love of humanity, but the impotence of their love, prevents the Christians of today—burning us.”

    • Some French Bloke says:

      Those are “CINOs”(Christians In Name Only) he’s talking about, of course, since he also famously declared that “[T]here was only one Christian, and he died on the cross.”

    • Frank Davis says:

      apophthegm /ˈæpəˌθɛm/ noun 1. a short cryptic remark containing some general or generally accepted truth; maxim

      I don’t think a windbag like Nietzsche ever managed one of those.

      • Some French Bloke says:

        It’s from a chapter in “Beyond Good and Evil” called “Apophthegms and interludes”, so maybe it’s just an interlude?

        • Tony says:

          In my English translation, that chapter is entitled : “Maxims and Interludes”. I’ve never been a fan but always wondered if he came across as a “windbag” in his native German or whether it was just the translation that was poor.

          Having glanced at the book again I did notice one maxim that seemed relevant to the anti-smokers:
          “He who despises himself still nonetheless respects himself as one who despises”

  4. Lepercolonist says:

    Donald Trump Leads an Insane White Cult

    The author of this article, Chauncey DeVega, is a professional race-baiter who despises white people. He is so radical that black conservatives have dismissed him.

  5. Clicky says:

  6. petesquiz says:

    No Christians blowing up buildings? That may be true at the moment, but I do seem to recall some Irish Catholics in a war with irish Protestants where there were a lot of buildings (and people) being blown up in the not too distant past!

  7. Rose says:

    Further musings on David Bowie’s blocked artery in 2004 after giving up smoking.

    This is tobacco chemistry where everything is obscured and can only be found out by circuitous means often in reverse, so please bear with me.

    Bowie undergoes heart surgery 2004

    “David Bowie has undergone an emergency heart operation for an acutely blocked artery, it emerged last night.”

    “The spokesman said that Bowie had sought treatment for a pinched nerve in his shoulder but discovered the blocked artery.”
    http: //

    Yesterday’s news

    Statins CAN cause heart disease – Shock research warns drug risks hardened arteries
    Jan 10, 2016

    “They discovered patients taking the drugs were more likely to have calcium deposits in their arteries, a phenomenon directly linked to heart attacks.

    This is because statins block a molecule needed for the body to produce a vital K vitamin, which prevents calcification of the arteries.”

    Presumably by now, we all know by now that Solanesol is extracted from tobacco leaves to make Co-enzyme Q10 and vitamin K as I have posted the links ad infinitum over the past few years. : )

    And this and many other links seem to confirm it.

    Possible warfarin failure due to interaction with smokeless tobacco.

    “Tobacco contains high levels of vitamin K”
    http: //

    But I didn’t know this.

    Vitamin K in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis and arterial calcification

    “Vitamin K is essential for the activation of vitamin K-dependent proteins, which are involved not only in blood coagulation but in bone metabolism and the inhibition of arterial calcification.”

    Which takes us right back to Harley’s Mummies.

    “”Where the mummies’ arterial structure had survived, the researchers were able to attribute a definite case of atherosclerosis by looking for the tell-tale signs of vascular calcification.

    In some cases, the arterial structure had not survived but the calcified deposits were still present in sites where arteries would have once been.”
    http: //

    So now I know, if ever I give up smoking I must keep up my Vitamin K.

    Luckily, it seems there’s lots of Vitamin K in mayonnaise.

    Vitamin K in foods
    https: //

    • slugbop007 says:

      I was just reading about Vitamin K2 the other day. What a coincidence.
      I posted this link yesterday:
      According to this nutrition website Shiitake mushrooms possess many qualities that should have helped David Bowie:

      • Rose says:

        I haven’t tried them yet, I did try growing some but I don’t think they liked my north facing windowsill.

        “The shiitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes) prefers cool temperatures (45-70 degrees Fahrenheit, 7-21 degrees Celsius), and a high humidity (75-85% relative humidity). It requires light – direct sunlight is too strong, but “skylight”, or light from a fluorescent lamp up to about 15 ft.”

    • OK… so I’m a bit confused here… They’re saying that Vitamin K is *bad*? I.E. that we should avoid foods like broccoli? (Heh, didn’t Prez Bush One get in trouble for saying he didn’t like broccoli?)

      • Rose says:

        No MJM, what they are saying that vitamin k in smokeless tobacco may be bad if you are taking Warfarin, because vitamin K helps blood to clot and Warfarin is an anticoagulant which was originally used to kill rats by making them bleed to death internally.
        So theoretically, the amounts of vitamin K in smokeless tobacco could cancel the medicine out.

        “To report a case of possible interaction of smokeless tobacco with warfarin in a patient treated after several thromboembolic events.”

        Though they do mention dietary vitamin K, I don’t think they mention broccoli or mayonaise specifically.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Rose I went thru all that back in the 1980s. I was on Coumadin my doc a captain in the navy and heart surgeon said how much you smoke a day I said 2 packs. He said go to the Keesler hospital Coumadin clinic and on all the walls they had every pack of American cigarettes made and how much vitamin k each pack contained when used,they also had a chart telling the clinic how much dose over the regular dose as compared to a non smokers dose. But remember all green leafy veggies contain vitamin k and especially green beans. So if your a vegetarian you best tell the doc.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Cardiac resuscitation
          The ‘smoker’s paradox’ after in-hospital cardiac arrest
          20 May 2014

          “A retrospective, observational analysis of data from a large US hospital database has shown that smokers have higher rates of survival and lower rates of poor neurological status after in-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA) than do nonsmokers. This ‘smoker’s paradox’ of improved outcomes has been recognized in patients with acute myocardial infarction for 25 years,”

          Smoker’s Paradox’ Seen in Cardiac Arrest Data

          “Among patients treated with therapeutic hypothermia after a cardiac arrest, smokers had better outcomes than nonsmokers, a single-center study showed.”

          Half of smokers survived to hospital discharge with a good neurological outcome compared with only 28% of nonsmokers (P=0.003), according to Jeremy Pollock, MD, of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and colleagues.”

          “Smoker’s Paradox” in Patients Treated for Severe Injuries: Lower Risk of Mortality After Trauma Observed in Current Smokers

          “Background: Studies evaluating the effect of smoking status on mortality outcomes in trauma patients have been limited, despite the fact that survival benefits of smoking have been reported in other critical care settings. The phenomenon “smoker’s paradox” refers to the observation that following acute cardiovascular events, such as acute myocardial infarction and cardiac arrest, smokers often experience decreased mortality in the hospital setting. The objective of our study was to determine whether smoking imparts a survival benefit in patients with traumatic injuries.”

          Conclusions: Patients who smoke appear to have a much lower risk of in-hospital mortality than nonsmokers. Further investigation into biological mechanisms responsible for this effect should be carried out in order to potentially develop therapeutic applications.”
          http: //

          Plavix if you smoke works 33% more efficiently than in non smokers.

        • Ahh! OK! Thanks Rose and Harley! Hmm… that leads me to wonder something else though: There’s a fairly strong general recommendation out there that people should take an aspirin a day to prevent blood clots. Wouldn’t cutting down Vit. K have a similar effect? If someone eats a lot of broccoli or mayonnaise should they take TWO aspirins? What if you simply put mayonnaise on your aspirin before you take it? Would that help? And what happens to my arterial calcification when I drink my customary quart or so of milk per day?

          I am sooooo cornfused….


      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Mike VITAMIN K stops calcification in the arteries…….I just found that out 2 days ago.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        BTW just for everyones info it was Biaxin a antibiotic that was once pulled off the shelf for causing blood clots near the heart is what got me. When they hecked me out I was 100% clear on the right side where I had 2 clots form from that drug,the left side had less than 20% at age 56……….my echo said I was at 65% blood pumping and normal is 50-70%.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          The WHO had the drug put back on the market 5 years ago after being outlawed for 6 years following all the death it had caused.

  8. Rose says:

    This could prove interesting if they investigate properly and without fear or favour.

    The countless number of aids to help smokers quit are to be examined and assessed by the patient safety watchdog, the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa).

    “Dr Máirín Ryan, Hiqa’s director of health technology assessment, said the results of its examination would inform health policy decisions.

    It was an assessment of the evidence around the effectiveness – including the cost effectiveness – of smoking cessation interventions, she said.

    “We will be looking at nicotine replacement therapy; drugs that decrease cravings associated with tobacco; counselling therapies and e-cigarettes,” she said.

    “We will publish the assessment by the end of the year.”

    Dr Ryan said that the data would be used to predict the benefits and cost effectiveness of the treatments.”

    A 98.4 failure rate for Nicotine Replacement Therapy would cause most normal people to question if the anti-tobacco scientists had got their nicotine addiction theory right in the first place.

    “In fact, the logical conclusion from this paper is that NRT was a
    dismal intervention. The overwhelming majority of smokers – 98.4% – failed to achieve long-term sustained abstinence with NRT treatment.

    Given the presence of a financial conflict of interest with a pharmaceutical company that manufactures nicotine replacement products, it certainly has the appearance that this conflict has biased the interpretation of the findings and the study conclusion.

    I can’t quite think of another intervention for which a 98.4% failure
    rate would be considered a success.”

    Michael Siegel
    Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA,

    • DP says:

      Dear Harleyider

      What’s missing from the cartoon is the biggest winner of all: the drug enforcement, court and penal systems. US federal and state governments spend about USD40,000 million per annum on the ‘war’ on drugs. There will be a lot of unhappy public employees if the ‘war’ was ever ended.


  9. RdM says:

    “and I always thought this is what they were doing:

    The EU should “do its best to undermine” the “homogeneity” of its member states, the UN’s special representative for migration has said.”

    A slightly long but worthwhile (and rather sobering!) essay:

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