how not to relieve shoulder pain

Over the years, people have done countless stupid things.  You could fill a blog documenting such things and never run out of content (and I’m sure somebody is trying).  Albert Einstein supposedly said, “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not even sure about the universe.”   I’ve also heard it said that “the 2 most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.”  I’m not going to argue with that.  I suppose stupidity is limitless because imagination is limitless.  Some people use their imagination for good, while some people use it to invent new ways of being stupid.

The reason I’m thinking of that is because of something I heard in the news this week.  A woman in Michigan hurt her shoulder trying to keep her 80-pound Labrador from fighting with her Chihuahuas, and she was unemployed and couldn’t afford to get health care because she had no health insurance.   The pain supposedly became too much to bear, so she became desperate.  The hospital wouldn’t treat her unless it was an emergency, so she borrowed a gun and shot her shoulder, so the hospital would be required to treat her.  On TV, she said she figured this would be better than the pain she was currently dealing with.  Before shooting herself, she put pillows in front of and behind her shoulder, along with an ice pack.

Her plan backfired, though, because the bullet missed all of the affected areas, so the doctors in the emergency room didn’t have to work on her previous problem.   So now she has the shoulder pain and a gunshot wound to deal with.  Afterward, she said, “It didn’t take the pain away.  I figured it would take the pain away from the rotator cuff, where at least I could focus on something else, and maybe they would fix me, you know.  I guess I should have shot a little lower and got the bone and the artery.”  I’m not sure she learned her lesson…

viewer mail, issue #15

It is time for another issue of viewer mail.  (I really should do these more often; they’re fun.)  As always, these are actual search terms that brought people to this website, followed by my own leading brand of analysis, commentary, and rambling.

* buffets make people fat — Buffets don’t make people fat — people make people fat.   Actually, you make yourself fat.  But that’s not meant in a derogatory way.  I mean, if you want to be fat, then you have that option.  But let’s not blame buffets, or the “politically correct” crowd will try to ban them.  Besides, even if all-you-can-eat buffets went away, there would still be fat people.  It’s just a matter of semantics or somethin’…

pickles are evil* pickles diarrhea — I haven’t heard of such things, but I also don’t research it in any way, because pickles are evil.  Some have posited that eating pickles will turn you into a zombie (which probably could lead to diarrhea as your body tries to reject that).  I don’t think that’s completely proven yet, but some important people are working on it.  We’ll keep you updated.  But in the meantime, avoid pickles at all costs, unless you’re throwing them into the sun to destroy them.  That would be okay.  (FYI, there’s a very funny discussion on pickles at that link.)

* shampoo fraud conspiracy — I have no idea about this one…  Does anyone have any clue what this could be referring to?

* potassium nitrate side effects — Potassium nitrate is an interesting compound.  It is used in fertilizer, amateur rocket propellant, smoke bombs, food preservation (in old days), cigarettes, tree stump remover, the heat treatment of metals as a short-term rust inhibitor, the manufacturing of ice cream, toothpaste, and it’s one of the three ingredients in black powder.  So if you were to eat it, who knows what the side effects could be?  There’s a lot to choose from among that list.  But given those options, I don’t recommend eating it.

* burn calories poop — Well, just about any activity burns calories, even tapping your finger on your desk, so I reckon pooping would, too.  I did a quick search, and someone estimated the process burns between 19 and 70 calories.  I don’t know how scientific and accurate that is, but that site claims to be the #1 source for #2.

* can the sun be dangerous — Certainly!  In case you weren’t paying attention in science class, here’s a brief recap.  The sun has constant fusion, where hydrogen atoms fuse together to form helium atoms and release energy.  Or in other words, it’s a constant explosion.  So you don’t play with it!  IT IS NOT A TOY!  You wouldn’t want to put the sun in your pocket, because it would burn your butt.  Fortunately we’re 93 million miles from the sun, and Earth’s atmosphere refracts the direct sunbeams so it’s not instantly lethal.   But using a magnifying glass you can refocus the beams of sunlight and see just how dangerous it is — it creates fire.  So obviously it’s quite dangerous — sunlight plus curved glass creates fire.

That’s all the time we have for today.  I hope you learned something, or at least laughed.  (Laughing burns calories, y’know.  I’m not sure about learning, but it’s still good for you.)

farting lowers your blood pressure

There’s a new article in science research that you won’t believe.  According to LiveScience, the stink in farts helps control blood pressure.  I know, you think I’m making this up, that it’s some crazy hypothesis that I pulled out of my butt.  But this is actual science.  Here’s the link, so you can verify for yourself: The Stink in Farts Controls Blood Pressure.

The stink they’re referring to is the “smelly rotten-egg” smell, which is hydrogen sulfide (H2S).  They’ve found that cells lining mice’s blood vessels make the gas and the purpose is to keep their blood pressure low by relaxing the blood vessels to prevent hypertension (high blood pressure).  Then the researchers said the gas is “no doubt” in human blood vessels, too.

So the conclusion here is obvious — passing gas lowers your blood pressure.  It also seems obvious that the inverse would be true — refraining from farting could increase your blood pressure.  So you could say farting is good for you.

On a side note, I found this link on the K-Love website, and it said “Warning: Mature Content”.  That’s not true at all!  There’s nothing vulgar or obscene in that news article, and it didn’t even make any crude jokes involving potty humor.  Why is this “mature content”?  Is farting vulgar?  I’ll answer that for you: NO!   Let me make something clear: EVERYONE PASSES GAS!  It shouldn’t be a societal taboo.  Why do some people think it’s rude?   Of course, there are some situations where you should temporarily hold it or go outside, but most of the time those exceptions don’t apply.

So my conclusion from all this is that you should let ‘er rip, because it’s good for your health.  If people get all discombobulated about it, explain that it lowers your blood pressure, and if they don’t believe you (which is likely), refer them to this article so they may be enlightened.

What would life on Mars be like?

Could there be life on Mars?  Scientists have long speculated (and continue to do so), although there’s more hope than ever.  They also wonder if humans might ever have a colony there.  But now the question is more like, “Would we want to?”

One of the reasons it’s improbable to find life on Mars is that the atmosphere doesn’t contain oxygen.  And it was thought that all organic life requires oxygen.  But a few years ago an organism was found that can live without sunlight and oxygen.  It’s a methanogen.  They eat hydrogen, breathe carbon dioxide, and belch methane.  A group of these were found in Idaho, living 660 feet underground.  They also exist in the digestive tracts of humans, causing gas.  If these bacteria are what life might be like on Mars, it might be a stinky place.

But there’s more.  Mars stinks naturally.  The surface of the red planet contains a very high concentration of sulfur.  Combined with other acids and minerals on Mars, it forms hydrogen sulphide (H2S), which is that rotten egg smell you may have experienced before.  And not only does it stink immensely, but it can cause headaches, and it is also explosive and poisonous.  So if you were living on Mars, you might be tempted to light a candle to reduce the stench (as some people are accustomed to doing), and KA-BOOM!

I’m thinking I’ll just stay here on Earth.  While there’s a few bad smells to deal with here, it’s not nearly so bad as it would be on Mars.


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