Showing posts with label Death. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Death. Show all posts

June 22, 2020

Why Men Die By The Numbers

Men, men...have always been 'Men'. Nortured by their mom's if lucky to have one and directed by their dads, if lucky to have one that was a non selfish smart one. And We know how men live but let's see how they, we..... die.  I'll see you on the other side. Adam

 Gay Berlin 1935

Statistics show that the most common cause of death in males is heart disease. But will this hold true when breaking down the data by age or ethnicity?  
Why do men die?
Men’s health lags significantly behind women’s health, not just in the public eye, but also as a focus for the medical profession.
Do males die sooner than females? And is a Black male likely to die from the same cause as a White male?
In a Special Feature article, we explore the leading health risks in males and delve deeper into the data, breaking it down into relevant sections by age and ethnicity. 
We also explore why research into men’s health should include males from all walks to life. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the top killer when analyzing data from males of all age groups and ethnicities in a large 2017 data set for the United States. Nearly one-quarter of death in males is due to heart disease. 
But, to understand the full picture, it makes more sense to look at the data broken down by ageor ethnicity, as this changes the landscape quite significantly.
While heart disease may be the most common reason for death in all males taken together, accidents occupy the top spot for those under 45 years of age. In males between the ages of 45 and 85, it is cancer. Once men reach 85 years old, heart disease is the most common cause of death.
In males under 45 years, suicide is the second most common reason for death, while in males between the ages of 45 and 64, it is the sixth most common reason. 
In males over 65 years, suicide is not one of the 10 most common reasons. 
The third most common cause of death in males under 20 years of age is homicide. Between the ages of 20 and 44, homicide is in fourth position, while it drops out of the list of the top 10 in males over 45 years.
When breaking down the data by ethnicity, heart disease once again takes the top spot for males of all ages, with cancer coming in second position, except for Asian or Pacific Islanders where they are the other way around.  The leading causes of death in men in the United States, 2017. Source:CDC
The third most common cause of death is accidents in all males, except for Asian or Pacific Islanders, where it is stroke.
In position four, the reasons for dying become significantly more diverse. For all males taken together, as well as for white males as a subgroup, it is chronic lower respiratory diseases. For Black males, it is homicide, while for American Indian or Alaska Native males, it is diabetes, for Asian or Pacific Islander males, it is accidents, and for Hispanic males, it is stroke. 
Suicide features in eighth position for Asian or Pacific Islander and white males, in sixth position for American Indian or Alaska Native males, and in seventh position for Hispanic males. It is not in the 10 most common reasons for death for Black males.  
The wider view of male health 
Rank White Black American  Indian or  Alaska Native Asian  or Pacific  Islander Hispanic  All races  and origins
1 Heart disease
24.7% Heart disease
23.7% Heart disease
19.4% Cancer
24.8% Heart disease
20.3% Heart disease
2 Cancer
22.4% Cancer
20.2% Cancer
16.4% Heart disease
22.6% Cancer
19.4% Cancer
3 Accidents 7.2% Accidents 7.9% Accidents 13.8% Stroke
6.6% Accidents 11.5% Accidents 7.6%
Chronic lower respiratory diseases 5.9% Homicide
5.0% Diabetes
5.9% Accidents 5.6% Stroke
4.7% Chronic lower respiratory diseases
5 Stroke
4.1% Stroke
4.9% Chronic liver disease
5.3% Diabetes
4.3% Diabetes
4.7% Stroke
Alzheimer’s disease
2.9% Diabetes
4.3% Suicide
4.3% Chronic lower respiratory diseases
3.2% Chronic liver disease
4.0% Diabetes
7 Diabetes
2.8% Chronic lower respiratory diseases
3.2% Chronic lower respiratory diseases
4.2% Influenza and pneumonia
3.1% Suicide
2.9% Alzheimer’s disease
8 Suicide
2.7% Kidney disease
2.6% Stroke
3.1% Suicide
2.7% Chronic lower respiratory diseases
2.5% Suicide
9 Influenza and pneumonia
1.9% Septicemia
1.7% Homicide
1.9% Alzheimer’s disease
2.1% Homicide
2.4% Influenza and pneumonia
10 Chronic liver disease
1.7% Hyper-tension
1.6% Influenza and pneumonia
1.8% Kidney disease
2.1% Alzheimer’s disease
2.1% Chronic liver disease
1.8%.         "
 According to the CDC, 6 in 10 adults in the U.S. live with a chronic disease, and 4 in 10 live with two or more chronic diseases. 
Chronic diseases pose a significant risk to health for all. The CDC state that lifestyle factors, such as smoking, alcohol, lack of exercise, and poor nutrition, are major risk factors for many chronic diseases.
The rate of smoking among all males is almost 16%. Yet, a data breakdown by the American Lung Association from 2015 shows that 13.1% Hispanic men smoke, while among other ethnic groups, the rates were 20.9% for Black men, 19% for Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native males, and 12% for Non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander males. 
Nearly 31% of men over 18 years had five or more drinks at least once in the past year, and 9.2 million men live with alcohol use disorder. Yet only 8% received treatment for the condition in the past year.
Data from the 2018 National Health Interview Survey estimate that only 57.6% of all men reach the government’s recommended physical activity guidelines of at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes to 150 minutes vigorous intensity, aerobic, physical activity.
Across the U.S., 12.2% of males under 65 years old do not have health insurance, and 12% of men over 18 years report being in fair or poor health.
According to the Office for Minority Health, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the life expectancy for Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander men was 77.7 years based on 2015 Census Bureau data. 
It was 72.9 years for Black men, 74.7 years for American Indian or Alaska Native men; for Asian American men, it was 77.5 years, and 79.6 years for Hispanic men, while it was 77.5 years for white men. 
Data from 2017 shows that life expectancy for males of all ethnicities taken together has dropped to 76.1 years, which is 5 years less than females. 

(Healthline Media UK)

May 10, 2020

Roy Horn of 'Siegfried and Roy' Died of Covid-19

Roy Horn, legendary magician of duo Siegfried & Roy, dies from ...
 Since 1993 this diuo of loving partners captured the impossible

Roy Horn, who levitated tigers, made elephants disappear, turned himself into a python and mesmerized Las Vegas audiences for decades as half of the famed illusionist team Siegfried & Roy, died on Friday in Las Vegas, where he lived. He was 75.

The cause was complications from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, according to his publicist, Dave Kirvin. Mr. Horn tested positive for the virus last week and died at MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas, Mr. Kirvin said.

The German-born performers’ long-running production, one of the most successful in Las Vegas history, ended on Oct. 3, 2003, when Mr. Horn, on his 59th birthday, was mauled by a 400-pound white tiger who lunged at his throat and dragged him offstage before a stunned, sold-out crowd of 1,500 at MGM’s Mirage hotel-casino. 

An aide yanked the tiger’s tail, leaped on its back and tried to pry open its jaws. Another sprayed it with a fire extinguisher until it let go. But Mr. Horn’s windpipe had been crushed and an artery carrying oxygen to his brain was damaged. He suffered a stroke and partial paralysis on his left side, underwent two operations at University Medical Center in Las Vegas and was placed on life-support systems.

After weeks in critical condition, however, Mr. Horn began a long recovery, with rehabilitation at the U.C.L.A. Medical Center in Los Angeles. In 2004, he returned to his home in Las Vegas, and within months he was walking again with assistance. There was even talk of a comeback, but medical experts and entertainment moguls considered it highly unlikely.
In February 2009, Siegfried and Roy made one final appearance with a tiger, a benefit performance for the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas, and officially retired from show business in 2010.

With his partner, Siegfried Fischbacher, Mr. Horn dazzled Las Vegas crowds for 35 years with a sorcerer’s extravaganza that combined the glitz of sequined costumes and feathered headdresses with smoke-and-laser magic and the circus thrills of exotic animals, including rare white tigers and white lions. Under the illusionists’ spells, a white tiger turned into a beautiful woman, a six-ton elephant vanished, a tiger floated out over the audience and Mr. Horn slithered down and became a snake.

“The world has lost one of the greats of magic, but I have lost my best friend,” Mr. Fischbacher said in a statement on Friday. “From the moment we met, I knew Roy and I, together, would change the world. There could be no Siegfried without Roy, and no Roy without Siegfried.” 

The showmen toured Europe, Japan and other venues, and were featured in a 1999 3D Imax movie, a 1994 television special and at Radio City Music Hall in New York. They broke records for the longest-running act in Las Vegas and were among the most popular and highest paid performers on the Strip. They also wrote a book, “Siegfried and Roy: Mastering the Impossible” (1992).

Mr. Horn and Mr. Fischbacher, who were domestic as well as professional partners, kept their menageries, including dozens of exotic cats, at a glass-enclosed tropically forested habitat at the Mirage; at Jungle Paradise, their 88-acre estate outside town; and at Jungle Palace, their $10 million Spanish-style home in Las Vegas.

The entertainers, acknowledging that their acts depended on some endangered species, were prominent in various animal conservation efforts, particularly for the white tiger, native to Asia, and the white lion of Timbavati, in South Africa. They raised many of their show animals from birth, and said they were not exploited and were never tranquilized.

Mr. Horn insisted that the white tiger that mauled him — a 7-year-old male who had been acquired in Mexico, trained by Mr. Horn and used in performances for six and a half years — not be harmed afterward. The tiger was quarantined for a time, then returned to its habitat at the Mirage, where many of the act’s animals were kept on display after the show ended. The tiger, whose name was reported to be Montecore at the time of the mauling, was given by Mr. Horn as Mantecore when the animal died in 2014 after a short illness.

In the years after the mauling, Mr. Horn and Mr. Fischbacher tried to minimize what was widely reported as a ferocious attack. They said the tiger had been unhinged by a woman in the front row with a beehive hairdo and the sight of Mr. Horn tripping as he tried to step between them, and had picked him up by the neck, as a tigress might a cub, and was attempting to carry him to safety.

That and other theories — suggesting a provocation by animal-rights activists or an act of economic terrorism against Las Vegas — were investigated by the police and federal officials. A comprehensive report by the United States Department of Agriculture discounted all such theories and called it a simple attack by the tiger. But the U.S.D.A. amended its safety regulations for the live exhibition of big cats to stipulate minimal distances and barriers between animals and the viewing public.

Investigators quoted witnesses as saying Mr. Horn had ordered the tiger to lie down, and when it refused he hit it on the nose with his microphone. The tiger then snagged his forearm and when Mr. Horn tried to beat it back with the microphone, it lunged at his throat and dragged him off like a rag doll. 

The cancellation of Siegfried & Roy after the mauling left 267 cast members and employees out of work, prompted refunds for shows booked months in advance and led to millions in losses for the Mirage, which had been selling out the show’s performances for more than 13 years. With ticket prices of $110, the show, performed six times weekly for 45 weeks a year, brought in about $44 million annually to the Mirage.

“Throughout the history of Las Vegas, no artists have meant more to the development of Las Vegas’s global reputation as the entertainment capital of the world than Siegfried and Roy,” J. Terrence Lanni, who was the chairman of MGM Mirage, said. “They are so much more than the stars of the Mirage. They are the very heart of our resort.”

Roy Uwe Ludwig Horn was born on Oct. 3, 1944, in Nordenham, Germany, near Bremen. Like Mr. Fischbacher, who was five years older and raised in Rosenheim, a village in Bavaria, Mr. Horn grew up in the turmoil of wartime and postwar Germany. While Mr. Fischbacher was drawn to magic, Mr. Horn was taken with animals, including his wolf-dog Hexe, and a cheetah, Chico, at a zoo in Bremen where the boy took an after-school job feeding animals and cleaning cages.

It was a chance meeting in 1957, when both were working on a German cruise ship that led to the partnership. Mr. Fischbacher, a steward, was entertaining passengers with magic tricks, and Mr. Horn, a cabin boy, caught his act. “I told Siegfried if he could make rabbits come out of a hat, why couldn’t he make cheetahs appear,” Mr. Horn recalled. He said he smuggled Chico out of the zoo and aboard the ship in a laundry bag. The new trick, he said, was a hit with passengers.

They formed a partnership in 1959. By 1964, Mr. Horn and Mr. Fischbacher, still with Chico, were on the road, performing in cabarets and theaters in Germany and Switzerland. The results were mixed — Chico ate steak, the men potatoes — until Princess Grace of Monaco saw them at a 1966 charity benefit in Monte Carlo and gave them a rave notice.

A rush of publicity ensued. Adding animals and tricks, they were soon playing nightclubs in Paris and other European cities. They made their Las Vegas debut at the Tropicana in 1967, and by the early 1970s, having made Las Vegas their base, were under contract at the MGM Grand. In 1981, they became the main act at the Frontier Hotel, and in seven years there performed before three million people.

In 1987, they signed a five-year $57.5 million contract with Steve Wynn, owner of the planned $640 million Mirage casino-hotel, a deal Variety called the largest in show business history. It included $40 million more for a new theater for the show and an $18 million “Secret Garden” hotel habitat for the animals. 

While the hotel was being built, the show went on a 10-month tour of Japan, where patrons paid up to $300 a ticket. And in 1989, Siegfried & Roy performed 32 shows over four weeks before packed houses at Radio City Music Hall in New York. By then, they had added more handlers and assistants and scores of exotic animals, including white tigers, lions, panthers, elephants and pythons.

Opening night at the Mirage in 1990 marked the show’s 10,000th performance in Las Vegas. Ensuing years added thousands of shows and took in hundreds of millions of dollars. In 2001, after 20 years of sold-out performances, Mr. Horn and Mr. Fischbacher signed lifetime contracts to work at the Mirage.

A 1994 television special on ABC, “Siegfried & Roy: The Magic, the Mystery,” showed part of their act, but focused on the performers at home and interacting with animals. The 1999 Imax film, “Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box,” detailed the men’s partnership and featured 3D shots in which tigers and lions seemed to leap into the audience.

Animal rights activists generally oppose using wild animals in shows, but few ever accused Siegfried & Roy of mistreating animals. Mr. Horn said theirs were exercised daily by handlers, fed special diets, even had their teeth brushed three times a month. He draped big cats around his neck for photographers and was seen cuddling and petting animals. He called his training methods “affection conditioning.”

The men shared their home with tigers, jaguars, mastiffs and other creatures who often roamed their compound freely. Mr. Horn said he slept with a tiger or a leopard every night. He said he and Mr. Fischbacher kept separate quarters and took separate vacations. Mr. Horn’s mother, Johanna, also lived at their home for many years until her death in 2000.
Mr. Horn is survived by a brother, Werner Horn, Mr. Kirvin said.

Conservation had been on Mr. Horn’s agenda for decades. In 1982, he and Mr. Fischbacher obtained their first three white tiger cubs from the Cincinnati Zoo, an important breeding site for white tigers at that time. Over the years the partners multiplied their brood tenfold, and eventually owned 10 percent of the world’s white tigers.

White tigers, which have blue eyes and are larger than orange tigers, possess a recessive genetic property that creates a virtual absence of orange pigment in the fur, though most have dark stripes. Another genetic condition renders the stripes pale, producing an almost snow-white coat. White tigers are extremely rare in the wild; several hundred are in captivity, about 100 of them in India. Nearly all are descendants of a white cub found by the Maharajah of Rewa in India in 1951. 

In 1995, Mr. Horn and Mr. Fischbacher obtained two white lion cubs from the Johannesburg Zoological Society in South Africa. Only five white lions were known to exist then. Later, Dr. Patrick Condy, of the zoological society, told Cats Magazine that breeding efforts by the two men “virtually guarantee the white lions of Timbavati will not only continue to exist, but flourish.”

Michael Levenson contributed reporting

May 7, 2020

Amazon Warehouse Worker Dies of Covid-19

                         New Report Outlines Amazon's Environmental, Labor Damages

Since March, workers at that fulfillment center in New York have been protesting, calling for additional safety precautions to protect them from the coronavirus. The company has instituted some additional safety precautions; it also fired a worker for protesting, and then tried to smear him. 
The company said the employee who died hadn’t been at the warehouse since April 5, and he tested positive for the coronavirus on April 11. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of an associate at our site in Staten Island, NY,” an Amazon spokesperson said. “His family and loved ones are in our thoughts, and we are supporting his fellow colleagues.”   
The death was first reported by The Verge.
Amazon fired one of the workers at the Staten Island warehouse, Christian Smalls, who organized a walkout to demand the company sanitize the warehouse after someone who worked in the facility tested positive for the coronavirus. An internal memo previously obtained by VICE News laid out a plan to smear Smalls, calling him “not smart or articulate.”
Another Amazon employee, who worked at the company’s warehouse in Hawthorne, California, died in mid-April
New York’s attorney general has taken notice: A letter from the AG’s office dated April 22, obtained by NPR, noted that the company may be providing “inadequate” protections to its workers under state law. That letter also noted that the company may have violated labor law by firing Smalls.  
And on Monday, one of the company’s top engineers and a vice president, Tim Bray, announced his resignation from Amazon and called the company “chickenshit” for firing protesting workers. 
It’s not known how many workers at Amazon facilities have died of coronavirus, but an unofficial tally by the workers themselves and reviewed by The Verge indicates that at least 130 workers have fallen ill. 

May 2, 2020

A North Korea Defector Now in Parliament (South Korea) Says Kim Jon Un is Dead

Humpy Dumpy is Fallen and Can't Get Up! If The word in SKorea is correct,  The question should be what would Trump do now with one less of his criminal dictators friends gone? He gave North Korea away with its nukes. All the promises made by Trump He would not let it happened dissapeared with his imaginary friendship with this criminal who already started calling Trump names again. But it was a good thing he already got his nukes made and stopped the testing which was the reminder he always been out of control.  The second question would be who will win the power strugle and how different or similar they would be to the "Rocket Man."

A North Korean defector who recently won a seat in South Korea’s parliament says he is convinced that Kim Jong Un is dead and that his sister will succeed him.
Ji Seong-ho, who attended the 2018 State of the Union address as a guest of President Donald Trump, said that North Korea may make an announcement about the dictator’s health in the next couple of days.
 "I've wondered how long he could have endured after cardiovascular surgery. I've been informed that Kim died last weekend," Ji told the Yonhap News Agency. "It is not 100% certain, but I can say the possibility is 99%. North Korea is believed to be grappling with a complicated succession issue.
The defector believes the delay in announcing Kim’s death is linked to the complex succession issue. Because Kim does not have an adult son to automatically take his place, much of the attention has focused on Kim Yo Jong, Kim’s 32-year-old sister and his closest aide. Ji said he believes she will succeed her brother to become North Korea’s first female leader.
Ji did not reveal where his information came from.
Reports of Kim’s ill health first emerged on April 20, when NK Daily, a website run by North Korean defectors, cited sources inside the hermit kingdom saying that Kim had undergone heart surgery on April 12.
Rumors about Kim’s health had been sparked by his absence from the important Day of the Sun anniversary celebrations on April 15. He has not been seen in public since April 11.
The initial reports were boosted by claims from U.S. intelligence sources who told U.S. media outlets that Kim was gravely ill or even “brain dead.” Some of those claims were walked back, but rumors about Kim being in a vegetative state or dead have persisted in the weeks since. 
Ji’s claims stand in contrast to those from South Korea’s intelligence agencies, which have consistently said there are no signs that Kim has died and that he is staying in his family’s compound in the coastal city of Wonsan. This was backed up by satellite imagery that shows Kim’s train and luxury yacht also in Wonsan.
Trump said this week that he knows how Kim is doing but would not say what he knows or how he knows it. 
Back in 2018, Trump called Ji’s story a “testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom.”
Ji grew up during the North Korean famine of the mid-1990s and saw members of his family die of starvation.
In 1996, he was run over by a train while he was trying to steal coal to buy food. During a four-and-a-half-hour operation to save his life, doctors amputated both his legs and his hand — all without the use of anesthetic.
After he recovered, Ji crossed the border into China to find food. On his return the police took his crutches and tortured him for a week.
In 2006, he escaped into China with his brother and was ultimately reunited with his mother and sister in South Korea, where he went on to study law. This month he was elected as a member of the National Assembly.
Cover: In this April 11, 2020, file photo provided by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

March 9, 2020

Only 33 Years Old Now Dead, He Took Travelers To North Korea Like Otto Warmbier, Also Dead

 Credit...via Young Pioneer Tours

His company takes travelers to “destinations your mother would rather you stay away from.” One client was Otto Warmbier, who was imprisoned and fell into a coma.

Troy Collings with a North Korean boy in an undated photo. His company likes to say that it takes young travelers to “destinations your mother would rather you stay away from.”
Troy Collings with a North Korean boy in an undated photo. His company likes to say that it takes young travelers to “destinations your mother would rather you stay away from.”Credit...via Young 

Pioneer Tours
Choe Sang-Hun
By Choe Sang-Hun
First Published on:

SEOUL, South Korea — Troy Collings, whose tour-guide company specialized in taking young budget travelers to forbidding places like North Korea, where one of his clients, the American Otto F. Warmbier, was imprisoned and fell into a coma, died last week, the company said on Friday. He was 33.

The cause was a heart attack, his company, Young Pioneer Tours, or YPT, said in a statement. No other details were provided. Mr. Collings, a New Zealander, was its managing director.

Mr. Collings’s company likes to say that it takes young travelers to “destinations your mother would rather you stay away from.” It is one of the few that specialize in taking tourists to North Korea, finding a marketing niche among young people who want to tour that secretive, totalitarian country at budget prices.

“Troy was instrumental in establishing Young Pioneer Tours as one of the leading travel companies for North Korea,” the YPT statement said. 

Mr. Collings, a native of Auckland and a graduate of the University of Auckland Business School, co-founded YPT with his friend, Gareth Johnson, in 2008. He had since visited “pretty much every place a foreigner can” in North Korea, his company said in an online biographical sketch about him.

With few tourists visiting North Korea, the YPT tours had not been widely known among Americans until Mr. Warmbier was arrested in Pyongyang in 2016 on charges of trying to steal a propaganda poster from the wall of his hotel.

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison. After being held 17 months in North Korea, Mr. Warmbier, then 20, was flown from Pyongyang to Ohio, his home state, in a coma in June 2017. He died a week later, provoking international outrage and a debate on how safe it was to visit North Korea.

“Despite what you may hear, for most nationalities, North Korea is probably one of the safest places on Earth to visit provided you follow the laws,” the Young Pioneer website says. But following the death of Mr. Warmbier, his father, Fred Warmbier, criticized such tourist companies, which he said helped North Korea “lure Americans” to that country by carrying “slick ads on the internet.”

After Mr. Warmbier’s death, Washington banned Americans from traveling to North Korea.

In a 2018 interview posted on his company’s website, Mr. Collings said he had become fascinated with North Korea after watching “A State of Mind,” a 2004 documentary on young North Korean gymnasts practicing for their country’s propaganda-filled Mass Games. 

Later, he visited North Korea with Mr. Johnson and “saw the potential tourism had to help the locals and to influence the country’s development,” he said.

“More importantly,” he added, “I made some real human connections with people I met that had a profound effect on me, and I decided during that trip that this is what I wanted to dedicate my life to.”

After gaining a foothold in the country, Mr. Collings’ company marketed such creative tour programs as “Pyongyang City Cycling Tour” and “North Korea Study Tours” and even “the first North Korean booze cruise and beer festival.”

It also expanded to market trips to off-the-beaten-path destinations like Chernobyl in Ukraine, East Timor in Asia or remote islands in the Pacific, like tiny Nauru in Micronesia, northeast of Australia.

In North Korea, foreign tourists are monitored by government minders. The authorities there impose strict restrictions on what foreign visitors are allowed to see.

“You can’t have the same level of authentic experience in North Korea as you can in most other countries,” Mr. Collings said in the 2018 interview, adding, “But what you see of daily life there is daily life.”

“If you’re traveling with that kind of bias, it’s better to just stay at home,” he said, referring to the criticism that organized trips to North Korea were staged. “In the beginning, the big surprise for me was how ordinary the people are. It sounds cliché, but once you scratch the surface most North Koreans aren’t that different from anyone else.” 

There is no reliable data on how many foreigners visit North Korea each year. North Korea has been trying to ease the pain of international sanctions, imposed over its nuclear weapons program, by attracting more foreign tourists, mostly from China. But such efforts are now on hold after the country shut its borders in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

February 25, 2020

B. Smith Dies After Fight With Memory Loss

Julia Jacobo

B. Smith, the model turned lifestyle guru and restaurateur, has died at 70 years old following her battle with early-onset Alzheimer's, her husband, Dan Gasby, announced on Sunday.
Barbara Elaine Smith died "peacefully" at the couple's home on Long Island, New York, on Saturday just before 11 p.m., Gasby said.
PHOTO: B. Smith at her restaurant in New York, Feb. 20, 2001.
B. Smith at her restaurant in New York, Feb. 20, 2001.(Getty)
In his post, Gasby thanked the doctor and caregivers who made Smith "comfortable in her final days" in hospice as well as friends and fans who supported the family during their journey with the disease.
"Heaven is shining even brighter now that it is graced with B.'s dazzling and unforgettable smile," Gasby wrote.
PHOTO: B. Smith and Dan Gasby attend the "Barefoot Under the Stars" event at the Wolffer Estate Vineyard, June 25, 2011, in Sagaponack, New York.
B. Smith and Dan Gasby attend the "Barefoot Under the Stars" event at the Wolffer Estate Vineyard, 
June 25, 2011, in Sagaponack, New York. (Getty image)
Smith began her career as a model in the mid-60s and later opened her first restaurant in New York City in 1986. She has also authored three recipe books.
Read this, be prepared because Memory loss from Alzheimer's, Accident or just a brain that had an electrical malfunction, means it could strike silently lots of people:
She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, a degenerative disease that severely impacts memory and cognitive ability, more than seven years ago.
PHOTO: Congressman Charles Rangel attends B. Smith's party at her restaurant to celebrate her new Discovery Channel TV show.
Congressman Charles Rangel attends B. Smith's party at her restaurant to celebrate 
her new Discovery Channel TV show. (Getty image)
Last year, Gasby appeared on "The View," opening up on what it was like to be the primary caretaker for someone suffering from Alzheimer's.
Smith is survived by Gasby and their daughter, Dana

February 16, 2020

Did You Hear That Too Much Sex Will Cause Blindness Followed by Death? It's True!

an antechinus on a tree branch
What if I told you that in Australia, a mouselike marsupial called antechinus breeds so manically during its three-week mating season that the males bleed internally and go blind until every male lies dead? And what if I told you that this isn’t the reason the species is facing an existential threat?

Reporting today in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, biologists from the University of New England in Australia and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology present troubling evidence that antechinus might be ill-prepared for a warmer world. The researchers set out to look at something called phenotypic plasticity in the yellow-footed antechinus, one of the creature’s 15 known species. Think of your phenotype as your body’s hardware, or physiology: your height and skin color and metabolism. This is in part coded by your genotype, the genetic software that powers the hardware. Phenotypic plasticity is the ability of a species to respond to environmental stressors—like temperature swings—by altering their physiology without mucking with all the underlying genetics.

For the antechinus, the researchers were interested in the plasticity of its metabolism. This is highly influenced by temperature: An adult antechinus’ metabolism shifts to expend less energy when it’s cold during the winter and there isn’t much insect prey for it to hunt. When it’s warm, an antechinus can afford to expend a lot of energy because the prey is plentiful.

The researchers, though, were more interested in how temperature affects antechinus babies—that is, how being raised in cold or warm environments might affect how their metabolism works once they become adults. So they reared two groups of babies, one in colder temperatures and one in warmer temperatures. They then flipped the thermostat, exposing the individuals reared in the cold to warm temperatures and the warm-reared ones to the cold.

As the researchers expected, when the temperature switched from warm to cold the animals decreased their activity levels, which the scientists were recording using infrared sensors that logged movements. This is perfectly natural for wild animals since in winter they have fewer insects to hunt and need to conserve their energy to keep from starving. In fact, in the dead of winter, antechinus can slip into a state called torpor, drastically lowering their body temperature and metabolic rates.

In the lab, the researchers also found that when turning up the heat on animals that had been reared in the cold, the animals increased their activity levels, just like they would in the wild as warmer spring temperatures bring more insects to hunt.

So far so good—until the researchers also looked at the metabolic rates, instead of just the activity levels, of the animals as they experienced temperature shifts. A metabolic rate is a measure of how much energy the animal needs to maintain function at rest. For a mammal-like antechinus, that rate can change significantly when outdoor temperatures go up or down. Unlike a reptile, a mammal-like antechinus has to constantly maintain its own body temperature, either spending energy to cool or warm itself.

This time, the researchers found that when the antechinus raised in the warm group shifted to the cold, they increased their metabolic rate only slightly. But those raised in the cold group that shifted to the warmth decreased their metabolic rate significantly. The discrepancy suggests that the babies brought up in cold conditions have more plastic phenotypes when it comes to adjusting to temperature changes.

“So we hypothesize that perhaps these results reveal that antechinus that is raised in cold conditions have more flexibility in their physiology than those that are raised in warm conditions,” says physiological ecologist Clare Stawski of University of New England in Australia and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, lead author on the new paper. “Which might show you that in the future when it's much warmer, and more consistently warm, that the antechinus might not be as flexible to changes in the climate.” 

And that’s a problem because the antechinus relies on torpor to survive the winter months. As Australia warms, this strategy may no longer be available to the species. “If it's very warm, they can't use torpor,” says Stawski. That might be fine if a warmer climate also ensures a steady supply of insects to eat all year round. “But if for some reason they lose all their food—for example, there's a fire—they might not be able to deploy torpor, and then they would really struggle to have enough energy,” she says.

Bushfires are a perfectly natural component of the Australian landscape—every so often a mild fire sweeps through an area, and these animals can take refuge underground or in fallen logs. But climate change is creating ever more powerful wildfires. Instead of gently resetting an ecosystem, they wipe it out. Even if the antechinus in the fire’s area manages to survive, the ecosystem’s insects will have been obliterated. While insect populations will eventually rebound, all the vegetation will be gone—at least in the short term—so the insects will have less food. In other words, instead of leading to a year-round insect buffet, a warmer climate might actually create more summers in which the antechinus go hungry because their food supply has been diminished by fire.

Australia has also been withering under a fierce drought; indeed, it was that lack of moisture that supercharged this season’s bushfires. Unfortunately for antechinus, food is closely linked to moisture availability, says Queensland University of Technology mammologist Andrew Baker, who wasn’t involved in this new work. “We found a decline in threatened antechinus numbers right across that drought leading up to the fires,” he says. “And that we believe is probably really closely related to lack of food availability.”

In fact, the animals’ three-week mating frenzy is so short because it’s timed with the availability of food. Females mate in the winter and give birth in the spring, when insect populations explode, providing the species with plenty of food. In the months leading up to that mating season, the males are sprinting all over the landscape, eating insects and packing on weight, since that they won’t even stop to eat once the sex frenzy starts. Once the orgy kicks off, the males’ testosterone levels skyrocket, which in turn glitches their bodies’ ability to regulate the stress hormone cortisol. An overload of this hormone makes the males’ bodies literally start falling apart. Their hair falls out, they develop open sores and they go blind, yet still stumble around in search of females.

The females, in turn, mate with as many partners as possible. Each carries sperm from perhaps dozens of males. By the time a female gives birth to around a dozen young that suckle in a depression on her belly, every adult male around her lies dead. None of them will have lived more than a year—they were all born after the previous year’s mating bonanza. Which is just as well, at least for the females and their offspring: It means more food for the mothers, who have to produce lots of highly-nutritious milk for their immature babies. (It seems bizarre, but it’s an evolutionary trade-off. Placental mammals like humans are born relatively mature but take longer to develop in the womb. In marsupials like kangaroos, babies are born less mature, but have to finish developing in the mother’s pouch.)

For the antechinus, it’s a fast life filled with drama and death, and all of it depends on being able to eat enough food and save up enough energy for the big finish. But a warmer Australia will threaten its food supply, and leave it less able to adapt to change. If only its sole worry was finding a date.

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