Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Government Gropers

I've been stewing about this for a while, but didn't know quite how to articulate what was wrong with what is happening.  I happened on this article while reading another blog, and it spells out very well what is wrong with what the Government Gropers (aka "TSA") is doing to people.  It's written by a former police officer.  May I particularly point out his response to the "if you don't like it, don't buy the ticket" argument.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

News you can Use: Laptops Cooking *ahem* Testicles

Well, I'm past the time when this would be a concern for me, but for the sake of all my nephews, I'm posting this today.

Scorched scrotums: Is your laptop cooking your testicles?

Scientists warn of sterility concerns after testing temperatures of nether regions

Whoever invented the 'laptop' probably didn't worry too much about male reproductive health.
Turns out that sitting with a computer on your lap will crank up the temperature of your nether regions, which could affect sperm quality.

And there is little you can do about it, according to the authors of a study out today in the journal Fertility and Sterility, short of putting your laptop on a desk.

The researchers hooked thermometers to the scrotums of 29 young men who were balancing a laptop on their knees. They found that even with a lap pad under the computer, the men's scrotums overheated quickly.

"Millions and millions of men are using laptops now, especially those in the reproductive age range," said Dr. Yefim Sheynkin, a urologist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, who led the new study.
"Within 10 or 15 minutes their scrotal temperature is already above what we consider safe, but they don't feel it," he added.

So far, no studies have actually tested how laptops impact men's fertility, said Sheynkin, and there is no bulletproof evidence that it would. But earlier research has shown that warming the scrotum more than one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) is enough to damage sperm.

Under normal circumstances, the testicles' position outside of the body makes sure they stay a few degrees cooler than the inside of the body, which is necessary for sperm production.

"I wouldn't say that if someone starts to use laptops they will become infertile," Sheynkin told Reuters Health. But frequent use might contribute to reproductive problems, he said, because "the scrotum doesn't have time to cool down."

According to the American Urological Association, nearly one in six couples in the US have trouble conceiving a baby, and about half the time the man is at the root of the problem.
Both general health and lifestyle factors such as nutrition and drug use can influence reproductive health.
However, Sheynkin said tight jeans and briefs are generally not considered a risk factor.

"Clothes should not significantly change scrotal temperature, because you are moving around," he said.
To hold a laptop on your knees, however, you need to sit still with your legs closed. After one hour in this position, the researchers found that men's testicle temperature had risen by up to 2.5 C.

A lap pad kept the computer cool and also made sure less heat was transmitted to the skin. But it didn't do much to cool the testicles, and might give "a false sense of security," according to Sheynkin.
"It doesn't matter what pad you use," he said. "You can put a pillow beneath your computer and it still won't protect you."

As it turned out, leg position played a far bigger role. When the men sat with their legs spread wide -- made possible only by placing the computer on a large lap pad -- they could keep their testicles cooler. But it still took less than 30 minutes before they began overheating.

"No matter what you do, even with the legs spread wide apart, the temperature is still going to be higher than what we call safe," said Sheynkin.

Belkin International, Inc., which sells lap pads and other electronics accessories, did not wish to comment on the new findings.

Dr. James F. Smith, a urologist at the University of California, San Francisco, cautioned that a clear impact of laptop use on fertility had still not been shown, and that it probably didn't play a big role.

Still, he added in an e-mail to Reuters Health, heating up the scrotum is likely to be bad for sperm production. He often asks patients that he sees for infertility if they use a laptop and, if so, suggests that they spread their legs periodically or place the computer on a desk.

Dr. Smith said the consequences of continued overheating of the testicles -- so-called scrotal hyperthermia -- probably weren't permanent, but might take months to go away.

"When interested in maximizing fertility potential," he advised, "minimize harmful exposures, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

Boy, these test subjects sure gave their all for science.  I wonder if the researchers monitored what was being viewed on the laptops while the temperature changes were being measured!

Monday, November 08, 2010

It's time for a Lions post

I haven't done one in a while, so at the halfway point, here goes.

  1. Expectations were on the upswing for the team entering this year after another good draft and some good free agent pickups, and you can see the progress that has been made.  However, they still shoot themselves in the foot in ways almost unimaginable.  This weeks game was a perfect example:  two penalties on center Dominic Raiola for illegally shifting the ball.  Three penalties for chop blocks.  An absolutely inexcusable personal foul on Julian Peterson (who should know better) for hitting the ballcarrier out of bounds on the final drive, giving the Jets the field position for free to kick the field goal to send the game to overtime.  And Drew Stanton doing what he has been doing since he played here at Michigan State - making a boneheaded play at a crucial time to give a game away.  This time throwing an incomplete pass on third down to stop the clock late in the fourth quarter when the most important thing to do was run off as much of the clock as possible before giving the ball back to the Jets.  How long have you been playing football again, Drew?
  2. How far can Matthew Stafford take this team when he can't stay on the field?  His talent and ability are obvious, but he's only played in 50% of the games in his first two years.  Shaun Hill isn't the long term answer, but is fine as a backup.  Stanton's contract is up after this season - he should be allowed to walk and another QB found to develop, in case Stafford isn't the answer.
  3. There should be no excuse for the Lions not making the playoffs next year.  They have good players, they need to play up to their talent level now.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Important Rule of Warfare

This is a 2-part rule.  The first part is to know who your enemies are.  The second is to know who says they are your friend, but they are not. 

In the war to reclaim the Republic, it is easy to know who the enemy is:  Democrats, plain and simple.  There is not one of them that is interested in cutting the size and scope of government.  There is not one of them that is interested in actually being constrained by the Constitution (although they will twist it to their own purposes at every opportunity).

The second is not so easy.  They will rejoice at our victories.  They will say the right things.  They might even do things that we think are right, or that we agree with.  But their aim is to accumulate power for themselves, not to take away the unauthorized power of the government.

So how can we recognize them?  There are a couple of indicators I can think of off the top of my head.

1. Long-term incumbancy, or career politician.  This is not a complete indicator, because there are some long-term incumbents that get it.  These tend to be ones who had a successful career outside of politics before running for election.  Barack Obama never held a real job before he got elected.  A community organizer is a politician-in-training, funded by some Foundation or another.  It produces nothing tangible and serves no one but itself.  Ron Paul had a successful medical practice before he ran for Congress.

2. Uses the word "reform" rather than "eliminate".  Slogans like "we need to reform healthcare/Wall Street/Banking System/Education/etc." flow from his lips, rather than "we need to eliminate the Department of Education/Death Tax/Earmarks/Obamacare/etc."  This indicates a basic conviction that government involvement in every aspect of our lives is a good thing, and that their plan to control people is better than the enemy's plan.  Folks, neither plan is acceptable - you are just changing slavemasters, not gaining your freedom!

I know there are more indicators - feel free to add to my list.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

RIP Sparky Anderson

The Tigers, and all of baseball, lost one of the great ones today. Sparky Anderson died at age 76.

That's two beloved legends we Tiger fans have lost this year.

Apparently, my image from The Detroit News was moved. Sorry about that folks.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

To Conservatives Everywhere

Today is the first day of the war to save the Republic. Yesterday just defined who is going to be on the front lines. Conservatives - we are the logistical train that keeps them supplied with ammunition and sustenance during the war. We are Rosie the Riveter. We are the Merchant Mariners. We are the stevedores in the ports. We are the doctors in the hospitals that heal them when they are wounded and weak. We can't leave them there to be chewed up by the enemy - we have to support them, cajole them, kick their butts, yell at them, plead with them, and do everything we can to keep them pressing forward against the leftist, marxist tide. We cannot fail them, for if we do we fail not only ourselves, but our posterity.