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Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Pleasure Of Watching Bullfight

Normally I don’t enjoy watching violence. The exception is when a bull wins a bullfight. When one of those videos pops up on the Internet, I’ll watch it two or three times. I don’t mind saying it makes me happy.

I realize I’m supposed to be rooting for the sadistic asshole that’s dressed like a waiter on acid. But I have to be honest: I’m delighted when a bull puts a horn up a matador’s sphincter and trots around the arena wearing him like a rapper’s hat.

There are two things I look for in bull victories:

1. Air time
2. Stomping

Air time is when the bull lifts the matador off his feet and tosses him. You can rate the quality of the toss by how many times the matador yells “Mierda! Mierda! Mierda!” before he hits the ground. Three mierdas is good, but I prefer four.

Then comes the stomping, which I regard as a form of afterglow. That’s when the sadistic asshole helpers come out to save the psychopath matador. It strikes me as unsportsmanlike. I root for the bull to kill them too, but it rarely works out the way I’d like.

The experts say one of the ways you can predict a future serial killer is if he’s cruel to animals and thinks it’s entertaining. You use the same method to predict a future matador. The only difference is that the future serial killer doesn’t dress like an organ grinder’s monkey and masturbate furiously after killing the mammal.

Just to be clear, I normally value the life of a human being higher than the life of an animal. But I think we’d all agree that the best animal is better than the worst human. Bulls usually mind their own business. All they want to do is eat, poop, and hump anything that moos. As a man, I respect the clarity of their missions. On the other hoof, a matador is a guy who didn’t have enough people skills to be promoted to serial killer. Honestly, I don’t see how anyone can root for the human in this situation.

Bonus question: What would you name a bull that contributes to global warming, and stabs matadors with his horns?

Posted by Ajay :: 10:34 AM :: 0 comments

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Women Gives Birth To Her Grandchildren

A Florida woman gave birth to her own grandchildren through in vitro fertilization after her daughter was treated for cervical cancer.
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Ann Stolper, 59, of Delray Beach, gave birth in December to Itai and Maya Chomsky, the twin children of her daughter, Caryn Chomsky, The Miami Herald reported Saturday.

Caryn was 25 when diagnosed with cancer in 2005. She underwent a life-saving hysterectomy and radiation after doctors harvested her eggs. Having put the cancer behind them, Caryn and her husband, Ayal, began considering options for a family when her mother stepped in.

"I made the suggestion," said Stolper, then 57. "How about if I carry a child or children?"

In general, doctors won't implant an embryo in a woman older than 55. But Stolper's heart health, blood pressure and fitness made her a candidate so she was implanted with her daughter's eggs fertilized with Ayal's sperm.

The twins arrived Dec. 1, six weeks early but healthy, by Caesarian section at Boca Raton Community Hospital. The Chomskys said the family came forward about the births to promote a new vaccine, Gardasil, that prevents the virus causing cervical cancer.

Posted by Ajay :: 10:27 AM :: 0 comments

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Man With Hole In Brain

Three years ago, a 44-year-old man was admitted to hospital in Marseille, France, complaining of weakness in his left leg. He had no idea what doctors would find to be the source of the problem: a huge pocket of fluid where most of his brain ought to be.

Normally, fluid continuously circulates throughout the brain and is drained away into the circulatory system. But in this case, the man's drainage tubes had narrowed, resulting in an accumulation of fluid in the ventricles and an enlargement of the skull due to the great volume of fluid pressing against it. This had squeezed his brain into a narrow layer around the outside of the fluid, doctors report in the Lancet1 today.

"We were very surprised when we looked for the first time the CT scan," says Lionel Feuillet, a neurologist at the Mediterranean University, Marseille. "The brain was very, very much smaller than normal." Nevertheless, subsequent tests showed the man to have an IQ of 75 — at the lower end of the 'normal range'.

The patient was a married father with two children and a job as a civil servant. His problems with his left leg were a neurological symptom of the condition, says Feuillet.

Water on the brain

The general condition caused by a build-up of fluid in the brain's ventricles — called hydrocephalus or 'water on the brain' — is relatively common, affecting about one in 1,000 people. It is most common in children but can affect adults too.

To release the trapped fluid doctors insert a tube called a 'shunt', allowing it to drain into the bloodstream and central nervous system. With this treatment most patients lead a fairly normal life. But neurological problems and other complications, such as brain infection and problems related to the shunt, are not uncommon. Left untreated, the condition is often fatal.

It's likely that the man in this case had hydrocephalus from birth, says Feuillet. His medical records show that he was treated with a shunt at the age of 6 months, and again at 14 years old. But without further neurological problems the extent of his condition went un-noticed for decades.

The fact that his medical record shows normal neurological development is remarkable, says Feuillet. "This case is unique to our knowledge. We have never encountered such severe hydrocephalus before."

Many other medical conditions lead to brain shrinkage, including brain atrophy from Alzheimer's disease, explains Feuillet. "But in these cases, mental abilities are usually affected." For example, people with microcephaly — a condition in which the size of the head and brain is reduced (but the structure of the brain is normal) — can suffer from cerebral palsy, epilepsy, impaired vision and hearing, and autism.

Happily, this patient has made a complete recovery following his treatment, reports Feuillet, although a subsequent scan showed no change in his brain size. So the man with the tiny brain lives on.

Posted by Ajay :: 10:25 AM :: 0 comments

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