Chuckles of the Day


Social Distancing


AAADD – Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder

I decide to wash the car. I start toward the garage and notice the mail on the table. OK, I’m going to wash the car…but first, I’m going to go through the mail.

I lay the car keys down on the desk, discard the junk mail…and notice the trash can is full. OK, I’ll just put the bills on the desk and take the trash out, but since I’m going to be near the mailbox anyway, I’ll pay these few bills first.

Now where is the checkbook? Oops…there’s only one check left. My extra checks are in the desk. As I start looking for the checks, I see the coke I was drinking sitting on the desk…I’m going to look for those checks…

But first I need to put my coke further away from the computer… oh, maybe I’ll pop it into the fridge to keep it cold for a while… I head toward the kitchen and the plants catch my eye, they need some water… I set the coke on the counter and uh oh! There’s my glasses… I was looking for them all morning! I’m pretty sure I really don’t have age activated attention deficit disorder.

I’d better put the glasses away first. I fill a container with water and head for the flowerpots. Aaaaaagh! Someone left the TV remote in the kitchen. We’ll never think to look in the kitchen tonight when we want to watch television so I’d better put it back in the family room where it belongs.

I splash some water into the pots and onto the floor, I throw the remote onto a soft cushion on the sofa and I head back down the hall trying to figure out what it was I was going to do…!!??!! And it’s NOT an aging disorder, or deficit, or anything like that, I think.

It’s the end of the day: The car isn’t washed, the bills are unpaid, the coke is sitting on the kitchen counter, flowers are half watered, the checkbook still only has one check in it and I can’t seem to find my car keys!

When I try to figure out how come nothing got done today, I’m baffled because I KNOW I WAS BUSY ALL DAY LONG!!! I realize this Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder is a serious condition and I’d better get help, BUT FIRST I think I’ll check my e-mail…

* * * * * * *

Art Critics

Art Critic 1: ‘1 think the neo-Plasticism of the abtract design proves the mystical, metaphysical and non-humanistic approach to the objective concept of abstraction.’

Art Critic 2: ‘Yes, you have a point there! In fact, it’s obvious even from a casual glance that this painting was created by paranoiac-critical activity, brought about by spontaneous dynamic sensations, sometimes made by somnabulistically inclined campanologists, who create a picture of transcendental non-curvilinear and curvilinear objects expressing subjective feelings in a cubistic manner.’

Art Critic 3: ‘1 fully agree with you both – it’s a rubbishy painting!’

Egg and Prosciutto Pitas


4 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
6 (six-inch) pita breads
1 tub (227 g) herbed cream cheese
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
3 cups baby spinach
6 eggs


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth.
  2. Add spinach and toss until coated.
  3. Spread each pita with a thin layer of cream cheese (approximately 1 tbsp per pita).
  4. Divide the prosciutto evenly on top of each pita, and mound with spinach mixture.
  5. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Crack the eggs directly into the pan and cook until the egg whites are set, 2-3 minutes.
  6. Place fried egg on top of each pita and serve hot.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Manitoba Egg Farmers

Analysis Finds Up to 45 percent of SARS-CoV-2 Infections May be Asymptomatic

An extraordinary percentage of people infected by the virus behind the ongoing deadly COVID-19 pandemic—up to 45 percent—are people who never show symptoms of the disease, according to the results of a Scripps Research analysis of public datasets on asymptomatic infections.

The findings, recently published in Annals of Internal Medicine, suggest that asymptomatic infections may have played a significant role in the early and ongoing spread of COVID-19 and highlight the need for expansive testing and contact tracing to mitigate the pandemic.

“The silent spread of the virus makes it all the more challenging to control,” says Eric Topol, MD, founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute and professor of Molecular Medicine at Scripps Research. “Our review really highlights the importance of testing. It’s clear that with such a high asymptomatic rate, we need to cast a very wide net, otherwise the virus will continue to evade us.”

Together with behavioral scientist Daniel Oran, Topol collected information from testing studies on 16 diverse cohorts from around the world. These datasets—gathered via keyword searches of PubMed, bioRxiv and medRxiv, as well as Google searches of relevant news reports—included data on nursing home residents, cruise ship passengers, prison inmates and various other groups.

“What virtually all of them had in common was that a very large proportion of infected individuals had no symptoms,” says Oran. “Among more than 3,000 prison inmates in four states who tested positive for the coronavirus, the figure was astronomical: 96 percent asymptomatic.”

The review further suggests that asymptomatic individuals are able to transmit the virus for an extended period of time, perhaps longer than 14 days. The viral loads are very similar in people with or without symptoms, but it remains unclear whether their infectiousness is of the same magnitude. To resolve that issue, we’ll need large-scale studies that include sufficient numbers of asymptomatic people.

The authors also conclude that the absence of symptoms may not imply an absence of harm. CT scans conducted on 54 percent of 76 asymptomatic individuals on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, appear to show significant subclinical lung abnormalities raising the possibility of SARS-CoV-2 infection impacting lung function that might not be immediately apparent. The scientists say further research is needed to confirm the potential significance of this finding.

The authors also acknowledge that the lack of longitudinal data makes distinguishing between asymptomatic and presymptomatic individuals difficult. An asymptomatic individual is someone who is infected with SARS-CoV-2, but never develops symptoms of COVID-19, while a presymptomatic person is similarly infected, but will eventually develop symptoms. Longitudinal testing, which refers to repeated testing of individuals over time, would help differentiate between the two.

“Our estimate of 40 to 45 percent asymptomatic means that, if you’re unlucky enough to get infected, the probability is almost a flip of a coin on whether you’re going to have symptoms. So to protect others, we think that wearing a mask makes a lot of sense,” Oran concludes.

Source: Scripps Reserach

Face Masks Critical In Preventing Spread Of COVID-19

Keith Randall wrote . . . . . . . . .

A study by a team of researchers led by a Texas A&M University professor has found that not wearing a face mask dramatically increases a person’s chances of being infected by the COVID-19 virus.

Renyi Zhang, Texas A&M Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and the Harold J. Haynes Chair in the College of Geosciences, and colleagues from the University of Texas, the University of California-San Diego and the California Institute of Technology have had their work published in the current issue of PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).

The team examined the chances of COVID-19 infection and how the virus is easily passed from person to person. Comparing trends and mitigation procedures in China, Italy and New York City, the researchers found that using a face mask reduced the number of infections by more than 78,000 in Italy from April 6-May 9 and by over 66,000 in New York City from April 17-May 9.

“Our results clearly show that airborne transmission via respiratory aerosols represents the dominant route for the spread of COVID-19,” Zhang said. “By analyzing the pandemic trends without face-covering using the statistical method and by projecting the trend, we calculated that over 66,000 infections were prevented by using a face mask in little over a month in New York City. We conclude that wearing a face mask in public corresponds to the most effective means to prevent inter-human transmission.

“This inexpensive practice, in conjunction with social distancing and other procedures, is the most likely opportunity to stop the COVID-19 pandemic. Our work also highlights that sound science is essential in decision-making for the current and future public health pandemics.”

One of the paper’s co-authors, Mario Molina, is a professor at the University of California-San Diego and a co-recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his role in understanding the threat to the Earth’s ozone layer of man-made halocarbon gases.

“Our study establishes very clearly that using a face mask is not only useful to prevent infected coughing droplets from reaching uninfected persons, but is also crucial for these uninfected persons to avoid breathing the minute atmospheric particles (aerosols) that infected people emit when talking and that can remain in the atmosphere tens of minutes and can travel tens of feet,” Molina said.

Zhang said that many people in China have worn face masks for years, mainly because of the bad air quality of the country.

“So people there are sort of used to this,” he said. “Mandated face-covering helped China in containing the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Zhang said the results should send a clear message to people worldwide – wearing a face mask is essential in fighting the virus.

“Our work suggests that the failure in containing the propagation of COVID-19 pandemic worldwide is largely attributed to the unrecognized importance of airborne virus transmission,” he said. “Social-distancing and washing our hands must continue, but that’s not sufficient enough protection. Wearing a face mask as well as practicing good hand hygiene and social distancing will greatly reduce the chances of anyone contracting the COVID-19 virus.”

Source: Texas A&M University

Milk Chocolate, Dairy and Fatty Foods Tied to Acne in Adults

E.J. Mundell wrote . . . . . . . . .

Are you plagued by acne even though you’re way past puberty? A new report might have you avoiding certain foods.

The study of more than 24,000 French adults found that sweet and greasy fare — especially milk chocolate, sweetened drinks, dairy products, and sugary or fatty foods — all appeared to raise the odds for zits.

The new findings “appear to support the hypothesis that the Western diet (rich in animal products and fatty and sugary foods) is associated with the presence of acne in adulthood,” said the team led by dermatologist Dr. Emilie Sbidian, of Mondor Hospital in Paris.

One U.S. dermatologist who read over the report wasn’t surprised.

“This new study confirms what I have always believed, that proper nutrition is an important component of acne treatment,” said Dr. Michele Green, of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

The likely culprit? Foods’ effects on hormones, she said.

“One of the reasons that this high ‘glycemic’ diet — high in sugar — causes acne, is that it changes the normal dynamic of one’s hormones,” Green explained. “These high-sugar diets can cause a rise in insulin levels and this affects other hormones, which lead to the development of acne.”

Adding to that, Green said, “there are also ongoing studies looking into the hormones that cows are fed in their feed, which may also have an effect on the development of acne.”

The new study focused on acne in adults, not on people younger than 18 years of age. Unlike many prior studies, this one was especially rigorous. Thousands of French participants filled out researcher-validated 24-hour dietary records over a two-week period. In these food diaries, participants recorded all foods and drinks consumed, and at what amounts.

They also recorded any incidence of an acne outbreak.

The result: After adjusting for a number of confounding factors, certain foods — dairy, fatty and sugary fare — emerged as potential acne triggers.

Quantity mattered. For example, having one glass of milk per day bumped up the odds of an outbreak by 12%, and a glass of a sugary drink (such as soda) raised it by 18%.

But drink five glasses of either a sugary drink or milk in a day, and your odds of developing zits rose by more than twofold or 76%, respectively.

Fatty foods appeared to do people’s skin no favors, either: One portion of a fatty (think French fries, burgers) food or a sugary treat (sugared donuts, cookies) boosted the odds for an outbreak by 54%, the study found.

And “a complete meal of fatty and sugary products” upped the odds more than eightfold, Sbidian’s group reported.

Overall, “adults with current acne were found to be less likely to have a healthy dietary pattern,” the French team concluded.

And what about chocolate? Intake of milk chocolate did seem tied to acne risk, bumping up the odds for an outbreak by 28%, the researchers found. But consumption of less fatty dark chocolate was actually tied to a 10% lower odds for acne.

Healthier foods — such as vegetables, fish and more plant-based fare — were also tied to reductions in acne for adults, the findings showed.

For many, acne isn’t just a cosmetic nuisance, Green noted.

“Acne patients suffer from low self-esteem and depression, and many go on to have physical acne scars, which they carry on their face for a lifetime,” she said.

In fact, “acne is an extremely important and emotional issue that frequently gets neglected,” Green added.

“More studies need to be done but it is so important to investigate the role of diet, nutrition and chemicals, and their effect on blood hormonal levels, acne, and our health in general,” she said.

The study was published online in JAMA Dermatology.

Source: HealthDay

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