Chuckles of the Day


“Ginsberg,” the officer barked, “this note from Colonel Jones warns me never to bet with you or to let the men bet with you, because you always win, no matter how crazy the bet. Is that true?”

“Yes, sir, I am very lucky. I have a sort of sixth sense. I can bet on the damnedest things and somehow they come true. I just seem to know the answers. For instance, meaning no disrespect sir, I never saw you before but I know that you have a red, white and blue eagle tattooed on your behind. I’ll bet a hundred dollars on it.”

“What! I ought to throw you in the brig for insolence. Where the hell did you ever get that crazy idea! I’ve never been tattooed in my life—on my behind or anywhere else. A red, white and blue eagle! I ought to take you up on it. That’s one hundred bucks you’d lose.”

“Sir, the offer still stands. Here’s my hundred that says there’s a red, white and blue eagle on your butt.”

“Ginsberg, you’re insubordinate and crazy. I’ll take your money, just to teach you a lesson. Here, look for yourself.” He pulled down his trousers and shorts. There was not a mark on him.

Ginsberg stood stone-faced and glanced at his watch. Then he handed the officer a hundred dollars. He grinned in triumph.

“Well, wiseguy, that’s one hunch that didn’t payoff. You’re out a hundred bucks!”

“Not exactly, sir. You see I bet Colonel Jones five hundred dollars that I wouldn’t be in your office five minutes before I had your pants off.”

* * * * * * *


Jacques and Pierre were lifelong friends, schoolmates who served in the same regiment during the war.

Pierre remained single but Jacques married a beautiful woman and had a handsome son and a lovely daughter.

The years flew by. Jacques was frequently out of town. Returning unexpectedly from a trip he comes home to find Pierre in bed with his wife, but he floes not let them know of his discovery. Returning another time, he finds Pierre in bed with his daughter. Still he says nothing. A third time he returns from a trip and finds Pierre in bed with his son.

This time he bursts in, in fury.

..Pierre, you bastard! First you make love to my wife, and I say nothing. Then I find you in bed with my daughter and still I hold my peace. But now I find you with my son, you my oldest and dearest friend! Why, Pierre, why? Tell me, why have you neglected me?”

Beef Stew with Walnut and Apple


beef (Bos primigenius taurus)
2 apples (Malus sylvestris)
10 walnuts (Juglans regia)
celery (Apiumgraveolens)


  1. Roughly cut the meat into chunks and season with salt and pepper. Wash and thinly slice the celery.
  2. Put the lard and meat in an earthenware casserole over high heat. Brown the meat for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the celery and continue stirring until it also starts to brown. Add sufficient water to cover the ingredients.
  4. When the water starts to boil, lower the heat to medium. Cover the casserole and cook for about 75 minutes.
  5. Add the walnuts and apples (chopped and deseeded but unpeeled). Add more salt if required. Cook for a further 15 minutes.
  6. Before serving, remove from the heat and leave to stand for a short time.

Makes 1 serving.

Source: Paleo

New Starbucks Tokyo Shop Features Office-Style Design

Is a ‘Twindemic’ of COVID-19 and Flu Coming This Fall?

Dennis Thompson wrote . . . . . . . . .

Fall is approaching, and so is the possibility of what public health officials are calling a “twindemic” — overlapping epidemics of both COVID-19 and influenza.

A bad flu season coupled with continued COVID-19 outbreaks could increase people’s risk of fatal illness and overwhelm hospital capacity in communities already scrambling to treat coronavirus patients, experts say.

“I think it’s definitely a possibility and it’s something we’re all worried about,” said Dr. Eric Cioe-Pena, director of global health at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, N.Y. “The trifecta of a bad flu season, a bad COVID resurgence and an Atlantic hurricane is our doomsday scenario. You could add in civil unrest around the election as a four-way doomsday scenario.”

The concern is so great that officials worldwide have been pressing for folks to get this year’s flu shot, even though it’s only now hitting the market.

Getting your flu shot “could at least blunt the effect of one of those two potential respiratory infections,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The New York Times.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention usually purchases a half-million doses of flu vaccine for uninsured adults, but this year the agency increased its order by an additional 9.3 million doses, according to the Times.

But the protective strategies that officials have been promoting against COVID-19 — masking, hand-washing and social distancing — should reduce the risk of a twindemic.

“The same things we do to prevent COVID should work for another virus called influenza,” said Dr. Waleed Javaid, director of infection prevention and control at Mount Sinai Downtown, in New York City. “If we follow the same recommendations, they should be effective for influenza and for COVID, and we might not see as much spread of influenza as we’ve seen in previous years.”

Indeed, the Southern Hemisphere is in the middle of its flu season and has seen a dramatic decrease in flu cases thanks to protective measures adopted against the new coronavirus.

The Australian experience

“In Australia, the flu cases are down around 99% compared with last year,” noted Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in Baltimore.

Unfortunately, the United States probably won’t see this benefit because the nation has not fully embraced the recommended protections against COVID-19, Adalja continued.

“There is likely to be some effect, but the fact of the matter is even though we have all these measures for COVID, in the United States we haven’t really been as adherent to them as in other countries. We have to prepare for the fact that we may not get the Australian experience of influenza,” Adalja said.

A community facing a twindemic could soon find itself running out of hospital capacity, Adalja added.

Last year’s flu season was relatively mild, but still resulted in between 39 million and 56 million cases of flu, as many as 740,000 hospitalizations, and between 24,000 and 62,000 flu deaths, according to preliminary CDC estimates.

“You have to remember those viruses are going to compete for the same hospital beds, ICU beds, ventilators, personal protective equipment and even diagnostic test reagents,” Adalja said.

Doctors are particularly worried about people who catch one of the viruses and then the other, back-to-back.

“I would say a sequential infection could be really a major problem for somebody, to get hit twice in a row. They might have sustained lung damage from COVID and now have to deal with influenza,” Adalja said. “I would think the lung damage one would induce would make you more susceptible to a severe outcome with the other one.”

Both infections at once

That’s why public health officials are pressing for as many people as possible to get the flu shot, so they have some protection against at least one of these circulating viruses.

Cioe-Pena said, “We can’t vaccine-prevent COVID, but we can vaccine-prevent flu visits to hospitals this year. I strongly encourage everyone to get their flu shot.”

The flu vaccine contains particles of three to four different strains of flu that officials guess will be the ones most in circulation during the influenza season in any given year. Even if the vaccine is not an exact match to the flu that winds up being most common, it primes the body to produce an immune response that will limit the severity of a person’s illness.

“People say I took it one year and I got the flu anyways,” Cioe-Pena said. “What you will notice is there are very few people who say, ‘My loved one or I got the flu shot and then I was on a ventilator with pneumonia.’ Even when it doesn’t prevent the illness, it is still the best tool we have at attenuating the effects of the flu.”

In the most severe recent flu season, 2017-2018, the flu vaccine only had an overall estimated effectiveness of 38% across three strains, and was particularly weak against the H3N2 strain, the CDC reported.

Nonetheless, the CDC estimated that the imperfect vaccine still prevented 7.1 million illnesses, 3.7 million medical visits, 109,000 hospitalizations and 8,000 deaths that season.

“It does prevent severe flu,” Javaid said, “and that is going to be the critical element in this situation. I have seen people get flu and COVID back-to-back, and I can tell you that people who were vaccinated had much better outcomes.”

During the six influenza seasons from 2010 through 2016, the flu vaccine prevented as many as 6.7 million cases of flu, 3.1 million doctor’s visits, 87,000 hospitalizations and 10,000 deaths, the CDC said in its report on this year’s flu vaccine.

Vaccine producers are preparing for a record 98 million flu shots to be handed out in the United States, about 15% more than last year, the Times reported.

However, Americans remain vaccine-hesitant. In the 2018-2019 flu season, only 45% of U.S. adults got the vaccine, with rates particularly low among those aged 18 to 50, the Times noted.

“The best way to prevent this twindemic is to have as high a vaccination rate for influenza as we can, so there is room to take care of these COVID patients and we don’t have to worry about dual infections or sequential infections,” Adalja concluded.

Source: HealthDay

Toward a Coronavirus Breathalyzer Test

Few people who have undergone nasopharyngeal swabs for coronavirus testing would describe it as a pleasant experience. The procedure involves sticking a long swab up the nose to collect a sample from the back of the nose and throat, which is then analyzed for SARS-CoV-2 RNA by the reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Now, researchers reporting in ACS Nano have developed a prototype device that non-invasively detected COVID-19 in the exhaled breath of infected patients.

In addition to being uncomfortable, the current gold standard for COVID-19 testing requires RT-PCR, a time-consuming laboratory procedure. Because of backlogs, obtaining a result can take several days. To reduce transmission and mortality rates, healthcare systems need quick, inexpensive and easy-to-use tests. Hossam Haick, Hu Liu, Yueyin Pan and colleagues wanted to develop a nanomaterial-based sensor that could detect COVID-19 in exhaled breath, similar to a breathalyzer test for alcohol intoxication. Previous studies have shown that viruses and the cells they infect emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be exhaled in the breath.

The researchers made an array of gold nanoparticles linked to molecules that are sensitive to various VOCs. When VOCs interact with the molecules on a nanoparticle, the electrical resistance changes. The researchers trained the sensor to detect COVID-19 by using machine learning to compare the pattern of electrical resistance signals obtained from the breath of 49 confirmed COVID-19 patients with those from 58 healthy controls and 33 non-COVID lung infection patients in Wuhan, China. Each study participant blew into the device for 2-3 seconds from a distance of 1­–2 cm. Once machine learning identified a potential COVID-19 signature, the team tested the accuracy of the device on a subset of participants. In the test set, the device showed 76% accuracy in distinguishing COVID-19 cases from controls and 95% accuracy in discriminating COVID-19 cases from lung infections. The sensor could also distinguish, with 88% accuracy, between sick and recovered COVID-19 patients. Although the test needs to be validated in more patients, it could be useful for screening large populations to determine which individuals need further testing, the researchers say.

Source: American Chemical Society

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