Saving Lives, One Text at a Time

June 29, 2015

The developing world has seen a sudden decline in blood donation rates in the last few years. Officials in Sweden are employing the use of cutting edge technology to help get blood donation rates back on the rise. One of the new initiatives is to have officials who work for the blood service send an automatic text message to donors when their blood has saved someone’s life. The idea of automatic text messages to donors has caught a lot of attention in the public eye. When donors first give blood they receive a thank you text. People have no idea how beneficial their donations can be and officials want to make sure that they drive that point home. Officials will also send a text message when donor’s blood makes it into a patient’s veins. Karolina Blom Wiberg is a communications manager working at the Stockholm blood service. Karolina sat down with The Independent to talk about the new ways that blood donation organizations are trying to attract donors. The communications manager noted how important it was to constantly develop ways that will express importance to donors.


It is important that they get feedback on their donations and sending automatic text messages is the quickest and easiest way to do that. For individuals who are already a part of the system, it gives them a great feeling to know that they made even the slightest bit of difference in saving someone’s life. It will certainly bring a smile to anyone’s face, including Brian Bonar.

Health Experts Say Only Those at Risk Should Be Vaccinated for Meningitis B

Since the recent meningitis outbreaks at the University of California Santa Barbara and Princeton University hit the media last year, parents have been in fear. While some health authorities were calling for all teens and young adults in America to be vaccinated against the deadly virus, many more chose to let doctors make that decision on a case by case basis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gathered a team of experts in medical and public health to decide on a recommendation. The committee voted 14 to 1 in favor of using the vaccine on a more limited basis, only on those at risk between the ages of 16 and 23. The panel erred on the side of caution because of how relatively new the vaccine is, and also because of its rather costly price tag. The director of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Population Health at Wisconsin’s Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, Dr. Edward Belongia, said, “There are some red flags with safety for this vaccine.”

While the U.S. typically encounters five different strains of meningitis, the B strain is the most common. The other four main strains, A, C, Y, and W, already have vaccines in place, but the B strain had no U.S. FDA approved vaccine at the time of the outbreaks last year. Since that time though, the FDA has granted approval of two vaccines to fight meningitis B, one costing $320 for the series, the other is priced at around $345. Insurance coverage for these vaccines will be a whole new battle. Adam Sender knows this could be an issue.

If Starfish Clone Themselves, Could We?

You don’t live under a rock, but sometimes the science and mystery around our race may make you feel that way. You may recall back in the 90’s the famous sheep Dolly that was cloned in 1996 and the wide array of opinions regarding human cloning. We’re not announcing anything about human cloning today, but cloning does exist in our world’s atmosphere in peculiar ways.

A recent research study is suggesting that the humble starfish, which can reproduce both asexually as well as sexually, may hold the secret a longer healthier lifespan. In cloning, a starfish can divide into several parts, soon after regenerating those parts into new starfish. Those starfish that chose to reproduce asexually have better health and delayed aging compared to standard sexual reproduction.

The key may be telomeres said Zeca Oliveira. These sequences protect our genetic data from deterioration. A long telomere means delayed aging, and starfish that clone themselves somehow regenerate these telomeres to a longer length than they formerly were. Is there some way we could harness this information for longer, more fulfilling lives? Scientists seem to think so.

Regardless of how you feel about cloning, the fact is that it is naturally occurring to some extent. It may not be as entertaining as the silver screen, but it is real nonetheless. Who knows what will happen in the next few years or decade given some further research on this amazing phenomenon.

Missouri Senatore Claire McCaskill Says Sanders Won’t Become President Because He is too Liberal

June 25, 2015

In 2006, newcomer Claire McCaskill upset GOP incumbent Senator Jim Talent of Missouri in a narrow victory that saw Democrats win federal and state elections nationwide. According to Mikal Watts, part of McCaskill’s victory was attributed to the endorsement and support of Hillary and Bill Clinton. Naturally, Mrs. Clinton expected the senator to be solidly in her corner two years later when she set out to win the party’s nomination. That did not occur. Instead, McCaskill joined the wave of support that freshmen Senator Barrack Obama created as he went on to wrest the nomination away from Hillary. In response, Mrs. Clinton, who is rumored to keep a list of those who betrayed her in 2008, has been estranged from McCaskill ever since.

Now, it may be that Sen. McCaskill is wanting to repair the breach in her relationship with the would-be nominee. In comments on the NSNBC show “Morning Joe”, she stated that Bernie Sanders will not become the nation’s next president precisely because his views are too liberal. She also expressed her disdain for the lack of scrutiny he receives compared to Clinton.

When pressed to elaborate on three views which are too liberal for America, she stated that his plan for universal health care through Medicare was one such view. It should be noted that President Obama in on record saying the Affordable Care Act was just a step in a twenty year process to enact universal health care. As per Sen. McCaskill, the other two views are his opposition to free trade and entitlement expansion of Social Security.

The Best Coffee to Buy

Bulletproof Coffee, the innovative and new brand that has people talking. When looking for a healthy yet tasty coffee, try this new brand because of not only the flavor it provides but also the healthy benefits that come out of each sip. This brand has been making headlines for being a different and ungraded coffee that can be even labeled as the better choice to those mainstream brands such as Starbucks. The Bulletproof Coffee, created by Dave Asprey in 2009 has had the mission to be the best choice for the consumer. Actresses such as Madonna and Shailene Wood have both raved about this coffee as what brings clarity to their morning haze.

What makes this the best choice from all the other brands is the fact that Bulletproof coffee offers both taste and nutrition. The secret ingredient used for this product is actually grass-fed butter. By putting the butter into each cup of coffee, the consumer’s body is receiving those healthy fats and antioxidants that are needed to lose weight and your energy levels. Using grass-fed butter is the better and healthier option than putting cream or any artificial flavoring into the cup of coffee.

Compare the nutrition of the Bulletproof Coffee to that of Starbucks’ coffee. When walking into Starbucks in the morning, the best option is getting a cup of coffee and a bite to go. Now that grande latte and blueberry muffin that make up the on the go breakfast equates to about 900 calories worth or trans fats and empty calories. By eating this Starbucks’ muffin, the customer will be left hungry within the hour.

This compares drastically to drinking a cup of Bulletproof Coffee. The calorie estimation for this cup of coffee is around 460 calories. Though this might seem like a lot of calories, just one cup of coffee will fill the consumer and satisfy the consumer until it is time for the next meal.

What makes the Coffee the best brand to buy are the beans.  You can purchase them at the Bulletproof website or like everything else – on Amazon. These beans are harvested and grown on their own plot of land in Central America. These beans are grown in such a way that fermentation or sunlight are not techniques used. This ensures that the beans will not contain any harmful chemicals in the consumer’s daily cup of coffee.

What makes this the best product to try is the fact that so much time and effort has been put into making this the healthiest and tastiest cup of coffee that will put the clarity back into the morning.

The Mississippi State Flag Is Under Fire For Looking Like The Confederate Flag

June 24, 2015

Mississippi Lawmakers Want To Remove The Emblem Of The Confederate Flag In The State Flag

When you look at the Mississippi state flag there is no doubt that Mississippi was one of the Confederate states that succeeded from the Union over 150 years ago. The emblem within the Mississippi flag is actually a Confederate flag, and that is upsetting people in and out of the state.

The recent violence in South Carolina has been a catalyst for people around the country. People everywhere want to get rid of the image of the Confederate flag in any form. Big retailers are taking Confederate flag items off the shelves, and state lawmakers are proposing bills to eliminate signs of the Confederate flag that are in other state flags. There are seven states that have remnants of the Confederate flag in their current state flag.

The Confederate flag didn’t just represent racial discrimination and injustice according to spokespeople at The Aspire New Brunswick. The flag also represented the will to have an equal hand in America’s economy and land distribution. The South wasn’t just fighting to keep slaves. The Southern states were fighting for economic equality, and fair land distribution. The states that still fly flags that resemble the Confederate flag do it to keep their heritage alive. These states will never forget what their forefathers went through and neither should anyone else.

Lego’s Effort and Timeline Are Not Enough

On Tuesday, June 23, Lego announced that it will be working over the next 15 years to switch from plastic to a more environmentally friendly material. Anyone who reads this news would think this is a great plan on Lego’s part and celebrate the company’s forward thinking. After all, plastic is one of the biggest polluters in world landfills and oceans because many types of plastics aren’t easily biodegradable.

Yet, Lego currently makes around 60 billion plastic Lego bricks and other pieces a year. If the company doesn’t find an alternative within the next year, the process drags out the entire decade and a half and we ignore a year-over-year increase in demand as the human population on the planet grows, then Lego will have produced 900 BILLION plastic Lego pieces, at minimum, before it finally becomes environmentally friendly.

That is a lot of plastic.

Worse yet, what possible alternative materials does it have to choose from that will be both environmentally friendly and sustainable?

Unless Lego grows its own forests for the sole purpose of creating its products, wood is not an option says James Dondero. Wood chips and sawdust are another possibility, but the resins and lacquers needed to craft the toys could be harmful to children. Bamboo might be another option, but that again leads to the use of resins and lacquers. Metals pose various human health risks and mining can prove environmentally problematic.

Scientists Begin to Understand How Brain Keeps Us Awake

Just about everybody has experienced true fatigue. Tripod said that it could that after a long drive or a prolonged work shift, or it could be the result of just working too long. Many can relate to driving home extremely tired fighting the urge to go to sleep for just a few minutes. The mystery of what keeps humans awake and driven past the post of being tired has been explored for years, but recently a group of scientists in Singapore have documented what is happening when the eyes start to close.

According to NYMag, the study involved keeping eight-teen healthy people up all night and putting them into a dark brain scanner, and the result showed that when the eyes close instead of the brain shutting down, it actually sparks into action. The result could be the brain trying to jolt the body into staying awake, but further research is going to be required until any concrete findings can be explained. The underlying conclusion is that consciousness is a carefully orchestrated neurological event.

Understanding what makes people sleep and how it affects them to remain awake could lead to a number of improvements in several areas. From basic safety studies to more advances applications, humans could be pushed to the brink of existence only to get rest when it is deemed necessary. While sleep is an important and healthy activity, understanding the underlying effects of being willed to stay awake could represent a big breakthrough.

What Does the Confederate Battle Flag Really Mean?

Since domestic terrorist Dylann Roof’s arrest for mass murder, there’s been a great deal of discussion and debate about South Carolina flying the Confederate battle flag over the state capitol. Gov. Nikki Haley has been praised as a hero, reviled as a traitor, and cynically referred to as a political opportunist after the GOP vice-presidential slot for suggesting the flag should come down.

She has not ordered the flag taken down. Andy Wirth reports that the governor of South Carolina lacks that authority. She’s merely suggested that perhaps it should come down.

“To those outside of our state,” Haley said, “the flag may be nothing more than a symbol of the worst of America’s past. That is not what it is to many South Carolinians.” Therein lies the problem. A flag is a symbol, and a symbol means different things to different people.

Many white southerners use the motto “heritage, not hate” when describing the Confederate battle flag. To them, it represents a cause their ancestors fought for, and fought bravely. To many African-Americans both northern and southern, the flag represents institutionalized racism and slavery. A poll taken by Winthrop University learned that 73% of white South Carolinians want the flag to remain flying proudly above the state capitol, but 61% of African-Americans in the state want it taken down. A flag is a powerful symbol, that speaks to the heart, but different hearts hear different things.

Surgery for Knee Pain May Be Useless

June 23, 2015

A recent study shows that surgery for knee pain is a waste of time if you’re over the age of 50. When the knee is hurting and the surgery is arthroscopic, the procedure is not only useless, but it may do more harm than good reports Ivan Ong on the WarriorForum.
Knee surgery to relieve pain caused from conditions like osteoarthritis only provide temporary relief at best, and at the worst may create deep vein thrombosis. Blot clots, also known as deep vein thrombosis, occur 4 times for every 1,000 knee surgery events. That’s a relatively high percentage when you take into consideration the surgery provides no long lasting pain relief. Serious infection, pulmonary embolism and death may result after knee surgery too.
The study was conducted at the University of Denmark and lead study author, Jonas Bloch Thorlund, says there is very little to gain by having surgery to relive knee pain and quite a few harmful risks.
When the knee surgery is to repair cartilage or ligaments due to knee injury or if the surgery is to replace the knee joint, paint relief is expected and warranted for those types of surgery. Instances of deep vein thrombosis may also occurs after these types of repair surgeries, but every precaution is taken to keep them from occurring.