Sleeping naked is healthier for Republicans

A few republicans indicated that they, among the bills they may introduce in January, will promote industry backed scientific studies over more responsible academic or focused agencies. Over the past few months, people have been raving that sleeping naked leads to better health benefits and happier relationships. Wow! Are you ready to rip-off your pajamas? The study was sponsored by Cotton USA.

As we brace for winter, there have been several articles popping up since 2008, the promotion that sleeping naked is healthier for you.

According to surveys, only 1 in 10 (10%) admits to sleeping naked in the USA. An article, just released in the British Daily Mail newspaper asserts that health benefits extend beyond sex. It can reduce diabetes or your waistline.

According to this article, sleeping naked helps regulate body temperatures more naturally to facilitate better sleep patterns. An Australian study asserts that sleeping naked helps reduce insomnia and help regulate normal sleep patterns for dreams and long-term memory enhancement.

Sleeping efficiency, naked or not may also help release anti-aging hormones to promote athletic abilities.

There is a habit where people get up in the middle of the night and make a hot milk or hot chocolate to lull themselves back to sleep. Research shows that there are drops in glucose that attributes to shortening sleep patterns. Further exploration of this study reveals that a diabetic relationship is unclear. A tiny PhD candidacy study does infer that short and interrupted sleep may be associated with cardiovascular problems.

The American Academy of Sleep asserts good quality sleep provides higher life quality benefits.

Selling the concept of sleeping naked for optimal body temperature regulation is great fodder for media excitement. The 2014 research asserts out of 1004 individuals, 57% who sleep in the nude said they were happy with their marital relationships in comparison to
48% pajamas wearers, 43% nightie wearers, and 38% onesies. The study was also sponsored by Cotton USA and asserts it was aimed at the over-55 set.

How sleeping naked has anything to do with sales of brands that use Cotton USA is puzzling. The study was done in Britain. One could almost surmise this absurd relationship as an April Fool’s joke but the words have spread that sleeping naked with your partner leads to happier relationships are spreading around the world.

I would hope that the new Republican majorities in the House and Senate focus on more valid domestic life issues than sponsoring studies about sleeping naked. It’s nice to know what some people do between the sheets but that has little to do with more pressing legislative action for all USA citizens. In seeking better, beneficial lives, more responsible research should be government sponsored toward directed goals in improving conditions for the sick and better living opportunities for all American citizens, as opposed to the Koch brothers.

Sleeping naked possibly helps promote higher and more frequent sales of cotton bed sheets. Was this money well spent? I hope the government wasn’t involved with this study.

Microwave popcorn facing death sentence trans-fats

You’re walking on a dark, lonely street. From the corner of your eye, you notice the shadow of a tall silhouette that is somewhat familiar. You see a lit cigarette dangling from his mouth. He says, “Good evening. I just made some microwave popcorn. Would you like some?” You turn and answer, “No! The FDA says it’s dangerous. Do you have a cigarette instead?”

There are many choices that can be dangerous or beneficial to your health and well-being. The choices are often yours. Per FDA dietary recommendations, microwave popcorn is facing a death sentence on account of Tans-Fats. The 2013 declaration helped remove Trans-Fats from most packaged foods by 2014. Small amounts still come in as zero.

Perhaps one of the biggest boosts to microwave oven sales was the development of microwave popcorn but, in 2013, the Federal Food and Drug Administration or FDA banned trans-fats which is one of the ingredients found in microwaveable popcorn.

While Trans-Fats occur naturally in meats, the popcorn Trans-fats are hydrogenated oils (hydrogen added to oil).

Most vegetable oils, as natural liquids, provide fat in healthier forms as mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats. Using unsaturated fats when fats are necessary, is dietary responsible. Hydrogenated fat is oil converted to a solid, spreadable form. It’s like lard, only sourced from vegetables instead of animals. In many countries, lard is used as a bread spread.

Dairy and beef fat typically contains around 3-6% Trans-Fat (% of total fat) and levels in mutton and lamb can be somewhat higher. TFA levels in vegetable oils and liquid margarines are around 1%. Soft yellow fat spreads typically have between 1% and 17% TFAs, while harder stick margarines have higher levels. The Trans-Fat content of bakery products (rusks, crackers, pies, biscuits, wafers etc.) vary from below 1% up to 30% of total fatty acids. Some breakfast cereal with added fat, French fries, soup powders and some sweet and snack products have been shown to contain high TFA levels (20-40% of total fatty acids).

So Trans-Fats are part of most foods you’re likely to eat. Many State and Cities have set legislation to eliminate the sale of food with trans-fats. Some, though, allow certain amounts of trans-fats, such as 0.5 grams per serving and (if less than that) it does not show on the nutrition panel but must be listed as an ingredient.

Compared to most foods, the amount of hydrogenated oils in microwave popcorn, when eaten responsibly as a few servings, aren’t going to rock the boat for health and obesity issues among those who are generally healthy.

Trans-Fats and all fats add to food calorie content. Fats and carbohydrates contribute to the number of calories in the stuff you choose to eat. With focus on calories and legislation for chain restaurants to post calories in product servings, attention should be given to caloric values and where those calories might come from. You really don’t want too many empty calories of only fats and carbohydrates, as found in many foods. Try to seek out foods that offer nutrition and protein that your body also needs.

A lunch–portion salad may have 1,000 calories or a Chipotle vegetable burrito has about 1200 calories. A 16-ounce bottle of Coca Cola is 200 calories, mostly from carbohydrates. A cup of one of Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha has 470 calories per 16-ounce portion. There are 15 grams of protein derived from milk but you’re also consuming 18 grams of fat (mostly saturated) and about 60 grams of carbohydrates. There are also 50 grams of cholesterol.

A can of tuna fish, 6-ounces packed in water, has 179 calories and 1 gram of fat. It also has 39 grams of protein and about 12% daily requirement of iron. There are 0 carbohydrates. About 40 grams are cholesterol. A 16-ounce bottle of water adds 0 calories.

What would you rather eat for lunch or as a snack?

How many calories you need to consume each day depends on age and level of activity. Size/Weight and general health are also variables.

The problem with controlling fat and consuming foods with Trans-Fats, is that (along with carbohydrates) they add delicious taste to foods. They are addicting and have been essential parts of diets for thousands of years.

The focus on Trans-Fats and popcorn is a provocative topic because popcorn is a very popular snack. The kill factor of an overdose of Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha or a Chipotle Burrito is somewhat greater than a bag (5 servings) of Light Microwave Popcorn, with approximately 2.4 grams of Trans-Fats (rated 0 gram per serving).

Is microwave popcorn bad for you? When you examine all the foods in your diet and what you like, you’d be surprised to discover the hidden dangers in foods.

While air-popped popcorn may be healthier, once you top them with butter or margarine, topped popped popcorn are trans-fat dangerous. Trans-Fats add calories, saturated fat while popcorn adds carbs and little nutritive value. It does taste good, though.

Compared to potato and corn chips, popcorn is a better snack for watching movies and TV. Be more self-conscious about the foods you eat and your calorie qualities. The lesson is not to overindulge and try to walk around the block every couple hours. Then, would you like some cake?

The FDA concern about the quantities of Trans-Fats and calories in food is a very good alert. Yet, when alcohol and illicit recreational drugs were banned, people still found ways to get it. Certain foods with Trans-Fats appeal to many people. They will continue to find their fixes as needed. Often, the deadliest menace to your health is your weakness to make responsible choices.

Thanksgiving hardships to promise

Though the Spanish, English and Dutch explorers began staking their claims in the New World of the Americas, it was the voyage of the Mayflower from England in 1620 that is remembered as the traditional Thanksgiving origin. Thanksgiving is a holiday about overcoming severe hardships to the promises that lie ahead.

About 100 people, part of a Christian sect that was fleeing persecution, set sail from England on the Mayflower in September 1620. The port was the town of Plymouth and (where they landed about 90 days later, was through honor called Plymouth. It was a rough voyage on a crowded boat that was not intended for carrying passengers.

The original destination was Virginia under a work contract. By hook and crook, the destination shifted to the area slightly north of Cape Cod. Only about a third of the passengers were Puritans but history often refers to the Puritans that landed at Plymouth.

Landing that far north in late November was hardly inviting for these new settlers. They continued living on the Mayflower through the winter. They ferried to land for food, supplies, and construction of the settlements. From 1620 to 1621, nearly half of the settlers died of lung fever and scurvy. The settlers were called the Pilgrims.

The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. This feast lasted three days, and shared with 90 natives whom the settlers originally had called savages. The native inhabitants of the region around Plymouth Colony were the various tribes of the Wampanoag people, who had lived there for some 10,000 years before the Europeans arrived. There was no Black Friday. It was three days of eating meats and sharing the fruits and grains of the harvest.

According to Edward Winslow’s accounts of the Thanksgiving meal of 1621:

Four men went hunting and brought back large amounts of fowl – with waterfowl like ducks and geese being most likely from such a bountiful shoot. Hunters could position themselves in marsh grass and fire at scores of birds floating on the water. It wasn’t until 1863, after two years of Civil War, that Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. It would takes place every November on the fourth Thursday.

Of course, in 1863, the country was still split and fighting for separation or unity. The tumultuous aftermath left many different variations and traditions of Thanksgiving. One tradition that was revised was when Thanksgiving took place and that was declared by succeeding Presidents. The popular consensus was the last Thursday of November. It was only changed back to the 4th Thursday after the depression of 1929. Thanksgiving is celebrated the last Thursday of November.

So there was about a 250 year split until Thanksgiving was declared an American national holiday. President George Washington did declare the first Thanksgiving Day but many presidents that followed didn’t really follow the formula. Basically, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November, which is usually the last Thursday.

What America follows is often different elsewhere. In French Canada, Thanksgiving is an autumn feast in early October. In Australia, it is celebrated on Wednesday, not Thursday. Thanksgiving, currently celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November by federal legislation in 1941 (about 2 weeks before United States entered World War II), and has been an annual tradition in the United States by presidential proclamation since 1863.

Unofficially, New York’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade heralds the upcoming Christmas season as Santa Claus concludes the parade.

Bridging the first autumn feast of the pilgrims in 1621 and the contemporary traditions of Thanksgiving has seen many troubled waters, especially through wars overseas. Nonetheless, it is a day where families and friends join together and share a great holiday meal and conversation. I don’t think any of Thanksgiving’s originators would have imagined Black Friday, where lines of people wait for stores to open.

Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday, though many give blessing to the Lord. It is a time of labor’s rewards and togetherness. Future generations will have forgotten the harvests of Autumn in lieu of stronger commercial and economic ties. That will be a shame. The world has forgotten that the original feast was 3 days, with no ties to Christmas. We forget so easily. Enjoy Thanksgiving! Eat healthy and responsibly.

Stick suppositories up my what? Constipation

Few people will share their constipation problems with you (unless you’re a New York stranger and will share with anyone you meet). It may be their best kept secret.

Holiday time is for stuffing yourself with turkey and all the rich trimmings. If you’re one of those 15% of Americans with chronic constipation, the pain of those meals is yet to come. Constipation is most often defined as having a bowel movement less than 3 times per week. It usually is associated with hard stools or difficulty passing stools. Feelings of incomplete movements often result in physical pain and uncertainty. The satisfaction of holiday meals may leave you overstuffed. Complications that can arise from constipation include hemorrhoids, anal fissures, rectal prolapse, and fecal impaction.

Going to the bathroom seems to be very easy and most people enjoy normal patterns of bathroom activities from normal dietary sources. Then there are those that can’t. They suffer from a condition called constipation. Constipation is one of the most common GI chronic problems in the United States, affecting an estimated 42 million people regardless of age or gender, or 15 percent of the population. Survey statistics seem to support that there are about up to 15% constipation sufferers worldwide.

Constipation may be a genetic condition but it is also found as a symptom for diseases like diabetes, heart illness, multiple myeloma, and other conditions that can be life threatening. Multiple myeloma is a form of cancer that develops in plasma cells, the white blood cells that make antibodies. If you experience clinical, chronic constipation, you should do a comprehensive gastrointestinal exam. There are ways of reducing constipation and these need to be discussed with a physician as well.

People recommend that adding dietary fiber or eating high fiber foods help keep you naturally flowing. Constipation suffers still experience that inability to go even with huge amounts of dietary fiber. Some resort to laxatives that use a variety of methods to move waste through the gastrointestinal tract. Sales of laxatives account for about 20% of over-the-counter pharmacy sales in the USA. Some constipation sufferers resort to more direct methods such as enemas and suppositories, while others may elect surgeries.

Suppositories are globular, conical, cylindrical, or club-shaped solid bodies designed for introduction into the urethra, rectum, or vagina, in order to effect a therapeutically effective influence on a problem. Loosely, pills may also be seen as forms of suppositories. Rectal suppositories were made of glycerin or gelatin bases to provide less friction. Medications may be added. In the middle-ages suppositories were used as a means of inducing abortions.

Use of enemas go back to 1500BC in Egypt. Enemas are currently liquid solutions (usually forms of salt water) sprayed into the rectum to loosen colon waste. Suppositories are a type of medication that is in the form of a plug or capsule that is in a soft solid form for convenience. Suppositories aren’t exclusive to the rectum. They may be used in many other orifices, based on the illness or prescription. Both enemas and suppositories are generally looked with disdain but are recommended for extreme cases of chronic constipation.

In a pill-pushing society, oral laxatives are very popular but overuse can worsen the problem. You should also be aware how the laxative works to avoid further complications.

The more direct methods may be enemas that are inserted at the problem area. These are often salty solutions and target the problem at its source. Called Enema Administration it is often difficult to do without help from someone else. Enemas were once one of the common methods for cleaning the colon prior to a colonoscopy.

For more convenience, there’s the suppository. It is also inserted into the colon canal. It was once made of glycerin. Glycerin is a natural by-product of the soapmaking process and while commercial manufacturers remove the glycerin for use in their more profitable lotions and creams. Glycerin belongs to a class of drugs known as hyperosmotic laxatives. It works by drawing water into the intestines. This effect usually results in a bowel movement within 15 to 60 minutes, as compared with 6 to 12 hours with many oral laxatives at standard doses. The suppository is for rectal insertion only. Unlike an enema, self insertion is easier.

Some companies, like Dulcolax and Colace, add their laxatives to the glycerin suppository. They help facilitate the process of evacuation with stool softeners and added ingredients. Ihe active ingredient in Dulcolax is bisacodyl. Bisacodyl is used to treat constipation or to empty the bowels before surgery, colonoscopy, x-rays, or other intestinal medical procedure.

Those methods are manageable approaches to help get things moving along to relieve constipation. In some very extreme cases, ambulatory surgical or in-hospital stays are necessary when blockages are very painful.

When it comes to speedy relief for your constipation, think of that old method – the suppository.

There is no reason to suffer from constipation. See a specialist who can discuss the many widely available options to relieve and control your constipation. Ask about fiber and ask about pills or suppositories. There’s no need for embarrassment. 15% of the world’s population has it. It’s a formidable group. Your constipation will be our little secret. Have a happy holiday meal!

Artery Stents and Side Effects

Diet fads come and go. Indiscretions and choices of lifestyles may come to haunt you through normal aging, genetics, and effects from certain illnesses. Over time your arteries may become narrowed and blocked because of build-up of a fatty material called plaque, which is made up of cholesterol and other substances. Like the crusty plaque that forms around teeth, arterial and vascular plaque silently obstructs the passage of blood and nutrients throughout your body. Artery stents are light little inserts that are surgically implanted to help open obstructed arteries. Artery stents are minimally invasive life savers that may prevent heart attacks and strokes. It’s good to check your vital statistics often. Irregularities may indicate arterial blockages.

Artery and vascular obstructions are known as atherosclerosis and the American Heart Association compiles statistics annually. In 2009, there were 644,240 hospital stays that included the implantation of a cardiac artery stent.
The rate of any cardiac stent procedure rose steadily from 1999 to 2006 by 61 percent and
then declined sharply between 2006 and 2009 by 27 percent. Sclerosis, a stiffening of a structure, has been associated with many diseases, particularly multiple sclerosis and ALS (which interfere with nervous system functions). Atherosclerosis is silent. Arteries have no pain sensors to alert of plaque build-up. It is the silent killer that leads to heart attacks and brain strokes.

The use of artery stents have greatly help reduce the incidence of heart disease and brain infarctions but implantation of artery stents isn’t a miraculous cure-all. Diet and exercise routines are fundamental. They are more minimally invasive approaches of more complex surgeries that are alerts that death was nearer than you thought.

Stents reduce the incidence of heart attacks and strokes but not necessarily lives, according to Duke University research. The artery stent was first introduced in 1994 and various technological innovations have improved their overall effectiveness. Prior to stents, the severity of atherosclerosis usually required more invasive procedures, such as arterial or coronary bypasses. President Clinton and TV host David Letterman are popular recipients of those surgeries. You will note that these are very conscious of lifestyle changes to maintain weight for health.

Surgically implanting artery stents leaves no superficial scars. A catheter enters your groin area or your wrist to physically explore your arteries. Where significant blockage is visible, a stent is implanted via the catheter. For most of the procedure, you are under mild sedation – relaxed but conscious. A stent is like a spring of mesh that is inserted to support the artery wall. With time, the mesh and the artery wall unify. Heart artery stents wer approved by the FDA in 1994. Newer stents add a drug to the metallic material. This helps reduce Restenosis, a condition where the stent may collapse. Using these drug induced stents and certain prescribed oral medications help stabilize stent implantation.

Commonly, artery stents are used in surgical procedures called percutaneous trans-luminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), also known as balloon angioplasty. These procedures are intended to reduce the risk of heart attacks or other complications stemming from coronary heart disease that involves the blockage of the arteries.

Virtually non-invasive radiological detection of atherosclerosis has emerged in the 21st century and CAT or MRI scans and Ultrasound may be used as part of routine searches for atherosclerosis in specific arteries. This may account for the rise of artery stent intervention from 1999 to 2006. Angioplasty will be necessary if plaque accumulation is noted and is a way that artery stents are implanted. If no stent is implanted, it is an ambulatory procedure with no hospital stay. An implant requires at least 24-hour stay.

An artery stent was implanted. For around 2 years following an implant procedure, you will be prescribed a blood thinner drug (i.e Plavix, Warfarin, Xarelto) and low dose aspirin as an anti-coagulant. You are advised to reduce exercise and increase proper diet for a few weeks after surgery.

Common side effects of blood thinners are:

◾Heavy menstrual flows
◾Bloody or discolored urine or feces.
◾Somewhat frequent nosebleeds.
◾Bleeding gums.
◾Prolonged bleeding from a cut and possible bruising.

Less reported side effects may include:

•Difficulty with breathing or swallowing
•Leg weakness and Numbness
•Paralysis (partial area restricted)

While not all blood thinners are affected by the same substances, a number of foods, herbs, and medications can interact with blood-thinning medications. This can render the drug more or less effective than your dosage would suggest.

Many physicians, in an effort to reduce cholesterol levels as a possible cause of atherosclerosis, also add statins (Lipitor) may lead to increased toxicity such as myopathy (inflammation of the muscles). Clinical trials commonly define statin toxicity as myalgia or muscle weakness with creatine kinase (CK) levels greater than 10 times the normal upper limit. The most frequrntly reported statin side effects are:

Weakness and muscle pain

People who smoke have an additional concern over Nicotine. The nicotine in cigarettes directly affects the inflammatory response, causing the release of more cytokines.Cytokines serve as molecular messengers between cells and regulate various inflammatory responses. There are many types of cytokines in the bloodstream and some are researched as possible sources of arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other pain or numbing diseases.

There is often a great emphasis in controlling plaque and vulnerable plaque in the arteries leading to the heart and brain. Less emphasis is focused on other narrower blood vessels that extend to the periphery of the body, such as hands and feet. The possible side effects of blood thinners, statins, and nicotine, plus vulnerable plaque, may be restricting blood flow and cytokines to various point s in legs and arms.

The effects of drugs, diet, lifestyle, and undetected vascular disintegrity may be associated with a less common side effect of artery stents. They are peripheral neuropathies, a numbness or tingling of hands and feet.

I had numbness in the feet. I have since found several cases that have complained about some form of peripheral neuropathy that require assisted walking devices. Nearly all reported having at least one implanted stent. A few had as many as four stents. Medications can manage neuropathy symptoms but none claim to cure it. I have found long-term acupuncture to be effective. Acupuncturists offer differing techniques. I found New York’s East Wind Healing Arts to be the best.

Stents are used to help support decayed arteries and collapsing organs. They are used after coronary episodes and to prevent first episodes. As a wise approach in exploring annual routine health care, a comprehensive center of cardiologists, who also specialize as internists, may be sensitive enough to help ward off any problems.

Diet and exercise help. Unfortunately, people of all shapes and sizes may be susceptible to atherosclerosis by virtue of genetics. Following responsible diets and physical activities are good avenues to support heat health within the generally healthy population.

It is likely that where atherosclerosis is present in arteries, there may be peripheral vascular disease found in the blood vessels feeding and protecting other areas of your body.

Your body likes balance and works hard towards maintaining a stable balance. It has complex mechanisms that control internal fight/flight stress at microcellular levels. Sometimes it’s imperceptible while other times pain and inflammation may occur. While implanting artery stents may breed a host of annoying side effects, maintain an active relationship with your physicians and work hard toward living happily ever after.

When necessary, artery stents are life savers but following more responsible lifestyles may add years of living well. As to dealing with side effects? Sometimes you have to weigh side effects or no life at all. Doctors and patients should be attentive and aware of those possible side effects and cooperate with healthcare and alternatives as successful treatments.

Good bye Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center

William Shakespeare wrote, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall will be changing its name. Will Metropolitan Opera be next?

Scratch the covers of all those albums of artists that played at Avery Fisher Hall. The Lincoln Center crowd is seeking new donors for the building that houses the New York Philharmonic and Avery Fisher’s name may be compromised. But the Avery Fisher estate expects to profit from the deal. According to Associated Press:

“New York City’s Lincoln Center will take Avery Fisher’s name off its concert hall and resell the naming rights to help finance a $500 million renovation, officials said Thursday.
The renovation scheduled to start in 2019 was announced after the Fisher family agreed to accept $15 million to drop the name from the hall where the New York Philharmonic plays.”

The initial Fisher contribution was $10 million dollars!!

The building originally opened as The Philharmonic Hall in 1962, after the orchestra was evicted from Carnegie Hall. In 1975, it was renamed Avery Fisher. Who’ll be next? Obviously, money does talk and it is a powerful language and the Philharmonic Hall rebranding moves ahead.

In 20 years, if Lincoln Center requires newer renovations, will another estate pay? Could some right-wing conservative Republican change its name from Lincoln? That’s the way history goes.

Once there was Klein, J&R, Alexanders, Sam Goody, Nedicks, Bickford, Korvette, Ohrbach, Stern, Altman, Horn-&-Hardart and other New York namesake stores. Buildings have been renamed or destroyed and only the old or the trivia fans will remember them.

After all, Madison Square Garden was originally near Madison Square on 23rd Street. 34th Street was Herald Square because of a defunct New York Herald newspaper. Trendy Union Square on 14th Street was the area where most trade unions set up shop.

Before Lincoln Center, the area was known as San Juan Hill. It was considered one of the worst slum neighborhoods in 20th century Manhattan. Lincoln Square, the area around Lincoln Center, is one of the best areas to live in Manhattan.

What’s in a name? What was once Manhatta became part of New Amsterdam and then New York. You have but to know an object by its proper name for it to lose its dangerous magic. Depending on your lifespan and time references, names aren’t any more permanent than grains of sand near the coastline.

Avery Fisher was the founder of the Fisher electronics company and a philanthropist who donated millions of dollars to arts organizations and universities. His business has long been sold off but was one of the first providers of quality home audio systems.

Fortunately, one New York City music hall still has the name of its founder, Andrew Carnegie. It is called Carnegie Hall and was the first home of the Philharmonic Society in the late 19th Century. Somewhere along the historic line, the orchestra became the New York Philharmonic. Philharmonic Hall was the first building in what was to become Lincoln Center.

At an arts institution like Lincoln Center, the viability of a name seems to only seem significant when money is attached to it. It’s nothing new. Verizon and other companies have sponsored music halls and stadiums and have been named for them. It seems far stretched that a 1962 building requires $500,000,000 in renovations. Is music a losing business? Anyway, the officers at Lincoln Center seem its worth paying off the Avery Fisher estate $15,000,000 in exchange for 500 million dollars. Perhaps that might be called good business. The arts may be a money making commodity. In this example, Avery Fisher does gain money even as his memorial building shifts elsewhere. Who were you Avery Fisher?

In life, the representations of names seem to flee from generation to generation. Their origins are often forgotten in world’s of new realities. For all the (over) 40 years music and song, good-bye Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. Thank you Avery Fisher whoever you were. One can only hope that the next donor will be another rose that would smell and sound as sweet. For upcoming generations, Avery Fisher would be an anonymous reference, as we all might be someday. Perhaps, we’ll be searchable in Wikipedia.

Attention no texting on bicycles

Nearly everywhere and practically anytime, you’ll see people of all ages staring at Smartphones as if they were pets or love objects. While sitting and texting or reading or listening to music or watching videos, none of these should be mobile activities. These activities, city legislators seem to claim, divert attention from normal mobile responsibilities. Lawmakers are mow targeting texting on bicycles as a means of reducing associated mobile accidents.

Holding a phone and typing on a virtual keypad while moving about is a relatively irresponsible activity. Is it dangerous?

Statistics seems to indicate that, in 2011, over 20% of car accidents were related to cell phone use behind the steering wheel.

According to an Ohio State University study involving cell phones and walking, the number of walking accidents tripled from 2004 to 2010. Considering that smartphones became popular in 2008, texting capabilities may be associated with this rise.

Uses of smartphones and texting or browsing are being featured as news items as media picks up on rising accident statistics. New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, is targeting bicycle riders who talk and text while riding through streets and byways. Part of the New York City Vision Zero program being discussed in the city council, measures are being taken to explore ways and means of reducing pedestrian accidents involving mobility.

The mayor already passed legislation reducing speed limits on streets from 30 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour. While traffic fatalities have fallen from 2000 to 2011, there has been increases in minor accidents in the past three years. Some are faulting use of the iPhone 4s and 5, and some of the larger screen Android phones. Only a few of these accidents had fatal results and involved texting on bicycles.

Psychologists, especially neurocognitive psychologists, have been exploring human capabilities at attention span capabilities. Attention span is the amount of concentrated time on a task without becoming distracted. The general rule is that people can focus on doing up to 3 tasks at a time. Beyond that, people tend to perform less efficiently. Staring and moving around on mobile screens while walking and carrying devices makes it more likely to develop impaired integrity. Observations of children using mobile devices are showing evidence of dwindling attention spans as virtual replaces physical realities, even though some studies show that certain games improve coordination skills.

Holding and seek/find keys while texting as you are mobile may tax attention spans even for a moment. There are literally dozens of random movements that can occur on a busy street at any given second. Moving from virtual to physical visual consciousness requires certain motor skills and there may be some adaptation stress that mars thought response. There’s a medical condition called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR and this reprocessing difficulty can impair thinking, especially at many unanticipated stress levels. The results may lead to unintentional confusion that may lead to accidents.

New York’s Vision Zero believes that shifting senses by holding phones, touching phones, and listening to phone content (through earphones) compromise 50% or more of our sensory information channels. That is why many cities and States have made holding phones and driving illegal. Many car devices allow hands-free speaking and texting using Bluetooth car dock mounts.

Few walkers and bicycle riders use their Bluetooth phone features. They hold and use their devices while active. There are Bluetooth bicycle mounts and Bluetooth headsets available. General recommendations in using headsets are those that use one ear. Stereo headsets and plugs can drown out important street noises.

For all the beneficial uses that smartphones deliver, the consequences often derive from human inabilities to focus on more than a couple things simultaneously. New Bluetooth wearables and accessories may help reduce accidents. Until such time that people realize the complex limits of the motion we take for granted, talking, using, and texting on bicycles will require enforced legislation that punish scofflaws.

It is unfortunate that legislators have to punish the few to make places more livable and safe for many. The old behaviorist tactic of negative reinforcement through tough laws that seem unfair. There must be curbs on mobile users in motion. Sadly, when it comes to the deplorable behaviors and consequences of texting on bicycles in motion, a slap on the wrist may not suffice. Negative reinforcement strengthens a behavioral response by taking away a negative outcome and reducing accidents in a mobile digital world will need the same penalties that motored vehicles are subjected. Distracted driving can harm and kill others and texting on bicycles must be dishabituated among any operator of a moving vehicle.