August 17, 2004

Hidden Meaning?

The post is entitled Pollution & Dementia and quotes an article suggesting an increased death rate from Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other brain diseases has a direct correlation to pollution levels. The title identifies the topics of that article, but also its tone.

I had a coworker who bought into every new Luddite panic which came along. She also had her young daughters watch Jaws the day before their first trip to Chicago's Lake Michigan beaches; maybe she thought it best that one be scared of dangers beyond one's control. So anyway, she came into work one day all het up about how much the death rate from cancer had increased in the past hundred years. It was probably polychlorinated biphenols. They were big that year.

The first thing I offered in response was that I had heard that on the frontier, 150 years ago, being thrown from a half-broken wild horse was a fairly common cause of death. She missed my point and bought up automobile accidents as an equivalent. I started to list other things which used to kill people. Cholera. Smallpox. He took sick and just up and died (which may well have been cancer). Still didn't get thru to her. We have to do something! Diabetes was below my radar back then, but even if I'd known that until 1921 a diagnosis of diabetes meant a year to live she wouldn't have made the connection that more cancer deaths didn't simply mean more evil horrible causes of cancer that we have to sacrifice to get rid of.

Posted by triticale at August 17, 2004 12:17 AM

Not to mention, one possible reason could be we now keep you alive from all those other diseases long enough for your brain to start breaking down.

Posted by: Nathan at August 17, 2004 11:28 AM

What Nathan said! LOL.

Posted by: Teresa at August 17, 2004 10:40 PM


First they came for Logic, and I did not speak out, for I did not think logically.

Then they came for Thesis and Synthesis, and I did not speak out, for I did not think synthetically.

Then they came for Reason, and I did not speak out, for I did not think reasonably.

Finally they came for me, and I could no longer think for myself.

Posted by: Brian B at August 19, 2004 06:36 PM

My great-grandfather died in his 30s, leaving a wife and four children, because of the absence of telephones, cars and antibiotics. Someone had to ride out to fetch the doctor, who was delivering a baby at a farm, and the doctor had to ride back by horse and buggy. By then, my great-grandfather's appendix had burst.

Posted by: Joanne Jacobs at August 24, 2004 08:06 PM
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