Hadza agree: do more and live longer

Can the Hadza, a group of hunters and gatherers, help us understand how to maintain cardiovascular health? A recent study claims that the answer is yes, in two ways. First, we can correlate their health to their levels of activity. Second, we can extrapolate from these present-day hunters and gatherers to the thousands of generations in which the common ancestors of all humans lived similarly. That is, we can say that humanity evolved to thrive under certain levels of activity. Continue reading

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Condoms haven’t ended HIV – but reduce it

A recent article in the New York Times included a dangerously misleading passage:

Funding decisions for H.I.V. prevention have long been mired in an ideological battle pitting condoms versus abstinence. But experts note that the conflict is fading: Neither condoms nor abstinence has stopped the AIDS epidemic among gay Americans or heterosexual Africans.

What’s wrong here? Continue reading

Cheap & easy wind power – available now

We recently signed up to get all of our home’s electricity from wind farms – 100 percent! The process took maybe 15 minutes and added a mere $5 to our monthly bill. Does that sound too expensive? We could have gotten 50 percent of our power from wind farms at no extra cost whatsoever.

What’s the secret? Arcadia Power works with our utility here in DC. Continue reading

President Coyote

Watching the presidential debates, it occurred to me that Donald Trump was Coyote. His legacy would be disruption of the Republican Party and, what troubled me, of our political norms.

By ‘Coyote,’ I’m referring to the character in various Native American tales – specifically those in which Coyote is at once tricky, buffoonish, eager, self-involved, persuasive, unreliable, and unfortunately consequential. Regardless of his intent, he engenders chaos, entropy, and lost opportunities.

Then ‘we’ elected Coyote to be president. Surprise! Continue reading

‘With’ Sanders since Day 1, I’m voting for Clinton

On the day Bernie Sanders declared his candidacy, I contributed $15 to his campaign. He came closer to representing my positions than any politician I can remember. I made several other investments in fundamental change as the Democratic primary season wore on. I still think that Sanders was spot-on in his critique of Hillary Clinton and his complaints about party officials favoring her. But I also have no doubt about joining him in voting for her. Continue reading

Low cell metabolism plagues ME/CFS sufferers

Myalgic encephalomyelitis, commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome or ME/CFS, is a disease of many mysteries. Even the most fundamental questions remain unanswered: how does ME/CFS develop, and how can patients recover?

Researchers across the globe are addressing different aspects of this enigma. They seek to uncover a fundamental disruption that underlies the array of symptoms – or at least to identify an exclusive test result, or biomarker, that a general practitioner could use in making a diagnosis. Some labs focus on immune function, others on the gut microbiome, aerobic energy, or brain inflammation, among others.

Promising results are common, but two recent studies of cell metabolism have garnered special attention for their potential in both aiding diagnoses and explaining what goes wrong. Continue reading

Riding an electric bike with ME/CFS

Recently I rented an electric bicycle and rode it for three hours and twenty-seven miles. That was too much for me, but I’m excited about the bike for shorter rides. I thought I’d share my experience in case others with relatively moderate ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis, aka chronic fatigue syndrome) are considering buying one. Continue reading