The Speed of Light and You

The Speed of Light and You

Jul 17

Light is such a mysterious and incredible phenomena. It has the properties of both a wave and a particle. Its speed has been called a “cosmic speed limit” as scientists have determined that nothing can travel faster than light. Just how fast is light exactly?

The most straightforward answer is 299,792, 458 m/s, which is ~670 million miles an hour. This is mind-bogglingly fast!

Light is the reason vision is possible to begin with. When your eyes pick something up, what they are really seeing is light that has hit the object that bounced off of it and into the eyes. Because of this, when you see something, you are seeing it as it was in the indescribably recent past.

When you think about objects traveling faster than light with an understanding of how your vision works, it presents strange problems. Because this hypothetical object is moving faster than the light being reflected off of it as it approaches, for observers at its destination, it would theoretically appear to pop out of thin air. It gets even more confusing when such an object simply never stops moving.

For more information on what should theoretically happen to objects that supersede the speed of light, check out this article on Tachyons from Wikipedia. cute-prism

Depression, Prozac, and Black Box Warnings

Depression, Prozac, and Black Box Warnings

Jul 11

Patients seeking respite from depression often turn to antidepressant prescription medication. Psychiatrists typically recommend dual treatment plans that include psychiatric sessions and antidepressants for patients with major depressive disorder (MDD). The combined therapy is useful in helping patients quickly achieve and maintain feelings of well-being.

Prozac was one of the first mass-produced and distributed antidepressant prescriptions, hitting the market in 1987. Prozac serves as a pop-culture masthead for antidepressants, as it is referenced in film, literature, and music. Elizabeth Wurtzel’s 1994 memoir Prozac Nation guided readers through the uncertain, sometimes unprovoked, bouts of despondency that accompany major depressive disorder. Wurtzel’s story is a nuanced journey that grapples with, and through, the mental illness complex.

However useful Prozac proves to be in lifting the weight of despondency, some patients experience adverse effects as a result of taking the drug. Most antidepressants come with a black box warning. A black box warning, or boxed warning, is the strongest warning that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires, and indicates that the drug carries potential life-threatening adverse effects. One of the most troubling potential adverse effects for Prozac, and most other antidepressants, is increased thoughts of committing suicide or self-harm.

Since Prozac was released, thousands of people have sued the manufacturer, Eli Lilly and Company, for damages related to suicidal and violent behavior that the medicine was allegedly the cause of. In 2000, Eli Lilly and Company had paid out over $50 million in damages for nearly 30 court cases related to murder and suicide. In addition to being sued for suicide and murder cases, Eli Lilly has been sued for birth defects that Prozac allegedly caused in pregnant women. In addition to heart defects, Prozac is credited for causing neural defects to developing fetuses.

What Happens when a Medication is Dangerous?

What Happens when a Medication is Dangerous?

May 10

According to the latest study reported by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the number of product recalls for drugs and devices has nearly doubled from 2003 to 2012. Most of these recalls have cause serious injury or fatalities to the patients. The increase of recalls for dangerous drugs and medical devices by the FDA is believed to be due to a more meticulous and proactive approach of the government agency’s safety regulations, while many think that the increase in the recalls prove the FDA’s oversight on the premarket approval process.

The product liability litigation has steadily evolved, becoming a useful tool that consumers us to protect themselves from irresponsible or negligent drug and medical device manufacturers. Dangerous drugs and medical devices that caused harm or death to their patients make their manufacturers liable for product liability lawsuits. Sadly, there are manufacturers that put their profits in line first before the safety of their patients. This has resulted to various dangerous medical drugs and devices that have been sold in the market. One of these products is Yaz. The side effects of taking Yaz have been known to cause deep vein thrombosis, stroke, blood clots, and many others. Despite the dangerous side effects, however, Yaz is still being sold in the market, and the only action that the FDA-approved birth control pills has is the black warning label.

Although many of these dangerous drugs and medical devices provide a certain positive effect for their patients, the long-term effects can cause lasting damage that may not be worth the risk. The side effects of Yaz, surgical mesh, metal hip implants, and many others have been pointed out the need for a more intensive product testing before they should be sold to the market. Medical negligence is the most dangerous type of negligence there is because patients trust their health to their doctors, medical professionals, and drug manufacturers. When these dangerous drugs and devices cause devastating side effects, the results can dramatically lower the patient’s quality of life, or even cost them their life. Those who think they have been a victim of such products should seek professional legal help in order to get compensation for the damages that the product has brought. It is also important to file for a lawsuit in order to provide information to other patients about the danger our the drug or product.

Environmental Disasters and Your Finances

Environmental Disasters and Your Finances

May 05

Bankruptcy is often viewed as a last resort to help in balancing debts and financial struggles. For many, bankruptcy has helps them through financial struggles that debts has caused them, but in cases of natural disasters, the option to file for bankruptcy can be a bit different. Once a disaster has struck and cause intensive damage to a homeowners’ property or business that is not covered by insurance, finances can take a significant blow.  Not all property owners are aware that additional coverage is needed for natural disasters, such as flooding, hurricanes, and earthquakes. Without these added coverage, property restoration will be shouldered by you, the property or business owner. And this is aside from the temporary shelter you have to live in, as well as for new possessions.

In order to avoid the need to file for bankruptcy due to a natural disaster, such as those who suffered from Hurricane Sandy, there are simple measures that you can take. It would be wise to review your insurance policy to see what ate covered and what are not. Check to see if you need additional coverage, especially if you live in areas that are prone to storms, hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, or fires. These may greatly help in providing insurance in times of disasters. Ask your insurance agents about any questions that you think is relevant to your policy. Make sure that your policy is made to fit your needs, so don’t just accept anything that your insurance company offers.

Not all disasters are caused by nature; sometimes man-made errors can be just as devastating. The Gulf of Mexico oil spill is one perfect example of man-made disasters. The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has affected many businesses around the surrounding area, prompting business owners to file for a lawsuit. Some have also filed for bankruptcy because of the oil spill, while others have applied for home and business loans on many financial institutions.

Restoring a property or business back can be a very expensive process, and if you don’t have enough coverage you can be the one paying for them. If your insurance policy is not enough to pay for the damages caused in your property and business from a natural or man-made disaster, then getting professional help would be the best option.

The Nuts and Bolts of Workers’ Compensation

The Nuts and Bolts of Workers’ Compensation

May 04

Worker’s compensation is basically a mandatory insurance that every business owner must purchase. Workers’ comp is an insurance policy that would cover the business employees’ medical expenses and partially a portion of lost wages in cases of an accident while on the job. For a business, it is vital to control and lower the cost as much as possible, since it is considered illegal to conduct business if employees do not have access to workers’ comp.

Although most small-time business owners believe that workers’ comp is just another expense for them to cover that is administered by law, but it has it benefits. Having a well-drafted workers’ comp policy can be a fair deal that can benefit and protect both the business and the employees. A company that has solid workers’ compensation can provide income replacement for their injured workers while protecting themselves from lawsuits. Quite often, lawsuits result from the inability of the company owners to compute or determine the extent of the injury and if it will affect possible future employment.

The rates that each business use can vary from state to state, and even different types of jobs can have different workers’ comp rates; companies that have employees who work dangerous jobs tend to have higher insurance premiums than those who are working desk jobs. Premiums are determined through the Workers Compensation Experience Modification Rate or the Class Codes. It is vital for the business to update the payroll of the company every year, since the preliminary premiums are decided during the start of the year. The auditor (from the insurance company) will work to audit each aspect of the payroll. This would help determine the cost for each employee, where the Workers’ Comp Class Codes will be applied.

Most business owners think that workers’ comp is a costly expense, but with a good insurance plan which covers all the aspects of your payroll process, it will become an integral part of the business’s overall plan.

How to Prevent Pet Obesity

How to Prevent Pet Obesity

May 03

Obesity is one of the biggest problems that our pet dogs are facing today. Although nowadays the lifespan of pets have become longer than they were a century before, the threat of unhealthy food and chronic diseases has slowly put our dogs’ health in danger. It is essential for pet owners to understand how dangerous the threat of obesity is to their pets, and how they can help their pets avoid the risks that obesity causes.

Obesity has long been considered as a huge contributory factor to other diseases and complications. With obesity on the rise (with 52.5 percent of dogs, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention), there has also been a rise of the cases of type-2 diabetes, as well as increased risks or arthritis, high blood pressure, and other dangerous complications. Obesity in dogs has a more immediate effect of the health as compared to humans, as studies have shown that fats in animals acts as an organ which would release substances that cause inflammation and affect the dogs’ sensitivity to hormones.

Pet obesity is considered more of an owner problem, and not an animal problem, since pet owners know that their pets are at an unhealthy weight but tend to deny this important fact and look the other way, making them less interested in catering a healthier lifestyle for their dogs. Pet owners should regard the health of their dogs as a top priority. Aside from proper and balanced diet that is based on the needs of the dog, it is vital to have regular exercises for pets. For dog owners who are too busy to take out their pets for regular exercises, it would be wise to hire a dog walker. Dog exercises have been proven to help keep pets trim and fit, as well as keep them mentally alert. When you hire a dog walker, the regular exercise can help keep proper dog behavior and prevent any destructive behavior. This would make the dog happier and content, since their basic needs are being met. It is important, therefore, for the pet owner to be responsible for their pets if they want the best for them.

The Formation of Scars

The Formation of Scars

May 02

Scars are defined as marks of fibrous tissues that are created after an injury. A scar often results after the skin repairs and heals itself, making it a natural part of the healing process. Just about every type of injury or wound an end up with scarring, and although scar tissues are made up of the same protein called collagen, the fiber composition of this protein varies from the usual. Scars are made when, during the healing process, instead of random basketweave-like formation of collagen fibers, the fibers form cross-links which form a distinct alignment in a single direction.

There are several types of scars – hypertrophic, atrophic, keloid, and stretch marks. Hypertrophic scars are scars that are raised around the skin, forming red bumps that occur within four to eight weeks after a wound or infection. Atrophic scars are the type that are sunken and appear pitted on the skin. These usually is due to the loss of fat or muscles beneath the skin, and is often associated with surgeries, accidents, and even skin conditions such as acne and chickenpox. Stretch marks are also a type of scarring, and are caused by rapid stretching of the skin and can improve in appearance over the years. Keloids, on the other hand, are a severe form of hypertrophic scarring. These types of scars can grow to considerably into big, tumorous lumps. Although they are benign, they can be disfiguring, and can cause itching and pain for many people who have them. When these scars interfere with the quality of life of a person, they can be removed by plastic surgery.

Depending on the extent of the scars and the goals of the patient, a plastic surgeon will determine how to treat the scars. There are topical treatments, injectables, and surface treatments. They can help in improving the physical traits of the patient. When the scars are causing physical impairment, health coverage can pay for the plastic surgery. This is essential if burn scars or accidents (particularly workplace accidents) caused the injuries that restrict the worker’s movement.