Category Archives: Politics

Better, stronger, tougher: Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly at TED 2014

A brave woman. A devoted husband. And the result of dedicated therapists who helped Mrs. Giffords rebuild her life through passionate and effective physical medicine and rehabilitation!

TED Blog

(L-R) Pat Mitchell interviews Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly. Photo: James Duncan Davidson (L-R) Pat Mitchell interviews Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

In January 2011, US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head in an attack on her entourage at a constituent meeting near Tucson. Six people died and thirteen others were injured. She survived, and her recovery has been a remarkable story. At TED2014 she took the stage with her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, for a Q&A with the head of the Paley Center for Media, Pat Mitchell. Giffords suffered from aphasia as part of her injury, and speaking is still difficult, so her answers were short, and much of the speaking was done by Kelly. This is an edited set of highlights from that Q&A.

Pat Mitchell: Has your recovery been an effort to create a new Gabby Giffords or reclaim the old?

Gabby Giffords: A new one, better, stronger, tougher.

What’s the hardest…

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Tuition-free education for the world: Shai Reshef at TED2014

Is freedom a right? How about health? What about learning without being saddled with a mountain of debt? This article argues that education should be free and I agree. What do you think?

TED Blog

Shai Reshef. Photo: James Duncan Davidson Shai Reshef. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Shia Reshef believes higher education is a right, not a privilege. In January 2009, he founded University of the People (UoP), a virtual, tuition-free institution dedicated to opening up higher education to anyone in the world with a high school diploma and a willingness to learn — “regardless of who they are, where they live or what society says about them,” Reshef says at TED2014.

“We open the gates for every qualified student,” he says. “Any student from any part of the world with any Internet connection can study with us. We don’t use audio; we don’t use video; broadband isn’t necessary.” UoP currently serves students from 143 countries, including Syria, the US, South Africa, Jordan and Nigeria.

The way the university works is this, Reshef says: UoP keeps costs down by forgoing a brick-and-mortar institution and traditional textbooks, and by using volunteer staff…

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Reshape: The speakers in session 3 of TED2014

Movers and thinkers. Awesome.

TED Blog

Blog_sessions-titles3

Our world is constantly changing, and it is bold ideas that push this forward. Our speakers in this session are all big thinkers who are working to reshape the ways we see, think about, and interact with the world, from the mind behind some of your favorite fonts to an urban planner transforming New York City’s landscape.

Here are the speakers who will appear in this session:

As a type designer Matthew Carter has watched our words move from the physical to the digital. You may recognize his work — he’s designed the fonts Verdana, Georgia, and Tahoma.

Bob Greenberg returns to the TED stage to talk about the evolution of motion graphics.

While New York City’s chief urban planner, Amanda Burden revitalized the Brooklyn waterfront, and was a champion for The High Line — an abandoned elevated railway line turned park.

David Kwong writes the New York Times crossword…

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Snowden: We Have More To Fear From Government Surveillance Than Google

TechCrunch

Whistleblower Edward Snowden gave a rare public interview today at the technology mega-conference, SXSW. When asked whether we should fear surveillance from government or Google more, Snowden argued that the government is unequivocally a bigger threat. “The government has the ability to deprive you of rights,” he said in a live Interview with the ACLU, streamed through several protection measures (which made some of his answers inaudible).

Google, Facebook, and other Internet companies have aggressively expanded the kinds of data collected on their users, which helps them build better targeted ads and products that predict what users want. “Companies can surveil you to sell you products, to sell your information to other companies, and that can be bad, but you have legal recourse,” he argued. Noting, importantly, that with Internet companies, “it’s typically voluntary contracts.”

Governments, on the other hand, “have police powers, they have military powers, they have intelligence…

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Medical Marijuana Not Recommended for Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, or Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Author: Wiley
Published: Mar 09, 2014 (Revised: Mar 09, 2014)
Author Contact Information: Dawn Peters – sciencenewsroom@wiley.com – Ph. 781-388-8408
Abstract: Article explores risks associated with using herbal cannabis for medicinal purposes and advises healthcare providers to discourage rheumatology patients from using this drug as therapy.
“At this time, we cannot recommend herbal cannabis for arthritis pain management given the lack of efficacy data, potential harm from the drug”
Detail: Patients with rheumatic conditions are in need of symptom relief and some are turning to herbal cannabis as a treatment option. However, the effectiveness and safety of medical marijuana to treat symptoms of rheumatic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or fibromyalgia is not supported by medical evidence. A new article published in Arthritis Care & Research, a journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), explores the risks associated with using herbal cannabis for medicinal purposes and advises healthcare providers to discourage rheumatology patients from using this drug as therapy.
The reason for the medical interest in herbal cannabis is that the human body has an extensive cannabinoid system comprising molecules and receptors that have effects on many functions including pain modulation. Medical cannabis is commonly used to self-treat severe pain associated with arthritis and musculoskeletal pain. In fact, previous research reports that 80% of marijuana users in a U.S. pain clinic are treating myofascial pain with the drug. In population studies in the U.K. and Australia, up to 33% of individuals report using marijuana to treat arthritis pain. As of June 2013, estimates from the office of Information Commissioner of Canada list “severe arthritis” as the reason the 65% of Canadians who are allowed to possess marijuana for medicinal purposes.

“With the public outcry for herbal cannabis therapy, governments around the world are considering its legalization for medicinal use,” explains lead investigator Dr. Mary-Ann Fitzcharles, a researcher and rheumatologist at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and the Research Institute of the MUHC in Quebec, Canada. “Physicians caring for patients who are self-medicating with marijuana need to understand the health implications of using this drug. Our study aims to provide health care professionals with that medical evidence related to medical marijuana use in patients with rheumatic conditions.”

In the U.S. twenty states, including the District of Columbia (DC), have legalized cannabis for medical purposes. The present study examines the dosing, administration, efficacy and risks of herbal cannabis in pain management for patients with rheumatic conditions. The health issues with recreational marijuana use in this patient population are not covered.

Concentrations of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the substance found in Cannabis sativa that provides pain relief and alters brain function (psychoactive effect)—vary in the plant material by up to 33% and absorption rates are between 2% and 56%, making the dosing of herbal cannabis unreliable. While cannabis may be ingested, most users prefer to inhale the compound for a quicker response. However, smoking a “joint” is not recommended by the medical community due to adverse effects on the respiratory system from hydrocarbons, tar and carbon monoxide.

Furthermore, there is no formal short-term or long-term study of the effectiveness of herbal cannabis in patients with rheumatic diseases. Studies that show good efficacy of cannabinoids for cancer and neuropathic pain may not be extended to rheumatic diseases because of the differing mechanism in the types of pain.

The study authors highlight that use of medical marijuana comes with inherent risks such as compromised cognitive and psychomotor function. Long-term use of cannabis may lead to mental illness, dependence, addiction and memory issues. In fact, a prior U.S. study of 8,000 adults who used cannabis in the previous year found that the odds of depression were 1.4 times higher in cannabis users compared to non-users.

“At this time, we cannot recommend herbal cannabis for arthritis pain management given the lack of efficacy data, potential harm from the drug, and availability of other therapies for managing pain,” concludes Dr. Fitzcharles. “Physicians should discourage rheumatology patients from using medical marijuana as a therapy.”

Full citation: The Dilemma of Medical Marijuana Use by Rheumatology Patients.” Mary-Ann Fitzcharles, Daniel J. Clauw, Peter A. Ste-Marie and Yoram Shir. Arthritis Care and Research; Published Online: March 3, 2014 (DOI: 10.1002/acr.22267).

About the Journal:

Arthritis Care & Research is an official journal of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), and the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ARHP), a division of the College. Arthritis Care & Research is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes both original research and review articles that promote excellence in the clinical practice of rheumatology. Relevant to the care of individuals with arthritis and related disorders, major topics are evidence-based practice studies, clinical problems, practice guidelines, health care economics, health care policy, educational, social, and public health issues, and future trends in rheumatology practice. The journal is published by Wiley on behalf of the ACR. For more information, please visit the journal home page at http://wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/acr

Related Topics
This information is from the Disabled World Medical Marijuana Section – Other relevant documents include:
Health Canada (Dec 19, 2012). Canada Proposes New Marihuana Regulations for Medical Purposes
http://www.disabled-world.com/medical/pharmaceutical/marijuana/aglukkaq.php
Thomas C. Weiss (Nov 21, 2013). Use of Marijuana for Epilepsy Control
http://www.disabled-world.com/health/neurology/epilepsy/epmar.php
Thomas C. Weiss (Feb 01, 2014). Veterans with PTSD – Medical Marijuana Treatment Options
http://www.disabled-world.com/medical/pharmaceutical/marijuana/vet-marijuana.php
University of South Carolina (Nov 25, 2013). Marijuana has Potential for Autoimmune Disorders Treatment
http://www.disabled-world.com/medical/pharmaceutical/marijuana/mirna-690.php
Discuss this Document
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Who Are You?

Eleventh Stack

bookcover This March, CLP – Woods Run is running a month-long Saturday Series Genealogy Program focused on helping patrons interested in beginning their family tree, preserving their history and conducting research.

Climbing Your Family Tree: Beginning Genealogy  March 1 from 2 to 3 pm: Marilyn Cocchiola Holt, MLS and Department head of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Department offers an introduction to the process involved in searching for family roots: how to find the who, when, and where of your family.

Preservation: Archives and Artifacts in Your Home March 8, 1 to 2 pm:  Mrs. Terri Blanchette, Historian and owner of TimeSorters, will discuss museum and archival best practices for artifacts and archives as she teaches you how to preserve your family treasures for generations to come.

Hard To Do Genealogy March 22, 2 to 3 pm: Join us as we welcome Ms. Marlene Bransom…

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Keen On… The Second Machine Age: Will Humans Still Have A Role In Our Economy Of Brilliant Technologies?

TechCrunch

[tc_5min code=”518104664″]

The hot new book about the digital economy is Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson‘s The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress and Prosperity In a Time of Brilliant Technologies. It’s amongst the first books to seriously address the fundamental question of our digital economy: what will be the economic role of human-beings in an age of artificial intelligence, 3D printers and an Internet of things?

While McAfee and Brynjolfsson acknowledge that we live in a time of “astonishing progress”, they also admit that our digital economy is increasingly made up of “winner take all economics” which is hollowing out the middle class and leaving many people behind.

So what is to be done?

Perhaps it’s no surprise that both McAfee and Brynjolfsson are economics professors at MIT. They say we have to go back to our Economics 101 textbooks to learn how to retool for this second…

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