Too hot for games
The college football world tends to listen to Alabama’s six-time national championship coach Nick Saban.
Let’s hope it heeds his complaint about playing early-season games in the daytime in the South, where temperatures can be in the 90s through most of September.
It’s miserable — and potentially dangerous — for the players and fans to be burning up on a Saturday morning or afternoon. The only reason this occurs is because of the power that the TV networks have on scheduling.
We know that those watching games from inside their air-conditioned homes are worth a lot more revenue to most schools than those who sit in the stands. Still, this is nuts.
Editor and Publisher
Vaping proving to be dangerous, too
Either through intentional or subliminal marketing, the manufacturers of e-cigarettes have been touting them as safer alternatives to the real thing.
And they may be, but how much safer has come into question with the recent national outbreak of breathing illnesses related to vaping.
According to a report late last week from The Associated Press, U.S. health officials have identified about 450 possible cases of lung illness, including five deaths, where the one common denominator appears to be that the victim had vaped within the past three months.
Symptoms have included shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain and vomiting — just about what you’d expect when someone inhales a caustic substance.
Health officials are urging people to stop vaping until the medical community can figure out what might be going on. It has been suggested that the problem may be related to people using these electronic devices in ways for which they were not intended — for example, as a delivery mechanism for marijuana or its derivatives. But this theory has holes, too, as some of those who have been struck ill said they only vaped nicotine.
Telling people to stop vaping is easier said than done, however, if they have already become hooked on nicotine, one of the more addictive substances known to man. Particularly disconcerting has been the rapidly rising number of minors who have taken up vaping — apparently because it’s so easy to conceal the devices in a pocket or a purse. Even though it’s illegal for a retailer to sell anyone under the age of 18 e-cigarettes, obviously under-age vapers have a way to get their hands on them, just as under-age smokers have for decades with traditional cigarettes.
Telling people who vape to stop is like telling people who smoke to stop. Even though they may know the habit is bad for them, the craving inside their brain for the nicotine is far more powerful than reason.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has had the authority since 2016 to regulate e-cigarettes, is turning up pressure on the dominant player in the business, Juul. On Monday, it ordered the company to stop making unproven claims for its products, including that they are “much safer than cigarettes.”
In the meantime, the best advice to young people about electronic cigarettes is the same as it has been for traditional ones. Don’t start. It’s easy to get hooked, and it’s a bear to get unhooked. Heavy concentrations of nicotine, no matter how it is being delivered, are not good for the human brain, particularly a developing one.
Editor and Publisher
Can beekeeping help veterans?
Here’s a fascinating headline from a story by The Associated Press: “A small but growing number of veterans around the country are turning to beekeeping as a potential treatment for anxiety, PTSD and other conditions.”
You would think that bees swarming around former soldiers who have been mentally injured by their war experiences would worsen post-traumatic stress disorder or similar afflictions. But Veterans Administration medical centers who have gotten a few patients involved in beekeeping say it has the opposite effect.
Several VA patients told the AP that the time they spend working with bees takes their mind off the problems that beset them continually. “It shows me there is a way to shut my brain down to get other things accomplished,” said one veteran in New Hampshire.
Beekeeping programs in several locations around the country do not have enough participants to reach any definite conclusions. But they say the anecdotal evidence clearly shows that veterans benefit from a little time managing hives and harvesting honey. It gives them a sense of purpose, helps them relax and helps them block negative thoughts.
Interestingly, the idea is not new. One couple in Nevada who trains veterans to manage their hives got involved with the former soldiers after coming across a 1919 government pamphlet that advocated beekeeping for “shellshocked” World War I veterans.
A century later, it’s worth finding out whether bees really can help wounded warriors.
Jack Ryan, Enterprise-Journal