Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Appendix aesthetics

OK, how strange is it that 3 adult friends of mine have had to have their appendix removed this year?   [in the last 4 months?]

Two of these were ruptures that required emergency surgery and one just required relatively immediate, but planned, surgery.

All are as confused as I am by the sudden shock and of course grateful that they were in urban areas (Bangkok, Thailand and Baltimore, USA) with big modern hospitals that took them in, checked them out, and did the necessary surgery to save their respective lives.

Each is fine now, though they probably would not have been 300 years ago if that same thing had happened.

Is this a common occurrence? Apparently, more so than I'd thought.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Keep your cool when the gorillas get curious

We just learned that staying cool helps koalas and other tropical furry critters survive, but keeping one's cool is important not only in hot weather but also in hot situations!

This video is a good example:

What would you do if baby gorillas got curious with your hair?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hug trees, stay cool

And you thought they were just being really cute and cuddly. In fact, koalas are not being affectionate when they hug trees and branches; they are probably trying to stay cool.

strategic positioning.    image: Stephen R. Griffiths, LA Times

It gets really hot in the Australian summer (as it's doing here in mid-Atlantic USA these days). The fan and aircon feel good for those lucky enough to have them. But what about animals in the tropical savanna or forest? No such luck, so how do they keep cool?

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ticks suck! Stay calm, avoid, and remove

mom & baby tick on a finger
How sweet - mom & baby tick...
photo: Connecticut Agricultural Research Station
All you Northern Hemisphere outdoor lovers this summer should be pleased that the killer qualities of mosquitos tend to be in the world's tropical zones (though not exclusively!). However, in these colder climates, staying healthy means watching out for ticks, the North's equivalent of disease-carrying nuisance. Yoo hoo. I promise this is the last yucky insect post, but it's important.

Ticks carry several dangerous pathogens, including Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium responsible for Lyme disease, but they need to bite you and fill up on your blood (nice) before transmitting the pathogen to you. This is something you can and want to avoid.