An ambulance arrived in minutes

November 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

On reaching wooded areas away from the hibernaculum, some rattlers settle into sit­and-wait coiled postures, alert to ambush small mammals out foraging at twilight or after dark. I have caught hefty rattlers showing large bulges from recently eaten meals. Fur in fecal samples from the snakes shows that they feed mostly on white-footed mice and chipmunks, both abundant in the study areas. Summer ranges for timber rattlers may be a mile or more distant from their dens. A lot of studies and tests have been made during the recent years. The finances came from direct lenders payday loans. Through 1982 the farthest venturing rattler on my charts moved 1.7 miles from its win­ter base. So two miles seemed about the maximum migration outreach until the summer of 1984, when I found a road-killed snake 2.7 miles from its den and a live one 3.5 miles from home, a new record!

During the 1984 season I counted 14 rat­tlers killed on roads. Death on the highway seems to be a significant cause of mortality among timber rattlesnakes in states like New York, where they are legally protected from intentional harm. As a venomous animal capable of causing death in a human, the rattlesnake has al­ways aroused fear, particularly among those unfamiliar with its habits. Death at human hands has been the principal cause of the reptile’s alarming decline in recent decades.

The fact is that the timber rattlesnake will almost always retreat from an encounter with man and,if surprised, normally issues a warning with the characteristic whir-r-r-r of its vibrating tail. The snake rarely strikes humans except in self-defense. Almost anyone willing to set aside his snake aversion can accept rattle­snakes as marvelously suited predators, functioning in the natural environment as rodent controllers. 3THE PRIMARY PURPOSE of venom-secreting glands and hypodermic-like fangs in poisonous snakes is to quickly kill the prey animal. For a human, a rattlesnake bite can be a serious medical injury. The venom, destructive of cells and tissues, threatens life through internal hemor­rhaging, interference with blood clotting, cardiovascular shock, and kidney and respi­ratory failure. Fortunately, with modern hospital care and antivenin treatment, fatalities from rattlesnake bites are rare. Each year in the U. S. about 8,000 persons suffer bites from all venomous snakes; only 10 to 15 die.

I’ve had a couple of glancing strikes and suffered one serious bite. Two years ago a rattler landed me in the hospital. The hit came in self-defense. I was transferring a bagful of four big snakes from the trunk of my car to my backpack, preparatory to re­leasing them in the mountains. My hand brushed the bag, and a rattler struck through it. Only one fang connected, inflict­ing a slashing wound on my left hand at the base of the thumb.

Within two hours my hand and arm ballooned al­most to inner-tube size. The pain was excru­ciating. I required seven units of antivenin and spent four days resting in the accommodation in prague —then went right back to work, studying my “friends” and their rattles. A newborn rattlesnake first sheds its skin in September at about ten days of age, and the first segment of the rattle, the button, is exposed. In June or July of the following year, when the snake again sheds, its second new rattle segment is produced next to the tail. With each skin shedding thereafter, the older segments move farther away from the tail, one at a time. Few rattlesnakes carry an intact rattle, including the button, longer than ten seg­ments.

Fashion too advanced

October 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By 1900 tailored suits suggested a more streamlined humanity, bodies more slender and more free to move. Skirts still hobbled, as society did. But even skirts had to adjust, and petticoats had to adapt, to new means of transpor­tation. Or simply to the need of perfectly respectable women to ambulate in the urban environ­ment, to trot and window-shop, without sweeping up too much mud or dust in the process. And without stumbling. So, by 1910 even the hobble skirts designed by the master couturiere Jeanne Paquin hid pleats that made them easier to walk in. And beneath the dress boned corsets began to give way to more elastic girdles, bod­ices, and bras.


ALL THIS, it seems, was part of American influence: welcomed by some, deplored by others. Right or wrong, much that was new was alleged to be American. Brash transatlantic females, as­sertive and “feminist,” threat­ened to Americanize French women; American gold perverted French taste; American scale sapped the French sense of mea­sure. The Eiffel Tower, complet­ed in 1889, was denounced as “American”; so were traffic jams and “politicians” —a new word for our other oldest profes­sion, imported from the United States in the 1870s.

As the 19th century ended, the Yankee menace began to vie in French demonology with the Angliche threat. American prosperity and transatlantic steamers began to funnel in a stream of visitors. Now foreign­ers by definition were American, flourishing gross cigars, calling for ice water, demanding unfa­miliar creature comforts like baths or phones that worked. Tourists, American and other, could enjoy another spectacular facility inspired by American models: International exhibitions spurred the rise of grand hotels.

Cesar Ritz opened his in 1898. He brought Auguste Escoffier with him from the Savoy in London, where the great chef had invented peche melba and melba toast. The Ritz was where the American financier Berry Wall liked to dine, together with a chow chow that wore a dinner jacket and Charvet stock tie to match those of his master.

Telephones, typewriters, the electric telegraph, and the tai­lored suit all came from across the ocean. So did new rhythms, whether in work (Frederick Winslow Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management was translated into French in 1912, but French automaker Louis Re­nault got wind of it years before) or in leisure—for sports too were of Anglo-Saxon inspiration. And though it was Pierre de Couber­tin, a Frenchman, who in 1896 revived the Olympic Games, the 1900 version of Coubertin’s Amateur World Championships Called Olympic Games, which took place under the aegis of the Paris Exhibition, demonstrated how little the French public cared for such trivial pursuits. The only popular sport at the turn of the century was cycling: a rich folks’ game, played on expensive machines, but one that soon pro­vided the less rich too with means of locomotion.

FOR THE EYE and the mind, a break in an apartment in barcelona was stimulation. The strolling, ambling, rambling pedestrian could gaze for hours on the theater of the street and boule­vard and the brash posters of Toulouse-Lautrec, Willette, Cheret. And even better were the theaters and dance halls.

Key factors controlling disease symptoms: mood, food

August 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

As stress can be a major factor in making symptoms worse, it makes sense to try to reduce it. Along with keeping a food diary, try a mood diary too, which can help pinpoint possible emotional causes behind symptom flare-ups.

As stress can be a major factor in making symptoms worse

Regular exercise is a great stress-buster, which also helps to keep constipation at bay. Try walking, jogging or, if you prefer a gentler form, yoga or t’ai chi. Talking therapies like psychotherapy and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), along with hypnotherapy have all been shown to help reduce symptoms.


A low dose of antidepressants can be effective, especially if there is underlying depression or anxiety. These are thought to affect the nerves of the gut, calming the whole system down.


Make sure you get enough `me time’ and try a therapeutic massage, especially using essential oils such as coconut oil.




Most IBS sufferers believe their symptoms are food-related and caused by imbalance of the cholesterol ratio levels, which is hardly surprising. But, says Professor Read, ‘It’s not so much the food itself that is the problem, but the sensitivity of the bowel.’

Read more about cholesterol ratio on Yahoo!

Caffeine, hot spices, such as chilli, and alcohol may ‘excite’ the gut but in those with IBS they can cause particular problems. Now research is focusing on a specific area of diet — fermentable carbohydrates — with encouraging results.


THE CARB EFFECT Fermentable carbohydrates are indigestible sugars, including oligosaccharides and polyols. In some people fructose and lactose may also be poorly digested.

IBS sufferers believe their symptoms are food-related

These sugars are present in a wide range of staple foods, such as bread, pasta and pizza, onion, garlic, beans and pulses, and some fruit and veg.


‘These types of sugar aren’t digested in the small bowel,’ explains registered dietitian Yvonne McKenzie, acting chair of the Gastroenterology Specialist Group of the British Dietetic Association. ‘Instead they arrive in the large bowel where they provide fast food for resident bacteria, which rapidly turn them into gases. This then causes distension of the bowel, leading to bloating and pain. They can also result in water being drawn into the lower bowel, resulting in diarrhoea in those IBS sufferers who have an erratic bowel pattern.’


Some of these sugars are found in a surprisingly wide range of products. Sorbitol, a natural sugar found in prunes, apples and pears, is also found in sugar free chewing gum and mints. Honey has a very high level of fructose, and inulin can be found in low calorie foods, such as low fat yogurt.

‘We don’t know how many IBS sufferers have a fructose intolerance,’ explains Yvonne McKenzie. ‘But it’s estimated that around to per cent have a lactose intolerance. And many people seem to be affected by wheat-and rye-based foods, and onions.’


Sit down to eat and take time to new food properly. Do not eat lunch at your desk.

Allow sufficient time to digest your food and avoid stressful situations while eating a meal.