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Differences Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

30 Jan

Syringe

Last November I celebrated my 10-year anniversary. 10 years of being a Type 1 Diabetic. I was diagnosed with diabetes just three days after my 13th birthday (nice belated present, eh?) and have been on a lifelong experiment ever since then.

More than three million people have Type 1 diabetes, but they are generally overwhelmed in media coverage by the nearly 23 million people other people who have Type 2 diabetes (per the American Diabetes Association). Nearly 80 million people also have pre-diabetes, which means their lifestyle choices put them at greater risk for developing the disease. The two diseases present many of the same challenges, but are radically different in what causes them and how they are treated. Here’s a VERY abbreviated explanation.

1) Type 1 Diabetes: So sometime in my early teens, my pancreas began to shut down. By the time I was diagnosed with diabetes, my body was producing no more insulin. My pancreas was essentially useless, doing nothing, and just taking up space (still is). Scientists aren’t quite sure why this happens, but they think it has something to do with genetics. At birth, I was predisposed to developing type 1 diabetes and then something in my childhood triggered the disease. When I was little I had a 105 degree fever. That could be it. My original endochronologist believes that the fever somehow got antibodies inside me to turn on the insulin-producing cells. It’s not clear, but the important thing (from my perspective anyway) is that my pancreas no longer produces any insulin.

2) Type 2 Diabetes: Unlike type 1 diabetics, the bodies of type 2 diabetics often still produce some insulin, they just don’t produce enough. In these cases, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin for the body or does not produce the insulin efficiently . That’s why some type 2 diabetics can manage (or sometimes “cure”) their disease simply through better diet and exercise. That doesn’t work in all cases, but it is true that some diabetics can alter their lifestyles to the point that their bodies make enough insulin. Many others take medication (not always insulin through syringes) to force their pancreas to make more insulin.

Those are the big differences. One type of diabetes has a pancreas that simply doesn’t work and the other has a pancreas that doesn’t work efficiently enough. They seem like small differences to most people, but to those people who suffer from the diseases, they mean the world.

Photo: Jill A. Brown

10 Weirdest Musical Collaborations Ever

27 Jan

Let me be clear— I really like unusual and creative ideas. Especially in music. Some of these work. Others don’t. But they’re all fun and show how awesome collaborations can be.

1) “Over and Over”— Nelly ft. Tim McGraw: Probably the best known song on my list, this song was unquestionably the most successful. This song hit number 3 in 2005.

2) “Dirt Road Anthem (Remix)”— Jason Aldean ft. Ludacris: Reversing it up from the first song on this list, we look at a country song with a rap verse sprinkled in. Atlanta rapper Ludacris made this remix of Jason Aldean’s number one country hit unforgettable.

3) “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”— Aretha Franklin ft. Keith Richards: Bet you didn’t know the Queen of Soul decided to take on one of the Rolling Stones’ classic tracks. She did, and Keith even helped her do it.

4) “Street Rock”— Kurtis Blow ft. Bob Dylan: Music legend Bob Dylan raps. Need I say more?

5) “The Gambler”— Kenny Rogers ft. Wyclef Jean: Take one of the classic songs of rock and roll, then add some Haitian hip-hop. Sounds pretty awesome, right?

6)”Gone Going”— Black Eyed Peas ft. Jack Johnson: Hip-hop’s bad boys (and Fergie) decide to lay down some beats with Hawaii’s soulful wonder boy.

7) “Party for Two” — Shania Twain ft. Mark McGrath: I don’t know, something about “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” singer Twain with the guy who sings “Every Morning” from Sugar Ray is weird. Am I crazy?

8) “California Gurls”— Katy Perry ft. Snoop Dogg: I’m sorry, I know this song was huge, but really Snoop? Can you say sellout? He might have actually traded in all of his street cred to make it. Then there’s the behind-the-scenes video, which is just awkward and weird.

9) “Can’t Stop Partying”— Weezer ft. Lil Wayne: Um, yeah, no words for this really. Except Wayne is sick on this verse.

10) “Revolver” — Madonna ft. Lil Wayne: Yeah, Lil Wayne on any pop song seems to make the potential for weird increase. Singing with the 1980s original pop princess is just weird (but again, I think it works). He also dropped some sick rhymes for JLo.


Dwight Schrute From the Office Getting a Spinoff

27 Jan

Rumors have merged that Rainn Wilson, who stars as Dwight Schrute in The Office, could be getting his own show that would debut in spring 2013. The show would take place at Schrute Farms, the beet farm and B&B that Dwight runs on the show.

Wilson has been working with executive producer Paul Lieberstein (Toby from the show) about turning the spinoff idea into a reality.

“Paul and Rainn have been joking for years about Dwight’s life on the farm, his family and how ill-suited he is to run a B&B,” a source told Deadline. “A while ago, it started to feel like a show to them. NBC agreed, it’s been further developed to include multiple generations, many cousins and neighbors. At its base it will be about a family farm struggling to survive and a family trying to stay together.”

Does this spell the end for the beloved show? Hard to imagine The Office without Michael Scott or Dwight Schrute.

Photo: Screenshot

Columbia Packing Company Secretly Pumps Blood Into Texas River

25 Jan

It started out innocently enough. A small plane pilot was fooling around with a $75 camera he recently bought. When he got home, he checked out his pictures and noticed something really odd. A small Texas river that seemed to be dark red.

The pilot notified the county who launched an investigation. The Department of Health and Human Services took their own pictures and confirmed that Cedar Creek (which filters into the Trinity River) was indeed red.

They linked the pollution to The Columbia Packing Company in Oak Cliff, Texas and obtained a search warrant. After checking the plant thorougly, investigators discovered a secondary pipe that tested positive for pig’s blood. That’s right, the slaughterhouse has been secretly disposing of pig’s blood into a creek that filtered into a community river.

A city councilman was asked to leave when he attempted to visit the plant and environmental groups have decried the incident. As of right now, the plant remains open.

Gross, just gross. You can see the red river in the bottom left corner of the above picture.

Photo: sUAS News

Live-Tweeting While Reading Is Stupid

23 Jan

Live-Tweeting

A disturbing trend has emerged recently. Lots of young people hear about some new article, read it, and live-tweet their reactions to it. The practice drives me nuts, but I think it brings up some broader points about how society uses Twitter.

This latest habit (I hesitate to use the overused word “trend”) has emerged over the last year. I’ve noticed it acutely with three articles in particular. “Getting Bin Laden” by Nicholas Schmidle (New Yorker), “The Shame of College Sports” by Taylor Branch (The Atlantic), and “The Obama Memos” by Ryan Lizza (New Yorker). In each case, I saw groups of people (including, but not limited to, journalists) live-tweet their observations and favorite quotes from each piece.

Live-tweeting simply isn’t effective while reading. Each of these three articles is lengthy, complex and delivers an involved argument. Picking out one quote or observation in the middle of it nearly always misses the broader argument of the piece. I want to hear what other people think of these pieces, but the most valuable service journalists offer is analysis and careful consideration of the arguments. That simply isn’t possible on Twitter, in 140 characters, while trying to read something.

In 99 cases out of 100, the Twitter user would benefit from taking a step back and writing a blog post when they finished reading the story.

Now, this is not to suggest that live-tweeting itself is bad. To the contrary, I think it’s wonderful when used properly. At press conferences or when following breaking news, for example. In those cases, live-tweeting is the fastest, most effective way of getting news and instantaneous reactions (which are most often accurate).

This brings up several larger arguments about Twitter. In my mind, the service does three things really well: 1) It allows users to rapidly scan various services for information, 2) It allows users to share links to other content their followers might be interested in and 3) It allows information to spread much more quickly than any other existing technology. Beyond that, it breaks down.

Observations shared on Twitter are rarely insightful and, at best, simplistic. After all, who can fully share their thoughts in 140 characters? Even the best writer has to condense and oversimplify their arguments to fit within that space constraint. So, I see Twitter as an ideal location for information sharing and a horrendous spot for sharing opinions and observations.

So stop live-tweeting as you read other literature. Write a blog post when you’ve finished and had time to digest it. Tweet me a link. I’ll gladly read it then.

Photo: Adikos