The Other Day I Caught a Cold

The other day I caught a cold.  Then my wife caught it from me.  We now believe this was actually a case of the flu.  Which is a surprise because every year I get a flu shot sometime in October.  As I did in 2012.  Our household relies on this so no one gets the flu.  My wife mainly works from home and doesn’t get the exposure I get from my students (many of whom have kids).

I won’t go into the symptoms that indicate flu rather than a cold because this website is offensive enough already.  But after a quick look around the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), I have a pretty good idea what’s going on.  This appears to be a beta test of the U.S. government’s solution to the financial problems facing Social Security and Medicare (and Obamacare as it is currently written).

The pullquote below is a long quotation from the CDC’s website.  Let me summarize the relevant parts.  For people older than 65 (which includes me, but not my wife),  Incidentally, VE stands for vaccine effectiveness.

  • “…the VE against flu A and B viruses ranged from 27% in people 65 and older…”
  • “…VE against flu A (H3N2) viruses in people 65 and older was significantly lower than in other age groups.
  • “Overall, VE estimates suggest that the 2012-2013 flu vaccine has moderate effectiveness for most people against the flu viruses spreading in the United States, similar to previously published reports. The one exception to this was the VE among people 65 and older against flu A (H3N2) viruses, which was lower. The single point estimate for VE in this age group was 9% (95% CI: -84% to 55%). Note that because the confidence interval crossed zero for the 65 and older age group, this estimate is not statistically significant, and therefore, the results should be interpreted with caution.”

Got that?  The government is trying to kill us old folks.  Their first attempt was the distribution of “free” cheese to those 65 and older.  Unfortunately (for the government, not for us elderly), Big Pharma invented the statin drugs which are keeping us alive longer than the government prediction.  So here we have a second try: a flu vaccine that just happens to not work very well against old folks.  Gotta hand it to the folks in Washington, D.C.  This is almost better than trying to use a poisoned cigar to assassinate Fidel Castro.

What are CDC’s current estimates of flu vaccine effectiveness this season?

… Overall, the VE estimate for protecting against having to go to the doctor because of flu illness was 56% for all age groups (95% confidence interval: 47% to 63%). … This VE estimate means that getting a flu vaccine this season reduced the vaccinated population’s risk of having to go to the doctor because of the flu by more than half. However, VE can vary across age groups and across different flu viruses, so CDC further analyzed the VE estimates to adjust for these factors. When broken down by different age groups, the VE against flu A and B viruses ranged from 27% in people 65 and older to 64% in children (aged 6 months to 17 years old). …

… The one exception to [the overall VE] was the VE among people 65 and older against flu A (H3N2) viruses, which was lower. The single point estimate for VE in this age group was 9% (95% CI: -84% to 55%). …. Overall, this estimate means that vaccine effectiveness was lower than expected in this age group against flu A (H3N2) viruses. …

 

Bin Laden Theme Park Rides

After posting yesterday’s article about the proposed new theme park in Abbottabad, Pakistan, it occurred to me that we needed a Twitter competition for bin Laden theme park rides.  Forthwith (because I’m lazy), here are the entries. There are enough good ideas that I’m not awarding a first prize.  Several entries didn’t include the hashtag #BinLadenThemeParkRides — I’ve included those as a separate screen capture.  Thanks to everyone who participated.


Visit This Theme Park

Here at People for a Population Free Planet, we’re always looking for innovative ways to thin the herd.  As such, we recommend you visit this theme park. Sure, it’s a little inconvenient (in Pakistan), but we promise it will be worth the trip.

For those who are too cowardly to click the above link, here are some clues.  First, a quote from the article:

Plans to build a £19m amusement park in the town where Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces have been revealed.

The 50-acre site on the edge of Abbottabad would include a zoo, adventure sports facilities, restaurants and artificial waterfalls.

Officials in the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province hope the project will boost tourism but denied it was intended to improve the town’s image after the bin Laden raid.

“The amusement city will be built on 50 acres in the first phase but later will be extended to 500 acres,” Syed Aqil Shah, the provincial minister for tourism and sports, said.

And if that’s not enough, here’s a reminder of what this is all about:

You know This Guy
You know This Guy

We Oppose This Bumper Sticker

Ignore This Warning!
Ignore This Warning!

At pfpfp, we’re always watching for warning signs that should be ignored.  While our title (we oppose this bumper sticker) is technically incorrect, it was the best we could do.  Remember, if you text while driving you will increase the demand for this company’s products, boosting the economy.

Martian Not Mayan

Curiosity Lander
Curiosity Lander

As the Curiosity spacecraft approaches Mars, I have realized something important.  Martian not Mayan!  The source of the upcoming apocalypse will be the red planet, not a centuries-dead civilization.

So far, the Martians have been nice to us.  We’ve sent up a bunch of cool toys that I’m sure they’ve enjoyed playing with.  But Curiosity contains a nuclear reactor.  Act of war, anyone?

The Martians will not be pleased.  Remember, you read it here first.

A Terrific Idea from Australia

Today I ran across a terrific idea from Australia.  Blogger Damon Young writing for abc.net.au penned an entry titled “Surviving the suburban purgatory of the school run.”  Mr. Young expounds on various aspects of dropping off and collecting children from school.  He begins with a pithy quote from Gwyneth Paltrow, followed by this summary from Mr. Young: “The thought of doing school pickup until she was 58, Paltrow joked, put paid to her plans for a third child.”

So far, so good.  But the best part comes in the comments.  This goodie by “Dino not to be confused with :” was grabbed by Margaret Smith (@DrMobs).  Here’s what Dino proposes:

“My suggestion is we lower the legal driving age to three. Kid’s are much more tech savvy these days and they could download an app or something.”

What a great idea!  Parents would no longer have to put up with being chauffeurs.  And we have to add Dino to our list of people we admire.

Lower the Driving Age to Three!
Lower the Driving Age to Three!

Another Fashion Travesty From the Wall Street Journal

Another fashion travesty from the Wall Street Journal.  The June 7 “Personal Journal” section features a story about aloha shirts.  Most folks know what these are: large, airy, comfortable, always including bright patterns.  Tropical, in fact.  The classic Hawaii tourist joint Hilo Hattie’s still carries them:

Hilo Hattie Genuine Aloha Shirt
Hilo Hattie Genuine Aloha Shirt

But now we are told the “new, improved” shirts are “slimmer and more modern:”

Wall Street Journal Aloha Shirt Travesty
Wall Street Journal Aloha Shirt Travesty

News flash: Hawai’ians are big.  Not “slim,” not “modern.”  Big.  Aloha shirts are supposed to cover a Hawaiian, not some underfed Wall Street Journal reporter.  Even though we at pfpfp support starvation, using Aloha shirts to promote it is a travesty.

 

A New Bacon Tool to Inhibit Population Growth

Bacon, Bacon, Bacon
Bacon, Bacon, Bacon

Justin and Dave, the co-founders of the site Everything Should Taste Like Bacon, have introduced a new tool to inhibit population growth.  At pfpfp.org, we are excited to introduce our reader(s?) to this innovation.  We could describe it, but let’s just say if this doesn’t inhibit your desire for sex, nothing will.  Click here if you’re brave enough.

Pfpfp.org salutes JDFoods.com, Justin, Dave, and the brave women that assisted in development of this fine new product.

For Halloween We Endorse Polyethylene Pumpkins

The latest idea for indoor Halloween decoration is polyethylene pumpkins.  We encourage those throwing parties this year to use these pumpkins in the traditional way: with a candle inside for authentic Halloween lighting.  The effect of a flickering candle simply cannot be matched by any technology.

Polyethylene Pumpkin
Polyethylene Pumpkin

These pumpkins are widely available.  Target.com has them. Kmart.com offers a polyurethane model that includes an interior light bulb.  Rip it out and put in a candle.  To their credit, Walmart apparently only offers a polyresin model, hard plastic that is difficult to ignite.

At pfpfp.org, we believe these pumpkins are a valuable addition to our toolkit.  We applaud the companies making these pumpkins as well as those selling them.

Seriously, unless these plastics are modified they are very flammable.  Prof. James G. Edwards of San Francisco State University has written a nice descriptive piece.  Read it and take it seriously.