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Updated: 11/12/02

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What's on the nightstand

by Michael Crichton

really clean more

cold rain

Tuesday, 12 November, 2002

Which of the following headlines is SURPRISING:

a) Iraq's Parliament Rejects U.N. Plan
b) Kurds Say U.S. Officials in Northern Iraq
c) U.S. officials: Iraq ordered nerve gas antidote

[No, no. Nothing to see here. Move along, move along].

d) A Little Wine May Keep the Mind Sharp, Study Finds

Yes, that's it! Here's the skinny:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - People who drink a little wine seem to have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (news - web sites) and other forms of dementia, Danish researchers reported on Monday.

Regular beer drinkers actually had a higher risk of developing dementia, the researchers reported in a study that adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that wine contains healthful compounds.

The results, published in the Nov. 12 issue of the journal Neurology, showed people who drank up to 21 glasses of wine a week had a measurably lower risk of dementia.

"Monthly and weekly intake of wine is associated with a lower risk of dementia," the team at the Institute of Preventive Medicine at Kommunehospitalet in Copenhagen, Denmark, wrote in their report.

People who had just a glass of wine a day had a lower risk of dementia than people who drank no wine at all, they added. While men tended to drink more than women, there were no differences in the health consequences of drinking between men and women.

[So I should drink more wine?]

"These results don't mean that people should start drinking wine or drink more wine than they usually do," Dr. Thomas Truelsen, who led the study, said in a statement.


Of course, it is all offset by this article, found on the same news page of Yahoo.com:

LONDON (Reuters) - Alcohol may be good for the heart but a daily glass of wine or beer can increase a woman's risk of breast cancer (news - web sites), researchers said on Tuesday.

One unit, or 10 grams of alcohol per day, raises a woman's chances of developing the disease by about seven percent but smoking, which is linked to a range of other diseases and different cancers, does not contribute to the illness.

[Hmmm. I have to decide if I want breast cancer or dementia, right?]

A little HOUSE update. I stopped by this morning and there was quite a bit of work going on. James, the carpenter, and his crew were there - they've set up the Living Room as a workshop and were busy milling the door frames and Gallery railings. The Kitchen is framed in and drywalled, as are most of the main walls. The main roof leak is apparently fixed, but there were a few little ones going on. I guess it's one good reason for rain - you can tell where the leaks are! At least there doesn't seem to be water getting in the neighbor's basement lately.

The minor highlight for me today - the laundry chute is in! It's great - it goes from the Master Bedroom closet directly into the laundry room closet where a hamper or cart can be placed beneath it.

[Small pleasures.]

From the "Do As I Say" File, comes this little tidbit:

Lantana, Fla. (AP) -- The author of two books on stupidity has been charged with trying to meet a teenager on line for the purpose of sex.

Sixty-one-year-old James Welles has written books called "The Story of Stupidity" and "Understanding Stupidity." Both are about the dumb moves people make.

Welles now faces a charge in Lantana, Florida, with using the computer to set up a date with a 15-year-old girl. But the "girl" was really a 40-year-old undercover detective.

[Say, I bet he could write a great final installment for the trilogy. He'll probably have quite a bit of time on his hands.]

Actually, I wasn't quite through having fun with this one, so I went on the Amazon.com website and read the Reader Reviews of his books. My favorite, hopefully written prior to his fingerprinting and mugshot:

Welles amalgamates the choicest bits of thinking from hundreds of the brightest brains of the West into one coherent book. Whenever I read a work, usually I can sense the mental limits of the writer already after a few pages. Of the many thousand book I read in my life, Welles' is the only one where I simply couldn't sense his limits. One wonders, does Welles have an unlimited IQ?


~ ~ ~

Quote du jour:

"We never really know what stupidity is until we have experimented on ourselves."
-- Paul Gauguin (1848 - 1903)
French painter

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