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Comment: Re:Herd Immunity (Score 1) 851

by ancienthart (#42528227) Attached to: Indiana Nurses Fired After Refusing Flu Shots On Religious Grounds
True, it probably was a cold and not a flu, but it was very nasty (1 1/2 weeks off) and happened pretty quickly after the flu shot. Which happens 2/3 of the time I get a flu shot. Like within 2-5 days!

So the posibilities are:
1. Coincidence. I was already ill and by coincidence I got the shot just before the symptoms appeared. (I estimate 50% probability)
2. It was a cold and I was going to get it anyway, but I reduced my chances of getting a nasty strain of flu. (25% probability because it happened so quickly after the shot.)
3. The flu shot enhances my susceptibility to colds? (25% probability?)

It's the last one I'd like to see some research on, because there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that the flu shot "causes flu". Now normally anecdotal evidence means bupkis, but this much suggests that it should be researched. Assume that people have mislabelled colds as flu, the question becomes "Does flu vaccination have a short-term effect on cold virus susceptibility"?
I've googled, and I find plenty of research on flu shot (not) causing flu. And I've also seen plenty of medical professionals stating "of course it can't increase your chance of getting a cold", but I haven't found any actually cited research, which suggests to me that people have just assumed the answer and not actually examined it experimentally. If there is some research that you are aware of, could you provide some links or good google search terms (because I've already tried several)? If I am wrong (which god knows happens a fair bit), I'd like to correct that, but I'd prefer some hard research, not theory and not just "Are you crazy? Of course you're wrong!"

Comment: Re:Herd Immunity (Score 4, Insightful) 851

by ancienthart (#42518053) Attached to: Indiana Nurses Fired After Refusing Flu Shots On Religious Grounds
But has it been proven that herd immunity works for flu shots?
Influenza mutates fast. As other posters have noted, this year's flu shots are a guess about what last year's strain will evolve into, and to keep costs down, it's a matter of "well it could evolve into this, this or this, but only this one seems to be dangerous".
I've had flu shots for 8 years as a teacher, and I've gotten plenty of flu. Instead of calling us ignorant bible-thumpers (I'm humanist/agnostic-leaning-towards-athiest actually), how about ponying up the evidence?
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof - which usually means that I'd have to prove flu shots are ineffective. But when billions are spent per year on flu shots, and qualified professionals are fired because they express skepticism, it is suddenly the medical profession making extraordinary claims. "All this expense and disruption is necessary." Show me some evidence.

Comment: Re:It's employers rights (Score 4, Insightful) 851

by ancienthart (#42517737) Attached to: Indiana Nurses Fired After Refusing Flu Shots On Religious Grounds
Oh god. MOD POINTS. I require mod points now.
Seriously, is there a reason why we think it's appropriate to fire/force someone to take an injection, when the simpler answer is for employers to stop being arses about people staying home ill?
Flu immunisation may/may not shorten exposure time (I want to see an experiment, damnit), but staying home reduces that exposure to 0.

Comment: Re:Trouble with that... (Score 1) 1387

That's the problem Australia had with our rail system. Along the East coast, we used to have three different widths. One in Victoria/SouthAustralia, another in NSW, and a third in Queensland. You'd have to stop in Brisbane and switch trains/gauges to continue any further.

Comment: Re:Pints (Score 1) 1387

As a Canadian who has ordered beer in most of the provinces, I can confirm that we order it in pints.

And that's OK. because it's a set size and it's not something that further conversion is going to be done on. You are never going to have to know how many mL of beer you just received.

Same here in Australia. A more useful measure is "standard drinks" - i.e. how many of these will put me over the legal limit?
But it usually works out to: 1 pint = you're okay. More than 1 pint = call a taxi.

Comment: Re:Pints (Score 1) 1387

Australia is metric, and as most people know, we're pretty keen on our beer (4th largest per-capita consumption according to Wikipedia). So instead of ordering a specific measure of ale, you order a specific sized glass of ale.
Pot = 285ml
Stubby (bottle) = 375ml
Schooner = 425ml
Pint glass = 568ml
Longneck (bottle) = 750ml

Now the thing is that I had to look these measurements up. All you really need to know is which is bigger. :D

Comment: Re:US Metric System (Score 1) 1387

The human body is most comfortable at whatever air temperature you were raised in. The core temperature should be 37 degrees C, but the body produces heat that must be lost to it's surroundings, either passively, or through evaporative cooling (i.e. perspiration). Most people are comfortable at temperatures 5 to 20 degrees below 37, but other people love hot weather.
People can and do live in areas where the air temperature goes over 37 degrees and survive quite well as long as they keep hydrated.

As for core body temperature, if it rises or falls by as little as 1 degree celcius, you're facing a severe medical emergency. If it goes up by 2 degrees, you're looking at potential brain damage.

Comment: Re:US Metric System (Score 1) 1387

The original definition of meter is the distance from the North Pole, to the equator, through Paris = 10 million meters. (Hmm, wonder why they chose that location.)
As someone has pointed out, that's okay when you're measuring roads and buildings, but pretty poor for more accurate measurements due to the Earth being elipsoid and geologically active.
Which is why we've converted to the wavelength measurement mentioned by hawguy below.
The advantage of knowing this original definition is that it gives you the circumference of the Earth = 40 000 km.
Earth's Radius = 20 000km/pi.
Nautical mile = 40 000km/360.

"The most important thing in a man is not what he knows, but what he is." -- Narciso Yepes

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