Alcoholics May Wobble Forever

Wobbly walking and clumsy moves are classic signs that someone's been drinking, and a new study suggests balance problems can afflict heavy drinkers for years after they sober up.

What's the Latest Development?


Researchers at Neurobehavioral Research Inc., in Honolulu, want to know how long the physical effects of alcoholism last. Scientists recently studied the balance abilities and gaits of diagnosed alcoholics who had been sober for several weeks, those who had been sober for an average of seven years, and people with no history of alcohol dependence. The researchers concluded that physical effects brought on by alcoholism can linger. "There's an 80 to 90 percent recovery, but there's still some residual effects," said the lead researcher.

What's the Big Idea?

The study's conclusion suggests there is a point of no return when it comes to alcohol and the brain. If nerve cells are too damaged, they cannot recover. Professionals hope this data will emphasize the point that alcohol addiction is a treatable disease: "A lot of people don't think about addictions as chronic medical illnesses, but they are in every way," said Dr. Kevin Hill, psychiatrist-in-charge at the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. Hill says some alcoholics may permanently lose their balance. 

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to good health and well-being

Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.

Image courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
  • As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
  • If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
  • Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
  • By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
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Fairness is a universal value. So why all this inequity?

Are we trying to solve too many problem with technological solutions?

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  • Technology has given humanity the amazing ability to fix almost any problem, conditioning us to search for technological remedies to what might be social problems.
  • Alleviating social inequity is a problem that technology must necessarily attempt to solve, but technology alone cannot shape how humans assemble their societies.
  • Only by emphasizing the primary place of individual identity, human dignity, and universal values like empathy and emotion, can we hope to solve global issues that, so far, technology has been unable to conquer.

Radical Transformational Leadership: Strategic Action for Change Agents

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Radical Transformational Leadership: Strategic Action for Change Agents [Monica Sharma] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Monica Sharma describes how we can source our inner capacities and wisdom to manifest change that embodies universal values such as dignity

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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An ancient structure visible from space isn’t man-made

Long hidden under trees, it's utterly massive

(Roy Funch)
Surprising Science
  • This 4,000-year-old structure can be seen from space and wasn't built by humans
  • It's made up of 200 million mounds of earth
  • It's still under construction today
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