Saturday, January 29, 2011


You may not have heard of Sam Lurcher as he is a fictitious friend of mine. I hear him regularly on my TV arguing that all religions are man made fictions except one. He says they are obviously fiction because there are so many of them and all are different. Also that we know all our ancestors came out of Africa millions of years ago and no religion mentions anything about that. Recently Sam has changed a little because he says one religion is all heart with no written word and may be the most important religion in existence. It has to do with sticking pins in dolls and is called Voodooism. I don't go along with Sam about that because I believe in the good I can do and the good others have done for the good of everybody and my God is every bodies, like it or not called, NATURE.

However Sam has other work to do in life and he claims it has the potential for great good for all of mankind. It is the study of brains and therefore brain chemistry. As for me, I have forgotten most of that subject since high school and college but have learned things not in early chem. courses from reading such as about our genes. They are made of DNA and DNA is composed of amino acids with phosphates. As Sam is studying brains I had to straighten him out from my knowledge about running that he had not considered. For your information there are at least 6 important chemicals in our brains but Sam had not considered normal brains compared to couch potato brains. Since everyone on earth came out of Africa hard wired for running what else did we inherit that makes runners healthier than non-runners? With running and fast walking every time a foot hits the ground there is a slight thump to the brain with every step that may influence brain chemistry.

So what? Well, Sam wonders if couch potatoes could sit in some device that jolts the brain like running, jogging and fast walking does? I don't know whether or not to call the answer to Sam's question, the Sam Lurcher Oval Wheel and Tire Co. (SLOWAT). or something shorter. Giving that question daily attention for a month or so I came up with the solution. When you hear about it you may want to invest to make money without working for it as the demand for the product will be revolutionary as every hospital will need many. All rest homes, taxi companies, bus, including school bus companies and many older citizens.

The new company will make, for all models and breeds of cars and trucks oval wheels and tires that will jolt the occupants very much like running, jogging or fast walking without actually running, jogging or fast walking. Think of it. All you need to do is to put oval wheels and tires made exclusively by SLOWAT on the front end of a vehicle and the occupants can have the full benefit of aiding brain chemistry while riding in a vehicle so outfitted.

I was amazed by the first test ride in my car. It was perfect- that nice little jolt but you have to keep your speed down because a little too fast and it jolts the bejesus out of the occupants. Two of the occupants threw up and insisted on walking the 4 miles back to my garage. Think of the demand of so many people just to be healthier. Even human doctors will want the SLOWAT wheels and tires because doctors want to be as healthy as their patients and most are as lazy as their patients who call running, work. The possibilities seem endless. For those who use taxis they would hail only jerky cabs for the exercise while watching TV in the cab. Even ambulances would be equipped. One side effect was that my gas guzzling V8 used only 1 gallon of gas in 42.5 miles while driving at the brain jolting speed. Seat belts are necessary because if you bounce and come down on a soft seat you lose some of the jolting necessary. Put a board on the seat. If you are as fired up as I am send in a contribution- to a charity such as, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Love, George

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A New group such as the Green Mountain State Foundation

Here is an idea I would like to share with VT readers. It seems to me there should be a way those of us who are not able to enter in the volunteerism desirable for the good of the State should have some way of indicating their approval of our great State. From childhood days when my father took me out of grade school for a week to learn about the maple syrup occupation in Fairlee in our state and as a youngster three of us friends climbed mountains in Vermont. Three hunters and fishermen had a joint venture of buying property and constructing a camp in Sutton in the Northeast Kingdom. (We called it Ticklenaked Lodge) Dorothy and I found a perfect second home in Whitingham, a little over 2 hours drive from our home in Orange, CT. So, I would like to give back in recognizing the past and present pleasures of Vermont. I am in the process of suggesting to our new Governor, Shulman that a nonpolitical agency be established perhaps called, "The Green Mountain Foundation" in which others who feel the way I do can contribute financially perhaps funds earmarked for special use. I am attempting to obtain a copy of the legal structure of just such a group as one I was affiliated with over the years in Conn. I shall report on the response I receive from Governor Shulman. In the meantime I would appreciate comments from others interested.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Thoughts and Thinking with Genetics

It seems strange to me how and why thoughts that seem important come to mind. However they come during periods of uninterrupted time such as when running or when I drove my car alone and today when, after awakening from my usual welcome sleep I wondered how a geneticist would answer the question of an example of the inheritance of an acquired character. We know if a pregnant woman takes the drug, Thalidomide her baby may be born with serious physical defects. I have just listened to a video of a course in Genetics given by Bob Goldberg, a UCLA professor that was a remarkable experience.
In his course he tells how the thousands of genes determine everything that ends up as us or any other creature. So, can diet determine how animals can change from the expected to something different? Wouldn't that be an inherited character? Of course I write to so many experts about so many things I do not expect a reply but perhaps Dr. Goldberg is as different as is his course. As a lecturer I have never heard his equal and that goes for his subject as far as I am concerned. He announces in his first lecture that his course is unlike any given in UCLA and more important and I believe it. So, clearly the subject of damage to the fetus of a pregnant female by foods or food additives may be the greatest suggestion of this century- so far. It seems to me that perhaps all the problems of humans such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, MS, MD, ALS, Autism and so many others may all be the result of chemicals that screw up the genetic pattern of normal embryonic people during pregnancy. I hope one day a geneticist of the caliber of Dr.Robert Goldberg will comment on such a wild statement. If you have such a wild thought don't keep it to yourself. Shake it out and dust it off and share it with others, even if you fear ridicule.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

An Orthopedic Adventure in a Dog

This case may be of interest to other veterinarians and even to a human specialist in bones. I will mention it as it would be unfortunate for me to die with this procedure left untold. I take you back to a day of frustration when a handsome young adult Saint Bernard was presented for consultation as to performing euthanasia due to the pain and helplessness of the dog's hind legs. I had given up with attempting to help the dog with medication and his hip joints were so bad there was nothing more I could do. It was a tearful time with the family distressed for their pet and for my having to admit my inability to help. It was an all too common a situation with frequent similar cases. I asked if rather than killing the dog I might be permitted to perform surgery that I considered would be of no help but I would at least try something that was not mentioned in surgical procedures for man or beast. It would be an experiment at no cost for the owners. For those without knowledge of the problem it consists of a defective hip joint in which the ball of the ball and socket joint slips in and out of the too shallow socket resulting in pain with every motion of the rear legs. My procedure was to remove the ball of the heads of the femurs. I performed the surgery with literally a hammer and a wood chisel from my work bench. Of course sterilized. The surgery was more difficult than I had imagined and if repeated I would use a giggly saw at the neck of the ball of the joint. It was a difficult and lengthy operation. The huge dog was placed in our recovery room until he had recovered from the anesthesia when I personally helped him to his feet. Much to my surprise that dog used those legs better than before the surgery. I couldn't believe it and the following day had the owners come and take him home for convalescing. That dog led a satisfactory life with hardly a limp in his hind quarters and eventually was euthanized for old age complications. My request for permission to perform a necropsy to study the hip joints was given. The findings were so surprising I could hardly believe it. The socket part of the pelvis had flattened with cartilage and the femur had likewise flattened and within the area between was fluid as in a normal joint capsule. Frankly the surgery was so crude and so difficult I did not offer to perform it on another dog.

An Old Wives Tail

One problem with "Old wives tales" is that every so often they are found to have scientific evidence of being true. We still find members of our society who cling to so many such tails long after they are debunked such as mustard plasters for pneumonia, all kinds of herbs that have believers promoting them without proof that they sound as if there must be evidence of their usefulness. The same is true of Astrology. In reading of days only slightly before my childhood one interesting expression used regularly in the medical profession in considering the outcome of certain diseases was, he or she had, "passed the crisis" and would therefore recover. Black magic?
A personal experience leads me to believe that the doctors of those days had knowledge with no scientific proof that they knew the patient would recover. So this blog is to throw some light on that subject. The light I have to throw comes from an incident of a disease three Beaglers had after spending vacation days in North Carolina with our Beagles at field trials. On returning to our homes a month later each of us was stricken with a serious set of symptoms. In retrospect the disease was infectious hepatitis, a virus disease with an incubation period of about 30 days. In my case I lost 25 pounds in 15 days according to our bathroom scale. During that time I could hold nothing down other than part of the water I sipped from time to time. At that time a Yale professor who was Chairman of the United Nations Comission on Jaundice was brought out to talk with me by my father who was concerned. By that time I had turned cannery yellow in skin and eye color. Dr. John Paul was the doctor's name. After discussing my problem Dr. Paul had two bits of advice for me. First was not to take vitamins. The second was to stay out of hospitals. Later he explained to my father that the survival rate of those who did not go to a hospital was much higher than those hospitalized with infectious hepatitis. About vitamins those who took vitamins had a considerably higher death rate than those who did not take vitamins during the disease. My personal doctor had advised vitamins but they were impossible to keep down, fortunately. It was almost 3 weeks without food that one day I tried a milkshake and that was the beginning of my recovery.
Years later, thinking about that situation I wondered if the lack of vitamins was part of the reason for my recovery. I thought, just suppose the virus of infectious hepatitis required say vitamin B1 for its nourishment. In weeks of starvation the virus without my B1 nourishment may have weakened it so that my immune system could overcome it. Before I get back to the old doctors with their,"the crisis is past" expression let me suggest an avenue of research that I wonder about. We have found that it takes special cultures to grow organisms in. Perhaps requirements in the cultures for some of those disease causing agents would be ones the inflicted animal, human or other, could survive without for longer than the "bug." In my case I wonder if I survived because I out lasted the vitamin requirements of the virus.
Back to my original reason for this blog. It may be incidental but it has been reported that any practicing human physician on entering a home with a patient with Typhoid fever could make the diagnosis without seeing the patient, the odor was so typical. The same may be said of a veterinarian entering an exam room with a female with a problem, pyometria, with a discharging uterine infection. With experience doctors would find a pattern of survival with a given problem that in a given number of days of life recovery would follow. So without scientific knowledge of why, doctors would have a basis for such a prediction. In my case in any hospital a patient who could not retain food or medication would be given the medicine or vitamins by injection. Hmmm. Incidentally my two other Beagling friends also came down with infectious hepatitis a month after our vacation and one did spend weeks in a hospital and both recovered. A Post Script. How often is it necessary to eat a given vitamin? Say B1. Is once a week sufficient? How about the other vitamins? How about protein? We have much research in need of being done.