Can This Judge Solve the Opioid Crisis? – News by Jan Hoffman – NYT

“CLEVELAND — Here are a few choice mutterings from the scrum of lawyers outside Courtroom 18B, about the federal judge who summoned them to a closed-door conference on hundreds of opioid lawsuits:“Grandstander.”

“Pollyanna.” “Over his head.”

And the chorus: “This is not how we do things!”

Judge Dan Aaron Polster of the Northern District of Ohio has perhaps the most daunting legal challenge in the country: resolving more than 400 federal lawsuits brought by cities, counties and Native American tribes against central figures in the national opioid tragedy, including makers of the prescription painkillers, companies that distribute them, and pharmacy chains that sell them. And he has made it clear that he will not be doing business as usual.

During the first hearing in the case, in early January, the judge informed lawyers that he intended to dispense with legal norms like discovery and would not preside over years of “unraveling complicated conspiracy theories.” Then he ordered them to prepare for settlement discussions immediately.Not a settlement that would be “just moving money around,” he added, but one that would provide meaningful solutions to a national crisis — by the end of this year.”

David Lindsay: I recommend the whole article above. This judge is amazing. He is using Organization Development theory and techniques, to bring the parties together, to share important information, and to work on collective problem solving. It’s brilliant, and he might get the parties in 400 federal lawsuites to work together.

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I’m the Wife of a Former N.F.L. Player. Football Destroyed His Mind. – by Emily Kelly – NYT

The superbowl Sunday night was a magnificent game, in which the underdog Eagles got the better of the favored New England Patriots. While I enjoyed the game immensely, in the fine company of  friends, I kept thinking about this article, in that mornings NYT Sunday Review.

“My husband, Rob Kelly, is a retired N.F.L. player. After five seasons as a safety beginning in the late 1990s, four with the New Orleans Saints and one with the New England Patriots, he sustained an injury to a nerve between his neck and shoulder during training camp that ended his career. By the time he retired in 2002 at 28, he had been playing tackle football for about two decades.

Rob had no idea, however, that all those years of playing would have such serious consequences. Safeties are the last line of defense and among the hardest hitters in the game. One tackle he attempted while playing for the Saints was so damaging, he doesn’t remember the rest of the game. He got up, ran off the field and tried to go back in — as an offensive player. He knows this only because people told him the next day.”

“, , ,  Specific details about how he wanted his funeral to be, and his demand that he be cremated, were brought up with excruciating frequency. One particularly dark time, he went five days without eating anything; he drank only water and a few swigs of chocolate milk. He was suffering deeply and barely surviving. My love and affection seemed to offer no comfort or solace. I felt helpless.

It wasn’t until I joined a private Facebook group of more than 2,400 women, all connected in some way to current or former N.F.L. players, that I realized I wasn’t alone.

Our stories are eerily similar, our loved ones’ symptoms almost identical: the bizarre behavior I had tried to ignore, the obsessive laundering of old clothes — our washing machine ran from morning till night.

It was comforting and terrifying all at the same time. Why did so many of us see the same strange behaviors? “Our neurologist said they do it to calm their brains,” one friend told me.

Symptoms consistent with C.T.E. are a recurring topic in the Facebook group. They include memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, aggression, depression and anxiety. These problems become apparent sometimes years or even decades after a player hangs up his helmet.”

Tom Brokaw: You Can Find the Entire World Inside Your Hospital – The New York Times

“President Trump is vowing to return to two of his favorite goals in 2018: a crackdown on immigration and the dissolution of the Affordable Care Act.

When congressional Republicans passed the sweeping tax bill in December, they eliminated the A.C.A.’s health care mandate. But President Trump wants to knock out the entire program.As I have learned in the past four years, immigration and health care in America have an organic relationship that may escape the president and his supporters if they experience health care only from the outside looking in.”

The Economic Case for Letting Teenagers Sleep a Little Later – The New York Times

“A Brookings Institution policy brief investigated the trade-offs between costs and benefits of pushing back the start times of high school in 2011. It estimated that increased transportation costs would most likely be about $150 per student per year. But more sleep has been shown to lead to higher academic achievement. They found that the added academic benefit of later start times would be equivalent to about two additional months of schooling, which they calculated would add about $17,500 to a student’s earnings over the course of a lifetime. Thus, the benefits outweighed the costs.”

Scientists at Harvard and other places have already published research that teenagers are wired to get up later than other folks, and need more sleep than most everyone else.

Congress Rejects Trump Proposals to Cut Health Research Funds – The New York Times

” “The spectacular increase provided by the Senate Appropriations Committee is amazing in the current fiscal environment,” said Anthony J. Mazzaschi, a lobbyist at the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. “Neither the Senate nor the House paid much attention to the president’s recommendations.”T

e appropriations committees in both houses rejected Mr. Trump’s proposal to slash payments to universities for overhead — the “indirect costs” of research financed by the health institutes. These include the cost of utilities, internet service, data storage, the construction and upkeep of laboratories and compliance with federal rules protecting human subjects of clinical research.”

The new bills also protect family planning services.

The Case for a Breakfast Feast – The New York Times

“Dr. Kahleova says the take-home message is like the old proverb, to eat “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.” ”

Great article. I will give up dinner, tomorrow.

Here is a cogent comment by one who obviously agrees with the piece, but has little interest in a big breakfast.

EMS

NYC 22 hours ago

The message should be: eat one big meal and one medium meal during the day, depending on when you feel most hungry, and always eat a light dinner. Many traditional cultures, from Europe to Asia to Latin America, including people in the Blue Zones, eat medium breakfasts, large lunches, and small dinners, and they don’t snack. The key is to let your body rejuvenate while you’re sleeping; don’t make it digest food during this crucial period.

It’s High Time for Ticks- Which Are Spreading Diseases Farther – The New York Times

“With the expansion of the suburbs and a push to conserve wooded areas, deer and mice populations are thriving. They provide ample blood meals for ticks and help spread the pests to new regions.

Originally from the Southeast, the lone star tick, for example, is heading north; it can now be found in 1,300 counties in 39 states. The blacklegged tick, also called the deer tick, is expanding its territory, too. In a recent study, Dr. Eisen reported a nearly 45 percent increase since 1998 in the number of counties with blacklegged ticks.”

How We Really Die – by Frank Bruni – NYT

“A friend of mine once said the way to stop smoking is to close your eyes, think about the person you dislike the most,” Bloomberg, 75, told me. “Now, do you want to be at their funeral or you want them to be at yours?”

Great op-ed.
Here is a good comment:
Chris
6 hours ago

We regularly give our children a substance we would never feed our animals; because it would be too detrimental to their health. A substance so addictive that in MRIs, it lights up the brain like cocaine; which makes it the ultimate gateway drug. A substance that causes chronic inflammation; which is the cause of modern scourges like cancer, metabolic syndrome, auto-immune diseases, and depression.
Our government subsidizes the production of this product which makes it so inexpensive it is added to 80% of our processed foods. 30% of us eat less than maximum recommended amount. But, the other 70% manage to bring our per capita consumption to an amount over double the recommended limit. Our consumption of this product mirrors obesity rates.
If we stopping subsidizing and over consuming this product, we would save millions of lives and billions of dollars.
The product, also known as high fructose corn syrup, is sugar.

Reply 175 Recommended

Is It Harder to Lose Weight When You’re Older? – The New York Times

“Q. Is it more difficult for an older person to lose weight?

A. Yes, unfortunately. Although it is possible to lose weight at any age, several factors make it harder to lose weight with age.

Even those who remain active lose muscle mass every decade beginning in their 30s, research suggests, replacing it with fat. Muscles use up more calories than fat, so less muscle means a slower metabolism and the need for fewer calories, said Dr. Medha Munshi, a geriatrician and endocrinologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.”

Walk- Stretch or Dance? Dancing May Be Best for the Brain – The New York Times

“However, one group showed an actual improvement in the health of some of the white matter in their brains, compared to six months before. The dancers now had denser white matter in their fornix, a part of the brain involved with processing speed and memory.”

David Lindsay Hamden, CT Pending Approval

Those of us who contra dance and English country dance have suspected this from generation to generation. To learn more about these extraordinarily fun and healthy forms of community dance, I recommend the Country Dance and and Song Society website and their dance camps at Pinewoods Camp MA.
http://www.cdss.org/
David Lindsay has been a contra dance caller and morris dancer in New Haven CT for the last 40 years. You can dance with him and his friends to live music at the dances of the New Haven Country Dancers.