Skip to main content

3.4. Infection = invasion

Fungi can hijack ant brains and turn them into zombies; humans have found Botfly larvae in their balls and Aspergillus (fungus) in breast implants. Infections may come from bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. Human minds can also be afflicted, if not infected, by anxiety, fear, stress, trauma, and even romantic obsession.

People are normally covered in bacteria but do just fine thanks to their immune systems. However, particularly powerful strains reside in the hospital: Methicillin resistant Staph aureus (MRSA), Vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE), and C. diff (what's left--and keeps coming out--after too many antibiotics kill the good gut flora.)

Bacterial meningitis is much worse than viral meningitis, though they're both bad news. Viruses can wait on surfaces for hours, days, or weeks until a sucker picks them up and lets them in.

Yeast can grow in the mouth, or down there (a "superinfection"--oh no!) Athlete's foot doesn't always stay on the foot (jock itch, anyone?)

Given the choice, a lot of people would probably choose infection by practically-invisible microbes compared to larger, visible parasites: string-like worms, squirming larvae and such. 

Antibiotics kill bacteria, antivirals fight viruses, antifungals lyse fungi, and antiprotozoals target protozoan parasites, but when it comes to psychological issues, drugs only help control symptoms, not the causes. 

It takes a week to recover from a flu, two to get over a bad cold, and reportedly half the duration of a terminated relationship to get over it. Little scientific evidence exists to back up the final statement; in fact, it comes from Sex and the City.
Make a wish on the pretty fungus (but don't inhale).


Popular posts from this blog

3.2. ABO = blood type

In parts of Asia, people don't just consult the zodiac, star signs, and the eight numbers of one's birth (八字). There's an entire culture of personality decoding based on blood type. It all started in 1927 when Takeji Furukawa, a professor at Tokyo Women’s Teacher’s School, shared his research connecting personality traits with blood type. Since then, friends and romantic interests ask if one's A, B, AB, or O, and in Japan, people reportedly get discriminated against at school and work based on their blood type.

Correlation of personality with one's A, B, AB, or O blood has not been supported by many credible studies, but some people take this very seriously. If you know your blood type (and you really should), see if the traits below sound about right.

A: Contrary to the Western concept of a "type A personality," people with type A blood (and antigens) can take a long time doing something when they're not motivated, or finish the same task in a jiffy …

3.10. Crisis = time-limited, disruptive, challenge

Are you in a crisis? According to Erik Erikson, we all are. Erikson divides psychosocial development into eight stages. Each period comes with its own "crisis," which once resolved, yields an appropriate "virtue."

0-1.5 years: Baby learns to trust, or mistrust the world. The former yields hope; the latter does not. Seems like many of us are still working on this one.
1.5-3 years: Toddler's crisis (or rather, Toddler's parents' crisis) involves a battle between autonomy v. shame & doubt. Making it through this stage confirms the child's (free) will. No, _____, this does not mean you always get your way.
3-5 years: The Preschooler may struggle with initiative v. guilt, but "purpose" emerges as a way to make sense of it all (hence the Why? why? Whyyyyyyy? WHHHYYY?s). A little bit of guilt here and there is fine for the developing ego and superego.
5-12 years: The School-age Child feels anxious about industry v. inferiority, ideally striv…

TKD = taekwondo

We interrupt our regular programming of blood, guts and babies to talk about taekwondo, a traditional Korean martial arts form.

Tae = kick/strike with the foot.
The foot as a blade, as hammer, as hook, the blow that knocks someone out, a broom sweeping the enemy down, pushing an intruder to the ground.

Kwon = punch/strike with the hands.
The hands, fist or palm, can be knives, blocks for poles, a punch to the solar plexus, bladed support when one rolls or falls, or a friendly hand to help a competitor back up from the mat.

Do = the art, the way of life.
Like any relationship, one's journey in martial arts has ups and downs. There's a honeymoon period, initial excitement--passion or obsession, even. That may not last, but commitment does. There are milestones but also little bumps, minor or major injuries. Things get in the way of training, but some amazing people also support one along the way. Sometimes one learns to find fun in dressing in full storm-trooper sparring gear on a …