I love this fantastic and hilarious piece which was written by a friend and fellow medical colleague who has requested anonymity. Enjoy!
I knew a guy who was simply an unequivocally reliable asshole. From day to day, his demeanor varied depending on what he intended to leach out of those around him, but, over the long-haul, he was consistent. Given enough time (and toilet paper), he always proved his assholedness. Some described him as a narcissist—he undoubtedly was—but he was also a class-A (and you can imagine what that A stands for) asshole.
A friend listened once as I described my acquaintance to another person. I called him a narcissist. My friend, who knew the big brown eye, said, “Nah. He’s just an asshole.” How refreshing is that? Not that one’s ass should be an air freshener; but it’s refreshing when a person just calls something—or someone—as it is. No apologies or feigned political correctness: just unabashed candor.
Sometimes I think of certain people as having an asshole titer. A titer is an objective measure of concentration. An antibody titer, for example, quantifies the concentration of antibodies in a person’s blood: the higher the titer, the higher the concentration. It’s not speculation or guessing; it’s a measurement, free of judgment.
A titer might express a person’s exposure to a certain trigger, like hepatitis; or their immunity to an infection, such as mumps. In a broader sense, among those comfortable with the lingo, the word is used more casually. A woman with a high granola titer, for example, has Brillo Pads in her armpits and a particular propensity for tree-huggedness.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could measure a person’s asshole titer—an objective measure, that is, of one’s assholery. At present, calling someone an asshole implies judgment: as if we can’t make an objective, unbiased observation. One isn’t questioned or scrutinized for saying Dolly Parton has big breasts, or that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is tall. They’re just observable facts. One might be judged if they said Gary Coleman was short, but that depends on context and tone. If we’re not being pejorative, it’s just an observation. That’s the way it should be with assholes. We should be able to call them what they are without accusations of being judgmental. And doing so would be a lot easier if we could simply measure one’s asshole titer.
If we could measure asshole titers, we’d remove guesswork and tiptoeing. We wouldn’t have to pretend everybody’s nice while waiting to find out otherwise. We wouldn’t have to ignore that little warning itch on our ass when we meet someone we know is malevolent, even if they haven’t yet proven it to us. (Believe me, they’ve proven it to others.) A good friend might have an asshole titer of five, but a ninety-five could be kept at arm’s length when sober and avoided altogether on weekends.
As an aside, for the sake of completeness, we should note that titers are not percentages; they are measures of concentration by way of dilution. They do not stop at one hundred. They can soar into the thousands. We all know a person whose asshole titer rivals the national debt. But, for this discussion, let’s just say that a titer of one hundred is a complete and total asshole—also known as an asswhole (a homonymous designation that only works in print). Notice I didn’t say big asshole, as if size mattered. No. It’s the quality that matters. Over the years, the asshole in my life has proven that repeatedly. He is consistent and accomplished at it.
Even better than just measuring an asshole titer, what if the number were tattooed on a few foreheads? Just think how much frustration and angst we could avoid. We could enter a room, instantly assess the asses—or the average assholedness of the gathering—and head for the door. Maybe we’d rescue the poor seven at the bar on our way out, but we wouldn’t waste time trying to be nice to the eighty-and-above crowd. They could massage one another’s egos (and wipe one another’s butts, for that matter) while we move on. We’d know up front where to spend our time and what to expect. Wouldn’t that be sweet?
Some titers are good. Some are bad. It’s not fun, for example, to have an unusually high titer of rheumatoid factor. There’s a cadre of titers one would rather not have at all, like an HIV viral titer. On the other hand, it’s nice to have a high antibody titer against polio, especially in some areas of the world where polio is making a comeback.
Titers change over time. When I get the measles, my titer shoots up as my immune system pumps out more antibodies. Ten years later, my titer may wane. That’s why the ER doc asks about my tetanus shot. I need a high titer to step on rusty nails and still avoid the lockjaw. The same is true with rabies.
And that brings us to another idea. Wouldn’t it be great if we could generate an anti-asshole antibody? Now that would be a valuable titer, though the immunization might be a shitty experience. Antibodies gobble stuff up, bind things together, inactivate them, and get rid of them. Perhaps the rabid, rusty assholes would be more tolerable if we just had enough anti-asshole antibodies.
There are all kinds of assholes. Everybody knows the run-of-the-mill asshole: irascible, obnoxious and temperamental. But there are also specialty assholes: the ones with particularly ironic twists. There are the assholistic health-food nuts, preaching the benefits of sprouts and antioxidants in between their cigarettes. There are the asswholesome hypocrites—mostly politicians and preachers—who are closely related to the assholier-than-thou crowd. They have a penchant for placing themselves on pedestals; so proud of their own humility, they often stumble while patting themselves on their own ass (or, more often, patting someone else’s younger, shapelier ass).
Twenty years ago, Dennis Leary sang the Asshole Song. It went like this: “I drive really slow in the ultrafast lane | While people behind me are going insane | I’m an asshole | I’m an asshole | I use public toilets and piss on the seat | I walk around in the summertime saying, ‘How about this heat?’ | I’m an asshole | I’m an asshole | Sometimes I park in handicapped spaces | While handicapped people make handicapped faces | I’m an asshole | I’m an asshole.”
You may not like the words, but you have to admire a guy who owns his assholedness. At least that gives you a chance to acknowledge and avoid.
Be careful, though. If you avoid polio and its vaccine altogether, you’re vulnerable. You have to be exposed to be immune. That’s why an asshole immunization stinks. On the other hand, you don’t want too many antibodies, or antibodies of the wrong kind. That’s the problem with Lupus, anaphylaxis and multiple myeloma. One needs a balanced exposure to assholes, but the burden of maintaining that balance falls on you. One not-so-endearing quality of assholes is their lack of moderation. Given enough time, they’ll shit on everything.
Here’s the rub: If we have too many anti-asshole antibodies, we could end up with an assholeless life—and that could be a problem as well. (An imperforate anus is a serious medical problem, but that’s not my point.) I’m talking about the color, texture and variety the assholes bring us, if only to remind us how much we hate them. Yes, assholes are people too—unwiped, perhaps, smelly and pimpled, but people nonetheless. My asshole—a person, separate and distinct from my anus—has brought me a few things; like caution, mistrust, self-preservation and, ironically, a healthy dose of CYA (cover-your-ass). And those, my asshole-hating friends, are necessary elements to surviving and thriving in a world of assholes.
Perhaps the day will come, as with small pox, when we won’t need anti- asshole antibodies because all the assholes will have been eradicated. Until then, we need to be prepared. We may never be able to measure an asshole titer, but we all have a gestalt about these things. You know when something stinks. Trust your nose. And be grateful for the shit in your life that prepares you to deal with the assholes.
I am sharing this very interesting article written by Diana Hembree which explores the issue of tooth decay in the millennial population. What in the world is happening with the millennial generation? It seems the focus is changing, from quality care, to what is more convenient for the consumer. What a shame.
The other issue I see here is a glaring lack of motivation on the part of millennials to correct issues which may interfere with their ability to secure gainful employment. I can’t help but think of descriptors for this crop of young adults such as lazy, entitled, and doomed.
Here is the link to the original article:
by Diana Hembree
Decaying teeth and gum problems make one in three young adults aged 18 to 34 (33%) reluctant to smile, the ADA found. About one in five have cut back on socializing as a result of dental problems. And 28% say the appearance of their teeth and mouth undermines their ability to interview for a job.
The ADA study also found that:
— More than 30% of young adults have untreated tooth decay (the highest of any age group)
— 35% have trouble biting and chewing
— Some 38% of this age group find life in general “less satisfying” due to teeth and mouth problems.
— They are three times more likely than children to lack dental care due to financial reasons, with only 30% of millennials visiting the dentist each year.
The dental system is going to have to change to appeal to millennials “who are all about convenience,” periodontist and consultant to dental practitioners Marc Cooper writes on his website, masterycompany.com.
Millennials aren’t tied to the idea of a personal relationship with one dental practitioner; they are used to comparing service and costs and ordering on their smart phones — rather like calling up an Uber or Lyft — and they likely won’t tolerate inefficiency or long waits for appointments, Cooper added.
This may mean some major changes for dental providers. Today, approximately 92% of professionally active dentists work in a private practice, according to the ADA. In 2016, the ADA’s Health Policy Institute researchers surveyed millennials to gauge their interest in getting dental care in a retail setting, such as a CVS, Target or Walmart store. Overall, nearly 4 in 10 indicated that they were somewhat or very interested, including nearly half of Hispanics (47%) and African Americans (45%) surveyed.
“Millennials are not the same type of patient as a baby boomer,” says Vujicic. “We know millennials demand transparent cost and quality information when it comes to health care services. We know they place a premium on convenience.
“Health care is slow to adjust,” he added, “but the dental care system in particular is just starting to feel this wave of intensified consumerism.”
Change is already brewing: Beam Dental, a young tech company operating in about eight states with 100,000 dentists, focuses on prevention and online tools for “tech-savvy clients.” It offers coverage discounted by about 10 to 25% based partly on how well you practice good dental hygiene – which the company can monitor, with permission, through an internet-connected toothbrush that reports how often and how well you brush.
So far Beam Dental is available only through small and medium sized businesses who pay all or part of employee premiums, with a strong following among startups and millennial-oriented organizations, says Alex Frommeyer, co-founder and CEO.
“We knew that the dental industry was broken because there were over 100 million Americans without coverage,” Frommeyer says. He adds that he wants to offer affordable dental care while using online-based services “to incentivize people to invest in their own dental health.”
In the meantime, if you’re a cash-strapped millennial who needs dental care and lacks dental insurance, you may want to:
- Check out dental schools in your area, where dental care costs much less than services from private dentists
- Check out community college dental hygienist training programs for free or low-cost preventive care
- Ask your dentist about a payment plan for more expensive treatments such as fillings and crowns
- Charge your treatment to a low- or zero-interest credit card and pay it off before the interest rate goes up
- Apply for a healthcare financing credit card from CareCredit
- Look for a dental health fair in your area in which practitioners provide free dental screenings and care
- See whether your community health care center offers free or low-cost dental care
- Get treatment at the first sign of tooth pain, before it turns into something requiring a crown, root canal or emergency dental care.
MoneyGeek writer Judith Horstman contributed to this report. Horstman is a former Washington correspondent for Gannett and has written four books for Scientific American.
Have you ever spoken with someone who had such bad breath that you were tempted to turn away or shield your nose from the olfactory onslaught? If a person has such bad breath that it is very noticeable to others, his or her oral health is very poor, with excessive levels of oral bacteria. When oral bacteria levels are left unchecked, the most obvious conditions which develop are gum disease and tooth decay.
Your mouth is a veritable breeding ground for bacteria, and though most of the microbes which take up residence in your mouth are harmless, some species can also enter your lungs and digestive tract and wreak havoc on them. In addition, bacteria which enter the bloodstream from inflamed gums can travel to arteries in the heart, causing them to harden, which then causes plaque to develop on the arterial walls and impede blood flow. In plain terms, bacteria from your mouth can increase your risk of stroke or heart attack. Another vital organ in which oral bacteria can accumulate is the brain, increasing the risk of development of Alzheimer’s dementia.
So how do you most effectively control the amount of bacteria in your mouth and protect yourself against development of major diseases? The most obvious advice is to brush and floss daily, but there are also a number of other guidelines which you should follow for the healthiest teeth and gums.
FOR OPTIMAL ORAL HEALTH, DO THE FOLLOWING:
* brush teeth at least twice daily
* floss daily
* brush your tongue daily
* don’t brush too vigorously
* go for professional dental cleaning every six months
* reduce sugar intake
* get cavities filled as soon as you discover them
I know that many people get very lazy about flossing in particular, complaining that it is tedious and not worth the time. Admittedly, I used to be one of those people until about 15 years ago, when I made a concerted effort to floss daily, and I can tell you that it has made a difference. How do I know? Because when I go for my regular dental exam and cleaning every six months (and I go like clockwork), the dentist or hygienist doesn’t have much to scrape off my teeth. The trick with flossing is to curve the floss and run it along the tooth to remove any stubborn plaque and food items which may be hugging the curves and the spaces between each tooth. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a snap to do.
I also prefer an electric toothbrush with soft bristles. For those of you who use a heavy hand when you brush your teeth, bear in mind that you are wearing down your enamel when you brush vigorously. Allow the oscillation of the brush bristles to do the work. It’s also better for your hand and wrist.
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I am so thrilled to be a Jasmin Influencer! I have been with them since early December, and I have a blast creating highlights for the site and posting every day. Yes that’s right, every single day, even on holidays and weekends!
Please follow me at www.Jasmin.com/staceynaito and check out my highlights and daily story elements! You can also direct message me anytime through the site, and I also make myself available for Video Calls for a pocket of time every day.
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I haven’t posted anything on Dance, but who knows? I may talk about my three year stint with salsa dancing on the Jasmin platform!
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Next week I will be in Japan for two weeks, and though it hasn’t quite sunken in yet, I will finally see the country which is responsible for 50% of my DNA makeup and many of the sensibilities and habits which were instilled in me when I was little.
For over 50 years, my desire to visit Japan was coupled with remorse over even wanting to visit without my mother, since she has never once visited the country from which her parents came. Even more guilt-inducing was thinking about how in the world I could believe that my diluted, half-Japanese self had any right to visit Japan if my mother never got a chance. For those of you who are wondering why I am not taking my mother on this trip, she is 87 years old, wheelchair-bound, incontinent, and actually refuses to take any trips anywhere due to her weary, broken state. I know that she will live vicariously through me, as I retell the stories and experiences which I am about to create on this journey to the motherland.
Over the course of 14 days, I will visit Sapporo, Sendai, Kyoto/Osaka, Nara, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Fukuoka (the prefecture which my grandfather was from), Kumamoto (the prefecture my grandmother was from), Okayama, and Tokyo. Most of my destinations within the land of the rising sun will be reached via Shinkansen, also known as the bullet train.
Because samurai blood runs deep on my grandfather’s side (we are also ultimately descended from the Imperial Family of Japan), I look forward to seeing the older architecture in some areas, and also plan to visit the cemetery in Fukuoka where some of my ancestors are buried. But what I look forward to more than anything else while I am in Japan is the FOOD.
Many Japanese foods, like chawanmushi, mochi, takuan, sukiyaki, agedashi, ramen, sashimi, anpan, and manju, are my comfort foods, and since I will have all types of Japanese cuisine available to me to sample for two weeks, I have a feeling my taste buds will be very happy. I also absolutely adore seafood (perhaps I was a cat in a past life), and will probably be eating it every single day while out there, which is why I will also continue to take chlorella daily to control the mercury levels in my body.
Once I return home, I look forward to creating a blog post in which I discuss my adventures in Japan. It will truly be a blessing to visit the exquisitely beautiful country within which my family’s roots sit.
Please check out this fantastic article by Karen Weeks of Elderwellness.net on optimizing sleep in older individuals.
By Karen Weeks
It’s a well-known fact that we burn calories while we sleep. Therefore, the higher the quality of our sleep, the more fat we will burn throughout the night. But sleep and body fat are even more intertwined than that. Lack of sleep, which is common among seniors, can lead to weight gain, and excess body fat can impede your quality of sleep. It’s a vicious cycle.
If you’re a senior, there are steps you can take to maximize the calories you burn during sleep, and there are also practical things you can do throughout the day that will help you reduce body fat and get better sleep. Here’s what you need to know.
Eating well is a cornerstone of healthy living. And yes, it can even help you sleep more soundly. If you’re super busy and fast food is a part of your normal routine, consider getting an electric pressure cooker. That way, you can cook fast, healthy meals at home and avoid the consequences of fast food. Before you buy anything, check out reviews of various pressure cookers to compare quality, prices, and ease of use.
It’s also worth considering that there are certain foods you can eat late at night that will give your metabolism a boost, which will help you burn more calories in your sleep. Protein shakes, pistachios, plain yogurt, strawberries, and cheese are just a few examples of healthy late-nightsnacks. Just be sure to keep the portions under control so that your body isn’t working too hard to digest, which can keep you from falling asleep.
Get a Move on It
Exercise is another thing that can help you lose body fat and get better sleep. Not only that, but it also comes with a number of mental health benefits, such as improved self-confidence and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.
There are many types of exercise that are safe and beneficial for seniors. Many older adults opt for low-impact movements like swimming, cycling, brisk walking, and using the elliptical. The important thing is that you find something you enjoy and that you do it for at least 30 minutes a day, even if you need to break it into 10- or 15-minute segments.
When you have a solid exercise routine, you will have more energy throughout the day and it will help you feel more tired by bedtime. Morning and afternoon routines tend to work best for improving sleep, as exercising in the evening can make it difficult to fall asleep.
Establish a Killer Bedtime Routine
If you want to get better sleep and burn off more calories, you need a bedtime routine. This can include anything that helps you fall and stay asleep. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day (even on weekends). Also, try a variety of activities that help you wind down and get ready for sleep. Taking a warm bath, listening to soft music, practicing yoga, meditating, and reading a book are all things that can put you in the right frame of mind to drift off.
Make Your Bedroom Dark, Quiet, and Cool
Your bedroom is also important when it comes to healthy sleep, so make sure this space promotes relaxation by keeping it dark and quiet leading up to bedtime and throughout the night.
Keeping the temperature a little cooler can improve sleep as well. Moreover, consider removingthe use of electronic devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, TVs, etc.) from your bedtime routine, as the blue light emitted from the screens can be a sleep disrupter.
If you want to reduce your body fat and get better sleep, make sure you’re following a healthy diet and exercise routine. Also, create a good bedtime routine and turn your bedroom into a sleep haven. Just because poor sleep is common among seniors doesn’t mean you have to accept it as your fate. Making little changes like these might be all it takes to help you improve your overall health and well-being.