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So having myocardial perfusion scans are fun. Managed to disgrace myself on the second one this week. After the third try to get the cannula in and two busted veins on my hands, my blood pressure crashed and I passed out. Then on the darn treadmill they had to go full speed to get my heart rate up to 85%, whatever that means, and then inject you with radiation before putting you into an x-ray machine for 30 mins with your hands in the air. I mean if you can do all that you probably aren't so ill as you look in my book. Five hours later emerged darn hungry (Oh yeah its a fasting scan) and somehow drive home. See below for update on heart matters...
All this preceded by laying a carpet on the Sunday and lifting really heavy sewage drain covers the day before. Just because you have a heart condition doesn't mean you give up day to day living, right? I like the story in The Times 22.09.15 about a Pope who died having sex with a mistress. Weren't sure if it was the sex that killed him or when the husband threw him out the window...
On a more mundane note – it’s a year since I had a heart attack (stent fitted, life saved, all that jazz) and started a vegetarian diet. I have been on the statin rollercoaster and resolutely gotten off it. (Yes it is true about muscle pain and loss). My cholesterol stubbornly remains the same as it was when I had the attack, even though I am strict about my diet. I gave up meat and dairy, of course, and discovered that actually I don’t like coffee. Been drinking lattes for at least thirty years. Who knew? Almond milk curdles in coffee, so do all the others. Nothing quite cuts it and I can't stomach black coffee. Eating out is a nightmare, living up North as I do, as there are no vegetarian restaurants and the options in most others is dire, including ghee used in Indian and high salt use in Chinese. Someone suggested Plant Sterol to combat high cholesterol, but others say it can’t help. There is way too much conflicting opinion but most disappointing of all is the British Medical professional stubbornness to refuse to see that diet (and being meat and dairy free) can help someone with heart disease to survive. You see the same thing in care homes and hospitals. There is no link between diet and prescribed medicine. You might, if you are lucky, get a leaflet describing the Mediterranean diet, but surely this diet is for people who live in sunshine and are active. It still involves meat; fish etc and now researchers say Omega 3 doesn’t do what it says on the tin either. But to deny diet plays any part in heart disease as my own doctor does is plain foolishness.
Recently I watched Statin Nation directed by Justin Smith featuring a number of doctors and researchers on the negative effect of statins on humans. It was on FMTV (Food Matters TV). Although overlong, it confirms my worst suspicions that statins are a: useless in prolonging life b: pernicious in side effects c: that the obessions with cholesterol levels is itself a conspiracy to basically say everyone is at risk using manipulated research data by researchers funded by big phama. I ain't swallowing them. I am needlessly worrying about a high rate when in fact twenty years ago this was considered normal. At worst I might live 15 days less overall by not taking statins. FMTV describes itself as Netflix for health. If you are worried or overmedicated or just overwieght and worried, tune in an get an alternative opinion. It might save your life. And if you think statin stats aren't manipulated I have a VW to sell you! Meanwhile we muddle through until we are dead I guess.
Woke up two weeks ago to discover Corbyn still there. Enough about the leader of the opposition already. Five months to elect a man who has already said he won't lead the Trotsky ... I mean Socialists into Government. Book a ticket out of the UK if they do. In Australia they know how to elect a new leader. Takes a day apparently. Tony Abbot's out. That's ruthless politics.
We had the stock market scare in late August and many lost a fortune and many others made one Antonio Graceffo tries to analysis for us here. Panic is a very expensive business. The migrant crisis in Europe continues as hundreds of thousands flee Syria, Eritrea and other places. We live in a volatile world where shocks can come daily. And I haven’t even mentioned the 1000 mile long slick of Red Tide in the Pacific. Or El Nino that's going to wreak havoc for two years it seems.
Shocks are hardly surprising as the world population climbs towards 9 billion people. The craziness in the Chinese stock market is predicable in a country that doesn’t have a free market, or a way of balancing information. The Government controls all the information and very little of it can be true. Is their GDP 7%, or as some suggest 3%? I’m tending towards the 3% figure as commodity prices have fallen so much and that is the warning for a global slowdown – despite what you might believe. QE in America, UK and Europe has unleashed spending – but also increased debt and postponed a massive correction. Australia is hurting and most of their economy is tied to exporting minerals. I buy their wine, but China isn’t buying the minerals. (Hence Abbot is dumped even though it isn't his fault). Saudi is still pumping oil like it is going out of business and Iran will start doing the same soon. I have a small bet on with my neighbour. Oil at $60 at Christmas he says, I say $25. If Putin invades Ukraine and Estonia next month all bets are off however for everything.
The economic migration numbers are entirely predicable. Let’s ask this question. Is it cheaper to deal with Assad and ISIS now or transfer most of the Middle East population to Europe? Because everyday we don’t deal with either – more will come. Every month ISIS grows stronger (tacitly supported by Turkey who bomb the only people actually fighting ISIS the PKK) and are harder to stop. We need an army on the ground there and ISIS will crumble – to let it grow so that it eventually swallows most of the Middle East is a total dereliction of duty. In Huffington Post recently a sentient article The Second ISIS War (2015-2024) by Joseph V. Micallef was looking back on ISIS historical growth from the year 2047 and sees them taking most of Europe by that time and you can understand why and how that could be achieved. Once they have possession of nuclear weapons they will be unstoppable. (And more willing to use them).
Meanwhile more will drown or be marching up the Macedonian railway lines to Germany and camping in Calais to try and get to the UK or on their way to Sweden. There are political and military solutions out there, but it seems we don’t have the kind of politicians able to make any kind of decisions. In the end of course we might get the kind of politicians we really don’t want (Trump comes to mind) and the migrants might well wish they had stayed at home. If August was full of surprises, September looks more of the same. And is Germany wrong to state they will take 800,000 and thus set off an avalanche of people from all over the middle-east? And then to insist everyone else do the same in Europe is a bit rich. Where are the houses, the schools, the teachers, doctors, hospitals to cope with this influx?
*It's September and I just saw 'American Ultra'. I have no problems with the performances of Kristen Stewart or Jesse Eisenberg (indeed look forward to reading his collection of short stories), but if you are going to promote a movie as a comedy there should be at least one laugh in it. One. The relationship between the two characters is very nicely done and extremely convincing. But poor old Reyna from Nashville (Connie Britton to you) looks totally lost and everyone else is in a different movie. It's like a mashup between a druggy Swedish crime drama and Police Academy 5. Really hoping the director and writer don't get a chance to make anything else.
© Sam North September 2015 - Joint Editor -
*As ever Hackwriters is supported by sales of our books - so do buy, print or kindle we aren't picky.
**And thanks for those who do. The Heaviness, Another Place to Die: The Endtime Chronicles and Repercussions finally selling in some numbers on Kindle - Check out Sam Hawksmoor's new book Marikka published by Hammer & Tong
||MARIKKA- exclusively on Amazon Print and kindle 2015
Based on a tragic real life event, Marikka flees from an arson attack on her home to the sea, where she meets Starfish boy – a runaway working for Jackson, a scarred man hiding a sinister secret from the world. Meanwhile her real father searches for her with the aide of Anya, ‘the girl who can read objects’. More about the writing of this book
‘Long after my tears dried, my heart stayed with Marikka, Starfish Boy and the strange girl who reads objects.’ CT
You will smile, you will gasp with shock, and you will struggle to read the words through your tears. Gemma Williams Amazon.co.uk 2015
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The Repercussions of Tomas D
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Now read the final thrilling conclusion to the series 'The Heaviness' suitable for any reader who likes to think about such things as betrayal, revenge, relationships and the laws of gravity
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