How cancer was created by the evolution

BBC has a rather lengthy article on how cancer was created by the evolution.  The gist of it is not very cheerful:

But a more telling reason for the rise is that humans, on average, live a lot longer than they used to. “If you live long enough you will get cancer,” says Biankin.

“If we decide that we all want to live to more than 70, then we have to accept that sooner or later we will get some sort of cancer,” says Bardelli. It is inevitable because our cells have not evolved to maintain their DNA for as long as we now live, he says.

However, there is some really amazing photography of cancer cells and the like.

CP695J Cancer cell scientific 3d illustration
CP695J Cancer cell scientific 3d illustration

National Cancer Institute on Cannabis and Cannabinoids

National Cancer Institute has an interesting update on cannabis … Basically, marijuana is not yet universally approved as a medical treatment for cancer (only in a few states for now), but quite a few large studies suggest that not only it’s not harmful, but quite helpful for both cancer treatment and post-treatment relief.


I think this is a good step in the direction of “the world is not black and white”.  We’ve been tagging everything as just good or bad for way too long.  It’s time to start looking at benefits and side effects in a bit more detail.



According to the Urban Dictionary:

Anatidaephobia is defined as a pervasive, irrational fear that one is being watched by a duck. The anatidaephobic individual fears that no matter where they are or what they are doing, a duck watches.

Anatidaephobia is derived from the Greek word “anatidae”, meaning ducks, geese or swans and “phobos” meaning fear.

A:dude, Anatidaephobia is the coolest phobia ever!

On dental fear

Apparently, both dental fear and dental phobia are a thing, and not something I made up in my head:

It is estimated that as many as 75% of US adults experience some degree of dental fear, from mild to severe.  Approximately 5 to 10 percent of U.S. adults are considered to experience dental phobia; that is, they are so fearful of receiving dental treatment that they avoid dental care at all costs. Many dentally fearful people will only seek dental care when they have a dental emergency, such as a toothache or dental abscess.

There’s a questionnaire in existence (Corah’s Dental Anxiety Scale) to diagnose it.  I scored 17 out of 20, so, yeah – severe anxiety of phobia, but could be slightly worse.  Treatment, interestingly, can combine both behavioral techniques, such as positive reinforcement, and pharmacological solutions such as sedation and anesthesia.

And, for those who want to explore this even further, Dental Fear Central is a good place to start.

Party hard!

Those of us who are of legal drinking age know how to tell a good party from the bad one – if you passed out and can’t remember most of the evening, then you must have had a really good time.  If you were home in time for evening news – you don’t know how to party.  All that is no news.  But, how do you figure out if a kid’s party was any good?  After all the youngsters won’t drink or pass out.  Well, here is one way to measure the fun.  Just count how many bones were broken?  Bonus points for having more than one per limb.

Maxim hand cast

Here’s Maxim with two broken bones in his left hand after a birthday party he attended on Sunday.  From what I hear, it was tonnes of fun.

Nobody knows how exactly that happened – it was in the midst of the usual kids’ fun at the playground, with lots of running, rolling, jumping, and so forth.  One person told me that this was during a reenactment of the TV show featured on the Discover channel a couple of days earlier, where horse were refusing to jump over obstacles, making the people riding them fall in spectacular manner.  For all those “don’t try it at home” warnings, I think, they’ve missed one on this show…

Ergophobia – a fear of work

Ergophobia, (derived from the Greek “ergon” (work) and “phobos” (fear); also called ergasiophobia), is an abnormal and persistent fear (or phobia) of work (manual labornon-manual labour, etc) or finding employment. Ergophobia may also be a subset of eithersocial phobia or performance anxiety. Sufferers of ergophobia experience undue anxiety about the workplace environment even though they realize their fear is irrational. Their fear may actually be a combination of fears, such as fear of failing at assigned tasks, speaking before groups at work (both of which are types of performance anxiety), socializing with co-workers (a type of social phobia), and other fears of emotional, psychological and/or physiological injuries.


Choose a pint over a coffee. For medical reasons. Live longer.

Choose a pint over a coffee. For medical reasons. Live longer.


  • The substances influence the length of telomeres – the end parts of DNA
  • Telomeres get shorter as a person ages, when they’re too short, the cell dies
  • Shorter telomeres are associated with poor health and an increased chance of premature death
  • Caffeine was found to shorten telomeres, but alcohol lengthened them