Marea problema a porcului de Craciun

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Fotografie: http://www.katedraws.com/

Un porc este indopat de macelar pe o perioada de 300 de zile; fiecare zi ii confirma comisiei de analisti faptul ca macelarul iubeste porcii “cu o rata sporita de increderea statistica”. Macelarul va continua sa ii dea de mancare porcului pina in preajma Craciunului. Apoi vine ziua cand nu mai este la fel de grozav sa fi porc. Luat prin surprindere de macelar, porcul isi va revizui opinia, chiar atunci cand increderea lui in afirmatia “Macelarul iubeste porcii” atinsese cota maxima, mai ales ca viata unui porc este foarte linsitita si totul este predictibil intr-un mod reconfortant. In patania porcului putem intrevedea si mama tuturor greselilor vatamatoare: confundarea absentei dovezilor (daunei) cu dovada absentei, o greseala care are radacini adanci in stiintele sociale.

Povestea este adaptata dupa cartea lui Nassim Nicholas Taleb:  Antifragil

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Cum ne influenteaza lumina Soarelui organismul

Mediul inconjurator are un impact major asupra vietii noastre. Astfel am considerat oportun sa scriu un articol despre originea si intensitatea luminii din viata de zi cu zi precum si despre efectele ei asupra corpului uman.

Un studiu recent al omului de stiinta Mirjam Muench a incercat sa afle ce diferente apar intre cele 2 mijloace de luminare. S-au comparat 2 grupuri de oameni, unul fiind expus la lumina naturala, iar celalalt luminii artificiale pe timpul a mai multor zile lucratoare. Rezultatul a fost urmatorul: “Dupa-masa, oamenii care au fost expusi luminii naturale au fost mai alerti la inceputul serii, in timp ce subiectii care au fost expusi luminii artificiale au fost mai somnorosi”. Pe langa starea de oboseala cu care majoritatea dintre noi ne confruntam s-a mai observat faptul ca nivelul cortisolului ( hormon de stres ce are nivel crescut dimineata dupa o perioada normala de odihna pe timpul noptii ) scade semnificativ sub efectul luminii. Mai jos este o diagrama a nivelului de cortisol in organism in functie de momentul zilei:

ciclu

Concluzia ar fi ca atat luminarea slaba cat si prea multa lumina artificiala ne face sa fim mai somnorosi si mai stresati pe termen lung. Totodata, se aduce in discutie si igiena somnului, faptul ca fiecare dintre noi are un bioritm de care trebuie sa tinem cont pentru a ne creste productivitatea si a ne conferi un mic avantaj in viata cotidiana.

Ce putem face pentru a ne creste productivitatea?

  1. Sa ne trezim inainte de rasarit: studiul lui Muench arata ca doar cateva ore suplimentare de lumina naturala ne pot creste nivelul de cortisol. Deseori uitam ca ne trezim cateva ore dupa rasarit. Daca ne trezim la 8 dimineata vara, sunt 2-3 ore de lumina naturala pe care corpul nostru nu le va avea de consumat. Daca decidem sa ne trezim mai devreme e important sa nu uitam de bioritmul propriu si sa incercam sa avem parte de cel putin 7 ore de odihna pe noapte. Exista diferite tehnici prin care putem scadea numarul minim de ore de somn necesare, pastrand acelasi nivel de productivitate si energie, o optiune fiind siesta de 20 de minute din timpul zilei, dar vom vorbi in detaliu despre aceste tehnici intr-un alt articol.
  2. Sa folosim lumina naturala indirecta: aceasta poate fi solutia pentru o luminare benefica a incaperii dupa cum arata si studiul Cornell.
  3. lumi

Ce cantitate de vitamina D primim de la soare?

Vitamina D in special forma D3 este singura vitamina pe care corpul nostru o sintetizeaza, fiind defapt un hormon. Este solubila in grasime, ceea ce inseamna ca va fi depozitata in tesutul adipos.

Vitamina D ajuta organismul sa absoarba calciul, astfel creste densitatea osoasa si reduce riscul aparitiei oaselor moi, fragile sau a fracturilor. Totodata ajuta organismul in dezvoltarea armonioasa a oaselor si a muschilor, tine sistemul imunitar activat, creste productia de insulina si mentine nivelul optim de calciu si fosfor. Studiile recente arata o relatie directa intre nivelul crescut de vitamina D din organism si scaderea riscului de a dezvolta boli autoimune, cardiovasculare, inflamatii cronice, anumite cancere si diabet.Incepand cu 2010, recomandarea zilnica de vitamina D este intre 600 si 800 unitati international ( UI ) pe zi, insa studii mai recente arata ca adultii ar avea nevoie de cel putin 2000 UI de vitamina D in fiecare zi pentru a-si mentine nivelul optim in organism.

In momentul de fata exista trei moduri acceptate ca fiind surse de vitamina D:

  1. Expunerea la lumina naturala a soarelui Se estimeaza ca primim mai mult de 90% din vitamina D prin expunerea directa la lumina Soarelui. Se pare ca am avea nevoie de 5-30 minute de expunere la soare la nivelul fetei, mainilor, a picioarelor sau a spatelui intre orele 10 dimineata si 3 dupa-masa de 2-3 ori pe saptamana ca sa ne asiguram necesarul de vitamina D3. Astfel, in conditii ideala, corpul nostru poate sintetiza intre 10 000 UI – 20 000 UI vitamina D3 in doar 30 minute. Insa din cauza stilului de viata sedentar si a locurilor de munca la birou, la nivel mondial deficitul de vitamina D3 creste deoarece corpul nu are posibilititatea sa sintetizeze necesarul zilnic.
  1. Dieta  O alimentatie bogata in vitamina D poate contine:  oua ~ 20 UI vitamina D, peste gras ~ 400 UI vitamina D, cereale, sucuri naturale, lapte ~ 100 UI.
  1. Suplimentele alimentare specifice

Cum reuseste corpul nostru sa transforme lumina Soarelui in vitamina D?

Corpul nostru este capabil sa produca vitamina D3 atunci cand ne expunem pielea la razele ultraviolete ale soarelui,  mai ales celor de tip B ( UVB ). Atunci cand razele UVB interactioneaza cu pielea noastra o reactie chimica are loc. Corpul incepe procesul de convertire a prohormonului din piele in vitamina D. In acest proces, o forma de cholesterol numit 7-dehidrocolesterol ( 7-DHC ), in mod normal gasit in piele, absoarbe radiatia UVB si va fi convertit in colecalciferol. Colecalciferolul este o previtamina forma D3. Apoi urmeaza, ca previtamina sa calatoreasca prin sange la ficat, unde corpul incepe metabolizarea ei, transformand-o in dihidroxivitamina D, numita si 1,25-dihidroxivitamina D sau 25(OH)2D, aceasta fiind forma de hormon a vitaminei D pe care corpul o poate folosi.

 Cauze a deficitului de vitamina D:

  1. Pigmentul pielii. Cu cat exista mai multa melanina in piele ea va fi mai neagra astfel patrunzand mai putine reze UVB in corp
  2. Procentul ridicat de grasime din corp. Sa nu uitam ca vitamina D este o vitamina liposolubila, astfel cu cat avem un strat adipos mai bine reprezentat cu atat scade sinteza de vitamina D caci devine captiva in celulele de grasime
  3. Varsta. Pe masura ce imbatranim, in mod natural devine din ce in ce mai dificil sa convertim razele solare in vitamina D3
  4. Ecolocatia. Cu cat traim mai la Nord de Ecuator, razele UVB sunt mai scazute astfel scade aportul de tip natural asupra corpului uman
  5. Crema de protectie antiraze ultraviolet. Un factor de protectie de peste 15 impiedica pana la 95% din UVB sa patrunda in corp.
  6. Iluminarea artificiala a incaperilor

Concluzie

Vitamina D3 este supranumita si vitamina soarelui. Insa de cata vitamina D are corpul nostru nevoie si care este cel mai bun mod de a primi-o inca se dezbate. Ea este indispensabila unei sanatati bune a organismului si tine de noi sa nu ii neglijam beneficiile.

Articol realizat de medic rezident Marius Radu Nicula

Alte surse de informare:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/10/29/how-much-sunshine-does-it-take-to-make-enough-vitamin-d-perhaps-more-than-you-think.aspx

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/08/15/Your-Body-Literally-Glows-With-Light.aspx

http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/vitamin-d-and-your-health.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2290997/

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5999/10-Healing-Benefits-of-the-Sun.html

http://blog.lumosity.com/sleep-yourself-to-a-better-memory/

 

About People, Roads and SAFETY

It will take you 2 minutes to read the hole article but at the end it will change the way you look at everyday traffic.

Transfagarasan_twisty_road

 

Transfagarasan picture from Wikipedia

We have one of the most beautiful roads in the world (picture above) according to Jeremy Clarkson and everyone who has been there can probably confirm this.

We also have according to statistics from www.worldlifeexpectancy.com one of the highest death rates related to car accidents from the E.U. countries. From every 100 000  people approx. 13 die in car accidents every year in our country. That means that more than 2000 people die every year just because they took a chance to go somewhere, twice as much as the average in E.U. This number does not include the ones who are badly injured and have to suffer all their life the consequences of a terrible accident. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), road traffic accidents kill more people around the world than malaria, and are the leading cause of death for young people aged five to 29 – especially in developing countries.

In order to better understand this worrying phenomenon, I would like to look a little bit about what seem to be the main causes of car accidents.

According to official reports excessive speeding or speed unsuited to road conditions (25 %) pedestrians crossing the street in unmarked places (18%) and vehicles hitting pedestrians on crossings (12 %) are the main factors that lead to accidents.

In my opinion speeding and speed unsuited to road conditions are 2 different things, because the first one is caused mainly by irresponsible people who either want to show off thinking they are Fernando Alonso driving at the Monaco Grand-Prix or by people who are late for something, most of the times because of poor infrastructure or because they left too late in the first place. Off course this 2 situations can easily be avoided if we know that we are not Fernando Alonso, Monaco is not in Romania and that in average we will get every morning to work in approximately the same time so if we include a 10 min buffer into our program we will be never be late.

However for the second category, speed unsuited to road conditions, the answer is not so simple because most of the times this conditions are not known by the drivers, yes we can see it is cold or raining outside, but we can’t see how big is a hole filled with water or the thin ice formed on the surface of the road at night. On the same note it is hard to say that pedestrians and drivers that hit them are the only ones responsible for these accidents if they do not have sufficient crossings or the ones that exist are not clearly marked. Off course they should have been more careful but maybe it is also our job to make them aware of the dangers they face.

So what actions are being taken around the world to reduce this number?

The UN launched in 2011 its “decade for action” on road safety to cut the 1.3 million deaths on the road each year. The European Commission lunched last year a public debate concerning the future strategy for road safety. The Romanian Government will also lunch this year new driving regulations with increased fines and penalties especially for speeding and not stopping at pedestrian crossings.

This are all good actions and I fully agree that penalties should be applied to those who drive irresponsibly and put their life an others at great risk. I am also confident that some improvement will come out of this actions however I don’t think that the improvement will be significant or sustainable.

The reason for my skepticism is the research in behavioral psychology. As Daniel Kahneman, winner of Nobel prize, said in his book ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’, it has been proven in years of research that rewards for improved performance work better every time than punishment of mistake. The explanation why punishment SEEMS to get results it’s because, most of the times, when we punish someone the person who has been punished was already doing something very bad so whatever he does after that will seem like an improvement to us. In fact this improvement is not dew to the punishment but it is just a regression to the mean, a normal part of life that would have happened without our intervention.

Another statistic that supports my skepticism towards penalties is the correlation between the fines amount, speed limits and number of deaths per year.  As an example we can take Germany (5,7 Deaths/100k), Denmark (5,4 Deaths/100k) France (6,6 Deaths/100k) Holland (4 Deaths/100k) and Romania (13 Deaths/100k) (Data from 2011). The speed limits in this countries are almost the same with Germany as an exception because on many highways it has no speed limits. Since Germany is the only exception we cannot conclude with 100% certainty that in fact speed limits alone do not make the road safer and are required only in certain driving conditions but it sure seems that way.

So if speed limits are not the main reasons maybe the difference is in the amount of the fines: All countries have relatively high fines, compared to average income in that country, with Denmark and France fining more drastically speeding, however the difference in the fine amount is not reflected in the number of deaths as Germany has almost the same rate of mortality as Denmark. Also if we look at Netherlands, which has one of the busiest traffic networks in Europe and average fines, it’s one of the safest place to drive according to statistics, similar to Switzerland with (3,8 deaths/100k).

This long list of statistical data can give us a clue about the results of higher fines and increased punishment. But if punishment is not the main solution what other things are the West E.U. countries doing better than us to get almost 3 times less fatalities on their roads? While driving in many different countries across Europe I noticed 2 main differences and I would like, with your help, to raise awareness about this things so in the future we can all drive on SAFER roads. This differences are related in my opinion to infrastructure and public awareness about safety.

Road surface quality plays a big role in a safe driving environment but also the lack of road signs can have an equally important role. The missing road markings create so many near misses and dangerous situations which I am sure you are all familiar with. For instance when you try to avoid an obstacle on the road and almost hit the incoming traffic, because of a missing triangle to show the obstacle, when the lines on the road do not exist and you realize suddenly you are too close to the edge, when there is someone crossing the street on a place where used to be a road crossing but now the signs on the tarmac are not visible and you have to break suddenly forcing the cars behind you to do the same and the list can go on…All the West European countries have very good road markings especially on dangerous area because if nothing is there to warn us about an upcoming dangerous situation how can we prepare for it?

We don not have good road markings but we can look on the bright side and be happy that we have the chance to install the newest and safest technologies available.

1. Glow in the dark paint for the roads. In Britain Pro-Teq has developed Starpath which is a sprayable coating of light-absorbing particles that harvests ultra-violet rays from the sun during the day and dramatically lights up like a starry sky at night. The veneer is non-reflective, anti-slip and waterproof, and can be applied to cement, wood, tarmac or other solid surfaces. In Holland designers at the Dutch firm Studio Roosegaarde are the architects behind the country’s new transportation redesign. Their first measure is to paint roadway lines over with photo-luminescent powder, making lanes glow brightly in the dark.

2. Traffic signs that can absorb shock from a crash where developed in Britain and road signs for pedestrians crossing  powered by solar energy are already being installed in many parts of our country, signs that can be easily produced in Romania also and that make the crossing much more visible and safer.

This are just a few examples but the other part that needs to be improved in order to reduce the number of people dying is public awareness. We have deep in our culture routed the true belief that health is the most important asset we have however we seem to forget this every time we get behind the wheel of a car. We always wish someone for good health on special occasions and we always pray for it for our self and for our family but we still drive irresponsibly and we put in danger not only our health but also others people health. God can only help us to a certain extent.

So how can we be the change we want to see in the world, next time we drive?

1. Leave 10 min earlier so you don’t have to rush.

2. Remind your colleague who is running late, stuck in traffic, that the world will not end if he is 5 min late and he should take his time to get to you safe rather than fast.

3. Call 112 when we see a dangerous situation on the road with no marking, so that the road authorities can take action, even if it will take them months to do it think about how many people will avoid a crash because you placed a phone call.

4. Remind people that are driving irresponsibly they have someone waiting for them at home.

5. If you are receiving a fine remind yourself that if the fine is the only thing that makes you drive slower in a dangerous area, the fine is preferable instead of a large bill for an expensive car repair, or for hospital care.

We cannot build highways without the Government but we can make the roads a little safer for us, for our children and for others by being just a little more careful next time we drive.

Please help us raise awareness about this topic by sharing with us your suggestions on how can we increase safety on roads and by talking about it with friends, family and officials.

LIFE and HEALTH are the greatest gifts we have and it’s a shame to lose them on the road.

The choice is always yours.

Until next time drive safe,

F.M.B.

reconstructromania@gmail.com

 

For interesting comparisons between countries you can check:

http://www.maki-car-rental.com/rent-a-car/international-car-fatality.html