Friday, February 26, 2010

Enlarged prostate

That’s the sort of thing one thinks about more often, as one gets older. At least, if one is a oner and not a oness.

A few years ago, I read that 50% of men aged 50 have an enlarged prostate. (How enlarged? The article didn’t say.) Or benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH, which sounds so much less scary. Or possibly more.

The same article said that the rate increases to 60% at age 60. And 70% at age 70. It’s linear!

Surely those numbers were rounded off. My father is almost 101, so I have some hopes of living at least that long myself. Does that mean that I can be 100% sure of having BPH at age 100?

And what happens after that? If every man age 100 or over has BPH, then in order for that line on the graph to continue upward linearly (which of course it has to do because that’s the way it worked in the old science fiction stories I read as a kid, and those are the source for my understanding of the workings of the Universe), then old women would have to start getting BPH, too, which is of course impossible.

Perhaps after age 100, the line suddenly turns downward. If you make it past 100, your prostate starts to shrink again! (I could ask my father, but I hate to give him another reason to talk to me about his prostate gland.)

I can imagine a conversation between an old guy and his doctor.

Doctor: Joe, I have good news and bad news for you.

Joe: What’s the bad news?

Doctor: Those problems you have urinating, it’s because you have BPH. (Explains what that is.) And it’s going to keep getting worse.

Joe: Well, that’s a pisser. Not. What’s the good news?

Doctor: You’re 90 years old. If you can make it for another ten years, your prostate is going to start shrinking again.

Joe: That’s good news? All I have to do is hang on for ten years, and I’ll be able to pee again?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

David’s Definitions for April 2010

At Loggerheads

When people are at loggerheads, they are in conflict and unable to agree. The origin of the phrase is apparently unclear. In 16th-century England, a loggerhead was a heavy block of wood to which horses were tethered to keep them from wandering away. In those days, loggerhead also meant a stupid person, a blockhead. In the next century, a certain kind of heavy iron tool was also called a loggerhead. The assumption is that people who were in conflict were said to be at loggerheads because the conflict makes one think of fighting with such dangerous items. The original meaning of loggerhead survives in the name of the loggerhead turtle, which is named that because of its unusually large head.

(Will be published in the April 2010 issue of Denver's Community News.)

I'm collecting all of these (but I’m way behind) at:

Unclose shave at the Olympics

A couple of years ago, I wrote a blog post complaining about the stupid stubble look on men. Three-day whiskers. The absurd Miami Vice look, made popular by a TV show that’s probably unknown to the young men who are forgetting to shave in this century. Some older men, too, for God’s sake.

As is always the case, an incisive post on my blog somehow failed to change the world. And now, two years later, scraggly whiskers abound at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, an otherwise beautiful city. Okay, the female athletes are still beautiful. It’s the men who all look like Skid Row bums.

I tell ya, thanks to the overly flamboyant costumes, we can even see that some of the male figure skaters and ice dancers have more hair on their chins than their chests.

As for the skiers, someone ought to tell them that a clean shave might shave a hundredth of a second off their downhill times. I have no idea if that’s true, but someone ought to tell them that, anyway.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Spam comments

What's with spam comments on blogs?

This blog gets a lot of commercial spam in the comments section. I also see generic comments that say something like "Thanks for the info. I'd like to read more about this topic." That one shows up on other blogs, as well. It's strange, and of course very annoying and cluttering.