Everybody is talking about it. It’s shaping up to be one of the worst flu seasons in years. And, with all the commotion It never fails, we hear it every year - “Nah man, I don’t mess with the flu shot! The last time I got it, it gave me the flu!” Or, the always classic “Why would I get that shot again? Last year I got it, and still got the flu!”. With that being said, we decided to sit down and put together a short article on why getting the flu shot won’t give you the flu, but also why it can’t guarantee you won’t get it either.
THE BASICS: Without getting too “sciency” on you, lets talk about the flu shot itself. When you get a flu shot, what you’re actually getting is what’s known as a “dead virus”, which means the virus in the shot is, well, dead. “There is simply no way that the flu vaccine can give you the flu,” says Christine Hay, MD, assistant professor at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “It’s impossible” (we’ll explain why it’s impossible later).
Dana White, the President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), is a man best known for making Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) news headlines for what comes out of his mouth, but more recently has been in the news for what’s going on in his ear.
White recently shared with the MMA world that he suffers from an inner ear problem known as Ménière’s disease (pronounced min-yairs). And, in true transparent Dana White fashion, he’s opened up about his battle with the condition, the treatment he’s receiving and his beef with doctor’s who wont give him the surgery he thinks he needs. In part one ofthis edition of The Hurt-Locker we’ll help make sense of what Ménière’s disease is, what causes it and how it’s treated.
The Basics - The Ear, What It Is, What It Does And How It’s Supposed To Work:
The general ear anatomy can be broken down into three major parts: The outer ear, which is basically the stuff you can see on the side of your head (i.e. earlobe, some of the ear canal etc, etc). The middle ear, this area starts behind the eardrum; when most people talk about having an “ear infection” this is the space they’re most often talking about. Last we have the inner ear, there is a lot going on here and this will be the area we focus on the most when talking about Ménière’s disease.
“Health has a lot to do with controlling the five senses. If you do not control your five senses, it’s almost impossible to stay healthy.” – KRS-ONE (Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone)
Hip Hop has the potential to make people healthier. And when we say that, we are not referencing corny fitness dudes like Shaun T of “Hip Hop abs.” The potential is referring to the healthy ideals of cultural icons in the game. For example, one can easily learn a healthy lifestyle from observing the spiritual focus of a Russell Simmons, the physical dedication of an LL Cool J, or the nutritional practices of a KRS-ONE. In a generation where social media has allowed fans to connect to celebrities like never before, there is a tremendous potential for artists to spread the gospel of healthy living (that is if they choose to be role models). With premature health-related deaths of some of the game’s most respected figures last year (i.e. Heavy D, Nate Dogg), the Hip Hop community has recognized the importance of healthy living more than ever before. In one interview, KRS-ONE offers some scholarly wisdom about the roots of Hip Hop as he says, “Hip Hop is a strategy. If you can just remember this one point. The one point that a lot of people forget is that in the 70’s, Hip Hop started as a strategy. It was a strategy to help you have better health, better wealth, and a better awareness of yourself or your environment. It was a strategy.”
Let’s resurrect the strategy.
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[ Injury-Duty Hurt Locker ] : There is a thin line between bravery and stupidity, and at UFC #140 Antonio Nogueira proved that telling one from the other can be damn near impossible. After having Frank Mir within his clutches, Nogueira decided to pass up what was as close to a certain knockout victory as one will ever see, and instead went for a submission. The result, well… a reflective Nogueira had this to say about his decision:
“It was stupid. The fight was won, but I made up my mind to go for a submission. Two more shots and I knocked out Mir for sure. But I wanted to finish the fight beautifully. I wanted to finish with a submission. For a long time I had not finished a fight with a submission, so for a moment I wanted to submit him (laughs). But it was stupid, I should have gotten the knock out. The fight was mine and I missed the opportunity. I felt very well. I was fast with good movement and very confident. I tried to submit when I was in a position where he could counter attack and he ended up taking my arm. I made a mistake, it was stupid …”
For his efforts, Mir recovered and slapped a kimura (arm lock; see figure 1) on Nogueira’s right arm, fracturing (breaking) it at the humerus (the upper arm; see figure 2). Original reports were that no surgery would be needed, and the MMA community breathed a collective sigh or relief. The PrideFC legend and former UFC Heavyweight champ would be back in no time. (click here if you haven’t seen the end of the fight yet)
…Not so fast.
Chicago Bears Wide-Receiver Sam Hurd was arrested on Wednesday on federal drug charges. Seems that Hurd had been under surveillance for months by the FEDs going back to when he was playing for the Dallas Cowboys.
Reports say Hurd (a ripe 26 years old), was knocked for trying to hash out a deal with an undercover agent in a Chicago suburb for a mere 10 kilos of that white (cocaine, come on keep up) and 1,000 lbs of marijuana… wait for it, A WEEK. Hey, at least he was confident in his potential consumer base- especially in this economy.
In July, Hurd was picked up by the Bears as a free agent, signing a three-year deal worth $5.15 million. Hurd, who was apparently working his second job even as the NFL season was in full swing (cue up Curtis Mayfield’s “Pusherman”), reportedly earlier this month was in contact with an informant attempting to purchase some more product. And as recently as this past Wednesday, Hurd asked to place an order for 5-10 kilos of coke at $25,000 per kilo (is that a good deal? Where’s Michael Irvin when you need’em?), and 1,000 pounds of marijuana at $450 a pound (Ricky Williams, anybody got his number?). He was also allegedly bragging that he’d been already moving about four kilos a week in the Chi, but that his current supplier just couldn’t keep up with his demand. The rat, I mean undercover agent, hooked Hurd up with a kilo of coke, which he took, and said he’d set up arrangements to get’em the cash later. As he left the restaurant, he was popped in the parking lot.
As much as Hurd hated facing defenses on the field, he’d better start to love playing D and assemble himself an O.J.-esque dream team (we miss you, Johnnie Cochran) because he’s facing cocaine conspiracy charges which could land him in the bing for up to 40 years and a $2 million fine, if found guilty. He’s currently out on $100,000 cash bond. Man… cocaine. It’s a hell of a drug.
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With Brandon Roy’s retirement announcement last week, the only thing the city of Portland is blazing (besides chronic…ba-dum-tsh) is a trail of disappointment and unfulfilled potential. You would think the team that gave up Michael Jordan for Sam Bowie would catch a big break in the karmic cycle of professional basketball. Think again. Between Roy’s degenerative knees and multiple knee surgeries for their former 1st round draft pick, Greg Oden, the Blazers have new meaning for the term “Contract Killers.”
No stranger to injury, Roy was plagued by knee troubles since his college days at the University of Washington. A meniscus tear in his right knee forced the college star to the bench during his junior year. Although B-Roy contemplated entering the NBA draft after a strong recovery from knee surgery, he decided to finish his education and play UW basketball for one more season (good decision in hindsight). After a historic senior year, the first team All-American and PAC-10 player of the year was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2006 (only to be traded shortly after to the Portland Trailblazers). Even after dealing with a left heel injury that sidelined “The Natural” for 20 games, Roy came back with a vengeance and was awarded the NBA rookie of the Year award.
Perhaps the most exciting part about the anticipation leading up to big boxing fight is the infamous pre-fight stare down between fighters. Everybody hoping to catch a rare glimpse into the soul of each man… Is he scared? Did he look cool, calm and collected? Who cracked first? The truth is, the stare down rarely reveals anything of value. Instead, most of us make what we want of it by exaggerating even the slightest of looks, the simplest of gestures.
Leading up to Antonio Margarito’s rematch with Miguel Cotto however, the significance of this stare down was different. After sustaining what many considered to be career ending eye injuries at the hands of Manny Pacquiao in November of 2011, all eyes would be on Margarito’s, well, eye. The word was out, he’d undergone surgery to repair an orbital fracture (broken eye-socket) and needed surgery to remove a cataract from his eye, which also involved placement of an artificial lens (to read more about it click here: “Hurt Locker”). Margarito’s camp insisted the eye was fine and ready for battle, but details were sketchy about the specifics of his operations.
Is the world ready for another Kardashian? Word on the street is that Khloe Kardashian, the youngest of the Kardashian sisters trio is turning to in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help her get her own bun in the oven. While already step-mom to hubby, Lamar Odom’s two kids from a previous marriage, it’s no secret that Khloe’s been dying to have a baby of her own. And now that big sister, Kourtney has baby #2 on the way, we suspect that Khloe’s got a bit of a fire lit under her.
The driving force for evolution has long been conception, one of the most natural things that can occur between a man and a woman. Sperm meets egg and you’re off to the races. One cell becomes two, two becomes four, and so on until 9 months later, little Junior pops out. However, this act of nature isn’t as easy as it seems. Infertility, defined as a couple’s inability to conceive after a year of unprotected intercourse, is becoming a more ubiquitous problem these days for roughly 10-15% of American couples. Infertility can occur due to several reasons- structural abnormalities in the female reproductive tract, irregular ovulation, and hormonal imbalances to name a few. Furthermore, in a society that occasionally has the tendency to prioritize professional career development and family planning over actually starting a family, women who wait longer to get pregnant often find themselves having a hard time doing so. At 27, Khloe’s biological clock is beginning to tick, and given her well-documented struggles with conceiving, turning to other options to have a child seems like the next logical step.
A lot has been made of boxer Antonio Margarito’s eye surgery going into his rematch with Miguel Cotto this past December 3rd, 2011, and rightfully so. The eye is a delicate organ and mucking up its function could be devastating to a person’s quality of life and livelihood.
Margarito underwent two separate surgeries as a result of the beat-down he took in his loss to Manny Pacquiao last year. One surgery involved repair of his orbital fracture (broken eye socket). The second surgery was to remove a cataract and the insertion of an intraocular lens (IOL), which was done just this past May. Both injuries were to his right eye.
In this edition of “Hurt-Locker,” we’ll take an in depth look at what cataracts are, how we get them and specifically how Margarito was treated. (And if you missed the fight, don’t trip. We have the stoppage for you queued and ready to watch…)
Why do we love football so much? Maybe it’s the weekly displays of superhuman strength, speed, and athleticism in a sport rooted in strategy, brute force, and combat. Or maybe a lot of us still have some animal left in us from our days in the jungle. Football players are like modern day gladiators in stadiums that reflect the blood-loving and bone-crushing sentiments of Roman Coliseums. Thousands upon thousands fill arenas to the brim while millions more congregate in their homes to watch the hard-hitting, hear the gridiron clamoring, and possibly feel the aftershock of an earth-shattering tackle in this spectacle for the sadistic senses. How could something that sounds so wrong, feel so incredibly right? I love watching someone getting the chocolate knocked out of them as much the next guy, but as someone who studies science as much as sport, evidence now shows the impact those hits to the helmet that make fans go “oooo” have on players. If it hurts to watch, some of these “lights-out” blows may not be as short lived as our attention spans.
Football has come a long way in terms of the health of players. In the 60’s, it was common for football players to die after a head injury. Improved helmet designs that better absorbed the impact of hits greatly lowered the risk of serious brain injuries and facial fractures. However, the injury rates began to increase a decade later as players started feeling bulletproof in their new helmets and started tackling players by charging at them with the top of their helmets (spear tackling). It is actually a rule that players are supposed to tackle with their heads up. Spear tackling can increase already Goliath energy and mass (increases your mass by 67%!) by enabling the guy tackling to use his whole body in the impact by aligning his head, neck and torso into an explosion of force toward the head of another player. BOOM!
Typically, concussions are not seen in striking players, however this style of tackling greatly increases forces on the neck, which can increase the risk of concussions as well as compression fractures in the spinal column. Take a look at what happened last Sunday to Steelers’ safety defending Defense Player of the Year, Troy Polamalu.
So November 30th-December 6th is Jimmy V Week. Who is Jimmy V? Jimmy Valvano, affectionately known as Jimmy V, was one of the most passionate figures in college basketball. Jimmy V was the coach of the North Carolina State Wolfpack when the team won the 1983 National Championship in Cinderella-like fashion. He was probably best known for rushing the court in disbelief for someone to hug after possibly the biggest play in the history of college basketball. Watch this clip from CBS Sports if you don’t know what I’m talking about:
There are many reasons for my love of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), but one of the main ones is that anything can happen in any given fight. The thing I dislike the most about MMA? The judges. If you’ve ever watched a fight go the distance, then you know how horrific judges scoring has been. And, this isn’t a recent change. Its NEVER been good. Or Consistent.
Fighters are always looking to “send a message” to the judges. They often try to “finish strong” at the end of rounds, most of the time hoping to land the last strike, take their opponent down or get up off of their back if they happen to be mounted. The goal is simple; if the judges are “on the fence” on who to give the round to, you want the last image they see to be you scoring on your opponent. It basically comes down to MMA judges not being well-versed in the techniques of the sport. Simple “tricks” such as “finishing strong” can nullify legitimate scoring done in any given round (i.e. judges are notorious for awarding rounds to fighters in the top position while on the ground, despite the bottom fighter being more active).
Movember is a movement supporting prostate cancer and other male cancer initiatives in partnership with LiveStrong and the Prostate Cancer Foundation. It’s scary to think that 1 in 2 guys will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and 1 in 4 will die from cancer. We have all heard that women live longer than men (on average 5 years longer!). Any idea why? It has a lot to do with how aware (or unaware) men are about their own health. Guys are notorious for avoiding the doctor’s office with our “It’ll be aite” attitude. We lost two great dudes too soon this past week (Joe Frazier and Heavy D) to likley preventable causes.The goal of Movember is to change the face of men’s health and reverse the commonly used dude logic regarding health. So, give the Hipsters some company and sport a moustache this month to support Men’s health (ladies that can grow one are welcome to as well:). Go to www.movember.com for more information. It’s moustache season.
Here are some real “bro tips” from the Movember movement: