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Jim's Jottings


Going from crashes to brain loss, etc



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March 09, 2011 - I've often wondered how many cars Ford, GM, Chrysler, etc., build and destroy before they get to a showroom.

We didn't hear of crash testing when Henry Ford and Walter Chrysler were getting started, but we didn't hear "Call Sam" commercials much, either.

Today crash testing is a must. One such company that does a lot of crash testing in Auburn Hills. One of their workers enlightened me about some testing on the Volt.

That's GM's mini-car that the White House is practically forcing companies to manufacture. Since I believe in letting the marketplace decide what car we should buy, I know little about the Volt.

But, I think it's battery/gasoline powered vehicle that I don't think I would fit in and if I did, I couldn't get out.

As I understand it, the Volt's high voltage battery disengages when crashed, thus passengers aren't killed by the electric shocks.

However, those attending the wreckage should wear masks because of the toxic fumes that are emitted.

In car crash tests front end, rear end and side crashes are required. That's four cars.

Then there are electronically outfitted dummies in the car which can cost multiple thousands.They, of course, can be refitted and used again, so some expense is saved.

The Auburn Hills plant isn't the only one banging cars into immovable barriers. There are hundreds of things to test in a car. That's not counting the driver, whose testing is not rigorous.

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• Heard this just today: During the Reagan years we had Bob Hope and Johnny Cash. Today we have neither hope nor cash.

• Mike Huckabee came on, and before I could click him off, I heard him say: "I highly recommend the book I just wrote." Duh!

• I'm embarrassed for our country to see Hillary Clinton traveling the world meeting with, and speaking to, people who have no female leaders, delivering messages to the unhearing and returning after seemingly accomplishing nothing.

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Crittenton Hospital's Wellspring magazine says if we're considering laparoscopic (I call it fat removal) surgery, we should get our BMI index in order.

Wellspring writes: To get your BMI number multiply your weight in pounds by 703. Then divide that number by your height in inches, squared.

I weigh 250 pounds and am 76 inches high.

That puts my bmi at, 31.2. Which makes me feel pretty good. Those of us who have a number 30 or higher are considered obese. Being only 1.2 over 30 puts me at the comfort level.

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Scientist, researcher Dr. Joe Tumac spoke to Oxford Rotary about alzheimers. Pen in hand, I took notes because I can't remember too good. He said the disease only started drawing much attention in the 1980s.

He had little good to say about statins (a class of drug used to lower cholesterol levels); there being only 30 percent benefit.

Four signs of alzheimers are memory loss, withdrawal, B-12 deficiency and depression. I can relate to all but withdrawal. My ego won't let it in.

He said we lose two percent of our brain a year. He didn't say if it goes faster for men over 76 inches. Dr. Tumac emphasized the need to exercise. He also said the brain is 70 percent cholesterol.

The message he left us with is: "Cholesterol is needed for the brain -- keep an eye on fat."

Jim Sherman, Sr. is president of Sherman Publications, Inc. He has penned "Jim's Jottings" since 1955.
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