How Many Pills Are Too Many? How to Get Those Pills on the Cheap. And Oh Nuts! – That’s what we Yak About Today.

How Many Pills Are Too Many? How to Get Those Pills on the Cheap. And Oh Nuts! – That’s what we Yak About Today.

By Scott Gelber

Popping Pills

The point of prescription drugs is to help us get or feel well. Yet Americans are taking so many medications that doctors are being encouraged to pause before prescribing and think about   as well.

Yet an increasing number of Americans — typically older ones with multiple chronic conditions — are taking drugs and supplements they don’t need, or so many of them that those substances are [interacting]

Though many prescription drugs are highly valuable, taking them can also be dangerous, particularly taking a lot of them at once. The vast majority of higher-quality studies summarized in [a systematic review]

Listen to Yak About. Today for the complete story.

Blink Health

Blink Health scours the Internet to find out what people are actually paying for their prescriptions. Then, in the case of generic medications, Blink Health negotiates with the pharmacy to get a certain price.**

Say you need to pick up a prescription for your medication, but you have a high deductible plan that requires you to pay $3,000 out of your own pocket before your insurance starts picking up the rest of the tab. Instead of going to the pharmacy and accepting whatever price they offer (which can vary from pharmacy to pharmacy), you could download the Blink Health app, or go to the company’s website.

In the app, you can find your prescription and purchase it directly through the app. Then, when you get to the pharmacy counter, you show your phone to the pharmacist who rings it up instead.

There are other prescription services that can show you different retail prices, such as GoodRx. One of the biggest differences between Blink Health and those sites are that instead of possibly having to choose a different pharmacy from the one you usually go to, Blink Health users can still go to their regular pharmacy, so long as it accepts Blink Health, which more than 57,000 do.

Oh Nuts!

But what /exactly/ are you getting from your afternoon snack of nuts? I’ve got a few nuts for you and I’ll tell you what they do

We found all that important information in an easy-to-read infographic. It breaks down the health benefits found in some of the most popular snacking nuts. Check it out:

 

Is Cancer a matter of Bad Luck? Walk, Stretch or Dance? Which is Better for the Brain. We Yak About this and more.

Is Cancer a matter of Bad Luck? Walk, Stretch or Dance? Which is Better for the Brain. We Yak About this and more.

 

Without a cure in sight, cancer has become one of society’s biggest concerns. The fear of getting it is enough for many people to change their lifestyles in dramatic and meaningful ways, and even though it’s increasingly possible to beat the disease, it remains one of the biggest universal health worries.

As it turns out, all that anxiety may be for nothing, as new research suggests that getting cancer is more about bad luck than lifestyle factors, though it’s still possible to lessen your overall chances.

As it turns out, all that anxiety may be for nothing, as new research suggests that getting cancer is more about bad luck than lifestyle factors, though it’s still possible to lessen your overall chances.

Usually Science has historically kept its distance when it comes to estimating the number of cancers that are caused by any particular factor, and what cases of the disease would have happened regardless of outside influence. Johns Hopkins University scientists published a new study in the journal Science that does exactly what researchers have avoided doing for ages, and the figures may come as a bit of a surprise.

The team sought to pinpoint the cause of the genetic mutations that cause cancer, and determine what influenced the outcome. Shockingly, the data suggests that a full 66% of the mutations that eventually result in cancer are completely random errors in the DNA, with no direct cause. Environmental factors — like smoking, pollution, and all the other things we think of as being triggers for the disease — account for about 29% of cancers. The last 5% are thought to be inherited.

The scientists explain that DNA mutations normally don’t occur in genes with cancer-causing ability, and therefor don’t have any negative consequences. When mutations randomly occur in certain genes, however, cancer may result, and most of the time it’s simply “bad luck.”

Walk, Stretch or Dance? Dancing May Be Best for the Brain

by GRETCHEN REYNOLDS, nytimes.com

April 5, 2017

Could learning to dance the minuet or fandango help to protect our brains from aging?

A new study that compared the neurological effects of country dancing with those of walking and other activities suggests that there may be something unique about learning a social dance. The demands it places on the mind and body could make it unusually potent at slowing some of the changes inside our skulls that seem otherwise inevitable with aging.

Neuroscientists and those in middle age or beyond know that brains alter and slow as we grow older. Processing speed, which is a measure of how rapidly our brains can absorb, assess and respond to new information, seems to be particularly hard hit. Most people who are older than about 40 perform worse on tests of processing speed than those who are younger, with the effects accelerating as the decades pass.

Scientists suspect that this decline is due in large part to a concomitant fraying of our brain’s white matter, which is its wiring. White matter consists of specialized cells and their offshoots that pass messages between neurons and from one part of the brain to another. In young brains, these messages whip from neuron to neuron with boggling speed. But in older people, brain scans show, the white matter can be skimpier and less efficient. Messages stutter and slow.

Whether this age-related decline in white matter is inexorable, however, or might instead be changeable has been unclear.

So for the new study, which was published this month in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, researchers from the University of Illinois in Urbana and other schools decided to look at the effects of several different types of exercise on the wiring and the function of older people’s brains.

They began by recruiting 174 healthy people in their 60s and 70s with no signs of cognitive impairment. Most were sedentary, although some occasionally exercised.

Then they invited the men and women to a university lab for tests of their aerobic fitness and mental capacities, including processing speed and a brain scan with a sophisticated M.R.I. machine.

Finally, the researchers randomly divided the volunteers into several groups. One began a supervised program of brisk walking for an hour three times a week. Another started a regimen of supervised gentle stretching and balance training three times a week.

The last group was assigned to learn to dance. These men and women showed up to a studio three times a week for an hour and practiced increasingly intricate country-dance choreography, with the group shaping itself into fluid lines and squares and each person moving from partner to partner.

After six months, the volunteers returned to the lab to repeat the tests and the brain scans from the study’s start.

The differences now proved to be both promising and worrisome.

By and large, everyone’s brain showed some signs of what the scientists termed “degeneration” of the white matter. The changes were subtle, involving slight thinning of the size and number of connections between neurons.

But the effects were surprisingly widespread throughout people’s brains, given that only six months had elapsed since the first scans, said Agnieszka Burzynska, the study’s lead author and a professor of human development and neuroscience at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. (She was previously a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Illinois.)

The degeneration was especially noticeable in the oldest volunteers and those who had been the most sedentary before joining the study.

However, one group showed an actual improvement in the health of some of the white matter in their brains, compared to six months before. The dancers now had denser white matter in their fornix, a part of the brain involved with processing speed and memory.

It seems likely that the cognitive demands of the dancing, which required people to learn and master new choreography throughout the six months of the study, affected the biochemistry of the brain tissue in the fornix, Dr. Burzynska said, prompting increases in the thickness and quantity of the wiring there.

Interestingly, none of the changes in the volunteers’ white matter were obviously reflected in their cognitive performance. Almost everyone performed better now on thinking tests than at the study’s start, including tests of their processing speed, even if their white matter was skimpier.

These results indicate that there could be a time lag between when the brain changes structurally and when we start having trouble thinking and remembering, Dr. Burzynska said.

But, more encouraging, she said, they also suggest that engaging in “any activities involving moving and socializing,” as each of these group programs did, might perk up mental abilities in aging brains.

“The message is that we should try not to be sedentary,” she said. “The people who came into our study already exercising showed the least decline” in white matter health, she points out, and those who took up dancing showed white-matter gains.

Of course, this study was relatively short-term. Dr. Burzynska hopes in the future to study the brains of people engaging in different types of exercise over the course of several years.

But for now, she says the data provide another rationale for moving — and perhaps also learning to contra dance and sashay.

© 2017 The New York Times Company.

The content you have chosen to save (which may include videos, articles, images and other copyrighted materials) is intended for your personal, noncommercial use. Such content is owned or controlled by The New York Times Company or the party credited as the content provider. Please refer to nytimes.com and the Terms of Service available on its website for information and restrictions related to the content.


DAVID YAKIR HERE for YAK ABOUT HELPING YOU BE BETTER, HEALTHIER AND MORE INFORMED THAN ANY GENERATION THAT CAME BEFORE.

4 Devices I Recommend For Cord Cutters (Get Rid of that cable package)

4 Devices I Recommend For Cord Cutters (Get Rid of that cable package)

If you are tired of paying for the cable packages you don’t need, there really is no reason to subscribe to pay TV anymore. There are so many great services out there that stream tens of thousands of hours of content for next to nothing, and you can get all of the major networks for free in high-quality 1080p Full HD. So seriously… why are you still paying for cable? And if you shop from here, you will help sponsor the Yak About series.

In this post, we’ll show you four devices that will let you cut the cord with ease.

Set-Top Box

First, you’ll need a streaming box so you can watch Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now and every other service. We recommend the Roku Premiere+.

Roku Premiere+ Streaming Media Player

  • Perfect for HD and 4K Ultra HD TVs, features fast quad-core processor and 802.11ac dual-band wireless.
  • 4K Ultra HD at 60fps with four times the resolution of 1080p HD, delivering crisp detail and brilliant, life-like images.
  • Vibrant HDR displaying an incredible range of colors, brighter whites, and deeper blacks.
  • Enhanced point anywhere remote with headphones for private listening.
  • Unbiased search across top channels. Find where it’s free or cheapest to watch.

Antenna

Next up, you’re going to need an HDTV antenna that gets you live broadcast TV in FHD from every major network for free.

Vansky Indoor Amplified HDTV Antenna

FREE CHANNELS — Cut the cable and get access to your local news, weather, sitcoms, kids and sports programs, educational programs etc., Absolutely FREE. Enjoy crystal clear HDTV shows, 720p, 1080i, 1080p | ATSC available.The Indoor TV antenna can help.
50-MILE RANGE — The Upgraded Version antenna amplifier boosts the TV antenna with better signal and butterfly pattern optimizes reception. Working frequency: VHF 174-240MHz, UHF 470-862MHz. Channel reception may vary depending on what’s broadcasting in your area, distance from broadcast towers, terrain and the surroundings. Before you buy, Check what available channels are in your area by using these websites:”antennaweb.org” or “antennapoint.com”.
16.5FT LONG COAXIAL CABLE — Makes indoor TV antenna easier for you to place it in your house to get the best reception, especially for customers whose televisions are quite far away from windows.
SLIM & HIGH PERFORMANCE — Paper-thin design makes free HDTV antenna easy to lay flat on table, hide it behind the TV, or place it high on window (highly recommended). It’ll pull in hundreds of crystal clear digital & HD shows!
WHAT YOU GET — Vansky Indoor HDTV Antenna with 16.5ft coax cable, USB power adapter with spare cable,Amplifier Signal Booster,Spare 3M Sticker. Together with 45 Days Money Back, One Year Guarantee and Friendly, Easy-to-reach Support. If you don’t satisfied with the channels you get, feel free to contact us.If the external amplifier can’t work as expect,You can also purchase our HDTV antenna Amplifier Signal Booster here: B01N2QRBCC

Modem

You’ll also definitely want to get your own cable modem since the cost of your internet will go up once you ditch cable and lose your bundle discount. We recommend the Netgear model below, and you’ll find faster versions of it on that page if you want.

NETGEAR DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem

ELIMINATE MONTHLY CABLE MODEM RENTAL FEES – Up to $120 per year.
Up to 340Mbps download and upload speed. Separate router required for WiFi. 8×4 channel bonding.
DOCSIS 3.0 unleashes 8x faster download speeds than DOCSIS 2.0. Ideal for streaming HD videos, faster downloads, and high-speed online gaming.
Compatibe with Xfinity from Comcast, Spectrum, Cox, & more. Not compatible with bundled voice services.
If the unit does not work , Check the connection of your devices. Ensure that each connection is securely and tightly plugged in. Try to refresh your cable connection by power cycling your network, If power cycling did not work, download the latest firmware of your router.
After you have the downloaded the firmware, please upgrade your routers firmware manually, If the above steps did not resolve your issue, you may need to reset your router.
Required for the fastest cable Internet speed tiers
DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem with 1 Gigabit Ethernet port.

Router

And finally, you’re going to want to upgrade your Wi-Fi router so you can stream movies and TV shows anywhere in your home without any problem. Below, you’ll find three different options that cover every size home and every price range.

NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1750 Smart Dual Band WiFi Router

AC1750 Wi-Fi-450+1300 Mbps speeds and high-power external antennas. Ideal for homes with 12 or more Wi-Fi devices
Beamforming+ improves range, boosts speed and performance for both 2.4 and 5GHz devices
NETGEAR genie App – Enjoy more of your connected home. Now with remote access
One USB 3.0 Port
Beamforming+ focuses Wi-Fi signals from the wireless router to Wi-Fi devices

 

Yak About Privacy! What was Congress Thinking?

Yak About Privacy! What was Congress Thinking?

Trying to alert my mostly Republican audience in the 8th Congressional district on the nature of internet privacy and how their delegates they just elected voted to allow all ISP providers to sell and share any information they gather to the highest bidders. The following article should give you a sense of what you voted for.

 

Congress just gave ISPs the green light to sell your browsing history to strangers

appy-geek.com March 28, 2017 04:23 PM

In a vote today, House Republicans passed a bill that would undo FCC privacy rules surrounding how internet service providers can collect and use customers’ data. In essence, it gives a green light for ISPs like Comcast and Time Warner to collect all kinds of data from your internet browsing, analyze it, use it to target ads, or just sell it to the highest bidder.

The vote today in Congress follows a similar vote last week in the Senate, and was the last major obstacle for the bill. The President still has to sign the bill, but the White House has already voiced strong support for removing the privacy rules.

The bill strikes down privacy rules passed by the Federal Communications Commission, the government agency charged with regulating the telecoms industry, in October last year. Those rules would have prevented ISPs from collecting and selling customer data without explicit customer consent, in much the same way that Facebook and Google do currently.

The difference is that your ISP is harder to avoid, and knows much more. Whereas you can easily enough avoid Google and Facebook and still be a full user of the internet, it’s much harder (thanks to the monopoly over internet service in large parts of this country) to avoid an ISP that wants to sell your data.

The information that ISPs collect is also far more invasive. Your browsing data might not sound like much, but for many people, it’s an intimate snapshot of your financial, medical, relationship, and lifestyle information — details you probably don’t share with your closest friends, let alone an anonymous highest bidder.

Internet providers, scrambling to enter the multi-billion-dollar world of online advertising, argue that the FCC regulations would have been unnecessarily intrusive and that existing privacy policies were enough. But thanks to the ISP’s classification as a “common carrier” (the same as airlines or railways), they are exempt from the Federal Trade Commission’s privacy rules, which apply to most other industries. Without privacy restrictions from either the FCC or FTC, ISPs are left basically promising that they’ll be good, with no teeth to enforce any standards.

It’s not just your privacy you should be concerned with, either. The FTC privacy rules would also have governed the standards by which ISPs would have to store your data, and protect it from hacking. Given that leaks of customer information are near-daily affairs these days, rules that enforced strong encryption and careful storage would have gone a long way to protecting sensitive information from the wrong eyes.

Sadly, customer privacy and data security aren’t good arguments in the face of multi-million-dollar campaign contributions from the telecoms industry.

%d bloggers like this: