Gongol.com Archives: September 2008
Brian Gongol

September 5, 2008

Humor and Good News Scary-cute story about preemie twins turns out to be true

Weather and Disasters Disasters aren't necessarily getting worse because of nature
We just keep putting more people and more property in places that are prone to disaster, like the coasts. The more we do that, the larger the repair bills grow.

Computers and the Internet Old security problem means Google Chrome might not quite be ready for mass use yet
But the fact that a company only ten years old has come so far and become so ubiquitous is a sign that capitalism is alive and well, driving new innovations nearly as fast as the public can consume them. Related: Microsoft's next batch of security updates will be short but important.

Health 110 years old and still upright
Nebraska's oldest person just turned 110. Which, doing the math, places her year of birth at 1898. That's the year of the Spanish-American war, when William McKinley was in the White House. 110 is really old today, but lots of progress is being made on extending life expectancy. The first half of the 20th Century was marked by huge improvements in life expectancy due to the triumph of medicine over many infectious diseases. Now, the real fight is against chronic ailments, like cancer and Parkinson's. And if it becomes possible to replace our own organs from our own cells (which looks like it's plausible within the next five or ten years), then heart failure and other organ failure might be overcome as a cause of mortality. America's leading causes of death are heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Heart disease and stroke, though, are in many ways preventable, and the faster we find genetic tests for cancer (which could help provide early detection and thus more-successful treatment for perhaps 10% of cancers) and lifestyle factors and vaccines for others, the sooner we can push cancer down the list as well. Much of this is a matter of political and social will.

Water News Two major storms menace the East Coast