Welcome to Weekend Wonderings. We’ve moved the schedule up a bit, so rather than musing on Mondays, we’ll be wondering on the weekend. We may even wander a bit, too. So, please grab whatever you drink on a Sunday afternoon and join me.
A couple of items from the medical front this week. The first announcement is this:
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded a five-year, $11.3 million grant to a team of researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) to further their studies on thyroid cancer.
The NCI estimates that there will be over 60,000 occurrences of thyroid cancer, resulting in over 1,800 deaths this year. This is a disease that needs to be detected and dealt with early. While still in Local Stage (thyroid tissue) the 5-year relative survival rate is 99.9%. Once it metastasizes, the 5-year rate drops to 55%. There is no clear cause of thyroid cancer, so clearly research into causes will help with prevention and treatment.
I ran across this next item on my Twitter feed. No, seriously, I did.
In an unexpected finding, scientists have linked the activation of a stress gene in immune-system cells to the spread of breast cancer to other parts of the body.
Researchers say the study suggests this gene, called ATF3, may be the crucial link between stress and cancer, including the major cause of cancer death – its spread, or metastasis. Previous public health studies have shown that stress is a risk factor for cancer.
In effect, stress contributes significantly to cancer tumors avoiding, if you will, the body’s immune system cells and allowing it to metastasize to other parts of the body. At that point, not much good can happen. So, only somewhat tongue-in-cheek, you need to chill out on Saturdays. So, if Jason is asking you to temper your expectations to reduce stress levels, he’s only thinking of your health.
Commentary Civil(ity) War
I caught this video over lunch Thursday and enjoyed it quite a bit. The fact that two people with opposing positions on a controversial topic can can an even-keeled, respectful discussion marked with civility was encouraging to me. After all, folks are the same as people. Perhaps we can keep our minds open and learn about civil discourse through the Australians (Charles’ influence perhaps?). Maybe we can apply the same tone in sports discussions.
Sticking with civil discourse, I see where two former college coaches have offered up how they would have dealt with Johnny Manziel’s reaction to being pulled by Coach Sumlin.
Barry Switzer said Manziel’s actions wouldn’t have been tolerated in his day.
“I’m certainly disappointed in his actions. For him to act so arrogant, I wanted to jerk his face mask and I wanted to grab him. Of course you get fired for that now; in the old days you could get away with that. It’s the world we live in. It’s a misplaced value system. When I see this happen I wonder where the core value system comes from, if he has a core value system. This young man needs a damn hell of a lot of development.”
Meanwhile, Lou Holtz;
“I would have grabbed him by the throat.”
Barry, Lou; where’s your sense of restraint? OK, look, I’ll give you that Woody could get exercised at times, to no one’s good. However, to his credit, he wasn’t above releasing his displeasure upon inanimate objects.
Hayes: Aren’t you going to call that penalty?
Markbreit: What penalty?
Hayes: That interference call.
Markbreit: I was 40 yards away. How can I call it?
Hayes: I was 50 yards away and I could have called it!
I think that we know what happens next:
That confrontation landed Hayes one 15-yard penalty. Nonplussed, Hayes was dragged by fellow coaches and players back to the sideline, where he—not making this up—destroyed the down marker and ball marker, resulting in another 15-yard penalty and an ejection from the game.
And down markers lived in fear of their well-being throughout most of the 70′s.