Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Each year in the United States, it is estimated that more than 750,000 women experience an episode of acute PID. More than 75,000 women may become infertile each year as a result of PID, and a large proportion of the ectopic pregnancies occurring every year are due to the consequences of PID.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (or disorder) (PID) is a generic term for inflammation of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and/or ovaries as it progresses to scar formation with adhesions to nearby tissues and organs. This may lead to infections. PID is a vague term and can refer to viral, fungal, parasitic, though most often bacterial infections. PID should be classified by affected organs, the stage of the infection, and the organism(s) causing it. Although HI an STI is often the cause, many other routes are possible, including lymphatic, postpartum, postabortal (either miscarriage or abortion) or intrauterine device (IUD) related, and hematogenous spread. Two thirds of patients with laparoscopic evidence of previous PID were not aware they had PID.
The most common symptoms of PID include:
• Fever (not always present; may come and go)
• Pain or tenderness in the pelvis, lower abdomen, or sometimes the lower back
• Vaginal discharge with abnormal color, texture, or smell
Other symptoms that may occur with PID:
• Bleeding after intercourse
• Frequent or painful urination
• Increased menstrual cramping
• Irregular menstrual bleeding or spotting
• Lack of appetite
• Nausea, with or without vomiting
• No menstruation
• Painful sexual intercourse
PID occurs when bacteria move upward from a woman’s vagina or cervix (opening to the uterus) into her reproductive organs. Many different organisms can cause PID, but many cases are associated with gonorrhea and chlamydia, two very common bacterial STDs. A prior episode of PID increases the risk of another episode because the reproductive organs may be damaged during the initial bout of infection.
Sexually active women in their childbearing years are most at risk, and those under age 25 are more likely to develop PID than those older than 25. This is partly because the cervix of teenage girls and young women is not fully matured, increasing their susceptibility to the STDs that are linked to PID.
What Do You Think? »
A new edition of The Intellectual Devotional, this time with a focus on Biographies, will be available online and in stores on May 11. (Click here to pre-order your copy.) As the release date approaches, “The Devoted Intellect” blog will introduce and expand on material from that book. Today’s entry on “John Smith” draws from the “Authors and Artists” section of the Biographies edition.
Captain John Smith (c. January 1580 – June 21, 1631) Admiral of New England was an English soldier, explorer, and author. He is best remembered for his role in establishing the first permanent English settlement in North America at Jamestown, Virginia, and his vivid account of being rescued by Pocahontas, the young Indian girl who allegedly interceded during an altercation with the Powhatan Confederacy and her father, Chief Powhatan. He was a leader of the Virginia Colony (based at Jamestown) between September 1608 and August 1609, and led an exploration along the rivers of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay.
The story begins when Smith and two English companions are ambushed by Indians. After killing his two companions, the Indians take Smith to their chief, Powhatan. After two months in captivity, Powhatan determines to have the Englishman clubbed to death in a ritual ceremony. According to Smith, the plan was thwarted only when the chief’s daughter, Pocahontas (then aged 11 or 12), throws herself between him and his attackers causing her father to relent. Smith published his account of the incident in 1624. It is the only description of the event we have and some historians doubt its authenticity.
Another reason for believing the Pocahontas story is that such a ritual of sponsoring a nearly executed man in order to adopt him into the tribe was a typical Indian custom. Two examples illustrate the point: the daughter of Chief Ucita saved Juan Ortiz in 1528, and Milly, the daughter of the Seminole chief Hillis Hadj, performed a similar feat at some time. But was it just simply a ritual, or was Smith’s life actually in danger? Since Smith’s writings clearly indicate that he believed Pocahontas actually saved his life, it could not have been just a ritual unless either Smith lied, which we have shown to be improbable, or Pocahontas never corrected his error, which seems equally unlikely. Moreover, in the case of Chief Ucita’s daughter, she apparently pleaded for Ortiz’ life by arguing that he could do no harm since he was a Christian, an argument that makes no sense unless she were actually pleading for his life.
Either way, Smith’s account permanently etched his name in American folklore.
What Do You Think? »
A hysterectomy is an operation to remove a woman’s uterus. Depending on the severity of the precipitating condition, a hysterectomy is either “total” (removal of uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries) or “partial” (removal of only the uterine body). While hysterectomies are considered a major surgery, they are very common in the United States; a whopping one in three women in the United States has had one by age 60. Hysterectomies are most commonly performed for the following conditions:
Cancer of the uterus, cervix or ovaries;
As an elective preventative measure for women with a strong family history of reproductive cancers;
Severe and intractable endometriosis;
Placenta praevia (a placenta that has either formed over or inside the birth canal) or placenta accreta (a placenta that has grown into and through the wall of the uterus to attach itself to other organs), as well as a last resort in case of excessive postpartum bleeding: and
For transsexual men (as a component of their gender transition).
The ovaries produce the majority of estrogen and progesterone in a woman’s body. Therefore younger women necessarily experience premature menopause as a side effect of a total hysterectomy, which can have major physical, emotional and psychological side effects. Many women have turned to estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) to relieve their side effects; however, the long-term safety of hormone replacement therapy has recently been called into question. Some studies have shown an increased risk of breast cancer in women who take ERT for an extended period of time.
What Do You Think? »
In 1986, after an intensive two-year qualitative research study, Constance Mellon published “Library anxiety: A grounded theory and its development.” In this work, Mellon coined the term “Library anxiety” which described the feeling of fear and discomfort that Undergraduate students felt when they encountered an academic library. The students generally described the following four reasons for their anxiety:
• intimidated by the size of the library,
• lacked knowledge about where everything was located,
• lacked knowledge about how to begin the research process and
• lacked knowledge about what to do.
Moreover, Mellon’s studied demonstrated that “library anxiety” was often so intense that it frequently led to procrastination and undermined students’ ability to function proficiently in a library setting. Many of the students overestimated the library skills of other students and reported feeling a sense of ‘inferiority’ in the library. In response to this study, schools have developed a number of classes for new undergraduates geared towards demystifying the library, in an effort to nip anxiety in the bud before it leads to procrastination and other self-sabotaging behaviors. Recently, a number of studies on library anxiety have focused on adult learners, who are particularly susceptible to library anxiety because many of them came of age in a largely pre-computer era, and find themselves overwhelmed by the technological changes that are part and parcel of contemporary institutions of higher learning. Thus, a number of programs are being developed to improve their computer literacy before they succumb to frustration.
What Do You Think? »
In April 2004, German academic Michael Maar made waves in the literary world with his London Times article, “Curse of the First Lolita,” which presented startling parallels between Vladimir Nabokov’s famous novel, Lolita (1955), and a 1916, 18-page German short story of the same name, penned by journalist Heinz von Eschwege (under the pen name Heinz von Lichberg). The plot similarities uncovered by Maar are startling: both works are about a middle-aged man who rents a room as a lodger and becomes obsessed with the prepubescent girl (Lolita) who lives in the same house. Maar’s also points out that Nabokov lived in the same section of Berlin as Eschwege until 1937, and that the German author’s work was widely available at the time. However, Maar stops short of accusing Nabokov of outright plagiarism; instead, he posits the theory that Nabokov may have experienced cryptomnesia (inadvertent plagiarism), while he was composing Lolita in the 1950s.
Cryptomnesia is a memory bias that occurs when a person mistakenly believes that they have come up with an original thought, idea, song or joke, when it was actually generated by someone else. Thus, the individual is not intentionally plagiarizing the original source; rather, they mistakenly believe their recollection is a new inspiration. The term was first used by psychology professor Theodore Flournoy in his 1901 book, From India to the Planet Mars: A Case of Multiple Personality with Imaginary Languages. Flournoy employs the word to explain the phenomenon of “past life regressions,” which he believed were instances of hypnosis-induced cryptomnesia. In 1905, psychologist Carl Jung expanded on this theory in his article, “Cryptomnesia,” where he lists specific examples of famous artists who have fallen prey to their “concealed recollections” while creating ostensibly original works of art. He cited the example of Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1891), which includes an incident almost directly lifted from a book published in 1835. When the original source was discovered, Nietzsche’s sister confirmed that Friedrich had indeed read the book in controversy…when he was 11 years old!
Nabokov never mentioned Eschwege’s story as a source of inspiration for Lolita during his lifetime. Some scholars, skeptical of Maar’s theory, have suggested that Nabokov may have deliberately failed to mention his debt to Eschwege’s short story. One interesting theory holds that Nabokov did not want his work to be associated with the German author, who became a prominent pro-Hitler propagandist in Germany during the Second World War. Nabokov, who was passionately anti-Nazi, may have very well hoped that the parallels between his novel and the since-obscure “Lolita” short story would go unnoticed, especially because the German author had passed away five years prior to the novel’s publication.
What Do You Think? »
Flora the Komodo Don't Need No Man....
The term parthenogenesis (derived from the Greek for “virgin creation”) describes a type of asexual reproduction in which females are able to produce eggs that develop without fertilization. Scientists once believed that parthenogenesis only occurred amongst invertebrates, plants and a few rare lizard species. However, in 2005 and 2006 respectively, two captive Komodo dragon females, Sungaï and Flora, astonished the scientific community by producing viable eggs without any assistance from a male. Before this incredible finding, scientists had assumed that Komodo Dragons only reproduced sexually.
Having observed the remarkable Sungaï and Flora in action, scientists have come to believe that parthenogenesis occurs in Komodo dragons only if a male is unavailable in the vicinity (thus explaining why this phenomenon has only been observed in captivity in this species). However, while parthenogenesis carries the benefit of allowing komodo dragons to reproduce without male involvement, it also comes with all of the familiar trappings of asexual reproduction, posing a threat to genetic diversity and increasing a particular species’ susceptibility to genetic mutations.
These findings may have important implication for the breeding of Komodo dragons in captivity. Komodo dragons are an endangered species, and it is estimated that there are only a scant 4,000 left on the planet. Historically, zoos only permanently housed female dragons and circulated males for mating purposes. However, many scientists now think that male and female Komodos should be permanently placed together, in order to encourage sexual reproduction, thereby maintaining the genetic diversity of this unique species.
What Do You Think? »