Where do *I* find the time?? Count your posts since my last!!
I had, not a month ago, a talk on infectious diarrhea from a specialist at my medical school. He relayed to us the news that american ground beef contains about 10 to the third (1,000) fecal bacteria per gram. The contents of your large bowel contain 10 to the ninth (1,000,000,000). (Food served by street venders in Mexico city contained between 10 to the eighth or ninth.) Sure, the meat is only contaminated if the GI tract is disrupted or contacted. But if you look at videos of slaughterhouses, you'll see them use saws and hit the bladder or colon without stopping, or see the carcass hanging from a hook while the meat is cut to the ground around it. Nothing is stopping blood from dripping from the animals hind end while this is going on. Then, meat from many many animals is mixed, spreading bacteria throughout the batch. The figure my prof gave was unbelievable so I'll just leave it out.
Re deer populations exploding when the predators were removed: the consensus among the biologists who taught my classes, and the people on the nature shows that discuss this subject, is that wolves eat deer reducing their numbers, and when they go away, one sees more deer. I don't doubt that habitat changes encourage the deer to spend more time in the burb's, but I understand their population growth is also an issue in the forest.
Off subject, the comments about docs trying to defeat death are interesting but an extended reply would belong somewhere else. Briefly, I certainly don't find them troublesome, but I've decided (or been taught) that this isn't the point. Mortality, as many of my educators have told me, remains steady at "one per person" despite all our advances. And I've seen the struggle for life (uncomfortable in an ICU) go on far too long, so my goal is going to improve the quality of life as much as extend it, and know (by asking the patient) when extending it is actually BAD.
William Cullen Bryant was 19 when he wrote Thanatopsis in 1814:
"So live, that when thy summons comes to join / The innumerable caravan, that moves / To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take / His chamber in the silent halls of death / Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night / Scourged to his dungeon, but sustain'd and sooth'd / By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave / Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch / About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams." http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/eng372/bryant.htm
[This message has been edited by Ian (edited April 02, 2001).]