Too much farting can be reason for emergency landing

 

Farting, they say, is like the song from Frozen that partly says:

Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them know
Well, now they know

Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore
Let it go, let it go……

Well, not really especially if one happens to be on a commercial flight – whether long or short.

With reports of senseless killings, turmoil and natural disasters happening everywhere in the world today that makes one seemingly inured, including the political wrangling we have here and abroad, I decided to share with you this odd story which, if not for its medical tribulation, would be laughable at best, and at worst, a revolting experience for those concerned.

I am referring to an unidentified elderly gentleman, if you can call him that after what he did, who was the reason why his Transvia Airlines flight from Dubai to Amsterdam made an unscheduled stop in Vienna, Austria and was forcibly removed from the aircraft.

Apparently the old man was farting excessively up in the air, even as two passengers sitting next to him had asked if he could control the passing of his wind, so to speak, as it was starting to contaminate the atmosphere inside the plane.

Suffice to say that the man’s uncontrolled farting was going on for quite some time that it was unnerving more and more the passengers. It must have been a terrible ordeal for those inside that crammed fuselage.

Whether the man had a medical condition to deal with, or had much sauerkraut ingested, or was simply an asshole, the fact was that no amount of warning, not even from the flight crew, could stop him from letting go of his farts such that a fight broke out and the plane had to make a detour to Austria for an emergency landing.

It was reported that Austrian police officers were alerted and came onboard with dogs to remove the flatulent individual.

What a relief and a breath of fresh air it must have been for the remaining passengers!

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No let-up for 81-year-old Chinese woman

 

Xue Minxiu

This could very well go under the ‘Believe it or not’ publications.

I am not trying to underrate the capabilities of people in their 80’s because I personally know some close to me who are still very lucid. I referring of course to some of my older siblings who, I would say, are in their earlier twilight years now. Am not really that far behind, mind you.

Obviously they are all enjoying their retirement spending most of the time reading, but not forgetting that the body, too, needs to be revved up to keep it moderately functioning, and most of all not to miss taking those prescription pills to help make life sustainable.  To be an octogenarian is paradoxical. It is a challenge reaching and going beyond it, but many consider it also a bonus, thanks to the good genes. Or shall I say the grace of God?

But whether it is the good genes or the grace of God, Xue Minxiu, the 81-year-old Chinese woman that is the subject of this article, can’t seem to slow down even in her advanced age as she was recently reported to have been awarded a bachelor’s degree in e-commerce.

According to reports, what makes Xue’s achievement even more notable is that until just a few years ago, the octogenarian from the north China city of Tianjin had almost no computer skills.

Born in 1936, Xue was quoted as saying that it was her life’s ambition to graduate from university. She was actually offered a place at Northwest University in Xian, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi province, in the 1950s, but her state-owned employer would not let her go.

The report did not say why she was refused permission, but at that time it was not uncommon for public sector firms to do so. In fact, until a law change in 2001, higher education in China was off limits to anyone who was married or over the age of 25.

But succeeding modern leaders made revision of the rules allowing Xue to fulfill her dreams of obtaining a college degree, no matter how late it may be.

Certainly, Xue did not waste her time as she taught herself to speak English, French, Russian and the dead language, Latin.

While it took several years for Xue to pick up enough computer knowledge to be able to meet the basic entry requirements for her e-commerce course, her tenacity and hard work eventually paid off and in March 2014, she enrolled at Tianjin University’s School of Online Education, but not before making six attempts to pass that element of her degree course.

These days, however, she is like a duck in water when it comes to drawing up Excel spreadsheets or processing images in Photoshop, the report said.

Here is to more life ahead! Xue sure deserves it!

Dealing with loneliness issues

 

This may sound odd indeed, but it has been reported that U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has created a government agency, to be headed by a Minister, that will be dealing with loneliness issues.

A study conducted found that one in 10 people in the U.K. face isolation, a condition that can trigger a range of physical and mental health issues.

“I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones ― people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with,” May said in a statement.

Statistics have shown that more than 9 million adults in the U.K. report feeling often or always lonely. For 3.6 million people aged 65 or older, it found, television is considered the main form of company.

According to Brigham Young University Psychology Professor Julianne Holt Lunstad, the harmful impact of loneliness is more than psychological. Having weak social connections is considered to be as damaging to one’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

“There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase risk for premature mortality and the magnitude of the risks exceeds that of many leading health indicators,” Lunstad  is quoted as saying in the Jo Cox Commission’s on Loneliness, an organization that works to combat social isolation and loneliness.

More than half of all disabled people in the U.K. experience loneliness, with it being more prominent among younger individuals. Eight out of 10 caregivers have also felt lonely or isolated as a result of looking after a loved one, according to the Jo Cox Commission’s report.

The commission is named after Labor Party lawmaker Jo Cox, who was a prominent advocate for addressing the issue of loneliness in Britain before her 2016 shooting death by a right-wing extremist.

As loneliness is universal that comes in different manner, shape and form, it may be beneficial for other countries to take notice of what the U.K. is doing in raising understanding and awareness of loneliness issues if only for the afflicted to know that there are organizations and people out there who support and care for them.

 

‘The Lowest White Man’

 

This article caught my attention and decided to reprint it as I am sure you will find it an interesting read, the way I felt about it. It’s about controversial US President Donald Trump.

The author, Charles M. Blow, is a black American journalist, commentator, and current visual op-ed columnist for The New York Times.

Blow’s article comes on the heels of a best seller titled, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, written by Michael Wolfe on what is described as Trump’s chaotic first nine months in office.

It is actually a damning book that went as far as questioning Trump’s mental state, which in effect prompted him to respond, tweeting:

I do not know about you, but I find these tweets absurd, if not egomaniacal!

I mean Trump has not even finished his term yet, and even remains to be seen if he can, and he is calling himself ‘a stable genius’ already, whatever that means.

Let history be the judge, I say.

Meanwhile, read the article and learn more about this man called Donald Trump.

‘The Lowest White Man’

I guess Donald Trump was eager to counter the impression in Michael Wolff’s book that he is irascible, mentally small and possibly insane. On Tuesday, he allowed a bipartisan session in the White House about immigration to be televised for nearly an hour.

Surely, he thought that he would be able to demonstrate to the world his lucidity and acumen, his grasp of the issues and his relish for rapprochement with his political adversaries.

But instead what came through was the image of a man who had absolutely no idea what he was talking about; a man who says things that are 180 degrees from the things he has said before; a man who has no clear line of reasoning; a man who is clearly out of his depth and willing to do and say anything to please the people in front of him.

He demonstrated once again that he is a man without principle, interested only in how good he can make himself look and how much money he can make.

Yes, he has an intrinsic hostility to people who are not white, particularly when they challenge him, but as a matter of policy, the whole idea of building a wall for which Mexico would pay was just a cheap campaign stunt to, once again, please the people in front of him.

Trump is not committed to that wall on principle. He is committed only to looking good as a result of whatever comes of it. Mexico is never going to pay for it, and he knows it. He has always known it. That was just another lie. Someone must have stuck the phrases “chain migration” and “diversity lottery” into his brain — easy buzzwords, you see — and he can now rail against those ideas for applause lines.

But he is completely malleable on actual immigration policy. He doesn’t have the stamina for that much reading. Learning about immigration would require reading more words than would fit on a television news chyron.

If Donald Trump follows through with what he said during that meeting, his base will once again be betrayed. He will have proved once again that he was saying anything to keep them angry, even telling lies. He will have demonstrated once again his incompetence and unfitness.

And once again, they won’t care.

That is because Trump is man-as-message, man-as-messiah. Trump support isn’t philosophical but theological.

Trumpism is a religion founded on patriarchy and white supremacy.

It is the belief that even the least qualified man is a better choice than the most qualified woman and a belief that the most vile, anti-intellectual, scandal-plagued simpleton of a white man is sufficient to follow in the presidential footsteps of the best educated, most eloquent, most affable black man.

As President Lyndon B. Johnson said in the 1960s to a young Bill Moyers: “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

Trump’s supporters are saying to us, screaming to us, that although he may be the “lowest white man,” he is still better than Barack Obama, the “best colored man.”

In a way, Donald Trump represents white people’s right to be wrong and still be right. He is the embodiment of the unassailability of white power and white privilege.

To abandon him is to give up on the pact that America has made with its white citizens from the beginning: The government will help to underwrite white safety and success, even at the expense of other people in this country, whether they be Native Americans, African-Americans or new immigrants.

But this idea of elevating the lowest white man over those more qualified or deserving didn’t begin with Johnson’s articulation and won’t end with Trump’s manifestation. This is woven into the fabric of the flag.

As I have written here before, when Alabama called a constitutional convention in 1901, Emmet O’Neal, who later became governor, argued that the state should “lay deep and strong and permanent in the fundamental law of the state the foundation of white supremacy forever in Alabama,” and as part of that strategy he argued:

“I don’t believe it is good policy to go up in the hills and tell them that Booker Washington or Councill or anybody else is allowed to vote because they are educated. The minute you do that every white man who is not educated is disfranchised on the same proposition.”

In his essay “Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880,” W.E.B. Du Bois discussed why poor whites didn’t make common cause with poor blacks and slaves but instead prized their roles as overseers and slave catchers, eagerly joining the Klan. This fed the white man’s “vanity because it associated him with the masters,” Du Bois wrote.

He continued:

“Slavery bred in the poor white a dislike of Negro toil of all sorts. He never regarded himself as a laborer, or as part of any labor movement. If he had any ambition at all it was to become a planter and to own ‘niggers.’ To these Negroes he transferred all the dislike and hatred which he had for the whole slave system. The result was that the system was held stable and intact by the poor white.”

For white supremacy to be made perfect, the lowest white man must be exalted above those who are black.

No matter how much of an embarrassment and a failure Trump proves to be, his exploits must be judged a success. He must be deemed a correction to Barack Obama and a superior choice to Hillary Clinton. White supremacy demands it. Patriarchy demands it. Trump’s supporters demand it.

 

Canada garbage lingers on Philippine ports

 

This is one absurd story that every sensible Filipino should feel insulted and angry about.

If this insulting event happened once, or even twice, and acted upon immediately by the government agency and its people concerned, perhaps we should not be making a big fuss out of it.

But, for crying out loud, a problem like containers of garbage/trash coming from Canada being shipped to the country many times over, from 2013 to 2015, and continues to linger in the ports because nothing has been done by authorities about it truly is at its highest level of incompetence and deserves to be investigated and castigated.

It sure is very alleviating that Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III has asked for a Senate inquiry into Canada’s garbage that was said to be illegally dumped in the Philippines. A total of 50 container vans arrive in 6 batches at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) from June to August 2013.

Needless to say that it has been more than 4 years since the first batch of Canadian shipping containers full to the brim with garbage arrived in the Philippines, yet the problem remains unsolved.

The vans, declared to contain recyclable plastic scrap materials, were shipped by Chronic Plastics Incorporated (CPI), an export company based in Ontario, Canada.

For better appreciation of this incredible and outrageous issue you can go to this link: https://www.rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/188654-timeline-canada-garbage-philippines.

Overall, a total of 103 container vans of garbage/trash got into the country until 2015.

Pimentel cited the Philippine Constitution and Republic Act 6969 or the Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act of 1990 in filing Senate Resolution 553.

“Thus, considering the monumental consequences, it behooves us in the Senate to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, to determine whether there are sufficient laws restricting the indiscriminate entry and dumping of solid wastes and other harmful trash into our country,” he said.

Definitely, it’s better late than never acting at all. One can’t stop wondering how toxic the cargoes have become all these years.

Just wondering also if former President Benigno Aquino had a hand in allowing this issue to be swept under the rug as this apathetic events happened during his watch.

Gordon’s senate swagger

 

Senator Richard Gordon

I am talking of course about Sen. Richard Gordon, the chair of the blue ribbon committee investigating the controversial Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine, and the gripe aired by his peers relative to his performance when he tried to monopolize the hearing proceedings.

But what else is new about Gordon’s swagger especially as head of a committee?

Gordon loves to talk and in so doing he dominates the proceedings, insensibly oblivious that other senators in attendance would like to participate in asking questions or having their opinion heard.

I use the word swagger because whether strutting or sitting what Gordon does is he wants the attention centered at him and almost always he does it typically in a manner considered excessive or inappropriate.

Gordon has even the tendency to bully resource speakers, cutting them off unceremoniously while explaining, as if he alone knows what is going on and assumes to know better than most, and letting them proceed afterwards.

A limelight hog like Gordon does not bode well for the senate, especially if little respect is shown to some resource speakers who are good, honest and decent people in their own right. Being a senator does not make one any better or superior except that one is in an exalted position. A little discretion is always commendable.

If Gordon’s peers felt the thoughtlessness and indifference of not being given the floor, the more that the viewing public noticed and felt Gordon’s insensitivity and disregard of the senate as a collaborating body.

 

Trump’s mental health

 

US President Donald Trump

With what is going on in the U.S.A. with President Donald Trump as its leader and his much-to- be-desired relationship with all the leaders of the world community, more specifically, with Kim Jong Un of North Korea, one can’t help but ask if the Americans were right in installing him on the seat of power of the greatest nation on Earth.

I am an avid follower of American late night talk shows, from Trevor Noah to Seth Meyers to Jimmy Kimmel, etc. and am amazed that not a night passes that the subject is not Trump.

The way I look at it is that it is not about the person, per se, that always makes him the favorite subject or the flavor of the night, if you may, but rather it is the things he does – from his tweets , his choice of words, his facial expression, his body language, his arrogance, his hatred for Obama, his disdain for immigrants, his lack of humility, his indifference, his low regard for women, his pretensions, his fibbing, his abhorrence for mainstream media, his unequivocal support for white supremacist, his uncompromising support for bearing arms, his unabashed admiration of himself, his superiority complex and countless more negatives of his persona and as a leader of the free world, that makes a good fodder for the talk show hosts.

Trump’s negative attributes and inadequacies are the reasons why I am sharing with you this disturbing development about U.S. psychiatrists warning about Trump’s mental state.

Below is letter by a psychiatrist published in the Opinion section of the New York Times, dated, Nov. 30, 2017.

To the Editor:

I am the editor of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.” We represent a much larger number of concerned mental health professionals who have come forward to warn against the president’s psychological instability and the dangers it poses. We now number in the thousands.

We are currently witnessing more than his usual state of instability — in fact, a pattern of decompensation: increasing loss of touch with reality, marked signs of volatility and unpredictable behavior, and an attraction to violence as a means of coping. These characteristics place our country and the world at extreme risk of danger.

Ordinarily, we carry out a routine process for treating people who are dangerous: containment, removal from access to weapons and an urgent evaluation. We have been unable to do so because of Mr. Trump’s status as president. But the power of the presidency and the type of arsenal he has access to should raise greater alarm, not less.

We urge the public and the lawmakers of this country to push for an urgent evaluation of the president, for which we are in the process of developing a separate but independent expert panel, capable of meeting and carrying out all medical standards of care.

BANDY X. LEE, NEW HAVEN

The writer is a forensic psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine.

Relative to the above concern of Trump’s mental state, let me share with you the following corroborating video for your information.