September 27, 2013
Yes, it’s Tyndall again. See my other post regarding a discovery of his. After watching a movie yesterday on Netflix called Chasing Ice, I wondered how many glaciers there are in the United States. I saw my home state of Colorado has at least 13 (one website said 14). I’ve been to one of them. They are small and one of them is named after John Tyndall. In the United States there are glaciers in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.
Wikipedia defines an ice glacier as a persistent body of ice greater than 0.1km² so that’s a pretty small area and converts to about 24 square acres. That is a little more than 21 football fields for you NFL fans.
What’s so interesting about Tyndall Glacier besides skiing on it year ’round? Not much except the fact that it’s a glacier and like many in the world, it might just disappear. You can see where I’m going with this post.
I feel like I’m like most people when it comes to global warming. I think about recycling and try to use the right trash can for recyclables. I don’t think I do much else though. My house does have a lot of CFL lighting which must make a little difference. The toilets are low flow and I don’t water a big yard but my HOA demands grass in the front yard. But I haven’t changed my driving habits. Is that where I have a large carbon footprint?
How is this world of consuming going to change? I just don’t see it happening. The politics behind this have to do with governments and corporations unwilling to subordinate their power and interests. I think marketing green is making us think they’re doing something about it. You think they’re going to change much? The citizens will be in an uproar if they take something away from us or we don’t get a new iphone every year.
Anyway, I’m going to visit Tyndall Glacier and as many of the other Colorado glaciers I can. I watched the receding glaciers on Chasing Ice and was profoundly moved by what’s happening. Don’t let people tell you that global warming isn’t being caused by humans. Refer them to the movie. You can see the changes. You can’t see carbon dioxide.
Where can you see this movie (Chasing Ice)? Look here….http://www.canistream.it/search/movie/chasing%20ice
I want my little Tyndall Glacier to stay put (even though I don’t even know where it is yet) so I can see it one day. I sure would like to go to Alaska and look at those as well. I hear the fjords are awe inspiring.
Carbon dioxide sign
September 15, 2013
I had a patient come in for an exam awhile back. No, I don’t think this guy had been smoking marijuana (but you never know). He worked in a marijuana dispensary. Yep, we’ve got these little businesses all around Denver and Colorado that sell medical marijuana. And soon, there will be legal retail marijuana sales here starting January 1st, 2014. If you want to start a business selling some bud you better get here quickly!
Anyway, the patient said he sees a lot of prescriptions for marijuana used to treat glaucoma. Yeah, right. The National Institutes of Health studied the effects of eye pressure and marijuana use (tetrahydracannibinol, THC) and found that marijuana only provides a few hours of eye pressure reduction. If you want to keep your eye pressure down you have to smoke (or take the equivalent of) 6 or more joints a day. And that pretty much ruins your day I’d say.
But there’s more to marijuana and the eyes than trying to treat glaucoma (by the way, see a doctor that doesn’t sell marijuana if you have glaucoma). There’s the pupil thing. Meaning, people are suspected of being high (on THC) if their pupils are dilated. It may be because they were smoking marijuana but it’s possible it wasn’t the marijuana that made their pupils dilate. Marijuana users can have different responses and even pupil constriction. It might be something that was added to the marijuana either before they bought it or after. I’ll call it an adjuvant. But in reality, the additive might be some other drug or ingredient added for extra effect. And just to say, marijuana is also not necessarily all that organic depending on who grew it but neither are a lot of fruits and vegetables we might buy at the store.
There is an eye/ocular side-effect that is pretty common though and that’s conjunctival injection, aka, red eyes. THC is a vasodilator which means it makes blood vessels larger and that can make things redder looking in the eye. Bigger blood vessels, redder eyes. But red eyes could occur just from smoke getting into the eyes or a lot of other things (maybe one of those adjuvants). The over-the-counter drops for getting the red out are called vasoconstrictors. The chemicals in those eye drops constrict blood vessels and make them smaller. Thus, a marijuana user might also be a “get the red out” Visine user (or similar product).
You guys stay tuned to what happens starting next year in Colorado. This will be interesting.