The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. ... In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

Monday, September 14, 2009

Living to 115 on crispy bacon


http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-gertrude-baines12-2009sep12,0,6915924.story

Quote:

Gertrude Baines dies at 115; the world's oldest person
...
All the while, Baines slept away in her robe, now and then breaking from her routine of crispy bacon, Jerry Springer and church services to take interviews.

3 comments :

Hendrickus Brokking said...

Stan:

I may reply to your Donaldson-personal health inquiry once I've cleared my living space from a heavy snowfall of medical periodical literature, and in the process of mass snow removal, I eventually uncover a neat study showing swine raised indoors are susceptible to dramatically more immune insults than those rasied outdoors...

With all due respect to your mathematical and scientific prowess, which is in me most unfortunately and decidedly infinitesimal, do you think it reasonable to suggest that bacon may have contributed to this lady's longevity? Unless you are privy to more information, I could as quickly suggest church-going and its attendant influences may have contributed to her long life, or that bacon eating may have been a causative factor in her chronic arthritis and fractured hip, two conclusions which are somewhat tempting, but would render me open to being legitimately identified as presumptuous. (After all, numerous intensely religious Puritans expired in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s, probably secondary to superstitious medicine, which included the use of mercurials, leeches, blood-letting, and deliberately soiled physician hands, and the consumption of Europe's ubiquitous whole grains and the raw products of cows probably treated as were humans of the day.) So, I assume you jest, and merely enlist this case to show that it is possible to eat bacon (how much we do not know) and yet live a long life.

Her old brain apparently was more lucid than those who inquired of her the secret to her longevity: "Ask God". Gertrude seems to have known that no arthritic should attain to such an age, apart from what some would denominate luck or fortune, and others, providence.

Incidentally, the various ways in which the seriousness of chronic arthritis is in this article - or a host of other degenerative conditions in similar settings - diminished, again forcibly impresses upon my mind that so long as medicine and the popular press deems one healthy if they have but one condition, or they present with a lean figure, or they are capable of rational talk (whatever that is, no one seems to know), or "only" one or two lab results are "mildly" abnormal, or lab abnormalities are thought to be necessarily a reflection on patient DNA or the aging process, or physicians presume to tell patients the state of their health on the basis of the doctor's understanding of lab results rather than sincerely inquiring of the patient how they themselves feel and permitting the latter to inform the manner of treatment and the doctor's interpretation of labs - I say, so long as this trend persists, so long will much of North American health care as we know it be an insult to human intelligence.

Stan (Heretic) said...

Hi Hendrikus,

No, my second bet on Mrs. Baines longevity would be Jerry Springer rather than her church attendance. 8-:)

I haven't heard of anyone living longer from exposure to a church but read from history books of some whose lives were shortened...

Regards,
Stan (Heretic)

Hendrickus Brokking said...

LOL. After posting, was likewise thinking Springer might in fact lengthen human lifespan... As is said, laughter is the best medicine. So read Stan the Heretic and watch Jerry Springer to reach 150!

Do not by misled by my apparently serious tone: I was again exercising dry humour, this time re: church/religion and its influence on lifespan. Let me state for the record that I am certainly not of the opinion that church-going lengthens human life - that is absurd. As you correctly observed, it not infreqeuntly cuts it short (e.g., martyrdom, church divisons and attempting to divine mysterious doctrines causing stress-induced bad eating in parishioners conversely, etc.). I was simply trying to say that given the very scarce facts furnished us in the link, we could make as strong a case for Springer viewing or church attendance as we could bacon eating with endowing Gertrude's body a measure of death defiance.

I was not, however, entirely jesting re: bacon eating as possibly being involved in Gertrude's arthritis, conscious that swine today are raised under the most atrocious conditions (as I'm sure you well know, it's not uncommon for these animals to suffer fatal infections and infarctions during their pitiable lives in today's confinement operations), and that it can be reasonably doubted Gertrude was eating pastured pork in her senior care residence. Besides, ordinary bacon is commonly saturated with all sorts of weird ingredients ("spices" anyone?) which our visionary, Blake Donaldson, absolutely condemned on grounds of their likely being directly involved in a medley of idiosyncratic bodily complaints. And as for the salt bacon contains in appreciable quantities, even Kwasniewski subtly recommends limiting.

I digress. Again.

Thanks for the laugh. Studying medical literature and the state of human health in a very quiet university library at 11 p.m. on a Friday night can be rather sobering, even if it may bestow certain unforeseeable benefits... And anyway, didn't you invite readers who are "bored by parties"? LOL.