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YURA Person-to-Person, Mid-March 2015, Vol 5, No.5

Many years ago I appeared at the airport on my way home from a scientific meeting. I had my return ticket but the airline over sold seats in the economy class area. They apologized and put me in the first class section.
I was sitting next to a gentleman who was a physician. He started talking to me and when I told him I was a university professor he seemed astonished that professors could afford first class airline tickets. I did not tell him why I was there. Peter Kaiser, retired 1993
For Canadian Postage Stamps Collectors

Paul Wilkinson writes: “I have been working hard recently on my Canadian stamp collection which I began as a child and have continued to work on to the present. I have lots of trader stamps and would be delighted to meet amateur philatelists like me who are interested in trading extra stamps. Please contact me at I will put the coffee pot on and we can trade.

By the way, my coffee is Las Nubes fair-trade, shade-grown coffee grown by the folks living near the Faculty of Environmental Studies' Las Nubes Rainforest in Costa Rica. You can buy Las Nubes coffee at Timothy's (one dollar per pound goes to FES to help our student visit and do research in Costa Rica -- or you can buy it most days from the Las Nubes Students Group in the lobby of HNES building). Cheers, Paul F. Wilkinson,”

Focus on Vertebral Compression Fractures
I found the following in the Scientific American Health Alerts, January 2015, and it is quoted in its entirety.
“Bone loss in the spine takes place rapidly around the time of menopause; an estimated 25 percent of American women over age 50 experience one or more compression fractures of their vertebrae in their lifetime. Men account for approximately one-seventh of the vertebral compression fractures associated with osteoporosis.
A vertebral compression fracture due to osteoporosis is accompanied by intense, localized back pain in about 80 percent of cases, although there may be no pain until a few days after the fracture. When pain develops, it can be severe enough to incapacitate a person for several weeks. Pain worsens during activities that involve twisting or bending and initially does not ease up, even with bed rest.
Typically, the pain will resolve after several weeks with the use of mild analgesics and rest. The pain may continue and get worse, however, if the bone fails to heal because of a loss of blood supply or if the vertebral deformity that results from the fracture either accelerates degenerative changes in the facet joints or compresses a nerve root.
A frequent problem immediately following a fracture in the lower lumbar region is difficulty with urination and bowel movements. Fortunately, this is temporary. Longer-term repercussions include stooped posture and loss of height. These structural changes reduce the space available for vital organs such as the stomach and lungs. Compression of the stomach causes the abdomen to protrude and creates a sensation of indigestion or fullness that may lead to weight loss, while compression of the chest cavity leads to a reduction in lung capacity that can contribute to breathlessness or lung disease.
Structural changes caused by vertebral compression fractures also weaken the spinal extensor muscles, leading to fatigue. They can also cause concerns about physical appearance and make it hard to find clothes that fit properly. All of these problems may lead to depression as well as difficulty sitting or sleeping. Rarely, a severe vertebral collapse may cause paralysis by exerting pressure on the spinal cord.”
Glucosamine Supplements for Osteoarthritis: Buyer Beware
The following is reproduced from Scientific American Health After 50 Alert, February 2015.
“A reader asks, ‘I have osteoarthritis and have been drinking a glucosamine supplement for my chronic knee pain, but my wife thinks it's a waste of money. Who's right?’ Here's what the research suggests.
Studies have produced conflicting results, but the best scientific evidence is on the side of your wife.
Glucosamine is a naturally occurring substance found in the fluid surrounding joints. Dietary supplements containing glucosamine are marketed to people with osteoarthritis based on the premise that the substance slows the loss of cartilage in joints. However, sound research suggests otherwise.
One recent example comes from an April 2014 study in Arthritis and Rheumatology. Researchers recruited 201 men and women with knee osteoarthritis who had mild to moderate pain in one or both knees. At the start of the study, all participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of their affected knees to show the how much cartilage had been lost. Half the participants drank a beverage containing 1,500 mg of glucosamine every day for six months, while the others received a placebo beverage with inactive ingredients. At the end of the study, repeat MRIs showed that cartilage loss was similar in both groups and there was no difference in their pain levels. Buyer beware. It's worth noting that many of the studies that suggest that glucosamine is good for osteoarthritis were funded by companies that sell the supplements.”


The contributor prefers anonymity!

Play on Words (sorry but I did not write down who contributed this…)
A cartoonist was found dead in his home. Details are sketchy.
England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.

They told me I had type-A blood, but it was a Type-O.
When chemists die, they barium.

I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I just can't put it down.
I didn't like my beard at first. Then it grew on me.

When you get a bladder infection; urine trouble.
What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.

I dropped out of communism class because of lousy Marx.
I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.

For responses, questions, helpful advice and suggestions, and anything of interest to our members, please email Anne-Marie Ambert (Facilitator) at If you prefer, your contribution can remain anonymous.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in PTP reports are those of individuals and may not reflect the official policy or opinion of YURA.