No. 168 January 1997 ACCIDENTAL INJURIES & CHANCE Do accidents and resulting injuries really happen by chance? No, accidents are fairly predictable according to time, place, and person. The two factors which are considered in any accident are the individual's level of performance and the demands of the task being carried out. Performance characteristics include the individual's strength, stamina, intellect, judgment, ability to use sensory input, motor skills, speed, and range of motion. As one's performance is adversely effected and the demands of the task come to outweigh one's performance, an accident will occur. Basically, this is the major point discussed in "The Epidemiology of Injury" by Mary C. Dufour, and Herbert Moskowitz in Alcohol Health and Research World, V. 9, No. 4, September, 1985, pages 6-10 (HE 20. 8309:9/4). Their basic and dated concern is the influence of alcohol in the occurance of many accidents which is still most relevent today. THE INFAMOUS SEVEN-TENTHS OF A SECOND This time-lapse discussion is another bit of 1985 information which I think is still quite timely. Would you like to read the text of: Appendix 3: Reconstruction of an Alcohol-Related Crash? (page 144). Alcohol and/or some other circumstance(s) could cause any car crash. It is quite gruesome but very educational to read the slow-motion, split-second reconstruction of what happens when a car, traveling 55 mph, crashes into a solid, inmovable tree. There are many gruesome and bloody details which follow the intital impact of the bumper into the tree. This includes the fact that when the car stops the person continues to move at 55 mph(but for just a split second). The shock which has frozen his heart occurs in the last (the 7th) tenth of a second, and the driver is now dead. Ironical, as it may be, this reconstruction scenario doesn't tell us anything about the immovable tree. Most likely the tree lost a few branches and maybe even sustained some major damage. But that tree probably survived (if it was big enough to be immovable). You will find this rather unique description in Drunk Driving Public Information Program Strategies and Planning Guide, issued in 1985 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (TD 8.8:D84/3). ALCOHOL AND THE HUMAN BODY This news item is also one which is dated (1985) is yet timely. Many people know that alcohol has a definite influence on the human body. Especially the morning-after-the-night-before when they were out drinking and had a little too much. Do you know exactly what happens when (and after) you introduce some alcohol into your body? "Appendix 2: Alcohol's Trip through the Body (page 143 of the Drunk Driving"...title cited above) presents alcohol trip through the human body in nine aspects. Briefly: (1) Alcohol irritates the lining of the mouth, throat, and food pipe. (2) Alcohol irritates the stomach and intestines as well as interfering with the digestive process and can cause major digestive disorders. (3) In the bloodstream, alcohol is sent to every cell and tissue in the body. Alcohol interferes with the duties and functions of both red and white blood cells. (4), (5), and (6) Alcohol irritates the pancreas, the liver, and the heart. We all know about the popular cirrhosis of the liver of many alcoholics. Alcohol inflames the heart muscle and can cause fat to collect on the heart. (7) Alcohol inflames the bladder lining and causes the kidneys to be irritated and remove needed fluids from the body. (8) Sexually, alcohol interferes with male sexual performance and the climatic abilities of both men and women. (9) Basically alcohol kills brain cells and does permanent damage which shows up in the many and varied mental disorders and body disorders which occur beause some aspect(s) of the brain are alcohol-damaged. Who would ever be so foolish to take a bath in sulfuric acid with a wire brush, that would be most painful if not fatal. But how many of those people have internal medical problems which stem from the use of alcohol? MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL Mirror mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all? So goes the question of the mirror by the wicked queen. Snow White was the fairest according to the plot of the fairy tale. If you do a little fairy tale analysis you will find that their is a need for some research into the beauty standards used by the mirror to make beauty judgements. Out in the real world, the concepts of beauty and (the related) perfection has taken some unusual forms implying there are many standards. The Chinese women bound their feet to have small feet, and there are some equally different dress and body part(s) manipulations achieved by some of the African and other cultures around the world. Most interesting is the self-mutiliation which has taken place for the sake of beauty and bodily perfection. Robin Marantz Henig, "The Price of Perfection: For centuries, self-mutiliation and dangerous prcedures have been part of the quest for beauty", Civilization, V. 3, No. 3, May-June 1996, pages 56-61 (LC 1.52:3/3) FIREARMS ONWERSHIP During the 1996 session of the Kentucky General Assembly, there was a new law passed which permitted the citizens of Kentucky to apply for a permit to carry a firearm. This is a state law which is making the news and is having a definite impact on many state, county, city, and other legal jurisdictions which have a great concern about where our recently endowed gun-toting Kentuckians go with their guns. For what it's worth, there is a recent federal law, Public Law 103-159, the Brady Hand Gun Violence Prevention Act which prohibits certain people from obtaining hand-gun permits. The appropriate regulations are now being proposed "Definitions for the Categories of Persons Prohibited from Receiving Firearms (95R-051-P), Notice of Proposed Rulemaking", Federal Register, V. 61, No. 174, September 6, 1996, pages 47095-47099 (AE 2.106:61/174). The next question is "when will the final regulation appear?" THE GOOD EARTH This is the title of a book by Pearl S. Buck. The book came out in 1931 and is a story of the lives and struggles of the peasant farmers in the 1940s China. On the other hand, if you ask the farmer who is not familiar with Pearl S. Buck about good earth, what do you think you will get for an answer? I don't know, but the answer would not be a book title. I didn t know about good earth until I found the article "Good Earth: the Earthy Smell of Healthy Soil" is linked to two filamentous microbes by Hank Becker found in Agricultural Research, V. 43, No. 6, June 1994, page 16 (A 77.12:43/6). CURRENT POPULATION SURVEYS These Census Bureau surveys, conducted by the Census Bureau for itself and for other federal agencies, are often cited or referred to by journalists but hardly ever identified adequately and hardly (if ever) explained. These surveys are different in content and frequency from the various Population, Economic, and other Census publications which are more readily known and recognized. The CPS cover about 60 different topics, many of which will not appear in any of the Population or Economic Census Databases. To know about the content of the CPS is to find a "whole new world" of information as to content, frequency, and historical and current availability. This is a good place to go see if the Census Bureau has data to answer to the questions:Is there data on swine flu immunization?, Is there data on lead paint hazard awareness?, Is there data on the number of religious people?,and How many homes have/use computers? Looking at "Figure 34. Current Population Survey (CPS) Data Files" on page 151 in Census Catalog and Guide, 1996 (C 3.163/3:996) and you will find answers to the above questions. Reading pages 151-153 will give you a better understanding of the CPS and the forms in which you will find this Census Bureau data. There are two approaches to answering a question: just look through all the different Census Bueau sources of information to see if you can find the the religious information you want. Or, see what type of data is collected and by whom and see if your source collects the data you are looking for. A search of the Census Bureau Catalog will show you that the Census Bureau does NOT collect any religious data. The Census Bureau and its publications are not the sources to use to answer religious data questions CHECKS Little pieces of paper which substitute for money. It seems the Romans invented the check in about 325 B.C. The check got first widespread use in Holland in the 16th century and money was first deposited with Dutch "cashiers" instead of keeping your money at home. The first use of printed checks goes back to England in 1762 and Lawrence Childs who put numbers on these pieces of paper to keep track of, or "check" on them." It was at a British Coffee Shop in the 1700s that two check messengers "exchanged" checks and the currently existing "check clearinghouse" was born. "Checking out the check" FDIC Consumer V. 3, Issue 1, Fall 1995 pages 2-3 (Y 3.F31/8:24/3/1). If you don't know what a check clearinghouse is read "Two Glorious Days, Two Fun-Filled Nights..." on pages 4-5, of this FDIC Consumer and you will get a behind the scenes look at how a check journeys in two days through check clearinghouses from bank to bank from California to New York and how payments are made. If you read: The Story of Checks and Electronic Payments which is a 1987 publication of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York you will get the same basic information with pictures. However, this comic book's presentation also introduces you to the issue of "electronic payments" which is another topic for a later newsletter. Electronic payments is very crucial now considering smart cards, ATM machines, and the Internet's cybercash. But this is something to watch for. THOUGHT OF THE MONTH: If you find mistakes in this publication please consider that they are there for a purpose. We publish something for everyone, and some people are always looking for mistakes. (Holmes Safety Association Bulletin, January 1987)
January 27, 1997.