Category Archives: Health

Computing Bacteria Reproduction Rate and Doubling Time

Until the arrival of the coronavirus, I looked forward every week to volunteering at a local library as a tutor for university students. Now that COVID is raging around me, I have moved the tutoring online. Most of the students are training for some form of a medical career. This week a student presented me with bacterial growth data and was wondering how to estimate the growth rate and doubling time for the bacteria using Excel. This exercise nicely illustrates the entire data analysis process (Figure 1) in a single example and I decided to post my solution here. Continue reading

Posted in Excel, General Mathematics, Health, optics, Statistics | 2 Comments

One Drink Per Hour Can Get You Drunk

Back in 2011, I wrote a blog post that goes into the details on how the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) versus drinks/time/gender are computed (Figure 1). These charts tell people how much they can drink and still stay under the BAC limits for driving under the influence. These charts are for a typical drinker and the actual BAC value will vary by person. Continue reading

Posted in General Mathematics, Health | 3 Comments

How Many Red Blood Cells Do We Lose A Day?

I regularly visit the RefDesk website to pick up general information. Refdesk has a section that contains a Fact of the Day from the Random History website. Unfortunately, these “facts” are occasionally just plain wrong (example). Today, another one of these random facts did not seem correct and I thought I would perform a quick Fermi analysis here to show that it cannot be correct. I assume that they confused hours and minutes in their analysis. I will present my argument below. Continue reading

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Untold ER Story About Tainted Well Water

I sometimes wonder if you can learn anything from television, but I recently saw an article in our local paper about a medical condition threatening a local town that I had first learned about on “Untold Stories of the ER” (USER). Continue reading

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Cars With Zero Driver Deaths from 2009 to 2012

I saw an interesting article on Yahoo Autos about 9 cars in which zero drivers died during the time period from 2009 to 2012. I thought this was interesting information – it sure stimulated some discussion in my family. Continue reading

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An Estimate of the Heart’s Chemical to Mechanical Efficiency

Quote of the Day I like opera, I just don’t want to be around the people who like opera. — Justice Clarence Thomas, during a discussion of Justice Scalia and Scalia’s love of opera. I also have experienced being around … Continue reading

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Heart Energy Per Day Versus Truck Energy Consumed Over 20 Miles

During my web browsing, I sometimes encounter a statement that just seems too incredible to believe. Figure 1 contains such a statement. It states that the human heart “creates” daily an energy equivalent to driving a truck for 20 miles. I thought about this statement for a minute and it makes no sense. Continue reading

Posted in General Science, Health | 28 Comments

There Appears to Be No Limits to Stereolithography

I have been using stereolithographic assembly (SLA) since the early 1990s. In the early days, the prototypes we generated were a bit crude but still useful. For example, in one time-critical situation, we needed a tail cone for an underwater vehicle ASAP and we generated a plastic prototype that we used to make a mold for the final aluminum version. It took a couple of days and we had an aluminum tail cone that worked great. Continue reading

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Interesting Chart on US Health Care Costs

I have family members who are involved in the US health care system and we often talk about what is good and bad about our system. Once aspect of the our system that none of us understand is why it is so costly considering the level of service it provides. I have tried to become more informed on the subject by reading all I can, including the books by Atul Gawande − which are excellent. However, the answer still eludes me. Continue reading

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Population Occurrence Frequency Math

Quote of the Day Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. — Theodore Roosevelt I was reading an article on autism and the article mentioned that autism is much more prevalent in boys than girls. This … Continue reading

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