The English term germ emerged from the French germe in the 1640s, which evolved from germen in Latin, meaning a biological genesis, as with seeds and buds. A germ as a “seed of a disease” was planted in English in 1796; that of harmful microbe in 1871. A century and a half later, germs are found winning against those who would label them as such.
Common folklore has houseplants able to freshen and oxygenate the air. Alas, not so much.
The term “patient zero” as the original victim of an epidemic originated from a misunderstanding.
Living well is a discipline. The necessary physical discipline is frequent exercise and eating less than the body wants. The alternative is suffering from the sin of sloth in later years.
Foremost, living well is the craft of managing the mind. That craft involves playing the right concepts wabi-sabi style: discarding whatever is not useful or beautiful.
The slimy, hydrated gel called mucus lines all wet epithelia in our bodies – over 200 square meters, including the eyes, lungs, and gastrointestinal and urogenital tracts. Healthy individuals produce several liters of mucus daily. Mucus was long thought merely a lubricant and physical barrier against pathogens. Mucus also acts as a communication filtering device to potentially nefarious microbes.
Researchers recently discovered that nearly 400 routine medical practices were quackery. By that count, 10% of medical advice is wrong. The tally is much higher.
It has long been known that eating red meat engenders cardiovascular disease. The tasty fat marbled in the meat has long been pointed to as the villain, as has cholesterol. That turns out be a subplot in the story, though consuming animal fat is unhealthy, and the wrong kind of cholesterol does damage. Instead, carnitine is the culprit.
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) advocates “limited government and free markets.” They campaign against clean air and clean water, and favor legislation that allows routine animal cruelty.
Few of us can afford the luxury of growing our own fruits and vegetables. We must rely upon commercial growers. But consumer desire for delicious is contrary to commercial interest in maximum yield, sustained shelf life, and visual appeal. To meet those goals, commercially-produced produce has become an exercise in tastelessness.
Humans excel at getting polluted, in every sense. Industrial pollution got raised to a new level following the second World War. The so-called “baby boom” generation of the 1950s were the first to get seriously POPed: exposed to a continuing dose of persistent organic pollutants. They are now paying the price of “better living through chemistry.”