What is Meningitis?

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Posted by JR Olson | Posted in Chemistry, Health And Fitness | Posted on 31-10-2014

Meningitis is a disease that can result in serious health problems, including brain damage and even death. Meningitis most commonly affects children, teens, and young adults. Meningitis must be treated immediately to avoid devastating effects, and familiarization with the types, symptoms, and treatments of meningitis are critical.

Types and Causes of Meningitis

Meningitis is inflammation of the meninges, or the three membranes that cover the brain and the spinal cord. The main function of the meninges is to protect the nervous system. Meningitis attacks this function. .

There are two types of meningitis: viral and bacterial. Viral meningitis is both the most common and the less serious of the two, usually causing seizures or prolonged fevers, but rarely resulting in serious illness. Bacterial meningitis can be extremely dangerous and is sometimes fatal. It must be treated immediately to avoid brain damage or death.

While viruses and bacteria cause the majority of meningitis cases, a person can also get the disease by some medicines or other organisms, though this is incredibly rare.

Weak immune systems have been linked to reoccurring bacterial meningitis. Meningitis is contagious and, like the common cold, can be spread through close contact with infected people, as well as through sneezing and coughing.

Symptoms of Meningitis

Meningitis can be hard to detect, sharing symptoms with many other illnesses, including the flu. Occasionally, meningitis can be symptomless. In most cases, symptoms include vomiting, nausea, muscle pain, fever, headache, cold extremities, and a rash that resembles a bruise. In infants, the symptoms are slightly different: a high-pitched moaning cry, a bulging fontanel (the soft spot at the back of the head where bone ossification is not complete), listlessness, difficulty breathing, pale or blotchy skin, and red or purple spots are things that you should watch for.

You can also use the glass test to test for a meningitis rash. To do so, press the side of a drinking glass against the rash firmly. If the rash fades and loses color under the glass, then it is not a meningitis rash. If it does not fade or change color, you should contact a doctor immediately.

Treatment of Meningitis

The type of meningitis treatment given is dependent upon four factors: the age of the patient, the severity of the infection, the cause of meningitis, and other medical conditions that may be present within the patient. Viral meningitis usually resolves itself within two weeks and does not require treatment. For bacterial meningitis, the most common treatment is antibiotics. Other treatments include corticosteroids, acetaminophen, anti-convulsants, oxygen therapy, fluid control, blood tests, and sedatives.

Preventative Measures

The best way to prevent meningitis is through vaccination. Along with other vaccines administered to children, including shots for measles and chickenpox, your child should receive the meningococcal vaccine to prevent bacterial meningitis. The latter is recommended for adolescents at age 11-12, young adults (under age 21) who haven’t received the shot yet; people who plan to travel to countries with known meningitis outbreaks, those without a spleen, and people with HIV. In some cases, a booster shot every 5 years is necessary.

Being up-to date on your family’s vaccinations is important. If you’re unsure if you or your child has received the vaccination against meningitis or if you’re planning to travel abroad, you should call your doctor. If your child hasn’t been vaccinated, keep an eye out for the onset of meningitis symptoms and act immediately if any are detected.

Byline

Tyler Prescott is interested in vaccines, disease prevention, medical science, bird flu, health and wellness and other associated topics. Those who’d like to learn about meningitis vaccines should check out the information at Houston Vaccines on the matter.

Are MLB Television Ratings on the Rise?

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Posted by JR Olson | Posted in Recreation And Sports | Posted on 30-10-2014

Almost since its inception in the late 1870s, baseball has been considered America’s pastime, a rite of passage handed down over several generations from fathers and mothers to their sons and daughters. The history of this country is closely linked to baseball. As the expression goes, baseball is as American as apple pie.

The integration of Major League Baseball in 1947—when Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby joined the Brooklyn Dodgers and Cleveland Indians respectively—closely mirrored the start of the civil rights movement. The organized labor movement was briefly revived when Curtis Flood became the first player to sue for free agency in 1972. But lately baseball has fallen out of favor with fans and the public. What are the factors that have led to this seemingly growing disinterest in baseball?

Steady Decline in TV Viewership

Television viewership of Major League Baseball, which is predominately seen on the Fox Network, has been trending down between 2001 and 2012. Regular season Saturday broadcasts received a Nielsen rating of 2.6 with 3.377 million viewers in 2001. By the end of 2012, the ratings for the same Saturday broadcasts were 1.7, with viewership at 2.5 million. This represents a ratings decline of 35 percent and a viewership decline of 26 percent.

Ratings for the World Series have mirrored the dwindling ratings of the regular season. In 2001, the World Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees (also broadcast on Fox) averaged ratings of 15.4 and viewership around 24 million. In the 2012 games between the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers, the ratings were 7.6 and viewership was under 13 million. The sweep was a record-low rating for a World Series.

Sosa v. McGwire and the Steroids Era

In 1998, the St. Louis Cardinal’s Mark McGwire and the Chicago Cub’s Sammy Sousa chased Roger Maris‘s home run record from 1961. The chase captured the attention of baseball fans throughout the nation, culminating with McGwire setting the record at 70 home runs and Sosa finishing with 66 home runs (Barry Bonds would top McGwire’s mark with 73 home runs hit in 2003).

In that season of the long ball, 8 of the 13 players who hit 40 or more home runs, including McGwire and Sosa, were shown through the infamous Mitchell Report to have used illegal performance enhancing steroids. One of those players, New York Yankee’s star Alex Rodriguez, would later be linked to a current scandal that has led to a 211-games suspension for the 2014-15 seasons if he loses his appeal. There are some who argue that the rise in the use of anabolic steroids that created some of the best baseball in the 1990s has ruined the game in the 2000s and beyond.

The Rising Popularity of NASCAR

As Major League Baseball ratings continue to decline, NASCAR ratings have risen steadily. At the conclusion of the 2013 season, the sport enjoyed a Nielsen rating of 4.8, also on the Fox Network. This rating is better than the ratings for the 2013 NBA playoffs (3.4 Nielsen rating) and the NBA conference finals (4.5 rating). The sport’s popularity among target demographics as well as its 7 percent growth in the 56 largest media markets makes NASCAR a viable alternative to baseball.

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Preston Patterson writes on TV ratings, radio and film, video games, the tech industry, social media and other cool topics. MLB fans can find great bobble heads by going to http://www.custombobbleheads.com.

The Origins of the SAT

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Posted by JR Olson | Posted in Higher Education (University +) | Posted on 30-10-2014

Now known as the Scholastic Assessment Test, the SAT is the most popular standardized exam college administrators use to gauge prospective student performance in the United States, and high school students are required to take the test for into nearly every university throughout the country. The SAT traces its origins to the early 20th century, when a pair of psychologists teamed up to develop an admissions test for the benefit of the country’s colleges and universities.

Beginnings

The College Entrance Examination Board — now known as the College Board — was formed in 1900 to develop and administer standardized tests. Its first exam was held during June of 1901 at sixty-seven locations throughout the nation, as well as two locations in Europe. The test was a college entrance exam that consisted of essay examinations in Chemistry, English, French, German, Greek, History, Latin, Mathematics and Physics. Nearly a thousand students took the exams.

Brigham and Yerkes

The two men most commonly associated with the creation of the SAT are Carl Campbell Brigham and Robert Yerkes, both prominent psychologists known for their study of human intelligence. In 1917, as the president of the American Psychological Association, Yerkes was successful in convincing the U.S. Army to implement the Army Alpha test to measure the intelligence of all recruits, becoming the first mass administered IQ test in history. At the time, Brigham, one of Yerkes’ assistants, was an Army officer assigned as a lieutenant in the Sanitary Corps. After the war, Brigham became a faculty member at Princeton University and chairman of the College Board. When Brigham and Yerkes partnered again, they decided to retool the army intelligence test for college admissions while ramping up the difficulty level. It became known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test.

Debut

The SAT was first administered on June 23, 1926. Consisting of 315 questions, the 90-minute exam was divided into sections of antonyms, arithmetic, artificial language, analogies, classification, definitions, logical inference and paragraph reading. Over 8,000 students took the exam at over 300 test centers, with males comprising sixty percent of the test takers. A little more than twenty-five percent of them applied to Yale University and Smith College.

Rise to Prominence

In 1933, Harvard University president James Bryant Conant wanted to adopt a test to evaluate candidates for scholarships to his Ivy League institution. He commissioned Assistant Dean Henry Chauncey to identify a proper examination. After a meeting with Brigham in Princeton, Chauncey recommended the SAT. Conant agreed with the recommendation, believing that the test measured pure intelligence, regardless of the taker’s academic background. By the end of the decade, the SAT was not only used by Harvard, but by all other Ivy League Schools as a scholarship test. In 1942, during World War II, the College Board abolished all of its pre-existing admissions tests, thus making the SAT the default exam for university entry. After the war, Chauncey established the Educational Testing Service (ETS).  Founded in 1947, the ETS would lead the way in making the SAT the major basic college admissions test in the U.S., also becoming the world’s largest private nonprofit organization specializing in educational testing and assessment.

Byline

Dillon Sampson is a freelance writer based in Mount Vernon, WA who concentrates on education, specifically standardized testing, ISEE sample test, the SAT and GRE exams, test preparation and so forth.