The NRA vs. The CDC

While strolling through the local library on my lunch break today, I couldn’t help but see the cover story on the New York Daily News. “Killed by the NRA”, it screamed. In their typical sensational tabloid fashion, this referred to the fact that while the Centers for Disease Control spend millions of dollars annually studying how to reduce deaths from things like Lyme disease (22,000 deaths in 2012, CDC budget for prevention programs: $10.6M), they are forbidden by law to spend any significant amount of money studying anything that could even remotely be connected to “gun control”.

Back in 1993, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study led by Arthur Kellerman and funded by the CDC that found a strong link between having a gun in the home and an increased risk of homicide. The NRA, through its lobbyists, screamed bloody murder. They wanted to completely wipe out the division of the CDC that funded the study, but instead wound up having an amendment inserted into a 1997 budget package which stated that “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control.” While it didn’t specifically ban research on gun control, the intent was made very clear when that same budget took the exact amount that the CDC spent on firearm safety research the previous year and earmarked it specifically for brain trauma research.

With the writing on the wall, the CDC has not funded any real gun safety research since then.

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I HATE Tissues

Right now, my immune system is mopping up after a short but intense battle against the forces of the Evil Common Cold. The bodies of the invaders are being swept up and expelled, but it’s taking some time to clear them all out.

While my head is clear, and there are no more aches and pains, my nose is still running a marathon. You could end a drought with the fluid coming out of my nose. Of course, it’s not polite to snort it all back in to be swallowed (or otherwise dealt with internally), so I have to blow my nose every fifteen minutes or so.

This presents a problem for me. There’s a LOT of goo to be dealt with, and the standard tissues are just too small. If I use one layer of tissue, I blow right through it. If I fold it in half and use a double layer, it’s too small to contain the spray. If I take two tissues and double up, by the time I’ve arranged them properly, I’ve dripped into my lap. And one tissue (or pair of tissues, for that matter) is simply not enough to handle the two or three blows (and the final wipe) that you need to do to clear out my nasal passages. Tissues are great for the occasional wipe or skin care issue, but for dealing with massive amounts of nasal drip, forget it!

My usual solution is to have a couple of wads of toilet paper in my pockets. Pull off about six feet from the roll, and fold it up twice, so I’ve got a four-layer strip. Thick enough to hold up to the most powerful sneeze, enough paper for the follow up blows, and still some left for the final wipe.

The only problem is that the paper isn’t designed for such a use, and I wind up irritating the heck out of the skin around my nose.

What I really need is tissues the size of paper towels.

Anybody want to make them?