The Anonymous Widower

My INR Readings Before And After My Second AstraZeneca Jab

I am on long-term Warfarin after a serious stroke.

I also measure my own INR using a simple hand-held meter.

So with all the fuss about the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots, I thought I’d do an experiment around my second dose of the vaccine.

I maintained a constant Warin dose of 3.5 mg, which is the daily dose, I have agreed with my GP.

I maintained a reasonably constant diet. That is fairly easy if you’re coeliac and on a long-term gluten-free diet, as I am.

measured my INR every morning.

These are my results.

  • April 12th – 2.3
  • April 13th – 2.8
  • April 14th – 2.8
  • April 15th – 2.9
  • April 16th – 2.5
  • April 17th – 2.3
  • April 18th – 2.3
  • April 19th – 2.4 – 2nd Jab
  • April 20th – 2.2
  • April 21st – 2.2
  • April 22nd – 2.6
  • April 23rd – 2.5
  • April 24th – 2.4
  • April 25th – 2.7
  • April 26th – 3.0
  • April 27th – 2.7
  • April 28th – 2,5
  • April 29th – 3.0
  • April 30th – 3.1
  • May 1st – 2.9
  • May 2nd – No Data
  • May 3rd – 2.8

It would appear that the results have been less stable since the second jab.

I am a Control Engineer with a B. Eng. from Liverpool University and I’m not surprised at these results.

It’s just like the bounce you get when the wheel of your car hits a pothole.

I would suggest that more research needs to be done.

May 3, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘Natural’ Nasal Spray Could Stop Virus Before It Enters The Body

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

This is the two introductory paragraphs.

A Canadian nasal spray that has been shown to stop the coronavirus from spreading through the body will begin its first UK clinical trial tomorrow.

The SaNOtize nitric oxide spray is designed to prevent the virus from passing through the nose to the respiratory system. The trial will be run by Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in Surrey.

I shall be watching SaNOtize‘s development with interest, as something that could be similar got my life on track!

I am 73 and I was a very sickly child, despite the persistence of the GP, who delivered me, who was the superbly-named Dr. Egerton White, to try and sort out my problems.

I was always, having terms off school with respiratory problems, probably caused by the London smogs of the 1950s. We lived in Southgate and they had as bad smogs as anyone.

In the end, with the connivance of a pharmacist called Halliday, they formulated a nasal spray, that worked. I can still smell it!

My health improved with the Clean Air Act and during University in the seaside city of Liverpool.

Later, I worked for ICI on chemical plants and there was an unfounded story, that the pensions were good, as working on ammonia plants and the like kept you clear of all the viruses going around. But on retirement in all that clear air, you got everything that was going and died soon after leaving work. Hence the pension scheme had more money than it needed.

My health also improved, when at fifty I was diagnosed as a coeliac and went gluten-free.

Now after returning to London after the death of my wife and son to cancer, and suffering a serious stroke, my head is all choked up by the pollution. The Covid-19 lockdown makes it difficult to take the cure, which is a couple of days by the sea. Biarritz, Gdansk and Liverpool work a treat.

Trump Got It Wrong!

Trump was advocating injecting bleach to cure the Covids.

  • Note that bleach is a strong alkali
  • This spray is based on nitric oxide, which when mixed with water forms nitrous acid.
  • Wikipedia says not to mix-up the weak nitrous acid with nitric acid.

So Trumkopf couldn’t tell his alkali from his acid, which surely is a recipe for disaster.

Nitric Oxide

This is part of the introduction in the Wikipedia entry for nitric oxide.

An important intermediate in industrial chemistry, nitric oxide forms in combustion systems and can be generated by lightning in thunderstorms. In mammals, including humans, nitric oxide is a signaling molecule in many physiological and pathological processes. It was proclaimed the “Molecule of the Year” in 1992. The 1998 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded for discovering nitric oxide’s role as a cardiovascular signalling molecule.

I remember a fascinating BBC Horizon program about nitric oxide’s role as a signalling molecule.

  • It started with research done by a veterinary professor at Glasgow University, who believed that after experimenting with penises from dead bulls, concluded that nitrous oxide had something to do with it.
  • But his ideas were so out-of-kilter with established thought, that his research was sidelined at conferences in journals.
  • Reasons like it was a poison and such a simple molecule were given.
  • Then in London, someone who knew of his research, had a patient dying of toxic shock syndrome.
  • He suggested injecting the lady, with large amounts of nitrous oxide, in the hope they could save her life.
  • Her partner agreed.

And as it worked, there was a very happy ending.

 

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January 10, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Curious Link Between Pancreatic Cancer And COVID-19

i am involved in fund raising for pancreatic cancer research at Liverpool University, because my youngest son died of the awful disease, at just thirty-seven, leaving a widow and an eight-year-old daughter.

I am also a passionate analyser of data and databases.

For a few weeks now, I have had a feeling that there is a connection between pancreatic cancer and the  old Austro-Hungarian Empire.

I found this simple description of the Austro-Hungarian Empire on this page on the Internet.

The former Austro-Hungarian Empire was spread over a large part of Central Europe, it comprises present Austria and Hungary as well as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bosnia, Croatia and parts of present Poland, Romania, Italy, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro.

I had been looking at pancreatic cancer data on the World Life Expectancy database, which is based on World Health Organisation data.

I have built this table, which shows the top twenty countries for a death rate from pancreatic cancer.

These are the columns.

  1. Country
  2. Rate of pancreatic cancer deaths per 100,000 of the population.
  3. Quarantine or Travel Corridor based on this page of the Government web site.
  4. Member of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

These are the top twenty countries.

  1. Hungary – 11.35 – Quarantine – AHE
  2. Uruguay – 10.72 – Quarantine
  3. Armenia – 10.34 – Quarantine
  4. Malta – 10.01 – Quarantine
  5. Czech Republic – 9.89 – Quarantine – AHE
  6. Estonia – 9.26 – Travel Corridor
  7. Iceland – 9.21 – Quarantine
  8. Israel – 9.18 – Quarantine
  9. Slovakia – 9.17 – Quarantine – AHE
  10. Austria – 9.13 – Quarantine – AHE
  11. Finland – 8.78 – Travel Corridor
  12. Japan – 8.74 – Travel Corridor
  13. Latvia – 8.72 – Travel Corridor
  14. Germany – 8.68 – Travel Corridor
  15. Slovenia – 8.55 – Quarantine – AHE
  16. Denmark – 8.51 – Quarantine
  17. Netherlands – 8.38 – Quarantine
  18. Croatia – 8.30 – Quarantine – AHE
  19. Lithuania – 8.21 – Travel Corridor
  20. Luxembourg – 8.15 – Quarantine

Note.

  1. I would hope that the Government’s Travel Corridor list has been devised in a scientifically-correct manner.
  2. Am I right to assume that the Travel Corridor list is a good measure of the level of Covid-19 in the country?
  3. The pancreatic cancer data is from 2018.

Of the countries I mentioned earlier, as being partly in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, only Montenegro is in the top thirty countries for pancreatic cancer deaths.

My Thoughts On The Data

These are my thoughts on the data.

The Significance Of The Austro-Hungarian Empire

Consider.

  • All the countries that were fully or partly in the Austro-Hungarian Empire  are on the Government Quarantine List, with the exception of Italy.
  • Many will argue, including myself, that Italy, has too high a Covid-19 rate for a visit.
  • Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia are in the top twenty countries for pancreatic cancer deaths.

It looks to me, that there is a correlation in there somewhere.

Germany And Japan Are The Odd Ones Out

The list of countries with high levels of pancreatic cancer, where there is no quarantine are.

  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Germany
  • Lithuania

If you eliminate the Baltic States and Finland from the worse countries for pancreatic cancer, you’re left with Germany and Japan.

Is There A Jewish Dimension?

I ask this question for these reasons.

  • Israel is eighth on the pancreatic cancer list and has high levels of Covid-19 according to various news reports, like this one on the BBC, which is entitled Coronavirus: Israel Tightens Second Lockdown Amid Acrimony.
  • I am not Jewish, but my great-great-great-grandfather from Konigsberg probably was and it looks like I inherited my coeliac disease from him and gave it to my son, who died from pancreatic cancer.
  • The Baltic States and Finland, don’t seem to have large Jewish populations for various reasons and they have high levels of pancreatic cancer, but low levels of Covid-19.
  • Germany has the third largest Jewish population in Europe, but seems to have done well in fighting Covid-19. Is that because their well-funded healthcare system has worked?
  • Wikipedia states that, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was favourable to the Jews and even a sizeable numbers of its Army officers in Word War One were Jewish.
  • According to reports locally and my observations, it appears that the Jewish community in Hackney, where I live has been badly hit by Covid-19.

I need an appropriate historian to give me answers.

Conclusion

I believe the correlation between pancreatic cancer and Covid-19 could be rather strong. More research needs to be done, as to why.

But I do wonder, if undiagnosed coeliac disease, as in my son, could be the alligator in the swamp.

Undiagnosed coeliacs seem to have poor immune systems, which makes them more susceptible to everything, that’s going around.

The more I learn about coeliac disease and its myriad effects on health, the more I’m convinced that it should be one of the diseases checked for in all young children.

It would certainly have changed my miserable always-ill childhood for the better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 3, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | 3 Comments

ARM: Can ‘Crown Jewel’ Of UK Technology Be Protected?

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

These are the introductory paragraphs.

The UK government is “looking at options” to protect and ensure future investment in Cambridge-based ARM Holdings, which is being bought by US tech giant Nvidia from Japan’s Softbank.

This is a much more relaxed attitude than the government took when Softbank bought the world-leading chip designer in July 2016. At that time, Softbank announced it had agreed to legally binding commitments to increase investment, headcount and preserve its headquarters in the UK.

It is not too late for the government to impose conditions, but conversations on whether to impose them or what they might be have not even started.

Some of the original founders of ARM Holdings, would appear to be not very happy.

I have followed the company for a number of years, as I was in the same class at Liverpool University with Robin Saxby, who was ARM’s first CEO.

At great surprise to myself, I made a nice sum of money by investing in the shares at the right time.

I am less unhappy, as I think two opposite outcomes would be good for the UK.

  • It all goes pear-shaped and large numbers of talented engineers in Cambridge create several children of ARM.
  • Nvidia decides that the ARM model and location is better and moves the headquarters of the group to the UK. Trump and his policies could make this likely, by picking fights with countries where Nvidia and ARM have large markets.

It will be interesting to see what happens.

 

September 14, 2020 Posted by | Business, Computing, Finance | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Railway Station At Liverpool University

In Liverpool’s Forgotten Tunnel, I showed this map, which shows a proposed reopening of the Wapping Tunnel as a passenger route between Liverpool Central and Edge Hill stations.

Note.

  1. The map shows a station at University
  2. The Wapping Tunnel is shown as a dotted blue line.
  3. Between four and eight trains per hour (tph) would be running through University station.

This Google Map shows the line of the tunnel.

Note.

  1. Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral is in the North-West corner of the map.
  2. Much of area of the map is taken up by buildings of Liverpool University.
  3. Crown Street Park is in the South-East corner of the map and contains one of the ventilating shafts for the tunnel.
  4. Blackburne Place in the South-West corner of the map contains another ventilating shaft.

The location of the shafts, probably means that the tunnel runs vaguely along Myrtle Street.

Not knowing that area of the campus well, it could be where Grove and Myrtle Streets intersect.

This Google Map shows the area.

It should be noted that this area of Liverpool is built on sandstone and tunnelling isn’t the most challenging operation, so it might be possible to create a very passenger-friendly station.

Passenger Services Through The Station

I think that my best estimate of passenger service through the station would be as follows.

Frequency

The frequency would be between four and eight tph. These are quite low frequencies for a modern railway and Merseyrail exceeds this frequency in several places.

Westbound

Currently, trains on the Northern Line branches to Ormskirk and Kirkby appear to turnback at Liverpool Central station. So it would appear, that it would be more likely, that Westbound services at Liverpool University station would terminate at Kirkby or Ormskirk.

Passengers wanting to travel to and from stations on the Wirral Line, would need to change at Liverpool Central station.

Eastbound

Currently, local services out of Liverpool Lime Street, that are run by Northern, are as follows.

  • Half hourly service to Manchester Oxford Road (via Warrington Central, most local stations)
  • Hourly service to Manchester Airport (via Warrington Central and Manchester Piccadilly, limited stop)
  • Hourly service to Blackpool North (limited stop)
  • Half hourly service to Wigan North Western (via St Helens Central, all stations)
  • Hourly service to Crewe (via Newton-le-Willows, Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport, all stations)
  • Hourly service to Warrington Bank Quay (via Earlestown, all stations)

Note.

  1. The services actually add up to eight tph.
  2. As Merseyrail’s new Class 777 trains will have a pantograph for 25 KVAC overhead electrification and a battery capability, they could be used on all routes.
  3. But I do think that the trains may not be suitable for all routes because of their 75 mph operating speed.
  4. It might be better to serve Blackpool North station by extending an hourly Ormskirk service to Preston and Blackpool North, with stops at all stations.

So could the services Eastbound from Liverpool University station be as follows.

  • Half hourly service to Manchester Oxford Road (via Warrington Central, most local stations)
  • Half hourly service to Wigan North Western (via St Helens Central, all stations)
  • Hourly service to Warrington Bank Quay (via Earlestown, all stations)

The services add up to five tph and I would expect selective increases would balance the services, so that eight tph ran through Liverpool University and Edge Hill stations.

August 21, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Liverpool Calls In Volunteer Student Doctors

BBC Breakfast has just run a report about how student doctors at Liverpool University are going to be used to help out in local hospitals.

According to the BBC report, two hundred students have volunteered.

The BBC also interviewed a senior Professor, who was very happy about it all.

I suspect other medical schools will volunteer and there are reports, that Cambridge already has, but I do think that this is the way to get better doctors.

A Personal Story

A few years ago, I was in a teaching hospital after suffering a collapse.

A  senior tutor approached me and asked, if I would mind, if I was used for interview practice by final year students.

I hope the students benefited as much as I did, whilst they sorted out what was wrong with me!

Conclusion

We should look upon COVID-19, as something that will make us all better people and doctors.

Is COVID-19 for my generation and those younger than myself, our Second World War?

 

March 18, 2020 Posted by | Health, World | , , , | 1 Comment

Why Are Liverpool Good At Transfers?

This question was asked on BBC Radio 5, about Liverpool Football Club.

As an alumni, I raise money for cancer research at Liverpool University.

I get the impression, the University has no problem getting the best researchers to come to the Second City of England!

Everybody in the World has heard of Liverpool!

February 16, 2020 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Could Modern Energy Systems Have A Secondary Role?

Close to where I live is a small heat and power system, that I wrote about in The Bunhill Energy Centre.

I first went over the centre during Open House.

Several of these modern systems are very good demonstrations of the principles of maths, physics and engineering.

So do these innovative energy systems do their bit in educating the next generation of scientists and engineers?

Some of the modern systems, that are in development like Highview Power’s energy storage using liquid air would be ideal for a secondary education role!

Most too, are very safe, as there are no dangerous processes or substances.

And in the next few years, there will be more systems all over the country and many in the hearts of towns and cities. Some schools, colleges and especially universities, will have their own innovative energy sources.

Liverpool University already has a system, which is described here.

January 16, 2020 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Importance Of Libraries For Research

I went to a fund-raising event for Book Aid at the British Library on Monday evening.

The main purpose was to raise funds for the library in Mosul, which has been wrecked by IS.

The event made me think, about the number of times in the 1960s and 1970s, I used libraries for research.

  • My undergraduate thesis was about analogue computing and I used information about how Lord Kelvin and his elder brother; James, were developing and using mechanical analogue computers in the late 1800s, that I had found in the Liverpool University library.
  • A few years later, whilst working for ICI, I found that by properly searching Chemical Abstracts in their library, I could find the solution to difficult problems. Nowadays, you’d use the Internet!
  • When I developed Artemis, I needed methods to improve the performance of the software. Some I developed myself, but one particular algoithm used for linking datasets together was found in a paper, written in the 1960s in IBM’s library. In those days, getting the maximum performance from not very powerful computers was more difficult and the algorithm was important.
  • These days, with everything on the Internet I use libraries less. Although, I regularly visit Hackney’s Records Office near to where I live, to browse old images, reference books and maps.

Do we all underestimate the part books, play in our lives?

June 23, 2019 Posted by | Computing, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Algorithm Could Cut High Speed Rail Energy Use

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the Railway Gazette.

This is the first paragraph.

Researchers at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University’s Suzhou campus have developed an algorithm intended to optimise the storage and reuse of braking energy.

Regenerative braking energy is stored on the trainand reused, rather than returned to the grid.

Ten percent savings are claimed.

I’ve always thought this was possible.

 

March 15, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 6 Comments