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Last Updated: Mar 27, 2012 05:29PM • Subscribe via RSSATOM

More Southern Ocean Madness

Yesterday we saw the fun Team Telefonica is having in the Southern Ocean, and today we're treated to video footage from all crews. The wind was averaging 30 knots and waves were at 7 meters. "Finally we're getting to the conditions where you can let these boats loose and see what they can do." Indeed.

Is Aspirin a Cure-all?

Many of us start the day by popping a doctor-recommended baby aspirin to stave off heart disease. But this wonder drug doesn’t stop there. Once mankind’s only recourse for headache pain, aspirin’s powers continue to amaze. It seems that nearly monthly, a new study is released extolling the virtues of acetylsalicylic acid in the treatment of a multitude of conditions. We already have headaches and heart attacks in aspirin’s corner, and its effectiveness in reducing fevers was a real game-changer for humanity. Now, if researchers are on the right paths, we may be able to add such conditions as repeat blood clots, certain types of cancer (particularly colorectal and other digestive tract cancers), melanoma, multiple sclerosis, pulmonary embolisms, diabetes, and acne to aspirin’s can-do capabilities. Research is even being conducted to determine aspirin’s part in preventing miscarriages. Taking aspirin is not a risk-free action, however. It can lead to stomach bleeding and stomach ulcers, and can cause tinnitus (ringing in the ears). It is also not advised to suddenly stop taking your aspirin therapy. As always, speak with your physician. Stopping aspirin can lead to a rebound effect that may increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Surviving the Southern Ocean

Team Telefonica is currently in 3rd place, chasing Groupama across the Southern Ocean at a distance of about 240 nautical miles. And while Groupama reports that conditions seem to be abating as the leg progresses, Telefonica has the video footage to prove that the South Pacific really is a nightmare this time of year. At the 1:27 minute mark, helmsman Jordi Calafat is seen losing his footing and hanging on to the helm as the 10 meter wave hits the starboard side of the boat. The crew recovers instantaneously, but soon afterward a second wave hits, this time with Pablo Arrate steering. Good luck, Team Telefonica. May an albatross find you.

Iceboating in Minnesota

We haven't had any winter weather to speak of here in Annapolis, which has been difficult for sailors itching to get out on the water ahead of April 1st. Those of us who couldn't wait that long chose to frostbite, while others spent their winter plotting and scheming for the launch date (you know who you are). In Minnesota, they had a little bit of a winter, it seems. You have to sympathize with those sailors who have to look out at a frozen tundra each day, wondering when it will be warm enough to put a boat in. So we have to give them a lot of credit for choosing to iceboat, a hobby that looks like so much fun and yet so, so cold. And potentially painful. Good Morning America was smart enough to check it out, sending their "Adventure Weather Reporter" into the suicide seat for a tour. Tell me: is this something you'd ever consider doing?

Adventure Race Season is Upon Us

On Saturday, April 14th, METAvivor Research and Support, Inc will hold their third annual Adventure Race, a USA Triathlon Sanctioned Sprint Triathlon that consists of 2 miles of kayaking, 15 miles of biking and 3.1 miles of running. 

Think You're Good Enough for the America's Cup?

Sailors love to one-up each other, either on the water or off.

FDA Approves Generic Lexapro to Treat Depression and Anxiety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the first generic Lexapro (escitalopram tablets) to treat both depression and generalized anxiety disorder in adults. Depression is characterized by symptoms that interfere with a person's ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities. Episodes of depression often recur throughout a person's lifetime. Signs and symptoms of major depression include: depressed mood, loss of interest in usual activities, significant change in weight or appetite, insomnia or excessive sleeping (hypersomnia), restlessness/pacing (psychomotor agitation), increased fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, slowed thinking or impaired concentration, and suicide attempts or thoughts of suicide. People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are filled with exaggerated worry and tension, even though there is little or nothing to provoke it. They anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about health issues, money, family problems, or difficulties at work. GAD is diagnosed when a person worries excessively about a variety of everyday problems for at least six months. People with GAD can’t relax, startle easily, and have difficulty concentrating. “These psychiatric conditions can be disabling and prevent a person from doing every-day activities,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “This medication is widely used by people who must manage their condition over time, so it is important to have affordable treatment options.” Teva Pharmaceutical Industries/IVAX Pharmaceuticals gained FDA approval to market generic escitalopram in 5 milligram, 10 mg, and 20 mg strengths. In the clinical trials for Lexapro, the most commonly observed adverse reactions were: sleeplessness (insomnia), ejaculation disorder, nausea, increase in sweating, fatigue and drowsiness, and low sex drive (decreased libido). Escitalopram and all other antidepressant drugs have a boxed warning and a patient medication guide describing the increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults ages 18 to 24 during initial treatment. The warning also says data did not show this increased risk in those older than 24 years and that patients ages 65 and older who take antidepressants have a decreased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior. The warning says depression and other serious psychiatric disorders themselves are the most important causes of suicide and that close monitoring of patients starting these medications is necessary. Teva has been granted a 180-day period of generic drug exclusivity, which means that FDA cannot approve another generic version of escitalopram tablets before the end of that period. Generic drugs approved by FDA have the same high quality and strength as brand-name drugs. The generic manufacturing and packaging sites must pass the same quality standards as those of brand-name drugs. Information about the availability of generic escitalopram can be obtained from Teva.

Living Life Unplugged

We’ve heard lots about the distractions caused by cell phone use and texting while we drive.

Breakfast, The French Call it “Little Lunch”

You have heard it time and again: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

There's Snow Somewhere: Kite-skating

Although it's been a balmy 60 degrees here in Annapolis, the temperatures in St. Ignace, Michigan have been below freezing. That's the perfect temp for the Upper Peninsula town to host the 2012 World Ice and Snow Sailing Association, an annual gathering of cold weather enthusiasts who don't think the relative chance of hypothermia should inhibit them from going sailing. And while ice boating has been all the rage lately, we wanted to bring some attention to a new form of getting out on the water: kite-skating. While the combination of ice skating and kitesurfing may seem like a no-brainer, they're two of the most technically difficult sports to master. We give those Yoopers and the World Ice and Snow Sailing Association huge props.



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