Jan. 27th, 2012

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OK, another thing I learned from my knife class (I guess I got more out of it than I thought!): quickie guacamole, especially ideal of you have an unexpectedly hard avocado and can't make traditional guac. Put the flesh of an avocado, one clove of garlic, salt to taste, a seeded jalapeno (optional), and enough milk to almost cover the avocado into a narrow container (a tall glass rather than a bowl, for instance). I used my Magic Bullet, which works perfectly for this. Otherwise, use a blending wand to puree the contents. It's probably too small an amount to use a normal blender, but if you were making a bigger batch, you could use that. Texture wise, it's more like a spread/dip, and I normally prefer chunkier guacmole, but this is delicious, and great for when you're in a pinch or are working with a hard avocado.

So every once in awhile, I get a bee in my bonnet about a certain topic and I do a bunch of online research about it until I feel like I have a good grasp of it. You know how that happens. You read about something and then you get interested about some random factoid and do all this reading and you can't even remember how you got to that topic in the first place. Well, I've been reading up on polio. I can't even remember how I got on this... oh wait, yes I do. I was looking up the latest info on the Mortal Instruments movie, which led to an article about Ari Graynor at the Sundance Festival -- I assume because she was the narrator for one of the MI audio books -- which led to an article about John Hawkes' latest role, which got a standing ovation at Sundance. The role was that of the true story of Mark O'Brien, a man who suffered from paralysis due to polio. And that's when I started reading up on both the disease and the vaccination(s) for it. I learned about the two types of vaccines, OPV and IPV, and while right now the U.S. exclusively uses IPV, I believe at the time that I would have gotten vaccinated, I would have been given OPV (in fact, I distinctly remember taking this 'medicine' by mouth because of my relief that I would not have to get a shot, and thought that all vaccinations should be done this way). Both OPV and IPV are efficient, but have strengths in different areas. My question, which I have not found an answer for that satisfies me, is whether people (like myself) who have gotten OPV should or can also get an IPV vaccination. Is this totally overkill, since the polio virus is pretty much wiped out in developed countries (and I am unlikely to travel to areas that aren't developed, and even if I do, I was vaccinated with the version that's recommended for developing countries)?

Well, actually I know the answer to that. The answer is yes, it's totally overkill. But I'm kind of a hypochondriac, and I can't help but think, "But why not? Why not be extra immune (in that you strengthen both areas where the two vaccines are strongest)?" I would definitely not even consider it if I'd been given the IPV vaccine, because OPV has a small chance of actually causing polio (which is partly why it's no longer used in developed countries), as it uses a weakened virus, so the risk doesn't outweigh the benefits. But IPV uses a killed virus, so there's no risk of it turning into the form of polio that can paralyze. Then again, I could be exposing myself needlessly to something like the Cutter Incident, in which live polio virus ended up being in the vaccine, one of the most horrendous pharmaceutical accidents in history. Still, even if that happened, I'm in theory already immune, so...

Yeah. So now I know way too much about that.

Luckily I am going to have a spontaneous lunch with [personal profile] adelagia, so hopefully she will get my mind off this. >.>


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