Airstud
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How to catch a cold

Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:08 am

Last Monday or Tuesday night, I went out to do some errands, wearing two Eddie Bauer waffle-knit crewnecks and 1980's-short gym shorts. The shorts are obligatory because I am a studly, sinewy, muscular hunk of luscious man-pie. The waffle-knits were necessary because - c'mon. It's December.

Wasn't I worried about catching cold? I was not, because I heard somewhere - and maybe I could choose my advice sources better - that mere exposure to coldness isn't what makes you catch cold; you have to be exposed to a pathogen. You could stand shivering by a lake in your swimsuit when it's 40 degrees outside and be just fine the next morning if there happened not to be any cold/flu germs around; conversely, you could be inside by the fire with your blanky and hot soup and still you're gonna catch cold if there's a germ in the house finds its way into you. (Gross.)

This has been my reason for taking those little daily packets o' vitamins during cold/flu season, to keep my immune system as fueled up as possible.

It seems not to have worked.

I woke up last Tuesday or Wednesday with a scratchy throat, and things got worse from there - in fact more than a week later I'm still not fully rid of the cough and stuffed-ub doce and lethargy. I'm feeling hella better than I was four days ago at least, but jeez was this ever a nasty bug.

It seems to me there may be a basic unfairness in play here. Should a blameless hunk of man-pie be subjected to cold and flu simply for fulfilling the shorts-wearing obligation that burdens sinewy studs everywhere? Or, is it true that exposure to cold isn't the cause, and that there just might be a damn bug going around and it got me first? If it really is the cold then that's doubly unfair, because I can't tell you how many times in school I didn't get sick after leaving the window open on a cold night before a book report was due...
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fr8mech
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Re: How to catch a cold

Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:23 am

I'm certainly not a physician or an epidemiologist, but I have some ideas as to why it is easier to get sick in the cold weather:

-air is drier, therefore a pathogen has an easier path through the nose and mouth
-skin tends to be drier, there may be small fissures in the skin that provide access for pathogens
-air is colder, therefore pathogens may last longer in the open
-people are in closer, closed quarters due to the cold, allowing pathogens to be transmitted more efficiently

In short, the cold weather doesn't cause a cold, but may produce a more suitable environment for transmission.
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nancyvinci23
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Re: How to catch a cold

Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:38 am

fr8mech wrote:
In short, the cold weather doesn't cause a cold, but may produce a more suitable environment for transmission.


I've always argued about this with my cousin. But what she thinks is when body temperatures are lowered, the white blood cells and platelets don't function that effectively, hence, the greater chance of catching a cold.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: How to catch a cold

Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:39 am

Airstud wrote:
Should a blameless hunk of man-pie be subjected to cold and flu simply for fulfilling the shorts-wearing obligation that burdens sinewy studs everywhere?


I am no doctor, but I feel you are to something here. I feel that everyone whom is wearing shorts - regardless of the obligation - should be shot on the spot immediately, so I feel you got of lightly here. :spin:
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RocketScientist
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Re: How to catch a cold

Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:47 am

I read somewhere that the reason people get colds in Winter is because more people are inside spreading viruses and germs. I might be wrong, but I think I read it somewhere.
 
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casinterest
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Re: How to catch a cold

Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:52 am

I read once upon a time, that the real issue in winter is that the air is drier. This allows a bug/virus to survive longer as an airborne pathogen, when someone sneezes/coughs. When it is warmer outside, it is usually more humid, and thus the bug is caught up in moisture and has a far less radius to traverse and thrive in prior to smacking the ground or reaching a target in air.
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Dutchy
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Re: How to catch a cold

Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:17 am

RocketScientist wrote:
I read somewhere that the reason people get colds in Winter is because more people are inside spreading viruses and germs. I might be wrong, but I think I read it somewhere.


heard this to.
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Airstud
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Re: How to catch a cold

Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:22 am

RocketScientist wrote:
people are inside spreading viruses and germs


Gross.
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JJJ
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Re: How to catch a cold

Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:13 pm

RocketScientist wrote:
I read somewhere that the reason people get colds in Winter is because more people are inside spreading viruses and germs. I might be wrong, but I think I read it somewhere.


What I do know for sure is that pre-kids I was mostly immune to colds. A few days with a runny nose a year maybe.

Now every year I get 2-3 episodes of sore throat and headaches. Usually I never had any kind of med, now it's common enough that most of the stuff in the medicine cabinet isn't past the expiry date.
 
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einsteinboricua
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Re: How to catch a cold

Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:27 pm

Airstud wrote:
Wasn't I worried about catching cold? I was not, because I heard somewhere - and maybe I could choose my advice sources better - that mere exposure to coldness isn't what makes you catch cold; you have to be exposed to a pathogen. You could stand shivering by a lake in your swimsuit when it's 40 degrees outside and be just fine the next morning if there happened not to be any cold/flu germs around; conversely, you could be inside by the fire with your blanky and hot soup and still you're gonna catch cold if there's a germ in the house finds its way into you. (Gross.)

I'm gonna armchair DocLightning (hi loser! :wave: ) and say that you are correct: a cold is caused mostly by a rhinovirus (and since there are many variants and mutations, it's almost impossible to cure it).

However, fr8mech hit the nail on the head: cold weather makes the environment more prone for transmission: dried air means mucus can get dried out (mucus traps pathogens...it's a defense). The low temperatures favor viruses: they're able to survive longer (there's a reason you get a fever when you catch a cold...the body's warm temperature is another defense mechanism). And naturally, because people like to stay indoors, germs can be more easily transmitted.

That being said, a cold's incubation period is around 1-3 days, so if you started showing symptoms on Tuesday, you had already been in contact with the virus. And the thing is that you didn't even need to be in the same room as the person. Maybe while running errands, you touched a surface that already had the virus. If you scratched your eyes or nose or didn't wash your hands before eating something, there's how it may have gotten in.

Airstud wrote:
This has been my reason for taking those little daily packets o' vitamins during cold/flu season, to keep my immune system as fueled up as possible.
That is a placebo effect. Taking supplements does not prevent the illness. It may lessen the effects. The one supplement that had shown SOME effect: zinc. As soon as you get the symptoms, taking zinc lozenges could shorten a cold and reduce its severity (I've tried this with mixed to positive results and some doctors I've been with have been sold on the theory).

nancyvinci23 wrote:
But what she thinks is when body temperatures are lowered, the white blood cells and platelets don't function that effectively, hence, the greater chance of catching a cold.
But WBC and platelets are among the last lines of defense. Before they kick in, your body has already tried to defend itself with mucus and other external defenses. Though it reminds me of my mom who doesn't want me getting soaked in the rain because I'll get sick...never mind that I get wet every day in a little activity called showering. Heck, even the night air back home which rarely drops below 70 degrees is still a warning sign for her because "it's colder than normal".
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Okie
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Re: How to catch a cold

Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:45 pm

Rhino virus is a living organism which wants to thrive.
Its first effects is a condition similar to hypoxia which causes its host to run around half naked in the cold allowing the rhino virus to massively multiply and thrive. ;)
Oh the humanity.


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geologyrocks
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Re: How to catch a cold

Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:07 pm

I take a lot of Airborne during winter which I'm not entirely convinced does anything other than give me a false sense of security. I do bundle up and try to keep my throat covered up outside and wash my hands frequently. As an ATC, we touch the same carp all day long and I'm surprised we don't get sick more often despite my frequent use of Lysol wipes. I do think, living in Memphis that the severe temperature changes contribute to illnesses. We can be 75 one day and drop to 40 two days later and go back up to 70 again two days later.

Beyond a cold, I never had bronchitis until I moved to Memphis. I've had it just about every December. It always starts off as a cold but then turns into a week of misery.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: How to catch a cold

Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:39 pm

I've been sick twice this season. Once was the day after I got drunk at a club with my friends, and once after I came back from Minneapolis. I got in that night and was in my apartment and started feeling sick before I even went to bed.

I was wearing jeans, long johns, 4 layers on my torso, and gloves. I was also playing around with ice and rocks at Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. Still managed to get sick even when my friends I went with didn't. (Bad) Luck of the draw I guess.
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Runway28L
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Re: How to catch a cold

Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:36 am

I'm really lucky that I don't get sick very often. I will say that nearly every year I always catch a cold either in October/November and in February/March.

Both of the above have colder temperatures amd dry air and I'm also around a lot more people due to school and being in public places slightly more often than say in the summer.

I'd suggest taking necessary steps such as washing hands regularly, using sleeves to open doors, and dressing warm as much as possible.
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EA CO AS
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Re: How to catch a cold

Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:37 am

geologyrocks wrote:
I take a lot of Airborne during winter which I'm not entirely convinced does anything other than give me a false sense of security.


Our pediatrician told me a great story about Airborne. It seems she has another patient with a compromised immune system, and the parents wanted to give this product to the child, so she called the company to find out more about its contents and whether or not they'd be safe for her young patient. A few days of phone tag later, she gets in touch with the company's chief pharmacologist, who tells her it's completely harmless and adds, "As one medical professional to another, you and I both know the ingredients in this product isn't what helps people get better, but rather, all the added water they drink when taking it."
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DocLightning
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Re: How to catch a cold

Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:27 am

einsteinboricua wrote:
However, fr8mech hit the nail on the head: cold weather makes the environment more prone for transmission: dried air means mucus can get dried out (mucus traps pathogens...it's a defense). The low temperatures favor viruses: they're able to survive longer (there's a reason you get a fever when you catch a cold...the body's warm temperature is another defense mechanism). And naturally, because people like to stay indoors, germs can be more easily transmitted.


Well, what the hell do you need me for, loser?

A few things:
*The evidence that vitamin C prevents or shortens colds is sketchy at best. However, high doses of vitamin C can cause kidney stones.
*The evidence that echinacea prevents or shortens colds is sketchy at best. Immune systems are tricky things. More is not better.
*In fact, there is no known therapy that can shorten the duration of a cold, but nasal irrigation can at least reduce the risk of turning into sinusitis.
*Colds suck, but they're also a fact of life.

Okie wrote:
Rhino virus is a living organism which wants to thrive.

Virii are not living organisms.

I was the TA for Stanford's Molecular Virology course (after I got an A in it). Fite me.

However, they are subjective to selective pressures and evolve to adapt.
EA CO AS wrote:
"As one medical professional to another, you and I both know the ingredients in this product isn't what helps people get better, but rather, all the added water they drink when taking it."


There is actually no good evidence that increased fluid intake prevents or shortens the duration of a cold.

I am going to link you all to an article written by...the best damned pediatrician I know.

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/850654

I suggest you read it. You might learn a thing or two about colds.
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fr8mech
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Re: How to catch a cold

Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:21 am

DocLightning wrote:
Well, what the hell do you need me for, loser?


Doc, I got a question for you about colds. I plan to ask my Doc when I see him for a follow-up next month, but I'm wondering about it.

I assume you've seen a couple of threads concerning my health, since you commented on the first. But, in short, Extra-pulmonary small-cell carcinoma. Surgery. Chemo. Radiation. Remission.

Now, I've gotten at least one cold every year that I can remember. Usually in November and usually, again in late winter. Run of the mill colds that I treat with hot toddies and overdoses of OTC stuff.

This year, even though I've been closely exposed to a wife, 2 kids and (not too closely) 2 co-workers that have had colds, I've had nothing. Not even a sniffle. Now, I'm not one to poke a sleeping bear, but I'm scared to death of when/if the shoe falls.

Is it "normal" for someone that has gone through the regimen I have to have an immune system rebound to a stronger level? Or, is some other mechanism at work? By the way, I was hospitalized with neutropenia early in my treatment.
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cpd
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Re: How to catch a cold

Wed Dec 27, 2017 12:11 pm

DocLightning wrote:
einsteinboricua wrote:
However, fr8mech hit the nail on the head: cold weather makes the environment more prone for transmission: dried air means mucus can get dried out (mucus traps pathogens...it's a defense). The low temperatures favor viruses: they're able to survive longer (there's a reason you get a fever when you catch a cold...the body's warm temperature is another defense mechanism). And naturally, because people like to stay indoors, germs can be more easily transmitted.


Well, what the hell do you need me for, loser?

A few things:
*The evidence that vitamin C prevents or shortens colds is sketchy at best. However, high doses of vitamin C can cause kidney stones.
*The evidence that echinacea prevents or shortens colds is sketchy at best. Immune systems are tricky things. More is not better.
*In fact, there is no known therapy that can shorten the duration of a cold, but nasal irrigation can at least reduce the risk of turning into sinusitis.
*Colds suck, but they're also a fact of life.

Okie wrote:
Rhino virus is a living organism which wants to thrive.

Virii are not living organisms.

I was the TA for Stanford's Molecular Virology course (after I got an A in it). Fite me.

However, they are subjective to selective pressures and evolve to adapt.
EA CO AS wrote:
"As one medical professional to another, you and I both know the ingredients in this product isn't what helps people get better, but rather, all the added water they drink when taking it."


There is actually no good evidence that increased fluid intake prevents or shortens the duration of a cold.

I am going to link you all to an article written by...the best damned pediatrician I know.

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/850654

I suggest you read it. You might learn a thing or two about colds.



What I did find when I was over in Europe racing a bicycle was this multi-vitamin type tablet Immun44, some Austrian made thing. I did come down with a virus, typical sneezing and sniffling symptoms and the others wanted to quarantine me so they didn't get it. Those tablets, drinking enough water to which I added my usual drink mix and eating well seemed to clear it away quickly. Within a day I was better and the impending disaster didn't happen.

It would have been a complete disaster if I had a full on cold having traveled that far and spending a long time training for that.

if the cold weather had anything to do with it, then riding 150+km in the mountains in freezing cold and pouring rain should have brought that cold back again, but I was okay. That day was for sure the coldest and wettest conditions I've ever rode in. And the only time I've been on a bike and it was snowing. The other days were at least clear.
 
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DocLightning
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Re: How to catch a cold

Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:02 pm

fr8mech wrote:

This year, even though I've been closely exposed to a wife, 2 kids and (not too closely) 2 co-workers that have had colds, I've had nothing. Not even a sniffle. Now, I'm not one to poke a sleeping bear, but I'm scared to death of when/if the shoe falls.

Is it "normal" for someone that has gone through the regimen I have to have an immune system rebound to a stronger level? Or, is some other mechanism at work? By the way, I was hospitalized with neutropenia early in my treatment.


I am not sure. One thing I've noticed in my career is that there seems to be a LOT of blind luck that works into who gets sick and who doesn't. This year, I barely get sick. Next year it'll be incessant.

The other thing to keep in mind is that for most viral diseases, it isn't the virus per se that makes you sick, but rather the immune response to the virus. So perhaps if your immune system is suppressed, you won't get as sick because there isn't a big, roaring inflammatory response to happen.
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fr8mech
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Re: How to catch a cold

Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:43 am

DocLightning wrote:
The other thing to keep in mind is that for most viral diseases, it isn't the virus per se that makes you sick, but rather the immune response to the virus. So perhaps if your immune system is suppressed, you won't get as sick because there isn't a big, roaring inflammatory response to happen.


Well, now that makes sense. Maybe I'm the incubator of misery that's going around and I don't even realize it because my body isn't generating snot.

Outstanding. I think I'll have a hot toddy...just in case.
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Airstud
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Re: How to catch a cold

Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:04 am

fr8mech wrote:
DocLightning wrote:
The other thing to keep in mind is that for most viral diseases, it isn't the virus per se that makes you sick, but rather the immune response to the virus. So perhaps if your immune system is suppressed, you won't get as sick because there isn't a big, roaring inflammatory response to happen.


Well, now that makes sense. Maybe I'm the incubator of misery that's going around and I don't even realize it because my body isn't generating snot.


Gross.
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DocLightning
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Re: How to catch a cold

Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:14 am

fr8mech wrote:
Outstanding. I think I'll have a hot toddy...just in case.


Would you like me to recommend it? I can recommend it and then it will be physician-recommended.

That and $5.50 will get you a cup of coffee, but hey, it's free! :D
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DocLightning
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Re: How to catch a cold

Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:23 am

Airstud wrote:
Maybe I'm the incubator of misery that's going around and I don't even realize it because my body isn't generating snot.


Gross.[/quote]

I had a sinusitis last week... I went to the ENT because I was in agony. She stuck the scope in my right nostril and this very seasoned ENT colleague of mine audibly gasped. When she showed me the imagery, I understood why. My right nostril looked as if all the airbags had gone off. All of the turbinates were almost comically swollen to the point where the scope could barely pass. The superior turbinate was actually blue with venous congestion. In addition to the antibiotics (my last dose is in the morning). She also recommended BID saline rinses with budesonide (a topical steroid) in them.

Airstud, would you like a detailed description of how much of what color of mucopurulent discharge came out of my nose with each nasal irrigation, or for how long the green slime lasted? :mrgreen:

Just wondering if you'd like to know. :angel:
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einsteinboricua
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Re: How to catch a cold

Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:20 pm

DocLightning wrote:
Well, what the hell do you need me for, loser?

A few things:
*The evidence that vitamin C prevents or shortens colds is sketchy at best. However, high doses of vitamin C can cause kidney stones.
*The evidence that echinacea prevents or shortens colds is sketchy at best. Immune systems are tricky things. More is not better.
*In fact, there is no known therapy that can shorten the duration of a cold, but nasal irrigation can at least reduce the risk of turning into sinusitis.
*Colds suck, but they're also a fact of life.

We definitely talk too much...just be glad that your biology posts on Facebook make for good reading every now and again. :geek:
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mdonato545
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Re: How to catch a cold

Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:32 pm

Well, the extreme cold compromises your immune system because it's a shock to your body... But cold by itself will not get you sick. The best way to prevent getting sick is hands down with nutrition. Eat tons of vegetables, some fruit, no sugar, and supplement with anti inflammatory supplements like turmeric. Garlic is also great.
 
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DocLightning
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Re: How to catch a cold

Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:03 pm

mdonato545 wrote:
Well, the extreme cold compromises your immune system because it's a shock to your body...


Humoral, cell-mediated, or innate? How? Citations, please? Which cytokines are altered by exposure to cold?
-Doc Lightning-

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einsteinboricua
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Re: How to catch a cold

Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:34 pm

DocLightning wrote:
mdonato545 wrote:
Well, the extreme cold compromises your immune system because it's a shock to your body...


Humoral, cell-mediated, or innate? How? Citations, please? Which cytokines are altered by exposure to cold?

Please Doc...look it up yourself!

DUH! :P :coffee:
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DocLightning
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Re: How to catch a cold

Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:04 pm

einsteinboricua wrote:
Please Doc...look it up yourself!

DUH! :P :coffee:


You're not my real attending! :razz:
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Airstud
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Re: How to catch a cold

Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:39 am

DocLightning wrote:
I am going to link you all to an article written by...the best damned pediatrician I know.

https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/850654



You had me at "agave nectar."
Pancakes are delicious.
 
Freakysh
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Re: How to catch a cold

Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:52 am

DocLightning wrote:
mdonato545 wrote:
Well, the extreme cold compromises your immune system because it's a shock to your body...


Humoral, cell-mediated, or innate? How? Citations, please? Which cytokines are altered by exposure to cold?


Well look at you. Aren't you just a smart cookie.

So impressive doc, I bet all on here look at you with dreamy admiration.
 
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DocLightning
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Re: How to catch a cold

Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:39 pm

Freakysh wrote:
Well look at you. Aren't you just a smart cookie.


Extremely. Two degrees from Stanford, one from the University of Michigan (my MD). If you're going to make a declaration about Biology and it's something I know not to be generally accepted knowledge, I am going to call you out on it.

If I declared that winglets are attached to airplanes purely for cosmetic reasons, I'd hope someone who knows better would call me out on my nonsense, too.
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DLFREEBIRD
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Re: How to catch a cold

Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:13 pm

well, I'm not a smart cookie. I try my best not to run down my body in the winter, which is near impossible when your job has you running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. i never get sick in the summer, in the winter like clock work a sore throat comes and goes off and on from Nov thru Feb. I diet on orange juice and throat spray.
It seems to keep me on my feet at least. It would so help if the general public covered their mouth when they coughed. ugh.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: How to catch a cold

Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:51 pm

Freakysh wrote:
Well look at you. Aren't you just a smart cookie.

Actually, Mr Snarkypants, on this occasion "smart cookie" is something of an understatement.
Although maybe you were genuinely praising the Doc's input? It can be so difficult to work out if somebody is being sarcastic, ironic, or just plain unpleasant. This being the internet, it is more often the latter. If I've got it wrong, shoot me!
The problem with the internet is that I have even found myself crossing the line on occasions, but I always hate myself for it afterwards.....

Smart Cookie wrote:
If you're going to make a declaration about Biology and it's something I know not to be generally accepted knowledge, I am going to call you out on it.

If I declared that winglets are attached to airplanes purely for cosmetic reasons, I'd hope someone who knows better would call me out on my nonsense, too.

Cosmetic? Don't be daft; everybody who has ever made a paper airplane knows they fly much better with the ends turned up. Or down.

You turn them UP for long, stable flight (like the example on the right here).
Image

You turn them DOWN if you want speed.
Image

(Sorry - my apologies for introducing aviation into the non-aviation forum :white: )
I promised myself I'd leave before the party turned ugly. I would quit at 1000 !
Here I am stuck at 994; each time I'm tempted to post, I find myself wondering who will even read it / what is the point?
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Airstud
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Re: How to catch a cold

Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:23 am

Freakysh wrote:
DocLightning wrote:
mdonato545 wrote:
Well, the extreme cold compromises your immune system because it's a shock to your body...


Humoral, cell-mediated, or innate? How? Citations, please? Which cytokines are altered by exposure to cold?


Well look at you. Aren't you just a smart cookie.

So impressive doc, I bet all on here look at you with dreamy admiration.


As Letterman exhorted Trump during the campaign, "Get a prescription."
Pancakes are delicious.

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