Prepared by Bassam Mechammil

December 2008

For comments; please email Mechammil@aol.com



First Aid that is NO Aid:

Hydrogen peroxide – Contrary to myth, not a good cleansing agent, damages the outer layer of the skin and can actually retard healing.

Antibiotic Ointments – these may help healing of minor wounds but can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.

Rubbing Alcohol – kills microbes, but also damages and dries out skin. It should never be poured on a wound. It is okay for cleaning a needle or to clean intact skin before an injection.

BEST ADVICE – if possible, hold the wound under cool water – this is far better than any antiseptic you can buy, or swab with a clean wet cloth. Use soap on the surrounding skin but not in the wound itself. Soap can also damage injured tissue.


PLAVIX study- Popular heartburn pills may keep the blood-thinner Plavix from working effectively, according to a new study that could shake the market for several drugs.

The 16,690-person study by pharmacy-benefits company Medco Health Solutions Inc. suggests that people who combine a heartburn pill like Nexium or Prilosec with Plavix at their doctors' direction have a 50% higher risk of a heart attack or other cardiac event compared with those taking Plavix by itself.


FOOD- Question and Answers about food:

1. Do farmed fish have as much omega-3 fats as wild fish?

Fatty fish are the best sources of omega-3s, and farmed fish have about the same levels of omega-3s per ounce as their wild-caught counterparts. But because farmed fish typically eat a high-fat diet and swim less than wild fish, they tend to have more fat overall. Much, though, depends on the specific fish chow—and that varies considerably. In general, farmed fish fed more fishmeal and fish oil (from wild-caught fish) have more omega-3s than those fed a more grain-based diet with vegetable oils, an increasingly common practice because it is cheaper and saves wild fish.

2. Is there such a thing as organic farmed fish?

The USDA has yet to set organic standards for farmed fish. (Wild fish can never be called organic, since there is no way to control what they eat.) Some stores and restaurants sell "organic" farmed fish, based on standards used by other countries or independent certifiers, but these are not uniform, may be lax, and are difficult to verify. Some major retailers, including Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, and Wegmans, have established their own standards for farmed seafood in collaboration with environmental groups and/or the aquaculture industry, many of which are similar to those used in organic food production, though the seafood is not labeled as organic.

3. Do whole flaxseeds simply pass through the body? Is it okay to heat them?

Yes, the whole seeds tend to pass through the body undigested. In contrast, ground flaxseeds are easy to digest. You can buy them ground, or put the seeds through a food processor, blender, or coffee grinder. Be sure to keep flaxseeds refrigerated. They taste fresher if ground just before using.It is okay to heat flaxseeds. Studies suggest that the heart-healthy omega-3 fat they contain, called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), is not affected by heating to high temperatures. Nor is there a significant loss of lignans, a type of plant estrogen with potential health benefits. You can add ground flaxseeds to muffins, pancakes, and breads, as well as soups, salads, and vegetable stir-fries. They’re good in pasta dishes, sprinkled on cold or hot cereals, and even added to burgers.



Can someone really beat the casino?

YES. Card counters at blackjack can.

Controlled shooters at Craps.

Good poker players.

Good video poker players.

Savvy Pai Gow poker players.

Good sport bettors.

Which games make the most money for the casino?

Slots are the money-making champions of casinos throughout the country. They are so profitable that some casinos don’t even have table games.

Can a slot worker tell you when a machine is about to get hot?


If you use your slot club card, will the casino tighten or loosen the machine?

NO and NO.

What are the odds of getting a royal flush in a video poker machine?

Its about 40,000 to 1 for jacks or better and somewhat different for the other games.

Is it true that most people are going to Vegas for shopping, eating, and shows rather than to gamble?

YES. This is true to a degree. Some people do not want to gamble but want to enjoy a luxurious vacation in a hot city. These people pay for everything and they pay a lot.

Can casinos throw you out if you are good at the game?

YES. They can throw you out even if you’re not good at the games. Except for New Jersey, casinos throughout the country have the right to ask you to leave their premises. They are private businesses and do not have to serve anyone they don’t want to.

Can a slot attendant change the percentage of winning by opening the machine?

Slot attendants are not authorized to change percentages without changing a chip.




Its no secret that poker has become one of the most popular casino games in recent years. It was only a matter of time before an automated version would make its way to the casino to satisfy the high-tech-crazed generation of younger gamblers. The new poker pro tables are designed to mimic the live version of the game. The cards are automatically shuffled and dealt. They appear on a large video screen in the middle of the table. Players have a personal display screen in front of them equipped with touch controls to place bets, call, or fold. There is a clear view of the pot size and chip count. Winners are automatically identified at the end of each hand.