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February 25, 2020, 06:40:50 PM *
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1  General Category / The Daily Quest / Re: Standard vs Challenge ... on: February 03, 2020, 03:29:30 PM
Interesting also to note that the website was originally written in Perl, before being migrated to PHP.
2  General Category / The Daily Quest / Standard vs Challenge ... on: February 02, 2020, 12:50:12 PM
Just recently, the Standard games have been more challenging than the Challenge games, at least from my standpoint.

Over the past week, I've fired up the game, and the Standard game has left me struggling to find the nine-letter word for up to two hours, as well as providing annoying 'so near yet so far' moments with missing letters that would have doubled or even tripled my word tally. By contrast, I've been able to find the nine-letter solution for the Challenge game in under five minutes, and rattle off a decent word list in 30 minutes. Today the nine-letter was the first word that sprang to mind when seeing the Challenge puzzle, and everything else fell into place from that point on.

Am I unique here, or has anyone else experienced this phenomenon?

Today (2nd February) I've had to struggle to find the Standard 9-letter, and only just scraped past the "better" mark, while the Challenge game has been much less frustrating!

Is this some sort of statistical anomaly I've simply been unfortunate to encounter, or are we going to see a permanent role reversal in place? Smiley

3  General Category / Words / Re: froing and tooing!! on: January 29, 2020, 12:42:24 PM
Why does this thread remind me of an old Tooheys advert, even though I'm not Australian?
4  General Category / Words / Re: Another anomaly on: January 03, 2020, 11:53:16 AM
Any sufficiently large database, that has relied upon at least some degree of automated generation of its contents, will contain anomalies waiting to be discovered by human interrogators thereof.

That's basically what this game is - a database interrogation engine driven by user input. Tracking down anomalies and removing them would be a full time task for a team of paid professionals, let alone a single volunteer coder in the form of Alan.
5  General Category / Words / Re: distal v statin on: January 02, 2020, 05:16:01 PM
I've seen the words distal and proximal but admit I wasn't sure of the meaning.

Distal is frequently defined as "most distant from the point of attachment to the body" with respect to limb locations, etc.

Being of a certain age, however, my friends and I are very familiar with the word statin, and it does come up in conversation - often in the context of how we miss being able to eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice.

The reason for this is actually quite interesting, and centres upon an enzyme in the liver known as Cytochrome P450 3A4 (known as CYP3A4 for short). This enzyme is one of the "clearance enzymes" responsible for metabolising assorted toxic substances, and converting them into less dangerous (and more easily excretable) products. Grapefruit juice contains compounds that inhibit CYP3A4, and as a corollary, this can result in a wide range of unexpected side effects when taking certain drugs. In the case of those drugs that are broken down by CYP3A4 liver activity, grapefruit juice affects the clearance of these drugs, and allows them to persist in the bloodstream for longer.

A particularly striking example of the activity involved, centres upon the antihistamine Terfenadine. Inhibition of CYP3A4 by grapefruit juice led to the drug remaining in the bloodstream at elevated concentrations long enough to trigger fatal ventricular tachycardia. While investigating this, scientists found that Terfenadine was actually converted to a different compound, Fenoxfenadine, by the CYP3A4 enzyme, and it was actually this compound that was exhibiting the antihistamine effect. Switching from Terfenadine to Fenoxfenadine directly allowed the antihistamine benefits of the medication to continue, but without the potentially lethal cardiac issues surrounding Terfenadine, which arise from the fact that it acts as a potassium channel blocker in sufficient doses, the source of its cardiotoxicity issues.

So, back to statins. If this class of drugs are not properly metabolised by the CYP3A4 enzyme in the liver, then their persistence in the bloodstream at elevated doses could have serious effects. It's not merely grapefruit juice that can set off this chain of events, but certain antibiotics too, such as Clarithromycin, which is why, if you're taking statins, it's a good idea to remind your doctor of this if you need antibiotic treatment for various infections, and sometimes, you'll be strongly advised to suspend taking the statins while taking the antibiotics. The reason for this being that persistent, elevated statin levels beyond a certain threshold, carry with them a quantifiable risk of triggering an uncommon but very nasty condition called rhabdomyolysis, which accounts for the strict control of statin dosage when prescribed. In short, elevated statin interference with muscle metabolism can result in the release of reactive oxygen species in the muscle tissue, leading to cell death and the release of myoglobin into the bloodstream, where it quickly starts compromising renal function. In short, if you're taking statins, and you see your pee discoloured a brown colour, get to a hospital fast - that brown colour is the myoglobin arising from incipient rhabdomyolysis. Failure to act quickly will see a lurid cascade begin, which starts with progressive renal failure and ultimately leads to large scale metabolic collapse. NOT a pleasant way to go.

I spend too much of my time in the company of medical personnel. Cheesy

6  General Category / Words / Re: Are these words really common? on: December 29, 2019, 11:12:14 AM
Heh, I'm probably one of the few people remaining who uses words such as this in general conversation ... Smiley
7  General Category / Words / Re: distal v statin on: December 29, 2019, 11:11:16 AM
It would be interesting to know what percentage of the western population (global, even) would be taking statins daily for hypercholesteraemia. It would be significant, I fancy.

Here in the UK it's pretty much ubiquitous among the over 50s. Anyone who has had heart surgery, or is being treated for the early signs of atherosclerosis, is pretty much guaranteed to be prescribed a statin here. Atorvastatin is probably one of the most prescribed drugs on the planet right now, especially as the patent has expired and it's now available virtually by the tanker load in generic form.
8  General Category / Whatever / Re: Merry Christmas on: December 26, 2019, 09:39:43 AM
A wish sadly spoiled in my case by norovirus ...
9  General Category / Words / Re: word suggestion on: December 21, 2019, 05:35:22 AM

As a complete diversion from the topic at hand, this thread has just reminded me of a fish with a tautological taxonomic name: Cubanichthys cubensis. Which translates as "Cuban fish from Cuba". Smiley

As you can see here, it's quite colourful.
10  General Category / Words / Re: Nuts on: December 16, 2019, 08:15:37 AM
If that's one of the wooden toys you reported elsewhere as being written off due to production error, it doesn't look particularly beset with errors to me ...
11  General Category / Words / Re: Yonks on: December 16, 2019, 08:12:39 AM
And another word brings back memories of 1970s schooldays. Though for a change, not a word whose usage today would invite severe opprobrium ...
12  General Category / Words / 8th December 2019 Game: Some Stats on: December 12, 2019, 03:16:38 PM

Found this interesting situation when playing the game on 8th December, from the 10-letter Profanity puzzle:

Topiary: listed as common: 63 players found it.

Tarn: listed as rare: 163 players found it.

Rota: listed as rare: 173 players found it.

Troy: listed as rare: 131 players found it.

Prion: listed as rare: 70 players found it.

Tarpon: listed as rare: 54 players found it.

Anyone else found purportedly 'common' words that are less frequently found by the players than various 'rare' words?
13  General Category / Whatever / Re: Gorgeously game on: December 09, 2019, 12:30:52 AM
I'm familiar with both. Though given the time I've spent in the company of medical students, I'm also familiar with osteology, otorhinolaryngology and nephrology. Smiley
14  General Category / Words / Re: Oh no ! on: December 05, 2019, 01:19:04 PM
How I fondly remember this ...
15  General Category / Whatever / Re: raspberries etc. on: November 19, 2019, 08:19:47 AM
Next time they appear, save some for planting. Grow your own crop. Smiley
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