Sunday, 12 October 2014

A tale of the unexpected & an analogy.

The tale.

A friend had a faulty lap-top mains adaptor. It was one of these:-

I offered to fault-find it. I measured the output voltage with my multimeter.

The output voltage was 0V.

I felt the lead where it exited the connector. It didn't feel right, so I cut the connector off & stripped-off some insulation. Lo and behold, the inner conductor (it was co-axial cable) was broken. I prepared the conductors, tinned them, soldered them and powered the adaptor, with a sense of impending triumph.

The output voltage was 0V.

I tested the continuity from conductors to connector. That's when I discovered that there was a short-circuit between the inner and outer conductors. I snipped-off the connector and confirmed that it was the connector that was short-circuited, not the adaptor or cable. I fitted a replacement connector and powered the adaptor, with a sense of impending triumph.

The output voltage was 0V.

At this point, I decided that the adapter was Beyond Economic Repair and advised the friend to buy a new one, which subsequently worked perfectly.

So, how did the adapter get to have not one, not two but THREE faults on it? It turned out that the lead had been yanked sideways, which bent the connector. The friend had straightened the connector with pliers (!). This short-circuited the connector, resulting in an internal fuse blowing in the adapter. The friend then "jiggled" the connector in the socket, in a vain attempt to make it work. This broke the inner conductor of the co-axial cable.

The analogy.


Some health problems are multi-factorial. Fixing only one, but not all of the problems, results in not fixing the problem. So, if you try "A" and there's no improvement, either "A" isn't one of the problems, or "B", "C"......"Z" need fixing, too.

This post was inspired by Effects of 12 weeks high dose vitamin D3 treatment on insulin sensitivity, beta cell function, and metabolic markers in patients with type 2 diabetes and vitamin D insufficiency - a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.

Taking an effective dose of Vitamin D3 for a reasonable length of time didn't make a significant difference to insulin sensitivity or beta cell function. It did for me, as my only problem was Vitamin D insufficiency. I got lucky.


Mike said...


I think this is the argument the Jaminets make that the current rise in diabesity is a multi factoral issue. It has been a while since I read their book, but I do remember that they presented a very convincing case to support this idea.

ivor cummins said...

Hey Nigel - did you excommunicate me or something? Don't think I slagged you THAT bad over the Big Fat Surprise review review :)

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Hi Ivor,

1. After your gushing praise for Nina Teicholz's book and your dismissal of Seth Yoder's critique as "rubbish" (or equivalent expression), I came to the conclusion that your ketogenic diet had turned your brain into pate, but you were unware of this due to the Dunning-Kruger effect. You were also not approving my critical comments on your blog. I decided to have nothing further to do with you, so blocked you on Facebook and Twitter. That's how I roll.

2. As you have infringed my Moderation Policy regarding acceptable times to leave comments (read it!), I have removed your details from the White List.

weilasmith said...

nigel, if you have time, could you look at this study on breast cancer and T risk allele? my mom died from breast cancer that metastasized to her brain. I have one T allele and one normal one (G I think). I can't understand from the tables and info provided if i am at increased risk with only one T, or if only people with TT are at increased risk for breast cancer.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Sorry, but I don't have the time. Understanding a study doesn't change your risk factor. Address deficiencies that make a measurable difference (e.g. postprandial blood glucose, blood clotting etc), minimise environmental carcinogens (e.g. cigarette smoke & charred foods, too much red meat relative to your greens etc) and keep everything crossed!

weilasmith said...

i had kerrygold cheese to appetite for this past menstrual cycle and did not have to take aleve to stop heavy bleeding. i have stopped and started the kerrygold experiment a few times now. if i don't eat it, i have extremely heavy blood flow. now i am waiting for my carlson's k2 to arrive. i will take 5mg of that a day and no kerrygold and see what happens during my next period. i was hoping the study would say i had a negligible risk from the one T. maybe my mom had the TT. i will have to learn statistics.

Honey said...

Hi Nige, :)

Since this is your blog, I promise I will be at least cordial to CarbSane. This is the only place I can reach her. I want to correct her about two things if I may :

* What "laws" mean in science

*And the proper way to define the second law of thermodynamics. It is very subtle and extremely important to parse it this way.

The Blogpshere gets both of these issues wrong. I do not think anybody else in the Blogopshere has studied this specific topic as passionately and for as long and intensively as I have . ( and from top world class sources) This is right up my alley and my pet peeve about thermodynamics.

"Laws" in science remain always provisional and always perfectible. There is not ANYTHING that makes a "law" "better than", "above" or "more true" than a theory. "laws" are only our models, our picture, our best guesses as to what we think is going on. Sure, they are in accord with our observations which we can test by experiment thus far.

However, they are only approximations a very best.They are ONLY the "shadows on the wall of the cave " of an underlying far deeper reality. It is difficult to say if they even exist in the same sense as Nature or physical reality does. Scientists fully expect these "laws" to be modified with further advancements.

This comes directly from Dr. David Gross' videos . He is a once in a generation physicist and a Nobel Prize winner.

Next up, the most accurate way to properly define the second law of thermodynamics:

"There can be no process whose ONLY result is to convert high-entropy energy into low entropy energy. Moreover, each time we convert one type of energy into another, we always end up with higher-entropy energy. In energy conversions, OVERALL entropy always increases."

There you have it. It's world class information that most do not have access to :) I hope CarbSane will amend her articles.

Best wishes,

Dr. Razzmatazz

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Sorry it took a while to approve your post, but you posted it in the middle of the night, while I was asleep. For some reason, I thought I'd already white-listed you, but it must have been a different e-mail address, or account, or something!

Dr. Art Ayers said...

Hey Nige,
It seems to me that inflammation is the basis for the syndrome that is being treated with D3 supplements, but the vitamin D deficiency is a also a consequence of inflammation that knocks out solar vitamin D production in the skin. Also, the D3 supplement levels used are not sufficient to suppress inflammation to permit resumption of skin production. The majority of people who supplement with D3 to fix deficiencies remain deficient.

So, I think you were just in the minority who had borderline chronic inflammation that would respond to minimal D3 supplementation.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Hi Dr Ayers. Long time, no see!

In , I told the story of my Vitamin D3 experience. 2000iu/day wasn't enough to make my brain work properly. I needed 5000iu/day.