Daily Archives: November 8, 2011

What Ails You?

Last week I was too sick to do anything.  I left my house twice in six days- once for a doctor visit, and once for a trip across the street to the mailbox.  I know a lot of other people are sick right now, too.  It may not even be winter yet, but cold season has clearly already arrived.

If you’re interested in getting to know the enemy a little better, stop into the library for one of my top five picks about germs.   (Don’t be afraid, we have hand-sanitizer.)

Why Dirt Is Good: 5 Ways To Make Germs Your Friends, by Mary Ruebush

Ruebush irreverently describes how the immune system works, the behavior of germs in our bodies, and how the American obsession with hygiene might actually be making us sick.

The Five Second Rule and Other Myths About Germs: What Everyone Should Know About Bacteria, Viruses, Mold, and Mildew, by Anne E. Maczulak

Maczulak details the germs that are lurking everywhere, inlcuding which ones could actually be dangerous and the (real) best ways of avoiding them.

The Wild Life of Our Bodies: Predators, Parasites, and Partners That Shape Who We Are Today by Rob Dunn

The modern human lives in a world with no predators and relatively little disease.  Biologist Rob Dunn explores the ecosystem we used to be a part of, and the possible consequences of leaving it.

Viruses, Plagues, and History: Past, Present, and Future, by Michael B. A. Oldstone

From smallpox to SARS, Oldstone recounts history’s most notorious epidemics, and introduces us to the scientists who are trying to identify and prepare for the next one.

Germs & Your Health, by Bill Nye the Science Guy

If all this germ talk is starting to make you uncomfortable, let Bill Nye explain how good nutrition, fitness, and sleep – along with a proper hand washing routine – can help ward off the plague.


(PS – Don’t forget that today is election day.  For more information on Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s referendum on the ballot, please visit ourlibraryourfuture.org.)

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