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Shan

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Feb 26 17 3:31 AM

OK, I think one thing we can all mostly agree upon is that we've all got to contribute some effort in maintaining our health, there's stuff you can do up to a point that will help barring the unforeseen.

​So, here's what came out of my last couple of trips to the doctor, with any luck, I won't need to go again for a few years, and even then hopefully for just a routine check-up again.

​1) Blood Pressure:

​If nothing else, I'm hoping you can get your blood pressure checked, if doctors visits are pricey and not fitting into the budget, I guess options could include, I don't know, pharmacies and the like perhaps? Any suggestions depending on your circumstances?

​Anyway, I had been getting results of around 110/75 over the last year which is kind of average normal for the population but not for me. However, the last time was a difference room and that was much closer to my typical BP historically with 98/63. Up to a point, the lower the better, especially with stroke risks but since typically it's thought you need a lower BP of 60 to maintain blood to your brain, I'd better not get too much lower with that second number. Luckily, there's autoregulation to prevent things getting too wacky.

​Things that can help drop your BP: Exercise, losing weight, dropping/reducing alcohol intake, given our last discussion about salt and what I found ... well, I guess not eating ridiculous amounts of it. I've dropped a lot from my diet anyway. Also, for something wacky to do, apparently eating garlic raw can be as effective as antihypertensive medication, so I'm going to try that just to see what happens. Apparently 1-4 cloves/day will do it. I'm trying 4-5/day at the moment.

​2) Weight:

Nothing too radical with how I did it but over the last year or so, I've dropped 17-20 pounds. The first ten or so pounds went in the first month of me actively trying but then it stalled out for months. Anyway, all I did was cut out almost all (like 90-95%) of all the junk and processed food/junk food etc in my diet (which was never much to start with) and also ate less of it. Look like at some point recently, I'm dropped some more. Now down to almost the weight I was when I left university. Also, with things like juice, if I want orange juice, I now have to eat an orange (orange juice - loss of fibre and stealth weight gain from it if you're not careful.)

​Walking everywhere possible and using the exerise cycle doesn't hurt either. Definitely in the best recent shape I've been recently. There's lots of health benefits from the above but the most obvious effect I've noticed is my pants will fall down without a belt again.

3) Cholestreol:

​Total = 4.2 (<5.6) mmol/L

​So that's quite good. Exercise plus fibre and all that in your diet can help get that down. Last time I remember it, it was 5.2 which is a bit higher than we like and higher than it usually was for me on average. I think I can get it down further.

​4) Vitamin D

​Total = 47 nmol/L

You're technically defcient if <50. I always am but usually it's like 26. So, I'll still need to go back onto supplements again but nowhere near as much as usual. Explanation to follow in a future post as it's about the only supplement that's at all worth taking.

5) Vitamin B12

​I'm just including this because we've been talking about this one so much.

​It was in normal range, I didn't expect it not to be.

​So, so far all good and progressing in a good direction. I guess we'll see how things go over the next few months to years then.

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SmashLampjaw

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Feb 26 17 3:06 PM

Shan wrote:
1) Blood Pressure:

​If nothing else, I'm hoping you can get your blood pressure checked, if doctors visits are pricey and not fitting into the budget, I guess options could include, I don't know, pharmacies and the like perhaps? Any suggestions depending on your circumstances?
I'd add: most pharmacies in the USA (including ones in grocery stores) have free blood pressure checking machines.
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Shan wrote:
Things that can help drop your BP:
Additionally: Drinking enough water. Long-term dehydration (which I think I mentioned earlier) causes an incredible number of health problems, including high blood pressure (as a result of thickening your blood, IIRC). If you live in a first or second world country, it's almost certainly your fault if you're not getting enough water.

Shan wrote:
​2) Weight:

Nothing too radical with how I did it but over the last year or so, I've dropped 17-20 pounds. The first ten or so pounds went in the first month of me actively trying but then it stalled out for months. Anyway, all I did was cut out almost all (like 90-95%) of all the junk and processed food/junk food etc in my diet (which was never much to start with) and also ate less of it.
Before I add to this, I should just remind everyone to check with their doctor before starting a new diet.

Anyhow, it's important to keep in mind you will lose more weight by cutting your caloric intake than you will from exercise. The Hacker's Diet gives a great examples on this. It has a comparison between exercise activities (calories per hour) and foods. 3 slices of pizza have the same number of calories as 1 hour of non-stop tennis. Meaning if you keep eating like a dumbass you'll undermine the effect of any exercise you do, and most people don't have the time to exercise enough to counteract bad eating habits. Though the diet does encourage exercise, the point it makes is there's no substitute for eating fewer calories.

Additional steps for weight loss include trying to keep the total number of net carbohydrates low. Net carbs = carbohydrates - fiber. Greens are an excellent fiber source because they also add vitamins and minerals to your diet. High protein, low carb diets will be more effective and safer than high carb, low protein, as has been proven scientifically with long-term, randomized controlled trials.

If changing your meal plans is too difficult for you, there's a less complicated option available to get started. Eat less of the food you're already eating. Just cut the portion size of everything by 1/3. If your weight was stable based on what you're eating now, reducing how much of that same food you eat will cause you to lose weight until your body becomes stable on the new portions. At that point you'll either need to adjust your diet or your portion sizes again. There's a limit, though. Starving yourself isn't an option, and you should get your blood checked to make sure you're not malnourished.

I am aware there is some terrible information out there on long-term fasting. It's not a real option; you have to eat. When you go without food for too long your body begins cannibalizing itself for the nutrients it's not getting. This means at some point you will run out of those nutrients and your body's processes will begin to malfunction. Fat is mainly stored energy. You won't know you're malnourished by how fat you still are.

There's a lesser known side-effect of starvation as well. See... I may need Shan to correct me on the specifics, but basically when you eat food that contains things like mercury or other toxic metals (e.g. fish), your body essentially says, "What the fuck am I going to do with this? If I leave it in the blood stream this idiot is dead, but if I throw it at the liver or kidneys they'll shut down and this idiot is still dead. Well, I've got all this fat... I'll just cram it in there so it's out of the way and slowly leak it back into the blood stream over time to eliminate it."

So depending on how much toxic crap your body has in its backlog, making your body burn through all of its fat as fast as it can is a pretty terrible idea. This is one of the main reasons why people starving themselves mention feeling incredibly sick for the first week or two. Before you get any stupid ideas about "detoxing", keep in mind your body was already doing that before your dumb ass decided to speed up the schedule. It's been shown that slightly overweight people tend to have the longest lifespans, and I'm willing to bet "toxin storage space" is a large part of why.
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Shan wrote:
​Walking everywhere possible and using the exerise cycle doesn't hurt either.
I think a lot of people under-estimate the value of walking. Sitting, like everything else these days, will kill you. So naturally most of the high paying jobs are jobs where you sit a lot. Even occasional breaks to get up and walk well help your leg circulation. Veins need muscle movements in order to help with their function.
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Shan wrote:
​4) Vitamin D
If you take a short break to walk outside during the day, you can combine light exercise with Vitamin D production. You can also easily find milk or orange juice with vitamin D added to it these days.
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Shan wrote:
5) Vitamin B12
Eat a steak (religion-permitting), preferably grass-fed. In addition to B vitamins, beef contains fatty acid that is believed to be good for heart health.

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Shan

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Feb 26 17 3:49 PM

Now to clarify about weight loss using myself as an example, as Smash said (and is exactly right), no crash dieting. It took a while but I just stuck to eating less and eating healthy.

And by that, I cut out all of the soft drink/confectionery side of things, all the processed food side of things (they cram sugar into just about everything) and just went with the fresh food side of things.

Now, to add about physical activity, no good running all over the place if the shock to your joints in the long run give you terrible arthritis. I think cycling's much better for that hence the exercise bike and especially swimming. More about that soon (plus the obvious point, no good running or cycling if you get run over by a car or mugged) . Exactly right again that Smash said walking is underrated. It's a very good option.

Anyway, more on the options in a bit but first a fun segment about vitamin and other supplements (mostly a waste of time but there's a handful that aren't) and as part of that, you might think in Australia or South Africa, with white people getting skin cancer and aging so much faster than the rest of us because their skin just burns in countries drenched with the stuff (there's so many people even 10 or more years younger than me who look 10 or more older), you have to wonder, "What is the point of white people?"

Well, it took a lot of digging but I found the answer (and how they can be replaced now by science! It's a brave new world.)

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SmashLampjaw

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Feb 26 17 8:36 PM

Shan wrote:
with white people getting skin cancer and aging so much faster than the rest of us because their skin just burns in countries drenched with the stuff (there's so many people even 10 or more years younger than me who look 10 or more older), you have to wonder, "What is the point of white people?"
Inventing nearly everything technological, medical, and sociological in the modern world, I suppose. I mean it seems like a pretty good start given this conversation is only even able to happen thanks to a few dozen of those inventions. ;P

Not sure what that has to do with medical health, but hey, if you wanna derail your own thread that's your call.
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Shan wrote:
Well, it took a lot of digging but I found the answer (and how they can be replaced now by science! It's a brave new world.)
... have you been reading Aaron Diaz's racist Twitter posts?

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Shan

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Feb 26 17 9:13 PM

Now, here's where I do that "maybe you think I meant one thing but I actually meant another" ... thing.

We're continually digging out skin cancers and melanomas on top of some hideous burns just from sun exposure. Being white here especially is not the best thing, really. I especially don't understand some of the behaviour patterns of people here, we're skin adapted for this place and we still flee the sun at every opportunity. While on the other hand, I'm watching generation after generation of Anglos here incinerating themselves (hence the "No way you're 5/10/15 years younger than me" adjust number upwards as time passes.)

So, there I was being all science and thinking there had to be a science evolutionary reason and it took some time and digging but I found it. Turns out white skin helps maximise Vitamin D production in countries with limited sun exposure.

Now that ties in with why even when I get out in the sun, I'm always found to be deficient. Once again, I'm having to go back on supplements because the reverse happens to me, dark skin means less Vitamin D production for the same exposure. It's especially pertinent for those of us stuck in office buildings all day and/or countries that get limited sun exposure. I think the reality is that we're going to have to be on these for life. Right now, I'm trying to work out the dose I can get away with. I'm thinking it's going to be either 2 or 3 of the 25 microg (or 1000 Units equivalent) tablets a week.

Now this also ties in with out of all the vitamins, supplements, and everything else, which ones should we take? The answer probably is going to be ... none of them except maybe Vitamin D for almost all of us. That's going to be the next post's exciting subject - which, if any supplements should I take? (short version: none, one, or very few most likely ...)

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Shan

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Feb 26 17 9:36 PM

Don't, or do? I got your attention, didn't I? (To be honest, I've never really been sold on the whole there's no such thing as bad publicity - I've seen counter examples for sure.) Oh yes, the replacing white people bit - we can cover that disadvantage now with a bottle of Vitamin D (make sure it's a reputable supplier - pharmaceutical fakery is a thing but that's a whole other story.)

On a more serious note - while we're waiting for evolution to take its course in the sun belt (and Queensland especially, the melanoma capital of the world), I guess we're still stuck with the white people we have now. Now you really don't want to die of skin cancer or shrivel up like a prune (+/- actual 1st and even 2nd degree burns) - so to stay looking younger for longer - stay out of the sun as much as possible (+ don't smoke, don't drink - or keep it as little as possible at least - and generally have a good diet). Also think of all that money you'll save only cigarettes, alcohol, and plastic surgery (from vanity at one end of the scale right through to facial reconstruction after we take out big cancers and stuff.) It's that whole prevention is better and easier than cure side of things.

Of course, that puts you in the same boat as the rest of us, so that's where buying that bottle of Vitamin D comes into it.

(What does any of this have to do with webcomics? Well, if you stay healthier - you'll hopefully live longer and can read,make and review more for longer, duh ...)

Some reading material and then the next post is how to decipher all that.

https://authoritynutrition.com/vitamin-d-deficiency-symptoms/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_D_deficiency

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Shan

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Mar 28 17 1:06 AM

Quick summary of the whole supplements industry:

​Default to not needing it until conclusively proven otherwise. Which is usually not needing any of them for I think 99+% of people. Yes, there's always exceptions but the vast, vast majority of us get these things naturally and don't need pills.

​One possible exception, Vitamin D but:

​I waded through a pile of research and news articles and basically, if it's in relation to anything other​ than bones and Vitamin D, it's not proven and still in the realms of speculation.

​In relation to bones, it's not entirely conclusive either.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/the-sun-goes-down-on-vitamin-d-why-i-changed-my-mind-about-this-celebrated-supplement-a6800191.html

http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/benefits-vitamin-d-supplements-still-debated-201404047106

​Probable safe answer (since you don't want to risk toxicity from taking too much either), as per the second article ...

"If you rarely get out in the sun, or just aren’t certain you are getting 600 to 800 IU of vitamin D a day, taking a supplement containing 400 to 1,000 IU is safe, inexpensive insurance."

​Typically tablets are 1000 Units or 25 microgrammes. Check the label.

So basically, for the average normal person, you don't need any. Maybe Vitamin D and especially if you're indoors a lot might be an exception. It's not conclusive, though.

​Chiropractors and homeopathy, default to null and avoid all that too and save your money, all that is definitely not proven either.

 

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SmashLampjaw

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Mar 29 17 4:53 PM

I don't know, I really think people should go with a daily multivitamin unless it's proven to them they're not deficient. How many people really know if they're getting proper nutrition? A lot of people seem to be in denial about how much of what they eat is crap. It's not like malnutrition strikes quickly, either. Thoughts?

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Shan

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Mar 29 17 5:29 PM

SmashLampjaw wrote:
I don't know, I really think people should go with a daily multivitamin unless it's proven to them they're not deficient. How many people really know if they're getting proper nutrition? A lot of people seem to be in denial about how much of what they eat is crap. It's not like malnutrition strikes quickly, either. Thoughts?

I think this whole exercise has been worthwhile because even though I've generally been sceptical of a lot of claims being thrown around, there were a couple of things I thought I knew which weren't as solid as I thought (salt and Vitamin D respectively).

I don't see any harm in a daily multivitamin as they tend to neither be ridiculous megadoses nor hideously expensive. It's just more a function of "If money is really tight, you can get by without it, or at least stretch it out to less than 1 tablet a day." sort of thing.

I was also leading up to this, in terms of getting by without it, well ... that does assume a few things. I was leading up to this article.

​(edit: Article contains picture of eye suffering from Vitamin A disease - you might not like the look of it.)

http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/eyesight-experts-issue-warning-on-diet-which-can-lead-to-blindness-20161012-gs0twl.html

To put it bluntly, I and other people were staggered by this. Do you know how hard it is you make yourself so Vitamin A deficient that you end up losing your sight? You really have to work at it to pull that one off if you're what we nominally call the First World (or even the Second, let's be honest). 

If nothing else, you can save yourself a lot (and I do mean a lot) of trouble by at least eating the occasional appropriately Vitamin A imbued vegetable.

Also, don't do this.

http://time.com/9841/hero-eats-nothing-but-pizza-for-25-years/

Last Edited By: Shan Apr 3 17 1:08 AM. Edited 1 time.

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SmashLampjaw

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Apr 3 17 12:05 AM

Shan wrote:
http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/eyesight-experts-issue-warning-on-diet-which-can-lead-to-blindness-20161012-gs0twl.html
Would you edit your post to warn people the article leads with a gross as hell image? Ugh.
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Shan wrote:
To put it bluntly, I and other people were staggered by this. Do you know how hard it is you make yourself so Vitamin A deficient that you end up losing your sight?
To be fair, he was a child, so the answer is, "His parents were terrible at parenting." They just gave their kid what he wanted to eat instead of making him eat things that were good for him. It staggers the mind. He's the child. He doesn't get to pick every meal every day.
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Shan wrote:
Also, don't do this.
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http://time.com/9841/hero-eats-nothing-but-pizza-for-25-years/[/left]
What an absolute dumbass. If you have blackouts and blood sugar problems, pointing out you're thin only means you haven't read up on diabetes.

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Shan

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Apr 3 17 1:22 AM

Sorry, didn't think twice about it because a) During my working life, I've seen some things and that hardly rates to me and b) It's one of our local Sydney newspapers and if they put it in, even if it had occurred to me, I probably would have thought if our local major newspaper published it, the public would be seeing it so it must be OK for the general public.

As for the other things ... even with a bad diet, my point was it's quite remarkable to just hit on the stuff which doesn't carry enough Vitamin A to prevent you losing your eyesight over time. So if nothing else, remember to mix up a little (with something, anything, that has some Vitamin A content). If nothing else, there's a chance you could impress your doctor by diagnosing yourself before they do. I'd rather you avoided the situation in the first place, though.

On that subject ... I suspect pizza guy needs to draw a possible connection between his diet and his blackouts for starters. It might be that they are.

I suspect some more introspection might be needed after reading this (not unlike some webcomic authors and their webcomics).

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/this-man-has-survived-on-pizza-alone-for-25-years

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SmashLampjaw

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Apr 5 17 11:30 PM

Shan wrote:
Sorry, didn't think twice about it
No worries.
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Shan wrote:
As for the other things ... even with a bad diet, my point was it's quite remarkable to just hit on the stuff which doesn't carry enough Vitamin A to prevent you losing your eyesight over time. So if nothing else, remember to mix up a little (with something, anything, that has some Vitamin A content). If nothing else, there's a chance you could impress your doctor by diagnosing yourself before they do.
Yeah, that's what I mean. It's absolutely terrible parenting. How do you not say to yourself, "I'm about to become a father/mother and I am regularly seeing doctors. Maybe I should ask one of them how to feed a child?"

The only thing I can come up with is they decided their kid's a fussy eater, but the three things he's willing to eat are easy to make, so hey why not just only make that for him and see if he's willing to try the foods we make for ourselves? Passive, lazy... I'm just going to get myself worked up if I get into it. The point is I don't understand how someone reaches adulthood without hearing that carrots are good for your eyes. Whether it's the myth about it increasing your eyesight from WWII or just being informed enough to know they have vitamin A and your eyes need that, I'd like to believe most people would know to include carrots in their kid's diet. Steamed carrots are one of the first things a baby can eat!

Gah... I mean if the kid was deficient in one of the B vitamins, at least I could understand that. You ask people what food has vitamin B-# in it and their eyes will glaze over. I couldn't even tell you what food gives you which specific B vitamin in it (except B12) without looking them up. I came up with meals to cover all of them forever ago and have since forgotten which has what.

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plarblman

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Apr 7 17 7:29 PM

To quote Gordon Freeman (yes I know he's supposed to be mute, shut up):

"That's the problem with immortality. Soon you're neck-deep in creepy old perverts stealing our women, and you can't get rid of them!"

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Shan

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#37 [url]

Apr 23 17 7:01 PM

Vitamin A is included in most multivitamins, and the U.S. recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for adults is as follows: 900 micrograms daily (3,000 IU) for men and 700 micrograms daily (2,300 IU) for women; for pregnant women 19 years old and older, 770 micrograms daily (2,600 IU); and for lactating women 19 years old

Vitamin A (retinol) Dosing - Mayo Clinic

Basically, you don't need that much from any source. Even most junk food should have enough. It's a real skill to narrow your diet only to stuff that doesn't have enough in a day for long enough that you go blind.

100g of potatoes having 2 Units of Vitamin A and only eating potatoes might do it.

100g of carrots having 16,706 Units of Vitamin A is better and simple mathematics tells me you don't need to eat 100g of carrots a day either.

Carrots will help maintain your eyesight in terms of Vitamin A but won't improve it above what it already is. That was a myth spread by the British to help hide the existence of radar from the Germans in World War 2. True Story/The More You Know etc.

http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient/carrots.asp

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Shan

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#38 [url]

Apr 24 17 7:42 PM

plarblman wrote:
To quote Gordon Freeman (yes I know he's supposed to be mute, shut up):

"That's the problem with immortality. Soon you're neck-deep in creepy old perverts stealing our women, and you can't get rid of them!"

Of course Gordon Freeman can talk. How else could he have done his PhD thesis defence?

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SmashLampjaw

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Apr 27 17 1:35 AM

Hey, I am totally on-board with how impressively horrible that diet was. The only thing harder would be getting scurvy in a first-world country. Potato chips have Vitamin C, FFS
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Shan wrote:
plarblman wrote:
To quote Gordon Freeman (yes I know he's supposed to be mute, shut up):

"That's the problem with immortality. Soon you're neck-deep in creepy old perverts stealing our women, and you can't get rid of them!"

Of course Gordon Freeman can talk. How else could he have done his PhD thesis defence?
WOW THAT WAS ABLEIST I'm pretty sure theses are written down.

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Shan

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Apr 27 17 3:13 PM

You also have to give a verbal defence in front of a panel. I know this because I once saw it on an episode of Bones.

Of course, I'm sure if you're actually mute, they will make accommodations for you.

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