20 July 2010 (non-knee edition :-) )

Photos and stories: this story about “watching porn makes women more likely to be raped” is worth reading. Note: I have no stake in this; I don’t read/watch porn. The reason is that what I enjoy seeing is out there at any beach volleyball match, yoga class, swim meet or running race. But I understand that isn’t the same for everyone.

But I admit that I enjoy the photo that came with the article:

To be honest, when I see this photo, I don’t think of a woman watching porn; I see a woman on a business/conference trip just catching up on e-mail, facebook, browsing her favorite sites, etc.

Nutrition: it is a paradox that in the United States, many of the poor people are fat. One reason is that it can be expensive to eat nutritiously:

She noted that almost a third of U.S. children are overweight.

“Good nutrition at school is more important than ever,” she told the chefs. “A major key to giving our children a healthy future will be to pass a strong child nutrition bill.” […]
n an exchange at a House hearing this month with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) raised other concerns.

“I have no doubt there are kids that go to school hungry,” he said. “But I have to admit, every time I hear that we have an obesity problem and everybody’s going hungry, how do you reconcile the two?”

Vilsack said they’re not all that different. He said there’s a similarity between low-income families trying to stretch scarce food dollars with high-calorie processed foods, “and youngsters who are just flat out not getting fed because their parents don’t have the resources to feed them.”

Cassidy said he wasn’t sure he followed that reasoning. And he might still be confused if he took a trip to the Williamsons’ kitchen in Carlisle, where contradictions swirl about like stew. The refrigerator and pantry are often filled with food — but the family sometimes has to go to the local soup kitchen to make ends meet.

Hard To Make Good Decisions When You’re Hungry

When asked, Alex says he worries about food all the time, and that he’s always hungry. But later, he admits he has enough to eat. It’s just not always what he wants. He says he especially doesn’t like it when his mother makes Brussels sprouts for dinner.

His 14-year-old sister, Beanna, tries to explain.

“He more or less just worries about if there’s going to be enough food that he likes or if we have something that he likes,” she says. “He’s really picky about what he wants.”

As Beanna talks, Alex goes to the refrigerator for some chocolate. He gets upset when his sister tells him he can only have one piece.

It’s not that uncommon for an 8-year-old to prefer chocolate over Brussels sprouts. But Livas, of the local food pantry, says a good diet is especially important for the poor, as a first step toward addressing their other problems, with things like work, health care and education. She says it’s hard to make good decisions when you’re hungry.

Think about it: I eat bagels (3.50 for 6), orange juice (usually on sale for 5 dollars a gallon), soy milk (3.25 for a half gallon), fresh bananas (50 to 70 cents a pound), apples, and sugar free peanut butter (2.75 per jar). Those prices add up if one has a large family.

But nutrition is one reason I can hold a job and stay physically active, which enables me to stay healthy (save a orthopedic injury or two that most of us eventually get).

More on health
Remember the controversy over breast cancer tests for women in their 40’s (yes, this headline is misleading, at best)? The idea is that testing women via a mammogram at too young of an age yields lots of false positives which might be causing more harm than good.

This article demonstrates one of the problems with false positives:

Now she was being told the pathologist had made a mistake. Her new doctor was certain she never had the disease, called ductal carcinoma in situ, or D.C.I.S. It had all been unnecessary — the surgery, the radiation, the drugs and, worst of all, the fear.

“Psychologically, it’s horrible,” Ms. Long said. “I never should have had to go through what I did.”

Like most women, Ms. Long had regarded the breast biopsy as the gold standard, an infallible way to identify cancer. “I thought it was pretty cut and dried,” said Ms. Long, who is a registered nurse.

As it turns out, diagnosing the earliest stage of breast cancer can be surprisingly difficult, prone to both outright error and case-by-case disagreement over whether a cluster of cells is benign or malignant, according to an examination of breast cancer cases by The New York Times.

Advances in mammography and other imaging technology over the past 30 years have meant that pathologists must render opinions on ever smaller breast lesions, some the size of a few grains of salt. Discerning the difference between some benign lesions and early stage breast cancer is a particularly challenging area of pathology, according to medical records and interviews with doctors and patients.

In short, even competent pathologists can do everything right and STILL make a wrong diagnosis; the diagnosis process itself, at too early of a stage, is plagued by randomness.


It is the adults that have the problem with superstition:

This is a great ad by the Democrats:

July 20, 2010 Posted by | 2010 election, Barack Obama, Democrats, health care, Political Ad, politics, Republican, republicans, republicans politics, science, statistics, wise cracks, yoga | Leave a comment

Quip of the day

When viewing an MRI image of my knee, one runner quipped: “I can see the face of Jesus in your MRI. Time to put it on e-bay.” 🙂

May 19, 2010 Posted by | humor, pwnd, quackery, wise cracks | 1 Comment