Science

Skepchick Quickies and Who Am I?

First off, today’s fascinating links:

And now to introduce myself.

My name’s Amanda and obviously I’ll be helping Jen with the daily links. I’ll be posting videos as well. I’m very excited to be here since my skepticism, feminism, and atheism are all very important to me. Let’s see, other random tidbits… I am most familiar with biology and anthropology and I do have some training in forensics. No, I don’t know kung fu or how to shoot a handgun despite what CSI might tell you. I do love anatomy and history of science.

My most common personal encounter with woowoo is due to my being a sufferer of migraines. Every single quack remedy out there has been thrown at me. My favorite is when people recommend acupuncture, knowing full well I have a fear of needles.

In skepchick related reading, I’ve just finished Matthew Chapman’s 40 Days and 40 Nights on the Dover trial and I’m almost through Harris’ The End of Faith.

As for other hobbies, I am podcast addicted, enjoy cooking, and I knit.

Since I like to go out with a bang, I’ll leave you with a couple of videos from Wired Science that will appeal to the pyromaniac in all of us. I am lucky enough to have performed both of these experiments in high school chemistry lab.

In the first one, it seems a bit foolhardy to have one’s face and hands so close to a flaming ball of moss spores. As for the second, a gummy bear funeral pyre should really be performed a bit more dramatically. It’s both more melodramatic and safer to tie the bear to a string and slowly lower it to its glorious death.

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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26 Comments

  1. Ah! A fellow migraine sufferer! I remember when some twit actually tried to get me to use "Head-On" or whatever that stuff is. What I REALLY wanted was a few grains of darvon, percocet, and a syringe or two of immitrex.

    Problem is, I become accustomed to the painkillers relatively quickly.

    What do you do, when you sense them coming on?

  2. I'm really lucky with my migraines, Rav. When I feel them coming on I take a massive dose of ibuprofen, aspirin, and caffeine. That combination plus a little rest usually means I'm only down for the count for an hour or two. I get a lingering aura (wonky vision) but the brain fog, pain, and dizziness leave quickly.

    This is extra good because my liver eats through narcotics like candy. I have to be given horse-size doses in order for them to work.

  3. Problem is, I become accustomed to the painkillers relatively quickly.

    What do you do, when you sense them coming on?

    Rav, I to suffer from miagrains…..for me this works…it is worth a try right?

    when I have miagrains, it starts with a strobe light flashing in my right eye

    for approx 30 minutes I feel fine- other than the annoying flahing…I have found that if you take a percocet while that flashing is going on, it will reduce your 4 hour miagraine down to a 30 minute stress headache….and you know good and well thats way better….I talked to my doctor about it, and he could not understand why this method would work, but at the same time he could not understand why it couldnt work either? so he told me do whatever works, as of now its the only thing that has ever worked! another thing- I stopped taking caffiene…..I was getting miagraines once every other month, now that I dont eat or drink caffiene, such as coffee or soda, I only get a miagrain twice per year…if that, last year I did not get one at all! I have been suffering from them for about 12-13 years prior to that.

  4. Yeah– I have the same routine; Only it doesn't stop the symptoms. It just makes sure they don't get much worse. I suppose I'd do better with the heavy drugs if I didn't have to take them so often. Even Oxycontin just makes me drowsy.

  5. you better be carefull with meds like perc/oxy…..you do know your not supposed to sleep with them in your system right?? it slows down your respatory system, and you could stop breathing!…look it up.

  6. It’s both more melodramatic and safer to tie the bear to a string and slowly lower it to its glorious death.

    If you're speaking from experience, we totally need to get together and party sometime. I like your style :)

  7. I tend to get headaches now and then, but I hesitate to call them "migraines" until I actually know what those are supposed to be like.

    I think my headaches are usually just a result of upsetting my sleep pattern, or not eating/drinking enough (or sometimes too much, but I call those "hangovers" ;)).

    In fact, they feel more like a hangover does, which is why I don't think it's really migraine, because everyone I know who suffers from migraine seems to be in much worse shape when they're in the middle of one.

    It could also be sinus-related, or something else completely.

    So anyway, to phrase the actual question: what does a hangover feel like for you, and how do you feel it's about to hit?

  8. Exarch, I get headaches that sound like yours, too. Migraines are distinguished from other headaches by their "aura". Yeah, who knew that was a legitimate word, huh? Basically, they screw with your senses and make you extremely sensitive. It feels like intense sensory overload.

    Hangovers feel like my body has been strip-mined and I usually know one's about to hit when I've been handed a delicious drink mixed by my partner. My all natural cure is a greasy breakfast sandwich and drinking water until I pee clear.

  9. I'm not one for pill-popping, but for some reason Vitamin B-Complex does wonders for getting rid of the spins, if that is part of your hangover. I'm finding that hangovers hurt much more once you're over 30…

  10. When I get what I call migranes, I take extra strength Excedrin, go in a dark room with no sound, and put a cold or hot compress on my eyes. Then I try to fall asleep. The headache almost always goes away before I wake up. If I'm out or doing something when I get one of these, I really have to go home and go in a dark, quiet room. I've never been diagnosed with migranes, but these are the worst headaches I have ever had. They start with the feeling of a spike going through my head, usually on the left side, and they also make me feel nauseated. Sometimes I can stop them before they get really bad if I take the Excedrin when I first notice the headache coming on. Fortunately, I only get these 2 or 3 times a year.

  11. use science for hangovers exarch……when you finish drinking for the night, drink as much water as you can before you fall asleep…..dehydration is what causes the symptoms of a hangover…elemenate the dehydration, and you eleminate the hangover.

  12. I tend to get headaches now and then, but I hesitate to call them “migraines” until I actually know what those are supposed to be like.

    you WILL know one when it hits you…you will bhe down for the count for a few hours….extreme sensitivity to light and noise, vomiting is sometimes associated with it, hot/cold flashes, and pain that will make anyone cry…throbbin' pain!

  13. Awesome links, I especially like the gummy bear. I remember getting bored one day when I was little and putting a pack of swedish fish in the Microwave, I forget how long they were in there for, but after a few seconds of cooling they became rock hard.

  14. Allow me to amend myself, there is such a thing as aura-free migraines, it's just that they're a small percentage of migraines. Or maybe they're just under diagnosed? You can also have pain-free, aura-only migraines, which I get from time to time.

    Oliver Sacks actually wrote a book on migraines called–Migraine. It covers all the various permutations of symptoms and has some interesting case studies. It's not narrative like his other books but I liked it.

    And I'm glad everyone likes the fire videos. If only fire and alcohol weren't such a bad mix, they'd be great party tricks.

  15. Hi Amanda!

    Hey guys, did I miss something? I don't think they mention percocet in the bible…why would urblind take meds? I thought science was stupid and Jesus takes the wheel? I'm confused about the flip-flop.

  16. exarch said, So anyway, to phrase the actual question: what does a hangover feel like for you, and how do you feel it’s about to hit?

    it feels like someone sucked all the thought, happy feelings and awake-making-stuff out of my head and made me hungy. i know it's coming on when my husband says, "you know you have to be up at 8 tomorrow." and i reply, "yeeeeeaah? sho whath? i'wll be fffhhine."

    I had a friend in town over the weekend, and we were discussing whether Pedialyte would prevent a hangover. I said we should make Pedialyte martinis as an experiment.

    Instead we ended up drinking French 75's… I felt pretty good in the morning though.

  17. Hey guys, did I miss something? I don’t think they mention percocet in the bible…why would urblind take meds? I thought science was stupid and Jesus takes the wheel? I’m confused about the flip-flop.

    I think your confused about everything. The bible never said stop going to the doctor. Nor did

    It say you shouldn’t take any medication….bet your to ignorant to know that one of the apostles was

    A physician? I don’t recall Jesus telling him to shut down his practice? Do you? And he practiced before

    Jesus, during Jesus, and continued after Jesus….just this time he had a new tactic to apply to his patients.

    Knowledge is a God given talent, to use and apply……any way I know this is to complex for you to grasp.

  18. it is not complicated for me to grasp, it's just totally irrelevant. What I am saying is that god didn't make percocet – scientists did. Nature makes opium in poppies, which is the basis of it – but why not smoke opium then if everything "god" makes is so perfect? In fact, if god is so real and great, why do we even need doctors at all? Does Satan make you ill? Because back then (in the old days), before we had all the fancy scientific knowledge we have now, people thought that schizophrenia was demon possession (or evidence of someone being a prophet) and they treated the schizos not so good. See what I'm saying?

    Here on this site you use "science" to communicate with people who are against superstition so that you can try to convince them of something that they have all already thought about and some lived through, and rejected – and try to say that science is useless because god is the way.

  19. Well, unlike the apostles, Luke was a Gentile, and a travelling companion through part of Paul’s journeys. One gospel and the book of Acts is attributed to him. But he was certainly not an apostle.

    A few of the deisciples were fishermen– Simon, John, James, Andrew… Matthew was a tax collector…I’ll have to go back and look to see if the others were specifically mentioned regarding their occupations.

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