Quickies

Skepchick Quickies 3.5

Amanda

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

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24 Comments

  1. The article about overeating in mice is really interesting. While we shouldn’t be too quick to extrapolate to humans, I think we’d have more success in reducing obesity by investigating factors that affect our appetites. Telling people to just ignore their hunger clearly hasn’t been successful. What surprises me is that the “bad” gut flora caused metabolic syndrome which includes obesity, but also high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and insulin resistance. I would like to see a study where they reduce the obesity by limiting food access while leaving the gut bacteria the same, to see if the other three symptoms would improve due to weight loss alone.

  2. I was going to send in the staticky cat too but couldn’t decide if it was cruel or hilarious.

    And that gut bacteria thing? Just waiting to see what the woomiesters come up with. All sorts of handwavy supplements and treatments to “rebalance” your gut bacteria, I’d guess.

  3. Stephen Harper and the Conservatives proposed reviewing the national anthem for one reason, and one reason only; to get people all riled up about that one topic, so that they ignore everything else he’s got his mitts into. It’s just the latest manipulative tactic in his sleazy bag of tricks that serves no purpose except to waste Parliament’s time, which is already fairly short, since he prorogued Parliament to avoid controversy over the Afghan detainees scandal, and make people overlook more important issues.

    Make the anthem gender neutral? A victory for women’s rights? Meanwhile, the Conservatives have consistently cut spending for women’s resources across the country.

    Conservatives are usually the first to cry foul in the face of “political correctness”, so why do they want to review the anthem? As if making changes to the lyrics of a song will make up for their dismal record on women’s rights in this country?

    It’s a strawman. Generating controversy where none exists, dominate the news wires with pointless drivel, keep people occupied so they don’t notice while their resources get stripped away.

    Ignore it and move on. The opposition parties aren’t letting themselves get distracted by this nonsense, and you can bet if they tried, they’d fall right into Harper’s trap. The rest of us should do the same. Ignore changing the anthem, and focus instead on everything else Harper is trying to do.

  4. Maybe I should start a campaign to change this verse of the Norwegian national anthem:

    Norseman, whatsoe’er thy station,
    Thank thy God, Whose power
    Willed and wrought the land’s salvation
    In her darkest hour.
    All out mothers sought with weeping
    And our sires in fight,
    God has fashioned, in His keeping,
    Till we gained our right.
    God has fashioned, in His keeping,
    Till we gained, we gained our right.

    Not a word by word translation, but it’s nevertheless close to the original.

  5. The autism lawsuit is an interesting story. I think the husband should really be suing his wife- she’s the one who brought their child in for these treatments. If this doctor hadn’t been there for this mother, someone else surely would have offered to supervise.

    It’s one of the biggest problems in our health care system- primary providers get paid relatively little and they rely on long term relationships with their patients. As a result, they often feel pressure to do what their patients are asking, even if it’s unnecessary. I’m not saying it’s right, but it certainly happens. I’m not sure what the solution is but I think we need to put pressure on the medical community as a whole to stop practicing nonsense medicine. That way patients can’t just shop around until they find someone willing to do what they ask.

  6. @Displaced Northerner: I like your idea, I really do, but it sounds a little too utopian. By that same note, we could put pressure on the politicians to do whats best for the country, even if it means making people angry at them and possibly losing a re-election campaign.

    It sounds really great, and I wish I were more optamistic, but I don’t see it happening.

  7. I did a short search and have found that there aren’t very many gender neutral anthems that make no references to God. “Advance Australia Fair” fits the bill, but personally I think it’s one of the worst anthems I’ve ever heard. The simplest solution would be to follow Spain’s direction: their anthem has no official lyrics, so you can just make up your own.

  8. Continuing my unsolicited thought: This is the Spanish national anthem

    I find something very amusing about the idea of Spanish people all rising together, putting their hands over their hearts and singing, “Na naa NA naa Nah na-na-na-na-naa-na-na-na Na Na Naaaa Nah na-na-na-na NAAAAAA!” I’m just going to go ahead and assume that this is what the people of Spain do at the beginning of football games when the anthems are being played.

  9. The french Canadian version of the anthem is gender neutral. And it doesn’t even mention God. It just makes a reference to Canadians able to carry their own cross and a little something about faith. But the word “Dieu” is nowhere to be seen. :D

  10. I am all for the change to gender-neutral language in the anthem. Actually, like others here, for the last little while the “God” bit bothered me slightly; it would be just as easy (and more accurate) to sing “We’ll keep our land…” rather than “God keep our land.”
    On a side note, when I was very young I thought the “We’ll stand on guard for thee” was “We’ll stand on god for thee.” So I assumed that this god character lived underground, like a ghost under the floorboards.

  11. I’m glad thatPeregrine said everything I would have. The conservative government took a LOT of heat for proroguing parliament, and now that they’re back, they’re dazzling and pandering to the opposition in the hopes that they’ll smile and look the other way.

  12. @Izzy: Actually the original French lyrics of “O Canada” involve both “the cross” (“la croix”) and being “steeped in faith” (“de foi trempee”), so while no deity is named you could hardly call it secular.

    @Carly: one of my students misheard “From far and wide we see thee rise” as “From far and wide we see their eyes”. A bit creepy.

  13. The Canadian anthem article reminded me of my high school fight song. It went, “…You do your best, boys. We’ll do the rest, boys. Cheer for the brown and white.” (Yes, brown and white. Worst. School colors. Ever.)
    This was still the song when I graduated in 1992. Hardly the dark ages. Of course our mascot was Chief Eaglebeak; the most offensive Native American caracature ever drawn. Go Terrors. ::sigh::

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