Quickies

Quickies: Unregulated Medical Marijuana, the Popularity of Paranormal Pseudoscience, and the Myth of Poor People’s Eating Habits

  • The Dark Side of Medical Marijuana’s Miracle Drug – “Certain compounds in cannabis have serious medical potential for everyone from cancer patients to children suffering from seizures. But patients and parents have no way to distinguish the snake oil salesmen from the trustworthy companies.”
  • The 1980s Book Series That Literally Claimed It Had to be Read to be Believed – “These were all commercials for Time-Life’s Mysteries of the Unknown series, a mail order book series that not only blanketed the airwaves with unforgettable commercials, but captured the zeitgeist of a burgeoning New Age explosion. The book series was a collection of thin, black volumes that delved into every corner of the mystical, metaphysical, and paranormal.” Come for the paranormal pseudoscience, stay for the bonus retro commercials. I totally remember watching these as a kid!
  • Take a Valium, Lose Your Kid, Go to Jail – “In Alabama, anti-drug fervor and abortion politics have turned a meth-lab law into the country’s harshest weapon against pregnant women.” This is what happens when you combine Zero Tolerance policies with the War on Drugs and the War on Women.
  • How a Fake Typhus Epidemic Saved a Polish City from the Nazis – Doctors figured out a brilliant scheme to fake positive test results using an immunological trick.
  • The repugnant myth of the poor’s unhealthy eating habits – “A recent Centers for Disease Control survey of 5,000 American children and adolescents age 2 to 19 offers proof that poor people not only don’t consume more fast food than those with higher incomes, they actually consume slightly less. The study, which looked at figures from 2011-’12, found that ‘no significant difference was seen by poverty status in the average daily percentage of calories consumed from fast food among children and adolescents aged 2 to 19.’ In fact, the poorest children surveyed got the least amount of their daily calorie intake from fast food, at just 11.5 percent. That number rose to 13 percent for their more affluent peers.”
  • How I Deal with Racist Patients – “When a patient requested ‘no Indian doctors,’ I expected the hospital higher-ups to stick up for me. But they didn’t.”

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Mary

Mary

Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

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4 Comments

  1. September 28, 2015 at 9:49 am —

    Snort… Used to own at least “some” copies of that book series, as well as some of the fairy ones. Think my parents, at the time, where into a sort of, “I get Time, so these books might be interesting.”, or it was one of those, “We are sending you the first one in the series, if you like it, buy more of them.”, things. They did that a lot. Pretty sure it was the later, because, while I remember the books, I don’t remember the contents. So, we never got all of them, never mind most of them.

    Funny, now.. they might be like.. collectors items, or something, given the rarity. lol

  2. September 28, 2015 at 12:47 pm —

    Re-The Dark Side of Medical Marijuana’s Miracle Drug .

    Peoplee say it cures everything but is that the actual truth? How do people know if they are being taken for a ride or there is actual hope?

    “We do have kids who are doing very well on certain products, and some who have gotten worse, and some who have no response, and everything in between,” May said. “The bottom line is you’re kind of on your own, with anything you could try. You’re in charge of figuring it out for yourself.”

    I feel for these people trying to figure it out on their own. Something needs to give.

  3. September 28, 2015 at 3:47 pm —

    Mary,

    I hope the government, once medical marijuana is legal federally, finds a way to regulate it in such a way that we can determine which are the snake oil salesmen and which are the trustworthy companies.

  4. September 28, 2015 at 3:59 pm —

    The doctors who faked that Typhus epidemic were heroes! They were also very brave! They risked their lives to save all those people. Could you imagine if they had been caught by the Nazis?

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