Skepchick Quickies 7.17


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. Interesting article about the vitamins (not as funny as the cracker though). My doctor (yes a real doctor who believes in evidence based medicine) does have me take fish oil. The reason is simple though. My triglycerides are double what they should be. It got me half way to where I need to be. Guess I am going to have to listen to him and cut back on the Mountain Dew, too. The stuff is like crack though. I love it! It is just so much easier to take something extra like a pill as opposed to stopping something you love (or are addicted to).

    I recently learned about some of the multi-vitamin BS, just after I got my big centrum supply from Sam’s club. That made me a bit sad. I do not eat a balanced diet at all, and I hardly eat any fruits & veggies. So maybe it isn’t a bad idea for me. But the logical thing would be to stop taking it and see if I have a deficiency. If I do, address that deficiency specifically. I suppose eating a balanced diet is another option, but I am lazy and cheap when it comes to making dinner.

  2. Yeah, I used to think multi-vitamins were a good idea because I don’t eat very well and often eat things that aren’t so much “food” as “stomach filler.” But with some potential health problems that I’ve had over the last couple years, I have had quite a few blood tests and haven’t really come up deficient.

    It seems that the most reasonable approach is to know your diet and risk factors, ask your Doctor about the sorts of deficiencies you might have and whether or not you need any tests, and then deal with specific problems with precise targeting rather than a general blanket of multivitamins.

    Also: I love the “Proof of Life” pic on “Save the Cracker”…hilarious idea.

  3. I wish one of the test groups in every vitamin/mineral study was a group eating actual fruits/vegetables with the vitamins/minerals in question to put an end to that particular debate.

    Another thing I would like to see is some real evidence for ramping up our consumption of antioxidants.

  4. damn. I was hoping #2 might have something more useful. or at least provide a plausible mechanism for this to work. sounds like another ‘BJs prevent cancer’ scam.

  5. Myxini: “I was hoping #2 might have something more useful. or at least provide a plausible mechanism for this to work. sounds like another ‘BJs prevent cancer’ scam.”

    Except, why would anybody bother with a scam to get women to tickle men’s testicles in their sleep? Maybe I’m atypical, but that thought doesn’t exactly turn me on.

  6. Hey, multivitamins got my body to where it is today. But then, maybe they’re responsible for the unnatural skin colour.

  7. TheCzech: perhaps ‘scam’ was the wrong word. unless there’s some connection between the nuts and the soft palate, I don’t see how this would work… except as a variation on the standard ‘make him move/wake him up’ method, only using fondling instead of an elbow to the ribs, for a more pleasant experience for him. call me petty, but I don’t care how pleasant it is for him if he’s keeping me from sleep. :P

  8. What, none of you heard the evil cackle that I let out when I read the stop-snoring article?

    My SO snores.

  9. Myxini, I suspect that it is a variation on the classic snoring interruption technique. I used to do some pretty extreme things to one of my roomates in college for this reason. He was typically so shitfaced that it was next to impossible to disturb him at all let alone wake him up.

    Amanda, mine does not, but she is a bed hog. As far as I can tell, there is no cure for that.

    I actually probably would snore when laying on my back except for one thing. I am such a light sleeper that I wake myself up with the first snort.

  10. I pinch my wife’s nose shut, and then she almost wakes up and moves. Usually the new position stops the snoring.

  11. I whole-heartedly endorse the snoring remedy. Not because it works, necessarily, but I would be more than happy to be a test subject. Often and repeatedly. No, really! I snore ya know!

  12. I am most certainly going to attempt the snore remedy though the ensuing limb fray might be tricky to elude :-)

  13. Re: Crackers.

    I’m not on the “you go, guy!” bandwagon that seems to have formed around cracker-napping.

    Write what you want, protest what you want, but participating in someone else’s ritual for the purpose of disrupting or demeaning it…I would hate to think of someone invading my privacy or the privacy of groups I belong to in that fashion.

  14. Josh, I had a similar response. The outrage and resulting blogs are funny, but it’s definitely at someone else’s expense. I think the whole transubstantiation concept is pretty silly, but these stunts probably aren’t exactly opening a dialogue about it between Catholics and unbelievers. Not that a dialogue would probably help anyway … *sigh*

    The one thing in the original articles that really irritated me was the comparison to kidnapping. If I understand correctly, the crackernapper could have fixed the whole thing by simply popping it in his mouth and eating it — tadaaa, the host is eaten and all is well! That doesn’t work so well with the victims of kidnapping. :P

  15. I don’t think that anyone disagrees that the whole cracker thing was started as a result of a GROSS overreaction by those media presences who represent the Catholics. From what the original story told, the kid never even really intended to KEEP the magic snack, but left the church with it after basically being assaulted over it.
    I know at least three people who have kept the ‘host’ and when the church folk found out they gave a reasonable and understandable offended head shake with maybe a tsk tsk. The reason for all the hub-bub isn’t an “I hate religion” mentality so much as a public demonstration of how crazy and unreasonable these Catholic jihadists can be with their death threats and public campaigns to get people fired.

  16. “If I understand correctly, the crackernapper could have fixed the whole thing by simply popping it in his mouth and eating it ”

    iirc from when I was Catholic (was both Roman and Byzantine at different times), you have to be in a ‘state of grace’ to avoid additional ‘sin’. So, it would be objectionable for a non-believer (again, iirc) to comsume a host…a priest would be within his rights (under church law) to not administer the sacrament if he believed the above states existed.

    But I think you’re correct, in that consuming it would have been much more (heh) palatable to the Catholic community than doggy (goddy?) baggin’ it. :)

  17. All that aside, kidnapping a cracker may be a tasteless (much like the cracker itself) way to make these points and all, but it IS still funny. It’s also important to realize that the vocal aspect of the debate doesn’t represent the opinions of all Catholics.

  18. Josh, thanks for the clarification about “state of grace” — hadn’t thought about that aspect of it.

    Detroitus, I’d had the same thought about the opinions of the Catholics I know. In my few conversations with Catholic friends about that doctrine, they usually say they believe it, but in a sort of shamefaced chuckling way that gives you the feeling it’s probably not a hill they’d die on. (Also, all of the really funny jokes I’ve heard about Jesus crackers came from Catholics.)

  19. If someone takes my name in vain because I’m taking the Lord’s name in vain, is that a double-negative or a meta-sin?

    Throw stones all you want, but if I get my picture of Bill Donohue frenching a tranny, you will all want to see it.

  20. I think the Catholics going so ape shit over the cracker thing (DEATH THREATS?) will only serve to make host-napping more wide spread. Plus I would assume the body of Christ would be able to take care of itself. What could we mere mortals – atheists at that – possibly do to harm the holy flesh? That being said, I do consider stealing wafers a bit juvenile.

    @the multi-vitamin debate:
    I eat a bowl (probably 3 “servings”) of Total Raisin Bran every day. I know that they spray on a coating to supposedly provide 100% of many vitamins per serving. Now I wonder if that’s any better or worse than taking supplements.

  21. CrackerBandit: “if I get my picture of Bill Donohue frenching a tranny, you will all want to see it.”

    Only if (s)he is hot. :)

    Re: multi-vitamins. I take one, off and on, because I have a crappy IT vendo-machine diet and I tend to feel better when I take one regularly every day/every couple of days.

    Exercise is even better, but a vitamin takes all of two seconds to swallow dry, even if I’m dog (god?) tired and in a rush.

  22. I was raised a catholic, and over the years, my views on the whole “cracker” issue have varied widely.
    I get the outrage, I really do. The whole idea of stealing the Eucharist (and the capitalisation is important) goes against everything that a good catholic is taught about the ritual of the mass, and the symbolic nature of consuming the Blessed Host.
    (the But is coming. Give me some more time.)
    I even remember my priest once marching down from the altar after a child at my primary school failed to place the Eucharist in his mouth and eat it at the altar, in the proscribed manner. We were taught how to hold our hands out, right over left, take a step to the left (to open up the line), pick up the cracker from our cupped hands, place it on the tongue and then cross ourselves.
    There were tests before we got confirmed in the faith.
    (This is getting long. I may get a little lost before the end.)
    The symbolism of the moment is a big part of what being a catholic is about, and how we view ourselves in relation to other faiths.
    The origin of the communion, as I recall from the hazy depths of my primary school indoctrination, was the last supper. That famous story of Jesus taking up the bread, and breaking it with his disciples. Passing the bread amongst them and saying the classic “This is my body” line.
    Since I was a Roman catholic, we even got the “This is my Blood” version, and got to sip from the communal cup of O-positive Jesus.
    The important thing to remember, that seems to have gotten lost in all of this, and missed by all the religious folks, is that even the original Last Supper was a symbolic thing.
    Jesus did not turn a hunk of bread into his own flesh, tear it up, and hand it around. Nor did he get all Interview with a Vampire on his homies, and make them take a big ol’ chug of Jesus Juice fresh from the jugular of God.
    So what the hell does it matter if some guy takes off with a symbolic piece of cracker?! All he’s doing is demonstrating his ignorance of the meaning of the ritual, and missing the point of the entire exercise.
    Which, in case anyone else wasn’t paying attention in Bible class, is to remember Jesus.
    For God’s sake, part of the ritual is a command to “Do this in memory of me”!
    Not “Protect the magically transformed tiny wafers of Jesus meat from unbelievers!”
    That’s all I got.

  23. Well, I think that Josh is being well taken care of.


    On Passover, at the Seder, (Rav, back me up), there are also ritual foods. I guess that none of them are considered to be representing the body of anyone, but I really like the taste of saltwater on parsley, and nobody ever freaked out about me getting too many Israelites’ tears when I kept dipping….where am I going with this. I don’t know.

    But, I mean, ok, how about incense? There is incense intended for puja (right, Masala?)…would these same Catholics back up their Hindu (oh, I forgot, they’re wrongheaded heathens) brethren if the Hindus got in a tizzy about some stoner using it to coverup the smell of pot instead of as an aid to prayer?

    (anyone remember the Hasidim getting in a tizzy after finding out that the hair for their wigs largely came from Indian hair that was shorn in a ritual – as I recall, it was the shearing that was the ritual, and the hair was just the leftover stuff, never used in any ritual,sold to wigmakers. Those crazy Jews burned a bunch of wigs in Brooklyn)

    I guess the thing is that the Eucharist, although believed to be sacred, is still meant to be consumed. It’s not a cathedral or work of art or book or anything. So…I don’t know. I’m with PZ and CrackerBandit on this one.

  24. “Throw stones all you want, but if I get my picture of Bill Donohue frenching a tranny, you will all want to see it.”

    C.O.T.W ?

  25. Honestly, if I had some silly personal ritual (alone or in a group) and some outsider came along and made off with a cracker or whatever, I wouldn’t care in the slightest. If I did find myself caring, I hope so many people would descend upon my little ritual and make off with crackers that it would force me to reassess my stance.

  26. As far as CrackerBandit goes, I vote for both tasteless and hilarious….and valid social commentary/satire. None of these traits are mutually exclusive.

    I personally think that being offensive is not only a valid aspect of satire, but sometimes a primary tool of satire. It’s no coincidence that some of the most biting and relevant social satire on television comes from South Park.

    NoAstronomer: “C.O.T.W ?”


  27. “I vote for both tasteless and hilarious….and valid social commentary/satire. None of these traits are mutually exclusive. ”

    I agree with this completely! Personally, I am a huge fan of tasteless humor. Especially when it has something t o say. Just because I agree with something doesn’t exactly make it tasteful…

    But honestly? I bet the cracker is sacrilicious!

  28. “Improbable Bee: If you kidnap and then eat me, I promise I won’t press charges.”

    OK, so maybe that’s not COTW-worthy by everybody else’s standards, but that’ll count as MY comment of the week! LOL!

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