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.”