Quickies: Supplements sending people to the ER, the woman who invented software, and antioxidants may speed metastasis

  • “Health” supplements send 23,000 to ERs in US each year – “The number of emergency department visits attributed to supplement-related adverse events that we identified is probably an underestimation, since supplement use is underreported by patients, and physicians may not identify adverse events associated with supplements as often as they do those associated with pharmaceuticals.”
  • Her code got humans on the moon and invented software itself – “It might surprise today’s software makers that one of the founding fathers of their boys’ club was, in fact, a mother—and that should give them pause as they consider why the gender inequality of the Mad Men era persists to this day.”
  • Antioxidant use may promote melanoma metastasis – “”The idea that antioxidants are good for you has been so strong that there have been clinical trials done in which cancer patients were administered antioxidants,” noted Dr. Morrison. “Some of those trials had to be stopped because the patients getting the antioxidants were dying faster. Our data suggest the reason for this: cancer cells benefit more from antioxidants than normal cells do.”” From Mary.
  • Coconuts in medieval England weren’t as rare as Monty Python would have you think – “These impossible coconut-horses literally echo throughout the movie, and so does the sketch, as before he is forced to examine a witch, Sir Bedevere attempts to fly a coconut-laden swallow. Audiences are left in stitches and thoroughly convinced of the impossibility of coconuts existing in medieval England. Except medieval England was lousy with coconuts. No, really, and Monty Python may well have known it.”
  • Cute Animal Friday! Look at these beautiful snow leopard sisters.


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

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  1. This is a comment from the Sci Am piece, one of many:

    Vioxx killed in upwards of 500,000 Americans and the FDA didn’t do anything about it.. So .. If history is to judge, supplements are VASTLY safer than ‘vetted’ prescription drugs.. Ok?

    We cant let the pharmaceutical industry get away with their issues either (including high prices, doctored studies, etc.) , as was aptly illustrated during the recent Democrat president hopeful’s debate.

  2. One of my favourite authors was a programmer in that era. From http://www.sylviaengdahl.com/se-faq.htm#personal

    “From 1957 to 1967, I was a programmer and then computer systems specialist for the SAGE Air Defense System, at a time when programming was a brand new field and trainees with degrees in other areas were being hired. I worked entirely in assembly language, doing mainly what’s now called systems programming; higher level languages did not yet exist.”

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