Quickies: Flaming Trombones, an Indian Witchhunter Hunter, and Racism in Medicine

  • The patient called me ‘colored girl.’ The senior doctor training me said nothing – “As my clinical training progressed, I had several opportunities to point out intolerance and injustice. I always chose amicability over advocacy. I didn’t want to jeopardize my grades and evaluations by calling attention to intolerance, so I stayed silent instead of voicing the values I believed in.”
  • Openly out in science: To be or not to be? – “Kate* is a PhD student in molecular biology at an Australian university who identifies as bisexual. However, she became less open about her sexuality following negative experiences with her supervisor and lab colleagues. In casual conversation, colleagues would flippantly say ‘faggot,’ or use ‘gay’ as a synonym for ‘bad.’ The situation became personal when her supervisor alluded to her sexuality in front of a new lab member in a joke. Her supervisor then made matters worse by explaining the joke and directly outing her.” From Donna.
  • The Indian woman who hunts the witch hunters – “Travelling extensively and braving attacks and ridicule, the indefatigable 66-year-old crusader has spoken at meetings, held awareness camps, and taught school lessons about the dastardly practice. She has stormed police stations and lobbied authorities demanding protection for the victims. In the past decade, Ms Rabha has rescued some 35 women branded as witches.” From cerberus40.
  • It’s not just video games — tabletop gaming has a harassment problem too – “In addition to generating considerable discussion about the issue of sexism in tabletop gaming, Garland’s Tumblr post has garnered dismissal from both sides of the gaming cultural divide — the socially progressive side pushing the culture to be more feminist, diverse, and inclusive, and the more socially conservative side that resists, in their view, extreme and unnecessary change.”
  • How Two Grad Students Uncovered An Apparent Fraud — And A Way To Change Opinions On Transgender Rights – “The center has a different technique, one that’s structured more like a Socratic dialogue and can take as long as 20 minutes to get through and on average lasts 10 minutes. Canvassers are aiming for a conversation, in which they ask questions and the subject gets to talk. They don’t tell people ahead of time what conclusion they want to reach. There’s no sermon built in. The goal is that, by the end, subjects will have built up empathy with a group of people different from themselves.”
  • Musician Invents a Trombone That Shoots Flames Out Of It – There’s not much to say except that there is a video at the link. 
  • The electrifying fitness technique that has doctors worried – “The process is called whole body electrical muscle stimulation, often abbreviated as ES or EMS. Electrodes stuck on the abdomen, chest, and legs deliver a current that shocks the muscles into contracting, similar to how they’d tense up during a workout. Sounds simple, but there are hidden risks: Doctors writing in a recent BMJ editorial describe a 20-year-old man who needed hospital treatment for five days after suffering severe rhabdomyolysis, or breakdown of muscles. He’d undergone a session of whole body electrical stimulation under the supervision of a fitness professional.”

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Mary Brock works as an Immunology scientist by day and takes care of a pink-loving princess child by night. She likes cloudy days, crafting, cooking, and Fall weather in New England.

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  1. Regarding tabletop games and a new #Gamergate, it is what it is. You have the vast majority of nerds, and then you have those few bad apples who…I don’t even know what motivates them.

  2. Electrostim for muscle is one of those silly ideas that keeps. coming. back.

    There was a quack device called the ‘relaxerciser,’ I think all the way back in the 50s. I read somewhere that they were eventually used to punish disobedient mental patients before they were withdrawn.

    There was another one that had B-movie queen Sybil Danning posed in their magazine ads with electrodes on her abdomen.

    I don’t think any of these gadgets survived any inquiry. But of course U.S. regulation is so feeble that I doubt any fortunes were lost to fines or penalties.

    1. Yet “interferential” therapy, widely used in physiotherapy to treat sports injuries, is somewhat similar.

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