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Paul Offit on NPR

I’m ba-aaack! And fresh both from a wonderful vacation and from a not quite so wonderful reading of Dr. Robert Sears’ The Vaccine Book. I’ll be writing about the experience (if you can call it that – let’s just say it was not a pleasure. I’m afraid the man has has his father’s bent for misrepresenting scientific literature) in several future blogposts, but in the meantime, I recommend listening to this 18-min. podcast of an interview with Paul Offit, MD, vaccine expert and author of the soon-to-be-released Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure . Especially interesting is the mindset (set in stone, that is) of an anti-vax caller named Chantelle and Offit’s – and that of the show’s host, Ira Flatow – answers to her. Chantelle is obviously beyond convincing, and the truth is that the aluminum-in-vaccines issue is somewhat more complex than Dr. Offit’s remarks let on*, but largely, he sounds coherent and truthful – at least to my (admittedly biased) ears.

UPDATE: Liz Ditz at I Speak of Dreams has Chantelle’s (I mispelled her name, apparently) take on her radio performance. At MDC, where else? (And guess who she’s been reading lately?)

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*One of Bob Sears’ hallmarks is his unhealthy obsession with aluminum in vaccines. We’ll be looking at this issue, and how valid these concerns are, in a future post.

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See you later…

I’ll be on holiday for the next week.

No computer, just hiking, swimming, and berry-picking. And Dr. Bob Sears’ The Vaccine Book, of course ;).

Bye for now!

When I grow up, I want to be…

…a Beta Mom:

And now an anti-Alpha movement is taking hold. Those moms have it together sometimes. They may forget to send back permission slips or lose track of their turn for team snacks. They don’t necessarily have the catchy name, though some call themselves Beta Moms or even Slacker Moms as they urge their peers to chill.

Some, including former CBS TV news anchor René Syler, have written books advising the Alphas to lighten up.

“Our children are people — not projects,” says Syler, 44, of Westchester County, N.Y. “Motherhood is not a contest.”

“We get to the finish line. It’s OK to chill out a little bit and let your kids be independent, and individuals, and revel in who they are,” says Syler, author of Good-Enough Mother: The Perfectly Imperfect Book of Parenting.

Actually, I think I already may be one by default, because I sure can’t make the cut for the Alpha Mom role. Might as well be proud if it, eh?

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I see a Nobel Prize in someone’s future…

…if this is accurate:

Transfusion breakthrough as human blood grown from stem cells.
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NIP (Nursing in Public) – but tuck, too

You read about it once in a while in the papers, often highlighted by mommyboards: A woman breastfeeds her infant in a store, eatery or mall, and is either asked to remove herself and her baby from the scene (possibly a bathroom) or cover up. The local LLL and nursing mommies respond in a fury – HOW DARE THEY?! – and next thing you know, the offending institution is besieged by nursing mommies, all breastfeeding their babies in a form of protest called a ‘nurse-in’. Just to teach them benighted buggerers a lesson, y’know.

I can sort of understand when these sort of things happen in the Bible Belt. But when they happen in such enlightened places as Vancouver, British Columbia, it really makes me start to wonder. I don’t know the particulars of this one incident, and there are probably unenlightened people everywhere…but could it possibly be that in at least some of these cases, women may have had more, um, liberal ideas regarding modesty than the surrounding population?
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Why I’m not a millionaire

Because I could never have the cojones (or rather, the lack of ethics) to sell a product like this:


I mean, we all know that drinking water can help you lose weight, but this is just plain ridiculous!

I hear the Japanese really go for it, though. Well, maybe except for the Sumo wrestlers.

As far as I can tell, the item’s for real – though snopes.com is oddly silent regarding this…

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Da Roolz

I added a new link to my blogroll yesterday: Musings of a Distractible Mind. It’s written by Dr. Rob, a primary care physician who is board-certified in both internal medicine and pediatrics. The blog isn’t only about medicine, but a good many of the posts tend to end up that way, naturally.

I especially liked Dr. Rob’s take on the doctor-patient relationship and the “rules” he proposes to define it:

Doctor Rules
Patient Rules

I especially like the way he presents it as being a 2-way street, that both parties must strive to be mentschen. (Well, all parties if you include the office staff as well).

Naturally, I also liked this post about vaccines. ;)

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