Posted on August 30, 2008 by estherar
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?)
*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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Filed under: Vaccines | 20 Comments »
Posted on August 23, 2008 by estherar
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!
Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »
Posted on August 22, 2008 by estherar
…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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Filed under: Mommy wars | 5 Comments »
Posted on August 20, 2008 by estherar
Posted on August 19, 2008 by estherar
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?
Filed under: Breastfeeding | 18 Comments »
Posted on August 14, 2008 by estherar
Posted on August 13, 2008 by estherar
Posted on August 12, 2008 by estherar
I’ve made this observation in the comments before: There are treatments that have been shown to work and treatments that haven’t. The latter are what we call “woo”. Often, the woo-meisters accuse “allopathic” medicine of including certain treatments in the former category and excluding others because of monetary interests they hold – usually patents/licenses on drugs.
I’d like to point out a few folk-based therapies which look like woo, but apparently are not. As a result, they’re being tested and used as entirely conventional (if not yet common) therapies in the area of wound care. I’m pretty sure none of these can actually be patented, though, because they exist in nature and can be harvested by just about anyone with money and initiative.
Filed under: Alternative Medicine | 2 Comments »
Posted on August 7, 2008 by estherar
How many times have you Googled for reliable information on a ‘hot’ parenting issue, only to come up with thousands of links pointing to biased propaganda? It’s often hard to find the reliable sources among the multitude of links.
Filed under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »
Posted on August 5, 2008 by estherar
OK, it’s probably a wee bit of an exaggeration to call the medical establishment an empire. My excuse is that I live in a house full of Star Wars aficionados (everyone except me, that is), so it was bound to rub off on me sooner or later .
But I wanted to tell you about some new pro-vaccine Internet resources geared for laypeople that have popped up lately. While they are not part of the medical establishment per se, they do a good job of explaining mainstream medicine’s position regarding vaccines to that part of the public which is vulnerable to anti-vaccine scaremongering, and pointing them toward the applicable resources within the medical research which support the pro-vaccine position.
Filed under: Vaccines | 12 Comments »