We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Wednesday, February 25. 2015
What drives the disease craze? Big Pharma, and insurance. Normal variants are labeled as diseases and disorders. Think ADD, ED, infertility, fear of dying, and on and on. I term them, smirkingly, "life-style disorders."
Here's an emerging new disorder: A Pill That Boosts a Woman’s Sex Drive Is Almost Here. But Do We Need It?
What shall we term the medical disorder which this pill fixes?
Tuesday, February 24. 2015
We have said here at Maggie's, for years, that a "healthy diet" cannot be defined without evidence, and there has never been any evidence. "Healthy" has just been bias, old-wives tales, and happy-sounding ignorance like "eat your peas and kale and fruit". All nonsense.
It's a big deal that even the slow-witted government finally comes around to what we have all known. America, go easy on the carbs, eat veggies only if you like them, use butter and olive oil, enjoy a fine steak when you can afford it, and do not become food-obsessed.
Sorry, Whole Foods, food quacks, and food faddists. You have been wrong all along. Docs finally now feel free to share the real facts, which they have known for years. I've never known a doc who would refuse a rare ribeye steak or filet mignon. Never known a vegetarian doc either, or a scientist who ate organic food. In fact, the biological scientists I know like to go to fancy French and fancy Italian restaurants as often as possible.
Monday, February 23. 2015
Wednesday, February 18. 2015
I think it still does, despite the challenges of cosmology. Does Science Need Falsifiability?
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 15:31 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, February 17. 2015
Rapamycin. Inside Novartis’s push to produce the first legitimate anti-aging drug
I am not recommending this as something to take. It's just interesting. Would I try it before all studies are done? Perhaps, just for fun. You can always stop.
Wednesday, February 11. 2015
Doctors have known that dietary fats are harmless, for years. Most were a bit afraid to say so, though, for fear patients would view them as ignorant.
I have been preaching low-carb, high-fat/high protein diets for ten years or more. It just goes to show how behind the government is, in most things. Not to mention the ultimate fate of most "expert opinion."
What other past superstitions disappear with this? The supposed special healthiness of fish and tofu, the evils of bacon, butter, red meat, eggs, cream, and chicken skin - and lots of others. It's about time, but it's tragic to think of all of those wonderful meals so many people passed up over the years because of junk science.
Photo is a wholesome American breakfast. Grains? No, except for a slice of bread to soak up the egg yolks. A little carbs are ok if you aren't on a diet.
The human species should be thanking God for GMOs.
Sunday, February 8. 2015
These programs are designed by Child Psychologists. Since when are they experts in this? I'd prefer a panel of grandmas, myself. Some kids, of course, are especially challenging if not impossible. Easy kids make parents look good; tough kids make parents look bad.
Friday, February 6. 2015
A brief history of marriage, by a gal who may have missed the boat: All the Single Ladies
Thursday, February 5. 2015
A wonderful character: Yitang Zhang
Wednesday, February 4. 2015
Heard a good talk from a senior MD/Philosopher Prof yesterday.
His main point was that disease is historically normal and natural, and absence of disease is abnormal. He said we in America live in an abnormal golden age of artificial, unnatural well-being thanks to modern medicine, and have thus tended to be seduced into thinking of health as the normal and natural state. He said we are in a frenzy of labeling things as diseases these days which would have been viewed as expectable misfortunes, the risks of life, the price of aging, the tragedy of existence.
He claimed that roughly half of us in the audience would have been dead already, in 1800. Childhood infectious disease, childbirth complications, cholera, birth defects, tetanus, influenza, pneumonia, TB, polio, diabetes, war, mental illness, mental retardation, accidents, cancers, urinary tract infections, animal bites, bug bites, fractures, heart attacks, - you name it. All normal and natural thanks to a harsh and indifferent Mother Nature who seems to want to disable and kill you - and she will. God may love you, but Nature - no.
He asked us to try to remember how many old folks, and even middle-aged hobbled around on canes, or sat in wheelchairs and rocking chairs, maybe gasping for breath, were half-blind, or had chronic pain or disabling depressions, in our youth when they now would be playing tennis and skiing.
He made the statistical point that life expectancy has changed very little in the past 200 years - if you exclude the childhood and youth infectious deaths, and the trauma injuries which would have resulted in death - which distort the stats and give the mistaken impression that old people are living significantly longer. He said few humans in states of nature lived past age 40.
He also made the point that wild animals always seem healthy. Why? Because the instant they have the slightest problem, something catches and eats them and they are gone. Sooner or later, they all get killed and eaten because something always goes wrong. Animal life is fleeting.
A useful and humbling perspective, I thought, for those of us in the healing professions. Yes, including those in the mental illness and behavioral problem field. Excellent mental health cannot even be defined.
Tuesday, February 3. 2015
Sunday, February 1. 2015
Measles is not particularly dangerous as infectious diseases go. Like Mumps (crazy names, aren't they?), serious sequelae are rare. Most people past 40 had Measles and/or Mumps or were exposed to them. However, these are those unpleasant things which had been eliminated in the Western world.
Vaccine Critics Turn Defensive Over Measles. Can we term these people superstitious know-nothings? Love this quote:
"It’s good to explore alternatives rather than go with the panic of everyone around you,” she said. “Vaccines don’t feel right for me and my family.”
They don't "feel right"? What?
Not long ago, parents tried to expose their kids to other kids with Mumps, Measles, and Rubella (German Measles) to get it over with during Grade School.
Friday, January 30. 2015
Monday, January 26. 2015
Mental-health practitioners whose clients kill themselves can face stigma from their colleagues, lawsuits, and a toll on their own psyches—making them less likely to take on suicidal patients who need their help.
Unlike most other medical specialties, where deaths are routine, suicide is imagined to be preventable. Very often it is not, any more than death from most cancers can be prevented. If all suicides were caused by simple depressions curable by a pill, that would be different. However, it's not like that. Intractable, relentless emotional pain is only one of many paths to suicide.
Like most Psychiatrists, I have had a number of them in my practice. It happens if you take on difficult cases or cover ERs. Despite all I know about suicide, it still does shake one's confidence and excites the ambulance-chasers. Most suicides, of course, never seek any help from physicians, and some who do, lie.
Sunday, January 25. 2015
Saturday, January 24. 2015
Wednesday, January 21. 2015
Look, everybody must come to terms with the fact that most people will not like us, or be interested in us, or want to help us. That's part of growing up. Despite that, there are plenty of people out there who want a friend. We have to understand that others, like us, are discriminating in their own ways. When friendships and relationships do click, it sure is fun and life-enriching, isn't it?
I once helped a very shy young fellow deal with his fear by commanding him to introduce himself to a pretty girl on a daily basis - including in NYC stores (eg Bloomingdale's), gourmet food markets, and supermarkets. He complied bravely with great faith in my advice, and in a very few instances somebody liked the cut of his jib and his (apparent) confidence and phoned him. Cured by Reality Therapy! He did not become thicker-skinned, just realistic.
Sunday, January 18. 2015
Here is A letter to Thomas Merton
I read somewhere that Bob Dylan (a self-described "song and dance man") once tried to meet a girl in front of NYC's Metropolitan Museum by asking her "D'ya want to come in with me to look at some pretty pictures?"
Cute, and right. Better than "Come up and see my etchings." The young woman in question, if I recall the story right, said "No, thanks" to the scruffy little guy.
Like most people, I do not know what art means. It's maybe a useless word. "Craft" is a very useful word. "Creative" is a useless word unless applied to Michelangelo, Picasso, or Shakespeare, but even then I dislike the word.
Friday, January 16. 2015
Thursday, January 15. 2015
The errors in Dr. Friedman's NYT article on depression
It has always seemed grandiose to me, but I understand that Frankl needed to find some purpose or reason to hang on, as do most people in prison camps. In the end, he produced a work which is inspiring to many.
It's easier for me, with an ordinary life, to get my mind around the search for simpler things like money, good food, romance, being useful, raising kids, living with integrity, being a good friend and spouse, and the like. When it comes to ultimate meaning, I'll go with Jesus and won't presume to invent my own. I am not smart or inspired enough to do that even if I wanted to.