“Don’t worry, it’s harmless”

…is what the marijuana crowd has been telling us since I was a toddler in the Eisenhower Administration. Well, if the States are a Laboratory for Democracy, I’d say that the Marijuana Experiment is crashing from the “unexpected” side effects. Peter Hitchens, writing in The Spectator comments Marijuana has been the beneficiary of one of the slickest, most sustained advertising campaigns in human history. Not only do millions believe it is some sort of medicine. Most people, even law enforcers, describe it as a ‘soft’ drug. This is an absurdity. Lifelong mental illness is not a ‘soft’ outcome. Why, it’s … Continue reading “Don’t worry, it’s harmless”

The Urban Chicken Sicken Movement

Salmonella anyone?  Looks like the country’s largest source of salmonella infections comes from personal poultry. From tainted pre-cut melons to pig-ear dog treats, there’s been a slew of recalls this year due to outbreaks of salmonella infections. Yet by far the biggest source of the bacteria hasn’t involved a recall at all. It stems from backyard flocks, the growing trend of raising chickens and other poultry for eggs and companionship. What kind of sick-pup lightweight keeps chickens for companionship?  Eggs, meat, compost, manure, bug control, and a back-up alarm clock, OK.  But companionship?  That’s some kind of seriously anti-social tic. … Continue reading The Urban Chicken Sicken Movement

To every thing, there is a season

Most of us are aware of the seasonal cycle of influenza outbreaks, which for Americans peak in the winter. In a new paper, Micaela Martinez, PhD, a scientist at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, makes a case that all infectious diseases have a seasonal element. The “Pearl” article appears in the journal PLOS Pathogens. [my emphasis] We all knew this, we just didn’t know we knew this.  Some folks are recognized as geniuses for explicating the obvious.  I’m look at you, Micaela Martinez. Tip from Austin Bay writing at the Instatpundit,  who, like the BlogFather himself, can … Continue reading To every thing, there is a season

Hunting the Wild Placebo

The New York Times’ Gary Greenberg asks “What if the Placebo Effect Isn’t a Trick?” and gets some interesting answers.  Along the way, he tells the interesting history of the placebo and how it has become a standard in FDA=approved clinical trials.  My only question for the FDA is this:  if someone were to attempt to certify a placebo effect, what would you compare it to? Tip from Drudge, who, like a blind squirrel, occasionally finds a fresh nut, and never leaves a permalink. Continue reading Hunting the Wild Placebo

Feline Fatal Attraction

I’ve long maintained that toxoplasma gondii is a pernicious parasite, and that folks with outdoor cats are taking a huge health risk.  Turns out there’s solid research backing my opinion. The psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey agrees… His opinion stems from decades of research into the root causes of schizophrenia. “Textbooks today still make silly statements that schizophrenia has always been around, it’s about the same incidence all over the world, and it’s existed since time immemorial,” he says. “The epidemiology literature contradicts that completely.” In fact, he says, schizophrenia did not rise in prevalence until the latter half of the … Continue reading Feline Fatal Attraction

Today I learned some new phrases

Say what you will about mindlessly surfing the Internet, I’m always learning something in my semi-random virtual peregrinations Those places aren’t sh!th*les, they’re “fecalized environments,” I had no idea the urge to knock 20 pounds off my lazy ass was “healthism,” and Skipping the purchase of a shooting vest kept me from becoming a “tactical hobo.” I do have a long-standing peeve against the phrase “earth tones” when applied to clothing.  In my experience that means dirt-colored, for which the widespread remedy seems to be washing everything together in hot water, so it all comes out a dingy grey, like … Continue reading Today I learned some new phrases

Artichoke and Shellfish Soup

So I was suddenly confronted with a windfall of canned shellfish when our local WalMart Neighborhood store closed this month.  I decided to get even more serious about recipes based on McIntosh’s Tin Fish Gourmet.  She gives a simple recipe for Oyster and Artichoke Stew, which I embellished beyond all recognition into this rich, creamy (and low-carb) soup: 1 carrot, thinly sliced 1 celery rib, thinly sliced 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced 1 can artichoke hearts, halved 2 tbsp cooking oil 2 oz butter 1/4 cup flour 1 cup milk 1/4 cup sour cream 1 or 2 tins of diced … Continue reading Artichoke and Shellfish Soup

Do you have King Salmon in a can?

At last, we tinned fish eaters will have our day!  Aaron Gilbreath pens an Ode to Canned Fish, and it’s  a treat. Just a few minutes with Bing found some great suggestions from the Chowhound.  What’s not to like?  I’ve just ordered McIntosh’s Tin Fish Gourmet, and I’ll post recommendations as I try recipes. Tip from American Digest, which is patronized by a band of deplorable band of canned fish and (gasp!) Spam eaters. Continue reading Do you have King Salmon in a can?