Health

Category archives for Health

Why Am I Still Skinny?

I’m 36 and still as skinny as in my teens (BMI 20). Why is that, I have wondered. I have a desk job, I eat every three waking hours, I drink sweet tea and snack on cookies, I do no sports outside the marital bedroom, I scoff at gyms and jogging. Contributing factors to my…

Jeff Had Some Good Last Days

Jeff Medkeff’s friend, co-blogging under the pen-name Iatros Polygenos (“mongrel doctor” if my Greek serves me), offers a detailed account of our friend’s last days. Turns out that Jeff died during a trip to England where he was having a blast, visiting Darwin’s home, the Royal Observatory in Greenwich and other great sites! I’m very…

Big Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet heads today’s edition with a two-page story about surgical hymen (re-)construction. The news is that a number of tax-funded Stockholm clinics offer the procedure for a fee of about $40 (SEK 260), and ample space is also devoted to an explanation of why the whole thing is controversial. (Patriarchy, honour-based…

The Austrian city of Salzburg has been hit by a measles outbreak among private-school children. Measles are no laughing matter, and thankfully outbreaks like these are rare in the West these days thanks to vaccination. So it comes as no surprise that the school in question is the Rudolf-Steiner-Schule in Mayrwies, a Waldorf school run…

A couple of recent Skepticality interviews (with environmental engineer Kelly Comstock and environmental toxicologist Shane Snyder) taught me something that may seem obvious, but which was radical news to me. Tap water is an industrial product. It occurs nowhere in nature. Water suppliers use natural water to make tap water according to current scientific understanding…

German Incest Case

Locksmith Patrick Stübing and Susan Karolewski are a German couple with four children. They are also full biological siblings. “Eeeeewww”, I hear you say. And I agree. Eeeeewww. But why do we feel that way? The incest taboo is as close to a cultural universal as you can get, and is most likely genetically determined.…

Guide Dog Activism and Allergies

An blind activist buddy of mine is on the war path. This time it’s about guide dogs on Swedish Rail: “Three years ago I got a guide dog. It turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done. Since then, my life has changed fundamentally. I exercise to an extent that I…

Scintillating Scotoma

Last night I suffered a less than hour-long bout of scintillating scotoma. It’s a weird kind of snow crash in your visual cortex where part of your field of vision is replaced by sparkly geometric patterns. It happens to me once every few years and is sometimes associated with a headache, sort of migraine lite.…

US Stoners Afraid to Report ODs

A stoner friend (who is also a dedicated father of two and a successful computer consultant) sent me a link to a sad and thought-provoking story. A Seattle teen girl takes ecstasy with her friends, the drug apparently triggers undiagnosed diabetes, she dies from ketoacidosis. The girl’s friends tend to her for hours before she…

What’s Ailing Grandpa Surisvatay?

With mounting frustration, I’m watching an attempt to secure adequate health care for an elderly relative turn into something that looks a lot like a failed foreign aid project.