White Coat Underground

Archives for September, 2009

Placebo is not what you think it is

If I read one more crappy article about placebos, something’s gotta give, and it’s gonna be my head or my desk. Wired magazine has a new article entitled, “Placebos Are Getting More Effective. Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why.” Frequent readers of skeptical and medical blogs will spot the first problem: the insanely nonsensical claim…

Swine flu: what you can and can’t do

Influenza kills somewhere around 36,000 Americans every year (and perhaps twice that number, depending on the estimate). The novel A H1N1 (“swine”) flu circulating this year has found a world population with little natural immunity (at least those of us under 65—older folks may have some immunity from previous pandemics). The attack rate is ridiculously…

BMI TMI update

Weigh in this morning: 205 lbs. Still looking asymptotic, but decreasing. Yea! I had some stress-related over-eating, which isn’t (obviously) a good coping mechanism, but in general, I’m doing better.

The Drake Passage is infamous. Supposedly, it’s nearly impossible to make the crossing to without throwing up—-a lot. But few “civilians” ever get to experience the passage, and it’s ultimate goal—-Antarctica. Devorah Bennu is an exceptional science writer and photographer. Reading her blog is like getting a daily dose of National Geographic, except free and…