Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


HuckleB's Journal
HuckleB's Journal
May 28, 2016


It's just that I'm done with the doctor bashing, and the lack of perspective.

May 28, 2016

Doctor bashers can go back to the end of the line.

I work at a primary care clinic. It's the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend. At 6:08 PM, I see a patient arrive with three daughters helping her. The doc could have easily told them to go to the ER. He/she did not. This is not uncommon in the practice where I work, or elsewhere.

Oh, and the reason I'm still here on such a Friday night is because I choose to see emergency mental health patients who have often waited the entire week to call for help, instead of calling when things actually hit the fan. I understand this. My family is not so forgiving, however. Luckily, they are mostly understanding.

The health care field is filled with incredible people, and I am among the least of those.

Please don't forget that.

May 28, 2016

"The Biggest Loser" Study Doesn't Prove Weight Loss is Impossible!

Good stuff, from Rebecca Watson.
May 28, 2016

OK Cupid Users Doxed in the Name of Science!



If you used OK Cupid between November 2014 and March 2015, congratulations! You may have been the unwitting subject of an open-access psychology study, by which I mean all your personal information may have just been released to the public, including your demographic data and sexual turn-ons, all attached to your username. (Find if your username was affected here.)

70,000 OKCupid users were doxxed this week by Emil O. W. Kirkegaard, a Danish linguistics grad student who likes to pretend he’s a working psychologist of some kind by publishing his own “journal” which mostly features his own “research.” Being the editor of your own made-up journal is handy because you don’t have to bother with things like peer review and ethical guidelines.

Usually I’m all for freedom of information, but you may have guessed that I’m not too thrilled about this data dump. That’s because Kirkegaard didn’t bother to anonymize the data. So it’s not just that now the entire world knows that someone out there is a 48-year old white gay guy who lives in Sheboygan and likes to be spanked and occasionally smokes pot, but they also know that his username is danielpguggenheim68, which may make it EVEN EASIER to figure out who he is. Note that I just made all that up — I’m not going to help the spread of the info.

But I don’t really need to, because the data has already been downloaded hundreds of times. So even if Kirkegaard goes back and anonymizes the data, the toothpaste is already out of the tube. He’s just doxxed 70,000 people, and possibly committed crimes in several different countries.





May 28, 2016

Supplements, Lies, and a Lengthy Transcript



First, let’s set the stage on which this drama plays out, according to two excellent books on dietary supplements, Natural Causes and Vitamania. In 1991, Congress passed the Nutrition Education and Labeling Act (NELA). Most famously, NELA, for the first time, required that all foods bear the now-familiar nutrition label. It also required that any health claims made for foods be backed by “significant scientific agreement.” Rep. Henry Waxman and others wanted the same standard applied to dietary supplement health claims. After all, if food companies had to meet a certain standard to make health claims for, say, calcium in their products, why shouldn’t claims for the health benefits of calcium in dietary supplement form be held to the same standard? But the supplement industry knew it couldn’t survive under such stringent rules and Sen. Hatch made sure it didn’t happen. All parties agreed to let the FDA decide what standard should be required of supplement health claims and left it at that.

Lo and behold, the FDA turned right around proposed a regulation that dietary supplement health claims would be held to the same “significant scientific agreement” standard. This could be met in one of two ways. The supplement company could submit the evidence to the FDA for review or show that the claim was backed by a statement from a recognized scientific authority, like the National Academy of Sciences. (Actually, this is still the standard for health claims, but DSHEA did away with the necessity of making health claims. The nebulous “structure/function” claim and the “substantiation” standard for evidence obviated the need go to all the trouble.)

Sen. Hatch and the industry were not amused. The industry started an absolutely false rumor that the FDA was out to “ban” or “take away” consumers’ supplements. Thus riled up, hundreds of thousands of people wrote and called Congress demanding that something be done. With that, let’s turn to the hearing itself.


Conclusion: DSHEA is still a terrible law that harms consumers

The real experts, those who hew to the standards of evidence-based medicine, are vocal in their condemnation of DSHEA and the profligate use of dietary supplements. (For example, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.) But as long as Orrin Hatch remains in the Senate and the dietary supplement industry continues to rake in billions, regulatory reform is unlikely."


In cased anyone missed it, the alt-med/supplement industry is supported mightily by Rethug scumbags like Orrin Hatch. They have worked to harm consumers, and enable scam artists to have free reign.

It's time that this stop.

May 27, 2016

Lead in school water: Portland officials didn't warn teachers, students of known contamination

Source: The Oregonian

Portland Superintendent Carole Smith apologized Friday for allowing students and teachers at two schools continue to drink tainted water after tests showed unsafe levels of lead.

Portland Public Schools spokeswoman Christine Miles told The Oregonian Thursday that school employees "immediately" cut off access to water from drinking fountains and sinks at Rose City Park and Creston schools when water samples turned up unacceptably high levels of lead.

But Smith acknowledged Friday that workers did not turn off water from fixtures shown to be emitting lead or warn students, employees and visitors not to drink it. Instead, they took steps to repair and replace plumbing but allowed the tainted water to flow as usual in the meantime.

At Rose City Park, that meant students were free to drink lead-laced water for eight school days after district officials knew about the toxic results.

Read more: http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2016/05/lead_in_school_water_portland.html#incart_big-photo

This Superintendent has been deceitful to parents from the word go. It is time for her to go.

May 27, 2016

PPS (Portland, OR, school district) 'regrets' not telling parents about lead in school water

Elevated Lead Levels Found in Water at Two Portland Public Schools

"Tests at Creston and Rose City Park elementary schools showed lead levels that exceed federal standards, according to an email sent to members of the Portland School Board on Wednesday night.

The testing dates as far back as two months ago, The Oregonian first reported Thursday.

Of the 56 fountains and sinks used for drinking water at Creston, six came back with elevated levels of lead.
Another eight came back with elevated lead levels at Rose City Park. The Rose City Park tests show three sinks and fountains had lead levels at or slightly above 30 parts per billion, according to a report district officials made available to parents.



PPS 'regrets' not telling parents about lead in school water

"PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland school district says tests have found high levels of lead in drinking water at two schools.

The district told KGW that elevated lead levels were found in six of 56 drinking fountains and other water sources that were tested this spring at Creston K-8.

Meanwhile, tests at its Rose City Park campus this spring also found lead levels above federal standards at eight of 36 fountains or sinks. Parents had requested the tests.

On Friday, Portland Public Schools sent a letter to parents about the lead tests and said it "regrets not having notified families and staff as soon as the tests indicated that there were elevated levels of lead."



Portland Finds Lead In Water At 2 Schools, Plans More Tests


My kid attends Rose City Park, which was just reopened a few years ago. How the district thought it was fine to open an old building without testing the water is simply bizarre. You test the water when you buy a house, FFS. What the press doesn't point out is that this took parent advocacy of immense proportions to get this testing moving.

I admit that I'm glad I send my kid to school with a water bottle, even though it was not because I worried about such things. It sucks for people who can't afford to do the same.

F-ing PPS!!!! Way to send out damage control e-mails after the press finally got on the story, and on the Friday afternoon before Memorial Day weekend. And the Superintendent is pretending that the district is testing because of Flint, when the reality is that parent advocacy drove this. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

May 27, 2016

Schrödinger's Cat Now Lives And Dies In Two Boxes At Once


"Schrödinger's cat now has a second box to play in, thanks to an international team of physicists that has created a two-mode "Schrödinger's cat state" for the first time. The experiment brings together two purely quantum properties, in that the "cat" (i.e. the photons) is simultaneously "alive and dead" (in a superposition of states) while also in two locations at once (the two boxes are entangled with one another).

The experiment is a step towards creating the larger and more sophisticated quantum states that are necessary to make quantum computing a reality. The team says that the work also demonstrates a two-logical-qubit system with in-built quantum error correction, making it a great resource for quantum metrology and quantum-communication networks.

Quantum cats

The famous Schrödinger's cat paradox, first proposed in 1935, is based on one of the most basic tenets of quantum mechanics – superposition. This arises because a microscopic particle such as a photon is considered to simultaneously be in all possible "states" (or spatial positions in this experiment) until a measurement is made and its wavefunction collapses. In the real "classical" world, however, macroscopic objects such as cats do not exist in a superposition of states. This is usually explained in terms of "decoherence", whereby a state loses its coherent quantum nature thanks to interactions with the environment. However, just where the boundary between the classical and quantum worlds lies is still a bit of a mystery.

Today, physicists can create multiparticle systems made up of many photons that are collectively in a superposition of two very different or extreme states. These are known as "Schrödinger's cat states" and are easily distinguishable from each other. These systems can be achieved in the lab using harmonic oscillators. The oscillation of a microwave field, for example, can be thought of a swinging pendulum and the two different states are equivalent to the pendulum at the far left or right of its swing. In a cat state, the pendulum is at both distinct positions at once. Such harmonic oscillators are preferable to using atoms to create the two extreme states because the two swing positions are far more distinct and are separated by a distance that can include large numbers of intermediate states.



Oh, that crazy cat!

May 26, 2016

Recent pieces on GMOs that I'm not willing to post in general forums.


Sweet Irony: The Environmental Impacts Of GMO Sugar Science Denial


FOIA. It’s the New Four-Letter Word.

Derek Lowe on Glyphosate and Cancer Claims


The Surprisingly Sudden Demise of the Anti-GMO Movement

How the EU starves Africa into submission

Europe can no longer turn its back on the benefits of genetically modified crops

Dear Christie Brinkley: We Aren’t Guinea Pigs

Why Many GMO Opponents Will Never Be Convinced Otherwise

Profile Information

Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 35,773
Latest Discussions»HuckleB's Journal