Links, I want to be more than friends.

Lots of links this week!  We were cracking up before Tuesday with all the internet hilarity.  A good week for the internets.  We’re even moving some posts to next week’s link love so as not to overwhelm.

We agree with LAL, there is very little worth paying to store long-term.  Use it or get rid of it.  My BIL and SIL recently learned this lesson when they cleared out their long-term storage and realized they didn’t actually want anything in there.  (Though on the plus side, some of that stuff was stuff they’d borrowed from DH!  It would have been cheaper to return it before paying to store it.)

Interesting debate about homeopathy in a medical school.  People, I like science.  I also like plants.  But I like science-based plants.  I like making money, and improving lives, and railing against the American “health”care system.  But somehow I seem to like science more.  I’m not very well informed about most of this, but I kinda think there’s a difference between acupuncture and homeopathy.  Anyone with evidence can feel free to inform me in the comments!  (#2 notes:  If homeopathy is real then we’re all drinking essence of poo.)

Speaking of science:  presented without comment.  (#2 comments:  No links to the big firestorm that Historiann reported on?  Also, why don’t people who do medical science research understand statistics?)

For all you academics hating the month of April (Hatepril), here is a poem about the utter futility of it all. Ah, grading.

Finding Serenity with a nice list of illegal financial things people do.

The cast of the Importance of Being Earnest doing dramatic readings of Jersey Shore transcripts.

Amazon’s $23,698,655.93 book about flies from Micheleisen.

Jacq sent us this one from the onion about how words can truly hurt on student evals.

Here is your blast-from-the-past fond memory of the day:

Also, a new Simon’s Cat video so adorbz you may cry:

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17 Responses to “Links, I want to be more than friends.”

  1. Comrade PhysioProf Says:

    “Also, why don’t people who do medical science research understand statistics?”

    I DO!!!!!!!!

  2. Cloud Says:

    I don’t do medical research, but I will confess to being weak on statistics. I was a chemistry major and not a biology major, so I learned multivariable calculus instead. It is never relevant in my career these days. Statistics occasionally would be. One of these days I’m going to get around to fixing that whole in my background.

    But at least I know what I don’t know!

    On the alternative medicine front, I know that yoga has done what none of the traditional medical approaches I tried could do- namely, keep my repetitive strain injury in check (People! Be careful with how you use your computer! Particularly if you plan on using it every day all day for a living. An RSI is forever.)

    But I think homeopathy is utter bunk, and herbal medicines are just impure medicines. If there is a plant that does something useful, I’d rather someone study it, figure out what the active ingredient is, and purify away all the other crap that is doing no good and quite possibly doing harm.

    • Comrade PhysioProf Says:

      If there is a plant that does something useful, I’d rather someone study it, figure out what the active ingredient is, and purify away all the other crap that is doing no good and quite possibly doing harm.

      One of the important recent realizations of natural products research is that it is frequently a combination of multiple chemical constituents that gives natural products their beneficial bioactivity. This means that if you try to perform a traditional chemical fractionation to isolate the active component, you are doomed to fail because once you separate the multiple components the bioactivity is lost.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Isolated THC just isn’t the same, eh?

      • Comrade PhysioProf Says:

        I have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I do hear it has an effect on memory.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        “One of the important recent realizations of natural products research is that it is frequently a combination of multiple chemical constituents that gives natural products their beneficial bioactivity. This means that if you try to perform a traditional chemical fractionation to isolate the active component, you are doomed to fail because once you separate the multiple components the bioactivity is lost.”

        YES! This! this yes yes yes. THANK you, CPP. Plants are complex. Their power depends on where and how they were grown, and even when. It depends on how they are used and combined with other things.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Though that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to distill etc. For one thing, plants don’t give consistent LEVELS and are difficult to standardize. Herbal overdoses are scary things and can be caused by varying potency. (Hint: if you need to be induced, use Pitocen, not Cohosh.)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I think my other half was saying don’t give herbal remedies willy-nilly to pregnant women (duh).

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Not exactly. Cohosh can be used to induce labor. So can pitocin. The active ingredients in cohosh are not standard in every herbal dose. So you take some, it doesn’t work. Then you overdose and your labor goes much too quickly. You have no idea what you’re actually taken because strength is not controlled across each plant. Pitocin can be carefully measured and carefully controlled.

        The same kind of thing is true with progesterone. It is important to be able to measured doses of the active ingredients. You cannot do that with “natural” versions, even if they’re supposed to be superior.

        Idiots on the internet often recommend natural herbal remedies as “better” and they can lead to disastrous consequences. It is important to try to figure out what works in herbal remedies whether it is one active ingredient or a mixture. That way appropriate and controlled doses can be given. Just giving up and saying oh it’s a mixture of ingredients that works is stupid. It means it is more difficult to isolate the active ingredients, not that we should stop trying.

        And I’m pretty sure the “wut” was about CPP’s weed habit, not about the importance of being able to give measured doses of medication.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We shake our tiny fists at the American education system. Statistics should be required for EVERYONE.


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