Weekend Reading (Thanksgiving Edition)

Image via Le Canard Noir


If you’re Canadian, it’s a long weekend. I’m heading to rural Eastern Ontario to pick apples and eat pie. I hope your weekend is just as enjoyable. Here’s some reading while you digest…

  • This is a great column from August, pointed out to me by Kennedy Goodkey on Facebook. It’s written about the Mars Curiosity, but it’s really not about that at all. It’s about the importance of science. What Mars means to Earth:

Science is reality.

At a time when a large and increasing fraction of the U.S. population does not “believe in” science (i.e., objectively provable reality) – or, worse, has bought into the idea that science is just one choice on the reality menu – NASA has again given concrete reason to understand that science works, and that science is not an option, not a theory, not a menu item, but instead represents the finest efforts of human minds in understanding, and addressing, objective reality.

  • Allowing pharmaceutical manufacturers to promote drugs for unapproved or “off-label” uses is generally prohibited, to ensure that drugs are marketed according to the evidence reviewed and approved by regulators. But not all appropriate uses are submitted by manufacturers and approved by regulators. So what’s the solution? France has some interesting ideas.
  • A recent column in the Toronto Sun misrepresents data on the safety and efficacy of water fluoridation. Skeptic North debunks this fluoride fallacy.

The proliferation of compounding pharmacies specializing in BHT has become a largely unmonitored supply chain of untested products, responding to, but also driving demand for, products that are not the standard of care

Now it seems that a compounding pharmacy has contaminated vials of methylprednisolone acetate with the fungus Aspergillus. The FDA noted during an inspection that there was visible contamination in vials. Used for epidural injections, there have been 47 cases of meningitis reported already, and the number infected may be 5000. Five deaths have already been attributed to this compounded drug product.

6 thoughts on “Weekend Reading (Thanksgiving Edition)

  1. i am surpraised about your useless & timepass discussions about thrusting scientific evidence or evidence based approach. that’s why, in so called scientifically advanced countries incidence of unknown & complicated new new diseases are cropping-up again and again, you are unable to cure leukoderma, asthama, diabetes, cancer , chickengunya, dengue fever etc. all false claims in the guise of scientific evidece. few decade back when science was not so much advaced as of now, incidence of diseases were very low. now in the name of science you are all doing day robbery, making money unethically. your treatments & methods are suited only to rich , not to the poor or midddle class.

    for god sake stop yopur claim of scientific evidence with regards to the health aspects. obey nature, nature will protect by natural remedies. do not do anti- propagonda about nature cure. it is commom sense that natural remedies are not chemical based , un doubtedly harmless. then why you are scaring the people. just to promote your vested, selfish interest of making money by hook or crook.
    how did your anceisters survived in olden days ?

    for heaven sake realize, realize.

    may jesus bless you -scientific community.


      • Nice try venkatesh. Happy: who knows? But healthy? Most assuredly health and longevity are better today. And since health is one of the factors affecting happiness, happiness is probably higher now too. Any proof from reputable sources that you can offer to support your point?

  2. I am quite sure that our ancestors were so busy trying to make ends meet that they did not have the time to even think they were happy…

  3. The magazine front is obviously satire, but it really hits home looking at it, that it truly does represent what the science based community needs to get better at. Those headlines are a lot more exciting than your typical skeptical ones. Why not fight the insanity with a little hyperbole as long as it’s truthful hyperbole?!

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