Monthly ArchiveMay 2007



Uncategorized 31 May 2007 10:42 pm

One From Across the Pond

Came across a very funny blog authored by an English school teacher by the name of Mr. Chalk.

Here’s just an example of his brand of humor from a post entitled: Sorry, We Cannot Take Your Call Right Now…

Bring-Bring, Bring-Bring…

“Congratulations for correctly dialling the number for St. Thickchilds School! Your call is important to us, so please select from the following options:

If you are unsure about the specific nature of your complaint, but would just like to moan, press One

If you are phoning to let us know that all the teachers are picking on your child, press Two

If you wish to make a false allegation against a teacher; press Three, or contact ‘Ambulance Chasers’ on 0870 565 8484. We will not be able to tell you which solicitor is best for suing us.

If you have a ludicrous excuse for why your child has been absent, press Four. Please note that we are unable to suggest one for you.

If you would like to know why your child is not allowed on the school trip to Scagton, press Five

If you would like to request a School Permission Slip to allow your child to spit on pedestrians whilst travelling on the school bus, press Six.

If you would like to verbally abuse a specific teacher; press Seven, or simply race up to school and demand to see them immediately.

If your child is socially inept and would like to change forms yet again, press Eight

If it is a crucial time in your child’s education and you would like to request two weeks off to go on holiday, press Nine

If you are a parent who appreciates the efforts we make to educate and discipline your child then hang up and do not try again later.”

If you’ve ever had any connection with the world of academia… or you have school-age children… or you were once a child yourself… you should take a moment and visit Chalk’s blog. Very funny stuff.

- Dean

Uncategorized 18 May 2007 02:45 pm

Do You Remember…

If you’re interested in finding some new blogs to read (or you just like to take trips down memory lane) check out the latest “Change of Shift” hosted by one of my favorite bloggers, Mother Jones of Nurse Ratched’s Place.

She always has outstanding memorabilia threaded amongst her posts and this time is no exception. She even managed to tie some of the contributions (it’s called a “blog carnival”) into specific episodes of TV shows from 30 – 40 years ago. Truly amazing. How she can remember the details of all those old TV shows, I have no idea. I have trouble remembering what I did yesterday.

- Dean

Anti-Quackery 03 May 2007 04:39 pm

Natural Doctors International

In my previous post I mentioned an observation made by Orac in relation to a story about real doctors consulting chiropractors. It was part of a much larger post entitled, Missionaries of Woo on the Respectful Insolence blog that deserves mention in it’s own right:

GruntDoc’s anecdote got me thinking about another case of wildly inappropriate use of alternative medicine. It’s a case that came up on a mailing list that I subscribe to, and it caused a fair amount of discussion. In essence, I’m talking about an organization called Natural Doctors International. It is, in essence, Doctors Without Borders, except with woo. This is what they do:

Natural Doctors International provides free healthcare
services to underserved communities by offering volunteer medical rotations for licensed naturopathic physicians and other Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) practitioners worldwide.

Natural Doctors International

  • Offers long-term volunteer rotations for naturopathic physicians.
  • Provides donations of medicine, medical supplies, and equipment.
  • Establishes and develops community projects that improve health.
  • Organizes short term medical brigades for ND’s, DO’s, DC’s, MD’s NP’s, herbalists, acupuncturists, and Lac’s that deliver free health care.

Yep, it’s just what developing nations need: More non-evidence-based medicine.

Orac goes on to discuss the situation in depth and then writes:

Certainly, they should be applauded for their desire to help. However,
there’s help, and then there’s effective help. This sort of “help” could well be worse than no help at all. What these impoverished regions need is not more woo, but more scientific medicine.

He concludes with the following:

Finally, what is one really huge cause of morbidity and mortality
among infants in such countries? It’s something that we in developed
countries hardly even think about because it is not a problem. I’m
talking about infectious diarrhea, which claims 1.5 million children a
year worldwide. You may also remember that I discussed a clinical trial
examining the effect of homeopathy on infectious diarrhea and
questioned the ethics of using woo in Third World nations. At least the
clinical trial was done with some supervision by physicians; letting
loose naturopaths would guarantee no oversight.

It’s an old cliche that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Here I see good intentions and a dirt road…

I think we should look on the bright side.

This may be the perfect opportunity for those fake doctors
to learn just how ineffective their nonsense is when faced with real sickness
and disease. I mean can you imagine some chiropractor actually attempting to
treat malaria or AIDS? One commenter summed up my feelings exactly:

My understanding is that in the U.S. most so-called alternative
medicine practitioners usually treat the “worried well,” folks with
problems which tend to heal themselves, or people with chronic
conditions which fluctuate over time. Something tells me that this is
not the sort of thing that’s going to be coming into third world
emergency clinics.

For some Natural Healers, it could be a rather rude awakening. How
many acupuncturists, homeopaths, and Reiki Masters in the local
“Wellness Clinic” at the strip mall have had their patients regularly
die on them?

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Dean

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