Cordial Deconstruction

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Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 10 Season 4, Forced Perspective

Posted by Karl Withakay on January 28, 2012

A Gold/Yellow Episode

As always, an episode synopsis will be found over at Scott’s Polite Dissent

Occam’s Razor

Broyles:

“The Spanish Flu, isn’t that extinct?”

Olivia

“Well, the last reported epidemic was in 1919, which makes him a minimum of 91 years old.”

Setting aside Olivia’s deficiency in basic math skills (it is 2012, not 2010 right?), and the fact that the last reported epidemic doesn’t matter as much as the last reported case, what’s more likely, that there’s a man over 93 years old that appears to be about half that age, or that a man managed to expose himself to a virus that wasn’t been circulating in 93 years, but is not truly extinct.  Samples of the Spanish Flu have been recovered from the bodies of its victims and used in research in laboratories fairly recently.   It’s at least as likely, if not more so (to anyone unfamiliar with the nature of the observers, at least) that the man in question had been exposed to the Spanish Flu in one of these laboratories.

HIPPA HIPAA Violation?

So health services informs Broyles of Olivia’s visits without any concern for confidentiality or HIPAA violations?  Do Fringe agents have to sign a waiver/release to allow their supervisors to have access to confidential, personal medical information?

Observer Bias?

Do the Observers’ ability to see/experience all possible futures include those that may result from Peter’s tinkering with The Machine, or is The Machine a confounding variable even they have trouble accounting for?  They didn’t anticipate Peter continuing to exist/ returning after the last use of the machine.  Maybe Olivia doesn’t have to die, after all.

I Be Jammin, Man

It’s a good thing the Fringe team somehow knew that the bomb was triggered by a coded signal rather than just any signal on the frequency.  If the detonator was more primitive, like my old radio controlled car I had as a child, their attempt at jamming could have easily triggered the bomb.

Major Plot Problem

It seems the whole point of the bomb in the truck in the garage beneath the building was that it wouldn’t be possible to get a bomb past the building security check point.  How then did Albert get his vest bomb and detonator through the check point, and why did he bother with the truck bomb at all, since the vest bomb rendered it redundant, and it was less precise than the vest bomb?

By Definition, His Actions Demonstrate He is Ready to Die

Given Albert’s deliberate, premeditated, and well planned actions, and the fact that he had been foreseen to have actually carried out his plan, Olivia’s statement, “I’m not ready to die, and I don’t think that you are ready to die either.” don’t seem too well thought out, but given the situation and the need to think fast, I’ll give her a bit of a pass on not making too much sense there.

I Never Really Loved Mom or Danny

Father:

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

Emily:

“I knew you’d be here.”

She supposedly also knew her mom and brother wouldn’t be there.  I guess she didn’t care about saying goodbye to them.

Stroke Me, Stroke Me…

Peter

“They said it was some kind of stroke.”

Olivia:

“Yeah, the overload of electrical activity in her brain was just too much.”

Excessive electrical activity in the brain is called a seizure.  A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to the brain.  Somewhere terminology is getting messed up by someone.  I suppose that the earlier mention of her brain “drawing” elevated levels of oxygen and blood could be interpreted to imply elevated blood pressure, which could lead to an aneurism, which could result in a hemorrhagic stoke if it ruptured, but it wouldn’t be due to any overload of electrical activity in the brain.

Plot Conveniently Unpreventable

How can Walter be so sure that Emily’s death was unpreventable?  Nobody ever mentioned any previous attempts to use drugs to suppress Emily’s ability.  It seems at least plausible that either drugs or surgery could be used in an attempt to suppress her precognition.  Both drugs and various forms of surgery have been used to treat epilepsy (which is what you call it when someone has a neurological condition that causes chronic seizures) with varying degrees of success.

Thick as a Plank, or Just Not Pushing It?

Is Peter really that dense that he accepts Olivia’s protestation that she hasn’t been contacted by an Observer, or is he just letting it slide?

Posted in Fringe, Gold/Yellow Episode, Medicine / Health, Science, Television | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 5, Season 3, Amber 31422

Posted by Karl Withakay on November 4, 2010

(A Red Episode)

As always, an episode synopsis can be found over at Scott’s Polite Dissent.

Alternate Universe Convenience Theater

Maybe you shock a flat line in the alternate universe, but you don’t do it here.

Starring Carry Grant as Sam Spade

In our universe, the line, “the stuff dreams are made of” was spoken by Humphrey Bogart in The Maltese Falcon.  The line was likely derived from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, spoken by Prospero: “We are such stuff as dreams are made on…”

An Earth Shattering Experience

In Our universe, October 17, 1989 (the date of the first use of Amber 31422 in the alternate universe) was the date of the Loma Prieta earthquake.

Miscellaneous Trivia

31422 is a zip code in Savannah Georgia.

Quote of the Show

Walternate to Broyles:

“Nature doesn’t recognize good and evil, Phillip.  Nature only recognizes balance and imbalance.  I intend to restore balance to our world, whatever it takes.”

Would You Like a Little Technobabble With That?

Ferrocene is a real compound, but I found no indications of any application for use in negative matter rings.

Fringeternate Team Standards Equally Low

It didn’t strike any of the Fringeternate team members as odd that the suspect’s brother Matthew reacted so nonchalantly to the possibility that his brother might not be trapped in amber, or that he didn’t ask how they could have been previously mistaken about him being encased in amber?  They appear to have FBI academy reject investigators assigned to the Fringe team in the alternate universe too.

Drug Trivia

According to PubMed, Neurontin (Gabapentin) is:

“used to help control certain types of seizures in patients who have epilepsy. Gabapentin is also used to relieve the pain of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN; the burning, stabbing pain or aches that may last for months or years after an attack of shingles). Gabapentin is in a class of medications called anticonvulsants. Gabapentin treats seizures by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain. Gabapentin relieves the pain of PHN by changing the way the body senses pain.”

Neurontin has numerous uses, some of which are disputed.

Elavil (AKA, Amitriptyline) is a tricyclic antidepressant with various off label uses, and is not a particularly noteable drug.

Those were, however, some very high doses for both drugs, on which I’m sure Scott will comment.

It Must Have Been Under Her Gown

How did Olivia maintain neutral buoyancy and avoid floating to the top of the tank without a weight belt?  People can’t normally hover in the water like that, which is why divers wear weight belts to reduce their buoyancy to keep from floating to the surface.  Also, you’d think they would have made sure to secure the regulator (air supply) to he mouth in some way.  I would think a semi-conscious person hopped up on drugs might accidentally spit it out and drown.

Too Brief a Scene

Unfortunately we were only treated to a few seconds of Olivia wearing those hotty glasses.  I hope we see them again; they go well with the darker hair.

Animated Suspension?

I don’t see how Matthew could have been conscious while suspended in the amber.  To have any sense of consciousness, you need brain activity.  You can’t have brain activity without oxygen, which means you need breathing and blood circulation, neither of which seem to be present for a person trapped in amber.  Without metabolic activity, there is no brain activity, which means no consciousness or perception of the passage of time.

Fringe Unit Really is for Fringe Agents in Both Universes/ Just Flip a Coin

Let me get this straight, Mentat Astrid put a 50% probability on the possibility that it was the other brother trapped in the amber, and she didn’t bother to run the equally likely scenario for potential outcomes?  She assumed a 50% probability as the most likely scenario!

Petergheist

Does anyone else think the Petergheist is a bit of a lame plot contrivance designed to provide us with overt, explicit narration of Olivia’s inner thoughts?  Couldn’t the writers give the audience a little credit and find a little more subtle way of hinting of what’s going on in her head?

Minor Note on These Posts

FYI:  I usually spend about 20 or 30 minutes after posting going over the post proofreading and making tweaks.  If you are one of the few people who read it immediately after posting, you might want to check back the next day for edits or changes.

Posted in Fringe, Medicine / Health, Red Episode, Science, Television | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 3, Season 3, The Plateau

Posted by Karl Withakay on October 7, 2010

(A Red Episode)

As always, an episode synopsis can be found over at Scott’s Polite Dissent.

But Does the Drink Have Different Ingredients in the Other Universe?

It would seem the spelling of Manhaten with one T in the previous red episode was either intentional, or the writers are doing a good job of covering their mistake.  The newspaper vending machine was for the “Manhaten Courier”

Did We go to War With the Netherlands?

The beggar’s sign read;

ARUBA WAR VET

PLEASE GIVE WHAT YOU CAN!”

Nagging, Unanswered Question

If they want Olivia for her ability to travel freely between universes without dangerous consequences, how did Fauxlivia (and the rest of our world’s Fringe team) travel to our universe again?  Will the writers address this question eventually and put in some sort of dangerous consequences at some point?

Decades Beyond Ball Point Pens?

I would guess that ball point pens will be around in this universe for a long time still, despite the iPad.  After all, we still have wooden pencils and AM radio, don’t we?

Small Pox Outbreak in Texas

So, did they not eradicate small pox in the other universe, or was it reintroduced, perhaps by a Fringe event?

Interesting Standard of Ethics for Human Research

I’m not sure why they would need to revert the subject back to their original state to determine whether there were any permanent adverse side effects from the nootropic drug; the researcher described that as a necessary part of human drug trials.  Unless the subject was already experiencing adverse side effect that they wanted to find out whether they were permanent or not (in which case they would be discontinuing the trial due to the already known adverse side effects), they best way to look for adverse side effects would be continue the phase II trial he was participating in.  They should have already discovered any obvious problems in the phase I trial.  I suppose they could have wanted to determine whether there were any side effects from discontinuing the drug after being on it for as long as Milo had been on it.

Of course, you have to question whether it would be ethical to discontinue the treatment once the obvious benefit to the subject had been demonstrated.  Not being a researcher. I’m not sure how or if the Declaration of Helsinki applies in such a circumstance.

I’m Not Sure the writers Know What Exponential Means

I don’t think the human brain has enough cells to increase intelligence exponentially five times, but I could be wrong.

Anybody Got a Cat, a Radioactive Substance, Some Poison, and a Box?

Assuming quantum events like radioactive decay are really non-deterministic,  the best way to defeat a super mentat like Milo would be to use a random, unpredictable event like the radioactive decay of a particle to choose your strategy.  Since such an event is not precisely predictable, Milo would never see you coming until it was too late.

Posted in Fringe, Medicine / Health, Red Episode, Science, Television | 3 Comments »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 1, Season 3, Olivia

Posted by Karl Withakay on September 23, 2010

(A Red Episode)

As usual, an episode synopsis can be found over at Scott’s Polite Dissent.

It seemed to me there was less to Deconstruct in this episode as it didn’t involve a Fringe incident and dealt mostly with the drama of Olivia in the alternate universe, but after finishing this post, maybe I was mistaken.

Ultra Low Security Establishment

OK, first they escort a potentially dangerous, combat trained prisoner using only one guard and no restraints.  Then they have no guard(s) posted outside the room during the treatment, and the guards on patrol in the hallways are best suited to be a mall cops rather than guards at a secure government installation.  (No offense intended to mall cops.)  Next they release her from her restraints when she starts having breathing problems so they can sit her up rather than say, bag her while she is still restrained.  (They’re conducting medical experiments on her, they have to have the  equipment and trained personnel to deal with medical emergencies, right?)  Finally the doors are locked only with a key code and no swipe card, they allow the prisoner to observe the code being entered, and all the doors internal and external have the same code.  If I ever get locked up in a super secret, government facility, this is the one I want to be locked up in.

Magic “Memory” White Blood Cells

I think the writers are confused about what is meant by the term “memory B Cells” and “memory T cells” in regards to B cell lymphocytes and T Cell lymphocytes (types of white blood cells) in the immune system.  The term does not refer to memory in regards to the ability to consciously recollect things; it is an anthropomorphic characterization of the T & B Cell’s ability to chemically “recognize” antigens from pathogens the immune system has “seen” before.  In no way do these cells have anything to do with memories stored in the brain.

Alternate Universe Presidential Trivia

In case you couldn’t make out what was being said on the radio:

In the alternate universe, not only is former president Kennedy still alive, but he is still actively involved in government service.  He is currently stepping down from his role as UN ambassador to head the agency in charge of slowing down ecological breakdown.

Cab Driver AND Women’s Clothes Buyer

How did the cab driver know what size clothes to buy Olivia?  She didn’t tell him her size.  Was she about the same size as his wife, or does he have a lot of experience in buying clothes for women of different sizes?

Alternate Universe Advertising Trivia

GlatterFlug (German for “smooth flight”) offers daily flights to the moon. “Don’t give her diamonds, give her the moon.”

Magic High Explosive Incendiary 5.7X28mm Ammo, Standard Issue

One shot from Olivia’s gun and the propane tanks explodes in a massive fireball.  It looks good on TV, but the Mythbusters can tell you it doesn’t happen like that.

Olivia was using a FN Five Seven pistol that could have been using SS190 copper jacketed rounds that do contain a steel penetrator, so a spark is not completely out of the question, but I’m still comfortable saying the explosion wouldn’t happen.

Adrenaline Carries Blood Cells Across the Blood Brain Barrier?

Scott will probably have more to say on this, but that’s the kind of thing the blood brain barrier prevents.  It’s generally not a good thing when things that normally don’t cross the BBB manage to do so.

Question To Be Answered:

Will we see the cabbie again?

Is Olivia truly converted into Bolivia II, or is she faking?

Identity Assumption Plausibility Problem

How can Bolivia I effectively pass herself off as Olivia in our universe without any of Olivia’s memories?  I would think her complete lack of knowledge of Olivia’s past has to catch up with her pretty soon.  “Geez Olivia, don’t you remember anything from before you returned from the alternate universe?  Wait a minute…travel between universes must give long haired, female FIB agents amnesia.  Yeah, that’s the ticket!”

UPDATE:  From My Notes

I had a couple of things in my notes, but forgot to mention them in my post.

Apparently in the alternate universe Manhattan is spelled with one t, and there is a vaccination for typhus, neither of which is true in this universe.  :)

Posted in Fringe, Medicine / Health, Red Episode, Science, Television | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Cryptosporidiosis Is Not A Bacterial Infection

Posted by Karl Withakay on August 25, 2010

While I drive to and from work each weekday, I listen to the local NPR affiliate, KWMU, a generally excellent source of broadcast news.  During my drive home from work today, I caught a story on an outbreak of a diarrheal illness, crypo in some St. Louis county day care centers.  The report mentioned that crypto is short for cryptosporidiosis and explained that cryptosporidiosis was a bacteriological illness spread through contact with infected feces, usually in swimming pools and day care centers.  The same story was reported on the Post dispatch web site with virtually identical information.  (The story broadcast on KWMU may have even credited the Post Dispatch for the story, but I didn’t catch it.)  The PD story stated:

“The bacterial illness, cryptosporidiosis, is spread through contact with infected feces, most commonly in swimming pools and day care centers.”

The problem with the story as reported by both KWMU and the PD is that cryptosporidiosis is not a bacterial illness, and Blythe Bernhard, the author of the Post Dispatch article, could have learned that with a few seconds of fact checking on the internet.  (See also the CDC’s site if you don’t trust Wikipedia.)  Cryptosporidiosis is instead a parasitic infection caused by a protozoan parasite, Cryptosporidium.

I know this because some years ago I saw an episode of (I believe) Forensics Files regarding an outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in Milwaukee after a rainstorm caused untreated sewage to overflow the sewage treatment system and spill into the same water source a water plant got its municipal water from; an outbreak of  cryptosporidiosis was the result.

As soon as I got home, I rushed to the computer to confirm my knowledge because no mater how sure I am of something, I like to be able to confirm and support my position; I try not to assume that I recall something correctly, even though in this case I was sure cryptosporidiosis was parasitic in nature and not bacteriological.

It’s not a major gaff per se, but neither was it in any way difficult to research either.  Cryptosporidiosis is not bacterial and cannot be treated like a bacterial infection.  In fact, there really is no treatment for cryptosporidiosis other than supportive care (you just have to let your immune system fight it off).  In immunocompromised individuals, it can become a lifelong, chronic condition that can also be fatal.   One would think the reporter would have looked up cryptosporidiosis to get more information on the disease.  Sure it was just a quick, breaking news blurb, but

A. wouldn’t it be good to be sure you have the facts straight BEFORE publishing,

and

B. wouldn’t it be good to have some background info on the disease in case the story gets bigger and you have to revisit it?

As of 7:30PM local time, the story on the PD website has not been updated, which tells me nobody has gone back to check the facts after getting the breaking news published to the web, although someone did post the diarrhea song in the comments section.  :)

UPDATE 8-26-10

As of 9:00AM the next day, the story on the PD website is still unchanged, though the diarrhea song has been deleted from the comments, and someone else posted a comment regarding cryptosporidiosis not being bacterial in nature.  However, the story was repeated on the air on KWMU this morning, this time without any mention of a bacterial nature.  Maybe KWMU actually read my E-Mail.

EDIT II 8-26-10

Apparently the PD website put out a nearly identical replacement article omitting the bacterial infection part, but left the original article in place for some reason.   Maybe he app they use to deploy breaking news stories does not allow edits after publishing.

Posted in Criticism, Media, Medicine / Health, Public Radio | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Educate Yourself About Cell Phone Science

Posted by Karl Withakay on December 21, 2009

Maine is considering requiring cancer warnings on cell phones.  I could take the time to write a lengthy deconstruction regarding cell phones and non-ionizing radio frequency radiation, but why bother remaking the wheel when Steven Novella has already done an excellent job addressing the subject?

There’s just no science to support the hypothesis that cell phone use can cause cancer:  There’s no biological science to show a mechanism for cell phone use to cause cancer, and there’s no observational science to show cell phone use correlates to an increased risk of cancer.

What we have instead is an unsupported and mostly  implausible hypothesis that because non-ionizing radio frequency radiation from cell phones causes measurable biological effects and ionizing radiation can cause cancer, that cell phones probably cause cancer.  Give that to a politician who cares more about being seen to act on what is perceived to be (or can be promoted as) an important issue than they do about being genuinely productive (or about taking the time to properly educate themselves on an issue before acting), and you get proposals for new, unneeded, unscientific laws.

Indoor light is non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation with far more energy than the radio frequency radiation of cell phones, and it too produces measurable biological effects, but nobody seems to be proposing cancer warnings on light bulbs.  Oh, snap!  …  Never mind, set your hair on fire and run for the hills.

Posted in Critical Thinking, Criticism, Heads Up, Media, Medicine / Health, Science, Skepticism, Yahoo Features | Leave a Comment »

Deconstruction Review of Fringe, Episode 9, Season 2, Snakehead

Posted by Karl Withakay on December 3, 2009

As usual, an episode synopsis can be found over at Scott’s Polite Dissent.

Astrid Should Be Smarter Than That

I’d be a little more careful handling a large, unknown creature like that. Two people trying to hold the creature in their arms while one person tries to extract fluid with a syringe seems like a really bad idea. How about at least holding it down on a table, or better yet, restraining it on the table?

HDTV Prop Convenience Theater

The sticker on the air purifier in the woman’s house read:

MEDICAL AIR SYSTEMS

ULTRASONIC AIR PURIFIER

The sticker on the window read,

MEETS FDA STANDARDS

HERMETICALLY SEALED

CANZI MEDICAL GLASS MFG.

I’ll concede that it’s very plausible that the sticker would be on the window, but the air filter looks like it’s designed to blend in with the room and the sticker sticks out like a sore thumb. I call Prop Convenience Theater on the air purifier sticker.

No, That Means You Should See a Doctor Right Away

Conversation between Astrid and Walter.

Astrid:

“Walter, what if you’re infected with one of those worms?”

Walter:

“I’ve tested my blood and liver function; I’m fine.

In fact, my white cell count is through the roof. I have several new antibodies in my blood, and even the gas I had earlier is gone.”

First of all, it would be possible for Walter to have one or more worms implanted in him and them not yet be detectable; it’s only been a few hours since he was attacked.

Second, if his white blood count is “through the roof”, especially so soon after the bite, my first though would be a severe infection, probably even sepsis, and that he should seek emergency treatment immediately.

Two Different Shows Feature Helminthic Therapy Within Weeks of Each Other!

The November 17th episode of House also featured treatment with parasitic worms.

Bad Medicine, Or This is Where I Try to Horn In On Scott’s Territory

Astrid explaining a picture on the computer screen:

Ancylostoma Duodenale. An intestinal hookworm. It’s about 10mm long”

Walter:

“Chinese Medicine! Ancylostoma could be used for the treatment of chronic asthma. People are purposefully infected and walk around their entire lives with it.”

We’re good here so far. Helminthic therapy, treating someone by intentionally infecting them with parasitic worms, isn’t just “Chinese medicine”, it’s being investigated for use in scientific medicine.

But then the writers continue…

Walter:

“I believe it’s the parasite’s lymph gland that’s the real prize. It secretes a remarkable immune boosting enzyme.”

Peter:

“Immune boosting? So you might take that if you has, say a severe phobia of germs?”

Walter:

“Or if you wanted to treat any number of immune deficiency disorders.”

Except that as far as I can tell, only vertebrates have lymphatic systems, (hook worms are invertebrates), and that’s not how or why Helminthic therapy works.

Helminthic therapy is used for autoimmune diseases like Celiac and disorders of inflammation and over activity of the immune system like allergies and asthma. It is not used for immune deficiency disorders; the last thing you want to do with an immune compromised patient is intentionally introduce a parasitic infection. Minor infections that would normally not cause significant problems for a healthy individual such as cryptosporidium can be severe, lifelong chronic infections for immune compromised individuals.

It is believed that Helminthic therapy works by basically giving the body’s immune system something to focus its attention on so it stops attacking the body. It does not boost the immune system; that’s the last thing you want to do with autoimmune disorders, where the immune system is over aggressive and attacking the body.

Please see this excellent article by Dr. Mark Crislip, MD, an infectious disease specialist, regarding the concept of “boosting the immune system” and whether the it has any real meaning or if it would be a good idea if it was possible.

Saw it Coming a Mile Away

Hands up all those who didn’t figure it was the son with the germ problem right away. No hands? I didn’t think so.

Jitterbug Anyone?

Why hasn’t Peter given Walter a cell phone with important numbers programmed instead of a 3X5 card? Walter would probably so infatuated with the fancy gadget that he’d never forget he had it like he did that stupid card.

Question Better Addresses by a Someone Who’s a Doctor, Like Scott

If Astrid was knocked unconscious, would she be able to recall what happened to her immediately upon regaining consciousness? I seem to remember from several episodes of Medical Detectives and Forensics Files that generally that would not be the case.

Astrid Must Have Been in the Same Class at the Academy As Olivia

Astrid:

“I don’t know how they knew we had the worm”

Gee, all you and Walter did was mention a four foot hook worm to a Chinese shop keeper selling hook works, and the next thing you know, Chinese gang members are back at your lab stealing your giant hook worm. Go figure.

Peter Does Have a Death Wish

WTF was Peter thinking, going in there by himself? What, exactly, was his cunning plan, to take on an entire Chinese gang by himself?

As My College Lit Teacher Used to Say, “FORESHADOWING, PEOPLE- FORESHADOWING!”

Anyone want to bet that the tracking device in Walter’s neck becomes very important in a later episode?

Posted in Fringe, Medicine / Health, Prop Convenience Theater, Science, Television | 1 Comment »

Scientific Support for Increased Risk of Iocaine Poisoning

Posted by Karl Withakay on December 2, 2009

The science is in: I have just learned from PalMD, that there is a possible mechanism for Zicam causing anosmia.

Seeing as there is now scientific support for an increased risk of Iocaine poisoning for users of Zicam, the sale and use of this product should be stopped immediately, especially in Australia or for people going up against Sicilians when death is on the line.

Posted in Deadpan, Followup, Humor, Medicine / Health | Leave a Comment »

No Deconstruction Neccessary

Posted by Karl Withakay on August 10, 2009

Gee, I’m almost disappointed.

David B. Caruso of the Associated Press wrote an article, “Immune system cancer found in young 9/11 officers” that immediately raised my guard based on the headline.  I was prepared for a typical, sensationalistic article based on Post Hoc Ergo Prompter Hoc fallacies, anecdotes, and an ignorance of statistics.  Instead, I was pleasantly surprised.

It was a well written article.  It presented the facts objectively, didn’t cherry pick details to support an agenda or skew the story, and made no unsuported conclusions.  Additionally, the conclusions that were drawn were very reserved and reasonable.

Points made in the article:

-Numbers of incidence of multiple myeloma in the sample are tiny.

-Numers of incidence are within predicted parameters, but high for one age group in question.
(8 cases, but 4 under 45: should only be 1 under 45)

-Currently no evidence to support causation.

-Number could be result of increased medical scrutiny the group has been subjected to.  (Will Rogers Effect, see http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=116)

-Continued, increased  surveillance is advised.

-Timing is in question as research show that not enough time had  passed for multiple myeloma to develope due to environmental exposeure to a carcinogen, suggesting a non-causal relationship to 9/11.

I was even more surprised to learn from Googling his name that David Caruso does not appear to be a dedicated science reporter.  Maybe there’s hope for mainstream science reporting these days after all, even from non science reporters.

I though that Mr. Caruso deserved a Kudo for the kind of quality repoting that is increasingly rare these days:  Way to go David!  :)

Posted in Critical Thinking, Heads Up, Kudos, Medicine / Health, Science, Skepticism, Yahoo Features | Leave a Comment »

Off to TAM 7 & SBM Conference

Posted by Karl Withakay on July 8, 2009

I’m off to Las Vegas to attend The Amazing Meeting 7 and the  Science Based Medicine Conference with my friend Scott of Polite Dissent!

Nearly all my favorite bloggers will be there, and the concentration of such blogging talent in one place could cause Las Vegas to collapse into an internet black hole!

I see the high temperatures in Las Vegas are supposed to be between 102F & 107F from today through Sunday.  Whose bright idea was it to hold a conference in Las Vegas in July?  Well, I suppose it will be a dry heat, but then again,  so is an oven.

Posted in Critical Thinking, Medicine / Health, Science, Skepticism | 3 Comments »

 
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