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weird science

i'm not a huge fan of the medical profession in general. while i will trust myself to its care when i am truly in need, i generally try to avoid contact with it, because it seems like one of those slippery slopes that once you start down, it becomes difficult to apply the brakes.

one of my chief reservations is that the research that is done in the name of science often looks like it was designed by sadists or lunatics (or both). as a result, i mistrust a lot of what comes out of such studies, such as this one on aids research.

am i the only one that thinks that there might possibly be complications to any treatment that involved "awaking" dormant viruses in our system with which modern medicine has virtually no experience? that doesn't sound like science to me. it sounds like the plot to a b-grade horror film.

and as if that weren't enough, check out this line, about three quarters of the way through the article: "an experimental AIDS shot not only failed to work, but volunteers who got the injections were more likely to get infected with the virus through sex or other risky behaviours than those who got dummy inoculations". yes, that's right, the vaccine makes it easier to contract the disease it's designed to prevent.

these are the minds to whom we entrust ourselves every time we go to the doctor with an unidentified ailment. what could possibly go wrong?

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In a 'similar vein' please see this:

http://www.policestateplanning.com/download/timessmallpox.pdf

as long as you're here, why not read more?

dreamspeak

ok, so i've been lax about posting here. i apologise. there are reasons. i don't know if they'ree good reasons, but they include:


i've had a lot of work to do, which is nice because i'm a freelancer and things tend to slow down in the summer, so the more work i get now, the less i have to worry about later [in theory].i started watching the handmaid's tale. i was a little hesitant because i didn't actually like the novel very much; i found it heavy-handed and predictable. the series relies on the novel for about 80% of its first season plot but i nevertheless find it spellbinding. where i felt that the novel beat readers with its politics, the series does a better job of connecting with the humanity in the midst of politics. i'm dithering on starting season two because i am a serial binger and once i know damn well that starting the second season will soon consign me to the horrors of having to wait a week between episodes. i don't know if i can han…

i agree, smedley [or, smokers totally saved our planet in 1983]

so this conversation happened [via text, so i have evidence and possibly so does the canadian government and the nsa].

dom and i were trying to settle our mutual nerves about tomorrow night's conversion screening, remembering that we've made a fine little film that people should see. which is just about exactly what dom had said when i responded thusly:

me :: i agree smedley. [pauses for a moment] did you get that here?

dom :: no?

me :: the aliens who were looking at earth and then decided it wasn't worth bothering with because people smoked even though it was bad for them?
come to think of it, that might mean that smokers prevented an alien invasion in the seventies.

dom :: what ?!?!?

me :: i've had wine and very little food. [pause] but the alien thing was real. [pause.] well, real on tv.

dom :: please eat something.

of course, i was wrong. the ad in question ran in 1983. this is the part where i would triumphantly embed the ad from youtube, except that the governmen…

mental health mondays :: separate and not equal

given the ubiquitousness of racial disparities in the united states, there's no reason why we should be surprised that they exist in mental health care. unlike a lot of other areas, the people in power have acknowledged the problem for decades. but the situation isn't getting any better. 
the united states surgeon general documented the differences between white and non-white mental health care back in 2001 so we can assume that it was already a known problem at that point. two years later, a presidential commission said the same damn thing and groups like the national association for mental health seized on this to develop guidelines on how to bridge the ethnic gap. from the turn of the century through 2007, the number of papers and publications talking about the mental health care gap spiked. the issue was viewed as being on par with obesity when it came to urgent problems.

starting in 2004, researchers undertook a massive project that involved the records of nearly a quart…