Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Anti-vaccination. More exercises in wilful ignorance.

I watched this Frontline documentary on the anti-vaccine movement. The selfishness and idiocy of the anti-vacciners is astounding and appalling. Seemingly intelligent people, people who can form complete sentences and supposedly read incapable of understanding the implications of their choices.

One woman was whining about the polio vaccine and how polio doesn't exist in the US anymore, so why should we continue to vaccinate for it. I can only assume that she lives in such an insular world that she doesn't anticipate her children nor anyone her children will ever come into contact with won't leave the US. This same woman was annoyed at a nurse trying to vaccinate her newborn child against hepatitis on the grounds that it's a sexually transmitted disease. I guess she assumed no one has ever caught it any other way or and this is worse, that the chance of her child catching hepatitis from a blood transfusion or the various unknown ways hepatitis is transmitted are so low that her child would be safe. The reason I say that is worse is because she's basing her arguments against vaccinations on a minuscule chance that her child is not only part of the the tiny population people who have an adverse reaction to vaccinations but also part of an even smaller population within that tiny population that will have actual serious side effects.

In the wake of the original paper that linked autism to vaccinations being retracted and the author being thoroughly discredited, it seems that the anti-vaccinators have shifted from the hard line of "vaccine causes autism" to "vaccines might cause something". These same anti-vacciners claim that there is no harm done by their not having their children immunized, even as we see outbreaks across the world of diseases that have been under control for 50 years. (Recently: As I've said before, these people are idiots.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Locally sourced, seasonal fruit at Waffle Frolic.

The cashier at Waffle Frolic offered me bananas as my fresh fruit choice yesterday. This or preserved blueberries were my only choices because it's really important to them that they use only locally sourced, seasonal fruit. Bananas are never in season anywhere north of Mexico. It's May. Somewhere, not too far south of here (at least not as far south as Mexico) it is strawberry season. I'm not just complaining because I hate bananas, either.

That said, I enjoyed my waffle and I wished I'd ordered"twin". It wasn't as good as my sister-in-law's, but what can you do? She lives in California.

We left thinking that we should just break down and buy our own waffle iron, despite our principles against "one use kitchen appliances" (the way I rationalise the pasta maker: I use it to make my own crackers in addition to pasta).

Friday, May 14, 2010

Crud: Inflammation and Discharge.

More illness in the family, this time not me. My beloved Jeeves has an ear infection. More specifically, a yeast infection.

I'd been wondering why he's been cranky for the last day or so when I discovered a cruddy ear last night. His discharge notes claim I described "inflammation and discharge". I know I said cruddy, so I think that cruddy must be layman for "inflammation and discharge".

This word "cruddy" is an American term I picked up at the barn. It describes all manner of flaking, oozing disgustingness that anyone who ever has anything to do with animals is completely familiar with.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

In Which Alice is Still Whinging About Being Dizzy, Learns That She is Not Going Deaf and Also About Colour Therapy

I have been having severe dizziness problems. So much so that I spent a good several days pretty much convinced that I had Meniere's disease and that I was going to go deaf. Yes, I cried about it. I was afraid to even talk about it because a diagnoses would mean that Meniere's disease definitely runs in the family, as my father has it.

"You can love a healthy person as you can love a sick person."


I went to the doctor for a second time, because the Flonase from the first visit hadn't resulted in less dizziness, only more anxiety and no appetite or interest in food for 3 weeks. That's right, ladies and gentlemen. I had No Interest In Food. I also had more side effects, but they are potentially of a nature too indelicate to discuss with potential strangers and certainly of a nature too indelicate to discuss with people I know in real life.

As I was saying, I went to the doctor for a second time, which I realise now is inaccurate. I went to the Cornell health office for a second time regarding this problem but saw a doctor for the first time, because I insisted. I reasoned that the higher copay would balance out because hopefully I wouldn't have to fight a massive antibiotic resistant strain of some nasty infection later in life after having been given unnecessary antibiotics by an incompetent, well intentioned nurse who should have more or less access to the internet (I'm not sure which, just different than what they have now).

The doctor told me I a) probably didn't have Meniere's (the inevitable "woohoo!" was in order, but I was trying to get him to take me seriously) and b) probably had really severe allergies. He seemed surprised that I'd had any reaction at all to the Flonase, but in my experience doctors are always surprised when you tell them you had side effects, so I didn't let that worry me. At least he didn't say what the one who prescribed me birth control pills did, "High anxiety and an urge to break things or strangle people starting approximately 15 minutes to half an hour after taking the pill and that feeling wearing off slowly over a period of 24 hours, only to start again after taking the next day's dose? Impossible. It couldn't possibly be the pills. That never happens with these pills." This doctor gave me Nasonex and told me to take it once a day, in combination with loratadine and pseudoephedrine. Apart from an increasing amount of blood clots coming out of my nose and a daily sore throat, nothing much has changed.


The possibility was raised by a friend of mine who is a competent nurse that I might have low blood pressure. Further questioning of my parents lead me to discover that while my father suffers from high blood pressure, my mother, in fact, suffers from low blood pressure (yeah, I thought that should make it average out too, but Ryan said that "it didn't work that way"). I thought I might try some "home remedies" for low blood pressure, to see if there was any improvement on the dizziness. That lead me to the following:

If you click on the image or follow the link, you will see the highlighted portion suggests "colour therapy". As in, wear a colour and that will help you get better.

I don't really have much to say about that. I'd like someone to give me a credible explanation of how that is supposed to work but I think that's asking too much. I'm not sure if this is "better" or "worse" than homeopathy.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Two Things I Take Issue With "Name Misspellings and People Who Just Learned What The Internet Was For"

Two Things I Take Issue With.

One, misspelling the name "Alice" like this: "Alys". Aesthetically, 5 letters is more pleasing than 4 and the nice slope made by the gradually decreasing heights of the A, l, i, and c makes for a pretty triangle as opposed the dramatic shift from the l to the y. Additionally, I abhor the substitution of the letter "Y" for an "I", almost as much as I abhor the substitution of the letter "I" for a "Y" just for the sake of being "unique". Same goes for the letter S and the letter C. If you're so desperate for your child's name to be unique, name them something like Fork and be done with it. (Incidentally, Ryan and I came to an agreement this weekend that we like the name Wilberforce).

Two, stupid people who just learned what the internet was for a week ago, being horrified that their little babies are going to be targeted by child molesters.

I read this article sometime last year and may have written about it, or if I didn't, meant to. I remembered it this morning when I read a sensationalistic entry on Open Salon about a woman discovering that one of her high school friends was in the midst of a child molestation charge. She seemed horrified that, this man, because of the innocent action of accepting a Facebook friend request, he now knew where she lived and had seen pictures of her children. She had taken all the precautions and still a pervert had "gotten in". No one pointed out to her that Facebook is simply a communication device. Him knowing where her children lived was not any information he couldn't have gotten elsewhere, supposing he was as good a childhood friend as this woman suggested. I'm not sure how Facebook really had much of a role to play in the story, except as a way to jump on the knicker twisty bandwagon, screaming, "Please, won't someone think of the children". At that rate, you shouldn't go to high school reunions, talk to people you know or take your kids to the grocery store.

I'm not saying don't be vigilant. What I am saying is don't get so caught up in the media hype that you think posting a picture of your child on Facebook will make them a target for paedophiles. I'm also saying your child is no more special ("molestable") than the one that lives next door to the molestor. So, sure, go to Megan's Law websites, trust your guts when it comes to "odd" behaviour, and pay attention to your child. There is NO evidence, however, that posting your child's picture on the internet will result in raising the odds that they are targeted by a paedophile, but it is something about which to get all worked up, have an opinion, that actuality not very controversial (everyone agrees paedophiles are bad).

The New Supreme Court Justice Nominee.

What? David Mitchell is the new female nominee for supreme court justice? 

Monday, May 3, 2010

Scrawling on Things.

Share photos on twitter with TwitpicRyan "made himself" a "new" t-shirt.

When I was in college I had a boyfriend, James, who drove a 1980's dented, abused, white Toyota Camry. He'd taken some sort of acryllic paint and scrawled across the back and the side, the word "Ferrari". He'd also taken the pain to find large Ferrari decals and stick them on the doors and stuck a smaller one on the back of the trunk.

A girl approached my roommate at the time, who was also good friends with James (he had introduced us) and asked him why James had scrawled the words Ferrari across the back of his Ferrari.

"I mean, it's a really nice car. Why would you ruin the body work with paint like that?"

I wonder if that girl would think that Ryan was really Superman.