Welcome to the latest edition of Weekend Wonderings. Take a minute, grab whatever you drink on a Sunday afternoon/evening and let’s carry on. This will provide a nice break from lawn work for you. Then you can check to see if your snow-blower is still working.
And you can take a break from gorging on Halloween candy. No?
The James/Wexner, Cleveland Clinic
This is the last WW of October, so of course I’m going to have an article from The James regarding breast cancer.
A clinical trial at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) investigates whether a new formulation of curcumin, a component of the spice turmeric, can reduce chronic inflammation that is thought to contribute to breast-cancer development. .. the trial is led by principal investigator Lisa Yee, MD, a surgical oncologist with the OSUCCC-James Stefanie Spielman Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center.
This trial may turn out to be a two-fer in that an opportunity to spice up your life may also save it. This will be a Phase I Clinical Trial, so if there is any interest, please click though on the contact information in the linked article.
Next up is an article on women’s health from the Cleveland Clinic. This pertains to heart disease, actually the leading killer of women, claiming 400,000 lives per year. This number is more deaths than caused by all types of cancer combined.
I was rummaging through various blogs the other day and ran across this gem from P.Z. Myers, one of my favorite (non tBBC) writers. The premise of the television show Ancient Aliens is basically alien races aided and abetted the development, culturalization and technologies of our forbearers. In fact, the approach goes so far to suggest that extraterrestrials are our forbearers. As you’ll see by clicking through to the link, Myers will have none of this. Frankly, although I believe in extraterrestrial life (the universe is a big-ass place and I’m playing the odds) to have as tenet, as the Ancient Alien Theory (AAT) promoters do, that ETs were as influential as claimed, is a belief too far.
And the funny thing is, the AAT’s are carefully aware of their “game”, since they only occasionally come out and express in a declarative statement. “Ancient Aliens did this…”. Rather they try to promote their theory by innuendo and rhetorical phrasing of their questions. The classic example is along the lines of “Isn’t it possible that aliens…?” . Of course, the AAT’s play up that just the possibility, no matter how remote, would indeed lead to actual historical occurrences. The other device used when posing these questions is to state the question as a statement. There is no up-lilt at the end of a sentence that you’d normally expect with a question.Although they position themselves as ‘merely asking questions’, they are really fobbing off what they to believe to be the answers to you
So, after going to the AA website, what did Dr. Myers’ think? (Asked with an up-lilt..)
“The content, though…the content. It was just a series of ludicrous assertions of the most absurd claims of gods and aliens and extraterrestrial conspiracies and outright nonsense. Not once did I see any skepticism expressed. Mainstream academics were treated as dogmatic ignoramuses who couldn’t see the power of totally unsubstantiated hypotheses about aliens.”
We can assume from Dr. Myers’ response that he declined the invitation to participate.
So, what’s the takeaway here? Actually, a couple of things. First, when you are in a conversation with someone and the questioning goes “Isn’t it possible..” or “Don’t you think that..”, those aren’t really questions. The other person is not really interested in your opinion, but wants to steer you into agreement with his point. Now that we’ve covered this, when I do next week’s Game Preview of Purdue and ask “Isn’t it possible that the Silver Bullets shutout Purdue?”, I’m not really asking a question…
Ah, Sinead O’Connor, singing Prince: