Friction can be a drag

In the interests of free speech…just make it interesting

Archive for February 2007

Kamikaze Research

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Has anyone got any ideas for some (dangerous) research I can personally do?

Got the idea from people who have done this in the past – specifically the first people who made links between diet and health…e.g.

Dr William Stark – in 1769, Stark began a series of dietary studies in which he was his own subject. At the start of his 24 experiments, he was a healthy, 6-foot young man.
In his first experiment, Stark ate bread and water with a little sugar for 31 days. Felt dull and listless. He consumed a more varied diet for a few weeks. When he felt better, however, the experiments resumed. Gradually, he added other foods to this regimen, one at a time. He added olive oil, milk, roast goose, boiled beef, fat, figs, and veal. After the first two months, his gums were red and swollen, and they bled when pressure was put on them. Stark did consider testing the effects that fresh fruits and vegetables would have on his health, but decided instead on honey puddings and Cheshire cheese.
After 8 months of experimenting, Stark died of scurvy in 1770, aged 29. He did not discover anything new about scurvy, but, through his experiments and record-keeping skills, he showed to what extent human scurvy is caused by a lack of vitamin C in the diet. James Carmichael Smyth published Stark’s experiments eighteen years after his death.

Dr Joseph Goldberger – In 1914, Goldberger was asked by the US Surgeon General to investigate pellagra, an endemic disease in the Southern US.
Goldberger’s theory was that pellagra was associated with diet. The medical world insisted on it being infectious.
So he deliberately caused some prisoners to contract pellagra by restricting their diet.
Still no-one believed him.
So he tried to give himself pellagra by ingesting the mucus, blood, faeces and scabs of infected people, he even injected his wife, but couldn’t contract the disease.
Still no-one believed him.
So he gave it to his dogs. Because they hated the traditional southern food, he added yeast to their diet. This was the answer…niacin. Now niacin is in all flour.

Victor Herbert – 1959 – a haematologist who experimented on a strict diet of boiled chicken, frankfurters, marshmallows and jelly (i.e. no folic acid) and gave himself amenia in 5 months. Realised it was a lack of potassium – just before he dies he takes potassium and recovers in 48 hours. Folic acid now compulsory in flour in many countries.

Hugh Sinclair – 1956 – after studying the Eskimo diet, published a paper arguing that it was too little fat not too much that caused heart disease. Was mocked for this idea.
For the next 20 years he set up a nutritional institute and then in 1976 performed the Eskimo diet (of seafood, seal liver and blubber) on himself. Like the Eskimos increased his risk of haemophilia and showed that the Omega 3 in essential fatty acids was vital.

Any ideas for something I could do?


Written by jackshaftoe

February 23, 2007 at 12:18 pm

Family films girl fighting baby brother!

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4 women in Plymouth forced 2 toddlers to fight each other to fight each other while they filmed it.
The film shows a sobbing 2-year old boy in a nappy being punched in the face by his 3-year old sister, while the women cajole him to fight back by saying “don’t be a wimp” and calling him “a faggot”.
One woman said: “I could not see any harm in toughening them up. I’ve done the same with my own children.”

Question is: what would you do if you were the judge?
Forced sterilisation?
Nothing? It’s a question of their own personal responsibility.

Written by jackshaftoe

February 16, 2007 at 2:04 pm

Posted in outrageous, policy, quirky

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The disproportionate media coverage of religion

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The Christian Research English Church Census, 2005 recorded just over 3 million people attended church in that year (and the numbers are falling fast). In the census of 2001 about 2.5 million people claimed to be either Muslim, Sikh, Hindu or Jewish. So I’d guestimate from those figures that about 8% of the population consider religion to be an important part of their lives. So why the fuck does it get so much media coverage? And why are we constantly given quotes and views from their representatives?

I appreciate that sometimes religion justifies some newsprint but we seem to be looking at it to play an active part in society even though it no longer plays an active role in the overwhelming majority of people’s lives. I’m all for minorities having a voice but this is supposed to be a democracy. More people smoke cannabis than pursue religion but you don’t see Howard Marks giving his view every time a moral issue springs up.

Written by sanchezdemarcos

February 5, 2007 at 2:41 pm