Skepticon

Complexity and Health — A Rant

Darcy Cowan Oct 14, 2010

To shamelessly butcher a great H2G2 quote: Biology is complicated. Really complicated. You just won’t believe how vastly hugely mindbogglingly complicated it is. I mean you may think it’s complicated to do the morning crossword, but that’s just peanuts to biology. This may seem trivially obvious, I mean we don’t compare things to brain surgery [...] … Read More

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Plug

Darcy Cowan Oct 04, 2010

October is Beast Cancer Awareness Month, or as The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation is re-branding it “Action Month“. Because of this my post last week regarding the screening technology Thermography has been picked up and included in a blogging carnival. If you are not yet aware of blogging carnivals they are collections of blog [...] … Read More

Is Acupuncture Worth a Punctured Lung? or Does the Risk Out Weigh the Benefit?

Darcy Cowan Aug 16, 2010

Friday’s issue of The New Zealand Medical Journal includes a case report of pneumothrorax in a recipient of acupuncture. For the interested layperson out there a pneumothorax in the collection of air in the space between the lung and chest wall leading in extreme cases to cardiac arrest. Acupuncture can result in pneumothorax when the [...] … Read More

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Delayed Gratification = Success?

Darcy Cowan Aug 10, 2010

Today we are going to step into the time machine and go back 21 years to 1989. It was in this year that the study to become known as the “Marshmallow experiment” was published. Performed by Walter Mischel at Stanford University this experiment showed an amazing thing, that testing a child’s self-control at 4yrs could [...] … Read More

Pharmacy Customers Perception of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Pharmacies

Darcy Cowan Aug 05, 2010

Going through the papers cluttering my inbox I found this survey of Australian pharmacy customers relating to their use of CAM and their impressions of how pharmacists should approach the subject. Regular readers of Sciblogs may remember a kerfuffle earlier in the year regarding the sale of homeopathic remedies in pharmacies, I and others were [...] … Read More

Is there a Biochemical Marker for Suicide?

Darcy Cowan Jul 26, 2010

Suicide is a sensitive subject, by it’s very nature it seems we are obliged to treat it with kid gloves. In public it is virtually taboo to even mention suicide, in news media euphemisms are employed in order to avoid explicit use of the “S” word. Attitudes are beginning to change, with more vocal discussion [...] … Read More

The Risky Business of Hunger

Darcy Cowan Jul 16, 2010

We like to think of ourselves as rational actors when it comes to making decisions, we take in information, process it and choose the path that we think will lead to a desirable outcome (if we aren’t deep-seated masochists I suppose). Regular readers of this blog and others that espouse a sceptical viewpoint will know [...] … Read More

Miracles: What Do We Mean?

Darcy Cowan Jul 14, 2010

Have you ever described an event as miraculous? Perhaps it was a near-miss accident, recovery from an illness or some other fortuitous moment in your life. Did you stop to consider what you meant by that description or did or roll off your tongue like so many other cultural conventions, without a second thought? One [...] … Read More

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