Category Archives: health

How did the Romans go to the bathroom?

I’m sure you’ve asked yourself this question before, although not necessarily with Romans as the subjects.  What about the Greeks, the Babylonians, the ancient Chinese, the Mayans, and so on? And there’s not just the matter of where to dispose of your excreta, but how you clean your nether parts thereafter. In India, cleaning with […]

Protestors demonstrate against California’s passing a sane vaccination law

Last week the governor of California signed into law a good vaccination bill, Senate Bill 276, which stipulates a standardized procedure for requesting medical exemptions from childhood vaccination: Existing law prohibits the governing authority of a school or other institution from admitting for attendance any pupil who fails to obtain required immunizations within the time […]

Bill Maher on Americans Of Size

Here’s a segment from this week’s “Real Time” show in which Bill Maher addresses the epidemic of obesity among Americans. While he, like me, is against “fat shaming”—telling obese people that they need to lose weight (that’s their doctors’ job), we both object to the recent movement to de-stigmatize obesity by pretending that it’s not […]

Anti-vaxer Hasidic Jews, lying about vaccination, intensify measles outbreak in New York

On the plane from Brussels back to the U.S., a young Orthodox Jewish couple boarded, the man decked out in his black clothes and tallit, the woman wearing a wig. They had a young child, and when I saw it I thought, “That kid doesn’t have a chance.” It will likely grow up either an uneducated […]

Ruth Bader Ginsberg has her third bout with cancer

Well, the toughest Justice on the Supreme Court just had another bout with cancer—her third.  And, like the other two, it seems to be curable. (Pancreatic cancer, which she had 9 years ago, is almost always fatal, and kills quickly.) Click on the screenshot to see the CNN report. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had two cancerous nodules […]

Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional

Details are scanty here: the entire text is this: (CNN)A federal judge in Texas said on Friday that the Affordable Care Act’s individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional and that the rest of the law must also fall. This is a breaking story and will be updated.I  I guess we’ll know more tomorrow, but if you […]

Asbestos imports rise under Trump administration

On August 7 I reported that the Trump administration had loosened restrictions on products containing asbestos, which is totally banned in 60 countries because the material is a deadly carcinogen. According to the new rules, asbestos-containing products can be created or imported into the U.S. on a case by case basis. Now, according to a […]

“Body positivity”: the ups and downs

This article from HuffPost (yes, shoot me now!) highlights the tenets of the “body positivity”  movement (also called “fat acceptance” movement); click on screenshot to read it: It highlights the cover of the new Self magazine, a magazine traditionally devoted to women’s fitness: This week, Self magazine unveiled its first digital cover, featuring a surprising […]

Diseases are correlated with birth months

Five days ago I reported on the unctuous Dr. Mehmet Oz and his new claim that various medical conditions and ailments were correlated with your astrological sign. I poo-pooed this since I couldn’t see any obvious connection between birth date and medical conditions. Well, I may have spoken a bit too fast, though, as I […]

Don’t use bathroom hot-air hand dryers!

I almost never use bathroom hand dryers, though I always wash my hands scrupulously (one reason, I think, that I didn’t get colds or the flu this year). But the reason has been time, not sanitation: it takes a long time for those things to dry your mitts, and I don’t like to linger in public […]