Assorted Links

Thanks to Hal Pashler and Anne Weiss.

6 Responses to “Assorted Links”

  1. JPB Says:

    Re the radiation issue: I have been ridiculed for asking about maintenance and calibration issues at both medical and dental offices. Too many doctors and dentists are cavalier about radiation exposure for their patients!

  2. Darius Bacon Says:

    JPB, what do you ask them? I suppose I should be asking about that too. (Though my doctor was already deflecting other questions, like about the type of contrast agent they’d use.)

  3. Kim Øyhus Says:

    I actually took my geiger counter with me to the dentist a long time ago.

    As a student, I could not afford an expensive model, so it is small, has a small aperture, and clicks once for each particle/ray measured. It does not have a dial or readout. Apart from that, it seems to be very good, biologically representative, and sensitive.

    So, seconds before the X-ray machine pointed at my jaw was about to fire, a few seconds after the dentist wisely left the shielded room, I put the counters sensitive end to the other side of my jaw, where the rays not stopped by the led plate behind the photo film could hit it.

    It sounded somewhat like static on the radio, for a large fraction of a second. The normal background radiation is heard as clicks about 4 seconds apart.

    The amount of radiation I got seems to have been about the same as a month of natural background radiation. In that respect, it does not seem too much. However, considering that we now know that natures error correcting mechanisms have the same properties as the ones in computers, namely the ability to fix a few errors at a time very well, while failing when more of them comes, this was somewhat bad.

  4. Seth Roberts Says:

    I have been ridiculed for asking about maintenance and calibration issues at both medical and dental offices.

    JPD, the next time this happens I hope you will email me with the details (where, what was said, etc.) I would like to report this on my blog. There seems to be considerable room for improvement here.

  5. Jim Purdy Says:

    Drug industry fraud, cavalier attitudes about radiation, there’s always something scary going on in the “health” professions.

    All this just make me feel more comfortable with my tendency to stay away from doctors and hospitals.

    I think I’ll start my own church — The Congregation of the Almighty Placebo.

  6. JPB Says:

    Seth, I will certainly let you know if this happens again. One dentist told me that you get as much radiation from walking out to get the mail as you get from a dental X-ray. He was using very old machines, hence my query about calibration. He was very offended but I still declined!

    There were several articles in the NY Times in the last year or so about the lack of oversight on the equipment used in imaging including those used in the irradiation of babies. We have cause to be concerned. I don’t understand why our medical professionals are not concerned also!