Assorted Links

  • Interview with sufferer from mercury amalgam fillings. Stephen Barrett, founder of Quackwatch, says mercury amalgam fillings are perfectly safe. For many people, this might be true. It is not always true.
  • “She was given a three to five year sentence.” One of the greatest wrist-slaps of all time. She deserves at least one year in jail per falsification, which would be several thousand years in jail.
  • Ron Unz, the minimum wage and social innovation
  • Dairy consumption and heart disease risk. “The majority of observational studies have failed to find an association between the intake of dairy products and increased risk of CVD, coronary heart disease, and stroke, regardless of milk fat levels.”
  • Tourism and mental illness. “A Canadian woman was denied entry to the United States last month because she had been hospitalized for depression in 2012. Ellen Richardson could not visit, she was told, unless she obtained “medical clearance” from one of three Toronto doctors approved by the Department of Homeland Security.” Horrifying.
  • Snorting baby shampoo to cure sinusitis. A good example of personal science. His understanding of biofilms led him to try baby shampoo. It is also interesting that he doesn’t try to strengthen his immune system to solve the problem or maybe he doesn’t know how to. A professional sinusitis researcher would never discover what he did, yet another example of how our healthcare system ignores cheap treatments.

Thanks to Allen Jackson and Phil Alexander.

15 Responses to “Assorted Links”

  1. dearieme Says:

    Yep, a life sentence would be suitable. Pity it can’t be “with hard labour” nowadays.

  2. dearieme Says:

    She may be bonkers by Canadian standards but she could be entirely sane by US standards, surely? :)

  3. dearieme Says:

    The “dairy fat” abstract is the sort of example I used to use to teach my students how not to write scientific English.

    Seth: I was amused that the research found no link between dairy fat consumption and INCREASED heart attach risk.

  4. Joseph Moroco Says:

    Amy’s sentence is par for the course here in the Peoples’ Republic.

  5. Ross Says:

    Ugh. That woman definitely deserves to serve all the years that the innocent were sentenced to because of her lies.

  6. Sentinel Says:

    Seth, it’s my understanding from Joseph Mercola, etc., that—for some people—the removal of the amalgam fillings might cause even worse problems than leaving them in, with the severity depending on how effective the patient’s body is at eliminating the mercury that is inevitably inhaled or swallowed during amalgam removal.

    Because my amalgams are breaking down after 25-30 years, I am going to have 10 of them removed in 2014. I was thinking about doing a Quicksilver Scientific “Tri-test” (separate analysis of methyl mercury and inorganic mercury in hair, blood and urine) before and after the first extractions, to see how my body is eliminating the mercury.

    I recall that you opted for hair and breath tests of your mercury levels. Do you have an opinion as to whether such multi-layered testing as the above-mentioned Quicksilver Scientific’s is overkill?

  7. Seth Roberts Says:

    The breath test was a coincidence…didn’t get enough measurements to mean much. Ignore the breath test.

    I don’t learn much from the hair tests, perhaps because they are infrequent.

    The reaction-time test I do daily showed that there was no bad effects of the removals.

    I don’t know anything about the Quicksilver Scientific test, sorry. If I was really concerned, I would get two (not one) tests before and two (not one) tests after. Otherwise you cannot separate noise from signal.

  8. Alex Says:

    The link on baby shampoo and sinusitis does not work on mobile devices. You can either click it from a desktop computer or go through the exercise of requesting the full site, then searching for “sinusitis baby shampoo”.

  9. Seth Roberts Says:

    Thanks, Alex, for pointing that out. Too bad because it’s a really good story.

  10. Alex Says:

    The site seemed intent on having mobile users install their site’s app to get access. Because it makes so much sense to limit the online reach of their content, and the ad revenue from it, when they can instead lock in users with an unquenchable thirst for news about Omaha, Nebraska.

  11. Resnick Says:

    The Minimum-Wage is an eternal ideal for the left & Ron Unz — an ideological dogma immune to facts.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-f-will-raise-the-minimum-wage-its-iffy/2013/12/13/f9a8d81a-6363-11e3-a373-0f9f2d1c2b61_story.html

    Seth: George Will needs a better grasp of history, such as the Hammurabi Code and the Ten Commandments, both of which promise to protect the weak from the powerful. It is perfectly possible to have a different much lower minimum wage for teenagers. Will apparently doesn’t know this, either.

  12. Steve Says:

    Hi Seth, thanks so much for linking to the baby shampoo story!
    I had similar issues to the author and was finding nothing working. I tried this method and found it very effective at clearing out a major blockage that I just couldn’t shift. It feels so good to be able to breath again! Thanks.

  13. andrew Says:

    Seth
    I find the discussion about minimum wage similar to discussions about foreign aid. It is assumed to be obviously positive and the thought that it might have a larger negative affect isn’t considered. I would compare it to antibiotic prescriptions for acne from your doctor. It is assumed that it works because that is what we are told but antibiotic use actually made you less well off.

    Although you could run an experiment on acne and antibiotics it is impossible for us to do that for minimum wage but the following real world example is interesting.

    The following is from the economist Scott Sumner.

    Regarding minimum wage,* here is some data for Western Europe:

    There are nine countries with a minimum wage (Belgium, Netherlands, Britain, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Luxembourg). Their unemployment rates range from 5.9% in Luxembourg to 27.6% in Greece. The median country is France with 11.1% unemployment.

    There are nine countries with no minimum wage (Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland.) Five of the nine have a lower unemployment rate than Luxembourg, the best of the other group. The median country is Iceland, with a 5.5% unemployment rate.
    The biggest country in Europe is Germany. No minimum wage and 5.2% unemployment.
    Still want to raise our minimum wage to $10? Germany used to have really high unemployment. Then they did labor reforms to allow more low wage jobs, combined with subsidies for low wage workers. Now they don’t have high unemployment.

  14. Roger Sweeny Says:

    Will knows that it is theoretically “possible to have a different much lower minimum wage for teenagers.” He has observed several attempts to legislate somewhat lower minimum wages for teenagers. Several unsuccessful attempts.

    Seth: Michigan and Australia are examples of what I am talking about — a lower minimum wage for teenagers than adults. The Australia minimum wage for adults is especially high so I don’t understand why Australia is irrelevant. Had Will argued that it doesn’t work in Australia, that would have been more persuasive.

  15. Adam's Myth Says:

    The shampoo treatment was mentioned at the website of a university professor in San Diego, as far back as 2008. I found it then during a desperate search to resolve my own incapacitating sinusitis.

    In less than a week of shampooing, a six-month headache was gone. It recurred occasionally until I fixed environmental causes. Tried many things, but the two that mattered were to replace the household carpet and to vacuum my mattress every couple of weeks.

    Couple of years later, my sense of smell returned. When you regain a sense you thought was lost forever, you appreciate even the stinkiest odors!

    Sinusitis treatment in the U.S. is doubly silly. First, nearly all chronic sinusitis is fungal (says Mayo Clinic in 1999), yet antibiotics are universally prescribed, obviously with no effect on the primary infection. Second, no one ever tackles environmental causes.

    To Seth’s point, though, developing a more discriminating immune system might be an even better solution. But the above worked for me.

    Final note to Southern California readers: you might notice a link between your sinusitis and seasonal “Santa Ana” winds, which blow dust westward off the deserts every November and December.