Do You Suffer From Childhood Syndrome?

There are tens of millions of Americans suffering from Childhood Syndrome, a serious psychological and physiological condition whose symptoms include (but are not limited to):

  • Dwarfism
  • Emotional Instability
  • Irrational Fears
  • Knowledge Deficits
  • Chronic Unemployment
  • Inappropriate Social Behavior
  • Tooth Loss
  • Higher Rates of Accidents

Luckily, most individuals diagnosed with childhood disorder are able to overcome it after many years, with remission virtually unknown.

(Via MindHacks)


Been Sick…

Sorry for not writing anything these past few days.. Haven’t been feeling well :-( Not that I don’t have what to write about, but it does take some time and energy to get a post out that meets at least some level of quality. Anyway, bear with me, and I hope to have something for you soon.


Roses Are Red, You’re Sick In The Head

Via Mind Hacks: Hallmark has just released a line of greeting cards for “special” situations like mental illness. There’s also cards for chemotherapy, drug rehab, getting shot in the face by the Vice President, and surviving Acme product malfunctions. It’s a niche:

“We’re aware (Journeys) won’t be as successful dollarwise as (humor-related line) Shoebox because they’re more specific,” Steffens said. “We’re prepared for that. We believe it hits a completely different market.”

(ABC News)


Retro Post

And now for a blast from the YodaYid past…


"We Take Our Bull—- Seriously"

From Center for Citizen Media’s blog:

Try this: Plug “we take” and “very seriously” into a Google News or Yahoo News search. You’ll get hundreds of hits, albeit some repeats, where some big institution – corporate, educational, government, whatever – makes a giant blunder and then issues a “we take (insert the violated policy) very seriously” statement.

I’ve definitely heard a lot of that lately. It comes from the “Your Call Is Important To Us” family (as one of the commenters on CCM’s Blog points out). It’s just another line that companies say to make us peons feel better. It’s sort of like a pat on the head. “There, there – you matter. You really do.” Awwww…

As CCM points out:

Almost invariably, however, when I read or hear someone taking such things seriously, I think: They care mainly about getting caught, not screwing up. Otherwise, these things would happen far less often.

No doubt, this language is at least partly lawyer-driven. You can take something seriously – sort of, kind of acknowledging the mistake – while avoiding a hint of actual guilt.

I guess when enough people catch on to the whole “seriously” line, you can expect a new verbal pat on the head. Can’t wait!


Prescribing For Profit

Mind Hacks writes:

A new psychiatric journal called Clinical Schizophrenia is launching in April that will have a novel distribution policy.
If you’re in the top 70% of antipsychotic drug prescribers in America, you’ll get your copy free.

Since I’m lazy, I’ll just copy my comment from over there:

This is sleazy as hell – doctors should NEVER have financial incentives to prescribe something. Their only consideration should be what the patient needs for optimum health. Anything else would be a violation of the Hippocratic Oath.

The only real thing I care about in any sort of oath or commitment is that doctors always, always make their patients’ best interests their primary concern when making any decision. Everything else will follow from that. Yes, there are other thorny ethics issues that need to be sorted out, but as far as a professional/ethical commitment, that’s all I’m looking for.

  • Medical Ethics (Wikipedia)
  • U.S. Patients’ Bill of Rights (Wikipedia)
  • PBS Nova Discussion of The Hippocratic Oath
  • –YY

    Astroturf Revisited

    I spent hours researching my article on how the supplements industry is trying, at the grassroots level, to create a panic (“billions will die!”) about a pretty innocuous set of regulations proposed by the UN/WHO whatever. Ironically, I forgot to research my own damn self! Almost exactly a year before, I wrote about pill pusher Nature’s Plus’s campaign (under the auspices of industry trade group ‘Nutritional Health Alliance’) against Dick Durbin, who had the chutzpah to suggest that, in light of all the dangerous crap Americans were being sold over the counter, perhaps warning labels were in order. At the time, I (and The Consumerist) took Nature’s Plus to task for their racist slogan “GET A TURBAN FOR DURBIN! KEEP CONGRESSIONAL TERRORISTS AT BAY”.

    The reason I’m bringing all this up again is that the same Nutritional Health Alliance’s current campaign on their hideous website is “A Health Freedom Call To Arms! … Only swift and decisive action can now save our health freedom, and preserve our God-given legacy of safe, natural supplements for future generations.” Riiiight… clearly time to cut down on your mentally debilitating products. Not surprisingly, DSHEA, which you’ll recall is the industry-friendly bill (wherein supplements are virtually unregulated) they’re fighting so hard to keep is prominently featured.

    So there you have it – if there was any doubt that the multi-billion dollar supplement industry was up to no good, it should be gone now. The same racists behind “GET A TURBAN FOR DURBIN” are trying to scare people into supporting legislation that has long proven to be dangerous.


    The Movie Review Biz

    Back when I was in college, I used to write movie reviews for the school paper. It was a lot of fun – I used to go watch a movie, gather my thoughts, write what I thought about it, then go to a frat party and drink several kegs of beer. Well maybe not that last… Anyway, I sort of assumed that that’s more or less how most movie reviewers did their thing – watch and write. Apparently not. The Consumerist has an interesting article about how critic Pete Hammond of Maxim changed a quote in his review of Hannibal Rising at the producers’ request.

    I learned something here about incentives: it’s obvious why a movie studio would want to quote a good review in their ads, but it’s less obvious (to me, anyway) why a reviewer would be keen on being quoted (The Consumerist makes heavy use of the term “quote whore” – Word Spy, are you listening?). But for the critic (and the magazine), being quoted is free advertising! Particularly for a lower budget publication, being able to piggy-back on a Super Bowl ad for a movie is a fantastic deal. So there’s actually tremendous incentive for a magazine like Maxim to put out good (or at least quotable) reviews of high profile movies. “Watch and Write” – how naive I was…


    Vodafone Welcomes You To The Matrix

    According to Vodafone, Wil Wright is your daddy:

    A customer is defined as a SIM.

    Good to know…


    p.s. The line is towards the bottom – footnote 1.

    Welcome To The Plutonomy

    From Word Spy:

    plutonomy n. An economy that is driven by or that disproportionately benefits wealthy people, or one where the creation of wealth is the principal goal. [Blend of pluto- (wealth) and economy.]