LISTEN: An uplifting lecture about death

The 2014 BBC Reith lecture with Dr Atul Gawande (previously) continue to amaze, delight and inform, and the third one, "The Problem of Hubris," fundamentally changed how I think about (and what I fear about) death.

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Calling out the doctors who abetted CIA torture


Dr Atul Gawande (whose Reith lecture on systems thinking I featured last week) took to Twitter to express his shock and disgust at the medical professionals who participated in the crimes documented in the CIA torture report.

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LISTEN: Systems thinking and medicine -- brilliant lecture on systemic problem-solving

The lecturer for the BBC's 2014 Reith lectures is Dr Atul Gawande, a celebrated author and MD whose book The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right is a classic on how to think about systemic problem solving (which pays attention to how different people and activities come together to make and solve problems).

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Detoxing is bullshit


It's true that people with substance abuse problems can "detox" when they get clean, but the kind of "detoxing" offered by stuff in the grocery store or pharmacy has no basis in science and is just a scammy way to scare you into opening your wallet (the companies that sell "detox" can't even say what "toxins" they're getting rid of).

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Bilious Alka-Seltzer shill, 1942


Hard to imagine a contemporary ad headed with a picture showing a man who's just vomited into his mouth.

Harmful aging considered


Charlie Stross lays out the state of aging: "cognitive functioning burdened by decades of memories to integrate, canalized by prior experiences, dominated by the complexity of long-term planning at the expense of real-time responsiveness...truck by intricate, esoteric cross-references to that which has gone before."

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Second Avenue Caper: When Goodfellas, Divas, and Dealers Plotted Against the Plague

In Second Avenue Caper: When Goodfellas, Divas, and Dealers Plotted Against the Plague, “Ray” recounts his brave, quixotic, tragicomic adventures as an experimental AIDS drug smuggler who funded his operation by selling weed out of his New York apartment, during the early years of the “gay plague.” It’s a strangely fitting subject for a graphic novel, and Joyce Brabner and Mark Zingarelli graphic novel make it work as a history book that’ll make you laugh and cry. Cory Doctorow reviews.

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A neural "off-switch" for pain documented

In Endogenous adenosine A3 receptor activation selectively alleviates persistent pain states, a paper in Brain by researchers led from the St Louis University Medical School, scientists document their work in switching off neural pain pathways by activating an adenosine receptor.

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Roca Labs sends abusive, unwarranted DMCA notices to banish negative reviews

What do you do if you sell a product on terms that legally bind your customers not to complain and they complain anyway? Pretend that the DMCA gives you the right to censor search results.

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Ambulance takes comatose, insured woman to "wrong" hospital, drives her to bankruptcy, too


If 29 year old Megan Rothbauer had been taken three more blocks to Madison, WI's, Meriter Hospital when she had a freak heart attack, she'd have owed $1500, but since the comatose woman was brought to St Mary's Hospital, which Blue Cross Blue Shield won't deal with, she owes $50K and is facing bankruptcy.

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Roca Labs sues unhappy customer who agreed to testify against it


This is the "non-surgical gastric bypass" company whose terms of service forbid complaining, and require you to let them use any kind of success you experience to publicly endorse the company, who are suing pissedconsumer.com for having a message board where its customers are complaining about its product.

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How to de-jargonify health info online

What is only slightly more annoying than trying to decipher your doctor’s handwriting? Trying to decipher their language. Thanks to a new translator extension, however, your life is about to get a little easier to understand. By Thomas Goetz.

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Elvie - pelvic floor kegel exercise tracker

Elvie is a kegel exercise tracker for woman. The company is taking pre-orders for $95.

The pelvic floor is a powerful little set of muscles that sits like a hammock between your tailbone and pubic bone. Kind of hidden, but very important, they lift and hold your core. Like any muscle, with a bit of exercise and effort, you'll feel the benefits. Better core stability, control and even better sex. Elvie's unique technology helps women of all ages and fitness levels achieve their goals.

Beauty After Breast Cancer: kickstarting a photography book on our bodies, in treatment and beyond

“Katelyn — Wife, mother, nurse, dancer. Preventative mastectomy at age 29 due to high family risk, with silicone implant reconstruction.” Photo: Joseph Linaschke


“Katelyn — Wife, mother, nurse, dancer. Preventative mastectomy at age 29 due to high family risk, with silicone implant reconstruction.” Photo: Joseph Linaschke

My good friend Joseph Linaschke, who photographed me during my treatment for breast cancer, is Kickstarting a book by breast cancer patients for breast cancer patients: “Beauty After Breast Cancer.” I'll be in it, along with many other women living their lives post-diagnosis.

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How to stay safe in the workshop

Steve Hoefer still has all his fingers.

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