Cleaning out the bookmarks

Just as the grocery store periodically puts the browner bananas on sale, I try to clear out my bookmarks every little bit to make room for the fresher inventory.

I bookmarked most of these fully intending to return to them someday, eventually, later to write something thoughtful or reflective about them. But since that’s apparently not going to happen, I’ll just randomly toss them out here for your enjoyment, amusement, entertainment or confusion.

The image to the right is from artist Jim LePage’s Word Bible Designs. He’s got poster designs for every book of the Bible, but this one might be my favorite.

Illustrator Dave DeVries’ Monster Engine is another pretty cool series of paintings (via) involving his realistic paintings based on sketches by very young children.

I’m less impressed by graphic designer Adam Ross’ “True Clean Towel,” which seems to be for people who like to dry off before they’re done washing off. If you’re grossed out by the idea that you might be drying your face with the part of the towel you previously used to dry your … let’s say feet, then I think maybe you should probably do a better job washing your feet.

Then again, John’s Gospel seems to support the idea behind the True Clean Towel: “Jesus said to him, ‘One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean.'”

ESP proponents claim that ESP skeptics are psychic, and use their powers to suppress ESP

They’re on to us. Concentrate harder.

"Humor is, in fact, a prelude to faith; and laughter is the beginning of prayer." -- Reinhold Niebuhr

Skeptical types who don’t believe in ESP probably don’t believe in chiropractic medicine either. Or that demons have been captured on film. Or that water fluoridation is a socialist plot.

But at least they won’t be fooled by the latest hilarious character by Sasha Baron Cohen.

Relevant magazine presents “10 Reasons Christians Should Care About Science.” It’s not a bad list. It’s just that the fact of it is so depressing.

Over the years I’ve read so many of these — all valid, earnest, truthful arguments for “10 Reasons Christians Should Care About Art” or “10 Reasons Christians Should Care About the Poor” or “10 Reasons Christians Should Care About History” or “10 Reasons Christians Should Care About the Environment” or “10 Reasons Christians Should Care About the Fraying Rope Attached to the Pulley Holding a Grand Piano Above Their Heads.” And I begin to despair that the sort of people who need to be persuaded to “Care About” these things are probably people who are very unlikely to ever actually care about such things.

(Jack Chick*Brett Favre)+Tim Tebow = Awesome

The King’s English — 100 phrases from the King James Version in 3 minutes

Restaurant Opportunities Centers offers the Roc National Diners’ Guide 2012.

“If you are only taking on problems that can be solved within your lifetime, you’re not thinking long-term enough.”

Wes Jackson said that in Austin, Texas, at an event called “An Afternoon with Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson.” Pretty much the coolest thing to hit Austin since SXSW.

Linda Holmes’ take on “How I Met Your Mother: The Optimism of Inevitability” reminds me of something we kicked around a while back in a post called “Alternate Endings,” except from the other direction. You can’t always know what the story means until you know how the story ends. And vice versa.

Amazing photos via Phil Plait: “Top 16 Pictures from Space 2011

Amazing photos via Phil Plait: “Top 14 Solar System Pictures of 2011

Amazing photos via Phil Plait: “One guy fooling around with the Moon

Amazing photos v … wait, you know what? It’s probably just easier if you subscribe to the RSS feed for Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog, because he posts really cool photos like those linked above on a regular basis.

Finally, under the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, this sort of thing might become illegal:

I very much prefer to live in a world in which it is not illegal. I realize that the use of Mariah Carey’s recording there is probably unlicensed, but still, if this sort of thing is outlawed, we all lose.

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  • Lori

    This post inspired me to start cleaning out my own bookmarks. I have long been aware that I have bookmark issues, but man oh man, it was worse than I thought. I’m now working on trying to clean them out get the remaining ones a bit better organized. Quite a job, but it really needed to be done. So, thanks Fred for giving me the kick in the pants I needed to do something about this mess. 

  • Anonymous

    Well, my anecdotes say that not only is it not a cure-all, it’s not even a cure-anything.  And the data support my anecdotes, which is more important.

  • Anonymous

    Well, my anecdotes say that not only is it not a cure-all, it’s not even a cure-anything.  And the data support my anecdotes, which is more important.

  • Anonymous

    I would like to see more studies on chiropracty, myself.

    In the meantime, it just bugs me a lot to see “chiropractic” used as a noun.  My brain reads it as an adjective and when the noun doesn’t come, well, out comes grammarleutnant Falconer.

    I suppose it’s clear to everybody else that the missing noun is actually “medicine” or “treatment.”

  • Dan Audy

    Personally I’ve found the scientific evidence in favour of chiropractics for certain treatments highly compelling and my personal experience with chiropractics in extremely positive.

    Since I was extremely young I’ve been subject to frequent ear infections.  Antibiotics were insufficient to prevent my eardrums from bursting due to this and I actually received surgery to insert a drainage tube into my ear to help with this since it was decided that the hearing loss from the tube would be less than the long term damage of scarring on my eardrum.  The tubes are expelled after a couple years and my ear infections resumed and it was decided not to reinsert new ones.  A few years later I had my first chiropractic visit to help open the proper drainage passages from my ears which caused the pain to lessen within the first couple hours and completely vanish as the pressure was reduced rather than the agonizing rupture of my eardrum.  Since then I go and receive treatment from my chiropractor when I have an ear infection (in addition to taking my antibiotics) and I’ve only had a single ruptured ear drum in the last 24 years.  That occured a couple years ago while I was unemployed couldn’t afford to go see the chiropractor (and the province had just stopped helping cover chiropractic costs which doubled the out of pocket expense, more on that in a minute) and figured that the antibiotics would be enough, which they weren’t resulting in a pair of ruptured eardrums and several weeks of near deafness while they healed.

    Alberta used to cover half the cost of chiropractic visits as part of universal health care but under the banner of the conservatives who were trying to cut the budget (and dismantle social programs) they stopped paying for this which effectively doubled the cost to the public (and according to my chiropractor dramatically reduced usage).  A while later they wanted to trumpet how effective their various programs had been at saving the province money and had StatsCanada produce a ‘cost-savings analysis’ on these various cuts.  I happened to be working on producing this document and one thing we found very clearly was that back-pain related healthcare costs had spiked quite significantly (5-10% depending on how you calculated them) and the outcomes had diminished as well as patients had more doctors visits, more pain medication usage (and the side effects thereof), degenerated more, and required surgery more frequently.  Rather than reverse their decision on that point (some of the others actually had saved money though occasionally by externalizing costs) they quietly exised that portion of the report before releasing it.

  • You’re the first person besides Kevin Taft who’s written even tangentially about Ralph Klein burying that report, by the way. Kind of ironic they’d have someone affected by their own cost cutting helping write a report which blew holes in Klein’s alarmist rhetoric about health care costs.

    I just checked for BC; BC covers part of the cost, but only for up to 10 visits.

  • friendly reader

    CQAussie,you’ve been mentioning how your husband doesn’t practice the “woo woo” elements (to use another poster’s term), but that he also went to Palmer college. How do they interpret this part of their Philosophy Statement:

    The basic premise of Palmer’s Philosophy of Chiropractic is that
    life is intelligent. Additionally, the purpose of the body’s innate
    is to maintain the body in a state of health and
    well-being. The Palmer view of chiropractic is that the body is a
    dynamic, self-regulating and self-healing organism.
    As such,
    Palmer validates its orientation and focus on health rather than an
    orientation based upon symptoms and disease. Central to the Palmer
    philosophy is the removal of impediments to health through the
    correction of subluxations, thus normalizing the nervous system and
    releasing the body’s optimal potential.
    (emphasis added)

    That’s basically the bogus anti-germ theory nonscience that chiropractic-opponents accuse them of pushing. Is that just a relic of Palmer’s earlier roots, or do they still teach that disease is caused by problems with your spine? Just curious here.

    I’m also somewhat dismayed by the number of possible “techniques” they list. Forget about whether studies have been done on chiropratics versus physical therapy, has anyone done studies to see which of these is best?

    I know very little about chiropractics, in part because, well, my parents did always consider it suspicious, which may be because when they were young it was definitely tied to the “psychic energy causes your flu” field of thinking. And I personally would only go to a medically-licensed physical therapist.

    That said, I do sort of believe in qi after doing various trainings (it may not be what Chinese philosophy thinks it is, but it’s something… maybe some other way of talking about something we can scientifically test),  so I’m not totally closed-minded on non-traditional therapies.

  • CQAussie

    But I don’t think you provided any data?  Nor has anyone here provided any data that disproves the effectiveness of chiropractic effectiveness?  Maybe I missed it?  So right now you have anecdotes and I have anecdotes… maybe we’re at an anecdotal stalemate?

  • CQAussie

    You may (or may not) be surprised by this but not all of Palmer’s graduates buy into all of Palmer’s philosophies.  Ironically (hilariously?) there are differing philosophies even among chiropractors.  And as you move out to the different colleges (Life, Logan), more differences come up.  My husband took in what he understood to be good science and rejected the rest as being either too extremist or as you say, seemingly connected to psychic energy.

    My husband believes in innate intelligence but he doesn’t practice voodoo or faith healing.  He does believe that since the nervous system supplies every cell, tissue and organ in the body – then any interference on it from a bone out of place will eventually cause symptoms and if untreated, major illness down the line.  This is because the nerves connect the brain to the rest of the body – that’s how God made the body and that is how he understands innate intelligence to be.  If the nerves are being blocked or squeezed by a bone out of place – then the signals from the brain will not be sent thru properly.  He didn’t make it up – you can see on nerve charts and he studied neurology where each nerve goes to and supplies which organ.  Which is why I balk at the suggestion that chiropractors have no more training than a massage therapist.  The next time you get a massage, ask the therapist which nerve innervates the heart and which ones supply the lungs and where in the spinal cord these nerves reside.  I promise you they won’t know.  Which isn’t to say massage therapist are dumb – they are not, they are specialists in their field of study, and so are chiropractors.  And heart surgeons, and oncologists and physios.    

    When someone has a heart attack – it isn’t because they just suddenly overnight developed blocked arteries.  It’s because over the years, thru poor diet, stress etc. their arteries became blocked.  Chiropractic doesn’t prevent a heart attack if a patient continues to inhale cheeseburgers and don’t exercise.  That’s why we come at health from a wholistic point of view.  Remove the interference on the nerve, get the patient out of pain, get them well and help them to stay well thru regular chiropractic care, proper nutrition and diet and regular exercise.  

    Why the dismay over the number of chiropractic techniques?  There are a number of medical procedures and protocols for any given condition.  Take cancer treatment for example – depending on the cancer, there are any number of treatment plans available and any combination of treatment techniques including surgery if needed.  Every patient is different, have different medical history and we aim to understand and deploy techniques that help them the best.  One patient had severe sciatica, went to a chiro down the road from us and got worse.  The chiro just did the same technique on him as he did for everyone else, with little to no results.  He came to us, we actually listened to his concerns and we used specific techniques and treatment plans that were tailored to his condition.  He now comes in 2 times a week and has experienced reduced sciatic pain and has referred friends to our practice.  Not all chiropractors are the same – same as not all MDs or physios or DOs are the same.  I just hope that people can find out for themselves and not dismiss it out of hand without trying it out.

    Funnily enough – my husband and I do not subscribe to qi or Chinese philosophy.  We’re both Chinese and have grown up with superstitious parents and extended families.  We’re both Christians now and have decided to not get too deeply into that because it is rooted in mystical spiritualism, for the most part.