Joys of Vodacom: I was constructing a kick-butt post with scientific references and all about the efficacy of 2 herbal flu remedies, when my internet kicked out and… guess what. Yes, you guessed it. Post gone.
It even featured this ad:
I’n’t that a cute ad?
Anyways, I’ll post something a bit less elaborate, here it is:
Firstly, good news for struggling authors.
Thought that first novel of yours, that killer novel, ought to be a best-seller?
Well, so do I! But what you and I think, doesn’t seem to stand up to stats… apparently, on average it takes a new author 7 to 13 titles to be “discovered”. So if books 1 through to 3 haven’t done it for you yet, just keep plugging and just keep writing… I love the character “Dory” from “Finding Nemo”: “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…” (C’mon, face it: You’d have kept on writing anyway! Because it’s a compulsion, you love doing it. And after all you do have an appreciative audience, no matter how small in the beginning. So keep going.)
Profoundly annoying dysfunction of WordPress:
The new editor jumps. Every time I change the style (e.g. insert a heading) it jumps back to the top. WP, STOP THAT!!
(and it did it again! Add to that, that this computer has been pre-used… how something like that gets back into a sealed box, I have no clue, but parts of the keyboard are “numb”, especially the P, the O, the space bar(!!)… evidence that the keyboard has been “hammered”, a classic gamer malpractice – and I found games loaded onto it last year August, which is several months before I bought it. :-P After having to battle for a month to get my Lenovo replaced with even this, I dare not take this one back. Guys be warned: Incredible Corruption is Alive and Well.)
…don’t really belong on this blog. I’ll post them when the people at P’kaboo have posted them on the Official P’kaboo Blog Site (http://pkaboonews.blogspot.com/). ;-)
Meanwhile I don’t think I’ve linked to Douglas’ latest review yet? By R.Luke Lively. Congrats, Douglas.
“Truther” as a put-down, and “herb denialists”
Have you ever come across the word “truth” used in a profoundly negative context? In fact, abused as a swearword? as in, “All you ever care about is the truth! Don’t you want to hear the politics?” or “You’re such a truther – you’re not prepared to believe things without checking if they are in fact true.” Or… shucks. I struggle to think up examples. Comments are invited! :-D
As a contrast, a person who points out with mirth that the “active” ingredient in Echinaforce is in fact the 65% alcohol, is a what? …. a “herb denialist”? No?
RESULTS:Human H1N1-type IV, highly pathogenic avian IV (HPAIV) of the H5- and H7-types, as well as swine origin IV (S-OIV, H1N1), were all inactivated in cell culture assays by the EF [Echinaforce] preparation at concentrations ranging from the recommended dose for oral consumption to several orders of magnitude lower. Detailed studies with the H5N1 HPAIV strain indicated that direct contact between EF and virus was required, prior to infection, in order to obtain maximum inhibition in virus replication. Hemagglutination assays showed that the extract inhibited the receptor binding activity of the virus, suggesting that the extract interferes with the viral entry into cells. In sequential passage studies under treatment in cell culture with the H5N1 virus no EF-resistant variants emerged, in contrast to Tamiflu, which produced resistant viruses upon passaging. Furthermore, the Tamiflu-resistant virus was just as susceptible to EF as the wild type virus.
(source: Pubmed, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19912623)
(Sorry. This is what scientists love doing: Jamming in references to trusted sources such as peer-reviewed scientific journals.)
Technically, every honest scientist is a “truther” – someone who will not simply believe something because you say so, but does his own research to stave or disprove it.
Of course you also get people who will not believe anything you tell them simply because they are naive, distrustful individuals… mind, usually naive people are more trusting than they should be. It’s the loss of naivety that leads to “truthism”. (And what’s the opposite of “truthism”: Dogmatism & blind faith? Or worse: Deliberate lies?)
And on the topic of conversation-ending put-downs:
“Godwin’s Law (or Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies) is an Internet adage asserting that “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1“— that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Hitler or Nazism.” (quote from Wikipedia)
The rule is that whoever first brings up Hitler and the Nazis, has 1) ended the discussion or thread and 2) instantly lost the argument. :-D I find it highly amusing that someone actually formulated such a law.
It can be applied to put-downs in general: The second someone calls you a this or a that, it ends the discussion and shows they have lost their argument (because they are out of genuine answers).
Questions about Gardasil
Instead of stating this or that I’m going to ask some questions, re vaccinations and specifically, re Gardasil which is recommended as a blanket vaccine (LOL) for girls / women between 9 and 26. But not for women over 26. Several sites claim that it is “not recommended for women older than 26″; one even goes as far as to say that if you turn 26 in the 6 months of your 3 Gardasil shots, it’s “still safe to complete the course”. So my first question is:
- Why is that? What’s this thing about age 26 that is so detrimental to this vaccine? Why doesn’t it work in women older than that?
It would be interesting to hear a genuine, scientifically sustainable answer to this apparently totally illogical situation.
Gardasil, acc. all the sources I’ve read (go do your own googling!), is a recombinant vaccine. They took a component of the virus (the cancer-causing HPV 16 and 18, and two others) and cloned it into yeast. Not into the horrible yeast you have encountered as thrush or moniliasis or even as athlete’s foot; into the yeast we use for making beer, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. So, you ought to be getting the goodness of the beverage that’s as old as humankind, with the vaccine.
Those of you who followed any of my previous vaccine postings, will recall a post where I explain 3 principal ways in which a vaccine can be manufactured. Most vaccines use “way 1″, the simple concept of using a little live virus, and relying on the low dosage being non-threatening. There are also vaccines that use “attenuated” virus that’s been zapped over the head (usually with radiation or something) to kill or at least, weaken it. Those sometimes get used for the more dangerous viruses. But the safest is the recombinant method: Using only the part the immune system recognizes, the coat protein.
Imagine a burglar. Wearing a warm winter coat. Can the coat alone break into your house and steal your stuff and murder you in your beds? No! That is the level of safety we are working with, at least in concept, when we use recombinant vaccine. We’re showing the coat to the police to make them alert, but the coat can’t turn around and stab us like the live burglar could (and does!) in vaccines such as the measles and flu vaccines (it’s called “shedding”).
And if that were the totality of all I knew about Gardasil I wouldn’t even hesitate.
But it turns out that there are over 35 000 adverse reactions reported on the VAERS – instantly the “truther” in me double-checks the VAERS, is it a charlatan site that claims that disease (“dis-ease”) is caused by eating meat and microbes are incidental? No – actually, the CDC and FDA started the VAERS as a place where people can report side effects for vaccines.
Therefore all data on VAERS is “anecdotal”. But sheesh – 35 000 “anecdotes”, a fair portion of them involving hospitalization, death, pulmonary arrest, fibromyalgia, and various other side effects – that’s a lot of anecdotes for the few years in which the vaccine’s been around.
So here comes my second question:
- If Gardasil is so safe, why are there such a lot of reported adverse reactions (including deaths)? How does this burglar’s coat manage that?
Keep in mind we’re dealing with the coat of the burglar HPV. The burglar himself can cause cancer. A pretty evil character that. But his coat??
A viral coat protein is just that – a protein. And a protein is a molecule that cannot self-replicate. It also cannot magically insert genes into someone’s DNA like the virus does; because genes are at least DNA or RNA and a protein is not. A protein cannot produce DNA or RNA. A protein cannot replicate. Then why – wait…
- Then why were there actual cases reported of HPV-caused cancer including pulmonary papilloma (that is, tumors in the lung)? Where did that HPV suddenly come from? A coat does not a burglar make!
Obviously the burglar’s coat will not protect you once the actual burglar is already in your house. But… there are places that suggest that if you take the vaccine (buy the coat) if you’re already being burgled, the coat will make it somehow worse.
Another thing that really annoyed me when I was digging for information online, was that sources can’t seem to agree on how many species there are 1) of HPV and 2) HPV that cause cancer.
Figures for 1) range from 40, 95, 109 to 140+.
Figures for 2) say either 2, 4, 5, 13 or “nearly all of the HPV species”.
- What are the actual figures and how can I be sure they are correct? Why is there this wealth of misinformation?
I am not addressing the question of the aluminium adjuvant and the other additives at all. I feel, if they are to be discussed, it has to be separately.
And remember, the first one playing the Nazi card has lost the discussion! :-D