Friday, April 9, 2010

Mama Bean posts links on Friday - April 9, 2010

- I'm exploiting my son's cuteness! lol Not reeeeeally. I sent some pics of Bean modeling his cloth diapers to Greenline, and they added them to their website. I like to show him off. Little ego strokes. I guess that is pretty exploitative - mombloggy gods forgive me!

- I am a little disappointed in this picture series of how peeps are made. It didn't show the marshmallow getting pressed into the peep shapes, which is what I really wanted to see. But I did like the picture of the sugar getting sprayed with yellow dye, which was JC's favourite part as well. I wonder how bright the pink dye must be! I'd never tasted a peep until this year, when Papa Bean and I bought some on sale. They are kind of boring - it's just plain marshmallow. I thought they'd be flavoured (citrus? banana? How AWESOME would banana be? That's my favourite fake flavour. I wish we'd done the organic chem lab where you make the ester responsible for fake banana flavour. Instead, I got to isolate clove oil. Booooooring, and not at all delicious. Oops, I've run off track.) Sooo... yay peeps? Nope.

- As Dr. Lovely pointed out on my fbook this week, Seth Godin is a genius. He is one of my favourite daily visits. In this post he lays out some ways virtual friends should be encouraging and challenging you to grow and be your best. In some corners of the momblogiverse, encouraging and challenging start to look more like sniping and spiteful attacks. But I have been blessed with some really excellent friends where the online and offline demarcation is blurred, and it's truly the best of both worlds.

- Oh man, this tab was sitting on my browser for days. I really enjoyed it, but kept hesitating to post it, I don't know why. He's a talented kid, and he sings the theme songs to a bunch of the shows I watch. Videos like this are what the internet is for. (Also, the internet is for porn! Eeeeexactly...(no the link is not NSFW)(Brackets within brackets again, with a side order of italics. Seriously...)(And it would appear ellipses are also becoming a problem...))

- True friends will drive you to the airport. True lovers will pick you up. At the gate. Jane Friedman laments a potential shift in her relationship when he picks her up by waiting in the parking lot and calling her cell. I might feel the same way. Papa Bean always made it to the gate during our back and forth visits while I was at Chiropractic college. I was not so great at being on time...but he still loves me. We wouldn't have survived a three year long-distance relationship if he wasn't so patient. JC and Jenn likewise shared touching stories of their lovers' dedication (waiting with Gwen Stefani tickets, and somehow consistently circumventing security blocks others' unromantically comply with, respectively.)

- For some reason, I pay a lot of online attention to Unfriendlies toward Chiropractic, including Science-Based Medicine. The bloggers there recently met with Josephine Briggs, the director of the US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM.) SBM is dedicated to bringing about NCCAM's demise, which makes this post feel a little like lip-service, but I guess we have to be thankful for any dialogue, even if it feels a little fake. The SBM folks are always calling for better research from CAM providers, but then they want to kill the primary funding source of that research, which is just another way of saying they don't actually want the research to get done at all. It's very frustrating, from my position as a scientist, because I want the evidence to back my profession as much as anyone, and I know we need that funding to accomplish it. So. Where was I going? I wish they'd back off sometimes. Dr. Amanda points out no amount of research may be sufficient, as our profession has produced some compelling studies thus far, which they discredit in various ways, chiefly that the research isn't the gold standard double-blinded randomized controlled trial. But there are major barriers to successfully engineering that kind of study using Chiropractic methods, namely, how do you deliver a sham/placebo adjustment, and how do you "blind" the providers? Anyway, scientific conundrums make the world go round, this was just an interesting article for my Chiropractic colleagues, showing the NCCAM director going to bat for us against some of the Big Bad Skeptics.

- Help me, eh? If Canadians were phishers...

- Last week me met the Sharing Machine family of webcomics, this week we meet xkcd. His depiction of hell is pretty much bang on. An American friend commented this makes him think of Health Care Reform, which made me lol. In this particular issue, I liken being Canadian to being like Switzerland - I'm neutral! Which isn't totally true, because I think universal healthcare is a great idea. But I don't know enough about the HCR bill as it stands to know if it's the best solution, and I also do know the legislation will likely adversely affect some of my Chiro buddies. So, yeah, I'm SwitzerCanada, and that's all I'm going to say about that haha.

- So I mostly posted this picture because it's a dress that's a hippo and hippos are my FAVOURITE omg pon1es!!!11!!!!1 The dressed was fugged, but I don't care. If I were model-thin, I'd wear it. And then I'd go eat a gosh darn sandwich...

- Oh man, we're heavy on the boring and scientifical this week. Alright, so this huge study followed the dietary habits of a whole pile of people for many many years, and found only a slight protective factor against cancer from a diet high in fruits and vegetables. But what does it all mean? It does not mean we don't have to eat fruits and vegetables anymore, that's just silly, they are healthy and full of nutrients, and offer numerous health benefits besides their long purported helpfulness against cancer. The point is, that hypothesized effect of high order protection against cancer is actually almost statistically insignificant, so we should stop spending valuable research dollars in that arena, and apply them more judiciously to other avenues. At least, in my analysis.

- And yet another thinky post: a case study of elementary students who didn't start learning rote arithmetic functions until grade six. They learned to count and measure things, to have some very practical experience with numbers, but instead of endlessly drilling tables, they told each other stories. They talked to each other. They used language. Guess what? Math is a language. Any discipline or area of knowledge is just a language, and when you can navigate words and word systems with ease, you can learn new languages more easily. These kids caught up to their standardly taught peers quickly, and consistently out-performed on word problems requiring reasoning and critical thinking. This case was performed decades ago, with no policy change in site, but I think (as the author points out) that homeschoolers have probably been doing this in a modified way for ages. There is something to be said for a middle ground - teaching concepts and focusing on language instead of rote recitation and drills, and there's something to be said for the Montessori method of allowing children to guide their own learning, so they learn things when they're ready to learn them. Maybe we aren't really ready to learn math at seven years of age. And by we, I don't mean myself (or Char, who commented) because I loved math in elementary school, table or word problems, didn't matter. I was a n.e.r.d. to the nth degree.

- The internet celebrates the Found, perhaps no where more explicitly than here. Today's post is a shopping list that ends with "too much ear wax." In my head, I read this list as a beat poem.

This week was not a terribly active blogging week. Too much happening in the offline world - Easter potlucks with friends, Easter vigil mass, Easter church brunch, and friends visiting overnight. I have a string of ideas to work on, hopefully this weekend will have a little more time for it.


  1. Love the link love, but I was hoping for a sidebar of blogs you follow or sites checked regularly. Lead me.