December 19, 2011

neti pot hysteria

Filed under:, , , , , , , — cwage @ 8:49 pm

Apologies to my uterused friends for the use of the word "hysteria".

So, another person died from a naegleria fowleri infection transmitted via a neti pot. And, predictably, it's making the rounds with everyone freaking out, swearing off the neti pot, and generally panicking.

First, a bit of evangelism: the neti pot changed my life. I know, you've heard it all before, but hear it again. For certain types of people (like me), with truly effed up sinus geography (like mine), regular sinus infections are a part of life. Sinus surgery, rigorous application of steroids (oral and corticosteroid nasal spray), and decongestants helped me combat them to some extent, but not entirely. For much of my life, even post-sinus-surgery, I dealt with at least one sinus infection a month. At the behest of some friends, I finally bought a tried a neti pot. After overcoming the initial squickiness of it all, I learned to love it. And, in fact, I haven't had a serious sinus infection since I started. Only once did I relapse at all, and that was because I was travelling and didn't bring the neti pot. Lesson learned. It's nothing magical or mystical -- having used it long enough now, I know that there's one spot in the back of my sinuses (probably some remnant of my mostly-removed ethmoid sinus walls that remained post-surgery) where "stuff" accumulates. If I don't flush it out, it turns into an infection. Regularly.

Anyways, enough TMI. You get the drift: it changed my life, and I rely on it heavily. I flush my sinuses at least once a day, sometimes more.

Now, everyone is freaking out and sending me this article and encouraging me to only use microwaved distilled water. Yeah, no. I'll take my chances with the brain-eating amoeba. Seriously guys. A quick reality check, here:

  • There were two cases of this. Two. This alone is a statistical non-entity.
  • Both cases were confined to Louisiana, an area that fits the bill for where the CDC says the amoeba lurks: "southern-tier states" near large bodies of fresh water.
  • The amoeba is killed in water hotter than 47 degrees celsius (116.6F). Most hot water heaters are set to 120F to begin with.

These cases tell us far more about the quality of Louisiana's water supply and the temperature (or state) of the water heaters in question. So, speaking for myself, I'm faced with a choice: turn a 2 minute chore into a 15 minute one involving cases of distilled water and a microwave, or take my chances using tap water. Seeing as how I have a better chance of getting hit by lightning or winning the lottery then of getting infected by this amoeba, I think the choice is clear. I'm not sweating it.

It's hard, also, not to review these hysterical articles and not get a bit suspicious of the intentions: here we have a natural, cheap and effective remedy for sinus ailments, which are currently treated by modern allopathic medicine with drastic, expensive less-effective options (surgery, drugs, etc.) Two statistically negligible cases emerge, attributable more to the water supply and quality, and suddenly they're being demonized in the media. I'm not saying it's some huge conspiratorial campaign (never attribute to malice that which you can attribute to stupidity), but still, it's fishy. I'll never forget the sign I saw at Vanderbilt's ASAP (allergy and sinus) clinic with a picture of a neti pot that said (paraphrased), "don't rely on old wives' tales. come see the experts", or something similar. They also specifically advised me not to use one. Now that I've experienced how amazing the neti pot has actually been for me, I actually get a little angry, when I think about all the money and time I've spent on drugs, surgery, CT scan after CT scan, that they had the nerve to be so dismissive of something as simple as squirting water up your nose.

August 30, 2011


OMG. Did you hear about this? There's little point in speculation on what actually happened in this "story" until all the facts are in, but the speculation, lies, and rhetoric in the post and comments are already ridiculously hilarious.

My take/guesses:

  • The child is in 5th grade, so around, what, 9 years old? Have you ever seen a 9 year old biking on a road? They are like fearless psychotic demons with an inner-ear infection. It's a frightening thing.
  • The cop probably took the kid home because he was genuinely afraid that the kid was gonna become a stain on the road (and he was probably right).
  • No one was arrested.
  • The police representative claiming that DCS should get involved is an idiot (if they did, as the mother claims).
  • Anyone letting their 5th grader bike on roads in Tennessee is probably an idiot, too, but sadly, idiocy is not a dealbreaker for parenthood. (usually it's a prerequisite.)
  • Bill Hobbs' phone interview (in the comments) reads like a spectacularly executed attempt to cherrypick the statements to reinforce the aforementioned idiotic DCS comment, even though they probably didn't, at all.
  • Now that this has hit instapundit, we can expect the comment thread to reach epic levels of stupidity.

Yes, folks: because this poor cop tried to keep a kid from getting killed, he's "drunk with power" and needs to be fired. This is the next great battle against the police state. Not, you know, the countless daily deadly drug raids, creepy collusion between the state and media, and an ever-expanding military industrial complex. My suggestion: ignore that blog post, and this one, and move on.

November 1, 2008


Filed under:, , , , , , — cwage @ 11:25 am

Roger Abramson and I have disagreed on a lot in the past. In the spirit of reconciliation, I .. well, just kidding, here's something else:

5. Indeed, Sarah Palin is not stupid. Anyone who thinks Palin is stupid really has no idea what a stupid person really is.

I am gonna have to go ahead and disagree. Now, I'm not saying she is genuinely mentally deficient (I think), but she's said some really stupid shit. And she also demonstrates an ignorance not befitting someone that should really know more/better. First, the fruit fly thing. Yes, I know she wasn't referring to the bounty of genetics knowledge we've gleaned from fruit flies. (Though the fact that she didn't feel the need to clarify means she probably doesn't know it exists.) She was referring to research into fruit flies as a crop pest. Which, you know, is completely useless. The lord will provide, I guess? I hope so.

Then there's the first amendment thing. I won't even bother with the "I can see Russia from my house!" stuff -- I'm willing to write that off as election shenanigans.

I realize there are different types of "smart" -- and let's face it, when it comes to the ability to achieve success in politics seemingly without a wit of tact or knowledge whatsoever, this woman is a fucking genius. But I don't really see the need to defend her against accusations of being stupid in a traditional sense. This is a woman that has spent most of the campaign barricaded from the press because they were afraid of the insane shit that would come out of her mouth -- that is, until she "went rogue" and torpedoed any remaining hopes for McCain's campaign.

There are people I disagree with vehemently -- Republicans or otherwise -- that I would still concede are very smart people. Roger is one of them. Sarah Palin is not. She's either stupid or faking it really well. Either way, she's not fit for public office, and not worth defending.

August 7, 2006

My Disgust Triggers Stupid CNN Article

Filed under:, , , — cwage @ 5:51 pm

Dear CNN,

Regarding your recent article about "sexy music" and teen sex, quoting "researchers" with the RAND Corporation and a magazine.

Study: Sexy music triggers teen sex

CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- Teens whose iPods are full of music with raunchy, sexual lyrics start having sex sooner than those who prefer other songs, a study found.

Correlation does not equal causation.


May 7, 2006


Filed under:, — cwage @ 12:40 am

There's absolutely no way this guy is for real. No one is that stupid.

February 18, 2006

life in crazyville

Filed under:, , — cwage @ 6:52 pm

I'm sorry, but this is fucking hilarious:

Is abortion in society’s interest?

Can a society become more Muslim in its demographic character without also becoming more Muslim in its political and civil character?

Contraception and abortion are bad, evidently, because we don't make enough babies to keep up with the muslim world. To really drive home the crazy, Donald presents the thoughts of "reader Hazen D.":

Steyn wants to talk about abortion as a demographic factor but he ignores the demographic elephant in the room, namely contraception. Clearly abortion plays a part in the decline in birthrates but I have to believe that its role is dwarfed by the effect of widespread use of contraceptives. However, due to the popularity of contraceptives, no one wants to raise that issue. However much we like being able to control the timing and number of our children (and I’m in that group too), I can’t shed the belief that the Vatican is right on contraceptives as well.

That's right, folks. If you're using contraception, you're not doing your part to generate footsoldiers for the impending holy war between Christianity and Islam. Why do you hate America?

February 5, 2006

quote of the day

Filed under:, , , — cwage @ 7:56 pm

For reasons of national security and establishing this healthier, more vibrant free market this should be outlawed. Crazy thought, but what good does it do when the next 9/11 occurs and we learn the terrorists used an anonymizer to plan this attack. Also, as a normal LAW ABIDING citizen living in a civil society why use this, what are you trying to hide? Why not be apart of this new free market?

Quote courtesy of this guy, on the topic of .. encryption and anonymous internet surfing, over on this post by Lawrence Lessig.