Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Spotted by Mikes Eyes

I feel like I'm walking on cloud nine today. On Monday and Wednesday mornings I bowl on 2 mens's leagues. Of course they are sanctioned leagues by the United States Bowling congress. Anyway, Monday morning I rolled my first ever perfect game 300.

It was quite an experience. Not only was there an enormous sense of pride at the accomplishment, but you also learn a little something about yourself, your ability to concentrate under pressure. At least I did.

Everyone should have that experience at least a few times in their lives, that moment of perfection when you can say "I did it and I did it my way." Damn that feels good!


********************************************

In Sunday's (Feb. 26th) print edition of the Detroit News there is an article from the Washington Post titled "Emotions may drive politics." One has to wonder how much money was wasted making this groundbreaking discovery!

********************************************

Also in today's (Feb. 28th) Detroit News is an AP article by Carla K. Johnson titled "Dutch put chocolate in the plus column." The subtitle is "Study: Older men who eat one-third of a bar every day live longer." I like this study because there are lots of caveats in it, like: "'It's way to early to make recommendations about whether people should eat more cocoa or chocolate,' said Brian Buijsse, a nutritional epidemiologist at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, who co-authored the study."

And: "Still, the Dutch study, supported by grants from the Netherlands Prevention Foundation, appears to be the largest so far to document a health effect for cocoa beans. And it confirms findings of smaller, shorter-term studies that also linked chocolate with lower blood presure."

The reporter should not have used the word "confirms findings." She should have used something like "coincides with findings." The concept "confirms" suggests, even implies, that something has been verified or proven. Epidemiologic studies can't do that. They can only point to a conclusion not prove one. It takes an experiment to do that. She shouldn't have used "linked" either because it implies a causal connection has been made.

After reading the article in its entirety, the conclusion is: more study is needed.
Sigh.

*****************************************

On the same page is an article from the New York Times by Elizabeth Jensen titled "Kids' grades aren't hurt by lots of TV." This is not going to set well with a lot of social planners. And that pleases me. It seems to be a meta-analysis of "...a trove of data from the 1960s to argue that when it comes to academic test scores, parents can let children watch TV without fear of future harm."

I'm not so sure I'd jump on that bandwagon wholeheartedly but I sure would give it credibility at least up to a reasonable point. (I'm not talking about moderation for moderation's sake.) And isn't that what we should all be looking at regarding humans too, a reasonable point?

In Toxicology there is a principle: "the poison is in the dose." That applies to human behavior as well, whether it's chocolate or TV or anything else. A good doctor will tell you that you can't give the same dose to every person.

Science today is trying to "confirm" and "verify" what is good, or bad, for everyone.
It can't be done and we are wasting countless billions allowing the government to do it.
Post a Comment