Author Archives: Linda Riddell

Stupid is as stupid dies

All foam, no beer As smart as bait. Nothing going on upstairs. Hare-brained. There are plenty of ways to insult someone who is dumb, and now we can add injury to insult – people of lower intelligence die younger.  And … Continue reading

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Does this study make us look fat?

We are all weary of news about obesity, and here comes a rarity – an excellent study that uses pristine methods and accurate descriptions of the worldwide trends.  Sad to say, the message will likely get lost in the sound-bite … Continue reading

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Discover: Antidote to Health Bullshit

New research published in The Lancet has uncovered an antidote to a widespread, expensive, and devastating illness –health bullshit disease.  Sufferers are susceptible to painless easy weight loss promises, herbal cures for cancer, and many employee wellness programs.  Unlike any … Continue reading

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Newton’s law goes to the hospital

“To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction.” Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, 1687. When Newton penned his laws of motion in the late 1600s, he was surely not thinking of surprise hospital inspections.  (Hospitals date back to 350 … Continue reading

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Butterflies & Birth Control

Which of the following seems least ridiculous? A butterfly flapping its wings can set off a hurricane. Birth control pills and patches cause depression. Clearly, the birth-control-pill-depression connection seems plausible yet it is very similar to the butterfly example.  It … Continue reading

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NIH Budget Cut – Just what the doctor ordered?

The proposed 20% cut to the National Institutes of Health budget would spark much less furor if we clearly differentiated “health” from “medical care”.  More medical care – more advanced, more techy, more whatever – does not bring more health … Continue reading

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More choices, less happiness

On a hot summer ice-cream-craving day, would you choose the shop that has three flavors of ice cream or the one with three dozen?  If you want to be satisfied with your choice, you go to – surprise – the … Continue reading

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It that-must-not-be-named

There is a creeping, stealthy (some might say sinister) movement that just might change the face of health insurance in the United States.  It will continue as long as we do not say its name aloud, like Lord What’s-His-Name at … Continue reading

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The Jetsons Meet Alternative Medicine

Don’t get me wrong – I can enjoy a kale mango turmeric smoothie as much as the next guy.  But I’m no hipster when it comes to alternative medicine.  The real name for it should be “unstudied medicine”, and the … Continue reading

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Tinkerbell Meets Health Policy

Tinkerbell is rescued from near death by the audience clapping their hands showing their faithful belief in her.  The “Tinkerbell effect” describes things that exist only because we agree to believe in them –like the value of dollar bills or … Continue reading

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