Author Archives: Linda Riddell

Data-Driven Decision Making

That’s the buzz word du jour – data-driven decision making (along with “evidence-based policy”), based upon the idea that data speaks Complete sentences In English and Clearly, unmistakably points to one conclusion.

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Math Makes Us Sick

Have you heard the news?  Half of all Americans are ill. Yesterday, we were well – today, not so much, all thanks not to an eminent diagnostician or physician extraordinaire . . . but thanks to mathematics.

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Sex, drugs, and no logic

The most fun you can have without laughing. Paddling up Coochie Creek. Passing the gravy Whatever you call it, sexual intercourse is a part of normal, healthy human functioning.  We all know it leads to more humans, absent special drugs … Continue reading

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The Joy of Scapegoating

“A good scapegoat is nearly as welcome as a solution to the problem.” – Anonymous Who hasn’t had the joy of blaming someone?  You are absolved entirely and the solution involves some other poor sap changing his ways.  Despite the … Continue reading

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Job as remedy

Conservatives everywhere, rejoice!  At last, an expensive illness that can be “treated” by getting the patient a job.  Conservatives’ favorite rant about needy people – they just need to get a job – is vindicated and it’s even backed up … Continue reading

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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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