Category Archives: Uncategorized

Twenty links for April 2013

A selection of articles I’ve recently bruited to the world on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.

  1. Autoimmunity and the worm (Nutri-Link Clinical Education)
  2. Naturopathic treatments for anxiety (Nutri-Link Clinical Education)
  3. Number of drugs that react dangerously with grapefruit is increasing (Nutri-Link Clinical Education)
  4. Lies the stress-addicted tell themselves (Whole 9 Life)
  5. Withdrawal symptoms from psych meds might earn you another psychiatric diagnosis (Beyond Meds)
  6. Human stool treatment upends race to treat colon germ (Chicago Tribune)
  7. Blogger’s self-experiment with his salt intake and blood pressure (Seth’s Blog)
  8. Poop: the cure of the future? (Chris Kesser)
  9. Sugar consumption declined 12% between 1974 and 1976, so the sugar industry hired a PR firm (Mother Jones)
  10. Vitamin D promotes fat loss, muscle gain in women (Dr. Briffa)
  11. Gluten sensitivity in the absence of celiac disease exists (Dr. Briffa)
  12. “Open labs” bring academic, govt, pharma researchers together to work on new antibiotics (NYT)
  13. UK institution on diet and health is partly funded by the food industry (Independent UK)
  14. Ray of light in the right location boosts motivation (New Scientist)
  15. Calculator for UV exposure and vitamin D production, given location, time, sky condition, etc.
  16. How antibiotics make you fat (Mark’s Daily Apple)
  17. 7 foods you don’t need to buy organic (Mark’s Daily Apple)
  18. Top 9 most important foods to buy organic (Mark’s Daily Apple)
  19. Review of vitamin D deficiency and how to correct it (Times UK)
  20. Incontrovertible evidence that smile intensity predicts lifespan (Paleo for Women)



10 more blogging tips

See my first list of blogging tips.

An editor at Mashable once said that you shouldn’t take blogging tips from anyone whose blog gets fewer than 10,000 visitors a day. Or maybe it was 100,000. She can bite my squirrel. So what if my blog is so niche that even spam bots sneer at it. So what if I’m still not entirely sure what a spam bot is. I’ve been from one end of the blogosphere to the other, have posted regularly on two blogs for 2.5 years now, and have commenters from all over the world — at least a dozen of ’em.

I present herewith ten more recommendations for happier, saner blogging.

1. Don’t start a blog assuming that your friends’ interest will be the impetus to keep posting. It rarely happens that way. Any community you build will probably be from outside your social circle and will take many months to acquire.

2. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. We spend a lot of energy reinforcing the image of ourselves we think other people have. Writing for an audience of strangers who have no preconceived ideas about you can be freeing.

3. Resist the urge to make unflattering comments about the author photos of any books or websites you refer to. Those authors might actually visit your site.

4.  Consider that five posts a month seem to generate significantly more traffic than four. IME, anyway. Something to keep in mind If you can’t post as often as is recommended by experts (at least several times a week, they say).

5. Remember: more traffic means more asshole commenters. My experience guest posting on sites with more than 10,000 visitors per day told me that I cannot handle petty, ignorant snarkiness on a regular basis.

6. Use a responsive (mobile-device friendly) blog design especially if you’re using your blog as a work sample for potential employers or have a younger audience. You can check out what your blog looks like in various mobile devices here.

7. Don’t feel you have to publish every comment. Rude or aggressive comments will turn off many readers and will encourage other rude @#$!ers to visit.

8. Then again, some commenters just need a little bit more understanding. Especially on health-related sites, some people are struggling with issues that make smooth communication difficult.

9. Look out for a pervasive, subtle pressure to write in a sunny, optimistic voice. It’s especially common in women’s lifestyle websites. If that’s not how you feel, it can cause a build-up of resentment about blogging. Or maybe I’m just imagining it.

10. Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” Or I forgot or I changed my mind or I made a mistake or I’m no longer sure. You’re writing a blog, not coding for NASA. Readers might also be more inclined to contribute if they think you’re open to suggestions.

Excerpt from James Ellroy’s My Dark Places

I’ve been a big James Ellroy fan ever since I saw the movie L.A. Confidential. I went out and bought five of his books and read them one after the other in about three weeks. One of them was My Dark Places, his account of his attempt to find his mother’s murderer some 35 years after her death.

His description of his life in his twenties stuck with me. I include this passage as an example of the amazing lengths we’ll go to to tune our brain to a decent station.

“It was fall ’68. I met a freak a the Hollywood Public Library. He told me about Benzedrex inhalers.

They were an over-the-counter decongestant product encased in little plastic tubes. The tubes held a wad of cotton soaked in a substance called prophylhexadrine. You were supposed to stick the tube in your nose and take a few sniffs. You weren’t supposed to swallow the wads and fly on righteous ten-hour highs.

…They cost 69 cents. You could buy them or boost them all over L.A….The wads were two inches long and of cigarette circumference…The high was gooooood…It was just as good as a pharmaceutical upper high.

…[After losing two jobs in a row] I took a series of inhaler trips…I started seeing and hearing things that might or might not be real.

…It went bad slowly. The Voices came and went. Inhalers let them in. Liquor and enforced sobriety [from arrests for drunkenness, theft, and trespassing] stifled them. I understood the problem intellectually. Rational thought deserted me the second I popped the cotton wads in my mouth…

I could not stop taking inhalers. I heard the Voices for five years.

I spent most of that time outside. I lived in parks, backyards, and empty houses. I stole. I drank. I read and fantasized. I walked all over L.A. with cotton stuffed in my ears.

…I’d walk [down Wilshire Blvd. to the beach —  about 11 miles] and back in the course of one inhaler trip…

I walked five years away. They went by in a slow-motion blur.

Jail was my health retreat. I abstained from booze and dope and ate three meals a day…

I woke up strapped to a cot. I was alone in a private hospital…A doctor told me I’d have to stay there a month. I had an abscess on my lung the size of a big man’s fist. I needed 30 days of intravenous antibiotics.”

And that was the end of his OTC inhaler habit.



Twenty links for December 2012

A selection of links I’ve social media-ed about over the past several months:

  1. Gluten sensitivity common in people diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar (Beyond Meds)
  2. Higher vitamin D levels improve survival in bowel and skin cancer patients
  3. Gut flora might influence child’s odds for obesity
  4. US baby boomers urged to get tested for hepatitis C
  5. Gastric bypass surgery may cause nutrient deficiencies (from 2007)
  6. Pill Advised online health application has info on good and bad interactions between supplements and meds
  7. Curcumin as effective as drug for RA sufferers, study shows
  8. Sleep experiment: a month with no artificial light
  9. A blog for people who self-track their n=1 experiments — Quantified Self. From same site: How to self-experiment
  10. Why self experimentation matters (Mark’s Daily Apple)
  11. Constipation a common cause of bed-wetting (Slate)
  12. Thyme for acne and inflammation (Crunchy Betty)
  13. Dect cordless phones are like mini cell towers in your home
  14. Can doctors learn empathy? (NYT)
  15. Vitamin D Council’s guide to how much sun exposure produces how much vitamin D
  16. Despite being overwhelmed by influx of war vets, the VA health system gets high marks for quality
  17. Vitamin B5 for acne instead of Accutane
  18. If you’ve been harmed by psychiatric diagnosis, report your experience here
  19. 2009 Washington Post article on benzodiazepine side effects
  20. Can you spot the fake scientific studies? (Wired)

Ten links for November 2012

I use my Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ feeds to feature articles I’ve found on nutritional therapy, Rx alternatives, healthcare developments, the environment and health, etc. However, Google+ is well-nigh useless and recent changes to Facebook’s “algorithm” mean that only about 15 percent of my fans actually see my posts. So here’s a selection of the month’s links.

  1. Is wheat addictive?
  2. How did we come to believe saturated fat and cholesterol are bad for us?
  3. Medications that can cause tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  4. 227 bipolar patients rate 31 treatments on CureTogether
  5. Antidepressants and drug muggers
  6. Rhetological fallacies: a primer you can use when evaluating health claims or responding to diet Nazis
  7. 5 essential oils for mental clarity (Crunchy Betty)
  8. The top 10 food documentaries you can’t afford to miss
  9. How stress wrecks your gut