Category: Health
Deliberately breaking babies bones

Doctors are deliberately breaking babies bones rather than scheduling caesarians for at risk mothers:

“We push down on the clavicle with our thumb and finger”

Breaking bones causes pain. Babies feel it:

The baby will not move the painful, injured arm. Instead, the baby will hold it still against the side of the body. Lifting the baby…


OK. Sometimes even with the best system in the world it will be necessary to on occasion break bones to save the baby from worse harm. But I don’t think we are talking about that. I think we are talking about the lefty abhorrence of the modern West and in particular of its increadibly safe mode of birth. The sisterhood advocate against caesarians. And boy, do some of them hate caesarians:

Social workers have placed the five-year-old daughter of a professional couple on the child protection register for “emotional abuse” after the mother told the girl she was delivered by caesarean.

Rather puts this into perspective

Dr Pecoraro said despite the risks it was better to let an obese woman try and labour naturally rather than carrying out an elective caesarean.

I wonder what he means by “better”? It’s certainly cheaper. The kids are too young to complain, so who cares?

How many kids are we talking about?

Doctors in Queensland say the shock procedure is carried out on up to 1000 infants across the state.

Brisbane obstetrician Dr Gino Pecoraro, president of the Australian Medical Association Queensland, said an increasing number of cases meant junior doctors now took part in regular mock-up trials.


Queensland is the State health system that unleashed Dr Death onto the people. Your tax dollars at work, and he probably would still be at work if he had limited himself to breaking babies bones.

Thus progresses the slippery slope of a State medical system. Obama and the Democrats will have the blood of dead American babies on their hands. Mark my words. It is not only the grandma who has to worry, it’s the grandkids. All are costs to the government when it is paying for their “care”.

As Krugman would say, bring on the “death panels”. As long as you are dying from bureaucratic forces its OK. Just don’t let those market forces save you. Yep, that’s a poke at the Canadian system.

TSA Pornoscanner safety

The above graphic gives an indication of how heavily censored information about the scanners is. Most concern is being raised in the USA. But there have been protests elsewhere. Canada has the machines, Australia is due to start using the scanners next year.

This has resulted in a molecular biologist posting a missive that includes information and questions about the safety of the scanners. The questions relate to the fact that an X-ray beam is rastered across the body.

Unanswered questions include:

  • What happens if the machine fails, or gets stuck, during a raster. How much radiation would a person’s eye, hand, testicle, stomach, etc be exposed to during such a failure?
  • What is the failure rate of these machines? What is the failure rate in an operational environment?
  • Who services the machine? What is the decay rate of the filter? What is the decay rate of the shielding material?
  • What is the variability in the power of the X-ray source during the manufacturing process?

This last question may seem trivial; however, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory noted significant differences in their test models, which were supposed to be precisely up to spec. Its also interesting to note that the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory criticized other reports from NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology) and a group called Medical and Health Physics Consulting for testing the machine while one of the two X-ray sources was disabled (citations at the bottom of the page).

These questions have not been answered to any satisfaction and the UCSF scientists, all esteemed in their fields and members of the National Academy of Sciences have been dismissed based on a couple of reports seemingly hastily put together by mid-level government lab technicians. The documents that I have reviewed thus far either have NO AUTHOR CREDITS or are NOT authored by anyone with either a Ph.D. or a M.D., raising serious concerns of the extent of the expertise of the individuals and organizations evaluating these machines. Yet, the FDA and TSA continue to dismiss some of the most talented scientists in the country…

With respect to errors in the safety reports and/or misleading information about them, the statement that one scan is equivalent to 2-3 minutes of your flight is VERY misleading.

Most cosmic radiation is composed of high energy particles that passes right through our body, the plane and even most of the earth itself without being absorbed or even detected. The spectrum that is dangerous is known as ionizing radiation and most of that is absorbed by the hull of the airplane. So relating non-absorbing cosmic radiation to tissue absorbing man-made radiation is simply misleading and wrong.

Furthermore, when making this comparison, the TSA and FDA are calculating that the dose is absorbed throughout the body. According the simulations performed by NIST, the relative absorption of the radiation is ~20-35-fold higher in the skin, breast, testes and thymus than the brain, or 7-12-fold higher than bone marrow. So a total body dose is misleading, because there is differential absorption in some tissues. Of particular concern is radiation exposure to the testes, which could result in infertility or birth defects, and breasts for women who might carry a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation. Even more alarming is that because the radiation energy is the same for all adults, children or infants, the relative absorbed dose is twice as high for small children and infants because they have a smaller body mass (both total and tissue specific) to distribute the dose. Alarmingly, the radiation dose to an infant’s testes and skeleton is 60-fold higher than the absorbed dose to an adult brain!

Hat tip Boing Boing

I can’t in good conscience paste any more of their post. Read the whole thing.

The Obama administration has imposed this on Americans. The Gillard government is on track to do the same for Australians. We do not have to put up with it.


In case you think the machines are effective securtity it is worth hearing what an Israeli expert, Rafi Sela, had to say. Rafi is the former chief security officer of the Israel Airport Authority and a 30-year veteran in airport security and defence technology. He helped design the security at Ben Gurion. He said:

“I don’t know why everybody is running to buy these expensive and useless machines. I can overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to bring down a Boeing 747… That’s why we haven’t put them in our airport,”

Apparently Canada bought 44 scanners earlier this year, with each machine costing $250,000.

Source: Vancouver Sun, hat tip Naked Capitalism

Evidence for premonitions

Daryl Bem has a fascinating paper reporting experimental findings suggesting people have psychic abilities and are able to sense and react to future stimuli, before the stimuli are decided on i.e. the causal relationship in time is reversed.

“This article reports 9 experiments, involving more than 1,000 participants, that test for retroactive influence by “time-reversing” well-established psychological effects so that the individual’s responses are obtained before the putatively causal stimulus events occur. Data are presented for 4 time-reversed effects: precognitive approach to erotic stimuli and precognitive avoidance of negative stimuli; retroactive priming; retroactive habituation; and retroactive facilitation of recall. The mean effect size (d) in psi performance across all 9 experiments was 0.22, and all but one of them yielded statistically significant results. The individual-difference variable of stimulus seeking, a component of extraversion, was significantly correlated with psi performance in 5 of the experiments, with participants who scored above the midpoint on a scale of stimulus seeking achieving a mean effect size of 0.43”.

Chances are that this is explained by Ioannidis in Why Most Published Research Findings are False:

“There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. The probability that a research claim is true may depend on study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and, importantly, the ratio of true to no relationships among the relationships probed in each scientific field. In this framework, a research finding is less likely to be true when the studies conducted in a field are smaller; when effect sizes are smaller; when there is a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships; where there is greater flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes; when there is greater financial and other interest and prejudice; and when more teams are involved in a scientific field in chase of statistical significance. Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias. In this essay, I discuss the implications of these problems for the conduct and interpretation of research”.

But having just read:

“Social scientists are well aware of the pitfalls of modelling and the risk of reaching false conclusions. Two variables can appear to be causally related and yet, in fact, be both related to a third factor and be simply fellow travellers responding in lockstep to that third factor. In that case, the causal relation may appear to be robust when it is in fact non-existent.”.

Chances are there is more to reality than our consciousness is able to understand. Perhaps this includes the nature of time and the apparent direction of cause and effect.

Perhaps I owe the Sydney Morning Herald an appology for writing:

Lefty fantasy journalism

Lefty fantasy journalism strikes again, and we are not talking Philip Adams imagining life in a parallel universe this time. The Sydney Morning Herald claims Howard’s diplomatic faux pas in deciding to attend the Indonesian President’s inauguration has set off a chain reaction amongst regional countries, as they too now scramble to find someone to attend.

“The best evidence suggesting the Australian Prime Minister invited himself to an event heads of state have never traditionally attended”

Those few who bother reading to the end of the 460 word article will find the last 40 contradict what has gone before:

“Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi, was the first foreign leader to make it known he would come, but it was Mr Howard’s decision hours later that has caused Indonesia’s neighbours to respond. A spokesman for Mr Howard declined to comment”

Gosh, perhaps it was the Malaysian Prime Minister’s decision to attend which set off the stampede of attendees? With the Howard Government being quicker to respond than others, something it should be congratulated for.

But I forgot, in the Adams parallel universe cause and effect run in reverse. It was Howard’s decision to attend that caused the Malaysian PM to announce his attendance before Howard made his decision. Or perhaps there was a time hiccup or worm hole? After all, journalism this rotten must be full of worm holes.

Update: Howard has said:

“That stuff in the paper this morning was ridiculous”.

No not ridiculous, a calculated attempt to mislead readers and discredit the government. But in the Adams universe that is good journalism. No doubt Marr could not agree more.