What I’ve Been Reading Feb. 29

The Economist on Santorum’s mischaracterization and vilification of Kennedy’s remarks on the separation of church and state and the role of religion in the public sphere. Ew, Santorum.

Apparently, the have the same lack of understanding in the U.K. as in the U.S. Court says no official/public prayer at government events, people claim government is limiting their freedom of religion/ability to pray. In the U.S. it’s often followed by a claim that atheists are trying to stop prayer. We don’t actually care if you pray, we just don’t like hearing it at government events. Personally, I think it’s funny that people take such comfort in talking to imaginary friends.

Found this blog via the Secular Student Alliance’s Facebook. Some days really suck for atheists – the blogger highlighted a few stories last week that I missed/didn’t explore.

I didn’t quite finish reading this Economist article about Rick Santorum. It just happens to catch my general sentiment toward Santorum. The more he talks, the more annoying and crazy he sounds. It’s funny that he encouraged Dems to vote in the Michigan primary against Romney – if Santorum wins the nom, Obama is going to win a second term.

I realize I post more about the Republican party than the Democratic party. I’m going to try to change that in the future, but to be fair most of the articles out there right now talk about Republicans, not Democrats. Anyway, “The Possum Republicans” is a clever take on the Republican party.

We need to focus a heck of a lot more resources on finding out why severe food allergies are on the rise, especially since the alternate option seems to be legislating food out of schools. :p

Yes, I am beating this topic to death (I wish everyone else would, too!), but I particularly enjoyed this writer’s analysis of the zombie Muhammad debacle. (I could be really irritating and call it zombieMuhammadgate. Ha.)

The lesson from this article about anticholinergics (a type of drug…or rather a category that many drugs fall into, often because of their side-effects) seems to be that you can’t rely entirely on your doctors to work out the best medication regiments for you – even if they know every single medication you’re on. Be your own advocate and research the medications you take!

ROAR! T. rex had a very strong bite. This was just for fun. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Reading Feb. 29

  1. Jimi says:

    I cannot help but wonder about the rise in food allergies. Everything I could say here would be opinion based, however there are some aspects of this that require deeper thought.
    As we look at this problem, it is definitely a generational problem, meaning with each generation it gets worse. What has changed in our society? Is our food now “too clean” and in the cleaning process something is being lost that allows our body to not be allergic to food.
    With the amount of “new” vaccines that we are getting at younger ages is this affecting us on a genetic level? Is the possibility for allergies being passed on in the womb or in the genes themselves?
    I was born in the mid 70s and I have encountered a small handful of people with food allergies, and none of those are sever at all. However, I am starting to see the rise in food allergies in newer generations from my own and it is worrisome. I do agree that we need to figure out what is going on in this area, it is very important.

    • I highly doubt that vaccines have anything to do with increased allergies. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but given the anti-vaccine movement’s propensity to ignore facts even suggesting such a connection seems like a bad idea. Sure, scientists and doctors might have it on a bucket list of possibilities, but I’d say leave it to them to figure out if there’s a link before we even throw the suggestion out there.

      I imagine that their is some genetic predisposition to allergies, but it’s doubtful that it’s all genetics. First, if no one in the family shows such severe allergies, it’s doubtful that it could be completely genetic. Second, I’ve read about doctors successfully treating allergies with exposure therapy which seems to indicate environmental factors. Finally, I think I read somewhere (I’m not sure about this) that one hypothesis is the drastic decrease in the variety of food that we eat. Nearly every processed food available in the U.S., for example, now contains corn. 50 years ago, the variety in our diets was much higher so we were all exposed to many more types of food.

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