Ignorant intelligentsia, cosmic ray spallation, sinister advisors, integrative medicine and the speed of thought

The intelligentsia … have encouraged the poor to believe that their poverty is caused by the rich – a message that may be a passing annoyance to the rich but a lasting handicap to the poor, who may see less need to make fundamental changes in their own lives that could lift them up, instead of focusing their efforts on tearing others down.

The intelligentsia have acted as if their ignorance of why some people earn unusually high incomes is a reason why those incomes are either suspect or ought not to be permitted.


The next time you see a plant, think not only of the evolutionary story that allowed it to be so, but the cosmic one, that enabled the elements essential to it to even exist. Without the most catastrophic, energetic events in the Universe, three of the lightest elements, lithium, beryllium and boron, simply would not be.


Russian urban explorer and photographer Ralph Mirebs discovered an enormous, abandoned hangar in Kazakhstan.


If there is any doubt about the Pope’s total adherence to an anti-capitalist, anti-growth, and eco-hysterical agenda, you only need to look at his closest science advisors.  The most recent “advisor” to the Vatican this week is Canadian journalist Naomi Klein.


Basically, starting around the late 1960s and early 1970s, in a bid to gain respectability for what was then called quackery or health fraud, the term “alternative medicine” was coined, which didn’t have all the harsh connotations of the usual language. Around that same time, James Reston, a New York Times editor, wrote about his experience undergoing an emergency appendectomy while visiting China in 1971. His story was represented as successful “acupuncture anesthesia,”when it was anything but, stimulating popular interest in “alternative” medical approaches. However, the word “alternative” implied that this was not “real” medicine, that it still was somehow unrespectable (which it was and still is, for good reason). Consequently, in the 1990s, around about the time Rothenberg Gritz was in high school admiring her dad’s woo-filled medical practice, a new term was born: complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The idea was that you need not fear these quack medical practices because they would be used in addition to medicine, not instead of it. This term contributed greatly to the increasing embrace of CAM by medical academia, but it was still not good enough for its advocates. After all, the word “complementary” implies a subsidiary status, that CAM is not the main medicine but just icing on the cake, so to speak.

That did not sit well with advocates, who wanted their woo to be fully part of medicine, even though they didn’t have the evidence for that to happen naturally. Thus was born the current term “integrative medicine.” No longer did CAM practitioners have to settle for having their quackery be merely “complementary” to real medicine. They could use this term to claim co-equal status with practitioners of real medicine. The implication—the very, very, very intentional implication—was that alternative medicine was co-equal to science- and evidence-based medicine, an equal partner in the “integration.”


In the human context, the signals carried by the large-diameter, myelinated neurons that link the spinal cord to the muscles can travel at speeds ranging from 70-120 meters per second (m/s) (156-270 miles per hour[mph]), while signals traveling along the same paths carried by the small-diameter, unmyelinated fibers of the pain receptors travel at speeds ranging from 0.5-2 m/s (1.1-4.4 mph). That’s quite a difference!



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