Archive for: July, 2010

Who are you again?

Jul 02 2010 Published by under Narcissistic self-involvement

DrugMonkey has revived a blog meme that originated with uber science writer Ed Yong. It is basically a request for readers to "de-lurk". On any blog, the majority of readers never comment, and the people who do comment tend to so over and over again.
Writers are inherently narcissistic. As bloggers we can get an idea of how many people are reading us, but not that much else.
So for the sake of the community, I'd like to ask you all, without revealing any important identifying information, who you are. Just leave a comment, even if you never have before. Don't worry about the email address requirement. That isn't visible publicly and you can always use a dummy address, such as Be anonymous or not.
I'd be interested to know many of the same things that DrugMonkey and Ed want to know. Do I know you IRL? Why do you read this blog? Do you have an interest in medicine, writing, journalism, or nothing in particular?
Throw me a bone here.

126 responses so far

Cowpox as a sexually transmitted disease?

Jul 01 2010 Published by under Medicine

In February, a young woman visited an urgent care clinic complaining of painful vaginal ulcers.  The differential diagnosis of genital ulcers is interesting.  Common sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea and chlamydia don't cause ulcers, but syphilis, herpes, chanchroid do (as do other diseases, but they are not common in the U.S.).  Syphilis is typically painless, so most painful genital ulcers turn out to be herpes, and sometimes chanchroid.  She revealed to the doctors that she had recently had sex with her boyfriend, a soldier who had just been vaccinated against smallpox.  The clinic treated her for chanchoid and herpes, as well as gonorrhea and chlamydia, and perhaps cellulitis.  She didn't get better.  

Continue Reading »

10 responses so far

The Great Zombie Hoax

Jul 01 2010 Published by under Medicine


ZombiePal, thanks to Ataraxia Theatre

Scene: Harpo Studios, Chicago, IL, under heavy guard

Dramatis personae: Oprah Winfrey, talk show host; Jenny McCarthy, famous person; Erica Turner, un-dead North Sider

: Jenny, you have been such a maverick. It takes a brave person, one with great inner strength, to say things that are unpopular. How is that adorable boy of yours?

Jenny: Well, he's just great! I have him on a new diet and it's done wonders!

Oprah: That's great! I need to ask you all about it, but first, what do you say to those folks out there who say such negative things about you? I mean, does it get you down?

Jenny: Of course not, Oprah!


Jenny: You know, Oprah, it's all about money.  The drug companies want us to be scared, they want us to depend on what they sell.  

Oprah: And what is it they are selling?  It seems to me they want to help us.  I mean...

Jenny: That's exactly it!  They want us to think that, and when they give it away free like they are, that's the most evil part.  It gets us hooked!

Oprah (turning to face camera): We're talking of course about Zombievax.  This unprecedented collaboration between pharmaceutical companies and governments which the CDC says has slowed the current pandemic.

Jenny: The CDC!  They are the worst!  They're the ones who invented this [air quotes] pandemic.  These so-called zombies are just like you and me.  It's not an illness at all! 

Oprah (turning to camera again): Folks, I don't know how my producer Jill pulled this off.  We have the former Mrs. Erica Turner, a native Chicagoan from the North Side...


Oprah: Erica is one of these so-called zombies, although I think it's kinder to refer to them, in the words of my dear friend Deepak Chopra, "life-force challenged", don't you, Erica?

Erica: (Incoherent grunting)


Oprah: Now, Jenny, you were telling us how this isn't really a disease, is that right?  Cause (turning to Erica) no offense, Sister, but you ain't lookin' too good (turning to audience), right folks?


Oprah: I mean, I'm all into the natural look, but you put the stressed in distressed, girl!  I mean, I can get on the phone in two seconds, or Jill can, and we can do a makeover, and do something about those teeth.  Would you like that?

Erica: (Incoherent grunting)

Oprah: I'll take that as a "yes".  What do you think, people?  Should we make her over?


Jenny: And I think my diet could really help her too! And I brought a copy of it! 

Jenny hands book to Erica. Erica latches on to Jenny's hand and bites off her left index finger.

Jenny (giggling): Girlfriend, fingers are not on the diet. They just wreck the immune system!  That's why you have to read my book!

Oprah (turning to audience): I want each of you to look under your seat.  See that?  (points at various audience members) You get a book!  And you get a book! And you get a book!

(thunderous applause)

Jenny (shouting over applause, holding up her book): I know...(raising voice)  I know you all think this is some horrible diet where you eat gluten-free bread and raw carrots.  But this diet lets you eat stuff we all like!

Jenny (leaning toward Erica, but not too close):  This diet will keep you healthy, and you won't need any Big Pharma vaccines, vaccines that will kill you!  And you only have to remember one thing.  Do you know what that one thing is,  Erica?

Erica (lumbering away from Jenny): BRAAINNSS!!!!!

10 responses so far

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