This week we review disturbing vaccine study requirements, CBD an incredible gem if possibly protecting the lungs and restoring oxygen levels, and a strong correlation as to shoes being an unrecognized major disease vector. In addition to looking at COVID data correlations to which countries are locking down in response Sars-COV-2 to those which have not or have done little. #covidvaccine #covidvector #covidnews Data Sources API for DataFrames: The COVID Tracking Project Our wold in Data (Oxford) Links: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-10/uoo-ecw102220.php#.X5N_7_DuPM0.wordpress https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-10/b-cvt102020.php#.X5OGbCHAYR8.wordpress https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-10/mcog-chr101620.php#.X45lOsCeu4k.wordpress https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/7/20-0885_article
Our weekly review of the current COVID data and country comparisons as well as other oddities such as Mask Litter, Trash Cans, and Shoes being unintended spreaders. All this under the guise of Amateur Python Analytics. Brief CSV File Request Code below (Pandas). That will allow you to pull Oxford University Data up to the current date. Enjoy 😉
This is a long one, next week I will make it A LOT shorter.
#covid19 #sarscov2 #data
import pandas as pd
younameit = pd.read_csv(‘https://covid.ourworldindata.org/data/owid-covid-data.csv’)
Food for thought: Laughter and MIRTH (methodical investigation of risibility, therapeutic and harmful): Narrative synthesis
Laughter may not be the best medicine after all and can even be harmful to some patients, suggests the authors of a paper published in the Christmas edition of The BMJ.
Researchers from Birmingham and Oxford, in the UK, reviewed the reported benefits and harms of laughter. They used data published between 1946 and 2013. They concluded that laughter is a serious matter.
They identified benefits from laughter; harms from laughter; and conditions causing pathological laughter. Continue reading “Is laughter really the best medicine?”
2010 study posted for filing
Much of medicine is based on what is considered the strongest possible evidence: The placebo-controlled trial. A paper published in the October 19 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine – entitled “What’s In Placebos: Who Knows?” calls into question this foundation upon which much of medicine rests, by showing that there is no standard behind the standard – no standard for the placebo.
The thinking behind relying on placebo-controlled trials is this: to be sure a treatment itself is effective, one needs to compare people whose only difference is whether or not they are taking the drug. Both groups should equally think they are on the drug – to protect against effects of factors like expectation. So study participants are allocated “randomly” to the drug or a “placebo” – a pill that might be mistaken for the active drug but is inert.
But, according to the paper’s author, Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, this standard has a fundamental problem, “there isn’t anything actually known to be physiologically inert. On top of that, there are no regulations about what goes into placebos, and what is in them is often determined by the makers of the drug being studied, who have a vested interest in the outcome. And there has been no expectation that placebos’ composition be disclosed. At least then readers of the study might make up their own mind about whether the ingredients in the placebo might affect the interpretation of the study.”
Golomb pointed out these limitations to the placebo in a pair of letters to the journal Nature 15 years ago.
“A positive or negative effect of the placebo can lead to the misleading appearance of a negative or positive effect of the drug,” she said. “And an effect in the same direction as the drug can lead a true effect of the drug to be lost. These concerns aren’t just theoretical. Where the composition has been disclosed, the ingredients of the placebo have in some instances had a likely impact on the result of the study – in either direction (obscuring a real effect, or creating a spurious one). In the cases we know about, this is not because of any willful manipulation, but because it can in fact be difficult to come up with a placebo that does not have some kind of problem.”
Since 15 years have elapsed, the situation might have improved. Therefore, Golomb and her colleagues analyzed just how often randomized trials published in the past two years in each of the top four general medical journals actually disclosed the makeup of placebos.
The answer is not reassuring, according to the researchers, who found that the placebo ingredients for pills were disclosed in fewer than 10 percent of cases. (The nature of the “control” was significantly more likely to be stated for other types of treatments – like injections, acupuncture, or surgery – where people are more likely to question what “placebo” actually means.)
“How often study results are affected by what’s in the placebo is hard to say – because, as this study showed, most of the time we have no idea what the placebo is,” Golomb concluded.
Additional contributors to the study included Laura C. Erickson, BS, Sabrina Koperski, BS, Deanna Sack, BS, and UCSD Department of Medicine; Murray Enkin, MD, Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada; and Jeremy Howick, PhD, Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, University of Oxford, England.
PUBLISHED:16:50 EST, 11 October 2012| UPDATED:16:50 EST, 11 October 2012
Students at Harvard University have lambasted one of its halls of residence for naming a party ‘IncestFest’ – at which students are reportedly encouraged to make out with as many people as possible.
Kirkland House, which accommodates undergraduates at the illustrious university, throws the winter gathering for its ‘close-knit, bordering on downright incestuous’ students every year, the student newspaper explained.
Now one Harvard student has spoken out in the newspaper, The Crimson, about the ‘offensive and insensitive’ name of the party, and her criticisms are picking up support from fellow students.
‘Offensive’: Students walk into Kirkland House at Harvard, where the annual ‘IncestFest’ party is held
‘I am not only objecting to the name “IncestFest” because it is offensive and insensitive – although, indeed, it is, and it saddens me that this is not immediately obvious,’ Samantha Berstler wrote.
‘I am writing this because incest is notoriously invisible and leaves its victims burdened with shame and humiliation for the rest of their lives.
Anger: Student Samantha Berstler called the name ‘offensive and insensitive’ in the student paper
‘This invisibility and this shame are directly enforced by the myths of incest as “sexy” and “misunderstood” – myths propagated by using “incest” as slang for “sex with someone I’m living with” and by dances that institutionalize this meaning.’
She added that her horror over the flippant use of the name came as incestuous relationships are often not between two consenting adults, but often involve children as victims.
‘Generally a father is exploiting a daughter or an older sibling is exploiting a younger sibling,’ said Berstler, who is from Madison, New Jersey and currently studying for a year in Oxford, England.
‘The sexy siblings on TV and the image of the oppressed pedophile are lies that distract from a silent epidemic raging throughout the world.’
Yet her article was criticised by some students, who said she was taking the name too seriously.
‘Looks like someone needs to get some action at IncestFest,’ one commenter, who also attends the nation’s top university, wrote.
Others backed her idea, condoning the tasteless name for the party.
‘The name will stay along with the posing that it is hip, transgressive and avant garde until incest actually resumes being transgressive in the part of America that Harvard students care about,’ one wrote.
Debauched: Students reportedly aim to ‘hook up’ with as many people as possible at the party (file picture)
Top rate: The undergraduate winter party seems at odds with Harvard University’s illustrious reputation
In a welcome pack, The Crimson warns new students that as term nears Christmas, they’ll ‘watch underclad men gyrating in the dining hall and figuring out who you’ll hook up with at IncestFest.
‘House life is incredibly close-knit, bordering on downright incestuous,’ it adds, according to a report on Campus Reform.
Kirkland House, which is also known as the place Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his dorm room, would not respond to requests for comment or further information about the celebration
- Thierry Tilly is accused of defrauding 11 members of theVédrines family
- He allegedly told them they were in mortal danger and he’d protect them
- Tilly denies persuading victims to part with property, savings and jewellery
By Leon Watson
PUBLISHED:04:24 EST, 25 September 2012| UPDATED:04:53 EST, 25 September 2012
A guru has gone on trial in France accused of keeping three generations of an aristocratic family under his ‘mental spell’ and defrauding them of their £3.6million fortune.
Thierry Tilly is said to have persuaded the Védrines family that he was a Nato ‘master spy’, a confidante of presidents, a financial genius, and the representative of an ancient order which fights the forces of evil.
The 48-year-old, from Oxford, is accused ofusing brainwashing techniques and violence to convince them that they were in mortal danger from a cabal of freemasons, a European secret society and paedophiles.
Prosecutors have called Tilly, who told 11 members of the family that he could protect them, the ‘Leonardo da Vinci of mental manipulation’.
If convicted, Mr Tilly could face a 10-year prison term and €750,000 (£600,000) fine. Jacques Gonzalez, 65, his alleged accomplice, could face a five-year sentence.
The court in Bordeaux heard that Mr Tilly used his ‘superior intelligence’ to ingratiate himself with the family.
His alleged victims included Guillemette de Védrines, who died in 2010 aged 97, her three children Philippe, Ghislaine and Charles-Henri, the two brothers’ wives, Brigitte and Christine, and five adult grandchildren.
It is alleged Mr Tilly’s first victim was Ghislaine de Védrines, 66, whom he met as an employee of her Paris secretarial college in 1999
After barely registering the ‘uncharismatic’ man for the first year, she gradually found herself drawn to him, and introduced him to relations.
The family claims he brainwashed them into believing they were the lost descendants of an ancient society called ‘The Balance of the World’, and locked themselves into the family chateau in Monflanquin 100 miles east of Bordeaux. For five years, they barely left the castle, terrified they would be killed.
Mr Tilly allegedly claimed they were protected by a global network of secretive grandees, whose head, Mr Gonzalez, was a cousin of King Juan Carlos of Spain.
They were allegedly persuaded to part with property, savings and jewellery worth €4.5million (£3.6million), which were funnelled into a Canadian ‘charity’ that Mr Tilly claimed was set up to pay their ‘protectors’.
‘He kidnapped us by … turning us against one another.’
As scrutiny intensified in France, Mr Tilly allegedly convinced most of the family to decamp to Oxford, where they often failed to pay rent and were taken to court.
Anyone who resisted was allegedly punished severely. Christine de Védrines, 62, says she was locked in a room for several months, deprived of food and beaten.
She says he insisted she knew the number of a bank account that would lead to the lost treasure of the Knights Templar.
When Ghislaine’s husband, Jean Marchand, a journalist, denounced Mr Tilly as a charlatan, his wife and two children branded him an ‘agent of evil’. Mr Marchand alerted the authorities who refused to act because there were no legal complaints from the rest of the family.
Mr Tilly was finally arrested in Switzerland in 2009 following a complaint by Christine, who escaped after confiding in her employer in Oxford.
When Mr Gonzalez was arrested in 2010, police found a BMW 645 with €86,000 in the boot, as well as expensive watches, bottles of fine wine and an ‘opulent wardrobe’.
On the first day of a trial which is expected to last two weeks, Mr Tilly appeared smiling, wearing a black polo-neck jumper and glasses.
Mr Tilly told the court he was a descendant of the Habsburgs and once almost played football for Marseille.
He denies the charge of ‘sequestering with the aim of committing an offence, voluntary violence with premeditation against a vulnerable person and abuse of weakness of a person under psychological submission’.
Mr Gonzalez denies complicity in the charges. The trial continues.
Outside the court, Mrs Marchand said that he was a ‘liar and con-man’. ‘He kidnapped us by … turning us against one another,’ she said
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2208268/Thierry-Tilly-trial-brainwashing-French-aristocratic-family-3-6m-fortune.html#ixzz27XhmQi86 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
Genetically screening our offspring to make them better people is just ‘responsible parenting’, claims an eminent Oxford academic
3:33PM BST 16 Aug 2012
Professor Julian Savulescu said that creating so-called designer babies could be considered a “moral obligation” as it makes them grow up into “ethically better children”.
The expert in practical ethics said that we should actively give parents the choice to screen out personality flaws in their children as it meant they were then less likely to “harm themselves and others”.
The academic, who is also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Medical Ethics, made his comments in an article in the latest edition of Reader’s Digest.
He explained that we are now in the middle of a genetic revolution and that although screening, for all but a few conditions, remained illegal it should be welcomed.
He said that science is increasingly discovering that genes have a significant influence on personality – with certain genetic markers in embryo suggesting future characteristics.
By screening in and screening out certain genes in the embryos, it should be possible to influence how a child turns out.
In the end, he said that “rational design” would help lead to a better, more intelligent and less violent society in the future.
“Surely trying to ensure that your children have the best, or a good enough, opportunity for a great life is responsible parenting?” wrote Prof Savulescu, the Uehiro Professor in practical ethics.
“So where genetic selection aims to bring out a trait that clearly benefits an individual and society, we should allow parents the choice.
“To do otherwise is to consign those who come after us to the ball and chain of our squeamishness and irrationality.
“Indeed, when it comes to screening out personality flaws, such as potential alcoholism, psychopathy and disposition to violence, you could argue that people have a moral obligation to select ethically better children.
“They are, after all, less likely to harm themselves and others.”
“If we have the power to intervene in the nature of our offspring — rather than consigning them to the natural lottery — then we should.”
He said that we already routinely screen embryos and foetuses for conditions such as cystic fibrosis and Down’s syndrome and couples can test embryos for inherited bowel and breast cancer genes.
Rational design is just a natural extension of this, he said.
He said that unlike the eugenics movements, which fell out of favour when it was adopted by the Nazis, the system would be voluntary and allow parents to choose the characteristics of their children.
“We’re routinely screening embryos and foetuses for conditions such as cystic fibrosis and Down’s syndrome, and there’s little public outcry,” he said.
“What’s more, few people protested at the decisions in the mid- 2000s to allow couples to test embryos for inherited bowel and breast cancer genes, and this pushes us a lot close to creating designer humans.”
“Whether we like it or not, the future of humanity is in our hands now. Rather than fearing genetics, we should embrace it. We can do better than chance.”
Full article appears in September issue of Reader’s Digest, out 21st August