“As soon as something gets hard, most people run right back to doing it the way they always use to.”
by Alexander Berardi

Warning! New study says: Bowling May Be Hazardous to Your Health!0

Posted by Alexander Berardi in the Logically Illogical (Tuesday June 15, 2010 at 10:50 am)

bowling pin exclaimation pointWTF?!

I’m always on the prowl for examples of what I call “Logically Illogical” thinking.  Well, courtesy of a reader in Scary Ol’ England– here’s one fresh from the Ministry of Idiotic Solutions

After an exhausting 2-year study, costing £250,000.00 (just north of $400,000.00 US) the Britain’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) concluded that 10-pin bowling alleys are hotbeds for disaster.

HSE officials are apparently losing sleep over the possibility that it might be far too easy for people to get trapped in the machinery at the end of the alley that sets up the pins.

Bare in mind– at no time in British bowling’s recorded history has this ever happened.  But why let a little fact like that dissuade the public health and safety folks from doing their appointed (and taxpayer funded) duty?  Solve something they must.  Even if it’s not a real problem.

To paraphrase Mark Twain: Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a government bureaucrat. But I repeat myself.

At first, the study’s authors considered ordering every bowling alley to erect barriers across lanes to prevent bowlers from arbitrarily running down the 60-foot alleys and jumping, head first, into the pin-resetting mechanism.

They were forced to abandon the otherwise clever idea after realizing that the barriers would not only stop people from entering the pin area, but they would also keep the bowling balls out.   (No, seriously.  You can’t make shit like this up)

But with the typical tenacity of a bureaucrat holding a clipboard and a taxpayer funded study grant, the committee settled on requiring bowling alley operators to install photoelectric eyes on all lanes so that pin-setting machines will cut off automatically if anyone tries, ya know… to jump in.

Oh, and whilst they were at it… “you careless operators better make your staff wear these here earmuffs to muffle the noise of the balls hitting the pins, or we’re gonna fine ya.”  Apparently England has had a running problem with deaf pinsetters.

What I found even scarier than just another needless solution to a non-existent problem (which we’ve come to expect from governments oversite of a Nanny State) was how many average folks supported the actions.  There were more than just a handful of comments on the dailymail.co.uk website, lauding the HSE study… like the one from Chris, from Burgess Hill, who said: “seems pretty sensible to me.”

Che fessi…

CounterThink in Science0

Posted by Alexander Berardi in CTTV Video Episodes (Tuesday June 1, 2010 at 1:49 am)

Starving Cancer Patients May Help Chemotherapy Work Better

It’s a standard practice for cancer doctors to recommend that their patients eat before chemotherapy because they can lose their appetite afterwards, and because it’s always been believed that patients need to eat in order to get stronger. But researchers at the University of Southern California say the exact opposite may be true.

Scientists have known that limiting calorie consumption can help mice and other organisms live longer and avoid developing tumors. But new research suggests calorie restriction may also enhance chemotherapy for cancer patients.

Short-term starvation techniques may apparently help shield healthy cells from the damaging effects of chemotherapy, while still leaving tumor cells vulnerable to treatment.

A series of laboratory experiments found that reducing the food supply for as long as 60 hours helped toughen normal cells and make chemotherapy work better on tumors.

Scientists think the starvation technique may work because it forces cells into a slow-down mode to brace themselves against stresses from free radical oxygen, or toxins like chemotherapy. Tumor cells, on the other hand, are unable to slow down because their genes are programmed to make them grow and divide uncontrollably.

The study’s senior author, Dr. Valter Longo said: “The potential here is that you could give chemotherapy three times more frequently with very little side effects.”

The study caught the attention of cancer doctors at USC’s Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles. Doctors there are designing a clinical trial of as many as 20 cancer patients, to see how they perform on chemotherapy after fasting for a short period, compared with those on a normal diet.

Meetings go ‘Topless’ in Siloncon Valley

Like so many innovations from the home of hi-tech, the latest movement in Silicon Valley is counterintuitive: ditch those computers.

A growing number of companies in the Silicon Valley, home to Google, Yahoo, Apple and Cisco are urging employees to leave their laptops on their desks when attending office meetings and engage in the decidedly low-tech form of social networking known as human interaction.

Naturally, there’s even a snappy term for the move: topless meetings.

Sue Fox, author of Business Etiquette for Dummies says: “Face-to-face meetings have become a low priority because they’re constantly interrupted by technology.”

John Vars, co-founder of Dogster.com, said. “Get rid of the gadgets, and, “meetings go quicker. People are communicating better, the flow is faster.”

For some, though, the problem lies not with the technology brought into office meetings, but with the meetings themselves.
Technology blogger Jeremy Zawodny wrote “People hate most meetings,”. “They become a source of frustration.”

That frustration has led to yet another innovation: meeting-free companies. That too has a snappy moniker: “meataxto”, as in take a meat axe the meetings.

No-laptop meetings make sense. No meetings makes more sense.

Good News for Tired Parents

If you’re the parent of a newborn and would like to get a bit more shuteye, you might want to listen to the advice of Sleep Doctor Polly Moore. Although, the counterintuitive advice may shock today’s overachieving, overscheduled parents, like all things CounterThink, it’s working amazingly well.

San Diego sleep specialist and neurologist Polly Moore, PhD studied a 90-minute rest and activity cycle that determines when babies are most likely to nap. Her new book titled “The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program” is written to help parents and their babies sleep better at night.

According to Dr. Moore, there’s this 90-minute clock running in our brain all the time, that signals the human rest/activity cycle.

Dr. Moore says, “If you want them to sleep through the night, you really have to focus on the daytime sleep first.” I told you it was counterintuitive.

Dr. Polly Moore created what she calls the NAPS plan to help parents clue into her 90-minute cycle theory. Here’s how it works.

N: Note the time when your baby wakes up.
A: Add 90 minutes.
S: Soothe your baby to sleep as the 90 minutes wind down.
The end result? Baby sleeps better and sounder at night, and for longer periods of time.

How universal is this 90-minute cycle?

Start watching for your own 90-minute patterns. Most people also tend to have 90-minute variations in their creative thinking, and about every 90 minutes, people tend to want to have something to eat, something to drink, or otherwise to put something in their mouth, which may explain my frequent trips to the refrigerator when I’m writing. And we’ve also learned there are 90-minute variations of blood flow alternating between the left and right hemispheres of our brains.

Dr Moore offers a sample sleep chart for download.

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