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Health

“Let Them Eat Smoke!”

Norm asks two questions: People on the wrong end of social and economic inequalities don’t just experience health disadvantages from smoking, but disadvantages across the board – in every area of health, in life expectancy, in the pattern of life chances in general. Shall we impose compulsory legal norms about diet, about exercise, about whatever […]

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Things Can Only Get Better

For safety’s sake I usually stay in on New Year’s Eve. It makes no difference. There was the year when a drunk phoned me up in my bedsit in Oxford to accuse me of being in bed with his wife; I was on the bed alone with my guitar. There was New Year’s Eve 1999 […]

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Round-Up For The Run Ragged

Over the past few days I’ve been busy. I’ll continue to be so over the next few days. Here are quick links to some of the things that have caught my eye lately. Following up my recent post about David Cameron, not only were the voting slips in yesterday’s Ealing Southall by-election labelled “David Cameron’s […]

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Let Them Eat Cake

Earlier this week, I was walking down the road with a couple of bags of Labour Party leaflets when a woman from a drugs project approached me with a clipboard. She asked me lots of questions about drug-related crime and drug-related violence and drug crime policing; she even asked me if I had a drink […]

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Intensive Care

Over the past few years, both here and elsewhere, I have from time to time suggested that Robbie Williams is an individual of limited talent whose output has consisted mainly of hamfisted pastiche, northern English karaoke of the sort that belongs alongside the deliberately lighthearted performances of stand-up comedian Peter Kay rather than next to […]

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See How They Run

Sorry it’s been quiet here. I’ve been busy and ill (again). There’s always The Brighton Argus to cheer me up though. And its front cover story today is about a “masked raider” being identified by his distinctive smell.

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Needle

When I used to work for the Medical Research Council, I did my best not to bore people with it on this site. I took up the name “PooterGeek”—ironically, the suggestion of a summer student—so that when people searched for my name on the Web they would find biomedical publications to download rather than movie […]

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Unmissable

I have returned from the lands of my childhood: the Midlands. With me I’ve brought six crates of my old books, reclaimed from storage at my parents’ house, a new water pump in the engine of my car, and a stinking cold—thank you, Maisie and Sam, you cute little bundles of virions. Naturally I took […]

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Mmm! Pork With All The Oily Goodness Of Roundworm

The genetic revolution brings you a “healthier” fry-up: Geneticists have mixed DNA from the roundworm C. elegans and pigs to produce swine with significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids — the kind believed to stave off heart disease [hmmm…]. Researchers hope they can improve the technique in pork and do the same in chickens and […]

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Ebonexia

I’m glad I don’t have TV and have to witness the emergence of a strange new media species: the unhealthily thin black woman who isn’t the victim of a poor harvest. Beyoncé watches in horror as Cece Sammy and Thandie Newton walk past her on their way to their tantric nutritionist [via Hak]

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Holding Back The Years

A dermatologist explains to Rachel Johnson why even though yummy mummies look younger for their age than most of us, their cleaning ladies probably look younger: “According to a longitudinal study of 1,826 Danish twins, about 40 per cent of the variations in perceived age (i.e. how old you look as opposed to how old […]

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‘Blogger Chokes To Death On Self-Pity

“Rebound congestion”: it’s another of those bland bits of medical jargon, like “cerebral contusion”, that give no hint of the actual discomfort accompanying their referents. “Rebound congestion”—roll it around your mouth and then imagine waking up from a nightmare of smothering only to find that you really are suffocating and that your last sight on […]

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The American Disease

I would happily sign the Economist‘s editorial today on US healthcare myself (but for that paper’s irritating misuse of the word “America”). Many ‘Bloggers with an unthinking fetish for “market solutions” would do well to give it and the associated special report a scan: [N]owhere has a bigger health problem than America. Soaring medical bills […]

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Working Out

One month’s free personal training with my new gym membership and the need for structure in my life have turned me into something of an obsessive. The very helpful staff have shown me how to operate those strange torture machines I once mocked. I used to use the Genome Campus gym for one purpose: to […]

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Not So Simply

UPDATE: Here’s a picture of Kate’s excellent hair (Freya in the foreground, Richard in the background): [click to enlarge] My friend and musical collaborator Richard and his missus Kate had me round for dinner the other evening and we got into a conversation about the recent Observer Music Monthly list of “larger-than-life” performers (i.e. fat […]

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Scroungers!

BLAIR HAS HOSPITAL TREATMENT AFTER PUTTING BACK INTO NO 10 WORKOUT Michael White, political editor Friday May 20, 2005 The Guardian Tony Blair was taken to hospital last night to receive treatment for a slipped disc suffered while working out in the gym in his Downing Street flat. That’s very convenient for a typical bloody […]

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Triangulation

I can only conclude that Anthony Cox is writing up his thesis currently, because his ‘Blog is on a roll. Check out his views about the infamous Lancet study, this piece about the effectiveness of the MMR vaccine, and his principled dismissal of Google Ads.

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Aagh, My Eyes!

The Jews blew up the Twin Towers using Bush’s depleted uranium technology stolen from the spaceship that crashlanded in Area 51! And Blair lied about it! As a mumps epidemic rages across Britain, the BBC News feedback facility flares with the magnesium-bright burn of public stupidity: “What a convenient epidemic! Why didn’t it happen last […]

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Better Than Brand X

Worried about MRSA? Scared of infecting your little ones with your nasty cold? University of North Carolina researchers recommend the most effective anti-microbial hand-washing product known to modern science. Also on a science kick, Mick Hartley’s ‘Blog always features excellent serious reading material, but what has given rise to the longest (and most amusing) comment […]

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Catching

Scientific American writes about EpiSims, a program that simulates the spread of an infectious disease throughout a population, taking into account the social interactions of the people within it. [via Slashdot] This is a good time to point out that I conflated a couple of different issues when I rambled about the spread of HIV […]

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Bzz

If I tell you the real reason why I came upon the following page is that I was surfing Amazon for a birthday gift for my mother, you might think one of two things: “How could he be so rude about his mum?” “Does he really think we’ll believe that story?” If you’ve ever been […]

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Admitting Uncertainty

As well as being an interesting story about the ambiguity of PSA tests for prostate cancer, this is a solid, unhysterical piece of science reporting in a US newspaper, of the sort that appears in British papers during months with a letter “K” in their names. This week, The Guardian contained a pull-out supplement on […]

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