Holy crap: “The Truth About Dentistry; It’s much less scientific—and more prone to gratuitous procedures—than you may think.”

From a lengthy article in the Atlantic:

When you’re in the dentist’s chair, the power imbalance between practitioner and patient becomes palpable. A masked figure looms over your recumbent body, wielding power tools and sharp metal instruments, doing things to your mouth you cannot see, asking you questions you cannot properly answer, and judging you all the while. The experience simultaneously invokes physical danger, emotional vulnerability, and mental limpness. A cavity or receding gum line can suddenly feel like a personal failure. When a dentist declares that there is a problem, that something must be done before it’s too late, who has the courage or expertise to disagree? When he points at spectral smudges on an X-ray, how are we to know what’s true? In other medical contexts, such as a visit to a general practitioner or a cardiologist, we are fairly accustomed to seeking a second opinion before agreeing to surgery or an expensive regimen of pills with harsh side effects. But in the dentist’s office—perhaps because we both dread dental procedures and belittle their medical significance—the impulse is to comply without much consideration, to get the whole thing over with as quickly as possible

The uneasy relationship between dentist and patient is further complicated by an unfortunate reality: Common dental procedures are not always as safe, effective, or durable as we are meant to believe. As a profession, dentistry has not yet applied the same level of self-scrutiny as medicine, or embraced as sweeping an emphasis on scientific evidence. “We are isolated from the larger health-care system. So when evidence-based policies are being made, dentistry is often left out of the equation,” says Jane Gillette, a dentist in Bozeman, Montana, who works closely with the American Dental Association’s Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry, which was established in 2007. “We’re kind of behind the times, but increasingly we are trying to move the needle forward.”

Consider the maxim that everyone should visit the dentist twice a year for cleanings. We hear it so often, and from such a young age, that we’ve internalized it as truth. But this supposed commandment of oral health has no scientific grounding. Scholars have traced its origins to a few potential sources, including a toothpaste advertisement from the 1930s and an illustrated pamphlet from 1849 that follows the travails of a man with a severe toothache. Today, an increasing number of dentists acknowledge that adults with good oral hygiene need to see a dentist only once every 12 to 16 months.

Many standard dental treatments—to say nothing of all the recent innovations and cosmetic extravagances—are likewise not well substantiated by research. Many have never been tested in meticulous clinical trials. And the data that are available are not always reassuring.


Luke O’Neil: What I’ve Learned From Collecting Stories of People Whose Loved Ones Were Transformed by Fox News

From NY Magazine:

No matter where the stories came from they all featured a few familiar beats: A loved one seemed to have changed over time. Maybe that person was already somewhat conservative to start. Maybe they were apolitical. But at one point or another, they sat down in front of Fox News, found some kind of deep, addictive comfort in the anger and paranoia, and became a different person — someone difficult, if not impossible, to spend time with. The fallout led to failed marriages and estranged parental relationships. For at least one person, it marks the final memory he’ll ever have of his father: “When I found my dad dead in his armchair, fucking Fox News was on the TV,” this reader told me. “It’s likely the last thing he saw. I hate what that channel and conservative talk radio did to my funny, compassionate dad. He spent the last years of his life increasingly angry, bigoted, and paranoid.”

Fox News, and all the right-wing, conspiracy theory laden sites out there, changes people.  Full stop.

AOC isn’t the only AOC on the Hill

The rising chorus of reasoned voices needs to gain more and more traction. I love that women are leading this country in new, invigorated, strong ways.

This clip of California Democratic congresswoman Katie Porter rocking JP Morgan’s CEO, Jamie Dimon’s pathetic little brain with fucking real world facts. It’s high time the fat cats reasonably redistribute their company’s wealth. For Pete’s sake. It’s not goddamn rocket science.

Or maybe it is. Here’s our first family struggling with some basic math:


I’ll put another amazing clip below the fold of Banking Fat Cats getting grilled by congress. Continue reading “AOC isn’t the only AOC on the Hill”

IN THE NEWS | Hilarious headline: “Apollo astronauts left their poop on the moon. We gotta go back for that shit.”

It’s only Hump Day and there’s been enough crazy in the world that She needs to be admitted. I mean, for real.

This VOX headline made me laugh though: “Apollo astronauts left their poop on the moon. We gotta go back for that shit.”

Yes, our brave astronauts took dumps on their way to the moon, perhaps even on the moon, and they left behind their diapers in baggies, on humanity’s doorstep to the greater cosmos.

The bags have lingered there, and no one knows what has become of them. Now scientists want to go back, and answer a question that has profound implications for our future explorations of Mars: Is anything alive in them?

These footprints are still on the moon. So is the astronauts’ trash.

Human feces can be disgusting, but they’re also teeming with life. Around 50 percent of their mass is made up of bacteria, representing some of the 1,000-plus species of microbes that live in your gut. In a piece of poop lives a whole wondrous ecosystem.

The impossibility of other stories in the news is great. The fast food industry finally takes a bow to growing pressure to please a growing population of people who give a shit about the planet and their bodies. I don’t know how that really translates to fast food culture, but adding a vegetarian burger option to its menus is a start.

And wait, a black, openly gay woman is elected mayor of my home-base town of Chicago? What!?! Watch out for pig poop landing on your head.

And we continue to have a demented old fart shitting his pants and slurring his words in the White House. This week, he claimed his father was born in Germany. That the sound of wind turbines causes cancer. And that democrats would leak the contents of a televised speech to the media. That’s just the notably nuts shit. He also made paranoid claims about how you should be more paranoid.

Oh, and he couldn’t pronounce the word “origins”.

Today he’s going to wag his fist and scream from his front porch that the news is fake, treats him unfairly, and doesn’t appreciate all the hard work he’s doing to finally make this country great.


Conway: “If the charge were unfitness for office, the verdict would already be in: guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Mr. George Conway, my favorite republican, wrote the following:

But whether the Mueller report ever sees the light of day, there is one charge that can be resolved now. Americans should expect far more from a president than merely that he not be provably a criminal. They should expect a president to comport himself in accordance with the high duties of his office. As all presidents must, Trump swore an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, and to faithfully execute his office and the laws in accordance with the Constitution. That oath requires putting the national interests above his personal interests.

Yet virtually from the moment he took office, in his response to the Russia investigation, Trump has done precisely the opposite: Relentlessly attacked an attorney general, Mueller, the Justice Department — including suggesting that his own deputy attorney general should go to jail. Lied, to the point that his own lawyers wouldn’t dare let him speak to Mueller, lest he commit a crime. Been more concerned about touting his supposedly historic election victory than confronting an attack on our democracy by a hostile foreign power.

If the charge were unfitness for office, the verdict would already be in: guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Read the rest. 

88 truths learned about life

At this blog Raptitude, David, writes about getting better at being human. I like it. A lot. It’s a great place to spend some time.

In one post, he writes 88 truths he’s found to be true for him. I agree with almost all.

Here’s a taste. Read the whole thing here.

1. You can’t change other people, and it’s rude to try.

2. It is a hundred times more difficult to burn calories than to refrain from consuming them in the first place.

3. If you’re talking to someone you don’t know well, you may be talking to someone who knows way more about whatever you’re talking about than you do.

4. The cheapest and most expensive models are usually both bad deals.

5. Everyone likes somebody who gets to the point quickly.

6. Bad moods will come and go your whole life, and trying to force them away makes them run deeper and last longer.

7. Children are remarkably honest creatures until we teach them not to be.

8. If everyone in the TV show you’re watching is good-looking, it’s not worth watching.

9. Yelling always makes things worse.

10. Whenever you’re worried about what others will think of you, you’re really just worried about what you’ll think of you.

11. Every problem you have is your responsibility, regardless of who caused it.


I can vouch for this dude’s self-reflected evolution and change of perspective


For me, it wasn’t the internet that changed my mind about the environment I grew up in. It was travel. And the more I travel, the more I live, the more I see it doesn’t have to be the “old” way … give or take.

I continue struggling with the idea that I shouldn’t travel and enjoy my life. That work is SOOOO important, more important than pleasure. Those who place too much emphasis on work and not on the joys of life are dead wrong.

The internet has been instrumental in other changes in my life, exposure to the idea that religion is a good foundation, but continuous personal evolution and not sticking to the repetition of old ideas, but constantly assimilating new ones is more important.

I like seeing the positive evolution of others and the sharing of ideas like these. To the writer of this, whoever Sam474 is, high five and cheers.