Four pieces worth reading today:
Matt Parker, at the Times Online, does some calculations about how much active ingredient there is in homeopathic remedies. (You already know the answer, but the piece is funny.)
. . . The arnica is diluted so much that there is only one molecule of it per 7 million billion billion billion billion pills.
It’s hard to comprehend numbers that large. If you were to buy that many pills from Boots, it would cost more than the gross domestic product of the UK. It’s more than the gross domestic product of the entire world. Since the dawn of civilisation. If every human being since the beginning of time had saved every last penny, denarius and sea-shell, we would still have not saved-up enough to purchase a single arnica molecule from Boots.
On a related note, the Independent reports that a group of homeopathy critics is planning a Mass Overdose!
More than 300 people who style themselves as “homoeopathy sceptics” will each swallow an entire bottle of homoeopathic pills in protest at the continued marketing of homoeopathic medicines by Boots, the high street chemist chain. . .
In England, an estimated 470,000 people use homoeopathic remedies every year. Branches of Boots carry shelves of remedies including arnica, nux vomica, pulsatilla and rhus tox in the “complementary medicine” section. The Queen, David Beckham and Geri Halliwell are among those said to swear by them. . .
Boots said in a statement: “We know that many people believe in the benefits of complementary medicines and we aim to offer the products we know our customers want.”
The Queen, for crying out loud!
Paul Krugman, at the New York Times, urges Democrats to pass the Senate health care bill now, regardless of what happened in Massachusetts. He’s right. I’m so sick of hypocritical Republicans saying that we have to “go slow” on health care. Does anybody really think they want a health care bill? If you do, you’re living on Mars. They want the status quo, and to obstruct any progressive legislation in the offing. Damn them all.
Bear in mind that the horrors of health insurance — outrageous premiums, coverage denied to those who need it most and dropped when you actually get sick — will get only worse if reform fails, and insurance companies know that they’re off the hook. And voters will blame politicians who, when they had a chance to do something, made excuses instead.
Ladies and gentlemen, the nation is waiting. Stop whining, and do what needs to be done.
Over at Salon, pilot Patrick Smith decries the overreaction around “security breaches” at airports.
What has become of us? Are we really in such a confused and panicked state that a person haplessly walking through the wrong door [he’s referring to Jules Paul Bouloute’s accidental tripping of a security door at Kennedy airport] can disrupt air travel nationwide, resulting in mass evacuations and long delays? “The terrorists have won” is one of those waggish catch-alls that normally annoy me, but all too often it seems that way. Our reactionary, self-defeating behavior has put much at stake — our time, our tax dollars and our liberties.