1. They’re done trying to weed you out
You’ve made it to medical school, congrats! Admissions looked at you extremely thoroughly, analyzing nearly every element of the past few years of your life. They are confident that you’ll make a great doctor. Now they’re going to support you in every way they can to get you the residency spot that you want. At this point it’s seen as a failure of the school if you don’t make it, so take a deep breath and relax knowing that all the your school wants you to succeed. Continue reading 8 tips for first year medical students →
I used to cite the simple math of calories in<calories out=weight loss as an argument for the ease of weight loss. I’ll be the first one to admit that I’ve believed and said some extraordinarily stupid stuff. It sometimes takes me a while, and I may never learn, but I have to get over my insecurity of admitting I was wrong and admit that this claim about weight loss was fundamentally naive. Continue reading Weight loss isn’t simply a math problem →
I’ll try to be brief, but this needs to be said. I often read statistics of women getting lower average pay than men and of black people being incarcerated more often than whites. These are two correlations that potentially could have absolutely nothing to do with sexism or racism. Maybe women’s work doesn’t deserve as high of salaries, and maybe black people commit more crimes. Both of these are possible, and could be reasonable explanations for the statistics. But, here’s my point, my very important point that I beg you to read carefully, the reason for the problem doesn’t negate the fact that it is still a problem. There is absolutely no situation in which any of us get out of this with no responsibility. Whether an individual’s result is because of overt or subtle sexism or racism or because of choices that they were influenced to make matters only in deciding how to treat the problem, not in deciding if there is a problem. Continue reading Racism or not, Michael Brown shouldn’t be dead →
There’s always a cost. In the case of ginseng as an herbal remedy, the largest cost is very likely not its symptoms to the user. I read an article earlier on NPR about the effect of wild ginseng harvesting on our National Parks, highlighting the effect it has on ecology, the risk of American ginseng extinction, and the impact of its poaching on individuals and communities. Ginseng is selling for ridiculously high prices in Hong Kong, up to $20,000 per pound. For the poacher here in the eastern United States, that can mean selling their prize for over $200 per pound, a healthy income for some in rural Appalachia. But it can also mean 5.5 months in federal prison in the case of Billy Joe Hurley who was convicted multiple times for ginseng poaching. The reason for the high selling price for american ginseng is not that it is a culinary treasure over in southeast China, instead it is viewed as an herbal remedy for many ailments and diseases. And the reason that it isn’t simply cultivated is that the delicate forest ecosystem is difficult to mimic and mechanize. With ginseng selling for such a high price and having a tremendous impact on people’s lives and the ecosystem of the Appalachian Mountains, I wondered whether this is all worth it. Continue reading The unseen effects of belief in alternative medicine →
My family’s Ruby is a monster bitch. And I don’t mean this is some cutesy, “I secretly love her,” kind of way. I actually really don’t like her. I know this sounds crazy, how could someone not like their cute dog. It’s simple. Ruby’s not cute. She’s not fluffy or cuddly. She has nearly no redeeming qualities beyond being a biological vacuum cleaner for food scraps. So harsh, I know. Let me explain where this blunt frustration stems from. She stares at me while I am eating or watching a movie or hanging out with friends or family and if I don’t tend to her within her designated time frame, she moves closer, proceeding closer and closer until eventually her nose is inches from my face. If at that moment I still do not give her the attention she demands, she lets loose a roaring, deep, menacing rottweiler-mutt bark, threatening to pierce right through my ear drum with her blaring decibels. If then I continue to hold my increasingly forlorn ground, she will not resign and admit defeat. Instead she whips out her third line of attack: untrimmed claws that Lucifer himself would fear.
Continue reading Operant Conditioning: Reshaping the world’s worst dog →
I’m about to make an argument on a premise that not many people agree with me on. I guess that’s a pretty silly idea but hell, I’m doing it anyways. I wrote a post not long ago encouraging people to be more selfish. You can read it here. But the general gist of it is that selfishness is not synonymous with greed and that if one is truly concerned with oneself, then they will inevitably help everyone more than someone who strives for selflessness. An analogy would be to giving an employee a higher wage so they can come to work without hunger and therefore, be more productive. Sometimes, I understand that this is not the case, that to the employer, the benefit of satiety is minute in comparison to the cost of feeding. But I argue that this is a dynamic stage, not a homeostatic one. I believe from fundamental logic of thermodynamics that an economy can reach equilibrium unless restrained by external interference. Of course there will be unemployment but there will be less than if restricted by regulation.
So here I go. Grant me that initial premise and you may realize this one. Or maybe the combination of two seemingly faulty premises will help with acknowledging that I may not be a quack after all.
Walmart is actually an awesome corporation. There I go; I said it. I know I’m not the first one and I imagine (I hope) I won’t be the last. Why is Walmart awesome despite the overwhelming hatred for it and its customer base to be, shall we say, less than classy and occasionally inbred? Walmart is great exactly because it is as selfish as it can possibly be.
Continue reading Charitable Walmart →
Illogical thinking is the cause of war. So does that mean logic and reason would result in world peace? I believe it would.
Animals follow simple rules of nature. Animals have a desire to reproduce and a desire to survive. They have adapted to environments to best suit their needs and grow to allow them to spread their genetic code. These are traits of every productive animal. That is, it was consistent until education and logic. Humanity is the first and only species on this planet to have overcome these animalistic cravings. That is not to say that everyone has overcome them. The world is littered with people who believe these rebellions to be satanic, preaching birth control and other modern advancements as evil. But I do believe that the overcoming of primitive urges will be the cure to every problem the world faces. I am no hippie. Hear me out. World peace is a product. But the change itself is the real goal. Continue reading Time to graduate →
Natural selection, the process that has the greatest influence on evolution of species has, for the most part, stopped occurring for the human species. This is nothing new. It can occur in any population or species when there are unlimited resources and insignificant predation. On the surface, infinite resources seems like a blessing to humanity, and in almost all cases, it is. However, the one exception to the rule is a frightening one and one that we will eventually have to deal with.
Continue reading Hitler was a jackass →