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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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December 21, 2007

2 News Notes: Babies and Shoes Scopes

By Worker Bee

Let’s end the week on a cheery note. After all, it’s Christmas, and we can’t always be carb-hating scrooges, now can we? Well, actually, we can, but we loved these happy, unexpected health stories that came across our desk:

Babies Recognize Good Samaritans

A new and very thoroughly-conducted study finds that infants inherently understand who the good Samaritans are – and they prefer them. It would seem we have a built-in moral compass deciphering good from bad, and long before we teach babies how to interpret human behavior through physical and verbal cues, they innately understand it. Aww, babies are awesome! Now if only society would stop teaching them to care about Bratz dolls and where they sit at the cafeteria table corral…

Reminder That Things Are Not As Bad As They Could Be

Remember when people got x-rays without protection? Remember when cavities were removed without Novocaine? Remember when people thought margarine was healthy? Remember when snake oil was sold on every corner, heroin was available from the druggist, and Coca-Cola contained cocaine?

Well, maybe you don’t, but we don’t have to get medieval – oh, the joy of leeches, blood-letting and the Four Humours – to remember just how far modern health care has come. Case in point: the Shoe-Fitting Fluoroscope. The Fluoroscope was a contraption that, as far as any sane human can assess, was a glorified x-ray tube encased in wood. Because a protective metal shield would just be silly! This handy, high intensity x-ray machine was popular throughout the 1930s and 1940s and was especially popular for use on children. Fantastic! There’s nothing like completely unprotected high-level radiation to get a good shoe fit. Why, just the other day we were bemoaning how difficult it is to find a proper fit when you don’t have a fluorescent imprint of the bones in your soon-to-be-cancerous foot.

Further Reading:

10 Amazing, Bizarre and Useful Health Facts

What does a 410 lb. weight loss really look like?

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4 Comments on "2 News Notes: Babies and Shoes Scopes"


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Paul Krause
Paul Krause
9 years 7 months ago

I think people should really give blood letting a chance. It certainly sounds pleasent…
Jim) Hey Ron what’s goin down good buddy?

Ron) Oh not much, just goin to the grocery store, gonna pick up some dry cleaning, I think the wife and I are gonna get into some blood letting later. What are you and Susan gonna get down to?

See, blood letting is just another part of a ho-hum, all American day!!

9 years 7 months ago

Bloodletting wasn’t as idiotic as it looked- rendering the patient a quart low drastically reduced the amount of iron available to bacteria, when the problem was bacterial infection. Kind of like suffering a little privation in order to shut down enemy supply lines.

Of course, when the problem was, say, gout, it wasn’t so smart…

9 years 7 months ago

Actually, leeches are still used today in hospitals (as are maggots). Particularly after digit/limb reattachment surgery, they help draw blood through the repaired capillaries. I think Wisconsin has some well-known leech farms. Overuse of leeches and bleeding in unsanitary conditions, now that’s bad.

(Hi! I’ve been a lurker a long time. Just wanted to pop in and add my $.02. Love the site!)

9 years 7 months ago

Thanks for the comment, zenzicube! We love our lurkers, but love our two cents contributors a little more. 😉