👓 ‘It will take off like a wildfire’: The unique dangers of the Washington state measles outbreak | Washington Post

Read ‘It will take off like a wildfire’: The unique dangers of the Washington state measles outbreak (Washington Post)

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Amber Gorrow is afraid to leave her house with her infant son because she lives at the epicenter of Washington state’s worst measles outbreak in more than two decades. Born eight weeks ago, Leon is too young to get his first measles shot, putting him at risk for the highly contagious respiratory virus, which can be fatal in small children.

📑 Read Write Respond #037 | Read Write Collect | Aaron Davis

Annotated Read Write Respond #037 by Aaron DavisAaron Davis (Read Write Collect)
This a harrowing story made even sadder by the grim reality of the statistics.  

I’m almost losing count of how many racial health disparity stories I’ve been seeing lately. It’s so common I’ve got tags for it on my site now.

👓 I Was Pregnant and in Crisis. All the Doctors and Nurses Saw Was an Incompetent Black Woman | Time

👓 Stress From Racism May Be Causing African-American Babies To Die More Often | NPR

Read How Racism May Cause Black Mothers To Suffer The Death Of Their Infants (NPR.org)
African-American women are more likely to lose a baby in the first year of life than women of any other race. Scientists think that stress from racism makes their bodies and babies more vulnerable.

👓 Zuckerberg San Francisco General’s aggressive tactics leave patients with big bills | Vox

Read A $20,243 bike crash: Zuckerberg hospital’s aggressive tactics leave patients with big bills by Sarah Kliff (Vox)
I spent a year writing about ER bills. Zuckerberg San Francisco General has the most surprising billing practices I’ve seen.

🎧 Before the Flood:The Mesopotamian Enuma Elish and Atrahasis | The Literature and History Podcast

Listened to Before the Flood:The Mesopotamian Enuma Elish and Atrahasis by Doug Metzger, Ph.D. from The Literature and History Podcast

BCE 1700-1500
The Enuma Elish and the Atrahasis, in circulation 3,800 years ago, were Mesopotamia's creation and flood epics, making them 1,000 years older than Genesis.

There are a few sections of these ancient texts which indicate that thousands (or more) were wiped out due to illness and disease that sound like a flu, a virus, or some other local pandemic. Gives pause to think about what the state of public health was at the time.

Enuma Elish and Atrahasis are indeed not well known, but I’ve actually seen quite a bit about them as the result of reading within the area of Big History.

I’ll have to do some digging but I’m curious if any researcher(s) have done synoptic analyses of these books and the Book of Genesis from the Old Testament. I’m sure there aren’t as many as there are of the synoptic gospels from the New Testament, but it might be interesting to take a look at them.

The obvious quote of the day:

The gods became distraught at the destruction they had unleashed. The midwife goddess, Mami, who helped raise the first generations of mankind, was particularly saddened, and “The gods joined her in weeping for the vanished country / She was overcome with heartache, but could find no beer”. Yes, it really says that.

As a side note, fermented beverages like beer were more popular throughout history than they are in modern America, because unlike now, prior generations of humans didn’t have the public health ideals or levels of clean drinking water that we do today. Thus beer and other alcoholic drinks were more par for the course because they were less likely to make you sick or kill you to drink them. Naturally the Mesopotamian gods must have been healthier for drinking them as a result too!

👓 Progress on eradicating polio has stalled – Infectious disease | The Economist

Read Progress on eradicating polio has stalled (The Economist)
Cases caused by viruses derived from the vaccine are a growing worry

👓 Your Vagina Is Terrific (and Everyone Else’s Opinions Still Are Not) | New York Times

Read Your Vagina Is Terrific (and Everyone Else’s Opinions Still Are Not) (New York Times)
One year ago I wrote about my vagina and men’s opinions of it. Things have not improved.

👓 Why suicide is falling around the world, and how to bring it down more | The Economist

Read Why suicide is falling around the world, and how to bring it down more (The Economist)
Urbanisation, fewer forced marriages and more curbs on the means of self-destruction

🎧 ‘The Daily’: Assigning Blame in the Opioid Epidemic | New York Times

Listened to ‘The Daily’: Assigning Blame in the Opioid Epidemic from New York Times
U.S. prosecutors are looking to hold people criminally accountable for overdose deaths. They’re settling on unexpected targets: other users.

👓 How Not to Report on an Earthquake | New York Times

Read How Not to Report on an Earthquake (New York Times)
What I got wrong in Haiti in 2010, and why it matters.

I’m not quite surprised at several of these at all. I am surprised that there are so many that are regularly and poorly reported however. People are too focused on the “story” and the expected narrative to get parts of the reporting right.

🎧 Summer Series Episode 4: Tectonic Edition | WNYC | On The Media

Listened to Summer Series Episode 4: Tectonic Edition from On The Media | WNYC Studios

This summer we are revisiting some of our favorite Breaking News Consumer Handbooks. Episode 4 in this mini-series is Tectonic Edition.

After an earthquake struck Nepal in April of 2015, the post-disaster media coverage followed a trajectory we'd seen repeated after other earth-shaking events. We put together a template to help a discerning news consumer look for the real story. It's our Breaking News Consumer's Handbook: Tectonic Edition. Brooke spoke to Jonathan M. Katz, who wrote "How Not to Report on an Earthquake" for the New York Times Magazine.

Breaking News Consumer Handbook

Understanding how news is reported and the good and bad of it can certainly help one be a better consumer of it. This episode was quite enlightening about how disaster reporting is often done wrong.

👓 It’s time to reconsider low-dairy diets, new study suggests | NBC

Read It's time to reconsider low-dairy diets, new study suggests (NBC News)
Cheese and yogurt were found to protect against death from any cause, and also against death from cerebrovascular causes, like stroke.

👓 How Goop’s Haters Made Gwyneth Paltrow’s Company Worth $250 Million | New York Times Magazine

Read How Goop’s Haters Made Gwyneth Paltrow’s Company Worth $250 Million by Taffy Brodesser-Akner (nytimes.com)
Inside the growth of the most controversial brand in the wellness industry.

It took a few sittings to slog my way through this. It feels like the author is attempting to bash Paltrow, but somewhere in the middle she over-idolizes her before going back to bashing her a bit. It’s an interesting viewpoint on the credulity of celebrity in modern culture.

C’mon people! Celebrities are people too. They crap just like everyone else. The one difference I’ve found more often than not though is that they’re painfully insecure, regardless of what you may read or see. I suspect most people would be far better off reading the Greek philosophers to find eudaimonia rather than buying Goop from Gwyneth.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

The minute the phrase “having it all” lost favor among women, wellness came in to pick up the pieces. It was a way to reorient ourselves — we were not in service to anyone else, and we were worthy subjects of our own care. It wasn’t about achieving; it was about putting ourselves at the top of a list that we hadn’t even previously been on. Wellness was maybe a result of too much having it all, too much pursuit, too many boxes that we’d seen our exhausted mothers fall into bed without checking off. Wellness arrived because it was gravely needed.  

August 05, 2018 at 11:59AM

Whom exactly were we trusting with our care? Why did we decide to trust them in the first place? Who says that only certain kinds of people are allowed to give us the answers?  

Part of the broader cultural eschewing of science as well? Is this part of what put Trump and celebrities in charge?
August 05, 2018 at 12:03PM

She reached behind her to her bookshelf, which held about a dozen blue bottles of something called Real Water, which is not stripped of “valuable electrons,” which supposedly creates free radicals something something from the body’s cells.  

I question her credibility to market claims like this. I suspect she has no staff scientist or people with the sort of background to make such claims. Even snake oil salesmen like Dr. Oz are pointedly putting us in hands way too make a buck.
August 06, 2018 at 01:40PM

Her feet were bare now, and they had a perfect, substantial arch, just as the Romans intended, engineered to support her statue body. I bet they were a Size 8. People make shoes so that feet like those can wear them. We blew smoke up the chimney.  

I feel like she’s taken an interesting article and flushed it in the preceding several fawning paragraphs.
August 06, 2018 at 02:34PM

Goop wanted Goop magazine to be like the Goop website in another way: to allow the Goop family of doctors and healers to go unchallenged in their recommendations via the kinds of Q. and A.s published, and that just didn’t pass Condé Nast standards. Those standards require traditional backup for scientific claims, like double-blind, peer-reviewed studies.  

Nice that they come right out and say it.
August 06, 2018 at 03:42PM

I thought about my children, one of whom plays the flute, but unwillingly, and therefore won’t practice. Yes, I thought about my children, only one of whom might shake your hand while the other would sooner spit on it, though they will both reliably do an elaborate orchestration of armpit farting while I’m trying to hear myself think. I thought of my mother and father, and an earlier conversation I had with my sisters that day about where to arrange our parents in a room for one of our kids’ bar mitzvahs so that they wouldn’t interact, so raw still are the wounds 35 years after their divorce.  

No mention of the difference between how we act at home with family versus with strangers. She’s set up a false dichotomy to accentuate a point that’s probably not worth making. Or if she wants to make a point it should be this one that I’ve just highlighted. If course she’s feeling inadequate. I’ll bet G. P. does too, particularly after the writer leaves and she doesn’t have to put her best face on.
August 06, 2018 at 03:46PM

After a few too many cultural firestorms, and with investors to think about, G.P. made some changes. Goop has hired a lawyer to vet all claims on the site. It hired an editor away from Condé Nast to run the magazine. It hired a man with a Ph.D. in nutritional science, and a director of science and research who is a former Stanford professor. And in September, Goop, sigh, is hiring a full-time fact-checker. G.P. chose to see it as “necessary growing pain.”  

But only to protect investors… Not customers that they’ve been duping all along.
August 06, 2018 at 03:52PM

I once went to an internist twice, complaining of preternatural exhaustion, only to be told that I was depressed and sent home. On the third visit, she begrudgingly took my blood and called me later to even more begrudgingly apologize and tell me I had a surprising case of mononucleosis. I know women who’ve been dismissed by their doctors for being lazy and careless and depressed and downright crazy. Was it any wonder that they would start to   

Sample size of one in an anecdote is just rubbish.
August 06, 2018 at 03:54PM

I heard a rumor that she  

Don’t these types of things happen to EVERY celebrity?
August 06, 2018 at 03:58PM

People think they want celebrities to speak honestly, but we’re not really that happy when they do.  

Definition of celebrity: one who is coddled and rarely said no to.
August 06, 2018 at 03:59PM