CommComm posted on September 28, 2012 23:17

Donna Hesson give a a short introduction to Databases that can be explored for Public Health searches.


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CommComm posted on September 27, 2012 04:33

This is about you. Yes, you. Not me. I don't text. I don't want to text. I have a text disabled phone. But you----you never saw these results coming, didja. No you didn't, and why? Because your face was buried in that phone. There you are stealing a few precious moments out of the office, and wham. Seems as if texting and trees don't mix. Neither do texting and curbs, highways, sidewalks----or---- fountains. If you google-up "texting and talking and accidents" (or any combination thereof) you can find further support for this epidemic.


Do we honestly believe that texting is the desire to communicate? Others espouse theories that are exactly the opposite. They say we're running away from conversation. Real conversation that is. Instead we get the chance to present the more ideal "me". We enter a universe where we're so god-almighty- powerful. We participate in a language that doesn't require depth or nuance, only an abbreviated configuration of letters. Life hard. Text easy. Isn't  there just a little tinge of superiority behind looking busy and "engaged". Especially in the public eye. (For the life of me I don't know why since everyone's telling everyone else how messed up their family is). But having tasted the rich fruits of continuous texting we now, like so many falling stars, land and go boom. We hit things. They hit us back. And now the research is piling up, and stronger anti-texting movements are afoot.

For many of us it's actually an easier choice than pouring through data, or taking a pledge, or watching victim after victim (go through youtube and "texting") do something disastrous. Here's the straight skinny: when you're walking outdoors and it's a beautiful day, with beautiful sun and you're walking along under your own power, breathing in all that gorgeous-new-day smell----it all gets flushed away when you decide you need to showcase your verbal acumen. And with cursing as a sidebar, well things are just double-ruined.  So there you have it. Research, studies, visual nightmare samples----they're all there for the taking. Or you can just take a deep breath, put away your gadgets and step into the sunshine.  

Alonzo Lamont


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CommComm posted on September 24, 2012 20:42

I don't know what's better, the time spent time rummaging through this article's detailed proclamations about scientific fraud, or the rather lengthy commentary at the bottom. As "graphic" a picture as the author draws, the comments reveal an equally passionate amalgamation of thoughts and sensitivities. First and foremost is the conclusion that misconduct is far more rampant than we're led to believe. Also, the pressure of publishing and recognition drive the undercurrent (or does "underbelly" sound greasy and criminal?) of shady conduct---and what a strong current it appears to be.


Ahhh, much like life, someone has their hooks in the Scientific community. New discoveries along with overwhelming bodies of evidence to support MORE new discoveries and MORE research and funding---are dangling carrots that attract rational people to, shall we say,  fudge the details. In this case, Psychology takes it on the chin, but (especially judging by the comments) the villainy operates without regard for boundaries or disciplines.


Starting with, oh shall we say----the beginning of civilization, the public has maintained a love/hate relationship with Science. Yes, we all love the goodies it provides, but for a variety of reasons, we've sometimes taken issues with the trust element. Look no further than any Sci-fi B-movie since the creation of Hollywood. You'll see all too clearly examples of Science or Scientists gone Mad. Out of control. "Gross stereotypes" you say. Yes. But while these are perhaps extreme examples, the mistrust blueprint seems to fall well within the parameters of these celluloid spectacles. Prove my point---ask your neighbor about any scientific issue of the day. You'll find a rainbow of observations that trace a colorful spectrum of public trust. 


The levels of misconduct represented in these articles showcase a cross-pollination of factors. With all the "pressure to perform," how will Science treat these missteps?  If the diagnosis becomes more widespread, can the doctor treat himself?


Alonzo LaMont 

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When did food allergies, such as an allergic reaction to peanuts, become a recognized condition as opposed to being viewed as something "idiosyncratic"? Even now, perhaps because we seem to have an outbreak of food allergies, don't we place someone with food allergies in the "they're just allergic to everything" category. By doing this, don't we tend to close a certain door? Our dirty little secret is that we place the onus of the allergic condition more on the person and not the condition. We stigmatize the person as being "one of those folks".


This article states that the journey from a controversial diagnosis to an accepted standard not only affects the general public, but also has it's roots within the medical community. Case in point, prior to the 1990's, it was very difficult to find any medical or popular literature reference to peanut allergies. As the article states, even the process of diagnosis tended towards a rather dismissive point of view. How far we've come from that attitude compared to the present, almost Kafka-esque treatment for protecting classrooms of children from nuts. Big Brother practically patrols the hallways in search of those rebellious peanut outcasts, those off-the-grid neanderthals who DARE to wave their mom-made PB&J's victoriously in the air. A victory for Peter Pan, a defeat for closely-regulated food sensitivities. What was once a controversy, has now become an epidemic. 


Hyperactivity, (you'll gain more street cred saying "ADHD") has now become part of our daily linguistic routine. What son or daughter doesn't have it? And what's wrong with them if they don't? Seemingly, we place the blame for every "fault" our children may have on something. Ritalin seems to provide a wonderful bailout. It a deliciously simple solution, and parents can feel practically guilt-free---why? Because ADHD is now accepted. Unfortunately, it's a badge we wear a little too easily, and a little too proudly.


Alonzo Lamont

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CommComm posted on September 10, 2012 21:41

I'm taking a moment to pile on. Now, let me say this: I do love me some WholeFoods. The fruits and veggies appear to be Heaven sent. There's almost a halo of superiority that envelops patrons strolling the aisles. Even a quick dash-in leads one into a consumer ecstasy of "natural" goodness. Food ectoplasms await those standing in check-out lines, our bodies anticipating the moral enlightenment behind our choices of turkish apricots, soy nut butter, caribbean tofu, and original Nasoya nayonaise. We leave floating on a cloud of wellness nirvana.

And then that gosh darn Science comes along to clutter the nutrition consciousness highway with sour grapes, spilt milk and if further evidence was needed, it seems to have arrived in spades.

Woe is we. Woe is we living on all the Higher Plateaus Of Smart. No doubt in the coming months, there will be more outrage from all the wounded parties. Questions will be raised, conclusions overturned and conclusive issues investigated. Yet, our very own Elizabeth Tracey (my guest on this month's Podcast) opines on her own blog about the analytical doubt that's been created, and it's the particular nature behind this newly discovered doubt that I believe is the greater issue. While facts will be debated and reviewed, I don't think that pure 100% FACTS will alter the greater perception that may now exist within the court of public opinion. No, it wasn't just the facts that flamed out---it was that self-anointed (did someone say "smug") morality and lifestyle that's now being nudged off the cliff. That now is taking the far greater hit. That now has to cede the moral high ground.

The simple fact that a certain measure of doubt has been created, shows that we're officially living in "The Fantastic Age of What-If". In this instance, the 3,000-pound-elephant-in-the-room-What-If is------what if regular supermarket food is on the same food health chart as any Organic Stuff?

I wonder if any tie-dyed in the wool healthy food fanatics will now "dispute" the Science. (I thought because Science was SCIENCE, we weren't allowed to dispute?) Maybe all this will pass, and the topsy-turvy nature of things will right themselves back to Status Quo-ville. However, at the very least this certainly puts a fly in the buttermilk behind the purity of natural foods. I somehow suspect that (as an example) Vegans will still be Vegans, not because of any facts but because deep down they don't rely on Science, they rely on what they feel inside. And what they feel their bodies feel inside. More power to Vegans and to everyone else who makes choices they believe are healthy. Who can knock that. Certainly not I.


I still love my WholeFoods. Will still buy my same stuff. Will still walk in with my head in the air. But maybe, just maybe everybody over at ShopRite, SuperFresh and Safeway will start walking a little bit taller.


Alonzo LaMont



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Victoria Goode and Alonzo had the opportunity to chat with Elizabeth Tracey, Director of Electronia News Media for Johns Hopkins Medicine. We were chock-full of questions about her very-popular PODMED podcast. We also focused on her work process and teaming up with Rick Lange, Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins and Vice-Chairman of Medicine at the Univ. of Medicine Health Science Center.


Elizabeth has been Podcasting for 8 years, and the popularity of PODMED and her PODBLOG have grown into tremendously popular online events. If you aren't already a subscriber I definitely recommend jumping on the bandwagon. Enjoy her reflections and observations, she is indeed a force.

Here we go --- September Podcast

0 - 1:25 Introduction

1) 1:25 - What made you start Podcasting?


2) 3:08 - How did you and Rick get started together?


3) 3:55 - Since you started, have you seen a change to your approach?


4) 4:30 - Did you ever anticipate that Podcasting would become the force that it is?


5) 5:16 - How do you choose your topics?


6) 6:17 - Are there topics you want to go back and re-touch upon?


7) 6:55 - How did you become such a "one-woman band?" (Writer, Editor, Producer)


8) 7:30 - What the biggest weekly challenge?


9) 8:15 - What's your greatest weekly challenge?


10) 9:25 - Has there ever been an "a-ha" moment, where you realized your Podcasts were really taking off?


11) 9:52 - What kinds of stories does Rick bring to your attention?


12) 10:56 - What territory do you see Podcasting moving towards in the future?


13) 12:12 - Was creating a blogging a natural extension?


14) 12:35 - 15:08 Miscellaneous thoughts on the effects of Podcasting. We mention Evidence-Based Medicine, private physicians and the current study on Organic foods.


Alonzo LaMont

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This flew into my little cubicle today, and By-Godfrey it's more commentary concerning the function of Libraries in the future. What they discovered is that the future won't necessarily revolve around Libraries, per se----BUT----around Librarians! Yes! Holy Educational Zeitgeist!

"The information professional will be the Library of the future". As everyone who's been promoting "Informationists" can attest, this is where the transformation in Librarianship is taking place. The article actually reports on a roundtable convened by SAGE, a British publisher, as it examines the changing role of Libraries/Librarians in a future that works in collaboration with Open Access.


In "somewhat related news", EuropePubMed Central will now include the full text of life science publications resulting from research supported by British and European governments and institutions. More here.

Not too long ago free online research was strictly a pipe dream, and now the European Research Council partners up with the UK. And just like that the world changes.


Alonzo LaMont


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CommComm posted on September 5, 2012 07:17

here we are (AGAIN!) giving away the farm and mixing it up with our peeps. Donna Hesson, SPH Informationist and Alonzo were right by the Wall of Images, answering questions left and right.


Ross, who's last name I forgot, was an early bird, and it's a good thing because we're just about to get swamped.


Ms. Schuster from Colorado was telling me it's her first time "back east". From the Rocky Mountains to Baltimore City. Hope nobody puts "The Wire" on her syllabus this semester. Nothing against gritty, urban realism---but that stuff's so real it makes ME want to do drugs. Apologies to Ms. Schuster, I was laughing so hard when she said she was from (and practically spelled it out) "Boulder," I got caught with my own shaky cam. Told her I did realize that Boulder AND Colorado were in the US of A.



These two are amused at my carnival barking Welch T-Shirt offer. What do they think---that T-Shirts grow on trees? One of them told me they actually had OTHER T-Shirts. I didn't know people made other T-Shirts. They did go for the frisbees.


The day winds down. So many folks wondered WHERE the Welch Library was----"you can see it right through those doors," sez I. These 3 now know who their assigned Informationist is, and how to make contact. Believe I detected big sighs all around.

Other questions that came up: "how do we order books? How do we get to the databases? Are there other places on campus to study other than the library? What classes do you offer? How do I get help with research? Who can help me with RefWorks?" All of these can be answered by a quick trip to WelchWeb, and if you go to our "HOW TO" link at the top of the page, you'll see a drop down to a galaxy of FAQ's. 


Alonzo Lamont

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CommComm posted on September 3, 2012 21:09
Clinical Informationist, Jaime Blanck explains how to obtain articles. Alonzo LaMont

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