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




Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:

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


Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:
CommComm posted on September 3, 2012 21:09
Clinical Informationist, Jaime Blanck explains how to obtain articles. Alonzo LaMont alonzo@jhmi.edu

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On the road again! Welch moseyed on over to the School of Nursing to press some flesh and share some knowledge. This time it's Stella Seal, Informationist for the School of Nursing, tending to her flock. We had a great number of students pop by our table. All seemed to leave with smiles, a relaxed state of mind AND more Welch Library facts than you can shake a stick at. Maybe it was just the free candy. Folks did seem to appreciate who we were, where we were and how they could find journals and databases.



With Stella working the informationist mojo magic in the background, yours truly Alonzo doing the heavy lifting. Taking pictures.


Told they could win a Welch T-Shirt or a Mercedes. Who wouldn't be happy.


Alonzo LaMont


Posted in: Hopkins Community , Informationists  Tags:
CommComm posted on August 29, 2012 19:55

In case you haven't happened across our YouTube Channel yet, (from Website, scroll down and keep scrollin' till you reach bottom) we've added several new items. They're short "Video Moments" so you won't embark on an undertaking beyond your time limit or attention span. (We think of everything) Our new ones look at "Grey Literature" and "Full-Text Access".


If you've got a subject you want a few answers to---and chances are others may be asking the same questions---send me an e-mail and perhaps we can make a short moment that explores your topic.


Alonzo LaMont


Posted in: Hopkins Community  Tags:
CommComm posted on August 29, 2012 19:32

Fall is upon us, and Welch hits the Campus Road for a series of Student Orientations. Here's Rob Wright, Basic Science & Public Health Informationist, being a rock star down in Turner Auditorium. He downplays it, but this time of year all the Informationists ARE rock stars---and why you ask? Because everyone needs that start-of-school INFORMATION. All questions great and small come their way. It's a joy to behold. So here's Rob chitting the chat, bringing calm to the chaos....

Feel free to insert your own witty anecdotes to these, I added my own just for good measure. And thanks to all the students who allowed me to snap a pic.

"No I didn't invent TIme, but if you go to the Welch Website I can show you how to request a few books on clocks..."





Rob reflects. Much like Bon Jovi, he too goes to "a quiet place".




If you're reading this today (8/29/12) tomorrow Stella Seal (another rock star) and yours truly Alonzo will be over at the School of Nursing from 3:00pm - 5:00pm doing much the same. Stop by and say Hi, we're giving out a few Welch bags----gettum while they're hot!

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