Layman's Lens

Life is beautiful.

Archive for September 2010

From Big Pharma to Big Placebo

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This is an excellent talk by Michael Specter about the importance of being skeptical but also being able to accept overwhelming evidence for health-related treatments. He says we must stop deluding ourselves by running from “Big Pharma into the arms of Big Placebo” because of our skepticism.

I think part of the problem may be that most of public doesn’t have good sources for educating themselves. There’s a need for someone to fill in the middle-ground between scientific journals that are out of reach of the layperson and the oversimplified soundbites we hear on the news. A friend suggested we need a mythbusters type website for personal health issues/treatments so people will have a better source of information than the mainstream media.

Written by Tilak Dutta

September 24, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Posted in Science

Reasons not to vote for Rob Ford

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A couple of reasons I would never vote for Rob Ford:

He doesn’t support bike lanes:

I think adding bike lanes reduces the chance of accidents, reduces traffic congestion in the city and provides incentive for people to live healthier lifestyles.

He isn’t open to even discussing the need for homeless shelters in his ward:

Whether you are for or against something, I think ideas needs to be put up for discussion.

Written by Tilak Dutta

September 23, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Posted in Rob Ford

Rob Ford…underdog?

with 8 comments

The problem with pulling for the underdog becomes confusing if the underdog takes the lead...

It looks like Rob Ford is going to be the next mayor of Toronto. The Star reported that Ford has 45.8 per cent of voters support with Smitherman in a distant second place with 21.3 per cent. ( Joe Pantalone has 16.8 per cent; Rocco Rossi — 9.7 per cent; and Sarah Thomson — 6.4 per cent.) I have to say, I’m very unhappy about this and urge everyone to vote for Smitherman because I’m afraid of the damage Ford will do to Toronto if elected. My main concern is scraping Transit City plans for a subway to Scarborough.

However, I’m also dismayed by some of the media’s tactics to stereotype and vilify his character (particularly the Star). It started with articles where Ford’s history of drunk driving and marijuana charges were aired along with a coaching gig he may have been fired from. The most recent, and also the most openly vile was Heather Mallick’s attack where she refered to him as an “…angry, pink-faced man with the oversized head…” in the Star. She goes onto ellude to him as a “sweaty, beer-smelling oik”. Would Mallick be using similar analogies if Ford were a woman? Jebus.

Ford is winning because he’s running a solid campaign and he’s authentic. He has a simple message about fiscal accountability that he truly believes in. He actually did save the taxpayers over a million dollars by being thrifty with his office expenses. He knows who his voters are and he isn’t afraid to speak directly to them. It’s the sort of underdog story made for the movies, really. Part of me will want to congratulate him if he wins. I can’t help cheering for the underdog. But I hate what he stands for, so I’ll vote for Smitherman. Not because I particularly like him, but only because he’s the only chance we have to beat Ford.

Written by Tilak Dutta

September 22, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Posted in Rob Ford

Congratulations Master Tonya Martin!

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Next she defends her decision to invent a bew colour 'florange' when she was six.

Tonya successfully defended her thesis today. Look how far she’s come.

Written by Tilak Dutta

September 20, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Posted in Defence

Double Rainbow

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Oh my god...

Wedding related activities have been getting in the way of regular updates. We saw this double rainbow at Bayview Wildwood resort – where Tonya and I are getting married. Now I can almost understand why this guy lost it. Seeing the full double rainbow in person was magical.

Written by Tilak Dutta

September 14, 2010 at 9:59 am

Posted in Rainbow