http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2009/10/12/091012taco_talk_specter I agree with a good amount of this article EXCEPT the implication at the end that one should receive the vaccine.  My husband had the swine flu 2 weeks ago.  It was uncomfortable for a few days, but not a big deal.  The more relevant concern about the vaccine, and flu shots in general, is that they do NOT change the mortality nor mordibity based on analysis of many decades of annual influenza episodes.  See an earlier post about vaccines not preventing flu.  In other words, since flu shots became readily available, the only entities to reliably benefit are the vaccine manufacturers. Vaccines have not changed the course of seasonal flus.  Additionally, I have personally experienced, as well as witnessed in numerous patients, becoming quite ill with the flu directly after receiving a flu shot.  I only got one, many years ago.  That was my last!  The only time I will recommend a flu shot is to an elderely, immuno-compromised person especially if they need to be hospitalized or institutionalized.  In just about any other situation, in my opinion,...

published in the March 8, 2008 issue of New Scientist Magazine by Harvard researcher Paula J. Caplan Walk down any street in America and you’ll see the effects of the “obesity epidemic”. Two-thirds of adults, more than 130 million people, are now considered overweight, and nearly half of these are classified as obese.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/12/health/research/12exer.html?em This link to the May 12 New York Times (which publishes an excellent Health Science section every Tuesday) is a rather misleading story about the “problem” with anti-oxidants. 

If you live in a hot climate, or are planning a winter vacation in the sun, think twice before stocking up on flip-flops at Walmart. Simple, inexpensive ($2.44) shoes for the beach would seem to have mass appeal. Unfortunately, what they have caused is mass peeling because of an as yet unidentified chemical reaction between human skin (maybe sun screen?) and the chemical composition of the sandal. The area of irritation on the tops of the feet, which you can view in the pictures below, corresponds exactly to the thong portion of the plastic sandal.  Clearly the chemical burns are linked to wearing the sandals. Since September of this year, Walmart has reportedly sold “over a million” of these colorful plastic Sand ‘N Sun sandals, which has been supposedly now recalled because they have burned the skin (first and second degree burns) on the feet of at least a dozen consumers.  The flip-flops were made in China. One shopper recently reported that she presented the sandals at a Midwest location Walmart check-out register and the scanner didn’t recognize the code...