Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Whirled-class videos

Much earlier today, I began an actual bits-and-pieces post, but I just didn’t have the brain power to finish it. This has been a very trying day, and now it's already night (or it's the next day already, depending upon what part of the world you're in). So instead of writing something of even minimal substance, I’ll just give you some links to a couple of videos. One is pretty darn funny, and the other is hot, hot, hot. Enjoy!

Doc Werner explains it all
Now, before I give you the link to the first video, I should tell you that I am pretty much a science ’tard, at least when it comes to physics and stuff like that. Despite taking a college-level biology course in high school many years ago, and having also done moderately well in physics and chemistry (for some odd reason, there was a time when I had the entire
periodic table memorized), I’m not exactly operating at a genius level in these subjects.

I have, however, become reasonably adept at distinguishing "legitimate" science from unmitigated crap. Apropos of the latter, my pal Tony found a link to a short video lesson on homeopathy that would have had me rolling in the aisles, if we had aisles here at my house. But we don’t, so I had to settle for rolling my eyes up in my head. And they nearly got stuck in that position as the homeo-video progressed. I still have a headache.

Tony found the video link on Dr. Panda Bear’s blog. Dr. P.B. is an M.D. who, to put it mildly, has had it up to here with complementary and alternative medicine. While I don’t take nearly the hard line against alternative methods that PB does, I find myself captivated by the doctor’s eloquence, and he does make many salient points about medicine.

Anyway, I linked to PB’s blog in yesterday’s post, and Tony followed that link. While browsing around in PB-land he found the video link in one of the comments to PB’s November 10 post. The video shows a lecture by Dr. Charlene Werner, who is a "behavioral optometrist" and, as will become readily apparent, a giddy fan of homeopathy.

Tony likes to refer to truly funny stuff not as "comedy gold," but "comedy plutonium." But this video? "Comedy Uranium-235!" he wrote.

See if you agree. And remember, this video is not a parody. At least, I don't think it is.

The Rev was thoroughly inspired after watching Dr. Werner explain how homeopathy works. To our email discussion group he wrote:

Like, I thought she was brilliant. She like inspired me. I'm gonna apply her logic right now... Unplugging a lamp, hooking the plug to my cell phone, then I'll like shine a flashlight on the lamp's bulb, and it will like turn the light energy into electricity and charge up my cell phone, and it'll be like free, 'cuz I won't have it plugged into the wall anymore. The flashlight batteries? I like got them free when I bought the flashlight, so like I'm being totally green, ya know?

Sounds like a plan to me, Ron! The ever-witty Steve Salerno had this to contribute:

I have just one minor scientific footnote to add to what it says in the video: If you take this lady's head, compress it to the size of a pin, and roll a bowling ball over it, the human race will not have lost any mass, energy, or value.

I don’t claim to understand relativity very well, but somehow Steve’s comment makes perfect sense to me.

Porn in the USA
Speaking of Steve, yesterday he wrote a post
lamenting the sleazy values that prevail in what passes for popular culture, which these days reeks of eau de Paris. Some folks have accused Steve of being a bitter old guy and a stuffy moralist, but that’s not the message I got from his post. It’s true, though, that some of the views he has expressed in this and other recent posts have put him in league with the sanctimonious set (I considered saying "in bed with" the sanctimonious set, but thought better of it).

In any case, many people feel that much of the problem with today's sorry moral climate lies with the mainstream media (or MSM, as mainstream-media haters love to call it).It all comes down to those darn liberal values, you see. Well, in the interests of being "fair and balanced," I feel compelled to provide a link to a video that gives some more penetrating insight into this problem. I must warn you, however, that this is a VERY naughty video, and it is not for the easily offended. But what the heck, I’ve already blown my chances at a PG-13 rating here. So make sure the kids are out of the room, lock your door, grab a towel if you need one, your partner if you've got one, and knock yourself out!

Okay, time for a cigarette…

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Anonymous Lana said...

Well, she seems very sweet...




.......... right?

Friday, November 16, 2007 11:41:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Yes, Lana, I'll grant her that, she seems sweet! If a bit giggly and giddy. :-)

Saturday, November 17, 2007 3:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Lana said...

What I'd like to see (and maybe they're available somewhere) are plausible theories for homeopathy from qualified scientists in different fields (such as quantum physicists and neuroscientists).

I'm definitely not interested in learning "how it works" from a sweet, but clueless (about physics, etc.) optometrist. But we'll be nice to her because she lives in Texas.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 9:59:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I agree, Lana, that even if there are some valid studies on homeopathy, Dr. Sweet-but-Clueless is, to put it kindly, not a credible source. And apparently she doesn't even live in Texas any more, according to this web site that my friend Tony found:

Saturday, November 17, 2007 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Lana said...

Oh! Then we'll be nice to her because she lives in Phoenix!

Actually, their clinic looks pretty cool -- not even counting the homeopathy. For example, they teach eye exercises. I don't know if that is considered revolutionary now or not. It wasn't an option when I was a kid.

When I was 3 years old I had surgery to correct a lazy eye. Then another surgery at age 4. I wore glasses until I was 15. I had lost my glasses and had to do without for a couple of weeks (no LensCrafters back then!). For the first time since surgery my eyes had to work on their own. They really ached, got sore, got tired. I couldn't wait for my new glasses.

But one morning I got up and realized I could see very clearly. I haven't worn glasses (or contacts) since that day. I've wondered what shape my eyes would be in today if I had been wearing glasses. Most people that I know with lazy eye wear thick lenses.

Boy -- is this off-topic or what?!

Saturday, November 17, 2007 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger gregory said...

the only way homeopathy can work is if the "water carries information" meme that is also in the smart water world...

lana, i gave a link to a very recent homeopathy article in the guardian, on another post, for you,.. it talks about the placebo effect...

god knows there is enough anecdotal evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy... but ....

rememver the seth books? seth said that belief is the cure in all healingvsystems, and all systems work, mostly, for those who believe they will work ...

and what else could explain the entirely different modalities of allopathy, chinese traditional medicine, ayurveda... on and on

Saturday, November 17, 2007 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Lana, your comments are not really off topic at all, since Dr. Werner is in the eye care biz. I'm all for exploring alternatives to corrective lenses and surgery -- e.g., eye exercises, nutrition to support good vision, etc. But when an eye doctor (or a "behavioral optometrist") starts talking about using homeopathy to treat a guy who had a "squeaky knee" -- and when she starts giggling about how wonderful homeopathy is, while skewering Einstein in order to 'splain how homeopathy works -- that kinda cuts into her personal credibility.

This does not necessarily reflect on the integrity or professionalism of the practice that Dr. Werner has recently joined, Dr. Kondrot's Healing The Eye & Wellness Center. I did note on Dr. K.'s home page, however, that he is a "board certified homeopathic physician" as well as a board certified ophthalmologist.

Here's the link:

Saturday, November 17, 2007 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Hey, Gregory... While I am of the opinion that Seth was Jane Roberts' imaginary friend, it seems Seth/Jane were talking about the good ol' placebo effect. Of course, there are some things that don't work no matter how hard we believe in them or want them to work, and some things that work even if we don't believe in them. Allopathic medicine claims to be focused on those things that work (or don't work) independent of belief or disbelief.

OTOH, allopathic medicine has long acknowledged the placebo effect, and to me the very existence of that effect indicates that the human mind may have "healing powers" that we're only now beginning to understand. Fortunately, this is an active area of research. Unfortunately, there are lots of quacks and nut cases doing "research," which unfortunately casts a pall on the credibility of legitimate researchers.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 1:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

I think "healing" happens for numerous reasons. I agree, Connie, belief often isn't required at all -- because something else (internal or external) is providing the instructions. Other times, belief is the key -- because the brain (in some cases) can provide the instructions. And all the above can be working at the same time, of course.

Yeah, what really bugs me are the quacks and other unqualified people doing "research" and making claims. I do realize, however, that seemingly unqualified people can provide amazing insights because they don't have the biases that stop others from seeing what's right in front of their faces.

Case in point: My dad. I won't go into detail here because he prefers to keep a low profile, but he easily solved a problem that had been stumping scientists and engineers in a particular industry. He was "just" the tech writer on staff. He went on to design several products and systems that blew the experts' minds.

Saturday, November 17, 2007 1:44:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

The point you make by telling your dad's story, Lana, is one of the things that makes this entire debate so interesting. It also points to one of the reasons that I cannot entirely dismiss all of the "alternatives" and why I can't bring myself to take up (virtual) arms against them all, the way some of the more dedicated skeptics do.

Even so, I sometimes have to remind myself that it's really not a war, as romantic as war seems to some (and as much as I sometimes seem to be perpetuating that war with my own snide little blog. :-))

Saturday, November 17, 2007 2:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

This is how I approach just about everything! No matter what the subject, I find that there's always so much more to the story. It never ends...

Here's a fun homeopathy anecdote:

Many years ago a chiropractor gave me a homeopathic painkiller. Homeopathy sounded rather strange and I had no idea if it would work. One evening after a strenuous move (carrying boxes up and down stairs for hours), my foot was in tremendous pain. I really wanted to go out to dinner with friends, but my foot was killing me and I couldn't walk. I remembered the painkillers and took a couple. To my shock, it completely knocked out the pain. Woo hoo! I didn't care if it was a placebo effect or not, I was just happy it worked.

A few days later, a friend at work was telling me about his wife's problem with severe migraines. She was housebound and taking codeine. She hated the side effects. So I gave him a few of my homeopathic painkillers for her to try.

They worked beautifully for her. She was no longer in pain and was getting out of the house again. I was her godsend! I kept her well supplied. But one day she called and said the last batch I gave her didn't work. I called my chiropractor to let him know, and he called the manufacturer. He found out that they had reformulated the remedy. They admitted that the new remedy didn't work for some people.

So it's stuff like that, where it doesn't appear that a placebo effect is in play, that keeps me intrigued and using homeopathetic remedies!

Saturday, November 17, 2007 2:59:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Well, I'd say your painkiller was probably safer than Vicodin or codeine (though probably not as much fun) :-). But I'm wondering what was in the homeopathic formula (the one that worked)? Do you have any idea?

Saturday, November 17, 2007 3:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Lana said...

I don't remember what the formula was based on. This was back in 1988. Unfortunately, the company closed down. But I do remember the product name: Express Relief.

My husband has tried various pain remedies, but they haven't worked. I don't have problems with pain, so I don't know if they'd work for me or not.

However, a remedy I really like for calming down nerves is Hyland's Calms Forte. My local drugstores carry it, which is nice.

Try it! You might like it! :-)

Saturday, November 17, 2007 5:15:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Looks interesting, Lana...I might try it. Thanks!

Saturday, November 17, 2007 6:33:00 PM  

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