While I think we are still a long way away from having autonomous killer robots trudging around the world waiting for Skynet to become self-aware, it has been a somewhat big topic lately. This is mostly due to people, justifiably, freaking out over the thought of remorseless killing machines becoming the go to move for everything from major wars, to crime prevention, to taking care of people who cut in long lines and then act like you are an asshole for pointing it out.
Ok, that last example is, more truthfully, my personal use for an ED-209. I’m a petty dick when it comes to lines.
So recent news has finally given me a reason to do something that makes sense for this blog, at least on the surface. We are a few posts in on something called The Whiskey Monologues and we are finally talking about Whiskey instead of just using it as a fuel for the haphazard writing here. Specifically I am talking about the recent news that Fireball brand whiskey has been banned in Europe!
Well, not really banned.
And not in all of Europe.
While perusing the internet the other day, I came across this article, from a health and nutrition website, which linked into another article on the same subject. According to these articles every time I stop at the local store and grab a bottle of Dasani water, something that has been happening frequently as its summer but I am stubbornly refusing to use A/C, I am gambling with my life.
Dasani water is going to kill me.
So I recently had a friend send me some info on her new weight loss program, where she lost something like 13 pounds in 8 days. I was impressed and happy for her, but things got a little weird. Initially she told me it was a better diet, some cardio and “natural products”. When pressed, all I was given was a website that had some testimonial videos on it but no real information on the product or even how to buy it.
Right away my Skeptey Senses were tingling.
Try to imagine you are at a friends’ house, with a large group of people. Someone decides to order pizza for everyone. Someone brings you a slice, and you notice something… strange. The normal stuff of goodness is there: dough, sauce, cheese, pepperoni… There is something extra though, a slimy, salty piece of hatred and discontent: an anchovy.
The thought hits you: “What sadistic, horrible person would order a pepperoni and anchovy pizza?” (Here, I am assuming you don’t like anchovies, but in case you do please be aware I am not writing this for you as I assume you are a cat.) You sit there loudly telling everyone around you how you can’t believe this injustice to pizza, to humans and to your dignity. This must be a top down conspiracy to ruin pizza for everyone present. Heads must roll!
You may have heard of Stanislaw Burzynski and his Antineoplaston treatment for cancer. If you haven’t, I highly suggest poking around a bit, even just a simple Google search will do. Though please go beyond just the Eric Merola movies, which are clearly from the perspective that the treatment is proven and that evidence is not necessary at this point. Conversely, don’t just go with some of the more curmudgeonly bloggers such as Orac, though the latter does tend to give some very good scientific information.
Now, even if you didn’t immediately go out and research furiously, I am going to assume you have a general idea about Burzynski, the Clinic, and his ANP (Antineoplaston) treatment.
The main reason I am putting this together is to try to give a little bit of perspective on efficacy. Not just of Burzynskis treatment, but a little more information on DIPG. I am not a doctor; I do not play one on TV, and as far as I can remember I never even “played doctor” as a kid. So please excuse (and correct) me if I have gotten some piece of medical information completely and utterly wrong. This is indeed my take on the information I have found. Also take note that you may think to yourself, “Hey, these sound like anecdotes! Doesn’t he scream about wanting non anecdotal evidence?”. Yes, some other persons self, I indeed do want objective evidence. However, since most of the support for Burzynski comes from only anecdotal evidence, I would say this is a fair riposte, as the bar has been set to Hermes Conrad levels of limbo skills, and I feel like just shuffling over it today.