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Loch Ness is remarkably barren, despite rivers feeding into it. Perhaps the chemical condition of the water is inimical to most fish and plant life. In any case, it can barely support a decent population of pike, never mind a breeding herd of pleisiosaur-type beasts.

Perhaps the problem with many so-called natural remedies is dosage, purity and quantity. In centuries past it made sense to chew bark to diminish pain, or festoon wounds in cobwebs, but now it's better to take an aspirin or an antibiotic. Conversely, many dosages of natural drugs need to be reduced if they aren't to carry you off prematurely. Taxin or digitalis, for instance. If the world as we know it were to end, I would quite like to have a field of yew, poppies and foxgloves at the bottom of my garden, but until then I'll just stick with Big Pharma's products, no matter how debatable their ethics.

I sometimes think about our poor ancestors, suffering acute and chronic illness at a comparatively young age, finding out through trial and error which plants etc. actually worked, and for what problem. Can't have been easy, and you'd have had to have been desperate, just like people today who so want to live.

I know nothing about this Trudeau person, but I know plenty of people who are entirely sincere about (useless) 'natural' remedies, sadly. If they're rich though, I reckon it's the old snake oil predation.
 
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quote:

If you could join me for a dive like the one I did on a old steamer wreck in the Red Sea, with a reef shark and a hammerhead circling above, I think you'd feel differently about sharks, Mark.

I probably would, Inger, and it sounds as if it would be an exciting and fascinating experience. If ever I get the fortunate chance to visit Australia, I would look forward to meeting you and taking on the deep. I'm sure that one learns most about sharks by being close-up and interacting with them. Thank you for the very thoughtful insight.
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am very skeptical about claims of a "cure" for diabetes - I'd have to see information about what type of diabetes and what particular herbs were being advocated. I'd be willing to believe that there may be some chemical properties in certain substances that had ameliorating effects on the condition, but not a cure.

Take a look! Here are a few of many sites that appear more on the serious side (as opposed to the 'Happy Joe's Drug Corner' type of site). One deals with the notion of a "secret deception" alluded to above. The others cover general information (one of these actually contests the "deception" site). As Jason and others have said: Do the research.

http://www.nexusmagazine.com/articles/DiabetesDeception.html
http://www.diabetesmellitus-information.com/diabetes_treatment.htm
http://www.truehealth.org/break14.html
http://allonhealth.com/health-news/natural-diabetes-remedy.html
 
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quote:

Loch Ness is remarkably barren, despite rivers feeding into it. Perhaps the chemical condition of the water is inimical to most fish and plant life. In any case, it can barely support a decent population of pike, never mind a breeding herd of pleisiosaur-type beasts.

Still, Monica, from the photos I have seen of that area in Scotland, the landscape is breathtaking, suggestively a peaceful place to live or get away from it all.

Of course, with the tourism influx caused by the 'Nessie' legend, perhaps it isn't as peaceful as it once was.


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now it's better to take an aspirin or an antibiotic

That's what I always take to alleviate that dreaded migraine, which I hate with a passion. Luckily, this has been the only medication I've had to take in years *knocks on wood top of desk*


Interesting link, Paul. This sheds light on what is going on and those practices of which one should be wary.

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Spiritual Healer - Dr. Helena Steiner-Hornsteyn "Trust me, I'm not a Doctor.."

Nice twist. The woman obviously has no trust in modern medicine or related practices, but her assertion above doesn't inspire confidence, either, does it?


One exception: I have heard that acupuncture has become a respectable form of treatment, at least in Asia. Supposedly, this actually works, although I may be wrong. *shrugs*​
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Not surprisingly, The Skeptic's Dictionary has an entire topical index on so-called Alternative Medicine (See http://www.skepdic.com/tialtmed.html ) and acupuncture is right at the top of the list. Complex homeopathy and Homeopathy have individual entries.

As always, think of this as the starting point of any serious research on the topic in question.

While some alternative medical practices might have some tangible benefits, they don't even come close to being the cure alls they are claimed to be and some can be quite dangerous.
 
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Inger-

Here are a couple more links of current stories on similar issues that are so close to you:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080307/ap_on_re_as/japan_whaling_1

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/03/07/white-killer-whale.html


It appears as if a major ongoing conflict is engaged here as well. Are these tightly associated with the issues pertaining to the sharks?

On a different note, the recognition of a myth-like mammal is a fascinating prospect to behold!

Anyway, I thought you'd be interested in seeing these as well.
 

Inger Sheil

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Just realised I didn't get back to you on the herbal diabetes "cure" idea, Mark - I note that the current research reflects what I wrote above:

"I'd be willing to believe that there may be some chemical properties in certain substances that had ameliorating effects on the condition, but not a cure."

The Indian curry tree leaf, Murraya koenigii, may be one of these substances - compounds may be extracted from this that can provide a treatment for diabetes (not a cure, though). The general verdict is that further studies are needed, and these are being conducted.

Of course, there is a long list of "natural" remedies for diabetes that are being promoted in health food stores etc - these should approached with extreme caution, if only for the problems associated with the lack of standardised dosage. We don't see clinically reproducable efficacy in treatment (what is claimed to have an effect in one person is not repeated in others, indicating that other factors may be involved in the supposed effectiveness of the herb). There are extraordinary and extravagent claims about "cures", and the usual conspiracies about big medicine attempting to conceal these supposed alternative treatments. A good deal of the literature and rhetoric reminds me of the various supposed cancer curing substances.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/3698348.stm
http://www.endocrinologist.com/herbs.html
http://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes-and-herbal-remedies.html

There are some parallels to be drawn between whale hunting and shark conservation, in the general sense that there are both conservation and animal welfare issues (the two are not synonymous). Cetaceans in general have better PR than the elasmobranches, of course. Overfishing is one of the greatest environmental challenges we face - worldwide, we currently take more from our seas than is a sustainable yield, and that is going to have effects all down the line.
 
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Inger, sorry I didn't get back to this sooner. My income tax has been keeping me rather busy, especially since my situation is an unusual one.

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There are extraordinary and extravagant claims about "cures", and the usual conspiracies about big medicine attempting to conceal these supposed alternative treatments. A good deal of the literature and rhetoric reminds me of the various supposed cancer curing substances.

Oh, how the conspiracies grow and grow. Such claims, of course, are likely not new, although names, dates and details tend to change over time.

The reason that some of these conspiracies seem believable rests, unfortunately, on the fact that corruption does exist in big business and in the government. That doesn't automatically mean that such claims are true, however. Studies done on these treatments should require attention before one jumps to any conclusions.

By the way, thanks for the links. Very interesting!


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worldwide, we currently take more from our seas than is a sustainable yield, and that is going to have effects all down the line.

I think one problem regarding the lack of control over this yield rests on the lack of applicable laws--not only in effectiveness but also in terms of geography. Universal regulations and mandates should be set in place to prohibit fishermen and other entities from "taking liberties." This should be done if only due to the fact that many people are not going to act "according to conscience," especially when money is involved.

What kind of legal developments are underway now in this area?​
 
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>>My income tax has been keeping me rather busy,<<

Just got mine done. Only had to pay around $570 this year after everything was worked out. It's usually about twice that much.

>>The reason that some of these conspiracies seem believable rests, unfortunately, on the fact that corruption does exist in big business and in the government.<<

Yes, and the worst part about it is that they're often in it together. Not as a grand co-ordinated conspiracy (They're not that smart!) but more along the lines of various vested interests playing the Scratch My Back And I'll Scratch Yours sort of game.

Whatever one's opinions about the idea of government taking over as a health care provider, I can't ignore the fact that much of the mess is due in no small part to those vested interests buying off the very polticians who write the confusing tangle of laws in the first place. We want the government to solve the problem while forgetting that they are a major part of the cause. Small wonder then that John Q. Public is cynical and suspicious of the campiegn promises that get made every year.
 
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Only had to pay around $570 this year after everything was worked out. It's usually about twice that much.

Damn, Michael, you have my sympathy. The IRS tries to squeeze as much out of you as it can.

Recently, a friend of mine, who is always a freelance writer, insists that we are not self-employed, meaning the same thing as business owners. I called the IRS a couple of days ago, and one guy said that we are, so w're subject to SE taxes. My friend believes this is their way of taking both regular income tax and business tax out of us. Where I see this, I also agree that we, as contractors, should not be lumped with actual business owners because we are not and therefore aren't subject to the same liabilities as those who own their own registered businesses. We provide a service, yes, but she and I do not actually own a registered business. The guy at the IRS compared us (incorrectly) to the kids with a lemonade stand down the block, although he admittedly acknowledged that we are far more professional than that. Well, I guess we should go down the street and squeeze taxes out of those poor kids. If not, they will go to jail. See the inanity of it?

Anyway, as you can see, the whole situation gets tricky . . . and sometimes confusing.


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the very politicians who write the confusing tangle of laws in the first place.

Sometimes I get the impression that such laws are deliberately made complicated (i.e. the "tangled mess") to confuse people and throw them off (which it doesn't do for everybody. Hey, if we can see that motive, we're not as dumb as they think. But they are government, so who are we to argue, right?
wink.gif
). In this way, those government officials can "maintain control" over the masses. Sorry, is that too conspiratorial again?

I do believe that many laws are more complex/complicated/contradictory than they really need to be, and I believe that the government knows that, too.​
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Damn, Michael, you have my sympathy. The IRS tries to squeeze as much out of you as it can.<<

Thanks but like I said, it wasn't as bad as usual. Count Taxula usually tags me for nearly twice as much.

>>Hey, if we can see that motive, we're not as dumb as they think.<<

Maybe we aren't, but it's not lost on me that even though power shifts between parties in the hope that one will somehow be better then the other, what we continue to get is more of the "Same Cart, New Driver" syndrome. Despite that, we continue to vote them right back into office. That's not conspiracy at work. That's inertia.

If anyone has ever wondered why I'm as cynical about politics as I am, that's why. The names change, and nations rise and fall, but the games are exactly the same.
 
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Thanks but like I said, it wasn't as bad as usual.

No, but what I meant was that $500 in taxes is still high, especially when you don't even have it.

Still, count your blessings!
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we continue to vote them right back into office . . . The names change, and nations rise and fall, but the games are exactly the same.

That's why I never vote, even though I have the right to do so. It may be my obligation to help conduct the affairs of my country, but it ISN'T my obligation to facilitate the private interests of self-serving individuals who require that jar of Vaseline as means to their end (and this is the polite way of saying it
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If anyone has ever wondered why I'm as cynical about politics as I am, that's why.

No need to explain, sir--I fully understand, and all too well. My entire family isn't very politically inclined, and for these reasons. We are cognizant to the importance of certain issues, but our deep awareness of the "the game" and of our inability to win drives us to remain uninvolved in the voting processes. This way, we cannot be snowed and therefore remain blameless.

Does this make any sense?​
 
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By the way, I stumbled across an article that discussed controversial elements in food. Browse through the discussion board, too, as it is, umm, particularly interesting. Oh, what people will claim about research!

In any case, I thought I'd share it below:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/123060/output/comments


This somehow goes along with the topic of scientific/natural alternatives and the research behind it, so I felt the link fit well here.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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I do vote, if only to preserve my right and standing to complain, and even if only to vote for somebody other then the lesser of two evils.

As to taxes, I try not to live high off the hog and bank enough to keep Uncle Sugar off my back. Beats going to jail or living in a box in a back alley.

Regarding food additives, this is the reason I tend to get some of my groceries from places like Fresh Market and Whole foods. At least I know when I eat it, I won't be "giving birth" to an alien life form with a hissing bad attitude and acid for blood!

In fairness, most of the additives aren't as scary as one might think. What happens is that you get the full chemical name for something that's actually harmless and even beneficial such as certain nutrients. I just wish they would call vitamin A just that.

Some additives may be a problem, but think of what came before: premature spoilage, food poisoning, etc.
 
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and even if only to vote for somebody other then the lesser of two evils.

Well, you point out the least of all political evils, my friend, and I will vote for her or him. The problem is, with all the deception, it's not easy determining who the best people actually are. That is probably one intended effect of "the game."


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Beats going to jail or living in a box in a back alley.

These scenarios seem to fit a lot of people. I can't help but wonder whose fault it actually is that these poor souls wind up like this. It's not always a clear-cut case.


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Some additives may be a problem, but think of what came before: premature spoilage, food poisoning, etc.

I guess many people want their cake and eat it, too (as long as it is completely healthy). The problem with that choice is . . . it doesn't exist.

People b**** and complain because certain foods have this element or that element. Even completely natural (meaning: untouched by humans) foods have some questionable chemicals in them. We are not going to completely evade risks altogether.

As for doing research, as one can see from the discussion board at that link I provided, people think that 'these findings' are bogus while others think 'those findings' are bogus. I guess it gets down to what the individual wants to believe, as people tend to find fault with any findings that go against their beliefs. Even if truly conclusive data were to confirm a case either way through scientific means, some people wouldn't believe it. What can you do?


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At least I know when I eat it, I won't be "giving birth" to an alien life form with a hissing bad attitude and acid for blood!

Oh, so that's what happened. I was wondering what that smell was.
wink.gif


That image is more than a good enough reason to know what you're eating.​
 
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>>What can you do?<<

Go with the science. It's not perfect but as I said, until somebody comes along with something better, I'll stick with it.

The hype and hysteria masquerading as science hardly qualifies in my book and a lot of the so-called experts who fan the flames are really nothing of the kind. There are plenty of Tredeaus in the world and not just in the profession of medical quackery. The media is no help in this area either and have a tendency to be breathtakingly uncritical about what's circulating out there. That's why I tend to ignore them.
 
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Go with the science . . . That's why I tend to ignore them.

That's always a good idea. It's not easy, though, when one is not quite sure which pieces of information are correct and which aren't, especially since misinformation has been put into constant circulation by those who pass it along as if it were true-blue fact.

I was talking about what to do regarding those in the general public who confront and disagree with the findings. Each person tends to go by what s/he believes and therefore claims fault in what others say. They denounce every type of study and evaluation in whose results they decry as mere hogwash when such results don't support what they believe. It's that way with a lot of people, like those at the link. One tries to explain to them, and they dismiss it with a simple "Well, I disagree" (a response they justify by rationalizing that they "have a right to disagree if they want to"), post pseudo-scientific or junk-science links as if those links are the uppermost authority on the subject, or, worst yet, ignorantly throw names at you as if you're the ignorant one. Dealing with these people is not always an easy task and becomes quite frustrating. Not everybody is going to accept the answers, so I stop trying.

"It's a free world to believe what one wants" they proclaim.

I am all for freedom of speech and the freedom to believe as one wishes (take, for example, cases of God and religion), but not everyone can be right. Some issues are not a matter of opinion.

This is why I didn't go to the editors of LifeScience.com regarding their faulty quiz--they are not liable to listen anyway.


As for me, I'm not always going to be right, but I try to keep an open mind. Still, ET is the only forum on which I interact online, the reason being that I trust the authenticity and reputability of many of the people available here. They ought to know what they're talking about because they have worked with Titanic and have conducted years of research on the subject.

I plan to join the THS, too, when I have the chance, but I cannot afford it right now (isn't their a monthly fee?).​
 
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