Monday, August 31, 2009

OLA, QUANTA SAUDADES!


http://lh4.ggpht.com/_SSxC9x0j0oQ/SmG7qHgy23I/AAAAAAAAIoU/3dQEpRnC7z4/s800/margaridass%20c%C3%B3pia.jpg

PRECISEI ME AUSENTAR UM POUCO.

MAS, EM NENHUM MOMENTO, DEIXEI DE PENSAR EM CADA UM DE VOCÊS MEUS QUERIDOS AMIGOS.
"OS AMIGOS SÃO SÃO
PATRIMÔNIO QUE CONSTRUIMOS. INDESTRUTÍVEIS".
ESTA CANÇÃO É PARA VOCÊ.

UMA PEQUENA ESTROFE.

"UM JARDIM DE FLOR.

CULTIVO UM JARDIM DE ROSAS,

QUE NÃO TEM ESPINHO PARA TE MACHUCAR.

CULTIVO UM JARDIM TÃO LINDO,

DE ROSAS PERFUMADAS PARA TE OFERTAR".

OFEREÇO ESTE JARDIM DE FLORES,
CHEIOS DE PERFUMES.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_vzrlnu76oJw/SmYh3JjDZ3I/AAAAAAAABx4/aoIqoirdg8s/s320/Floresparaisa.+c%C3%B3pia.jpg

PROMETO QUE MANHÃ APÓS VINDA DO MÉDICO,
RETOMAREI TODAS AS VISITAS.

AMANHÃ VOU TIRAR OS PONTOS.
A NOITE VOU VISITAR A TODOS.
FIQUEM COM DEUS, MEUS QUERIDOS E ESTIMADOS AMIGOS.

Friday, August 28, 2009

O AMOR É....

AMO CADA UM DE VOCÊS QUE ESTÃO SEMPRE AQUI.
http://atocadaloba.zip.net/images/y-amor101.gif


O amor é lealdade, respeito, dignidade e principalmente a individualidade.

O amor é o que o Amor faz.
O amor é paciência, generosidade, perdão, honestidade e compromisso.
Ame seu próximo como a ti mesmo.

O amor é a nossa amizade incondicional.
Agradeço do fundo do meu coração, todos os carinhos que tenho recebido aqui.
Este blog tem portas, mas não tem tramela(meu pai, já dizia isso: minha cada tem portas, mas não tem tramelas).


Sintam se sempre bem vindos, meus queridos amigos.

QUERO DEIXAR UM LEMBRETE AQUI PARA KOTTA.
AMIGA, NÃO CONSIGO MAIS DEIXAR COMENTÁRIOS EM SEU BLOG.
ONTEM, TENTEI, MAIS NÃO FOI POSÍVEL.

COMO FAREI, PARA MANTER CONTATO COM VOCÊ MINHA DOCE AMIGA?

OFEREÇO ESTE SELINHO PARA TODOS VOCÊS,
EM SINAL DO MEU AMOR.
COM MUITO CARINHO.
NÃO TEM REGRAS É SÓ LEVAR.
MAS SE FOR OFERECER,
PELO MENOS INDICAR O BLOG QUE LHE PRESENTEOU.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_vzrlnu76oJw/Shs2jqMBYOI/AAAAAAAABOA/XpVp_egWHE4/s320/a_003.jpeg


VENHA CONHECER ESTE DOIS CANTINHOS QUE FALAM DE AMOR.

Poetas-Um Vôo Livre

Sinal de Liberdade-uma expressão de sentimento

VENHA DAR SUA SUGESTÃO NESTE BLOG.

Pretty Green Lies

The British government has a novel approach to public health advertising: flat-out, obvious lies. This is really the only way to describe this:



The message is that when you're on drugs, anyone looking at you can tell, because drugs make your eyes look funny. So if you're driving while under the influence, the police will know. By looking at your eyes. So, don't.

This is not true. It's obviously not true. Anyone who's ever seen someone on drugs will know that they don't cause your eyes to become the size of golfballs - the advert uses image morphing to make the eyes enormous, as explained in the Making Of clip:


Some drugs do have subtle effects on the eyes, such as pupil dilation, but you can only spot this if you're staring someone right in the face from about six inches away. Not to mention that anyone who's used a car will know that drivers don't spend their time examining the eyes of their fellow road users.

There's one very good reason why you shouldn't drive on drugs, which is that you might crash and kill yourself or someone else. Why the Department of Transport didn't use this as the basis of their advert, only they know. As it is, they've ended up with something that absolutely no-one is going to take seriously - see the YouTube comments. When YouTubers are making incisive criticisms of your campaign, you know you're doing something wrong.

[BPSDB]

Pretty Green Lies

The British government has a novel approach to public health advertising: flat-out, obvious lies. This is really the only way to describe this:



The message is that when you're on drugs, anyone looking at you can tell, because drugs make your eyes look funny. So if you're driving while under the influence, the police will know. By looking at your eyes. So, don't.

This is not true. It's obviously not true. Anyone who's ever seen someone on drugs will know that they don't cause your eyes to become the size of golfballs - the advert uses image morphing to make the eyes enormous, as explained in the Making Of clip:


Some drugs do have subtle effects on the eyes, such as pupil dilation, but you can only spot this if you're staring someone right in the face from about six inches away. Not to mention that anyone who's used a car will know that drivers don't spend their time examining the eyes of their fellow road users.

There's one very good reason why you shouldn't drive on drugs, which is that you might crash and kill yourself or someone else. Why the Department of Transport didn't use this as the basis of their advert, only they know. As it is, they've ended up with something that absolutely no-one is going to take seriously - see the YouTube comments. When YouTubers are making incisive criticisms of your campaign, you know you're doing something wrong.

[BPSDB]

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

VERDADEIRO AMIGO.


QUERO APROVEITAR ESTE MOMENTO E AGRADECER A TODOS OS MEUS QUERIDOS AMIGOS QUE ME VISITAM E DEIXAM LINDOS COMENTÁRIOS.

COMO É MARAVILHOSO ABRIR ESTE BLOG E ENCONTRAR PESSOAS DE TODOS OS CANTOS DESSE BRASIL.
CADA DIA QUE PASSA MAIS TENHO A CERTEZA, DE QUE AS FRONTEIRAS SÃO ENCURTADAS PELO GRANDE QUE SENTIMOS EM GANHAR NOVOS AMIGOS.
QUANDO A AMIZADE É VERDADEIRA, NÃO IMPORTA NADA. SOMENTE O MOMENTO.
AGRADEÇO O CARINHO DE TODOS VOCÊS, QUE ESTÃO AQUI TODOS OS DIAS COMIGO. ATÉ NESTE MOMENTO.
AMO A TODOS, SEM DEMAGOGIA. AMO DO FUNDO DO MEU CORAÇÃO.
LOGO ESTAREI VISITANDO A TODOS.

ESTA MENSAGEM É PARA VOCÊ.

Qualquer um pode ficar ao seu lado quando você está certo,
mas um amigo verdadeiro permanece ao seu lado mesmo
quando você está errado...

Um simples amigo se identifica quando ele te liga. Um amigo
verdadeiro não precisa se identificar, pois vocês conhecem
suas vozes.

Um simples amigo inicia uma conversa com um boletim de
novidades sobre sua vida. Um verdadeiro amigo diz: "O que há
de novo sobre você?"

Um simples amigo acha que os problemas pelos quais você está
se queixando são recentes. Um amigo verdadeiro diz: "Você
tem se queixado sobre a mesma coisa pelos últimos quatorze
anos. Saia deste marasmo e faça algo sobre isto."

Um simples amigo nunca o(a) viu chorar. Um verdadeiro amigo
tem seus ombros encharcados por tuas lágrimas.

Um simples amigo não sabe o nome dos teus pais. Um
verdadeiro amigo tem o telefone deles em sua agenda.

Um simples amigo traz uma garrafa de vinho para sua festa. Um
verdadeiro amigo chega mais cedo para ajudá-lo a cozinhar e
fica até mais tarde para ajudá-lo na limpeza.

Um simples amigo odeia quando você liga após ele já ter ido
para cama. Um verdadeiro amigo te pergunta porque demorou
tanto para ligar.

Um simples amigo procura conversar com você sobre teus
problemas. Um verdadeiro amigo procura ajudá-lo a resolver
teus problemas.

Um simples amigo fica imaginando sobre tuas histórias
românticas. Um verdadeiro amigo poderia conhecer até te
chantagear com tudo que ele sabe.

Um simples amigo, quando o visita age como um convidado. Um
verdadeiro amigo abre tua geladeira e se serve.

Um simples amigo acha que a amizade terminou quando vocês
tem uma discussão. Um verdadeiro amigo sabe que não existe
uma amizade enquanto vocês ainda não tiveram uma
divergência.

Um simples amigo espera que você sempre esteja por perto
quando ele precisar. Um verdadeiro amigo espera estar sempre
por perto quando você precisar dele.


(desconheço autoria).

QUERO PARABENIZAR ESTA LINDA MOÇA QUE PARTICIPA DO BLOG ABAIXO, QUE É HOJE MINHA SEGUIDORA DE NÚMERO 150.
OBRIGADA MINHA LINDA SISSYM
http://caderninhodafada.blogspot.com/
CURIOSA ESTÁ FELIZ. TEM SELO DE 150 SEGUIDOR.
SÃO BEM MERECIDOS. AQUI O CARINHO É RECIPROCO.

VENHA CONHECER ESTE BLOG
http://blogzoomideiasdafadasemfim.blogspot.com/

ESTE SELO VAI PARA VOCÊ FADA.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_vzrlnu76oJw/SkDbD78adhI/AAAAAAAABkA/PFAzm2VaPSY/s320/sandra.jpeg

SE VOCÊ TAMBÉM GOSTOU DESSE SORRISO, PODE LEVA-LO COM VOCÊ AMIGO SEGUIDOR E VISITANTE.


NÃO DEIXE DE INTERAGIR COM PLANETA NESTE LOCAL: Blog Coletivo-Uma Interação de Amigos

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

MULHER BONITA


Mulher Bonita

O mundo é composto por

diversos tipos de mulheres:

Mulheres que curam com a força do seu amor...

Mulheres que aliviam dores com a

sua compaixão...

Mulheres que

cantam o que

a gente sente...

Mulheres que

escrevem o que

a gente sente...

Mulheres

glamourosas...

Mulheres

maravilhosas...

Mulheres que nos

fazem rir...

Mulheres batalhadoras...

Mulheres talentosas.

O mundo também é composto

por outros tipos de mulheres,

não tanto conhecidas

ou famosas:

Mulheres que deixam tudo

para trás, ou que vão

buscar uma vida nova...

Mulheres que todos os dias

se encontram diante de um

novo recomeço...

Mulheres que

sofrem diante

das injustiças...

Mulheres que sofrem

diante das perdas

inexplicáveis...

Mães amorosas...

Mulheres que se submetem

às duras regras...

Mulheres que se

perguntam qual

será o seu

destino...

Mulheres que têm escrito

no seu rosto todos os dias

da sua vida...

Todas elas são

mulheres especiais...

Todas, mulheres tanto ou mais

bonitas que qualquer estrela,

porque lutam diariamente

para fazer do mundo um

lugar melhor para se viver.

Para ti, MULHER BONITA,

que também escreves as

páginas da nossa História,

desejo que tenhas um

maravilhoso dia.

(TEXTO RECEBIDO POR EMAIL).



VENHA FAZER PARTE DESSA EMOÇÃO.

CONHEÇA :Poetas-Um Vôo Livre


SEU CONSUMO É CONSCIENTE??? ENTÃO PASSE NO Blog Coletivo-Uma Interação de Amigos

Monday, August 24, 2009

U.S. Antidepressant Use Doubled in A Decade

The proportion of Americans using antidepressants in a given year nearly doubled from 5.8% in 1996 to 10.1% in 2005, according to a paper just published: National Patterns in Antidepressant
Medication Treatment
, by Mark Olfson and Steven Marcus.

That means about 15 million more Americans were medicated in '05 than a decade previously. A huge increase in anyone's book. But the doubling in antidepressant use is not the only interesting result in this paper. In no particular order, here are some other fun facts -
  • Women are twice as likely to use antidepressants as men (female 13.4% vs male 6.7% in 2005); the ratio was the same in 1996. Studies consistently find that Western women are about twice as likely to report suffering from depression and anxiety disorders as men are. But these kinds of studies rely on self-report so this could merely mean that women are more willing to talk about their problems. This data suggests that they also seek treatment about twice as often.
  • The peak age bracket for antidepressants is 50-64, with 15.5% yearly use. This is more than double the rate in the 18-34 bracket. This surprised me, maybe because of the influence of books like Prozac Nation (tagline - "Young and Depressed in America"). So, it looks like the increasing use of antidepressants is not because younger people, having grown up in the "Prozac Era", are more accepting of them.
  • Antidepressants are a white thing - 12.0% of whites take them vs. about 5% of blacks and Hispanics. But it would be interesting to see a regional breakdown here. Are blue-state or red-state whites more likely to be medicated?
  • Family income was not correlated with antidepressant use, but the unemployed were twice as likely to use antidepressants: 22% in '05. This might be because unemployment is bad for your mental health, or because mental illness is bad for your employment prospects. Or both.
  • One of the questions in the survey asked people to rate their own mental health. Over 90% of Americans said it as "good", "very good" or "excellent" - including 80% of antidepressants users. This really surprised me, and suggests that these drugs are being prescribed to people who are not, overall, very unwell.
  • The % of antidepressant users also using an antipsychotic drug rose from 5.5% to 8.9% in 2005. Given that the number of users also doubled, this means the number of Americans using an antipsychotic as well as an antidepressant increased by a factor of more than 3. This is worrying since antipsychotics are generally the worst psychiatric drugs in terms of side effects. While there is evidence that some of the newer antipsychotics can be of use in depression as an add-on to antidepressants, this is controversial and it's not clear that they're any better than the older alternatives, such as lithium.
Overall, this report verifies that antidepressant use has risen dramatically over the past several years. This is hardly news, but the magnitude of the increase is still startling.

What makes it especially interesting is that nothing much happened between 1996 and 2005 in terms of new antidepressants. A couple of new SSRIs, such as citalopram, were approved for sale in the US. But these drugs are very similar to Prozac (fluoxetine) which has been around since '87. Remeron (mirtazapine) hit the market in '96, but it's never been nearly as popular as the SSRIs.

So the change was a change in behaviour, a cultural or social phenomenon. For some reason, America decided to take more antidepressants. Books could be written on why this happened, and I hope they will be, because it's an important topic. But here's my personal take: the main reason why people are taking more antidepressants is that the popular concept of "depression" has become more broad. People have become more willing to label their experiences as "depression" and seek medical treatment. The notion that mental illness is extremely common - the one in four meme - is one aspect of this.

Finally, the inevitable caveats. The data here come from the Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys (MEPS) which were household surveys of "national probability samples of the US civilian noninstitutionalized population". This means that military personnel, the homeless, prisoners, and (presumably) illegal immigrants weren't included. And not everyone agreed to take part; the response rate was 70% in '96 but dropped to 60% in '05. On the other hand, the samples were extremely large (28,000 in 2005).

ResearchBlogging.orgOlfson M, & Marcus SC (2009). National patterns in antidepressant medication treatment. Archives of general psychiatry, 66 (8), 848-56 PMID: 19652124

U.S. Antidepressant Use Doubled in A Decade

The proportion of Americans using antidepressants in a given year nearly doubled from 5.8% in 1996 to 10.1% in 2005, according to a paper just published: National Patterns in Antidepressant
Medication Treatment
, by Mark Olfson and Steven Marcus.

That means about 15 million more Americans were medicated in '05 than a decade previously. A huge increase in anyone's book. But the doubling in antidepressant use is not the only interesting result in this paper. In no particular order, here are some other fun facts -
  • Women are twice as likely to use antidepressants as men (female 13.4% vs male 6.7% in 2005); the ratio was the same in 1996. Studies consistently find that Western women are about twice as likely to report suffering from depression and anxiety disorders as men are. But these kinds of studies rely on self-report so this could merely mean that women are more willing to talk about their problems. This data suggests that they also seek treatment about twice as often.
  • The peak age bracket for antidepressants is 50-64, with 15.5% yearly use. This is more than double the rate in the 18-34 bracket. This surprised me, maybe because of the influence of books like Prozac Nation (tagline - "Young and Depressed in America"). So, it looks like the increasing use of antidepressants is not because younger people, having grown up in the "Prozac Era", are more accepting of them.
  • Antidepressants are a white thing - 12.0% of whites take them vs. about 5% of blacks and Hispanics. But it would be interesting to see a regional breakdown here. Are blue-state or red-state whites more likely to be medicated?
  • Family income was not correlated with antidepressant use, but the unemployed were twice as likely to use antidepressants: 22% in '05. This might be because unemployment is bad for your mental health, or because mental illness is bad for your employment prospects. Or both.
  • One of the questions in the survey asked people to rate their own mental health. Over 90% of Americans said it as "good", "very good" or "excellent" - including 80% of antidepressants users. This really surprised me, and suggests that these drugs are being prescribed to people who are not, overall, very unwell.
  • The % of antidepressant users also using an antipsychotic drug rose from 5.5% to 8.9% in 2005. Given that the number of users also doubled, this means the number of Americans using an antipsychotic as well as an antidepressant increased by a factor of more than 3. This is worrying since antipsychotics are generally the worst psychiatric drugs in terms of side effects. While there is evidence that some of the newer antipsychotics can be of use in depression as an add-on to antidepressants, this is controversial and it's not clear that they're any better than the older alternatives, such as lithium.
Overall, this report verifies that antidepressant use has risen dramatically over the past several years. This is hardly news, but the magnitude of the increase is still startling.

What makes it especially interesting is that nothing much happened between 1996 and 2005 in terms of new antidepressants. A couple of new SSRIs, such as citalopram, were approved for sale in the US. But these drugs are very similar to Prozac (fluoxetine) which has been around since '87. Remeron (mirtazapine) hit the market in '96, but it's never been nearly as popular as the SSRIs.

So the change was a change in behaviour, a cultural or social phenomenon. For some reason, America decided to take more antidepressants. Books could be written on why this happened, and I hope they will be, because it's an important topic. But here's my personal take: the main reason why people are taking more antidepressants is that the popular concept of "depression" has become more broad. People have become more willing to label their experiences as "depression" and seek medical treatment. The notion that mental illness is extremely common - the one in four meme - is one aspect of this.

Finally, the inevitable caveats. The data here come from the Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys (MEPS) which were household surveys of "national probability samples of the US civilian noninstitutionalized population". This means that military personnel, the homeless, prisoners, and (presumably) illegal immigrants weren't included. And not everyone agreed to take part; the response rate was 70% in '96 but dropped to 60% in '05. On the other hand, the samples were extremely large (28,000 in 2005).

ResearchBlogging.orgOlfson M, & Marcus SC (2009). National patterns in antidepressant medication treatment. Archives of general psychiatry, 66 (8), 848-56 PMID: 19652124

UM MOMENTO DE ALEGRIA E COMEMORAÇÃO!!!!!

PARABÉNS MENINAS E MENINOS QUE ESTÃO EM FESTA NO BLOG.
VOCÊS SÃO MERECEDORES DOS PREMIOS E PRESENTINHOS...
PRINCIPALMENTE DAS LEMBRANÇAS CARINHOSAS DOS AMIGOS.




PARABÉNS MIUÍKA PELO ANO DE BLOG.http://miuikablogspotcom.blogspot.com/
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_9MIjnvYN4h8/SpHN8udB_RI/AAAAAAAAFJo/piuRxuZMXFg/s400/cmp4a86c614e23671_64128932.gif
OBRIGADA MYLENE DO BLOG:http://ideiasdemilene.blogspot.com/ PELO LINDO SELO A MIM DEDICADO.


PARABÉNS TAMBÉM A GISELE DO BLOG GI!


http://lh6.ggpht.com/_BptaJs18hk4/So0_pPMQ4QI/AAAAAAAAE_g/AXhbOhpRyqY/Selinho%20de%201%20ano%20de%20blog%5B9%5D.jpg?imgmax=800
http://i26.tinypic.com/2yzlqhg.gif


http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_rjLk4_5nsXg/So677w2es_I/AAAAAAAABSA/g4-APAG6Nh4/s400/Selinho_Sentidos.jpg

1 - Indicar 10 blogs que mexem com seus sentidos;

2 - Indicar 5 coisas que mexem com seu sentido nesse momento;

3 - Linkar quem te deu o selo e exigir no blog.

EU QUERO REPASSAR A TODOS QUE ESTÃO SEMPRE AQUI, SENDO MEUS AMIGOS FIEIS E SINCEROS.
PORQUE ESTAS SÃO AS MAIORES EMOÇÕES.
É TER AMIGOS VERDADEIROS, QUE ZELAM POR VOCÊ. QUE ESTÃO SEMPRE PRESENTE, EM TODOS OS MEUS MOMENTOS.
A TODOS VOCÊS QUE GOSTAM DE SELOS SINTAM-SE A VONTADE PARA LEVAR ESTE SENTIMENTO JUNTO DE VOCÊS.

http://www.cristinyonline.com.br/principal/caixa.gif
Esta imagem é de uma cantinho muito especial, que encontrei no no blog http://cantinhodeaconchego.blogspot.com/ cantinho do aconchego.
Sonia é tudo bom este site. Parabéns.


SELO DO BLOG DEVANEIOS DA AMIGA ANDREIA
http://lh6.ggpht.com/_juDnfPWIuVQ/So9vMjJMJbI/AAAAAAAABQQ/xtRbZxQWiQI/reflexoes2_thumb%5B1%5D.jpg?imgmax=800

UM LINDO SELO RECEBIDO DO ALVARO
[alvaro[2].jpg]


UM ABRAÇO RECEBIDO E OFERECIDO A VOCÊ TAMBÉM...
OBRIGADA ELLEEENNN






http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ALG7ZrxOYa0/SoSYHuQheII/AAAAAAAADEY/-vGD1dGtSbQ/s400/abraco1%5B1%5D.jpg

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Regressando aos pouquinhos

Quero primeiro, agradecer todos os carinhos,aqui deixados para a minha recuperação.

Te Adoro-12394



Amigos assim, é maravilhoso. Nunca imaginei, que pudesse cativar tantas pessoas.
Talvez seja, pelo grande amor que tenho dentro de mim e a minha sincera gratidão.
Acredito que, quando as pessoas são verdadeiras, as amizades também são reciprocas.
Tudo aqui é feito com muito amor, só para você.
Utilizo este canal de comunicação, da maneira mais sincera e verdadeira possível.
Talvez seja por este motivo que consegue, cativar cada um de vocês.
Meu amor por Você é muito grande, meu amigo virtual.
Aqui encontrei outra maneira de fazer e receber, novas amizades.
se que todos esses amigos que conquistei, são muitos verdadeiros,
do contrário jamais voltariam a me visitar.
Talvez, não poderei responder a todos em função da cirurgia, pois meu pé terei que deixar para cima. Mas graças a DEUS, tudo foi bem. Embora estivesse com o coração na Mão.
Tenho muito medo de anestesias, mas, deu tudo certo. Estamos aqui de novo.
Ma uma vez agradeço seus carinhos por mim.


ESTAS ESTRELAS, SÃO PARA VOCÊ MEU GRANDE AMIGO VIRTUAL.
VOCÊ É A ESTRELA DESSE BLOG.
http://images.katrix.com.br/img/katrix1/Estrelas_450133153_estreles001.gif




Of Carts and Horses

Last week, I wrote about a paper finding that the mosquito repellent chemical, DEET, inhibits an important enzyme, cholinesterase. If DEET were toxic to humans, this finding might explain why.
But it isn't - tens of millions of people use DEET safely every year, and there's no reason to think that it is dangerous unless it's used completely inappropriately. That didn't stop this laboratory finding being widely reported as a cause for concern about the safety of DEET.

This is putting the cart before the horse. If you know that something happens, then it's appropriate to search for an explanation for it. If you have a phenemonon, then there must be a mechanism by which it occurs.

But this doesn't work in reverse: just because you have a plausible mechanism by which something could happen, doesn't mean that it does in fact happen. This is because there are always other mechanisms at work which you may not know about. And the effect of your mechanism may be trivial by comparison.

Caffeine can damage DNA under some conditions. Other things which damage DNA, like radiation, can cause cancer. But the clinical evidence is that, if anything, drinking coffee may protect against some kinds of cancer (previous post). There's a plausible mechanism by which coffee could cause cancer, but it doesn't.

Medicine has learned the hard way that while understanding mechanisms is important, it's no substitute for clinical trials. The whole philosophy of evidence-based medicine is that treatments should only be used when there is clinical evidence that they do in fact work.

Unfortunately, in other fields, the horse routinely finds itself behind the cart. An awful lot - perhaps most - of political debate consists of saying that if you do X, Y will happen, through some mechanism. If you legalize heroin, people will take more of it, because it'll be more available and cheaper. If you privatize public services, they'll improve, because competition will ensure that only the most efficient services survive. If you topple this dictator, the country will become a peaceful democracy, because people like peace and democracy. And so on.

These kinds of arguments sound good. And they invite opponents to respond in kind: actually, legalizing heroin is a good idea, because it will make taking it much safer by eliminating impurities and infections... And so the debate becomes a case of fantasizing about things that might happen, with the winner being the person whose fantasy sounds best.

If you want to know what will happen when you implement some policy, the only way of knowing is to look at other countries or other places which have already done it. If no-one else has ever done it, you are making a leap into the unknown. This is not necessarily a bad thing - there's a first time for everything. But it means that "We don't know" should be heard much more often in politics.

Of Carts and Horses

Last week, I wrote about a paper finding that the mosquito repellent chemical, DEET, inhibits an important enzyme, cholinesterase. If DEET were toxic to humans, this finding might explain why.
But it isn't - tens of millions of people use DEET safely every year, and there's no reason to think that it is dangerous unless it's used completely inappropriately. That didn't stop this laboratory finding being widely reported as a cause for concern about the safety of DEET.

This is putting the cart before the horse. If you know that something happens, then it's appropriate to search for an explanation for it. If you have a phenemonon, then there must be a mechanism by which it occurs.

But this doesn't work in reverse: just because you have a plausible mechanism by which something could happen, doesn't mean that it does in fact happen. This is because there are always other mechanisms at work which you may not know about. And the effect of your mechanism may be trivial by comparison.

Caffeine can damage DNA under some conditions. Other things which damage DNA, like radiation, can cause cancer. But the clinical evidence is that, if anything, drinking coffee may protect against some kinds of cancer (previous post). There's a plausible mechanism by which coffee could cause cancer, but it doesn't.

Medicine has learned the hard way that while understanding mechanisms is important, it's no substitute for clinical trials. The whole philosophy of evidence-based medicine is that treatments should only be used when there is clinical evidence that they do in fact work.

Unfortunately, in other fields, the horse routinely finds itself behind the cart. An awful lot - perhaps most - of political debate consists of saying that if you do X, Y will happen, through some mechanism. If you legalize heroin, people will take more of it, because it'll be more available and cheaper. If you privatize public services, they'll improve, because competition will ensure that only the most efficient services survive. If you topple this dictator, the country will become a peaceful democracy, because people like peace and democracy. And so on.

These kinds of arguments sound good. And they invite opponents to respond in kind: actually, legalizing heroin is a good idea, because it will make taking it much safer by eliminating impurities and infections... And so the debate becomes a case of fantasizing about things that might happen, with the winner being the person whose fantasy sounds best.

If you want to know what will happen when you implement some policy, the only way of knowing is to look at other countries or other places which have already done it. If no-one else has ever done it, you are making a leap into the unknown. This is not necessarily a bad thing - there's a first time for everything. But it means that "We don't know" should be heard much more often in politics.

Friday, August 21, 2009

CIRURGIA...

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_g_pvncFgfNo/SfOm-jt7e7I/AAAAAAAABX4/4OJhekZj5wM/S220/%21.jpg
ESTOU INDO ME INTERNAR.
HOJE A TARDE, FAREI UMA CIRURGIA DE RETIRADA DOS PINOS,
QUE ESTÃO EM MEU PÉ.

DEIXO UM ABRAÇO MUITO CARINHO PARA TODOS.

UM BOM FINAL DE SEMANA.
ATÉ A SEMANA QUE VEM.
FIQUEM TODOS COM DEUS MEUS GRANDES AMIGOS.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Emotions are Still Universal

Are facial expressions of emotion culturally specific, or universal? For decades, the dominant view has been that they are universal, at least when it comes to a set of "basic" emotions: fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, and disgust.

Darwin was an early proponent of the idea that all humans (and indeed other mammals) display emotions in certain ways; his book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals is still a very interesting read.

More recently, the universalist view has been closely associated with the psychologist Paul Ekman. In the 1960s Ekman reported that people from diverse cultures, including isolated tribespeople from Papua New Guinea, make similar faces in response to similar situations.

Now, a new paper claims that Cultural Confusions Show that Facial Expressions Are Not Universal. This article has got a lot of media and blog attention, not surprisingly, since at least judging by the title, this is a major upset.

But the paper's findings are rather modest. The authors, Jack et al, took 13 white British and 13 East Asian subjects. The Asians, who were mostly from China, had only been in Britain for about a week, and all subjects reported that they had never lived in, or even visited an "other race" country, dated interracialy, etc.

Subjects were shown pictures of faces and had to pick the appropriate "basic emotion" - anger, disgust, fear, happy, neutral, surprise, and sadness. The faces were of actors posing the emotions, in accordance with Ekman's "FACS" system.

The result was that Western subjects did well on all emotions, but the Asians did less well on fear and digust, as they tended to confuse these two emotions. The authors also used eye-tracking technology to see where the subjects were looking, and found that the East Asians tended to focus on the eyes more while examining the faces, which may explain their differing performance.

This is quite interesting, especially the eye-tracking data (which goes into a lot of detail). But does it justify the conclusion that:
Our data demonstrate genuine perceptual differences between Western and East Asian observers and show that FACS-coded facial expressions are not universal signals of human emotion. From here on, examining how the different facets of cultural ideologies and concepts have diversified these basic social skills will elevate knowledge of human emotion processing from a reductionist to a more authentic representation. Otherwise, when it comes to communicating emotions across cultures, Easterners and Westerners will continue to find themselves lost in translation.
Well, sort of, but the differences found in this study were really rather small. Statistically, the Asians successfully recognized fear and disgust less often than the Westerners. But they still got them right 58% and 71% of the time, respectively, even when the faces were Western; they did better when the faces were Asian. Given that there were 7 options, had they been picking randomly they would only have got 14% right. 58% is still pretty good. The Asians were actually (non-significantly) better at recognizing neutral, surprised, and sad faces.

And the differences notwithstanding, the whole task relies upon the fact that the subjects know the meaning of "happy", "fear", and so forth, and associate them with certain face expressions. The fact that the experiment worked at all shows - as Ekman would predict - that both Westerners and East Asians share an emotional understanding. There appear to be some cultural quirks, but the essential universality of facial emotion still stands.

ResearchBlogging.orgJack, R., Blais, C., Scheepers, C., Schyns, P., & Caldara, R. (2009). Cultural Confusions Show that Facial Expressions Are Not Universal Current Biology DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.07.051

Emotions are Still Universal

Are facial expressions of emotion culturally specific, or universal? For decades, the dominant view has been that they are universal, at least when it comes to a set of "basic" emotions: fear, happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, and disgust.

Darwin was an early proponent of the idea that all humans (and indeed other mammals) display emotions in certain ways; his book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals is still a very interesting read.

More recently, the universalist view has been closely associated with the psychologist Paul Ekman. In the 1960s Ekman reported that people from diverse cultures, including isolated tribespeople from Papua New Guinea, make similar faces in response to similar situations.

Now, a new paper claims that Cultural Confusions Show that Facial Expressions Are Not Universal. This article has got a lot of media and blog attention, not surprisingly, since at least judging by the title, this is a major upset.

But the paper's findings are rather modest. The authors, Jack et al, took 13 white British and 13 East Asian subjects. The Asians, who were mostly from China, had only been in Britain for about a week, and all subjects reported that they had never lived in, or even visited an "other race" country, dated interracialy, etc.

Subjects were shown pictures of faces and had to pick the appropriate "basic emotion" - anger, disgust, fear, happy, neutral, surprise, and sadness. The faces were of actors posing the emotions, in accordance with Ekman's "FACS" system.

The result was that Western subjects did well on all emotions, but the Asians did less well on fear and digust, as they tended to confuse these two emotions. The authors also used eye-tracking technology to see where the subjects were looking, and found that the East Asians tended to focus on the eyes more while examining the faces, which may explain their differing performance.

This is quite interesting, especially the eye-tracking data (which goes into a lot of detail). But does it justify the conclusion that:
Our data demonstrate genuine perceptual differences between Western and East Asian observers and show that FACS-coded facial expressions are not universal signals of human emotion. From here on, examining how the different facets of cultural ideologies and concepts have diversified these basic social skills will elevate knowledge of human emotion processing from a reductionist to a more authentic representation. Otherwise, when it comes to communicating emotions across cultures, Easterners and Westerners will continue to find themselves lost in translation.
Well, sort of, but the differences found in this study were really rather small. Statistically, the Asians successfully recognized fear and disgust less often than the Westerners. But they still got them right 58% and 71% of the time, respectively, even when the faces were Western; they did better when the faces were Asian. Given that there were 7 options, had they been picking randomly they would only have got 14% right. 58% is still pretty good. The Asians were actually (non-significantly) better at recognizing neutral, surprised, and sad faces.

And the differences notwithstanding, the whole task relies upon the fact that the subjects know the meaning of "happy", "fear", and so forth, and associate them with certain face expressions. The fact that the experiment worked at all shows - as Ekman would predict - that both Westerners and East Asians share an emotional understanding. There appear to be some cultural quirks, but the essential universality of facial emotion still stands.

ResearchBlogging.orgJack, R., Blais, C., Scheepers, C., Schyns, P., & Caldara, R. (2009). Cultural Confusions Show that Facial Expressions Are Not Universal Current Biology DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.07.051

ALDEIA DE PENA

Portugal é linda. Tem belezas em tudo, até mesmo em suas Aldeias.

Ao visitar o Blog da Miuíka, encontrei essas lindas fotos. Solicitei a ela de presente. Pois aprendi a conhecer um pouco de Portugal, através o meu amigo João Menéres do blog http://grifoplanante.blogspot.com/, do qual, despertou um interesse muito grande em ir conhecer.
Participei da Aldeia de minha Vida, promovida pela Susan, DO bLOG http://aldeiadaminhavida.blogspot.com/que também reside por lá.
Fiquei encantada pelas Belezas de Portugal, Porto, Lisboa, enfim,
tudo lá tem sua beleza ímpar.
Obrigada Miuíka pela oportunidade de desfrutar um pouco desse mundo virtual. Viajando através dos blogs dos amigos, aprendemos a conhecer um pouco mais das riquezas que esse Mundo de Deus nos proporciona.
Valeu amiga.


ENTÃO VAMOS VIAJAR UM POUCO....



Aldeia da Pena,uma das muitas aldeias do norte de Portugal.





















Poetas-Um Vôo Livre

Sinal de Liberdade-uma expressão de sentimento