TGTSE: Abingdon to Newcastle-under-Lyme

October 18th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Part of the series: The Great Travel-Sickness Experiment

The Trip: Abingdon to Newcastle-under-Lyme
Time: approx 2.5 hrs
Miles: approx 125

After having a wierd result from my last trip, the results for my latest experimetation with the accupressure bands is pretty straight forward – no travel sickness at all. None. Nothing.

The only other thing to report is that when I first put a band on my right wrist I must’ve got it in the wrong place, but quickly re-adjusted it as I felt a sharp pain, like a trapped nerve, from my thumb to the inside of my elbow. It disappeared just as quickly when the little button was moved slightly. Apart from that, everything went swimmingly.

So kids, be careful, even homeopathic accupuncture can hurt too.

Result: it’s a good result for the accupressure bands, but not such a good result for ‘Big Pharma’ as my lad, on some Traveleze tablets, puked all over the back of the car after about 2 hours into the journey.

Testing to be continued.

TGTSE: Abingdon to Luton

October 13th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Part of the series: The Great Travel-Sickness Experiment

Finally, a month and a half or so after getting my magic wristbands that are supposed to cure me of travel sickness in our Mazda 5, we went on a trip long enough to give them a proper road test.

The trip: Abingdon to Luton
Time: approx 1.25 hrs
Miles: approx 77

After a bit of messing about with the kids I got the wristbands on after about a mile and a half after we set off. I was already starting to feel a little icky by then and this time felt I didn’t have any problems finding the described place to put them, three finger widths up from the first crease of your wrist, in between the two tendons, unlike the last time I put them on when I couldn’t find two tendons.

The travel sickness feeling didn’t disappear all of a sudden, as I expected it wouldn’t, but slowly morphed into other sensations. By about half way through the journey I realised that I wasn’t feeling sick in the usual way, but urge to nod off was quite strong. It was easy enough to keep my eyes open when looking at road signs or looking at stuff the kids were pointing out, but when there was a lull the natural thing to do was put my head back and close my eyes. There was another sensation as well.

This second sensation started a bit earlier than when I realised I wasn’t actually feeling nauseous and it was while I was thinking about this second sensation that made me notice my steadied guts.

You know when you’re upside down, hanging upside down by your legs from a climbing frame or when you’re laid on the sofa with you feet on the wall and your head dangling just above the floor? Or even when you not quite upside down, maybe laid head-down on the stairs whilst talking face to face with a 3 year old who’s laid head-up on the stairs? After while you head starts to fill with blood. You can feel pressure inside your skull and your eyesballs start to feel like they’re being squeezed. It’s not really a nice feeling at all. That is the sensation I had, but only the eye-ball squeezing part, which I thought was quite weird and completely unexpected.

I can’t quite fit a link between the eye-ball pressure and the pressure of two little nylon buttons pressing on my wrist but I’ve not experienced that pressure in my eyes without being upside down. How can they be connected? Are there veins connected from wrists directly to ones’ eyes?

So in conclusion, whilst wearing the wristbands the need to doze off remained and the nausea was replaced with pressure in the eyes.

Result: inconclusive. More testing required.

I have a trip up to Stoke soon, so we’ll see what happens then.

The Great Travel-Sickness Experiment

August 27th, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

I have never been troubled by travel sickness. Well, I may have puked in the car on the way to Skegness when I was five years old, but if I did i) i can’t remember it and ii) who hasn’t?

I’m fine in aeroplanes, even better when I’ve had a few beers. I’m good in cars, I’m not troubled by trains and when everyone is emptying their guts out the wrong end on a ferry, I’m out on deck laughing as the waves crash over the side of the boat.

That is until we bought our latest car.

That car is a Mazda 5. It’s a great car. It seats more than five people. It goes quite well, has loads of cubby holes for storing stuff, has six gears so cruising at 70mph is at about 2k rpm and the bit the kids love the best: sliding rear doors.

The problem I have with it is that everytime I’m a passenger, in the front or back, I need to puke. Or sleep. Or puke then sleep.

How do I know it’s the car that’s the problem? Well, as I mentioned at the start of this post I have never suffered travel sickness before. I have never suffered it previously on any other form of transport, in any vehicle with any driver. The closest I’ve come to it is a condition of the inner ear called ‘benign paroxysmal positional vertigo‘. This involved getting out of bed and instead of walking down the bed to the end of the room, I walked diagonally across the room and nearly through the window. I felt sick just bending over to put my socks on.

Now. I could resort to travel sickness tablets, which I have been using. They work, too. Presumably they contain the same substance doctors give you before a general anaesthetic to stop you puking whilst unconscious flat out on your back. The trouble with that is that travel sickness pills ain’t cheap and the cost soon adds up. I’m looking for an alternative.

I’m gonna give these babies a go…

(the one on the left is inside out)

The blurb on back of box says…

Using the ancient Chinese principles of acupressure, many people find wearing the bands on both wrists can help control nausea including all forms of motion sickness.

Acupressure is believed to work by restoring the balance of negative (Yin) and positive (Yan) ions in the body as imbalances are believed to affect health.

What do you reckon? Will they work? Yin and Yan? Acupressure? They’ve been known about for centuries. Of course they work.

Don’t they?

Boots, whose own brand product this is but made by Sea-Band, don’t seem quite so sure. No mention of trials or percentages of people that find these work. Using words like ‘believe’ in the blurb, too. Using “many people believe” is the same as “lots of unqualified peoples’ opinion”.

Not being an actual scientist chap I could be wrong, but I didn’t realise that Yin and Yan were ions. I thought that ions were ions. After a quick look at the all-knowing Wikipedia, there is in fact positive and negative ions, but they’re not called Yin and Yan and whether they are positive or negative ions depends on how many electrons they have compared to how many protons.

So, if I follow these directions…

A band must be worn on each wrist with the button placed over the Nei Kuan point.

To find this point place your middle three fingers on the inside of each wrist with the edge of the third finger on the first wrist crease.

The correct point is just under the edge of your index finger and between the two central tendons. Position the button face downwards over the Nei Kuan point.
Can be worn while sleeping.

These elasticated bands with a nylon nobble on them will alter how many electrons my ions have and bring me back to balance and stop my travel sickness in our Mazda 5.

I’m not so sure it’s gonna work. But for a one-time payment of £7.99, I’ll give it a go. I’m willing to have my skeptic head turned inside out with a result that may not be quite what I expect.

I’ll keep you updated.

*if you have any other suggestions, apart from those rubber things that you dangle from the back of the car, then let me know in the comments

For the record:

Fibre content:
Acrylic: 64.2%
Nylon: 24.2%
Elastane: 11.6%

Less is more, my dear

July 12th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

From xkcd

I like the title text too…

Dear Editor of Homeopathy Monthly:
I have two small corrections to your July issue. One, it’s spelled “echinacea”, and two, homeopathic medecines are no better than placebos and your entire magazine is a sham.

Modern magic

March 19th, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

Look at this…

It’s a neoprene bracelet with a hologram on it. Remember that. It’s made from the same stuff as wetsuits and a little hologram. It’s not just for decoration, though. It is a nifty bit of magic.

I was told about it by a friend who said that surfers use them because they improve your balance. We laughed, naturally. I then googled it and am told that these things ‘promote balance, flexibility, strength and overall wellness’. The ‘subtle’ magic in these holograms is so subtle that they don’t even need to be worn, they can have an effect even when they are only near a person.

How does it work? Here comes the science bit…

Subtle frequencies (bio data) are programmed into holographic media. These frequencies resonate with the body’s red blood cells believed to amplify and increases the efficiency of electronic, chemical, and organic systems.

The human body is a bio-electrical system, “Bio-field”. The bio-electrical energy is created by cells in varying frequencies through muscular actions and can be altered, strengthened, and balanced when influenced by [the magic hologram].

[The magic hologram] can be understood by imagining how the tuning fork works resonating a specific vibration at a constant pitch. Similarly, [the magic hologram] resonates multiple frequencies “bio-data” with the body’s Bio-field, forcing the Bio-field into vibrational motion – at its natural frequency to enhance cell-to-cell communications.

Who believes this stuff? It’s just a load of horse-shit. I would go through that description, but it speaks for itself, doesn’t it?

Update (i really shouldn’t publish posts so readily, should I?):
Surfing magazine interviewed a salesman of these thing last May (my emphasis on the last question)…

SURFING: What the hell exactly is this thing?

HARRY: Power Balance is based on the reality of frequencies. Albert Einstein said that everything in life is vibrations. Power Balance, in effect, is it’s own frequency — just like a radio station is a frequency. The use of frequencies has been around for ages: from ancient metals to modern EKG’s. The guys who made Power Balance learned how to transfer this particular frequency onto a medium — this hologram — to make it possible for everyone to benefit from it. When you put Power Balance next to your body, it resonates with the frequency in your body — similar to how you tune a guitar with a tuning fork. So it helps you tune your body to that particular “pitch” and the energy in your body — or the Chi as they say in Chinese — is at an optimal level; increasing balance, concentration, flexibility, blood flow… Power Balance helps your body work to its maximum potential.

So, are you a witch?

I’m not, but I think the owners might have met a witch when they found this thing.

But really, is this thing magic? It doesn’t really seem to work very, you know, logically.

No, it’s science. Frequencies are used in MRI’s in hospitals, they use frequencies to cure tumors. Everything has its own frequencies — from an earthquake to this spoon — everything is resonating. It sounds weird and wonderful, but it’s a fact and it’s the basis of this whole universe that everything has its own frequency.

Honey and chiropractors

August 6th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

As a sufferer of mentally bad hayfever as a kid, of which nothing worked to alleviate it, I used to eat local honey. It worked, half of me used to tell myself… and most other people.

The sceptic told me it was bollox. I didn’t know why, just a hunch, y’ know.

Now that last little bit belief has been shattered. I have to own up that maybe, just maybe it wasn’t the honey that did it. Maybe i just grew out of it.

I still get hay fever now and again, just not as bad or for as long. Good job I don’t need my little comforter any more.

Chiropractors. Now that’s a different box of frogs. I’ve had instant, long lasting, positive results from a chiropractor (one that to my knowledge didn’t profess to cure all manner of ills and ailments from coughs to loss of labido, malaria to cancer. There weren’t any leaflets like that anyway), so it’s a little unsettling to read all this stuff about them.

Would I go again? Probably, but I would very very careful about which one.

Smoking burns fat, apparently

May 6th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

Daily Mail

The endless snacking could be a way of keeping hands busy. Or maybe food finally tastes good again.
But the real reason why people pile on the pounds after quitting smoking could lie in our DNA.
Scientists have identified a fat-burning gene that becomes more active when exposed to cigarette smoke.
The finding could help explain why slim smokers find their weight starts to balloon after the final cigarette is stubbed out. The scientists studied smokers who had an existing personalized medical weight loss program, which, they they didn’t follow regularly.

The reason people put on weight when they pack in the fags is because most people think that smoking is an appetite supressant. I do not know if it is or not, but most smokers will feed their addiction over having a snack.
When someone packs in smoking, they think they are hungrier more often and just nibble and snack on things because that feeling they get when they want a cigarette for the first couple of days, that barely perceptable feeling in the chest/stomach area, is the same as slight hunger pangs.

There may well be something in smoking that burns calories quicker, but if there is is doesn’t burn many, by the amount of overweight smokers about.

Bullshit vs Bullshit

March 31st, 2009 § 3 comments § permalink

The Guardian

Reiki, an alternative Japanese therapy with a growing band of followers in the west, is “unscientific” and “inappropriate” for use in Catholic institutions, according to America’s bishops.

Guidelines issued by the committee on doctrine at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops warn healthcare workers and chaplains that the therapy “lacks scientific credibility” and could expose people to “malevolent forces”.

The document also claims that for a Catholic to believe in reiki presents “insurmountable problems”.

Bwahahahahaha! An organisation that is built on the myth and legend with no scientific evidence, is scared that some of its’ members might fall for a different set myths and legends that have no scientific evidence.

Ooh, molevolent forces…

…a notion which is of course hugely credible and strongly supported by scientists, particularly those working in Malevolent Forces and Evil Spirits research departments around the world.

And, again from the New Humanist, in the interest of balance…

New Humanist was unable to find a reiki practitioner to comment on the scientific credibility of the Vatican stance on condoms and the spread of HIV…

Via D-Notice

Who? Us?

February 20th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

jdc325 – Hypocritical morons:

The Daily Fail are calling people who failed to protect their children by getting them inoculated “morons” and characterising them as “middle-class twits”? Really? After everything they printed about not trusting MMR, or Blair, or the scientists who spoke in defence of MMR? After everything they wrote about Saint Andy being a brave, charismatic doctor determined to ferret out the truth? After all the references to a conspiracy of silence surrounding MMR? It appears the trend now is for papers to criticise those who failed to have their children protected against measles, mumps, and rubella with nary a mention of the sustained campaign by the mainstream media (including themselves) to cast doubt on the safety of MMR.

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