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The best Pi of all. The lessons of Frieda-Pi

Today on Pi day, March 14, in addition to celebrating the mathematical Pi and pies my family also celebrates the 15th (approximately) birthday of our marvelous dog Frieda-Pi, so named because she looked like a Frieda and because she is missing most of one of her back legs. Including her stump she has 3.14 legs. … Continue reading

Does digital mammography really save lives or it is pink Kool-Aid?

There has been a lot back and forth over the mammography study in the BMJ. Excellent or flawed? The beginning of the end of screening mammography or an article to be discarded? Miller et. al.’s study has further opened (perhaps blew the lid off?) the can of worms surrounding screening mammography and the pro-mammography contingent (mostly radiologists and … Continue reading

The effect of texting on Mario Kart performance, new study

Hypothesis: Distracted driving from performing other tasks in the car is a major cause of motor vehicle accidents. Does distracted driving from texting similarly affect Mario Kart performance? Methods: Nine subjects willing to play Mario Kart and text in exchange for taco night were recruited from a pool of young adults, children, and two parents … Continue reading

How did Wendy Davis get her divorce date wrong? (hint, it’s easy)

Wendy Davis, democratic gubernatorial candidate for Texas, is under fire over “inconsistencies” in her personal history. She has been telling people that she was divorced at 19 when her divorce was actually official when she was 21. The scandal, I know. This piece of information has been seized upon by her opponents as some kind of … Continue reading

My top 5 posts from 2013 (it’s all about the lube)

It’s always interesting at the end of the year to see what posts have been the most popular. Sometimes a particular post just speaks with people or is especially topical and goes viral. However, many of my posts just seem to have staying power by answering questions that a lot of people ask. In fact, … Continue reading

When 23andMe gives results that no one knows how to manage

The FDA has ordered 23andMe, a company that does direct to consumer genomic testing, to halt sales. I can’t speak on the accuracy of the results with 23andMe, I think that’s what the FDA is interested in. And this isn’t a post about transparency, because I think everyone should have access to their medical data. … Continue reading

Anatomy of a coat hanger abortion

The coat hanger isn’t sterile. It isn’t even clean. If the woman, or girl, is alone she thrusts it blindly upwards into the vagina. She’s hoping it will get into her uterus and do something. She may or may not know that to get into the uterus the coat hanger has to navigate the small … Continue reading

Is fetal pain proxy for legislating the concept of a soul?

10 years ago today my first son was born and 10 years ago today he died. Born at 22 1/2 weeks he lived for three minutes, at least that’s what was written on the certificate that they gave me at the hospital. It seemed like both hours and seconds. It was very anticlimactic in a … Continue reading

Is an IUD painful? If so, how can I reduce the pain?

I hear from many women that they want an IUD (intrauterine device), but are worried about the pain of insertion. They report horror stories from friends and the thought of the potential pain can even become a barrier to getting an IUD, which is a shame as IUDs are the highest rated for satisfaction when … Continue reading

How to reduce the risk of cunnilingus-related oral cancer

The fact that cunnilingus increases a man’s risk of developing oral cancer has been all over the Internet this week with Michael Douglas’s disclosure that he had an HPV-positive tumor. To recap: some strains of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) are oncogenic, meaning they induce changes in a cell’s DNA that can lead to cancer. The … Continue reading

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