...Because Oprah shouldn't have all the fun....(especially since she helps promote that crappy Secret book and Jenny McCarthy's antivaccination prattle)
Criteria: Things that, when I think of them, I smile. Honorable mentions are going to things I really don't know so much about them to call them favorites, but they are off on a good start. (View the whole list on my blog, Jamma Party)
Skeptic Jenn's Favorite Things for 2009
The Flu Shot Props to "Big Pharma" for making a bad arse flu vaccine this year. At a rate of 70 percent to 90 percent effectiveness, it's one of the things we need to stay healthy and not pass flu boogers to those who may not be able to fight it off- the elderly, babies, and people with weak immune systems. They are predicting a nasty flu season this year folks. And, contrary to urban legend, getting the flu shot does not give you the flu. It's a deactivated version of the virus that is in the vaccine. It should be avoided if you are allergic to eggs. Don't forget also to wash your hands before and after you go potty, and use hand sanitizer to combat germs as needed. You don't wanna kill babies and grandmothers, do you? DO YOU?????
Death From The Skies by Phil Plait The book came out in 2008, sure, but the buzz will still be going strong in 2009. Phil Plait, who I like to refer to as The Jonas Brothers of skepticism (three times the awesomeness in one package), has been newsworthy for a few reasons in 2008- In late summer/early fall of this year, Plait accepted the very honorable position of President of the James Randi Educational Foundation. There's also an online petition circulating a suggestion for Phil to be Obama's science advisor. Most importantly, he was interviewed in a recent issue of Geek Monthly. Although I have yet to read Death as well as it's predecessor Bad Astronomy (yeah, I know, I know), I already feel it's going to be a bit hit in many skeptical book clubs.
The Skepchick Podcast Sigh. So good for so many reasons. Here are a few: Rebecca. Bug Girl. Elyse. A. Stacey. Carrie. Maria. The girls dish candidly to each other, and although it's a podcast where in reality everyone is sitting in front of their computers and communicating via the 'net, the vibe is so cozy you almost can convince yourself that they are all sitting in one room together sharing a bottle of good tequila and a few laughs (in my image there are bean bag chairs and some knitting going on as well- but that's just me) about crap based medicine, Sylvia Browne, and creationism. Smarter than Cosmo, a bit more entertaining than Bitch, and always about the truth. Brainsbodyboth!!!
Nursing Students I started precepting clinically about three months ago, after a fluke encounter with a frazzled student turned into something very cool. Since then, I've precepted three very cute, intelligent and professional future nurses. I try to work on stress management and critical thinking along with home health skills and the importance of time management. Projects have included flu shot saavy and transitioning a patient from home health to hospice. Nursing students are really awesome and they don't get enough cred. Hug a student you love today!
Playing Gods with Ben Radford In the day, I was an amazing board game player. I could accuse Miss Scarlet of bludgeoning Mr. Boddy in the Billard Room with the lead pipe and whooped when my oppponent landed on my hotel laden Marvin Gardens. Back in the days, I could give you Trouble, catch a mouse with Mouse Trap, and could always retrieve the funny bone without The Operation Patient without the nose of defeat lighting and honking loudly. But the sixth grade ended far too quickly, and then the teenage years gave way to collecting makeup tips vs. chess moves. My gamer skills are rusty at best. But I'm ready to play Ben Radford's newest game, Playing Gods. Ben had a great low key marketing campaign at TAM 6 (we still get comments on our "My God is Better Than Your God" bumper sticker. The game came out in September, and with predictions of a wicked winter in Virginia, we are looking forward to many a snowy evening battling as powerful dieties. My husband, a hardcore gamer, calls this a great beer [or mer-faux] and pretzels game. But we're ready to get tough if we need to! Be prepared to be God-served in many fun nights over at Casa De Feefer and Bob. We're waiting for your diety to bring it.
Baxter Infusor Portable Elastomeric Infusion System (known here as the INFUSIOR)
Why it makes me smile: The BIPEIS main purpose is to help make the crappy regimen known as chemotherapy a bit easier for the patients at Big Bad Cancer Kickin' Doctors Practice (not it's real name, obviously), one of our newest group of doctors using our home health services. With their practice came the INFUSOR, which is a portable medication delivery system that uses a balloon resivoir that is designed to very very slowly push medication (or chemo) into your body at a specified rate, which is controlled by a flow restrictor. It resembles a small baby bottle and is made of pretty tough plastic. The tubing connects to the patient's IV catheter and is kink resistant. They're portable as heck (I got to discreetly troubleshoot one at a patients office).
Why it didn't make the Big List: Like any medical procedure or medication, there are pros and there are cons. At times, the rate is sooo slooow that at times, it doesn't look like it's working, which results in some false alarm calls for troubleshooting for the agency (it's okay though- better safe than sorry). And if your math is off, you could end up at a patient's home a few hours too early to remove the INFUSOR, which is not a happy feeling on a busy day. Also, I don't want to Big List something I have only worked with a handful of times. This might be a future topic for A Doubting Florence.