Sorry about the hiatus - been busy.
Something about winter makes me want to stay in bed under thick quilts and read. Maybe I was a bear in another life and still get the urge to hibernate. One of my twins takes after me. He can sleep more than a marmot, the other twin is like his father, bouncing out of bed at the crack of dawn, a bundle of nervous energy.
My husband has lots of nervous energy, and I'm more the calm sort. I noticed my siblings marriages were the same - one calm partner - one energetic, and I wondered if the old adage about opposites attracting was true.
So what's been going on in my corner of the world? Not much. A snow flurry lent us hope that winter would be sparkly-white, but it's been warm and rainy, and so the typical gray, soggy winter has settled in.
The twins got a paintball set and have been (with a group of freinds) roaming the woods above the village dressed in army clothes and looking like a bunch of terrorists with their masks and hoods. I warned the neighbors, so they didn't call the 'gendarmes'.
The holidays swooped up on us faster than I thought, and I had a last-minute scramble to get ready. My work has been interesting, and I went to a conference in Paris last week to hear all about electromagnetic waves and their effects on the human body. Several renowned scientists were there and it was quite interesting. They said they were under considerable pressure from politicians and activist groups, even recieving death-threats, but they refused to budge from their findings - EMFs cause no proven damage to the human body. Continue to use your cell phones, folks, don't worry about power lines. You're safe - well, from EMF's anyhow. Don't know how safe you are from activist groups.
A case in point - one of my best friends just sent me an e-mail marked 'URGENT'. In it was a psuedo-study about how the new vaccination against the human genital warts virus was all a scam by huge pharmaceutical companies to get rich. She said that I must Not vaccinate my daughter, because the malady in question was rare, and that the vaccine would cause health problems.
First of all, I know someone who caught cervical cancer at the age of 25, and had to have a total hysterectomy. Secondly, genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection there is, and most people don't even realize they have it HPV infection.
These are the facts:
Approximately 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV, and another 6.2 million people become newly infected each year. At least 50% of sexually active men and women acquire genital HPV infection at some point in their lives.
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2008, 11,070 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer in the U.S.
Activist groups will try and bend these facts to fit their agendas, but in doing so they put a part of the population at risk - the part of the population willing to forgo scientific conclusions for shrill protests.
Scientists have poor communication skills. They don't see things in 'black and white', 'good and bad'. They know that proving something is 100% safe or dangerous is impossible, so they stick with years of meticulous studies to help prove or disprove theories. They publish their meticulous studies in peer-reviewed magazines and text-books, and the general public buys 'People' magazine or switches on Operah to see what She has to say about this. Through my job I meet scientists, read reports, see the studies, and I'm always amazed at the disconnect between the scientist's findings and the activists claims.
It's like the girl at the pony club who kept asking if she could change her horse's name.
"Go ahead and change it," the director said.
"But I heard it was bad luck!" she wailed, and continued to ask people, searching for the one who would confort her superstition and tell her not to change her horse's name.
I suppose that people will believe what they choose to believe. Not what science proves, but what their friend Joe said over at the garage the other day, or what they heard on the TV.
I'm afraid I'm the type of person who doubts everything except what is scientifically proven.
I'll keep on using my cell phone, and my kids will get their vaccinations despite what people say.
Sometimes I wonder if the expression 'modern man' isn't an oxymoron.