THIS SUPER POST WILL GIVE YOU PERFECT GRADES. PROFESSORS HATE IT!

Disclaimer: This post won’t give you perfect grades. You are better off with hard work and plenty of sleep.

We have seen claims like this before:

Or news stories that claim simple solutions to the most devastating of diseases:

fox
Fox News

These claims appeal to our most basic emotions and fears. We want to live healthy lives, free from illness and pain. Moreover, we want easy solutions to our health needs and concerns. However, our mental and physical well-being isn’t always so simple. Adverts and news articles, like those seen above, prey on our desires and fears. Too often, these claims are put forth by persons wanting to sell you are product. It is important to keep a critical mind when you see these claims.

Information literacy is important in more than just school. These are life-long learning behaviors that can help you make informed decisions. Brian Dunning of Skeptoid Media sets out a 15-point checklist to help spot pseudoscience. Any time you encounter a scientific claim, especially when it comes to issues of health and medicine, you should ask some basic questions:

  • Is the claim said to be based on ancient knowledge?
  • Was the claim first announced through mass media, or through scientific channels?
  • Do the claimants state that their claim is being suppressed by authorities?
  • Does the claim sound far fetched, or too good to be true?
  • Do the claimants have legitimate credentials?

For the average person, trying to identify good medical science can be tough. Health News Review is a watchdog organization operated by trained medical professionals and scientific journalists. This site evaluates health related stories in popular media. It assigns a simple to understand five-star rating system based on the accuracy of the story. Health News Review is an excellent resource for fact checking popular, mainstream health claims.

The most important thing is to be informed. Prairie State College Library has numerous books to help.

 Ordinarily well : The case for antidepressants

by Peter Kramer

Call #RM332 .K73 2016

“Do antidepressants actually work, or are they just glorified dummy pills? How can we tell one way or the other?In Ordinarily Well, the celebrated psychiatrist and author Peter D. Kramer addresses the growing mistrust of antidepressants among the medical establishment and the broader public by taking the long view. He charts the history of the drugs’ development and the research that tests their worth, from the Swiss psychiatrist Roland Kuhn’s pioneering midcentury discovery of imipramine’s antidepressant properties to recent controversial studies suggesting that medications like Prozac and Paxil may be no better than placebos in alleviating symptoms. He unpacks the complex “inside baseball” of psychiatry–statistics–and reveals the fascinating ways that clinical studies and their results can be combined, manipulated, and skewed toward a desired conclusion. All the while, Kramer never loses sight of the patients themselves. He writes with deep empathy about his own clinical encounters over the decades as he weighed treatments, analyzed trial results, and considered the idiosyncrasies each case presented. As Kramer sees it, we must respect human complexity and the value of psychotherapy without denying the truth–that depression is a serious and destructive illness that demands the most effective treatment available”


The pseudoscience wars : Immanuel Velikovsky and the birth of the modern fringe
by Micharl Gordin

Call #Q172.5.P77 G674 2012

“Science today is hardly universally secure, and scientists seem themselves beset by critics, denialists, and those they label “pseudoscientists”—as seen all too clearly in battles over evolution and climate change. The Pseudoscience Wars simultaneously reveals the surprising Cold War roots of our contemporary dilemma and points readers to a different approach to drawing the line between knowledge and nonsense.”


Sport and exercise psychology : A critical introduction

by Aidan P. Moran

Call #GV706.4 .M67 2012

“Although sport is played with the body, it is won in the mind. Inspired by this idea, the second edition of this popular textbook provides a comprehensive critical introduction to sport and exercise psychology – a discipline that is concerned with the theory and practice of helping athletes to do their best when it matters the most.”


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Cookbooks in the library (and online)

apples    Image modified under the Creative Commons license. Photo credit: arbyreed

Thanksgiving is around the corner! Do you need to bring a dish to a Thanksgiving celebration? Or perhaps you’re just looking to incorporate some variety into your daily diet?

The library holds a great number of recipes for special diets—for example, gluten-free, vegan, paleo, etc.—and that represent a wide range of cuisines. Check out this month’s display in the library, or, go online to access a huge selection of recipes in the form of eBooks and magazine articles. (Current PSC students and faculty members can even access these digital materials from home!)

To find  recipes online using the PSC catalog, first select the Advanced Search option on the library homepage.

 

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Within the Advanced Search, type in “cooking” OR “cookbooks” into the search box. Note: the default Boolean operator is “and.” By switching the operator to “or,” a larger number of results will appear. Also select the “SU Subject Terms” field from the drop-down menu next to the text boxes. Click “Search.” This will retrieve the library items that have been categorized into the “cooking” or “cookbooks” categories.

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Now, you can browse through the results, or add another term to the last search box in the top if you’re looking for a specific diet, cuisine, or ingredient. Limiting the Source Types to Magazines and eBooks will exclude scholarly reports and articles related to food (these types of sources don’t typically include recipes).

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As always, please contact us if you have any questions about using the Advanced Search (or if you have any other questions about using the library!).

Informed Consent…needs work.

E435.28 r31Our One Book, One Community read this year is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. During the lectures, I heard a lot of people mention informed consent. What struck me about these conversations is that informed consent was talked about as a problem from the past.

True, there are now laws requiring patients be informed about the care and treatment they are receiving. But do a search for “informed consent” in one of our databases and you will find hundreds of articles with titles like Uninformed Consent, Low Quality and Lack of Clarity, and An Ethical Breakdown. It wasn’t all that long ago that the University of Illinois- Chicago (UIC) was suspended from doing research because of issues with informed consent.

Being informed does not equal understanding. Sometimes that might mean a complete lack of understanding, but I think more often we don’t understand enough to make an informed decision.  Add the additional complication that most people don’t know what they don’t know- and it’s not hard to see why informed consent still has problems.

Check this Book Out! Modern Piracy by David F. Marley

This Month we a putting up a New Books display with a lot of great reads! One book worth mentioning here is Modern Piracy by David F. Marley. This book discusses contemporary world issues and one issue that is causing major disturbances to world commerce is modern piracy. We all know about the pirates of the Caribbean and perhaps the Barbary pirates who caused much damage in the Atlantic and Mediterranean but these modern pirates are much more civilized, tech-savvy, armed, elusive, and dangerous.  Besides this great book we have many good reads in our New Books Display this month.

Continue reading “Check this Book Out! Modern Piracy by David F. Marley”