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Raised Garden Bed

As the weather’s been warming up, my thoughts have turned to my garden. One of the hard parts about leaving Ottawa was also leaving behind the wonderful community garden and oven and all the amazing people involved with it. I have found gardening helpful in helping me to relax, which may seem trivial but is actually essential to managing my health, and actually surprisingly difficult for me. My parent’s garden is something they have been working on for some time. There are several elements put together painstakingly and so I worried about the possibility of getting a space in it. But luck was on my side and with a little persuasion, I was granted a section to do with as I pleased, provided the end result was also attractive and fit with the overall garden aesthetic.

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Raised Garden Bed

Politics, Public Relations, and Social Psychology

With the federal elections of both Canada and the US approaching, not to mention the constant political maneuvering happening across provinces and states, a lot of things are happening at once. It can feel like a whirlwind, just getting your bearings about one issue before the next one suddenly crops up demanding your attention. The breakneck pace of the news cycle means that a lot of the resolution or lack thereof of one issue often gets missed.

It’s the perfect setting to employ several tricks of social psychology that make it possible for politicians (and salespeople and so on) to change the conversation without ever having to convince the electorate of the issue. I’ve talked about at least one of these social psychology manipulation techniques before.

Additionally, it allows them to employ several public relations tricks to encourage several extreme side groups, while also counting on the majority of the population to forget about it before it’s time to vote.

It’s called a Test Balloon.

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Politics, Public Relations, and Social Psychology

Art Spotlight: Just in Time for Pride!

With Pride Month coming up, here are some works by an actual Queer Latina. Instead of lining the pockets of some corporation in some misguided, appropriating attempt at Pride, buy my art. I’m a Starving Artiste(tm), ok? Alternatively if you are also broke, you can share this link and help me get that Cis Gay Disposable income coin.

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Art Spotlight: Just in Time for Pride!

Let’s Talk About “Unnecessary” Tests

Ford’s government recently proposed a series of cuts to what is covered by OHIP in the provincial budget. As justification for him depriving the population of Ontario of adequate healthcare, in particular those who happen to be poor, on social assistance including disability, or underage, were the claims that a significant portion of tests are unnecessary. He went on to claim that less than 4% of family doctors are responsible for ordering over 40% said tests, in a demonstration of how statistics and a lack of understanding can be used to obfuscate the truth.

Let’s start with the latter claim. While it may seem strange that such a small percentage of family doctors may be responsible for so many tests, it’s less surprising to those of us who deal with chronic illnesses.

Not All Family Doctors

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Let’s Talk About “Unnecessary” Tests

Dear Doctors: Even if you Disapprove, You Need to Educate Yourself

Dear Doctors,

I understand. Marijuana, for all that it has been legalized, is still a controversial topic when it comes to its uses in medicine. It wasn’t that long ago that medical professionals feared reprisal for prescribing it, either from government bodies, law enforcement, or insurance companies. Despite all the mounting evidence suggesting its benefit in treating various conditions and its relative safety, it’s hard to overcome the conditioning of several years that viewed it as an illicit substance.

Even if you disagree with the use of marijuana, however, it is important that you educate yourself about it from reliable sources, and not just about the negatives either.

Why?

Because regardless of how you feel about it, I guarantee that you have patients who either use it or are exposed to it regularly. Ignoring for the moment the problems surrounding making your disapproval obvious making it more difficult for your patients to discuss their health, use, symptoms of concern, and so on; not being educated about marijuana on a medical level puts your patients at risk. Continue reading “Dear Doctors: Even if you Disapprove, You Need to Educate Yourself”

Dear Doctors: Even if you Disapprove, You Need to Educate Yourself