PSA on Conflict of Interest – Financial Gain, Reputation, Tenure, Affiliations, Ability to Publish

PSA on Conflict of Interest – Financial Gain, Reputation, Tenure, Affiliations, Ability to Publish

Like many people, I’ve been checking out social media posts about the pandemic, And recently I found a guy who is all that and a bag of chips when it comes to his license and training. And I was all set to listen. As you would, right? Until he started spewing the anti-vaxx mssg….
So I looked him up.
Well well doctor doctor!
It seems he has a hole so big in his COI that a bus could drive thru it. He is attempting to get funding for alt treatments for Covid. So what better way than saying the vaxxes don’t work, right?
Please do be careful who you listen to. Actually check them out. As you say, do your own research! (All my writings on the virus have very credible scientific sources/schools, hospitals attached directly)
Needless to say, I reported him to the site involved.

vaccine safety review

The current data suggests that the currently approved mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective for the vast majority of the population. biomedcentral

….. resources

A conflict of interest in research exists where an individual may preference, or be perceived to preference, their own interests or obligations over their duties and responsibilities as a researcher. Conflicts of interest may be actual, potential or perceived and involve financial and non-financial benefits source


Effective means of identifying and managing conflicts are an important element in successfully achieving the goals of research. nih


Researchers are encouraged to be honest about any interest that may cause potential conflicts and to inform others so that a disinterested entity can monitor progress to verify continued researcher objectivity. Am Psych Assoc


The clearest and most often discussed example of a conflict of interest in biomedical research involves doing research on a specific intervention while receiving research funding or personal remuneration from the company producing that intervention. source

Variants of the SARS COVID 2 virus – What it is that them buggers do, so don’t panic till you’re told to. By scientists!

Variants of the SARS COVID 2 virus – What it is that them buggers do, so don’t panic till you’re told to. By scientists!

A virus mutates because it has made a copying error, like your computer does when processing the data you send on it. It does this to survive, You’ve seen them on sites you try to get into, right? Like a 502 or 503 error code.

It bumps up against something that it doesn’t know how to deal with, so it gets all shook up and crashes. Edits itself then moves on with the new data code. It gets tossed into a new environ and takes a breath to see how it can survive there, edits itself, then moves on with the new code. Some strains die, some get weaker, some hang around for a bit, and some become robust.

And here we are again, with people panicking over the new name out there in the public lexicon. What seems Greek to you isn’t so much to those experts who are assaying these buggers though. The Greek letter is just a name in order, not a comment on how robust it is, in other words. (They might skip Omega for eg)

So get the vaccines as they come to you and continue following public health advisories in your area.

(BTW, South Africa has been dealing with viruses that you prob have never seen near you. So if they say something is, it prob is.)

Viruses have been around, prob longer than we have. And prob will outlast us.

Our bigger issue is the climate crisis.

…. resources

  • All viruses mutate.
  • RNA viruses are actually slow, compared to other viruses

Coronavirus Mutation: Why does the coronavirus change?

  • Variants of viruses occur when there is a change — or mutation — to the virus’s genes. Ray says it is the nature of RNA viruses such as the coronavirus to evolve and change gradually. “Geographic separation tends to result in genetically distinct variants,” he says.
  • Mutations in viruses — including the coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic — are neither new nor unexpected. Bollinger explains: “All RNA viruses mutate over time, some more than others. For example, flu viruses change often, which is why doctors recommend that you get a new flu vaccine every year.”

A variant of high consequence

is a variant for which current vaccines do not offer protection. As of now, there are no SARS-CoV-2 variants of high consequence.

Are there additional COVID-19 precautions for the new coronavirus variants?

Bollinger says that as of now, none of the new coronavirus variants call for any new prevention strategies. “We need to continue doing the basic precautions that we know work to interrupt spread of the virus,” he says.John Hopkins


  • Two SARS-CoV-2 viruses collected from anywhere in the world differ by an average of just 10 RNA letters out of 29,903, says Lucy Van Dorp,
  • Despite the virus’s sluggish mutation rate, researchers have catalogued more than 12,000 mutations in SARS-CoV-2 genomes. But scientists can spot mutations faster than they can make sense of them.
  • Many mutations will have no consequence for the virus’s ability to spread or cause disease, because they do not alter the shape of a protein, whereas those mutations that do change proteins are more likely to harm the virus than improve it
  • “It is a possibility, but by no means a certainty, that the virus will acquire mutations that change its susceptibility to antibodies and immunity,” says Bloom. Based on experience with other coronaviruses, that might take years. nature


Variants of Concern (VOC)

Working definition:
A SARS-CoV-2 variant that meets the definition of a VOI (see below) and, through a comparative assessment, has been demonstrated to be associated with one or more of the following changes at a degree of global public health significance:

  • Increase in transmissibility or detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology; OR
  • Increase in virulence or change in clinical disease presentation; OR
  • Decrease in effectiveness of public health and social measures or available diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics.

Variants of Interest (VOI)

Working definition
A SARS-CoV-2 variant :

  • with genetic changes that are predicted or known to affect virus characteristics such as transmissibility, disease severity, immune escape, diagnostic or therapeutic escape; AND
  • Identified to cause significant community transmission or multiple COVID-19 clusters, in multiple countries with increasing relative prevalence alongside increasing number of cases over time, or other apparent epidemiological impacts to suggest an emerging risk to global public health.

Variants Under Monitoring (VUM)

Working definition
A SARS-CoV-2 variant with genetic changes that are suspected to affect virus characteristics with some indication that it may pose a future risk, but evidence of phenotypic or epidemiological impact is currently unclear, requiring enhanced monitoring and repeat assessment pending new evidence. WHO – is this mutation ‘of interest’ or a ‘concern’?


When You Study Life Like it’s a Game – Social Modelling

When You Study Life Like it’s a Game – Social Modelling

You may not know it, but a lot of games you play like they’re an evening of relaxation and fun are in fact really complex mathematical, biological, social theories.

  • Most people would grasp chance/probability principles (ie poker is an amazing example of this. In fact, if your kid is having issues with math, this is a great game to teach them.)
  • And understand that it’s important when playing with a partner to communicate and work together.
  • And grasp when you need to fly solo or stick to the plan you and they had, to work for mutual interests. ie Euchre. Sometimes when your hand is just too good and you know you can win, whatever your partner wants is moot. You go for it and ask forgiveness later.
  • If you play bridge or whist, you know that there is something unseen (or a dummy hand) working against even your best plans. It’s not the players you can see or authority (much as you might like to always blame them.) You could call it luck or fate, but is it? Such concepts presume all things are equal. Yes you all are dealt a hand and in theory you have an equal shot at getting the winning hand. But as any intersectional feminist can tell you, that’s just not so when it comes to humanity. Is it?
  • Most game players are well aware there is no such thing as true random. So how was that sort achieved? Did you mix the cards or tiles enough? Was it a new deck? About the only way to beat this is to count them, and very few people are capable of this degree of memory. I hear it’s also illegal in Las Vegas?
  • And people don’t always act in the best interests of them or their team, do they? Is it self defeating, a lack of self esteem, guilt, is it an unknown bond or deal with the opposition, or is it simply not paying attention or not knowing the rules/etiquette of the game?
  • People learn when playing games. But the question always remains, do they learn to succeed? Or do they learn bad habits? Habits they just cannot seem to shake, no matter what they do? That their partners want to slap them for. Players like that do exist. Sadly, I’ve met some. And some of the worst ones are gamblers. Who presume a roll lasts forever and there are superstitions that influence the game itself. There really aren’t. No fuzzy dice rubbing will win you the game.
  • And in social scenarios, ultimately you have to consider such things as ideations of suicide, persecution and homicide. Does everyone have these and they’re only triggered at times of great stress? Or is there an agent that they experience that most people don’t?

In a game, scientific or social model, you cannot presume that you know all the possible variables. Esp not when dealing with people and their emotions. Head scratching moments come to even the most experienced players, and in science they call that the uncertainty principle. It’s the WTF moment. Unplanned, unforeseen events and even if you see everything right, sometimes the game just stumps you. You can however build that into the model and win anyways. Which the best do,

And here you thought you were just having fun, right? lol

….. references


Federal Speech from the Throne – Canada

Federal Speech from the Throne – Canada

It was really exciting, on a first ever perspective to have an Inuit portion spoken in the Senate speech. We can look forward to three languages in parliamentary proceedings from now on.

As for the speech content, there were some recognitions made for the need to support and understand that Canada is a diverse country. Many people come here specifically to take part in that. So there was a strong focus on our connection to the world, inside and outside our borders. To our connection to the LGBTQ2 + and making things safer here. We are not homogenous and need to live within that frame and respect other people within that. The Criminal Code will be strengthened to reflect safety from hate crimes. And immigration policies will be changed to reunify families. Recognition that people belong in Canada and will be included should help the citizens of this country feel more valued and supported.

We have our own identity, and our language work and media, including web media need to reflect us and our heritage and artistic content. Our communications standards and regulations will be changed to reflect Canada’s needs rather than other countries.

The recognition that mental and physical health are linked and need to be supported as such was key. And will help a LOT of people with disabilities be supported.

And changes in more affordable housing, rent to own as a new strategy, and $10 a day day care should help more people take part in the economy and possibly thrive. Especially relevant to women/mothers, as many women stayed home rather than put their children into schools or day cares during the waves of the pandemic. These ventures may get them back into the workforce. The pandemic was recognized as a her-cession.

There was a recognition that the environment and the pandemic are linked and need to be fought together and fossil fuels need to be decreased.

And crimes that involved hate and GBV as well as gun use rose during the pandemic, so stronger measures are being worked on in those areas.

Reconciliation with Indigenous people was a large focus. Housing on reserves, safe water, and child protection being regulated with first nations’ inclusion in the process and their direction/autonomy were key in the speech. And they have been worked on, so this is a continued focus. The graves found at the schools were mentioned, and a monument is planned commemorating the lost children and their families and tribes.

…… the speech

For those who want to skip the pageantry, the actual speech begins about 42 min in.
Read by GG Mary Simon

Women and Children are or were Chattels?

Women and Children are or were Chattels?

When it comes to medicine (and it’s laws/protocol) as a field, sometimes it’s hard for me to grasp where autonomy is or isn’t in play.

We still get treated like we have no rights and others are allowed to make our decisions for us. Use our bodies to make their life easier. Or more pleasurable.

  1. (women) incubators – surrogate,
    vs abortion, vs hysterectomy refusal,
    coerced or forced sterilization
  2. (women and children) or parts’ factories – egg donor, organs.
  3. sex trades.

Our bodies and the circumstances we are in are allowed to control us and our children. Where our poverty is used to control us and separate us.
4. foster care, adoption

And even though they don’t technically own us, they still act as if they do. So they can put us into hospitals (as mentally ill, as addicts) , prisons and congregant care.

So which is better? Their ownership or their paternalism? Have we actually gained freedom if they don’t see us as autonomous beings of equal value to them?

How Much Do you Rely on Media/(MSM or SM) to Guide your Life?

How Much Do you Rely on Media/(MSM or SM) to Guide your Life?

We spend a LOT of time online, for work or play. We watch TV, listen to music, play games and chat. There are some people we follow too. They are called ‘influencers’ and they help us with home decor, fashion, diet, life skills, decision making, relationship goals….

But should we? And if yes, what standards do we use to gauge who is feeding us misinformation?

It’s not just politics and the pandemic that are guilty of this. We are getting used to turning to these people, whether or not they are worthy of our attention, let alone respect.

lot of money is put into the environment behind these influences. For eg social psychologists are paid to determine the trends, what algorithms are used to track our behaviour and what ads we will see. Long before we do. And entire firms of marketers and advertisers put it all together, into trends and fads. From cradle to grave, they have a plan for what we see and how we will be manipulated.

How much time do you spend thinking about what their messages are? Do you safeguard your mind, thoughts and feelings from their influence? And just who is telling you what to think, feel and do? WHY are they doing this? What is their goal? Money? Field recognition? Power?

Our grandparents would disregard most of what they do. Our grandkids will be so used to it, they won’t think about it. It’ll be like water off a duck’s back to them.

Do you have any tips for how to sift thru their influence? Now if at no other time, we need to remember that their words can be a struggle over life, autonomy and death.

When Studying and Discussing Social Sciences and Humanities

When Studying and Discussing Social Sciences and Humanities

It’s really hard to separate fact from feeling. If you have faith and want to study religion, it’s hard to see where your understanding and emotion fit into others, or even if they do.

There are common patterns that are often looked at that practitioners of that faith have trouble distancing themselves from to look at as an academic discussion.

Like the harder topics of war and slavery. But the religions have all tried to build empires, they have all had extremist factions and hierarchies within the faith. The pattern of owning slaves is to kick their slaves, chain and torture them and leave them without food and water. To rape the women, assimilate the children and kill the men.

When a splinter faction gets upset with the enemy or even their own authority, they do things to harm the chain of command. These days that resistance would look like bombs, but that’s only a matter of what weapons were used, not the anger and resistance they felt or the attempts to kill those they disagreed with.

It’s harder to reconcile that when it’s your own, if you feel marginalized, or if you don’t know the larger context around human history. And you’re more inclined to see the study as problematic, even bigoted against your group.

But is it?

If the person studying that culture or faith can run a cross-cultural analysis of the same patterns, then it probably isn’t.

Some people find that harder to grasp than others though. And they feel harmed by this kind of study. Or even a similar lay discussion. It has caused rifts between friends and family, between colleagues who are trying to do the work.

These topics are sensitive, and obviously, it’s hard to deal with. So some methods are better not used. For eg I can’t seen case studies on their own being tolerated well.

But don’t you think these studies have to be done? How do we ever intend to achieve understanding of each other and peace between each other if we can’t even calmly look at the topics and discuss them?

Q – We talk about freedom and boundaries a lot. But what is the distinction to you?

Q – We talk about freedom and boundaries a lot. But what is the distinction to you?

  • In order to have the protection of society we have to live by it’s rules. don’t we?
  • And in order to be in a relationship and have a healthy sense of self, we have to have boundaries.
  • In order to be in a healthy D/s or M/s relationship, we have to reach an agreement of what we want from our other. And follow thru on what we said.

We have parents, bosses, co-workers, teachers and the govt and police who have rules, boundaries and expectations and who at min get offended or shun and/or punish us if we don’t adhere to them.

We have concepts and definitions that we agree to, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we all follow them. Does it?

So where in that does freedom reside? Is freedom an ideal or a reality? What is freedom to you, and do you feel you have it in your life?

Using Humour to Get Thru Dark Times

Using Humour to Get Thru Dark Times

Some people cry, some people laugh. Some people hug others, some people isolate. And those who do the other look at the one and think they just might have gone a bit nuts, right?

I think we have to find where we are ok and just be ourselves. Because what is the option? Tearing ourselves apart? Breaking our minds and hearts?

But is there a line when what you do is wrong? Is not ok? I think that is often determined by who is around you when you crack wise. I’ve worked in health care and the staff rooms were often places of ribald and grotesque humour. Even coming from the kindest, sweetest people on the floors. But it never got said in a patient’s presence.

I’ve been to funerals and weddings where it’s supposed to be a solemn ceremony and in the parking lot, there are always a few gathered who seem to have no such concept of the word solemn. But the bride and groom and the widow(er) don’t hear about their idea of fun. Though this may be different at a wake? Or a celebration of life? They tend to be more about humour than a religious rite.

It can actually be as much of a release as a good cry or even an orgasm to have a belly laugh though.

Do you have that kind of humour? Or are you more the dainty type? I know I’ve made a few people look at me like I should be a serial killer or pathologist. Heaven forbid if I had that much info about the body though. My humour would terrify even me and I might make myself sick 😛 Aren’t I fun? lol

…… source

schadenfreude, defined as satisfaction or pleasure experienced as a result of the misfortunes of others


galgenhumor, (gallows humour) defined as cynical humor that derives from stressful or traumatic situations.


Theorist Martin Armstrong “For a few moments, under the spell of laughter, the whole man is completely and gloriously alive: body, mind and soul vibrate in unison… the mind flings open its doors and windows… its foul and secret places are ventilated and sweetened.”

Post Election – Are the Party Heads on the Auction Block?

Post Election – Are the Party Heads on the Auction Block?

  • Green Party is. Paul has quit the job and left the party.
  • There is a call for O’Toole’s head. Some CONs want a review. But that party seems to go thru leaders like suits these past few years. Harper going down has caused some friction.
  • Not yet for NDP, but there is a review on the campaign. It was weird and expensive and Singh took a lot of local funds for his federal campaign and lost some seats.
  • BQ would be seen differently. I don’t think BQ runs candidates outside Quebec for one. And they kept their seats.

After all the blocks and HoC craziness since 2019, do you think parliament will work together to get stuff done? Or will there be another witch hunt on the entire Trudeau clan? It’s started out that way already. But I don’t think Trudeau is going anywhere.