Thursday, January 12, 2006

Fight Machine!

Just for fun: Fight Machine!

As you can see, the first opponents I entered have been influenced by my past three months of reading a heavy dose of skeptic blogs such as Respectful Insolence (a.k.a. "Orac Knows"), The Millenium Project, Skeptico, Bad Astronomy Blog and A Photon in the Darkness.

And what's funny about being so deep into reading skeptical writers is that I spend much of my time reading about 16th Century medical beliefs and surgical practices such as bloodletting and the four humors, cupping, herbal remedies, astrology and, hey let's not forget, uroscopy. (Sorry no link for astrology, I was trying to find a 16thC image of a bloodletting chart.) All of these survive today in some form or another as alternative therapies or as we now know to call them, quack medicines.

So I enjoy delving into the 16thC mind and have mixed up a few herbal wound salves to make 7th graders wrinkle their noses (egg yolks, rose oil, turpintine - which of course comes from a gum resin disolved in brandy) and even learned to use glass cups. And while I have learned how some of these practices had some beneficial (if slight and then misunderstood) effect which might prove interesting today such as using leeches for modern microsurgery, I'm not in the least fooled into thinking that understanding of the world 500 years ago was some how more reliable than what we are capable of knowing today.

So back to the fight.... the Quacks lose.

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