I get the occasional email. Very little hate mail, unfortunately, since hate mail is often more amusing. I read what little email I receive, and usually do not respond, mostly as I do not have the time. I am a slow writer and a slower typist, and there are just so many hours in the day, and the older you get, the shorter th0se hours become.
Recently, over at the center of the growing Mark Crislip multimedia empire, I had the following in the feedback section:
Just thought you’d like to know:
My kids watch the PBS show “Curious George” which usually does a good job with introductory Physics, Astronomy, scientific method, etc. Interspersed with the cartoons they have scenes with real children that do a real-life parallel investigation of what happened on Curious George.
Today’s episode involved the Man with the Yellow Hat catching a cold, and Curious George going to the pharmacy and picking up various drugs to assist in making the guy feel better, mainly to have him sleep and be comfortable.
The interspersed skit, however, had the children visit a naturopath, where they learned:
* Oregano cures infections
* Various pressure points that correspond to energy lines
* And that taping magnets to these points is really effective.
I sat here simply amazed.
Me, not so much. Alternative medicine has always been a blind spot for PBS. While PBS would not show perpetual motion machines, suggest that astrology is legitimate, or give credence to a flat earth, alternative medicine, as it is for many otherwise thoughtful people, is exempt from even cursory critical thinking. PBS has broadcast Drs. Chopra and North, so its track record with science based medicine is not so good. My children are long past the Curious George part of their lives, but I read them the books when they were kids. Not my favorite (I like the Madeleine books better; 6 weeks in hospital for an acute appendix never failed to amuse me) but they were a quick read when the kids wanted a story at bedtime and I was too tired for a longer exposition. (more…)