Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Swines!

While the whole world panics about Swine Flu, the media continues to relish the opportunity to have headlines like "KILLER FLU" "KILLER FOREIGN BUG HITS MIDDLE CLASSES" and "KILLER FLU STRIKES ON ANIVERSARY OF PRINCESS DIANA's CHICKEN POX SCARE" (guess which papers)

But this reminds me that despite the obvious danger this virus could pose, we should always be sure to look at things realistically to help us take precautions that actually help.
Which takes me to a great book I read recently by Ben Goldacre that uncovers all the bullshit and media panic behind health stories. He has appeared on Watchdog AND Charlie Brookers Newswipe... that alone makes it worth a view: Bad Science

To explain in a few words, here is a great pic from XKCD (via Layscience)

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