The CDC designated this week as “Get Smart About Antibiotics Week.” I know, pretty exciting.
Although I’m all on board with awareness, and its goal (reducing resistance evolution in bacteria), I think the people at the CDC are actively ignoring an insanely easy way to educate the public: simply stop using the word “antibiotic,” and instead say “antibacterial”. E.g., people at the CDC should open up all their Word documents and web pages and do a global search/replace. Would take a week to fix the formatting changes caused by the extra characters. The cost of doing this would probably be much less than what they spend getting all those cartoons for their posters on antibiotics.
The reason I suggest this is that most people assume antibiotics work against viruses. And who can blame them? It’s what the word use to mean. Below is a sample definition from 1910:
and here’s what a Google search displays:
Of course, the CDC loves the word “antibiotics.” And thus it would take an Executive Order to get them to do what I suggest. But if you agree with me and eventually become President, could you please consider sending them that memo?? You’d make me happy, and save a lot of lives.
More details at “Curbing the misuse of antibiotics.”
Posted in Biology, Education, Science
Tagged antibacterial, antibiotics, bacteria, biology, CDC, cold, flu, Get Smart, public, science
The Pew Research Center just released poll data on how adults in the United States explain the existence of humans: 57% believe that a supernatural being created humans either gradually, through artificial selection, or instantly, in a single poof. If you teach biology in public school, you should be addressing this ignorance. If you need resources, here are disclaimers for biology textbooks, Charles Darwin Has a Posse stickers, and a Portable Darwin for your classroom.
Posted in Photography
Tagged artificial selection, biology, charles darwin, data, education, evolution, God, human evolution, ignorance, Intelligent Designer, natural selection, origin, Pew Research Center, poll, public, science, scientific, theory
If you need an image for a talk on antibiotics, please help yourself to anything on my Pinterest board, “Antibiotic Resistance Movement.”
Posted in Biology, Education, Graphic design, Science
Tagged anti-infectives, antibacterial, antibiotic, antimicrobial, antiviral, CDC, disease, graphics, illness, lecture, literacy, pew, presentations, public, science, stem, talks, who
[PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT] Last week, I witnessed a visually impaired man with a cane walk right into some overgrown hedges while he was heading into town. Clearly surprised, he decided to cross the street before continuing on his way. So I thought I’d post a plea for all of us who have sidewalks to please hack back any creeping shrubs, hostas, and dandelions so that our public walkways are fully walkable by all — not just for the visually impaired, but also for those with twin babies in double strollers, and for couples who just want to hold hands while walking next to each other. Currently, double-wide strollers and hand-holders need to walk in the street, which is crazy given that our town has fairly wide sidewalks. A further benefit of keeping your plants out of the sidewalk airspace is that the foliage doesn’t provide the perfect lurking spot for deer ticks, questing for a host with their hungry little arthropod arms. Yea, that last reason is far-fetched, perhaps, but we have lots of deer and mice and dogs, so it’s just something to think about as you brush by the leaves.
Posted in Photography
Tagged blind, bushes, cement, deer, hedge, lyme, maintain, ordinance, pedestrian, pennsylvania, plants, prune, pruning, public, rules, sidewalk, stroller, swarthmore, ticks, trees, trim, trimming, vision impaired, visually impaired, walk, walkability, walking, width, zoning