Category Archives: Science2.0/Health2.0

At the Movies: Sex Positivity Messages on Youtube

Montage of thumbnails for several Youtube channels focused on sex positive messages

Tonight there is a #medlibs Twitter chat on some ways in which sex education is happening on social media.

Sexual Education & Social Media Chat — Sex Ed On Social Media: Quirky or Quality? http://medlibschat.blogspot.com/2015/01/sexual-education-social-media-chat.html

In preparation for this, I’d like to share highlights from a few of the more popular “sex positive” sex education Youtube channels! “Sex +,” “sex positive,” and “sex positivity” is a whole movement focused on looking at sex and sexual behavior as a good healthy thing rather than “dirty”. I’m probably oversimplifying with that rough definition, but it gives the broad idea. Many of the advocates and information channels include education, but some focus instead on relationships, communication, psychology, and attitudes. Some are professionally made, some are from health care or educational professionals, some are homegrown. You can’t tell which are the good ones from the source. Some professional ones are badly made or slanted, some homegrown ones are excellent and accurate.

As the phrases “sex positive” and “sex positivity” become more popular, you also begin to find some pornography channels that adopt the phrase in order to get into the search results. This has also happened with “sex ed” and “sexual education,” where some of the channels are more focused on education, and others are more focused on the (ahem) sex. This makes it really hard to go out, do a search, and actually FIND good quality sex ed content in Youtube. You can’t know before clicking if you’ll find something educational or something more smutty or something simply stuffy.

These channels often have clever names to communicate their focus topic (Ask My Girlfriend, Cherry TV, GLAMerotica 101, Kara Sutra, Nice Girls Like Sex Too, Sexplanations, Twisted Broad). Some of them provide good information in a cute way, others have cute names but rarely post any information, and yet others aren’t actually on the topic they seem to be on. Even if they post information rarely, it might be good, or it might be dated or irrelevant. Even if they have lots of views, it might be because it’s a good video or it might just be, well, porn. Again, you don’t know until you go look.

So, you can’t trust the key words, the metadata, the sponsors, the names of the channels, or the names of the videos. This is one of the best reasons for medical librarians and health care professionals to look into this before the questions are asked or answered. Trust me, you REALLY don’t want to be browsing these while someone is looking over your shoulder waiting for an answer! I stumbled into a few surprises while planning this post that I really could have done without. (The eyeballs! They burn! Ahhhh!) So spare your eyeballs, and check out a few of these as examples of the sex+ genre.

In this collection (which is highly selected and ONLY examples!), I’m focusing specifically on pieces with a more education focus and less of the sex, how to, issues, or relationship management, even though those are also obviously important. This means I didn’t include the famous Dan Savage or Kara Sutra or Just Sex or Nice Girls Like Sex Too or Twisted Broad or …. I also wanted to show sex ed that is more peer-to-peer, from teens and young adults to other teens and young adults, so I didn’t include pieces that try to sell sex toys or psychotherapy or couples therapy or from major universities. Face it, the universities offer solid content, but it isn’t as fun and engaging. Should it be? Why or why not? Did I miss any channels you think are great? Please list them in the comments!


LACI GREEN

Of course, I have to begin (and end!) with Laci Green, who is THE name in this space. If you only have heard of one sex positive online advocate, it is probably her. This video on the topic of what is consent and how to get it goes into an essential concept in sexual safety, as well as prevention of rape and sexual violence. Her description of the video includes “how to properly ask for consent, as well as what consent does and does not sound like.” Good stuff, worth thinking about. What would you add or change?

Wanna have sex? (Consent 101) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD2EooMhqRI


LACI GREEN: A NAKED NOTION

Laci Green started up a second channel in partnership with Planned Parenthood for talk about sex topics that are less educational and more issue-oriented. In this space, she has a small collection of videos on topics such as recovering from rape, hormone therapy, birth control, pregnancy testing, and more.

Sex After Rape https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnK6xN7PF4


LACI GREEN: MTV BRALESS

Laci Green started up a THIRD channel in partnership with MTV for talk about pop culture, some of which includes sex talk and much of which doesn’t. In this space, she has a small collection of videos on topics such as recovering from rape, hormone therapy, birth control, pregnancy testing, and more.

Sex At Hogwarts?! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXPQBLOfnFk


SEXPLANATIONS

Sexplanations is a channel designed around the perception of authority (“with Dr. Doc”) right along with quirkiness (check out the pigtailed avatar). The “Dr. Doc” behind the show is Lindsey Doe, a clinical sexologist.

Sexplanations Episodes 1-50: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQiadPyjJ4E&list=PL_zdi3TflN9LjEjkqh3OwKb-l8o-ieODH&index=1


REID ABOUT SEX

Reid About Sex is a partnership of Reid Mihalko and Cathy Vartuli (Intimacy Dojo). In their extensive video series they have conversations about topics of interest, ranging from gender identity and sexually transmitted diseases to communication, props, behavior, and sex positive business advise. Whoa. That’s a lot of ground to cover.

Can You Get Herpes From Cuddling? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcXzaKJsaJc


TheTitTalk: THE SEX ED TALK

The Sex Ed Talk used to be called “The Tit Talk”, and can be found in various social media locations under either or both names. Their focus is on what they believe should have been covered in school, but wasn’t, or wasn’t covered as thoroughly as they like.

Vagina 101 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cE93vWFglEg


BETTY DODSON & CARLIN ROSS

Dodson & Ross introduce themselves as “the top sex educator in the world” and “the best attorney on the planet and my stunt c**t.” They continue by claiming you can’t ask a good question they won’t answer. They mean it, too. I had trouble finding one that was safe to put in this post. Despite the use of straight language (which sometimes means street language), all the videos are education, and pretty straightforward as well as candid.

Healthy Vaginas Through Menopause https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RTjYaBrYMo


LACI GREEN: THE FAMOUS CHERRY VIDEO

I just couldn’t do this post without included my first and favorite Laci Green video — “You Can’t Pop Your Cherry (Hymen 101).”

You Can’t POP Your Cherry! (Hymen 101) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qFojO8WkpA

Aligning Forces for Quality (#AF4Q #hcvalue) – Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of December 15, 2014)

I came back from the Aligning Forces for Quality (#AF4Q) conference last month, all excited and wanting to assemble this post right away. Now, weeks later, and life happened but the blogpost didn’t, to my disappointment. Hopefully the wait will turn out to be worth it, as I’ve been mentally percolating what I heard and learned while there. Here’s my plan. First, begin with highlights from the Twitter stream. Next, choose a few of the Youtube videos from the event to highlight or react to particular concepts. Then, if I have time (which is unlikely), I’d like to do a recap / overview piece. What is more likely to happen is that ideas and concepts and strategies I heard at AF4Q will continue to inform other work I do, and will be shared in those contexts as they arise.

What is Aligning Forces for Quality? When I was invited to attend, that was my second question. The first question was, “Is this legit?” I had somehow not heard about AF4Q previously, and so I wondered who are these people, why are they inviting me, and what is this about? The AF4Q project turns out to be one of the many healthcare projects funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. That answers the question of legitimacy rather nicely, I thought! This particular project has been a several year initiative to explicitly attempt to revolutionize the practice of healthcare through inclusion of and engagement with patients.

Really? I mean, we talk about this ALL THE TIME in the many healthcare Twitter chats, the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media, the Make Health movement, various local initiatives at UMHS…. I mean, REALLY??? How has this been going on for years, and me watching for patient engagement topics, and still I didn’t know about it? It turns out, that was part of why I was invited. They are doing this extremely interesting work, but it isn’t widely known. The solution? Invite some strong social media voices to the event, and give them free rein to observe, engage, and respond to what’s going on around them. Smart.

Yes, that’s me at the far end of the picture, behind Alicia Stales (Chief Patient Officer of Akari Health), Susannah Fox (until recently Associate Director, Editorial, of the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project, but now Entrepreneur in Residence at @RWJF), and Pat Mastors (President and Co-Founder of the Patient Voice Institute). Thank you so much to Alicia Aebersold (Senior Vice President at the National Council for Behavioral Health) for the photo. Really, she should have been in the photo, not just taking it! Hard for me to believe I was there, rubbing shoulders with all the glorious people. There were a lot more who aren’t in this photo. I am tempted to start listing names, but if I did I’d leave out someone wonderful.

The AF4Q organizers did a strong job of incorporating social media into the event. They used two official hashtags: #AF4Q for the overall project and organization, #hcvalue for this specific event. These were posted prominently in every room, at the registration desk, and on the banners decorating the meeting space. I complicated matters by adding in custom tags for specific break out sessions, so that I could later distill and collate tweets from specific sub-events. This was pretty easy to do, as the breakout sessions were all numbered, so I’d just add the session number to the end of the shortest tag, like #AF4Q7. In addition to the hashtags, they also had staff assigned to each room and presentation, to make sure that there were official folk tweeting in addition to the invited voices and the attendees. I found it a little confusing that all the official staff tweeting were tweeting using the same account, but from different rooms and different sessions, without any indication of which room they were in or who was tweeting at a particular point. I recommended adding session tags, and the use of initials to distinguish separate voices in the shared account.

With that background, I think it’s time to look at some of the tweets, with the focus being on great ideas, thoughts, and resources shared. (There were selfies galore, but you can find those on your own, if you want the faces to go with the names.)

IDEAS & THOUGHTS

RESOURCES

CLOSING CONCEPTS

AFTERWARDS

Ebola and Emerging Technologies

Ebola & Emerging Tech

Ebola & Emerging Tech: http://www.mindmeister.com/485610588/ebola-emerging-tech

Our local Cool Toys Conversations group had asked to have a discussion of emerging technologies and Ebola, and “could we please have it before the holidays when everyone will be traveling?” I had tried to get this up early last week, but life happened, and so it is coming to you now.

When we started looking at this topic I was surprised to find so much! I probably shouldn’t have been — Ebola is big news. It seems as if everyone doing anything in tech and emerging tech is doing something interesting related to Ebola. Well, except Apple. And that surprised me, too. There were so many links, so many topics, I could have EASILY done a month of daily blogposts just on this topic. Once we started, we kept finding more. The collection of links was getting overblown, random, chaotic, confusing. I decided to organize them all in a mindmap, and doing that took a while. Mindmeister kept saying, “Too many topics at one level!” This is why it is broken down into 4 section, but don’t take those sections too seriously. They are more an artifact of the process than seriously meaningful. Each major topic probably has minor topics and links that could easily belong in another section. For that reason, I thought it might be helpful to give an alphabetic list here of what’s included in the mindmap (which is also where you’ll find all the actual links – hint? Click on the little arrows).

I have so many favorite projects and resources I can’t possibly highlight them all. If life and time permit, I’ll try to throw together a slideshow with screenshots of some of them. Just as teasers, here are just a … a smidgen, a teeny tiny sampling. Tim Unwin wrote a great overview of exciting ways in which emerging technologies are being used in the Ebola crisis. Biosensors, wearable tech, open everything, code repositories, data, genetics, DIYbio, mapping and tracking, apps (tons of them), reverse innovation, open source pharma, gaming, cryogenics, … the list goes on and on. You already know how completely enchanted I am with the maker movement right now, and this is no exception. Makers Against Ebola designed flash sensors and proximity alarms to help prevent contamination while working with patients, pull tabs and zipper extenders to make it easier to get in and out of the Personal Protective Environments (which you might recognize better as hazmat suits). The DIY Ebola Challenge came up with a great variety of open source hardware solutions for scientific equipment, in efforts to design a kit they couple bundle and share at point of need. So far they have centrifuges in all sizes, PCR thermocycler, gel electrophoresis, spectrometers, multichannel pipettes, and more. Other folk are using tools like the Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone Black to design inexpensive syringe pumps and diagnostics. And then there’s robots! Robots to decontaminate, robots to intercede between people and create a distance than may contain the disease (like a social firebreak). The ways in which people are using tech to highlight the personal aspect is also awe-inspiring. From citizen journalism to ebola MOOCs to the WAYout Ebola Song, with every social media tool you can name, someone is doing something to try to help share important stories and information. There is a lot more in the mindmap, with links for everything. There’s even a section on open access images about Ebola to use foe teaching, training, and education. Check it out — here’s an outline.

GENERAL

Articles
Collections

PEOPLE DRIVEN

Advocacy
Citizen Science
Citizen Journalism
Collaboration Tech
Communication (Challenges: Misinformation & Hype, Stigma, Weaponized; Solutions: Education & Training, Ebola Information, MOOCs, Information & Health Literacy, Wikipedia
Social Media
Research
Crowdfunding
Crowdsourcing (Challenges)
Makers & DIY
Open (Open Access, Open Images, Open Data, Open Government, Open IBM, Open Source Code Repositories, Open Source Pharma, Open Sources Wearables)
Reverse Innovation

SCIENCE DRIVEN

Arxiv/bioRxiv
Biohacking / DIYbio / SynBio
Data (Data modeling, Data visualization
Open Data
Diagnostics
Genetics
Mapping / Tracking
Nanosilver
NASA

TECH DRIVEN

3D Printing
Apps
Biosensors
Biotech
DARPA
Biocontainment
Cryogenics
Diagnosis
Gaming
Geolocation / Geotagging / GPS
Hackers
IBM
Mobile
Robotics (Asepsis, Telepresence)
Telemedicine
Wearable Tech (Biocontainment, Personal Protective Environments)

Risky Hashtags (#OzsInbox) – Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of November 17, 2014)

Social Media Gone Wrong
Social Media Gone Wrong: http://www.pinterest.com/rosefirerising/social-media-gone-wrong/

Recently, there seems to be a rash of examples of social media gone wrong. Last weekend, it was the Facebook post by a GOP communications staffer criticizing the way President Obama’s children dress.

The weekend before that it was Bill Cosby’s new meme generator, which was promptly used by the public to comment on his presumed sexual practices.

Before that, it was Dr. Oz’s request for health questions he could discuss on the show. That didn’t go so well, either.

There are several more examples along these lines, many including hashtags that have been misappropriated by the audience. Evidently the audiences weren’t quite what was expected by the companies creating the hashtags for their marketing campaigns. The Cosby example was one of those, with #CosbyMeme. The Dr. Oz example is another. He used the hashtag #ozsinbox. Some folk read it as #OzsInbox, but others read it as #OzSinBox. Oops.

Since the HOTW series focuses on hashtags, I thought it would be appropriate to spend a little bit of time talking about how hashtags can go astray. At the same time, I don’t want to scare people away from using Twitter, so there will be a “part two” that talks more about how to use and choose Twitter hashtags to support your real goal. It does take a little advance thought and preparation, but done well, hashtags can be an amazingly powerful and useful way to get your message out and engage with people who are also passionate about it.

For now, just a few tips and thoughts about what happened with Dr. Oz.

TIP ONE: Do you REALLY want to do a Q&A?

The CDC routinely does Twitter chats with Q&As on emerging health topics. They did one recently on Ebola, for example. This is obviously a good thing, and a great way to let people say what worries them and then respond directly from experts with high quality authoritative health information. Don’t give up entirely on Q&As just because of this. But consider, there is a pattern of high profile people offering to do a Q&A and being targeted by those who don’t like them, who then take over the stream. I’ve done Twitter live interviews, but I’m not actually important or famous on the scale of either the CDC or Dr. Oz. So, before you offer to do a Q&A, think about reputation, context, and if you just want attention or actually have something of value to contribute. If you just want attention, are you alright with it not being good attention? Because that sometimes happens. People will tell you exactly what they really think of you, if that’s what you want.

TIP TWO: If doing a Q&A, try to imagine the kinds of questions you might get. Then ask a few friends. Then ask a few enemies. Then ask a half dozen teen age boys.

TIP THREE: Brainstorm alternate spellings & interpretations of the chosen hashtag

TIP FOUR: Are you OK with humor? How will you respond to folk joking around?

TIP FIVE: Consider your partners & employers. How does what you say & do reflect on them?

TIP SIX: What should you do if it all goes cockeyed?

This.

THOUGHT ONE: Reputation & Professionalism

There are a lot of doctors who gleefully tromped all over Dr. Oz, given this opportunity to do so. That set a kind of example. There were a few people who tried to say that they knew Dr. Oz before he was a media star, and that deep down there is a good doctor somewhere under all the hype. Those people were placing themselves at risk if they tried to defend him. Some media sources described the frenzy around the hashtag as being dominated by trolls.

Even if you completely believe that Dr. Oz is a horrible person who has lost his way in the maze of popular pseudoscience, if you entertain yourself by trashing him in a situation like this, how does that make YOU look? Is that the person you want to be? How does this make the profession appear? When doctors get snarky, does healthcare get a pie in the eye? It sets an example for the public when doctors trash each other. That might be a good thing, or it might not. I’m not sure yet. And remember, what you say can be misunderstood just as badly as anything said by anyone.

Dr. Pav Khaira has a background image on his page saying, “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” Obviously, he has a good heart, and means well, but is also willing to poke fun with the best of them.

Who is Dr. Nick?

Dr. Sunil K Sahai was fairly new to Twitter when this came up. He came to regret what was intended as a funny tweet, and blogged about what he should have said instead, and how.

Dr. Jen Gunter became something of a folk hero among the Twitter healthcare community for this cogent post, and a few others.

More health care folk and what they think about Dr. Oz.

Doctors In Oz

OTHER TWEETS

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Want more? Here are the statistics, metrics, and more tweets.

#OzsInBox Begins

At the Movies: Public Health Aspects of E-Cigarettes, 10 (Or So) Thought-Provoking Videos

The Risk Bites video series is touching on many of my favorite emerging technologies topics. Every now and then, I’m hoping to take some of their topics and dig into the issues a little more. Today’s topic is e-cigs, which I’ve blogged about here before. Earlier this week, the e-cigarette panel discussion at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (#APHA14) attracted a great deal of attention, including attendance from the current Surgeon General.

In addition, APHA endorsed a public call to the FDA to push forward on regulating electronic cigarettes.

20149 Regulation of electronic cigarettes — Calls on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to develop regulations that hold e-cigarettes to the same marketing and advertising standards as conventional tobacco cigarettes and calls for the federal funding of research on the short- and long-term health consequences of e-cigarette use. Urges the Consumer Product Safety Commission to require special packaging, including warning labels, on e-cigarette cartridges to help prevent childhood poisoning. Also calls on state and local official to restrict the sale of e-cigarettes to minors as well as the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed public areas and workplaces. APHA News Releases: New 2014 policy statements http://www.apha.org/news-and-media/news-releases/apha-news-releases/2014-policy-statements

This all makes this topic especially timely, and worthwhile of reviewing once more. Please note, I am NOT saying these are the reasons behind the APHA call for action, or even that there is research to support the points below. I am saying only that these are things I’ve noticed and found interesting. If there isn’t research, maybe there needs to be. If existing research doesn’t yet answer important safety questions, maybe we should act with caution until we do have those answers. It there is, then maybe I could share some in another post. I do believe that the issue of e-cigs is more nuanced than we might be led to believe by much of the public dialog around it — that there are both benefits and risks. So, with that caveat, here we go!

NUMBER 10


Electronic cigarettes and health – the basics https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mToznqKD5Ac

Primary public health perspectives mentioned in this video:
– What are the impacts of use by children?
– E-Cigs reduce toxins from smoke for regular smokers
– Are e-cigs simply an easier path to nicotine addiction?
– Aside from the intended nicotine, there may be impurities & contaminants from e-liquid solutions
– The FDA only has oversight over certain aspects of e-cigs, and there may be a lack of regulation for other potentially risky aspects of the device & liquids.

This is a truly excellent introduction in very few minutes to the most important considerations of e-cigarette use. The best quick overview I’ve seen. There are a few other issues to possibly address. See the following videos for a broader picture of public health aspects of e-cigarettes.

NUMBER NINE

There have been (few, but some) reports of e-cigarette devices that were flawed in manufacture and did nasty stuff like explode in someone’s face. This is another aspect for the attention of regulators. Some of the explosions have been when on charge (as in this video), or have been modified in some way by the user (“at your own risk” becomes a very meaningful phrase). There are reports of this happening while in use and damaging the user’s face. Because this is not a medical device, these events are not being recorded in a way that allows healthcare systems to document and define the level of risk. Without that, you are basically depending on the industry to self-police manufacturing standards and error rates.


E-cigarette on charge explodes in bartender’s face: CAUGHT ON CCTV CAMERA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1VrzgeG7jk

NUMBER EIGHT

We live in a MAKER world. People hack their medical devices, and people hack their home devices. Why should e-cigarettes be any different? According to this video people hack their e-cig devices to make them hotter, and to have less of a draw, so they can get more vapor with less effort. According to the scientists, this changes the risks associated with the chemicals. We need to ask not only what people are already doing to hack these devices, but what else they might do with them or their components. I’m sure we have yet to imagine everything that could be done with vape pens.


Mashable: How to Hack Your Own E-Cigarettes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmxwnuTRMiw

NUMBER SEVEN

Vaping is a drug delivery mechanism. Nicotine is only one drug. There is talk about using vaping as a tool for delivering other medications that require inhalation, such as asthma meds. Of course, it needn’t be used solely for prescription meds, either. Vaping is also a tool for delivering street drugs, illegal drugs, and home made drugs. This, again, could be good or bad, depending on the circumstances.


How To Mix & Make Your Own E Juice Liquid DIY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x57PaibrOag

SPECIAL REPORT: Teens using E-Cigs to smoke marijuana http://www.nbc11news.com/home/headlines/SPECIAL-REPORT-Teens-using-E-Cigs-to-smoke-marijuana-245882671.html

NUMBER SIX

Remember the phrase “gateway drugs”? There are recipes all over the Internet for how to make your own e-cig liquid, and those recipes include directions for how to make e-cig liquid to deliver illegal drugs. I think the genie is out of the bottle on that one, but it is certainly an issue to address in public health circles. Of course, also keep in mind that e-cigs may be a alternate way to provide medical marijuana to patients.


How To: Potent Water-Soluble Cannabis Concentrate in Glycerin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQyx8br65N0&list=PLpKaVRowbJ84eVJTLbAyVUUdzSXfJwLVS

NUMBER FIVE

People have mentioned the issues of e-cig flavors that are clearly being marketed specifically to children, and how the devices are being marketed as cool/fun/sexy for young adults.


Do Vape Pens Trick Teens? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnKwHWyHH4g


A Sexy View of the ECC 2014 Expo – Vape Club https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6SQiu08DxQ

It really makes it look like fun, doesn’t it? That was actually the first thing that attracted my attention to e-cigarettes. I saw so many incredibly beautiful photos streaming thru the sites marketing the devices, it seemed like there was an awful lot of money and genius being poured into the campaigns. It made me wonder why.

NUMBER FOUR

Recent research from the CDC reveals that e-cig use among children and teens is skyrocketing. It may take time to learn the long term outcomes of this trend.


CDC: More kids lighting up e-cigarettes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJ_BEiKpqaE


Growing Number of Youth Smoking Vaporizers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0L3so_qfpuo

NUMBER THREE

Research also seems to show that youth who start with e-cigs are more likely to convert to conventional cigarettes. This is, obviously, the reverse of using e-digs as a smoking cessation device.

Study: Youth who have used e-cigarettes are twice as likely to smoke conventional cigarettes
Study: Youth who have used e-cigarettes are twice as likely to smoke conventional cigarettes http://kimt.com/2014/09/24/study-youth-who-have-used-e-cigarettes-are-twice-as-likely-to-smoke-conventional-cigarettes/

Teenage E-Cigarette Use Likely Gateway to Smoking http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-06/teenage-e-cigarette-use-likely-gateway-to-smoking.html

Intentions to Smoke Cigarettes Among Never-Smoking U.S. Middle and High School Electronic Cigarette Users, National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2011–2013 http://ntr.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/09/16/ntr.ntu166

NUMBER TWO

This video seems to me to be intentionally designed to scare people, BUT, despite the hyperbole and drum rolls, the content is largely factual, just framed to be extra exciting. I’m including links to the source content so you can dig into it more, and don’t have to depend on the video.


CDC Releases Negative Findings of E-Cigarettes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bMUxSw1BoM

CDC: Youth Tobacco Prevention: Electronic Cigarettes: Key Findings: Intentions to smoke cigarettes among never-smoking U.S. middle and high school electronic cigarette users, National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2011-2013 http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/youth/e-cigarettes/

CDC News Room: E-cigarette use more than doubles among U.S. middle and high school students from 2011-2012 http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0905-ecigarette-use.html

CDC News Room: More than a quarter-million youth who had never smoked a cigarette used e-cigarettes in 2013: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0825-e-cigarettes.html

CDC: Youth and Tobacco Use: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/youth_data/tobacco_use/

CDC Newsroom: Emerging tobacco products gaining popularity among youth; Increases in e-cigarette and hookah use show need for increased monitoring and prevention http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p1114-emerging-tobacco-products.html

CDC Newsroom: New CDC study finds dramatic increase in e-cigarette-related calls to poison centers; Rapid rise highlights need to monitor nicotine exposure through e-cigarette liquid and prevent future poisonings http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0403-e-cigarette-poison.html

NUMBER ONE

The LONG version! An hour long lecture by Dr. Lynne Dawkins from the University of East London.


Electronic cigarettes: What we know so far https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6KBGH2F63A

Among other issues, she points out that excessive regulation of vape pens and e-digs could lead to people making their own devices. The genie is out of the lamp — people know what these are and how they work. It isn’t going to be that hard to make your own, but it may create other kinds of risks and quality control issues. Right now, you can actually buy kits to make your own vape pen at home.


How To Make A Home Made Vaporizer Out Of House Hold Items http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2N0w34OWVx0


Just for balance, here are a couple of infographics about e-cigs and the balance of research, information, and evidence currently available.

Risk Bites Ten Thousand! (Or, The Bravery of Academic Discourse On Youtube)

"Help us unleash the Elements of Risk Song!"

I LOVE RISK BITES!!! Ok, there you have it. I confess. Here is part of why I like them so much. You see, I don’t just love Risk Bites. I love a LOT of Youtube science education channels. But of the top science channels on Youtube, the ones with a huge fan base and almost aggressive vitality, most of them are either created by kids, young adults, and hobbyists, or they are from huge big money operations. (Please see the APPENDIX at the bottom of this post for more about “What do popular science channels look like?”) What’s missing? Academics and professionals.

And why not? Why shouldn’t there be popular science video channels from academics? WHY NOT?

Yes, universities have Youtube channels and make videos highlighting research by their faculty. Typically, they don’t go viral. Look at them, and you can tell why. They’re good, but dry. They are just not going to get the eyeballs in the same way. They aren’t, well, FUN! A lot of the reason why they aren’t fun is that they’re afraid. They’re afraid of not looking academic. They’re afraid of what their peers will say. They’re afraid of taking the risk, and maybe having someone misunderstand what they said. They’re afraid of looking silly.

MLGSCA09 Cerritos: SocMed Risks - Looking Silly

Academics tend to judge other academics. They complain bitterly when the general public won’t listen to them, but on the flip side, God help any academic who does succeed in getting public attention for communicating science well. Typically, they are ridiculed and undermined by their academic peers. We, as academics, as institutions of learning, need to cut that out. When we belittle and criticize other academics for communicating effectively with the public, it makes all of us look bad. It undermines the credibility of all of science. It weakens our justification for funding, and the understanding the public has of what we do. If you have to criticize another scientist or researcher, stick to the science, and don’t blame them for “being popular.”

Risk Bites is brave. They take the risks that other academics are often afraid to take. They talk about important and sometimes controversial topics. They do so in an engaging and still accurate way, sticking to the good science, and providing more resources in the notes for people who want to explore or learn more. They engage in the conversation with people who comment. They even make videos responding to points brought up in conversation. They are building a community.

Risk Bites is the best example I know of an academic or professional voice that intentionally, purposefully, and responsibly positions itself in the space inhabited by FUN science education videos. Here is more about the background and thought behind what they are trying to do.

So, when I say I love Risk Bites, I am not just talking about the great videos, or the quality of the content, or the awesome and relevant timely selection of topics. I’m talking also about the vision, the mission, the willingness to take risks, the BRAVERY of what they are doing. And I passionately want others to notice, pay attention, and support this grand effort.

When I heard that Risk Bites has a subscription drive, I wanted to write this. I want you to stop and think about how academic science information in Youtube compares to the popular science channels. Check out Sixty Symbols, from the University of Nottingham. That is the only popular science channel I could find from an academic source. Think about why more of us aren’t there, why WE aren’t there, why YOU aren’t there.

And then I want you to do the right thing. I want you to help to get eyeballs on another strong academic science voice in Youtube. I want you to support the people who are brave enough to try. I want you to go to the Risk Bites channel, watch some of their videos, comment, ask questions, tell them what they can do better, and SUBSCRIBE!


Help us unleash the Elements of Risk Song! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neOQEEAiwQM&list=UU8cxoTk9M0HdZB3gyJNjEtw


APPENDIX: 31 POPULAR YOUTUBE SCIENCE CHANNELS BY SUBSCRIBERS

VSauce 8,016,315
National Geographic 3,597,161
ASAP Science 3,146,879
VSauce2 3,096,072
Minute Physics 2,573,651
Charlie Is So Cool Like 2,402,791
SciShow 2,234,369
Smarter Every Day 2,194,233
VSauce3 2,112,344
Veritasium 1,965,852
Discovery 1,257,189
Mental Floss 1,123,990
Animal Planet 985,375
Minute Earth 918,132
NatGeoWild 649,592
PBS Idea Channel 580,887
Periodic Videos 500,874
NASA 450,711
The Verge 432,404
Sixty Symbols 426,072
Sick Science 399,926
Discovery TV 330,897
Science Channel 266,605
The Brain Scoop 248,660
SciShow Space 246,757
It’s OK to be Smart 239,810
Best0fScience 162,251
Bizarre ER 159,184
Spangler Science TV 146,369
Hard Science 131,431
New Scientist 117,609

Healthcare Risk Management (#ASHRM2014) – Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): (Week of November 10, 2014)

The American Society for Healthcare Risk Management recently had their annual conference using the hashtag #ASHRM2014 to collection conversation and nuggets of useful information. It looks like it was a lovely event.

Topics included Ebola, injections, infographics, informed consent, data security, emerging tech solutions for discharge followup, patient safety toolkits, and more! Here’s a few of the nuggets.

One thing I learned is that Magic Johnson is much taller than I had imagined.