Tag Archives: at the movies

Have You Seen … What NIH is doing with their videocasts?

Yes, I’ve been away for a long time. I have so much to share, and so many lovely blogposts and concepts parked in “draft” mode. It’s been a rough few years culminating in a really rough year. More on that later. For now, I want to dip my toes back in with something short and easy that I can do quickly.

If I had infinite time, or several dozen of me connected to a shared massive brain, one of the things I’d like to do is lurk in various lecture series and soak up all kind of cutting edge info, philosophies, science, research discoveries, and so forth. Recently, I’ve been closely tracking the NIH Videocasts. So much wonderful information being presented, and lucky for us, most of it ends up on Youtube as NIHVcast!

Here are a few highlights from the Youtube channel, mostly from the NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series and the Demystifying Medicine series, but with a few also from the Translational Research in Clinical Oncology (TRACO) program.


Demystifying Medicine 2017: Mitochondria, Aging, and Chronic Disease

Germs, genes, and host defense

TRACO 2016: Precision Medicine and Nanotechnology

Ancient DNA and the new science of the human past

Democratizing discovery science with n=Me

Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee – July 2016

Decoding the human genome: getting to 20/20

MicroRNAs and their regulatory effects

The epigenetic clock, biological age, and chronic diseases

Genome regulation by long noncoding RNAs

Demystifying Medicine 2016: How Long Can and Should We Live & What Centenarians Teach Us about Aging

Bacteria as master regulators and aphrodisiacs

Demystifying Medicine 2016: Robotic Planetary Exploration and Thoughts about Human Spaceflight

Age, genes, sex, and smell: predicting Parkinson disease

Demystifying Medicine 2016: Cholesterol: Too Much and Too Little Are Bad for Your Health

Biomedical research: increasing value, reducing waste

Demystifying Medicine 2016: Trauma in the Modern Age: Injury and Stem Cells

On My Own: An Afternoon with Diane Rehm

Demystifying Medicine 2016: Multiple Sclerosis: Mechanisms and Imaging the Process

Innate molecules in the inflammation and cancer

Using human stem cells to understand and treat diabetes

Adventures in brain plasticity: from memory palaces to soulcycle

At The Movies: Tactile Art & Tech for Autism

David Chesney is Back. This Time With Sean Ahlquist (Art & Architecture) and Sile O’Modhrain (Music). The project being highlighted this time is designed to use a flexible stretch “coloring book” to provide a kind of engaging biofeedback to children with autism regarding the amount of pressure they are using. This would have been fantastic to have when my son was small.

David Chesney: “The research that I do here at the University of Michigan is at the intersection of technology and childhood disability.”

Tactile Art | MichEpedia | MconneX https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQU7ZhMvH2k

University researchers and students create device designed to aid in Autism therapy https://www.michigandaily.com/news/university-researchers-and-students-different-fields-study-create-device-designed-aid-autism-th

More videos about the project from Dr. Ahlquist.

Social Sensory Surfaces Research Project from Sean Ahlquist on Vimeo.

Social Sensory Surfaces Research Project https://vimeo.com/125392278

Stretch|PLAY from Sean Ahlquist on Vimeo.

Stretch|PLAY https://vimeo.com/125633678

Social Sensory Surfaces: http://taubmancollege.umich.edu/research/research-through-making/2015/social-sensory-surfaces

Related work from Dr. Chesney on his work with autism.

Software Engineering Class Hacks Autism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUT-Chcffqc

Digital avatars help children with autism – w/video http://www.autismdailynewscast.com/digital-avatars-help-children-autism/21463/snapshot/

Hacking Autism and University of Michigan https://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/2012/05/01/hacking-autism-and-university-michigan

Video games help autistic students in classrooms http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-05-31/video-games-autism-students/55319452/1

More interesting projects by Dr. Chesney & his students.

Untapped Resonance: David Chesney at TEDxUofM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GO9HSiUMylE

Engineering with Grace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDjYoyYfUQE
Engineering with Grace: Software class aims to help one teen communicate: http://ns.umich.edu/new/multimedia/slideshows/21712-engineering-with-grace-software-class-aims-to-help-one-teen-communicate
Computer Science with Soul: http://dme.engin.umich.edu/grace/

Provost’s Seminar on Teaching – Presenter David Chesney https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDSwN1MEfnY

At the Movies: Male Rape, 10 (or so) Heartbreaking #BreakTheSilence Videos (TRIGGER WARNING)

Male Rape Word Clouds

A couple months ago I posted about Mike Tyson’s revelation of having been sexually assaulted as a very young boy, and some related information about male rape and how little is said about it. I didn’t want that to be a one-off, something that is brought up once and then dropped. Social media is becoming a huge tool in creating conversations and safe spaces around difficult topics that have traditionally been avoided. This is one of the most powerful ways in which social media is being applied to changing the world we live in, and it is amazing to observe this ‘unmentionable’ topic (male rape) unfolding through social and popular media.

Several recent events have brought the topic back to mind, rapes, and male rape, and other things we don’t talk about. One was the recent Rolling Stone article about a gang rape at the University of Virginia, and the backlash against it, with implications that the story was improperly researched. Another was the earlier protests on my own campus, here at the University of Michigan, which resulted in official responses from campus leadership.

The UMich protests were at least partly in support of Emma Sulcowicz, the Mattress Performance, and the #CarryThatWeight campaign inspired by the Mattress Performance.

And then, there is the story that broke recently on Twitter, of male artist Shia LeBeouf being raped in his gallery during an interactive audience participation performance art piece. This was confirmed by collaborators at the show, and has opened even more conversations about what it means for a man to be raped.

A couple weeks ago I stumbled onto some information about a new public health initiative in the United Kingdom trying to bring awareness to this topic. They are using the hashtag #BreakTheSilence, a tag which is used by many advocacy groups, so it is a little confusing, however well intended it might be. The UK government is using so many different social media platforms to get out this message — Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and more. I could conjecture why the UK is being more open about male rape than the USA, but that’s irrelevant for this post. The fact is that they are. There is the government initiative, active support groups, multiple television shows that have had episodes on the topic, with the recent inclusion of a male rape plot theme and storyline in the daily soap Hollyoaks, which extended throughout an entire season of the show.

In the United States, male rape is still not talked about except rarely and in sensational ways. Even then, it is pretty uncomfortable and the stories tend to die down quickly in the media. Research studies show, however, that this is far from uncommon, and that the repression of the stories and lack of available ways to talk about make recovery far more difficult for male victims of rape.

We concluded that federal surveys detect a high prevalence of sexual victimization among men—in many circumstances similar to the prevalence found among women. We identified factors that perpetuate misperceptions about men’s sexual victimization: reliance on traditional gender stereotypes, outdated and inconsistent definitions, and methodological sampling biases that exclude inmates. We recommend changes that move beyond regressive gender assumptions, which can harm both women and men. Lara Stemple and Ilan H. Meyer. The Sexual Victimization of Men in America: New Data Challenge Old Assumptions. American Journal of Public Health: June 2014, 104(6):e19-e26. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.301946

But the same conversation needs to happen for men. By portraying sexual violence against men as aberrant, we prevent justice and compound the shame. And the conversation about men doesn’t need to shut down the one about women. “Compassion,” [Stemple] says, “is not a finite resource.” Rosin, Hannah. When Men Are Raped. Slate April 29, 2014.

So, this is a tough topic, even if it needs to be talked about in public. We’re going to ease into this gently, slowly. I’ll give you a bit of info about each video, and you decide if you can watch it. Give them a try, though, and try to understand.

(1) #BreaktheSilence around male rape

This is the introductory video to the UK government’s Breath the Silence initiative on male rape. The video unfolds through interviews with an actor who portrays a male rape survivor and someone who represents one of the UK support organizations for male rape survivors. It is fairly light on triggers, and intended to get the conversation going.

“Evidence suggests that 12% of all rape victims are men. Yet we know it is common for men not to come forward or to take years to report being a victim because they fear not being believed, feel alone and worry people will blame them for what’s happened.”

The same video is also available from Survivors Manchester.

(2) Hollyoaks

In the BreakTheSilence video, the actor was from the UK-based television show Hollyoaks. Hollyoaks spent over a year in research, preparing to integrate homophobic bullying and male rape into the show’s storyline. They collaborated with male rape survivor advocacy organizations in planning and writing the script, and the actors worked with them to try to make the story believable. While male rape has appeared in popular media before, it was usually included primarily for shock value and to emphasize brutality. This is the first time I’m aware of that presented the topic as a realistic real-world event, something that happens (even if off camera), and which also shows the recovery, support system, and works through the healing process. In this video, it is an interview with the actors, interspersed with a view extremely brief snippets from the show’s footage, closing with the importance of the conversation being taken up by fans in social media as part of making this something that can be talked about.

A couple other relatively mild videos with excerpts related to the Hollyoaks rape story. (If you want the full episode, dig around in Youtube, and you’ll probably find it, depending on what country you live in.)

Finn O’Connor/John Paul McQueen | Rape Reveal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Zt6SrSNRl4
Hollyoaks Ste Works Out Finn Raped John Paul: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsaK5MATfrw
Hollyoaks – {John Paul’s traumatic ordeal tribute} https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxjlUKrwDj0

(3) The Bill: “Mickey’s Side Of The Story” (Subject of Male Rape)

Presented as a music video, snippets are included from Episode 153 of another UK show, The Bill, themed around police stories. In this episode, a man suffers flashbacks to childhood sexual abuse from a coach.

(4) Why Rape Is Sincerely Hilarious

Whoa, whoa, take a minute and calm down. Yes, the title sounds inflammatory and insensitive. It isn’t. This video opens to a black screen and a young man, saying, “Hi, my name is Will, and I sincerely think that rape is hilarious.” He seems happy, quirky, smiling, laughing. The screen never changes, and the young man stays on screen straight through the very short video. The video closes with the same young man, still smiling, still laughing, but flushed, red, clenching his jaw as he forces himself to keep smiling, and with tears in his eyes, saying, “And that’s why I sincerely think that rape is hilarious. Because I have to.” His story is worth listening to.

(5) The Shia Labeouf Thing and Male Rape

This is a sweet video. A cute young woman in a darling dress and with excellent makeup was filmed sitting by her Christmas tree. It’s all rather lovely. But what she says is what’s important. She talks through a script with research and statistics. She puts the whole script in the video comments with live links to the excellent resources she identified (which is the real reason I selected her video). She correctly calls out people who are trying to shame Shia LeBeouf as setting a bad example for other victims of male rape. It’s not the world’s best video, but she’s right.

(6) No Escape: Prison Rape in America – The Rules of the Game: Prison Rape and Reform

Prison rape is a serious issue, and often overlooked in statistics and studies of male rape. This video tells the sad story of an innocent sent to prison for a minor crime, being raped, terrified, victimized, and then using his own experience to try to change the system to protect others. I love the comment towards the end to the effect that until you can guarantee safety and the opportunity to improve self-esteem, it is really hard to change people for the better.

(7) Male Rape

An educational video from the Service Assisting Male Survivors of Sexual Assault (Australia). This video is relatively non-triggering, as an audio interview of a woman, Rachel, from a support organization for men who’ve been raped by other men. The discussion includes how to tell if your son may have been raped, how pedophiles groom entire families to gain access to one child, that adult men can be rape victims, the role of sexual violence against men as an act of war, adult recovery from childhood victimization, and much more. Highly informational, almost no images.

(8) Heath’s Story of Surviving Military Sexual Assault

Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the incidence and reporting of what is becoming known as military rape, mostly against women. It does happen to men, also, although people have sometimes trouble believing it. Protect Our Defenders is an organization that has as its mission to help deal with the issue of military rape. This video allows a Navy veteran to tell the story of his victimization and bullying, and how he ended up accepting a dishonorable discharge to escape.

(9) Shatterboy: Men Surviving Sexual Abuse

“The odd thing about it, though, is children are made aware of rape, male on female rape, all of their lives. They never hear about female or male on male.”

Intended as a resource for therapy groups, this video includes conversations with five male survivors of sexual abuse. It illustrates some of the range of what can happen, the vulnerabilities of men and boys. It talks more coherently about the longterm psychological impacts these events can have on a person.

(10) The Congo

In the war and violence going on in the Congo, rape has become a common tactic to control and demoralize people, to keep them from fighting back. The statistics reported in this video state that approximately 40% of all women and 24% of all men have suffered sexual trauma and/or violence. The stories coming from this area are exceptionally brutal. In the highlighted video, there is a brief interview with a survivor and a longer interview with a doctor about the need for support and treatment for male victims of sexual violence.

Congo’s male rape victims speak out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGz3VkcLgkk

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!


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 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 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 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 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


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


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


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

At the Movies: Emerging Technologies for the New Year!

This is my last official work day of the year, which makes me think it is a ripe time to do a post looking over trends in emerging technologies. Maybe even a few posts. For starters, here is a roundup of videos from the past year that are looking at emerging technologies. Well, and you should always keep your eye on the Stanford Medicine X and TEDMED channels. FORAtv is another I like to track, although less medically oriented. This selection and more are available in my Emerging Technologies playlist.

The State of Technology in 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvWNonpZiIY
This video is by far the most Christmas-y of the collection, including Santa, the North Pole Workshop, and more. Watch for these emerging technologies. Did I miss any?
– ubiquitous satellite phones
– autolocation via GPS for crisis response
– independent robotic drones make deliveries
– Google Glass
– driverless cars
– 3d printing
– bioprinting
– auto-translation apps

Technology in Education: A Future Classroom https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZ73ZsBkcus
[From the 2014 White House Student Film Festival]
– greater variety of displays
– interactivity of surfaces
– portability
– interactive holographic displays for multiple viewers
– smart glass
– data & virtual object sharing for collaboration
– tutorials that track activities
– learning analytics
– gamification
– badges

Top 10 future technologies coming in 2015 (links) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViF_jJUfgio
– resonance (wireless) chargers
– 3d printing
– Windows 9
– iPhone 6, Sapphire screen (unscratchable & unbreakable)
– flexible tablets
– virtual reality headsets
– artificial self-regulating heart
– 1 terabyte archival disks (“CD”s / BlueRay)
– driverless cars
– Google’s Project Ara (modular personalized mobile/smartphone device design)

SIGGRAPH 2014 : Emerging Technologies Preview Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmyGD4yRTGE
– Pixie Dust (acoustic levitation of small objects)
– cascaded displays (spatiotemporal superresolution using offset pixel layers)
– Traxion (tactile interaction device with virtual force sensation)
– physical rendering with a digital airbrush
– HaptoMirage (interaction with 3D virtual environment without need of special glasses)
– MaD (mapping by demonstration, sonification of gestures to provide feedback, possible accessibility applications)
Cyberith Virtualizer
Birdly (see also Flying the Birdly Virtual Reality Simulator)

Welcome To The Future ( Samsung ) HD https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyIvSIY0MTM
Just about displays, only the future of display technology, and how this will impact on our interactions with information and data in daily life.
– Flexible & sensor integrated displays
– Wall display
– Foldable display
– Bended display
– Automotive window display
– Blackboard display
– Unbreakable display
– Edu-desk display
– Transparent elevator display
– 3-foldable display
– Wearable display
– Smart window
– Table display
– Transparent large-format display
– Interactive floor display

World Economic Forum names top 10 emerging technologies of 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DniRTZx1FCw
– Body-adapted wearable electronics
– Nanostructured carbon composites
– Mining metals from desalination brine
– Grid-scale electricity storage
– Nanowire lithium-ion batteries
– Screenless display
– Human microbiome therapeutics
– RNA-based therapeutics
– Quantified self
– Brain-computer interfaces (BCI)
Most interesting observation from the video: “need for regulatory frameworks & strategic alliances among innovators and market leaders.” The report is available as a PDF.

Hybrid Librarian: Future’s 10 Mind-Blowing Technologies About to Emerge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K587Za5qSjA
– super smart assistants (intelligent assistants, AI, like Siri, Cortana, Google Now, Watson, Cyc)
– hypersonic trains
– wearable computers
– advanced 3D printing
– lab-grown organs
– super immersive gaming
– bionic arms
– driverless cars
– holographic technology
– eternal life

Make It Wearable (playlist) | Episode 2: Human Health https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2l3e1oNwUU
– trackers
– behavior modification
– big data
– patient-clincian relationship change
– injury identification
– rehabilitation
– prompts
– answer new questions
– data ownership
– research in the actual environment where behavior occurs
– “everyone can say, ‘this is my question. this is my data.'”

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!


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.


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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.

At the Movies: Top 5 Surprising Sources of Science Inspiration & Information

At the movies (Man of Steel)

I’ve been posting individual videos from my “to watch” queue on Sunday afternoons as part of this “At the Movies” series. Then I thought, why not show you folk some of the Youtube channels from which I consistently pull new titles?

I started to work through my list of over 600 Youtube channel subscriptions to see which I thought were best for emerging technologies, science, and generally smart and thought-provoking content. OK, wow. I made it 1/4 of the way through my list, and already had 60 channels I wanted to share. So this is just to start. My off-the-cuff, top of my mind favorites. These are the Youtube channels for which I eagerly await a new post, and watch closely to see when the next one comes. I get excited when a new one comes out, and want to see if I can make it to be one of the first 100 people to watch the video. Can I share it before anyone else I know?

Most of these I found through hanging around with clever teenagers, and thought perhaps others might want to know about them as well. Most of these are extremely popular on Youtube and provide high quality science and/or technology information in creative, quirky, clever, and engaging ways. These are all excellent examples of science communication, critical thinking, and innovative idea-generating videos beyond science. “Think outside the box” was made for these. And, since I’m a librarian, these are in alphabetical order. I don’t even want to TRY to rank them! If these don’t get your brain buzzing, I don’t know what will. They sure inspire me!

Charlie is So Cool Like

Fun Science: Reproduction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELvTgZnTwSI&list=PLEB92E275F78C7301&index=7

PBS Idea Channel
http://www.youtube.com/user/pbsideachannel OR

Is The Universe A Computer? | Idea Channel | PBS: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ws3XQo9MTA0

Risk Bites

Time to get a Microlife: Risk Bites on life and death risks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi6RE3nrquI

The Verge

Beyond recognition: the incredible story of a face transplant https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1Hz-FpyF9M

V Sauce
http://www.youtube.com/user/Vsauce AND http://www.youtube.com/user/Vsauce2 AND http://www.youtube.com/user/Vsauce3

V Sauce 3: What if Superman Punched You? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-fL8zopddI

At the Movies: June Lagniappe

Lagniappe is a Cajun word used to describe the yummy little leftover bits. So the little bits today cover Crowdfunding, Ebooks, Data-Sharing, 3D printing, Password Tattoos, Wearable Technology, Technology ethics, lah dee dah.


Tattoos and Pills Could Negate Need for Passwords

The password you can never forget. And it is a tad harder to steal than most of what we have now.


The Future of Wearable Technology | Off Book | PBS

It’s a good thing. Highlights from MIT, Parsons, G51Studio, and Adafruit.


Is Developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ethical? | Idea Channel | PBS

If I say anything, I’ll give away the most important idea. So, no spoilers, but watch it.


Dreambox: The 3D Printing Vending Machine

Shade of the Star Trek Replicator, eh? Don’t tell me you haven’t always secretly wanted one.

Will 3D Printing Change the World? | Off Book | PBS

Topic being debated wildly in the media now, with absolutely no consensus at this time.


Data Sharing and Management Snafu in 3 Short Acts

The much loved and truly funny/sad story of a data sharing request to a research, gone seriously wrong, but in very typical ways.


Jörgits and The End of Winter Trailer

Jörgits is interesting not just because of the clever animated video, but also because it is getting a lot of attention as an innovative app and new e-book format (Discovery Ed, Fox is Black, Paperblog,), because it is crowdfunded, much of the original art work is collected into a Pinterest board, and snippets of the audio tracks are made available open and transparently in SoundCloud.

At the Movies: Think Local (TEDxUofM mini, Part Three)

The TEDxUofM event last Friday was fabulous. I don’t know how long it will be before they have the videos up, so I thought I’d try to find some other videos by the same people, just to whet your appetite. Here are more videos by or about presenters or their projects. Here was part one. And part two.


Thousand Kites Project – An Introduction http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Omv-JGgWnvk&list=UUH468qo3zSx_JlttwIRINtw&index=22

“In prison slang to “shoot a kite” is to send a message. Thousand Kites is a national project that works directly with stakeholders using communication strategies and campaigns to engage citizens and build grassroots power. It uses performance, web, video, and radio to open a public space for incarcerated people, corrections officials, the formerly incarcerated, grassroots activists, and ordinary citizens to dialogue and organize around United State’s criminal justice system.” Thousand Kites http://www.thousandkites.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=24&Itemid=53


Color Blind – Zafar Razzaqi [Of Seven8Six] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypdBkI9HF08&list=UUZrTqn3R_WvLuJjdBJNtKvw&index=3

“Prior to joining Google in 2010, he spent 10 years in entrepreneurial start-up and small business ventures. Razzacki is also involved in a number of grassroots projects in and around Detroit focused on education, community service and entrepreneurship in the city.”


Dr. David Chesney http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGE-sTD0Zdk

“Dr. David Chesney is a lecturer in computer science and engineering and is active in K-12 outreach, encouraging entrepreneurship, and engineering for the greater good. In this video, he speaks about his approach to teaching, engineering for social good, and the entrepreneurial opportunities that can arise for students in this space.”


Dr. Melissa Gross, University of Michigan School of Kinesiology Associate Professor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4ASO8TklBI

Currently, she directs the Movement Dynamics Lab in the School of Kinesiology where she and her students are investigating the effect of emotion on body movements. The research in her lab aims to understand how human movement patterns are changed in characteristic ways when different emotions are expressed. People can easily detect the emotion that another person is feeling by observing their body movements. What, exactly, makes a sad movement look sad? Gross uses motion capture and kinematic analysis to characterize how emotions affect movements in specific, recognizable ways. By combining biomechanical and psychological methods, her studies provide the basis for a new understanding of the relationship between emotional experience and body movements. Melissa Gross; Associate Professor, School of Art & Design; Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology http://art-design.umich.edu/people/detail/melissa_gross


AC360 – Chris Armstrong On Attacks By Mich. Asst. AG Andrew Shirvell http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vczh_RMh4Mw

Armstrong has turned down interview requests from other media, including AnnArbor.com. He said on the show he’s speaking out now because of recent reports of teens who’ve committed suicide after being outed as being gay or bullied for being gay. “It’s hard not to say something,” Armstrong said. “It’s important to understand that things get better, that you can reach out to your community, your friends.” Armstrong said he’s been working through the controversy with the help of his friends and family. That’s why he hasn’t been speaking publicly about it. “It’s really been a personal issue in a lot of ways,” he said during the interview. “I’ve dealt with it more specifically with my friends and my family in making sure that they understand and that they know what’s going on.” WITH VIDEO: Chris Armstrong breaks silence on ‘hurtful’ blog by assistant attorney general http://www.annarbor.com/news/chris-armstrong-breaks-silence-on-hurtful-blog-by-assistant-attorney-general/


See this post for more information about these speakers.

TEDxUofM Untapped Voices, pt 2 http://news.tedxuofm.com/post/46589827001/tedxuofm-untapped-voices-pt-2

At the Movies: Think Local (TEDxUofM mini, Part Two)

The TEDxUofM event last Friday was fabulous. I don’t know how long it will be before they have the videos up, so I thought I’d try to find some other videos by the same people, just to whet your appetite. Here are more videos by or about presenters or their projects. Here was part one.


Out of the Blue: Positive Organizational Scholarship http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-jMWHdpeos

“POSITIVE – POS research focuses explicitly on what is the best and most positive in organizations. It does not ignore or neglect what is normal or even dysfunctional, but it focuses on positive, exceptional, virtuous, and life-giving phenomena. We are open to the critical examination of “Positive for whom?” realizing that whether or not a phenomenon is positive depends upon who is judging. Our focus, however, tends to be on integrative solutions to this question, and the assertion that it is usually quality of the ongoing communicative processes that determine whether or not competing perceptions of the positive can be integrated.”


What I learned from Bo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Dux4ugCoXM


Vort Port International Executive Director Spot http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tw_m1R8i0E

“Picture the world. What do you see? Our vision is a world where everyone has access to basic necessities such as clean water, basic transportation, clean and sustainable energy, lighting, and the opportunity to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.” Vort Port http://www.vortport.com/about-us/mission-vision/


Council: A Senior Passage from Seawall Productions on Vimeo.

Council: A Senior Passage: http://vimeo.com/10204150

“28 min. documentary about a unique high school senior year elective philosophy class. The teaching methods of the professor are far from standard. The students observe and learn from each other as they study the meaning of perspectivism. They turn the magnifying glass on their own lives in a process called “Council.””


Stereotyping the “Enemy”: Changing Arab and Muslim Portrayals Post 9/11 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ionSunwjoaA

“The harmful influences of stereotypes depend not only on the repetition of distorted imagery, but also the omission of diverse imagery. What is absent in American popular culture are the important images of Arabs and Arab Americans who are business owners, family members, teachers, classmates, artists, engineers, neighbors, and who have made lasting contributions to society.” Why Stereotypes: http://www.arabstereotypes.org/why-stereotypes

“Many of us know that such images are make-believe, but we need to confront the reality that stereotyping has a significant impact. On a mundane level, it influences everyday interactions. How many Arab and Muslim American women have been asked if they are oppressed or if they are now liberated since they live in the United States? On a more significant level, stereotyping a diverse group of people can influence government policies and even support war initiatives.” Evelyn Alsultany / Arab and Muslim stereotypes influence thought, policies http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/opinion/commentary/evelyn-alsultany-arab-and-muslim-stereotypes-influence-thought-policies/article_8378abb9-d59f-53f5-bbdb-d347ab4eef6b.html


See this post for more information about these speakers.

TEDxUofM Untapped Voices, pt 2 http://news.tedxuofm.com/post/46589827001/tedxuofm-untapped-voices-pt-2