Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Beware of Fake, Possibly Harmful H1N1 "Medications"

As with any big news, the scum come out to see how they can benefit. Whether it's fake charities set up using 9-11 as their pitch or looters after an evacuation, there will always be some nasty people who try to take advantage of the situation. Of course, the H1N1 issue is no different.

The United States FDA has issued warnings about various products and supplements touted to help you prevent or treat the H1N1 virus. Besides being a waste of your money, they also could be quite dangerous, depending on their make up and your own personal medical history.

The FDA has provided a widget (in sidebar to the right) that you can use to check if the product you're interested in is on their watch out list or it's approved.

I hope this helps with all this confusion that seems be running rampant. Also, for more information, don't forget about the FDA H1N1 Flu Page and www.Flu.gov.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Balloon Boy, Reality TV, Hoaxes and Legal Charges

Was I the only one who thought, right off the bat, that there was something not quite right about the claim that a 6-year-old boy may be on a run-away home-made helium balloon?
(edited to add, I read at 3 p.m., on CNN, that the authorities have admitted that this was a hoax: 'Balloon boy' incident was hoax, sheriff says)

Of course, the authorities had to take the issue seriously. They couldn't take any chances that this wasn't true - but something didn't sit right from the beginning of the story - at least not to me.

I don't watch the TV show Wife Swap very often. Oddly enough, one of the few times I did watch it was when the Heene family was on it. Very odd family, very odd way of living life, but I figured, well, that's what works for them. But when I started getting the unsure feeling about the run-away balloon and then I heard the family's name, I was certain it was a hoax. I wonder what the other family in that episode thinks about the Heenes now. Needless to say, they didn't feel that much love towards them before.

Reality TV is real entertainment for a lot of people. I get that. It's like watching a train wreck. I watched *one* episode of Toddlers and Tiaras, a TLC program about children's pageants. I was shocked and disgusted at what I saw. Six-year-olds prancing, making sexually provocative movements and stances, blowing lipsticked pouty kisses to the crowd. I've watched one or two episodes of condescending Kate and no-back-bone Jon and their eight children. But in truth, I avoid these shows because they have no entertainment value to me. All I see come out of these shows are people who are willing to sell their souls for their 15 minutes of fame. Which, in cases like Jon and Kate, and the Heenes, translate into more than that.

Now that it's strongly suspected that the Heenes did set up a hoax, police are considering charges (Charges pending in balloon saga). Unfortunately, the charges can't be strong enough because it looks like this falls under misdemeanor, not criminal charges. But, I wonder if they can be sued in court to regain some of the costs that were incurred during the search? And I wonder about those kids. Obviously, if this was a hoax, the sibling who "reported" seeing his brother get in the basket was coached to do so, so what is it like in that house?

It's a sad story. And alleged hoaxes like this only make people suspicious when real things occur. Reality TV, I wish you'd go back into obscurity.