Overkill: How Modern Medicine Goes Too Far by Paul A. Offit, MD

Thanks to advances in Modern medicine it is possible to successfully treat and even eradicate many serious ailments. In part, because of these advances, we now live 30 years longer than we did 100 years ago.

According to Paul A. Offit M.D., while we have learned much in the preceding decades, we still rely on medical interventions that are out of date and can damage our health. He shows that much conventional medical wisdom is not backed up by science.

He Overkill, he debunks 15 popular medical interventions that have long been considered gospel despite mounting evidence of their adverse effects:

  • Treating Fever Can Prolong or Worsen Illness
  • Finishing the Antibiotic Course Is Often Unnecessary
  • Antibiotic Drops Don’t Treat Pinkeye
  • Vitamin D Supplements Aren’t a Cure-all
  • Supplemental Antioxidants Increase the Risk of Cancer and Heart Disease
  • Testosterone for “Low T” Is Dangerous and Unnecessary
  • Baby Aspirin Doesn’t Prevent First Strokes or First Heart Attacks
  • Why Parents Should Embrace Allergenic Foods for Infants
  • The False Security of Sunblock
  • Avoid Reflux Medicines for Fussy Babies
  • Prostate Cancer Screening Programs Do More Harm Than Good
  • Thyroid Cancer Screening Programs Don’t Save Lives
  • Why Breast Cancer Screening Programs Aren’t Exactly as Advertised
  • Heart Stents Don’t Prolong Lives
  • Surgery for Knee Arthritis Is Unnecessary
  • Don’t Remove Mercury Dental Fillings
  • Vitamin C Doesn’t Treat or Prevent Colds
  • Don’t Ice Sprains
  • Teething Doesn’t Cause Fever

The book notes, that “despite clear evidence to the contrary, most doctors continue to recommend them.”

“Analyzing how these practices came to be, the biology of what makes them so ineffective and harmful, and the medical culture that continues to promote them, Overkill informs patients to help them advocate for their health.”

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Between Parent and Child by Haim Ginott

“No parent wakes up in the morning planning to make a child’s life miserable. No mother or father says, ‘Today I’ll yell, nag, and humiliate my child whenever possible.’ On the contrary, in the morning many parents resolve, ‘This is going to be a peaceful day. No yelling, no arguing, and no fighting.’ Yet, in spite of good intentions, the unwanted war breaks out again.” […]

“What do we say to a guest who forgets her umbrella? Do we run after her and say “What is the matter with you? Every time you come to visit you forget something. If it’s not one thing it’s another. Why can’t you be like your sister? When she comes to visit, she knows how to behave. You’re forty-four years old! Will you never learn? I’m not a slave to pick up after you! I bet you’d forget your head if it weren’t attached to your shoulders.” That’s not what we say to a guest. We say “Here’s your umbrella, Alice,” without adding “scatterbrain.” Parents need to learn to respond to their children as they do to guests.” – Haim Ginott

According to Dr. Ginott’s parenting is a skill that can be learned via a series of communication techniques that allow the parent to:

  • discipline without bribes, sarcasm, and punishment,
  • criticize without demeaning,
  • express anger without alienating,
  • acknowledge rather than argue with a child’s feelings,
  • respond so that children will learn to trust and develop self-confidence.

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The Innovators by Walter Isaacson

How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

The Innovators is the story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s, moving on to Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page.

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The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orzcy

“Armed with only his wits and his cunning, one man recklessly defies the French revolutionaries and rescues scores of innocent men, women, and children from the deadly guillotine. His friends and foes know him only as the Scarlet Pimpernel. But the ruthless French agent Chauvelin is sworn to discover his identity and to hunt him down.”

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A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

An illuminating and entertaining “big picture” history of scientific discovery from the time of the ancient greeks to Einstein and the 20th century, from quarks to distant galaxies, covers topics from every scientific field from physics and chemistry to cosmology and evolution.

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The Mad Scientists’ Club

“Take seven, lively, “normal” boys — one an inventive genius — give them a clubhouse for cooking up ideas, an electronics lab above the town hardware store, and a good supply of Army surplus equipment, and you, dear reader, have a boyhood dream come true and a situation that bears watching. In the hands of an author whose own work involved technological pioneering, the proceedings are well worth undivided attention, as the boys explore every conceivable possibility for high and happy adventure in the neighborhood of Mammoth Falls.”

The Mad Scientists’ Club by Bertrand Brinley presents the adventures of a group of scientific wiz-kids.

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Ethnic America: A History

Thomas Sowell follows the history of nine American ethnic groups — the Irish, Germans, Jews, Italians, Chinese, African-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Mexicans, and their journey to become Americans.

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