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Daily Times Herald EDITORIALS Wednesday, May 1, 1974 Sugar Pills Medical science has discovered yet another wonder drug — sugar. Not the kind you sprinkle on your breakfast cereal but the kind used in fake pills called placebos. Chemically, of course, sugar is sugar, but when administered by a doctor in a medical setting (and when the patient does not know it is sugar), it can have dramatic curative effects — so much so that "doctors should treat the placebo as a standard item in the physician's black bag." That's the opinion of one authority, Dr. Frederick J. Evans, a psychologist with the Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital and -the University of Pennsylvania. "An impressive amount of clinical information shows the placebo is an active and potent method of relieving pain in its own right," he says in an article entitled "Power of the Sugar Pill" in Psychology Today magazine. It has been found, for instance, that the sugar pill or placebo is half as effective as a standard dose of morphine in about one-third of patients. Paradoxically, studies also show that it is half as effective as the most popular over-the-counter painkiller, aspirin. Interestingly, when a doctor himself is not aware that he is giving a placebo but believes he is using a powerful painkiller, the result is a strong placebo effect. If. however, the physician assumes that the analgesic is mild, the result is a much smaller placebo effect. It has also been found that two placebo pills or capsules work better than one and that either a very large brown ,or purple pill or a very small, bright red or yellow one are more effective than other size and color combinations. Obviously, the power of suggestion has something to do with all this, yet careful studies have failed to find any relationship between suggestibility or gulTib' iVi'ty and' sensitivity to placebos. Nevertheless. Evans sums up. "When the doctor is convinced that the drug will work and when the patient believes it will, and believes that what the doctor is doing makes sense, then positive results will likely occur." Bad Taste Since the Sydney Opera House opened about half a year ago, it has come to be regarded by Australians as a kind of national symbol. They are proud of their lavish new performing arts center. They have given it such extraordinary audience support — in more than 1.000 performances, an average of 90 per cent occupancy — that fears it might become a white elephant have been allayed. The pride that the folks Down Under take in the Opera House places visiting performers from the United States, we think, under a special obligation to worthily represent our nation's culture. This seems not to have occurred to the producers of the Carol Burnett Show when it was televised in Sydney. If it did occur to them, they rejected the notion in favor of a bid for the easy laughs generated by that dubious perennial favorite, the drunk skit. They offered to the Sydney audience — as well as to a multi-million television audience — a grossly tasteless example of this genre. Miss Burnett, for whom we generally feel a very high regard, distinguished herself in the role of an actress turned drunken slob. It is true that some other features of the televised show were first rate. Most notably, America's leading male ballet dancer, Edward Villella. was set off to good advantage by an Australian company. But this did not make up for the colossal lapse of taste evidenced in the drunk skit. That lamentable effort struck us—and must surely, we think, have struck many in the Sydney audience—as an insult to Australia. Pocket Change It's amazing what a little scrounging around in the petty cash drawer can turn up. Denied its request that Congress raise the ceiling for arms aid to South Vietnam from $1.126 to $1.6 billion for the current fiscal year, the Defense Department now reports that it has found an extra $266 million lying around the Pentagon not doing anything. If Congress doesn't object — and Congress apparently won't — it will be forwarded to our Southeast Asia friends. It is not clear just where this $266 million was hiding or what it was originally for. It is a pittance, really, left over from last'year's .defense ap- propiation. But — foolish question — would it ever have been found had Congress not said "No" to the Pentagon's request for additional funds? Or if found, would it have been reported or turned back to the Treasury? Is the moon made of green cheese? "Well, the Gas Shortage Is Over! 1 Washington Notebook Marxism is No Rival Biossat Dear Abby Mother Really is Husband's Sister By Abigail Van Buren DEAR ABBY: Ten years ago. when I married Peter, we were both 30 years old. I recall that when he introduced me to this mother. I said "My. what a young- looking mother you have!" (That's what everybody says when they first meet her. She looks about Peter's age.) After being in this family for ten years. I learned accidentally that Peter's "mother" is not his mother at all. She is his sister! He calls her "Mom:." She Abby is only 14 years older than Peter. His real mother died when he was an infant, and his sister raised him after she got married. Peter was two and she was 16.) Why everyone keeps this a big secret is beyond me. It also bugs me because I'm sure everyone wonders how come Peter Has such a young-looking mother and such an old-looking wife. It would make me feel a lot better if their real relationship were to come out. Would it be wrong for me to spill the beans 1 ' PETER'S WIFE DEAR WIFE: Yes. If Peter and his family prefer to keep it a secret, keep Your Health Bed Elevation Helps By Lawrence E. Lamb, M.D, LAMB DEAR DR. LAMB — My husband and I were very grateful for the discussion of hiatal hernia in our newspaper. My husband had this, and we elevate the bed eight inches. We are both 65. I'm an R.N. and ha've had three children, and have the usual hemorrhoid and varicose vein problems from being on my feet all my life. I'm concerned about the eight-inch elevation of the head of the bed continuously. Will this be harmful to our circulation? Should pillows used at troublesome times for elevation be better and sufficient help? DEAR READER — Pillows just won't do for elevation of the head in hiatal hernia. Too often they will only raise the upper chest, actually bending the chest over the abdomen. This compresses the abdominal cavity and the increased pressure tends to push the hernia through the diaphragm. If anything, the back should be arched and the chest held up to create as little compression of the abdominal contents as possible. You can see that pillows could even make matters worse. The upright position does increase pressure in the veins below the heart which does affect hemorrhoids and varicose veins. The effect is proportional to the increased pressure from the body's position. An eight-inch elevation will not have the same degree of effect as you get from being upright. I guess if you wanted a com- pariso/1', that small amount of elevation is more like being on the moon ' with one-sixth the force of gravity as compared to standing on earth. The minimal increase in pressure then will not greatly influence varicose veins or hemorrhoids. For more information on hiatal hernia (hernia through the diaphragm) write to me in care ( of this newspaper, P.O. Box 1551, Radio City Station, New York, N.Y. 10019, and ask for the booklet on hiatal hernia. Send 50 cents to cover costs. Of course, if you were really worried about it, you might use twin beds. Elevate your husband's bed and leave yours flat. DEAR DR. LAMB — I am a 16- year-old junior. Recently while playing basketball in gym, I felt something happen in my head. I went up for a rebound and when I came down I felt a kink in the left back part of my head. A second after that happened I felt a burning senstaion start at the area of the kink. The burning sensation began to spread throughout most of the left side of my head. Although my head felt a little funny for about one-and-a-half fours after it happened, since that time I have felt O.K. What was it that happened, and do you feel that it is necessary to se a doctor? DEAR READER — You probably- turned your head as you went up for the rebound and part of the muscle at the back of the neck went into spasm or a cramp. Many people produce the same cramp reaction by contracting the calf muscle tightly and holding it contracted for a little while. The cramped neck muscle will cause the type of sensation you describe. As the cramp wears off the sensation goes away. As long as you don't have a stiff neck and have good movement of your head without pain. I would guess you will be just fine. .DEAR DR. LAMB — What time during the day is it best to eat one prune so that the process of elimination can take place within the privacy of my own home? DEAR READER — A lot of people would like to solve their problem with just one prune a day — any time of the day. Seriously, the time isn't all that important. More important for your purpose is to develop a habit. For this purpose, I would suggest going to the bathroom whether you need to or not each morning just after a good break-' fast containing at least two glasses of something liquid. Don't worry if you don't have a bowel movement the first day, or the second, or later at that time of day. If you follow this routine, soon you will start having them at that time of day. For more information write to me in care of the newspaper, P. 0. Box 1551, Radio City Station. New York, N.Y. 10019. and ask for the oooklet on constipation. Enclose 50 cents to cover costs. A lot of people tend to get up, wash, have a fast cup of coffee and a roll or piece of toast then dash to the office. In this way they miss the opportunity to cievlop £ood habits. Nature provides a strong bowel reflex normally about 15 to 30 minutes after an adequate breakfast. quiet. "Mom" may not be Peter's biological mother, but she's the only- mother he has ever known, and if it gives him (and her) pleasure to perpetuate the illusion, don't destroy it. DEAR ABBY: I am having a difference of opinion with my mother. I just started dating and my mother says that when my date comes to pick me up I should be "upstairs, dressing." and keep him waiting about ten minutes. I think that when my date rings the doorbell I should be the one to answer it. My mom says that if I do. it will make me look too eager. What do you say? •:• •••' •• ' "•'• ' CANDl •DEAR-'GANDI: I say'that at the sound of the bell, come out smiling. I once knew a girl who kept her date waiting half an hour every time he came to pick her up because she didn't want to appear too eager. She'd send her kid sister to answer the door and entertain her date while he waited. (P. S. He married the kid sister.) DEAR ABBY: I have a pet peeve I have never seen aired in your column. It's women who wear heavy charm bracelets that go "jingle jangle, clunkety clunk" in church. • This friend of mine always wears a bracelet like that, and she insists on saving me a seat in church beside her. She always picks two seats way down in the front and in the middle. Every time she moves her hand, those charm bracelets make a dreadful racket, which is annoying to those sitting hear us and embarrassing to me. (I've even seen the organist turn around and give her a,dirty look between hymns.) What is wrong with people like my friend? Don't they know any better? Or don't they care? And how can I tell her without hurting her feelings? She doesn't take criticism very well. LIKES CHURCH- HATES BRACELETS DEAR LIKES: If your friend isn't aware that her bracelets are a source of annoyance to you and others, do the friendly thing and tell her. Then, if she doesn't leave the hardware at home, find another seat as far from her as possible. CONFIDENTIAL TO BARBARA G. IN WILKES BARRE, PA.: Please send me your address. I have enough responses to my request from readers on how to square a circle to keep you in reading material for the rest of your life. WASHINGTON (NEA) - In these disturbing times, somehow one has to distinguish — at home and abroad — between the formless disillusionment with "things as they are'' exhibited by countless millions in industrial society, and the sharply focussed "radical" activities of a relative few. At the core of much thinking among the bands of activists is what is generally described as orthodox or "doctinaire" Marxism. Where it is not openly avowed, it often seems implicit in the expressed comment of the busy rebels. In the residual clusters of post- Vietnam "anti-establishment" groups in America. "Marxism" is the one clear label they ever apply to help define alternatives to the hated "system." The theme runs deep in British trade unionism, whose overt doings this past winter added to Britain's already tragic economic ineffectuality. German Chancelor Willy Brandt's present political difficulties are being stirred within his own Social Democratic party by a hard core of 30 or more self-styled Marxists. Though the Communist parties of France and Italy have been properly- regarded in the postwar era as largely repositories for generalized discontent, their leadership as well as that in the Socialist parties pays, homage to the rigid conceptions of "Marxism." Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic party, again and in part self-crippling, is further hobbled by the ceaseless drumfire of Socialist and Communist party opposition rooted in Marxism. The deeply saddening aspect of this persisting world-wide strain of thought is that nowhere on this globe is there a single significant model which could give any substantive meaning to this intense dedication. The dedication is essentially blind. •By Bruce Biossat Indeed, where Socialism and Communism have been or are being employed on any measurable scale, their failures are for the most part more pronounced than those of the capitalism the activists revile. In the milder case, they go beyond the grossest inefficiencies to distortions at least matching our own. In the Communist realm, they plunge into the bottomless pit of unimaginable terror. Anyone who thinks, for instance, that "detente" as loosely approached between American and Russia signifies a more benign Soviet regime, has not listened carefully to the Kremlin's systematic ruin of the great dancer Panov as a warning to defectors. There is terse but useful comment on this whole subject from Richard Goodwin, adviser to presidents and pre-eminent speech-writer, in his new book. "The American Condition." The basic aim of the book is to document what Goodwin believes to be the "oppressive" character of the American free economic society as it has evolved. But it is not to be taken therefore as a blind-faith accolade for socialist alternatives. Goodwin disposes of them early, in brutal brevity, by saying his work is not "the place to analyze the parallel corruptions of socialist reality, not the awesome horrors which flowed from that secular mysticism which placed its faith neither in liberty nor production, but in the state itself." For the latter, one obviously can read either fascism or communicism. It is not possible, nor fair, to argue that among dedicated "Marxists" there are no genuine idealists. It is possible to contend that adherence to a doctrine which nowhere in practice has offered the barest shadow of merit represents unbelievable misdirection of thought (idealistic or otherwise), and a colossal waste of human energy. Guaged by reality, Marxism, the driving engine of the modern rebel, lies dead in water. Polly's Pointers Gums Up Slacks By Polly Cramer POLLY DEAR POLLY — My Pet Peeve is with contests. I heard a woman tell on a television program how professional contest winners continually win and that these winners were organized as a group and even had meetings. If this is true it seems a waste of time and postage for the rest of us to even bother entering the various contests. —ETHEL DEAR POLLY — I suggest that Ellen save her old bras to use in replacing the worn parts of her colored bras. Also. 1 have a Pointer to add to Caroline's hint for using stencils to fill with frosting as decorations on a birthday cake. It is fun to cut out cartoon characters and place on cardboard cut to their shape. Wrap them smoothly with plastic wrap and place on rolled out cooky dough, cut around them and bake the dough. When cool decorate the baked figures and place them on the cake. The decorations are edible and colorful. — ANNA LEE POLLY'S PROBLEM DEAR POLLY — Spots of that milky white all-purpose glue are on a pair of my 100 per cent acetate and acrylic slacks. Is there any way to remove the spots? DEAR POLLY — • To prolong the life of men's felt and staw hats I put one or two coats of clear nail polish on the machine stitches in the inside headbands. This keeps body oils and perspiration from seeping through to the felt or straw. —AMANDA DEAR POLLY — We prefer bakery bread. When I buy a loaf I take the sliced loaf out of its wrapper, put two slices in a plastic sandwich bag until it is all bagged. Then I put these bags into the bag the loaf came in and put it in the freezer. There are only two of us and I can easily take out the amount needed for sandwiches with no trouble. —MARION DEAR POLLY — Put a wad of crushed aluminum foil in your pocket when you garden and use it to clean the tools. MRS. H.A.C. Daily Times Herald SOK Norlh Court SI reel Carroll lima |);iil\ Kxcc'pl Sundavs and Holidays other than Washing- l<,ii s Mirlhdiix and Veteran s Day. by I hi- Herald Publishing Company JAMKS W WILSON. Publisher linWAIUMI WILSON. Kdilur W I. UKITX. NfwsKdilnr JAMKS II WILSON. Vice Pri'Milrnt C.cneral Manager Knlcred as secondclass mailer at the posl-office at Carroll Iowa under I hi- act ol March 2. IKS" Member of the Associated I'ress The Associated I'rrss is entitled exclusively to the use for repuhlicalion ol all the local news printed in this newspaper as well as all Al' dispatches lllfii lal l'aperoll'ount> and City Suliscnption Kates ll\ carrier l>o% deliver* per week BY MAIL Carroll Counts and Counties where earner service iv mil available per \ car I liitsulc o( Carroll anil Adjoining Counties in /ones I and 'J per \ear All oilier Mail in the t'nilcd Stales, per \eai «0 00 SHOO (2700 nrs WORLD © 1974 by NEA, Inc. 'That loophole I found in the tax law turned out not to be a loophole after all!"