Health Craze

Friday, November 13, 2009


If you planned this year to celebrate National Headache Awareness Week, you’ve already missed your chance. But don’t fret – the country’s health observances calendar is slated with more than 200 awareness days and weeks and months to satisfy even the choosiest of hypochondriacs. Be hip, be informed and be aware! In 2006, Bob explored the latest health craze.

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Comments [10]

Helen Osborne from Natick, MA

Alas, I found this segment belittling and certainly not in keeping with your usual high standards. I founded and have led October's "Health Literacy Month" for many years. While we may not (yet) have the attention of NPR, this annual event serves as a focal point for organizations across the US and around the world to raise awareness about the need for understandable health informaiton. You can learn more at

Nov. 21 2009 09:03 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven

Cut out the cheap humor, Bob!

Nov. 20 2009 09:26 AM
Michael from Chicago, IL

From "The Onion":

"December Named National Awareness Month"

Nov. 19 2009 10:20 AM
Enrique from Annandale, VA

This is why I give money to my public radio station. I thoroughly enjoyed the piece. I believe it is possible to use humor and yet not joke about a subject I believe you demonstrated that well.

Nov. 18 2009 04:09 PM
Paco from California

I see now that this segment of illness awareness was originally broadcast on June 16, 2006. On Sunday's show (Nov. 15, 2009), I did not hear you say that it was a re-broadcast. That is not a good media practice. Before you go criticizing illness awareness, look at your own practices. Again, do not joke about life and death matters.

Nov. 16 2009 10:42 AM
Paco from California

Clearly there are too many illness-awareness weeks and months. But your segment was cruel and offensive to those of us whose loved ones have died from some of these diseases. Pulmonary hypertension is no laughing matter. It is a life or death matter. I looked up the NY Times story you mentioned about hepatitis B and it appears to be old -- 2006. Is that the best you can do or was this an old interview or segment?

Nov. 15 2009 11:49 PM

At the end of the tax year, the Tax Office sent an inspector to audit the books of a synagogue. While he was checking the books he turned to the Rabbi and said, "I notice you buy a lot of candles. What do you do with the candle drippings?"

"Good question," noted the Rabbi. "We save them up and send them back to the candle makers, and every now and then they send us a free box of candles."

"Oh," replied the auditor, somewhat disappointed that his unusual question had a practical answer.

But on he went, in his obnoxious way. "What about all these biscuit purchases. What do you do with the crumbs?"

"Ah, yes," replied the Rabbi, realizing that the inspector was trying to trap him with an unanswerable question. "We collect them and send them back to the manufacturers, and every now and then they send a free box of holy biscuits."

"I see," replied the auditor, thinking hard about how he could fluster the know-it-all Rabbi.

"Well, Rabbi," he went on, "what do you do with all the leftover foreskins from the circumcisions you perform?"

"Here, too, we do not waste," answered the Rabbi. "What we do is save up all the foreskins and send them to the Tax Office, and about once a year they send us a complete dick."

Nov. 15 2009 03:31 PM

Because I have stopped donating to NPR (due to your prior segment), I have had more money to donate to these causes.

Nov. 15 2009 03:29 PM
David C Jones, MD from Jericho, VT

Normally I am a huge fan of OTM. Maybe that is why I am writing. I found this commentary interesting, but the ending was disappointing. You ended with a bit on Genital Integrity Week, then closed with a comment about the lack of media coverage of this awareness week with a joke about it being the "cruelest cut of all." For those of us who do view our own circumcisions—a procedure performed on us without our consent that has permanently multilated our genitalia and stolen something from us that was our right—such a cheap joke at our expense is offensive. Hanny Lightfoot-Klein, the woman whose book "Prisoners of Ritual" brought the horrors of female circumcision to the attention of the Western world put it best: "Viewed quantitatively, the extent of genital tissue destruction in the overwhelming majority of ritually mutilated women far exceeds the physical damage found in male circumcision. On a qualitative level, however, we are dealing with one and the same thing."

Nov. 15 2009 10:57 AM
Diane Herr from Aurora, IL

This spot was great! The only thing is that you got Lupus Awareness Month incorrect. In 2008 it was changed from October to May to align with World Lupus Day which is 5/10. You can find out more at the Lupus Foundation of America website: BTW, The IL legislature has declared Lupus Awareness Month to be May in IL.
Love the show.. Diane

Nov. 14 2009 05:31 PM

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