Quick Hit: HealthBase Cures All Ills

Especially if your ills include a distinct lack of laughter at the hilarious outcomes of semantic search engines.

HealthBase was recently unveiled by NetBase, and it is designed to give you a nice broad sense of current medical knowledge about any condition you might be wondering about. Theoretically, it is supposed to trawl through authoritative sources of medical data to come up with the best medications and drugs, treatments and (randomly) food and plants for a given condition. It’s meant to offer you the pros and cons of given treatments, complete with links so that you can check them out yourself. Theoretically.

As TechCrunch points out in a post entitled NetBase Thinks You Can Get Rid Of Jews With Alcohol And Salt, this semantic search engine has come up with results that range from the hilarious to the offensive, with a fair few in between. (See also David Rothman’s take). But NetBase seems to think that they’ve cleared up most of the problems…. I… think not.

Some highlights with my commentary in brackets (please note the database seems to be chopping and changing, so if you don’t get the same results, that’ll probably be why):

Diabetes: Treatments for Diabetes include: Transplantation (of the diabetes, perhaps? I suppose that would help…), Transplant, Mouse (I… don’t even known?) and Pancreas (Um? With some fava beans and a nice chianti, perhaps?)

Depression: Treatments for Depression include: Great Depression (Um? We should time-travel? Because being economically depressed will help?),  Beck Depression Inventory (Because when I know how depressed I am, I no longer will be…?), and Questionnaire (Questionnaires are a cure-all on this site, listed for the vast majority of mental illnesses I checked… Who knew?!)

Myalgic Encephalitis: There is only one treatment available for this condition, and it is… Suffering (Yes, this is for real). And when we look into the pros and cons of suffering, we find that first and foremost on the pros list, it purifies the soul. There are a number of cons, though, which include: Suffering (circular reasoning, you think?), Torment heart (very poetical), Brandtson (Huh?), Coleman (… I got nothin’), Dennison Marrs (?!), Fine China (I should tell my nan…), Fold Zandura, Hideous Thieves (Well, that would be a con, suffering and being stolen from by ugly people…?), Kat Jones (Yeah, still nothin’), The Lassie Foundation (Um? Reruns are painful, but…?)

Sex Addiction can apparently be treated with: Acupuncture (which I have to say gets a look-in a fair bit as a cure…!), Animal Model (I… don’t know, and I don’t think I want to know!), Diagnostic Criterion (…Really?), Evidence Based Medicine (Who knew that revamping medicine would cure Sex Addiction?), and NicVAX (which, it would seem, multitasks as a treatment for nicotine addiction…)

Schizophrenia is due to abnormality and treatable with Deficit, LSD and Perceived Impact, has complications including Expression and Experience, and one of the cons of schizophrenia is researcher and scientist. Treatments for Fetish include Latex, Spandex, Magazine and Condiment. One of the causes of Chlamydia is, apparently, Kevin, but treatments are easy: Screening and Testing. And the sole known cause of Transsexuality is Wish, whilst a recommended treatment is Dick Lyon’s POV. Some, of course, are not funny, but more potentially insidiously damaging: in addition to Rothman’s AIDS-is-caused-by-Jews example cited at TechCrunch, Transsexualism suggests Early Intervention as a treatment, and links to a page which pathologises ‘extreme boyhood femininity’.

Please, everyone, do yourself a favour, go over and find out exactly how to treat all known illness. Share the highlights below. Because laughter might not be the best cure, but it’s still fun!

H/t to NP of Rough Theory; cross-posted over at my place.

Categories: arts & entertainment, health, medicine, technology

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34 replies

  1. Pregnancy is apparently medically proven to Bring Luminosity!
    Masculinity, on the other hand, has the downsides of Limit Development, Restricted, Thief, and Fail WP. It’s caused by Personal Failure and/or Too Much Moisturizer. Treatments for masculinity include Opium, Alcohol, Tobacco, Feminist Critique, and Cheese, but think carefully before you treat, as the condition does have some upsides: Avoid Disclosure, Bring Greater Social Status, and Comedic Effect.

  2. Pregnancy is treated with contraception and placenta. I am picturing some variety of tincture here. I’ll take a dram of contraception and placenta in the morning. Sleep is treated with surgery, and symptoms of love can be addressed with your choice of a low fat diet, God or magical juice.
    The magical juice recommendation is via that trusted medical tome A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

  3. Treatments for old age include Cocaine, Marijuana, and Pension.
    At the other end of the life cycle, Youth’s complications include Harass Other, Brazen Act, and Alarm San Francisco Authority. Treatments include Sonic Youth, Alcohol, and Condom.

  4. Oh dear, I’m still going.
    Pros of Penis: Give life, Give pleasure, Achieve primary objective, and Back up claim*. The cons of Penis, however, include Flaccid, Distortion, Attack Nun (WTF?) and Conflict.
    Clitoris is quite different. Pros include Achieve orgasm, Deliver sexual pleasure, and Penetrate woman. On the down side: Rotten popup image, Unproductive, and Quite Heated.
    * ETA: I seem to be still laughing about this.

  5. Well, a pro of having warts is their “unusual usefulness”!
    You can treat an erection with surgery, apparently. Gosh. Here I was thinking that solo or partnered sex might help. Doesn’t get a look-in. You want to treat it though, because an erection will “compromise man”. There are some weirdly anti-semitic results in there, too…
    Hey ladies! Don’t worry about treating your hysteria! It gives you “significant higher value”, “positive association” and “mainstream support”! I have to laugh or I’d cry… but don’t you worry, if you really want to treat it, you can do so with a nice cuppa. And stay away from media and the Internet. They cause it, and hysteria can apparently compromise your civil liberty! WHO KNEW.

  6. Holy crap, MacOSX can give you “the flux”!
    Gods know where I’m going to get a three-junction SQUID device to treat it.

  7. Yr tweets have been cracking me up, L.
    Drugs & Medications for ennui:
    — Opium
    Treatments for Ennui:
    — Bronte poem
    — Career breakthrough
    — Hard Plath
    — Color
    — Earth
    — Father
    — Harper’s Bazarr
    — Markovians (according to Wikipedia, some characters from a SF novel series)

  8. They’ve censored Homosexuality, but haven’t bothered with some other terms yet. Your treatment options in case of Same-Sex Attraction include Homosexuality, Same-Sex Marriage, Electroshock Therapy, or Gothic Literature.
    Treatments for Sodomy, which can be caused by Costello or the Supreme Court of the USA, range from Rum and Dildo to Hypnotism, Accusation, Prohibition, Firearm, and Death Penalty.
    And the pros of Buggery include Fill Awkward Hour.

  9. The site won’t show up on my browser – can someone look up cerebral palsy and psoriasis for me, I’m dying to know what it will throw up.

  10. A cause for kidney stones (a pointy subject in our house) is blood. No wonder the beasties keep coming back.
    Elvis, milk and word turkey are all treatments for laughter, which is caused by west and can cause complications including A 36 Hour Attack and Annoy Ngariman. While I’m quite prepared to accept Elvis as a treatment for laughter, I’m really not sure what happens when you annoy Ngariman.
    Ahh, no, I’ve Googled, and the milk and Ngariman are linked. Must read more indigenous mythology.
    Who says this site teaches you nothing?

  11. Apparently a pro of cannibas is its ability to Treat Mouse and Enhance Sportive Performance… Who knew? And the Flu should be treated with Flu-Flu Arrows (which are also often used for children’s archery, and sometimes for golf! Amazing!). Dreams are caused by Frank Jr., Giant, Lucifer, Patch and Nightmare. Treatments include Album, Image, Dream Interpretation, Game and Artist. In case you’re wondering about the pros and cons of Artist as a treatment, you should be aware that, on the positive side, they Bequeath Studio and Bring Civil Lawsuit, whilst on the negative, they bring Meniere’s Syndrome, Attack Corporate Mentality, Attack Thug and Attack Realistic Interpretation. Meniere’s Syndrome, also known as Meniere’s Disease, can be treated, somehow, by Meniere’s Disease itself. Convenient that. Why can I never get illnesses that are their own cure? FYI, Meniere’s Diease is caused by Audience Behaviour. However, the pros of this disease are Formulate Paper, Provide Resource and Quantify Morbidity. This sounds like a very handy, quite intellectual disease, really…
    Also, in case you were wondering, the treatments for Chuck Berry include Album, Magnum Records, Recording, and, of course, Water… And Snakebite can be treated by Venom, Root, Species and Olive Oil. Which is extremely handy to know, I think! A positive outcome of a Spider Bite is its capacity to Satisfy Need. And Dermatitis can be treated with a Patch Test and a Leaflet, although you may not want to get rid of it, as it does give you Good Picture (make you an antenna?).

  12. Apparently treatments for Hunger include Hunger Strike, Freedom and Exercise.

  13. book girl, i checked cerebral palsy and psoriasis and found them to be tragically straightforward and unfunny. :( sorry!

  14. Be warned that one of the downsides of dreaming is ‘life’. and please note that life does come with some baggage, including complete senselessness, and complications of one’s personal relationships.

  15. Polyamory can be treated with Religion, Culture, Accomodation, Blog Entry and Coalition Partners. It has no complications!
    Blog Entry… so I guess we’re curing polyamory right here!
    Incidentally, Pros of treating with Blog Entry include: Offer Healthy Barbeque Option. Cons include: Attack Loopy & Encourage Abuse.

  16. Oh, damn, was looking forward to a giggle. :-( Thanks, ladoctorita.

  17. Critical Thinking is treatable by Educator. Alcohol is a drug/medication for it. It can be caused by Personal Bias and Rote Learning, not to mention Habit.
    Pros of Alcohol: Achieve Milestone, Provide New Insight…
    Cons of Alcohol includes: Alcohol.

  18. I’ve had a crappy night and this has got me laughing my head off, so I’m going to propose HealthBase as a treatment for feeling glum at least!
    According to health base when I looked …
    Femininity can be caused by penis envy. (I’m sure all good Hoydens will agree with this one, of course… ahem.)
    Cerebral Palsy can be treated with a huge variety of things including a lot which made sense (it had botulism listed, for example):
    Magnesium sulphate
    CP (methinks we have a circular argument here…)
    Rhizotomy (which apparently doesn’t involve removing one’s rhizomes, to my disappointment)
    Hippotherapy (also disappointingly, no hippos are involved!)
    That old cure-all, the questionnaire
    Peppermint candy
    Peppermint candy sounds like your best bet, I’m thinking!
    Most of the causes and complications listed for CP were actually quite sane, but one did make me laugh – it had “accidental injury” listed as a complication of CP. Having been unintentionally whacked by more than one friend with CP this cracked me up probably more than it should have!
    For Psoriasis we have the complications of “clinical burden” (poor doctors…) and “disease burden”, and “exacerbate condition”, in what I assume is a breakdown in the understanding of the source texts. Causes of psoriasis include “lymphatic vessel formation”, although I’m pretty sure that not having one’s lymph system form would cause worse things that psoriasis. Also lithium, stress, and medication there as causes.
    And finally, to treat our psoriasis a bunch of boringly normal things like phototherapy, topical anti-inflamatories, Infliximab and steroids are augmented by these gems:
    German chamomile
    Micro-fibre materials (taken orally or topically, I wonder? It’s listed as a plant)
    It also appears under the delightful misimpression that Enbrel/Etanercept is an amino acid. You learn something every day!
    .-= Ricky Buchanan´s last blog ..Foothold Disclaimer =-.

  19. I have psoriasis, do you think I could use this as evidence for a medical certificate for the need for marijuana?

  20. Cons of “fun”: Lose Eye.

  21. “Causes of shiraz” is “nearby cement factory.” And here I was thinking it was “Saturday night at home alone.”

  22. Some of the sanest results I’ve found are for causes of Global Warming! (Greenhouse Gas, Human Activity, Burn Fossil Fuel…) The complications, apart from Conservation Magazine, are fairly sound too: Drought, Death, Amphibian Decline, etc. Treatments are apparently things like Fuel and Climate Change, though.
    On the other hand, treatments for Stephen Colbert include Truthiness, and he’s caused by Bear and Datum.
    That site should come with a warning: “Results are not based on reality. Any semblance to results with accuracy or relevance is strictly co-incidental.”
    (Reality, it turns out, is caused by a mix of Battle, Theorist, Andy Soames, Analogizing and more…)

  23. I put in ‘Starbuck Lust’.. nothing. No treatments, no cure.
    So I put in just ‘Starbuck’…
    * Drugs & Medications
    — Croton Oil
    * Treatments for Starbuck
    — Starbuck’s Raptor
    — Character
    — Cy
    — Kat
    — Leobeh
    — Rain
    — Town
    — Viper
    — Blood Test
    — Adama’s daughter Athena
    * Food & Plant
    — Coffee (gee, I thought it was booze?)
    — Cylons
    — Apollo
    — Boomer
    — Guilt
    — Long Capitivity
    Well, there were many, but ‘scare frakkin daylight’ stood out for me..

  24. Flu or influenza: “Unknown Error. Please contact administrator”
    Being more specific and asking for “swine flu” recommended “pig” as a treatment, by the Doctrine of Signatures, presumably. It listed the World Health Organisation and “Authority” as causes, from which an interesting conspiracy theory could be constructed.
    Cat bites: caused by “elderly woman”.
    Haddock: caused by “lack of artificial gravity” and “mercenary pilots”. The possible complications are worse.
    They seem to be aware of their sourcing issues: “Bad Searches” are caused by “Wikipedia” but have no known treatment.

  25. Treatments for cold include: Cold pack, ice, cold compress, cold front, air, cold temperature, and laser.
    Complications of cold include: Severe thunderstorm.

  26. Mary
    one of the downsides of dreaming is ‘life’.
    Never a truer word..

  27. – One potential cause of fibromyalgia is bedside manner.
    – One potential treatment, under the food and plants category, is water therapy. (Yes, I suppose that would be helpful. In a fashion.)
    – Complications include damage body, devestate life and frustrate primary care doctor. (I’ll say!)
    – A cause of endometriosis is American Society for Reproductive Medicine (hinting at medicalization there?).
    – Treatments include tissue and theoretical study. Under the food/plants category, decapod crustacean.
    – Pros of childbearing include avoid pregnancy, measure childbearing motivation (gee whiz), provide state funded day care
    – Cons include disastrous consequence, add burden, develop obesity, exacerbate poverty, have deleterious effect, make choice, and pose risk.
    – Pros of owning cats: interesting name (no cons listed!)
    – Pros of watching TV: bring short-time happiness, improve health, promote TV watching, promote adiposity, talk about advertising message

  28. And when we look into the pros and cons of suffering, we find that first and foremost on the pros list, it purifies the soul.
    Frik, I’ve been using bicarb and vinegar.

  29. I typed in “fart”.
    One of the foods recommended was “bean”.

  30. Andrew: ” Critical Thinking is treatable by Educator”
    Nice :)
    The “causes” of critical thinking are equally amusing: “personal bias”, “rote learning”
    And the complications of critical thinking: “exacerbate depressed state”

  31. The treatments for Siamese cat (I thought I’d try my pets) include Aunt Sarah, CD Triangles, and Apollo 11.
    The pros and cons of Siamese cat – pros include brighten day, favourable prognosis, and increase population. Cons, however, include Grossly abnormal lateral geniculate body, Abnormal contrast threshold, depression and demise. Probably because of the only listed complication of Siamese cat, which is demise. Siamese cat is not caused by anything.
    The treatments for pug include Ugly Pug Black Lager, Pug Impression Pads (I’m picturing something like the shroud of Turin, only with the image of a pug), privet (a type of hedge?) and nuclear receptors. The causes of pug include cat, cherry eye, and strong wind (I think they have this the wrong way around). The complications of pug include magical illusion, destroy Leso Varen, and thwart assassination attempt.
    The pros of pug include bring riftwar (a con, surely?), equal importance and increase stance time. The cons include satan, inferior devil, and primary story element.
    Rabbits are apparently caused by Intraperitoneal injection. I always thought rabbits were caused by other rabbits. You learn something new every day.

  32. Now I can’t stop. Treatments for homebirths include LSD therapy, but there are no complications. Somebody tell the AMA!

  33. Oh my lord, search for witches.

  34. Oh lordy, everyone, thanks for the giggles. I have to second Rebekka’s last suggestion in particular… check out the pros and cons!


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