FOAMtabulously Frivolous Friday Five 099: FOAM

This week in Sydney, FOAM has been on everybody’s lips. But what is FOAM, where does it come from, and how do we get it off? In this entirely factually correct 99th edition of FFFF, we put FOAM under the microscope. Can’t see a friggin’ thing.

FOAM: Some have suggested the phenomenon is just a bubble

FOAM: Some have suggested the phenomenon is just a bubble

Question 1

What is the proper description for adherents to FOAM?

  • FOAMites
  • FOAMites (advocates of Free Open Access Meducation) should be distinguished from fomites (forks, toilet handles, towels etc bearing Staphylococcus aureus).
  • Both FOAMites and fomites, however, can be knobs.
Twitter handle

This fomite is a Twitter handle

(Editor’s note: FOAMer is sometimes used as an alternative, but was harder to make into good trivia.)

Question 2

What is the technical term for someone who propagates FOAM via Twitter?

  • A Spitter.
  • As Girolamo Frascatoro pointed out in 1546, Spitting FOAM can quickly go viral.
  • The establishment counterpart to a Spitter is a Swallower. This is someone who believes everything they read in medical journals. The Spitting versus Swallowing debate just runs and runs.

Question 3

Can FOAM be hard?

  • Yes, if you read 60 journals a month like Scott Weingart.
  • Hard FOAM has its counterpart in the confectionary industry, in the honeycombed interior of a Crunchie bar. Unlike FOAM, which is free, Crunchies cost $2. They therefore represent a cynical marketing triumph, whereby Cadbury’s sells air to hungry children.
  • Crunchies can also be used for IO training. But we are getting off Topic.

Crunchie: always aspirate to confirm correct position of mouthparts

Intraosseus access simulation: the Crunchie solution.
Bateman ED, Bateman A.
Emerg Med J. 2010 Dec;27(12):961.

Question 4

Can you sell FOAM?

  • No,  the monetized method of medical education is referred to as Secure Closed Access Meducation (SCAM).
  • SCAM embraces two further key concepts. In Asynchronous Earning, the cost of a postgraduate medical qualification is completely unrelated to its merit.
  • And in The Flipped Finger Classroom, those who can’t afford to pay the fees, are visually instructed to rotate on a digital axis.
Cambridge bike

At the University of Scambridge, a Postgraduate Certificate in Cycling Proficiency can cost as much as £8000.

Question 5

What is the name for a medical conference, on the theme of FOAM?

  • A FOAM Party.
  • FOAM Parties were first developed in the era of Balearic House Music, circa 1990. In recent years, the educational component has increased. However delegates at the Social Media And Critical Care (SMACC) Conference still adhere to the tradition of getting completely lathered on Tuesday night.
  • SMACC 2014 will be held at Club Amnesia, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. The event has already attracted sponsorship interest from Big Pharma. At least I think it was Big Pharma. Some guy called Ron.
Gala Dinner

Gala Dinner at SMACC 2013

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    • says

      Thanks Minh, a great comment, couldn’t agree more. When I saw that a new comment had been made, I had a bad feeling someone was going to say that actually, the MRP for Crunchies is not $2, it is $2.50.