By the time this appears, I should be on my way home from the AACR. For some reason, the meeting this year didn’t get me all fired up the way it usually does. Perhaps I’ll post in more detail about why that may have been after I get home.

In the meantime, here’s something I’ve been meaning to try out but never have, simply because I never thought I had the critical mass of readers to make it worthwhile. When Daily Kos or PZ has an open thread, they’ll gets dozens, if not hundreds, of responses. If I were to try an open thread, I feared I’d get one or two.

I’ve overcome that fear, though, and now present to you, my readers, a Wednesday afternoon open thread. Here’s your chance to make comments or ask questions about anything. I don’t guarantee that I’ll answer them, but I’ll probably answer a few. It’s also a chance to make requests regarding topics that you might like me to cover. Again, I don’t necessarily guarantee that I’ll cover them, but if you make an intriguing enough pitch I might just use your suggestion.

So let ‘er rip! What’s the worst thing that can happen? I get no responses and have to chalk this whole open thread thing up as a failed experiment? I can deal with that if it happens.

ADDENDUM: It’s sheer coincidence that Tara’s also having an open thread today. Everything in this post was written last night, with the exception of this paragraph. You’ll just have to trust me on this…


  1. #1 Dad Of Cameron
    April 5, 2006

    Orac, If you could pull a “Freaky Friday” and walk in any living person’s shoes for day for an inside look, who’s would they be?

  2. #2 Tara
    April 5, 2006

    Too funny… I swear I’m not Orac’s sockpuppet. 🙂

  3. #3 BronzeDog
    April 5, 2006

    One thing I’ve been considering is doing a “Doggerel” blog entry on the different definitions of “mercury” since I’ve seen people use multiple definitions in individual sentences. It’d save me a little time if someone would point me to a few good sources for the differences between metallic, ionic, ethyl, methyl, etc.

  4. #4 Ali
    April 5, 2006

    For the health care politics angle, how about commenting on the new Massachusetts health plan?

  5. #5 Kurt
    April 5, 2006

    You just need to find a good satire blog or webpage somewhere where they claim rock music causes all kinds of ills. Then you can make yourself a nice quote mine on how Freddie Mercury causes autism… Start using all that learning from evil medical school.

    You’ll probably find out how many of the loons are also of the “Ozzy makes kids committ suicide” school.

  6. #6 JP
    April 5, 2006

    Then you can make yourself a nice quote mine on how Freddie Mercury causes autism.

    Brilliant. Seconded.

  7. #7 Ali
    April 5, 2006

    Or you could have a field day with this set of links at Metafilter.

  8. #8 shellity
    April 5, 2006

    Something that tends to get people’s tongues wagging: Recently watching a news piece about some ‘extremist’ animal activists and their protests over the opening of a medical research lab in the UK, I was struck by two things:
    1. That lots of people seem to have no idea about how drugs come to market, and think that it can be done safely and universally without animal testing
    2. That lots of people also think that animal testing is inseparable from animal cruelty, and if you support animal testing then you support animal cruelty.
    I tried to write this entire comment without using the terms “foaming at the mouth”, “stupid” or “dole bludgers”. I nearly did it, too…

  9. #9 Greg P
    April 5, 2006

    One of the things I wonder about is where the whole mercury-autism thing is going. Is it going to be a vessel that Orac keeps dipping into, ad infinitum (some might say ad nauseum)? Will there come a time when some pundit commenting on “the epidemic” will not activate Orac’s keyboard once again?

  10. #10 impatientpatient
    April 6, 2006

    I have a question. How should a new blogger respond to hate mail? My first reaction was to find out who my anonymous enemy was. I believe I figured out who it was. My second step was to find out as much as possible about why he was angry- which I did. My next thing- I started posting about what I found.

    Now, this probably isn’t wise- but I am mad. And it is a tiny bit amusing.I found out this cranky ass has taken you on in the past as well as anyone else who disagrees with him. I found out that this guy is seriously disturbed- one of the reasons I post anonymously. SHould I fight lies with truth or should I regard him as a troll?

  11. #11 Opiwan
    April 6, 2006


    There’s always the CRC Handbooks of Physics… you’d have to go to a major university library to get a hold of one if you don’t work for a company that would have need of one. A good chemistry textbook might help.

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