Respectful Insolence

Archives for April, 2006

I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for a long time. In fact, ever since our illustrious Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who also happens to be a Harvard-educated cardiac surgeon, came out in favor of teaching “intelligent design” creationism alongside evolution in public school science classes back in August, I’ve been meaning to…

Tom Cruise has apparently told GQ magazine that he plans on eating Katie Holmes’ placenta after the birth of their child: Hollywood actor and Scientologist Tom Cruise is planning to eat Katie Holmes’ placenta. It is the latest in a series of strange revelations by the 43-year-old ‘Mission: Impossible’ star about the child he is…

Grand Rounds is up!

Grand Rounds, vol. 2, no. 30, is up at Fat Doctor. Enjoy.

Vox responds

A few days ago, I fisked the antivaccination posturings of a certain “Libertarian Christian commenator” regarding the Geiers’ claim that mercury in the thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is a major cause of autism. Many of the comments predicted that Vox wouldn’t respond. (Personally, I was hoping that he would but, based on…

Just when it’s getting exciting on 24

I can relate to this one… And, yes, between the hours of 9 PM and 10 PM EDST, don’t bother me. I’ll be…occupied. But before I settle down, I can’t resist posting this special Easter 24 banner:

Oh, what the heck?

All the other ScienceBloggers are taking this test, so why not? What Disease Are You? You Are Influenza! Also known as the flu, you are warm, nurturing, and make a great confidante. People admire you for your gentleness and honesty. While you can’t literally wipe out 35,000,000 people by causing them to drown in their…

Mrs. Hitler and her doctor

In 1907, Adolf Hitler’s mother Klara died of breast cancer at age 47, when Hitler was only 18. The young Hitler was devastated by her death. Indeed, in Mein Kampf, Hitler described her death thusly: These were the happiest days of my life and seemed to me almost a dream; and a mere dream it…

Oh great…

Cannibal killers have blogs now too….right here.

Happy Easter, everyone

On this Easter Day, as children look forward to visits by the Easter Bunny, do you ever wonder what the Easter Bunny does the other 364 days a year? I never realized a bunny could be such a sociopath. Finally, I repost a link to DarkSyde’s famous reflection, If I Were A Christian as good…

War on Christians?

The fundamentalist Christian right often laments that there is a “war on Christians” by secular society in the U.S. Indeed, as Easter approaches, such complaints inevitably increase. Consider, however, these clearly un-Constitutional clauses in various state constitutions that make atheists ineligible for public office (or at least not accorded the same rights to run for…

Has anyone ever seen a worse music video?

Out of Finland, comes a video so mind-bogglingly, surrealistically bad that it’s oddly entertaining. I couldn’t help but watch it with utter fascination at the amount of effort that must have gone into something so strange. Enjoy…I think.

Who needs malpractice insurance, when you could have Sharia law? Check out this question to an Imam by a Canadian doctor regarding his culpability if a patient of his dies, and the Imam’s answer: Here’s the question (typos not corrected): Im a doctor and i want to ask about if i make a mistake that…

A Jewish joke for the holidays

I’m not Jewish, but nonetheless found this one pretty funny (via one of the mailing lists to which I subscribe): An elderly man in Miami calls his son in New York and says, “I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing. Forty-five years of…

More Scientology madness

With all the nuttiness coming out of Tom Cruise in the name of Scientology, it’s often forgotten that there are a lot of other Scientologists out there in Hollywood. One of the other most prominent ones is John Travolta. Compared to Tom Cruise, John Travolta seems, superficially at least, the height of reason. Certainly he’s…

For the first time ever, a head of state of Austria has admitted that a large proportion of Austrian citizens openly welcomed the Nazis when Hitler annexed Austria: The president of Austria has become the country’s first head of state to admit that a large number of its citizens welcomed Adolf Hitler with open arms…

The 32nd Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle

I have to hand it to Matt (a.k.a. The Pooflinger). When he hosts a Skeptics’ Circle, he does it up right. Last time, he envisioned the 21st Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle as a Shakespearean play. This time around, he envisions a very frightening future world in which credulity and religious fanaticism have been dominant…

Oh, lovely. Before I leave the topic of mercury-autism conspiracy mongering for a while, something perverse has led me to feel the need to point out something I’ve become aware of: Not surprisingly, it looks as though our favorite “Christian Libertarian” commentator from WorldNet Daily, tireless fighter against women’s suffrage, and overall antivaccination loon Vox…

Another variant on chiropractic

A while ago, I discussed the case of a chiropracter who has pioneered a technique of “touchless” chiropractic, manipulating patient’s spines without even touching them. Well, an Ohio chiropracter has gone one step further. He claims he can cure patients by going back in time:

My first ban

After his behavior in Monday’s post about the Geiers, I’ve reluctantly decided to issue my first ban ever on a commenter. The one on the receiving end? Fore Sam. Is anyone surprised? His rhetoric has become increasingly violent-sounding, with his posting comments suggesting that Kathleen Seidel should be taken out and horsewhipped. That’s over the…

Tangled Bank #51

Tangled Bank #51 has been posted over at Discovering Biology in a Digital World. Get your fix of science blogging all in one neat package.

Excellent. Having had to work on a talk last night, I didn’t have any time to write anything substantive. Horrified at the thought of this blog going silent on a weekday (going silent on the weekend doesn’t concern me much, given that my traffic almost always falls by around 50% regardless of whether I post…

Grand Rounds Vol. 2 No. 29

Grand Rounds Vol. 2 No. 29 has been posted over at Anxiety, Addiction, and Depression Treatments. As always, there’s lots of good stuff over there for your reading pleasure. And don’t forget that tomorrow there’s a new Tangled Bank–and the day after that a brand spanking-new Skeptics’ Circle to look forward to.

OK, I’ve been prodded enough! Yes, I’ve been aware of the study purporting to present good anecdotal case reports showing that there might be something to the hypothesis that megadoses of vitamin C can cure cancer where other therapies fail. I’ve also been aware of an in vitro study that suggested selective toxicity of vitamin…

Recently, I mentioned a case of fishing line inserted in a patient’s urethra that had to be removed by a urologist. Now I’ve become aware of an even odder case, of a woman who managed to hide a loaded pistol in her vagina. She managed to go through a pat-down: Move over, Bond girls. A…

When it rains, it pours. Last week, we had the Shattuck paper; this week, I’m sucked right back into this topic, at least for today. A few weeks ago, I commented about a truly frightening direction that autism quackery was taking, with the father-son team of Mark and David Geier’s bizarre proposal that chemically castrating…