Respectful Insolence

Archives for May, 2006

A new method of colon cleansing?

When I first saw this, I thought that it had to be a joke, but now I’m not so sure. I’m guessing you’ve all heard of ear candling, which can supposedly cure tinnitus, clean the ear canal of wax buildup, relieve vertigo, cure swimmer’s ear, and provide a variety of other supposed health benefits? Well,…

Justify my existence?

Our Seed overlords demand a response: Since they’re funded by taxpayer dollars (through the NIH, NSF, and so on), should scientists have to justify their research agendas to the public, rather than just grant-making bodies? Ooh, boy. That’s a loaded question that depends a lot on how you interpret it. My first reaction was similar…

Watch how a Holocaust denier (in this case, the President of Iran) dances around the question “Did the Holocaust happen?” You can see the very same techniques when a denier like David Irving or Ernst Zundel is questioned about the Holocaust: SPIEGEL: It concerned your remarks about the Holocaust. It was inevitable that the Iranian…

Post-Memorial Day carnival barking

Grand Rounds, vol. 2, no. 36 has been posted at Kidney Notes. Go forth and check out the best medical blogging from the last week. Geez, I was so busy last week on call that I forgot to submit an entry. While we’re at it, here’s a belated plug for a special Memorial Day edition…

24: The On Call Edition

Finally. My week on call, including the entire holiday weekend, is over. It started out pretty bad and didn’t get all that much better. I suppose I should be grateful that at least I was getting sleep again by this weekend. In any case, I thought that one particular day was almost worth of a…

Memorial Day

In the U.S., today is Memorial Day. Although we often forget about it in our rush to head out to the beach or relax over the course of a three day weekend, it is the day set aside to remember those who have died fighting for our nation in its wars. I was debating about…

Just a phone, dammit!

I’m a pretty big computer geek most of the time, and I do love gadgets. However, even I can sympathize with the consumers in this story: OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Nathan Bales represents a troubling trend for cellular phone carriers. The Kansas City-area countertop installer recently traded in a number of feature-laden phones for a…

Lemming-like, I follow

OK, PZ, Grrlscientist, and John have all done it. They’ve used a cool little applet to show their blogs as graphs. I figured I’d give it a try, too. Why not? (Click on the image to see the graph construct itself.) Basically, the applet shows the tree structure of a web page in a rather…

I could use one of these

Worried about ghosts bothering you? What about demons possessing you? Or aliens abducting you for all sorts of strange experiments, complete with anal probes? Well, fear no more! I’ve discovered just the thing. You need a Paranormal Restraining Order! Feel like sinning and don’t want to be subject to the Lord’s wrath? This is just…

It’s the middle of a long holiday weekend (well, here in the U.S., anyway). What better time to do a silly Internet quiz to pass the time while waiting to round? (Yes, I’m working all weekend.) What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die? You will be smothered under a rug. You’re a little anti-social,…

Hilarious. It incorporates what we know now from the prequels into what might have happened when Darth Vader had to tell the Emperor what happened at the end of the first Star Wars movie:

The worst theme park in the world?

It’s the Memorial Day weekend, and many of you will be taking off for various recreational activities over the three day weekend. Sadly, I’ll be on call and thus working the entire weekend, having drawn the short straw for this particular holiday. However, to console myself with the fact that it could be worse, I’ll…

Ah, the irony of it!

This is just too rich. As you know a few months ago, I commented about a British report that found high levels of mercury and other heavy metals in Chinese herbal medicines sold in the U.K. Some contained as much as 11% mercury by weight! It turns out that a JAMA paper from 2004 did…

Pat Robertson on Jews

I’ve commented before on some of Pat Robertson’s loonier statements. Given the sheer fundie religious nuttery that he regularly spouts, it takes something related to my regular blogging interests for him to catch my attention. I know it’s amazing, but somehow he managed to do just that. First, a little anti-Semitism:

The rewards of being a physician

You know, sometimes medicine sucks, particularly oncology. Oh, it’s not so bad for surgeons, particularly breast surgeons, because we can cure many of the patients we operate on. But for solid tumor oncologists, who deal with diseases that current medicine can’t cure but only palliate day in and day out can, if you don’t get…

It’s been an interesting week for this week’s host of the Skeptics’ Circle, Skeptico. He had a creationist appropriate his name, create a Blogspot blog, and actually post comments on other people’s blogs under the name “Skeptico.” Not good. Fortunately, no one was fooled, and it was the False Skeptico’s posting creationist tripe on other…

It’s just a little decimal point

Here’s a scary error, reported by Abel Pharmboy: David Douglas of Reuters Health reported last Friday on the publication of a clinical trial revealing that a one-week trial of Benadryl (diphenhydramine HCl) was superior to Clarinex (desloratadine) in managing symptoms of moderate-to-severe allergic rhinitis, or hay fever. The article was published in the April 2006…

One annoying thing about the blogosphere for someone like me is that a lot of things that I want to write about pop up during the day, when I’m at work. Blogging is all about immediacy and time. Wait too long to write about a topic, and the moment’s passed. For me, by the time…

It seems a reasonable question to ask, given my propensity for it. Unfortunately that’s not what our Seed overlords asked this week. This week, they ask: If you could shake the public and make them understand one scientific idea, what would it be? Predictably, some ScienceBloggers answered: evolution and what it really means, not the…

Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful

Wow, I wish I had the balls to make this retort to prisoners that used to be brought to the E.R. when I was still a resident. I just hope he had a security guard like the one we used to have at our county hospital when I was a resident. This guy was close…

Mourn today, Sinatra fans…

Here’s the reason why: An atrocity is unleashed today. The Chairman is rolling over in his grave. Hell, he’s probably doing backflips. I’m guessing that they’re lowering the flags to half mast in Hoboken as we speak.

Grant crunch time again yesterday. That means it’s the perfect time once again to dig up something from the archives of old blog and repost it here. This particular piece originally appeared on January 12, 2005, just shy of one month after I started blogging. I’m guessing once again that, because not many people were…

Accept no substitutes for Skeptico

Yikes. Grant crunch time or no grant crunch time, I couldn’t let this pass. This week’s host of the Skeptics’ Circle, Skeptico, has been one of my favorite skeptical bloggers for a long time now. As a measure of how good he is, he now has a doppleganger blog. Damn, I’m a bit envious. No…

Geez, who could have seen this one coming? Straight from the Discovery Institute’s blog regarding atheist and Holocaust denier Larry Darby in reference to his activities against ID in Alabama, Casey Luskin bloviates: An outspoken opponent of the bill has been activist Larry Darby. Mr. Darby’s vehement opposition to the Alabama Academic Freedom Bill was…

I never liked those novels anyway…

First bad science fiction leads to a cult (Scientology), and now bad epic fantasy follows suit. Back when I was high school and college, like many that age, I was very fond of epic fantasy. But even I didn’t like the Gor novels. How anyone could emulate them so seriously is beyond me.