Respectful Insolence

Archives for September, 2006

It’s just that sort of day

Today is just the kind of day when these lyrics speak to me: And you run, you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking Racing around to come up behind you again The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older Shorter of breath and one day closer to…

One more reason I’m a huge David Bowie fan

Here he is on Extras, providing a little impromptu song: What an honor, to be dissed by Bowie in song, and a song that rather sounds like some of his really old stuff. You know, it’d be really cool if Bowie were to record this tune. Speaking of which, it’s been three years since his…

Earlier this week, I thought that I had identified this week’s woo target. I told myself that this was it, that this was the one for this week. I even started writing it the other day, because, as much as I try to get this thing done early, somehow I always seem to be writing…

Dr. House on vaccinations

If you think I’m hardcore when it comes to my disgust at antivaccination advocates like Dawn Winkler, you should check out House, M.D.: [House walks away. Cut to the clinic and House is in an exam room with a young mother and her baby.] Young Mother: No formula, just mommy’s healthy natural breast milk. House:…

The “pharma shill” gambit

It was a late night in the O.R. last night; so I didn’t get to spend my usual quality blogging time. However, it occurred to me. In honor of being called a “pharma moron” on Whale.to, coupled with all the antivaccination lunacy that’s been infesting the comments of this blog, only to be tirelessly countered…

Yes, it’s that time again! This time, the Skeptics’ Circle comes to us by way of Sweden. In fact, it comes to us by way of a Swedish archeologist named Martin Rundkvist, and he’s rounded up a fine collection of skeptical blogging that should serve as your antidote to the woo that so permeates the…

When “minor” cases go bad

“It’s just minor surgery.” How many times have surgeons said that to patients? How many times have you, as a patient heard that? How many times have I said that to patients? It’s supposed to be reassuring, and most of the time it is. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as “minor” surgery if it’s you…

And the accolades just keep rolling in…

First, it was HIV/AIDS “skeptic” Celia Farber referring to me as “low rent riff-raff.” I was so honored by that particular accolade that I had a smile on my face the rest of the day after I discovered it. Fortunately for me, that’s not the end of the accolades.

As a long time Led Zeppelin fan, I’m not sure whether I’m amused or appalled by this. Yes, it’s 101 cover versions of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, including a reggae version by Dread Zeppelin. (Actually, I kind of like Dread Zeppelin. I even saw them in concert once in Cleveland back in the early…

Uproar over a satirical cartoon about Hitler

Via History News Network: (Translation below the fold.) Apparently, the above cartoon, Der Bonker, in which a disconsolate (and rappin’!) Hitler is portrayed sitting on the toilet complaining about Churchill, is causing an uproar in Germany:

I wrote last week about the Tripoli Six, six health care workers who were jailed by Libya on trumped up charges of infecting patients at a hospital they worked at with HIV. Since then, many other have chimed in, and the most recent count of blog posts about this case is well over 100. According…

It’s that time again…

It’s coming fast. In fact, it’s almost here. Yes, the Skeptics’ Circle, the blog carnival for afficianados of skepticism, science, and critical thinking, is due to appear at Salto Sobrius on Thursday, September 28. That means you only have two days to get your best skeptical blogging together to submit to Martin if you want…

Alternative medicine and breast cancer

After the three posts that I recently did about vaccination have garnered well over 250 comments between the three of them (and still counting), I thought it might be time to switch topics. As important as they are, I don’t want this blog to become all vaccines all the time. (After all, look what happened…

Thanks to Norm, I recently found out that Richard Dawkins now has a web page (the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science). Certainly, any self-respecting skeptic would have to add that one to his sidebar, which I’ve now done. Even though I don’t always agree with the vociferousness of some of Dawkin’s views, he…

Carnival of Bad History!

Here’s a belated notice that the Carnival of Bad History #9 has been posted at World History Blog. Enjoy!

Shades of Lysistrata!

One of the things that I remember most about my A.P. English course in high school is the time that we all read Aristophane’s Lysistrata. This play, as you may or may not remember, is a comedy taking place during the Peloponnesian War. The plot, boiled down to its essence, entails a plan by which…

I realize that PZ and Skeptico have already posted this, but it’s just too hilarious for me, as a bit of a connoisseur of pareidolia, to pass up, regardless of who might have posted about it before. We’ve seen Jesus in many strange places, even on toast, but I bet you’ve never seen Him appear…

Orac: I want one of these!

Oooh, I have to get me one of these! Of course, the specs would have to be more up to snuff with what one can purchase these days. Even so, I wonder if anyone could put one together with a Mac.

Vaccines and relative risks

Holy crap. I suspected that my two posts about Dawn Winkler, the antivaccination activist running for Governor of Colorado on the Libertarian ticket, might generate some comments and attract some of Dawn’s fellow antivaxers to the comments. Little did I suspect just how many, or how hysterical they would become. Because yesterday was a travel…

With all the vaccination “skeptics” who’ve crawled out of the woodwork over the last couple of days in response to my two posts about Dawn Winkler, the Libertarian candidate for the Governor of Colorado who happens to be a rabid antivaccination activist, not to mention totally clueless and nasty about autistic children (and who even…

The unsinkable rubber duck

Skeptico explains why confirmation bias and the Forer effect make astrology seem like it might work when it’s really a load of crap. As usual, he makes it plain why astrology is bunk, reiterating his Astrology Challenge.

Change of Shift

Change of Shift, the nursing blog carnival, has been posted at kt.

Libya’s miscarriage of justice

Declan Butler of Nature has issued a call for help from the scientific and medical blogosphere in protesting and raising awareness about an utter travesty of justice, a vile and utterly vicious miscarriage of justice. This is one that I can’t help but throw the paltry weight of my own blog behind. Here’s the story:…

Better than Talk Like a Pirate Day

I have a confession to make. I’ve never really understood the whole pirate schtick that PZ and some other bloggers find so amusing and that the Flying Spaghetti Monster has included as an integral part of the great religion of Pastafarianism. I suppose that makes me an apostate or something like that, but I guess…

Yesterday’s post on Dawn Winkler, the antivaccination activist who is presently running for the Governor of Colorado on the Libertarian ticket, provoked this comment, which linked to an amusing e-mail exchange that Australian skeptic Peter Bowditch had with her regarding vaccines a couple of years ago. After reading that exchange, I now think that I…