Respectful Insolence

Archives for October, 2006

I tried not to write about the altie obsession with “detoxification” again. Really, I did. It gets repetitive, and I don’t want Your Friday Dose of Woo (YFDoW) to become to repetitive. Of course, a certain amount of repetitiveness is unavoidable, given that there are only a few major themes running through medical woo. First,…

I’m afraid that I have been a bit remiss in my duties as the coordinator of the Skeptic’s Circle. You see, today was a travel day, and I was heading to Chicago on business. Unfortunately, the Skeptics’ Circle link was not posted very early this morning before I left (probably due to the fact that…

Michael Moore vs. Fred Phelps

These days, I tend to detest Michael Moore almost as much as I detest Ann Coulter. However, as they say, a stopped watch is correct twice a day, and occasionally Moore can come up with something that’s so spot on funny and appropriate that even I have to give him props. (This used to happen…

Last week, when I speculated about reasons why there hasn’t been a National Slavery Museum in this nation until the one slated to open in 2007, I mentioned the power of Confederate sympathies that still persists even to today in much of the South. Basically, in the eyes of many, the Confederacy has been romanticized,…

Suing over alien abduction

This would be hilarious if it weren’t for what it says about critical thinking skills: BERLIN (Reuters) – A German lawyer hopes to drum up more business by pursuing state compensation claims for people who believe they were abducted by aliens. “There’s quite obviously demand for legal advice here,” Jens Lorek told Reuters by telephone…

Thar’s gold in them thar “cures”

One of the favorite gambits that alternative medicine mavens like to use to defend their favorite remedies when a skeptic starts asking uncomfortably pointed and specific questions their scientific and evidentiary basis is to accuse said skeptic of being “in the pocket of big pharma.” Indeed, I’ve written before of the “pharma shill gambit,” where…

File this under the “You Learn Something New Every Day” category. Apparently, ghosts can be horny little buggers, and a “ghostbuster” named Syed Abdullah Alattas, founder and chief investigator of Seekers Malaysia, has been investigating: GHOSTS have sex. This is the claim of Syed Abdullah Alattas, founder and chief investigator of Seekers Malaysia. “We are…

It figures. After posting yesterday about whose responsibility it is when a cancer patient rejects evidence-based effective treatments in favor of quackery and then progresses, I would have to be made aware of an update in the case of Starchild Abraham Cherrix. Ever since Cherrix’s story first rose to national prominence a few months ago,…

The Top Ten Reasons Why the Yankees Choked

Preempting what will almost certainly be the Top Ten on David Letterman’s show is this list of the Top Ten Reasons Why The New York Yankees Choked. My favorite? Clearly it has to be this one: Detroit Tigers tricked the Yankees by playing devious “fundamental baseball” That about sums it up. Damn those Tigers for…

One of the more onerous duties I have as faculty at our cancer center is to “show the flag” at our various affiliates by attending their tumor boards. I say “onerous” not so much because the tumor boards themselves are onerous but rather because traveling to them cuts into my already limited time for research…

Pediatric Grand Rounds

The latest installment of Pediatric Grand Rounds has been posted at Emergiblog. This time around, all hail Mickey!

Archeological evidence most unexpected

Pretty much everyone knows about the existence of the fabulous cave paintings dating back 30,000 years in places such as Lascaux and Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc in France. In these caves, our forebearers used the walls as their canvases to paint amazingly vibrant and detailed paintings of animals and various other things. The paintings are beautiful, some of…

Stick a fork in ‘em

The Yankees are done. Tigers win 8-3 The Yankees go home. Quoth Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman: “I’m stunned,” New York general manager Brian Cashman said. “This team fooled me to some degree. Detroit was on top of their game and we weren’t, and that combination was lethal for us. I’m disappointed where we’re at…

Weekend album cover mayhem

Music fan that I am, I found a particularly amusing video of album covers battling it out in a hysterically ultraviolent and cartoon-bloody manner. (Via Stereogum.) If you’re like me, and have many hundreds of albums, you’ll find yourself counting how many of the album coveres featured in this video you actually own. I own…

Let’s do this, people

Well, even as a born-in-Detroit Tigers fan, I wouldn’t have expected it, but it’s come to pass. The Tigers have the Yankees on the ropes, having defeated them last night quite convincingly 6-0 to take a 2-1 series lead. All they have to do is to win this afternoon, and the Yankees go home. How…

Why? Five words: Battlestar Galactica season premiere. Baby. I may have to call the answering service and sign out to the on call surgeon for the show. Yes, I know it’s highly unlikely that any of my patients would choose to call me about something during those two hours, but why take the chance? That’s…

Call for submissions: The Skeptics’ Circle

The 45th Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle is due to appear on Thursday at The Inoculated Mind. The deadline is Wednesday; so get your best skeptical blogging sent to Karl. Instructions for submission, along with Karl’s personal take on the Circle, including areas that he hopes to emphasize, are here; more general guidelines, applicable to…

Your Friday Dose of Woo: H2Ooooooommmm

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: There’s a reason that I don’t get seriously into blogging about politics that much, and this week reminded me why bigtime. For one thing, political bloggers are a dime a dozen, meaning that you have to be really, really good to distinguish yourself from the chattering…

The Ig Nobel

Well, the winners of the the evil Doppelganger of the Nobel Prizes, a. k. a. the Ig Nobel Prizes, have been announced, and more worthy winners I can’t think of: BOSTON, Massachusetts (AP) — The sound sets teeth on edge, makes skin crawl and sends a shiver down the spine. Just thinking about it gives…

Tigers win!

Woo-hoo! The Tigers just won Game 2 of the ALDS against the Yankees 4-3! Time to go to Detroit with the series tied! The odds are still against them, but at least they’re not lying down and dying. I suspect they’re going to make it interesting, and, who knows, they might even take the series.…

Curcumin for cancer?

Abel Pharmboy has posted the second part of his series about the use of botanicals, specifically curcumin, for cancer, and how the altie crowd misrepresents what can be achieved. Basically, the dose of curcumin that would be required to have any effect is so high that, as Abel put it, you’d have to “shovel” it…

Nobel Prize predictions vindicated?

Over the last week or so, several of my fellow ScienceBloggers made predictions about who would win the Nobel Prize in Medicine/Physiology. The prize, as we know now, was awarded to Andrew Fire and Craig Mello for their discovery of RNA interference (known as RNAi, for short). I also share some of Jake’s questioning as…

Apparently not. The Westboro Baptist Church is at it again: A Kansas church group that planned to demonstrate at the funerals of five Amish girls killed in an attack on their one-room schoolhouse has dropped the picket plans, a reversal that came hours after Pennsylvania’s governor offered the Amish police protection. Members of the Westboro…

Change of Shift time

Change of Shift, the nursing blog carnival, has beenposted at Emergiblog.

Laboratory pareidolia

Pareidolia is everywhere, as you know. We see Jesus or Mary on trees, pieces of toast, and on sheet metal. Finally, though, through the wonder of science, we finally see some Jesus pareidolia in a molecular biology lab! Are you ready for Jesus on a polyacrylimide gel used to separate proteins? I consider it a…