Respectful Insolence

Archives for November, 2006

Sunday morning skepticism in music

It’s Frank Zappa, of course, with what is arguably the best (or at least one of the best) songs celebrating skepticism ever written (and it has a killer guitar solo in the middle, too!): I used to love that song when I was a teenager. (I still do.) I wonder if it affected me…

Christopher Walken as Ozzy Osbourne?

It sounds like casting genius, even if it’s only a small role: LAS VEGAS, Nov. 6, 2006 — Hide the Bats! Christopher Walken has agreed to play the ultimate bad-boy rocker — Ozzy Osbourne.. Motley Crue lead singer Vince Neil told ABC News Radio in an exclusive interview that the 63-year-old Oscar-winning actor will make…

Veterans’ Day 2006

In the U.S., today is Veterans’ Day; elsewhere it’s Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, marking 88 years since the truce that ended World War I. Whatever you’re doing, please take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices our men and women in arms have made throughout history to protect our nation. Regardless of your views…

A Hooters on Big Beaver?

As a native Detroiter, I couldn’t help but find this little story amusing (sorry, it’s just the adolescent in me): Hooters of America Inc. is moving ahead full throttle with a campaign to pressure the Troy City Council into granting a liquor license transfer for the chain’s new Troy location on Rochester Road near Big…

Spider-Man 3 is so going to rock

I saw the trailer for Spiderman 3 last night. The comic geek in me is starting to get excited, because the movie looks like it’s going to be really, really good, perhaps the best Spider-Man movie so far. It looks as though Venom, the Sandman, and Harry Osbourne, Jr. taking up where his dad (the…

On November 10, 1975, the most famous maritime disaster in Great Lakes history occurred, when the freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior while trying to make it to Whitefish Bay in a gale, with the loss of 29 lives. Having grown up in the Detroit area, I still remember it almost as though…

Let’s get one thing straight. There’s just no way on earth that I can imagine topping last week’s Your Friday Dose of Woo. I can only be as good as my source material lets me be (well, maybe a bit better), and Toby Alexander and his “DNA Activation” represented such unbelievably potent, bizarre, and concentrated…

Today the class, tomorrow the school!

Just what a high school needs to warm up the crowd at a football game, a little speech by Joseph Goebbels: CHARLOTTE, North Carolina: Part of a speech by World War II Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels was played over the public address system before a high school soccer game, prompting an apology by the…

Jesus doesn’t save–at least not this time

Here’s a real example of religious insanity: LONDON, Kentucky (AP) – A woman died after being bitten by a snake during a serpent-handling service at church, police said. Linda Long, 48, of London, Ky, died Sunday at University of Kentucky Medical Center, said Brad Mitchell, a detective with the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.…

I was sitting in my office around 7:45 AM yesterday morning, going through my messages and mail in preparation for a long day of animal protocol and grant writing interspersed with meetings, the radio playing in the background. It was Curtis and Kuby, the usual talking heads show with a conservative paired with a liberal…

Holy Reiki, Batman! This month’s Skeptics Circle, hosted by Polite Company, has landed, and it’s a doozy. In fact, it’s a Circle of Heroes: Observe the Skeptic: often battle-hardened by years of living in a world gone mad with magical thinking and spurious logic; frequently alone in the fight against codified irrationality; forced to search…

Autism and Scientology?

Is there a connection between Scientology and the mercury militia? Kevin Leitch examines the evidence. As he points out, it’s not as far-fetched as it might seem at first: Everybody knows that Scientology has an almost rabid outlook on psychiatry and what they deem psychiatric labels. Its so bad that Xenu-lover John Travolta is allegedly…

Tangled Bank

The new Tangled Bank is up at Eastern Blot. Had enough politics? Read some science, instead!

I’ve written before about how frequently alties like to point to testimonials as “evidence” that their treatments work. Indeed, from the very beginning, in one of the earliest posts I ever wrote, I explained just why breast cancer testimonials for alternative medicine should be taken with a huge grain of salt. Of course, most of…

I voted a couple hours ago, and polls have just closed in my part of the country. All over the eastern part of the U.S., the counting of the votes is shifting into high gear. This election year saw some truly disgusting negative ads all over the country. Too bad none of them were like…

Grand Rounds

Grand Rounds no. 3, vol. 7 has been posted at MSSP Nexus Blog. Time to get your weekly fix of the best of the medical blogosphere.

After not having written anything about the case of Abubakar Tariq Nadama, the five year old autistic boy who died as a result of chelation therapy administered to him to “cure” him of his autism, I revisited the case last week in light of the State of Pennsylvania filing charges against Dr. Kerry, the “alternative…

Election Day!

The polls are now open where I live. Don’t forget to get out there and vote! Too bad we don’t have a candidate like the one in the video to vote for. At least he’s honest. Heck, if any candidate ran a campaign like the one in the video above, I might even vote for…

Blaming Haggard’s wife for his going gay

OK, I wasn’t planning on writing on the whole Haggard imbroglio again. (Famous last words, eh?) Then, via Andrew Sullivan, I came across this little post by a blogging evangelical pastor from Seattle named Mark Driscoll: Most pastors I know do not have satisfying, free, sexual conversations and liberties with their wives. At the risk…

“Christians can be perverts too”

I wasn’t planning on writing about Ted Haggard. I mean, what’s another fundamentalist preacher falling from grace and admitting that, yes, he did indeed purchase methamphetamine and in essence admitting that he did have sex with themale prostitute “massage therapist” who had accused him of doing so? What’s another hypocritical preacher who preaches what he…

Richard Dawkins on collateral damage

While perusing the new Richard Dawkins website a while back, I came across an article that, if you know my interest in World War II, you’d know that I couldn’t resist commenting on, and it’s been in my “to write about” queue for a few weeks now. In it, Dawkins discusses the aerial bombing campaigns…

Holy crap! (I mean, literally, holy crap!)

The title of this one made me laugh out loud: Fossilized Feces of Jesus Wreaks Havoc, and the article itself doesn’t disappoint: The recent discovery of a fossilized lump of human feces believed to have once emerged from the body of Jesus Christ, Son of God, has swept a whirlpool of excitement and controversy throughout…

Pediatric Grand Rounds, vol. 1, no. 5

Pediatric Grand Rounds, vol. 1, no. 5 has been posted at Tales from the Womb. Some good reading for your Sunday afternoon.

An all time high

October was a very good month for Respectful Insolence, a very good month indeed. In fact, traffic for this blog reached an all-time high, edging out the previous best month (May 2006) by about 1,000 visits on Sitemeter. It just goes to show that, although traffic has more or less leveled off and is fluctuating…

Sunday tune

I’ve been talking up My Chemical Romance’s Welcome to the Black Parade as an album that takes punk, glam, Goth, and sprinkles in a touch of Queen here and there like seasoning to produce an irresistable, sometimes over-the-top, album full of theatricality, bombast, and anthemic choruses that make you want to sing along. Check out…