Respectful Insolence

Archives for December, 2006

First, check out The Daily Show‘s take on the Holocaust denial conference, with goodies like Revision Quest and Just Say No. It’s the show that characterizes the “question” being discussed at the conference as: Was the entire Holocaust an elaborate episode of Punk’d? Best line: David Duke, he’s like the Flock of Seagulls of hate.…

Holocaust denial, religion, and ideology

We often hear atheists like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and P. Z. Myers castigating the excesses and irrationality of religion. (Heck, I’m often game for joining in when it comes to fundamentalist religion.) While discussing the recent Holocaust denial conference in Iran, Massimo Pigliucci makes a good point when he argues that focusing on just…

Happy belated blogiversary to Terra Sigillata

I must have fallen behind in my blog reading, which led me not to notice that Abel Pharmboy over at Terra Sigillata just celebrated his first blogiversary on Friday. Here’s to another successful year of science blogging! If you want to get a taste of what Abel’s about, he just posted two good analyses of…

Pros and cons of chelation for lead exposure

Here’s an interesting little tidbit of a study: Newswise — Lead chelation therapy — a chemical treatment to remove lead from the body — can significantly reduce learning and behavioral problems that result from lead exposure, a Cornell study of young rats finds. However, in a further finding that has implications for the treatment of…

The Skeptics’ Circle: Dedicated to Carl Sagan

Yes, I know that skepticism and Christmas don’t exactly mix. After all, most people, even highly skeptical and unreligious ones, tend to enjoy at least a few, if not many, of the myths that accompany the season, myths such as Santa Claus. But we won’t let that stop us from having a bit of skeptical…

Putting things in perspective

This rather puts one’s life and place in the universe in perspective, doesn’t it?

This week sucked. OK, it was the last two or three days that sucked, but they were bad enough to ruin the whole week. The only reason my blogging didn’t reflect this is because most of the posts over the last couple of days were actually written earlier this week, and the true magnitude of…

It’s that time of year again: Santarchy

Too bad I can’t make it back to Detroit this weekend. In fact, it’s worse than that; I’m on call. Why? Because Saturday is Santarchy night. Basically a bunch of people dress up like Santa and go barhopping. Much drinking and debauchery ensue. If you happen to live in the Detroit area, here’s a little…

Pythons were the oldest gods?

Given the interest in questions of religion, faith, and atheism among so many of my fellow ScienceBloggers, I’m a bit surprised that none of them picked up on this interesting tidbit of a story: Pythons were probably the first idols to be worshipped by man, archaeologists said after unearthing evidence of a ritual dating back…

Alternative medicine and pediatric cancer

It appears that I’m even further behind in my reading than Abel Pharmboy, because he pointed me to a couple of articles in an issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology that I haven’t even cracked open yet. It’s probably still sitting in the pile of journals on my desk that haven’t been touched yet…

Historical lunacy

Everyone else is jumping off the bridge; so I thought I would too. Take that, PZ, Joshua, and Afarensis! I’m a monarch, albeit a mad one: Which Historical Lunatic Are You?From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey. You are Charles VI of France, also known as Charles the Mad or Charles the Well-Beloved! A…

Podcast recommendations

I’ve become a big fan of podcasting and now like to listen to podcasts when I happen to be in my office while I’m working and in my car while driving to and from work. Unfortunately, there is a dearth of good skeptical podcasts, at least in comparison with the number of credulous ones. I…

Believe it or not, I missed my own blogiversary. It’s true. It was two days ago. For some reason, as the date approached I got the idea that it was the 13th, when in fact this blog was born on December 11, 2004 on a dreary Saturday afternoon when, after reading the TIME Magazine story…

Fellow finalist for a 2006 Weblog Award for Best Medical/Health Issues Blog Flea sure stepped into it the other day. A reader e-mailed him a discussion found on the dreaded Mothering.com discussion boards, you know, the same boards that horrified me with the sheer level of antivaccination wingnuttery and HIV/AIDS denialism routinely supported by the…

Regular readers of this blog know that I couldn’t leave this one alone. Yesterday, the Holocaust-denying President of Iran Mahmoud realized his promised dream of holding an “academic” conference to “debate” the Holocaust. Not surprisingly, it’s a lovefest for Holocaust deniers. Indeed, many of the most “prominent” Holocaust deniers in the world are now gathered…

Medblog Awards

It’s that time of year again. Nominations are open for the best medical blogging: Welcome to the third annual Medical Weblog Awards! These awards are designed to honor the very best in the medical blogosphere, and to highlight the diverse world of medical blogs. The categories for this year’s awards will be: – Best Medical…

An appropriately named book

Via The Millenium Project, I’ve learned that some of the “Dummy” books may be living up to their names a bit too literally: I almost didn’t believe it when I was told that Understanding Autism for Dummies contains advice about how chelation might be a useful treatment for autism, so I used Amazon’s “search inside…

Over a week ago, fellow ScienceBlogger revere fired a bit of a pot shot across my bow regarding my bow regarding a study regarding, of all things, chicken soup. Initially, it was at a bad time, when I had other things to do, having just labored mightily to produce the latest Hitler Zombie extravaganza, after…

Vote early, vote often

I know, I know. When I first found out that I had been nominated for a 2006 Weblog Award for Best Medical/Health Issues Blog a few days ago, I initially said that I didn’t think I would win and didn’t really care if I would win. And it was true. Then. Then, much to my…

After I did an installment of Your Friday Dose of Woo a couple of days ago about some truly strange 9/11 conspiracy theorists, the tinfoil hat brigade has descended en masse into the comments section of that post. Consequently, it is quite serendipitous that I’ve found, via Secular Blasephemy, a new theory for the 9/11…

Insanity in my old stomping grounds

Strangely enough, even though I lived in Cleveland for eight years and my wife lived there for eleven years before we left in 1996, I don’t recall ever hearing about this. I wonder if it’s a new thing that somehow the New York Times just happened to notice today: CLEVELAND, Dec. 9 — They surf…

A classic rock god!

When I saw this test on ahistoricality, I just had to take it. I was disappointed. It was way too easy for me: Rock Star You scored 100%! You damn rock star. You know all the basics, and if you got any wrong, I bet it was that stupid Traveling Wilburys question. Your friends are…

Supporting the families of our soldiers

Mike Dunford, whose wife is currently serving in Iraq, tells of a a worthy effort to provide aid to the families of soldiers who were killed while serving overseas: As I mentioned recently, a number of soldiers in Iraq will be running the Honolulu Marathon this weekend. The course goes around a base several times,…

Whether they know it or not, Pharyngula and Mixing Memory may have provided our undead Führer with a catchy new theme song. Yes, I know. You might think the Hitler Zombie would be more partial to martial music with a Triumph des Willens sort of feel to it. The problem is, I don’t think there…

Woo World Self Treater

Via The Second Sight, I find an example of a tool that, I suspect, many alties will find highly useful: The Woo World Self Treater. It’ll allow you to diagnose yourself free from the boot of big pharma and the oppressive evidence-based medicine that close-minded “conventional” doctors like me advocate. My results are below the…