Respectful Insolence

Archives for January, 2007

Carnivalia and an open thread

Three announcements about blog carnivals of interest to my readers: Medical blogging: Grand Rounds, vol. 3, no. 19 has been posted at Envisioning 2.0. Science blogging: Tangled Bank #72 has been posted at Ouroboros. Skeptical blogging: The Skeptics’ Circle will be appearing tomorrow at Slicing with Occam’s Razor. If you’re a blogger who writes about…

There I was, puttering around the Internet trying to procrastinate while writing yet another grant, when I came across a truly inane article by Scott Adams arguing that the entire universe must be intelligent because processes that lead to products of intelligent (machines, books, etc., made by us) must also be intelligent. (At least I…

Dichloroacetate: One last time…

At the risk of irritating a fellow ScienceBlogger again, I thought I’d point out this little post forwarded to me by Norm Jenson as yet another example of exactly the inflated hype for dichloroacetate as a “cure for cancer” that will “never see the light of day” because it has little profit potential (and, by…

Muslims shouldn’t be vaccinated?

Via Black Triangle, I’m made aware of another example of religious fundamentalism interfering with sound health care: A MUSLIM doctors’ leader has provoked an outcry by urging British Muslims not to vaccinate their children against diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella because it is “un-Islamic”. Dr Abdul Majid Katme, head of the Islamic Medical…

Last minute warning

Here’s just another friendly reminder that the latest edition of the Skeptics’ Circle, that now-venerable blog carnival dedicated to critical thinking and skepticism, is due to appear this week on Thursday, February 1 at Slicing with Occam’s Razor. (Hmmm, that’s mighty close to Groundhog’s Day.) So, if you’re a blogger and have written something that…

Children’s medicine

The latest Pediatrics Grand Rounds has been posted over at Unintelligent Design: Grand Rounds, Volume 1 Edition 21: What Dreams May Come.

Acupuncture for Parkinson’s disease?

Critics who don’t like my insistence on applying the scientific method to the claims of alternative medicine sometimes accuse me of unrelenting hostility towards alternative medicine, as though no amount of evidence would ever convince me of the efficacy of various alternative medicine therapies. Nothing could be further from the truth; I merely insist, as…

Street Anatomy

PZ mentioned it, but, after having seen it, I thought I’d give it a plug too, mainly because my readership skews more towards the medical blogosphere than PZ’s does, and a new blog this promising should be publicized to other medical bloggers. It’s by a graduate student in Biomedical Visualization at the University of Illinois…

A Seed field trip?

I haven’t seen a Broadway play in quite a while now, but it may be time for that to change. In the New York Times, I came across an ad for a revival of Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee´s 1955 courtroom drama Inherit the Wind: This revival of the play stars two great actors,…

Donnie Davies “outed”?

Remember Donnie Davies, the “youth pastor” that I wrote about a couple of days ago, who posted a list of gay bands, plus a homophobic video proclaiming that “God hates a fag” that led to a prolonged debate over whether he was for real or some sort of elaborate Borat-like prank? Two sources tell me…

Medical schools going the wrong way

Everyone who reads this blog regularly knows my dismay at the infiltration of the curriculum of American medical schools with increasing amounts of non-evidence-based woo. It’s even gotten to the point where one medical school (Georgetown University) has is integrating alternative medicine into the mandatory curriculum during all four years, even though these modalities are…

I’m reminded by this article that today is the 62nd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops advancing west towards Germany: OSWIECIM, Poland — As they do on every anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops, witnesses to the Holocaust will gather Saturday — growing older, frailer and fewer each year.…

Dedicated to Donnie Davies…

I don’t know if I’ll make this a habit or not, but it’s a Saturday, and once again I feel like posting a YouTube or two and dedicating it to one of the “targets” of the week. (Besides, after the last post, I could use something light-hearted, or at least funny.) This one, of course,…

I hate to end the week on a downer, but I came across this last night and, given my attention to the case of Katie Wernecke (the girl whose parents chose dubious alternative medical therapy over the radiation therapy she needed for her lymphoma) over the last several months and the recent news that her…

After posting about the Donnie Davies, an alleged “youth minister” in Houston who has garnered a lot of attention throughout the blogosphere for his website in which he provides a hilariously off-base list of “gay bands” to avoid and “safe” bands, I was perusing my Folder of Woo, looking for this week’s target, but it…

Grant season is upon us. Every day that I’m not in the clinic and the O.R., I find myself holed up in my office pounding my head against my monitor trying to write just that perfect mixture of preliminary data, blarney, and grantsmanship to persuade the Powers That Be to give me just a taste…

Oh, no! The gay bands are here! Hide your children, and keep them away from this corruption! So sayeth Donnie Davies, an evangelical preacher who runs a website called Love God’s Way: One of the most dangerous ways homosexuality invades family life is through popular music. Parents should keep careful watch over their children’s listening…

The other day, I did a reality check on a story making the rounds through the blogosphere about an alleged new cure for cancer that, if you believe some hysterical bloggers, is being suppressed because it would cut into their profits. I took one blogger to task for what I characterized as the “utterly ridiculous…

You haven’t walked in my shoes!

At the risk of muscling in on Bronze Dog‘s territory, I’ve encountered a phenomenon that ought to be in his list of doggerel but doesn’t appear to be. It appeared in the comments of my post about the Arthur Allen-David Kirby debate and my discussion of how the human tendency to see patterns where none…

I’m sure glad that wasn’t my complication

Via Kevin, MD, a picture of a complication I hope I never have: A description of the complication: A 40-year-old man with Crohn’s disease underwent an uncomplicated operation involving lysis of adhesions that were causing intestinal obstruction. After surgery, a cardiologist inserted a central venous catheter through the left subclavian vein. No problems with catheterization…

The commentary on the Arthur Allen-David Kirby debate is coming in fast and furious. The latest is this excellent deconstruction of Kirby’s parroting of the claim that autistic children are “poor excretor’s” of mercury. I guess I can say that Dad of Cameron took this one on so that I don’t have to…

I came across an interesting tidbit about dichloroacetate (DCA), the compound that the media and all too many bloggers are touting as some sort of cheap “cure” for cancer whose development is being ignored or suppressed by big pharma because it wouldn’t be profitable enough. I poured a bit of cold water on all of…

Grand Rounds

The latest Grand Rounds has been posted over at Signout. It has a theme this time that, as any regular reader of this blog is aware, is near and dear to my heart: the interface of scientific evidence with health and health care; so I’m expecting that it will be of more than usual interest…

Well, it’s finally been posted, video of the debate between Arthur Allen, author of Vaccine: The Controversial Story of Medicine’s Greatest Lifesaver (a book that I am about 2/3 of the way through and plan on reviewing before the end of the month if possible) and mercury militia vaccine fearmonger David Kirby, author of Evidence…

1,000,000

I demand the sum of…..one MILLION visits! Muhahahahahaha! Sometime while I was in clinic this morning, Respectful Insolence recorded its 1,000,000 visitor: