Respectful Insolence

Archives for January, 2007

I would have written about this one on Friday, except that Your Friday Dose of Woo had to be served up. (You did read last week’s YFDoW, didn’t you? It was a particularly loopy bit of woo, with a bad computer interface grafted on to it, to boot!) The reason I wanted to write about…

ScienceBlogs under the microscope?

It looks like someone over at BlogCritics is undertaking the task of reviewing each of the component blogs of ScienceBlogs. So far, he’s not particularly impressed with anyone except Martin and, to a lesser extent, Afarensis. Although he makes a few good points in checking out the first five blogs (he’s proceeding in alphabetical order)…

We see far too little of this in the mainstream media: (Via The Bronze Blog and Memoirs of a Skepchick.) Anderson Cooper is da man!

Flat to fem?

I had originally intended to use this one for a segment of Your Friday Dose of Woo. Unfortunately, when I tried to start writing, I realized it was unsuitable. No, it wasn’t unsuitable because the content wasn’t delightfully loopy enough to deserve targeting. The problem was that it was an insufficient–shall we say?–target-rich environment. Again,…

Dedicated to Dr. Cook

Things have gotten a little heated around here, with an ID adherent named Dr. Cook taking umbrage at my expression of embarrassment for my profession over his having shown up over at Uncommon Descent and flaunting his excellent (albeit irrelevant to the discussion of evolution) credentials as he proudly told the assembled William Dembski sycophants…

The winners of the 2006 Medical Weblog Awards have been announced at Medgadget. Winners include our favorite pediatrician Flea (and if he manages to tick off the antivaccination loons, you know he’s alright with me) for Best New Medical Weblog; NHS Blog Doctor for Best Medical Weblog; and Anxiety, Depression, and Addiction Treatments for Best…

I admit it. I’m a gadget freak. I sometimes think I should have gone into radiology. If you’re a radiologist and work with MRI, CT scans, PET scanners, and numerous other cool gadgets. Of course, you also have to sit in dark rooms in the basement of the hospital and stare at films for several…

The Skeptics’ Circle

The 52nd Edition of the Skeptics’ Circle has been posted at Frank the Financially Savvy Atheist. It’s a little late in coming (and I’m a little late in announcing it), but as usual another host has come through with a fine collection of skeptical blogging. So go pay him a visit. It also marks the…

A truly pointless way to die, part 3

If you want to know the skinny about the physiological mechanism by which a person can die of water intoxication, Radagast has posted A Look at Osmosis and Water Balance, a nice primer on the distribution of water in the human body and how it can be affected by drinking too much water too quickly.

Geez, I might as well just put a paper bag over my head right now around my fellow ScienceBloggers. You’ve heard me lament before about the woeful ignorance about biology and evolution common among all too many doctors. (You haven’t? Well check here, here, here, and here.) Heck, you’ve even heard me lament about it…

A truly pointless way to die, part 2

The other day, I commented on the very sad death of a young woman named Jennifer Strange. In essence, Ms. Strange died after a radio contest to see who could drink the most water without urinating. The prize? A Wii. This was pretty clearly a case of water intoxication leading to hyponatremia, an impression that…

The sociology of the antivaccination movement

Drat! Real life has once again interfered with my blogging. Fortunately, there’s still a lot of what I consider to be good stuff in the archives of the old blog that has yet to be transferred to the new blog. Today looks like a perfect time to transfer at least a couple more articles from…

How not to win friends and influence people

Drat! Real life has once again interfered with my blogging. Fortunately, there’s still a lot of what I consider to be good stuff in the archives of the old blog that has yet to be transferred to the new blog. Today looks like a perfect time to transfer at least a couple more articles from…

When is cancer care “futile”?

Drat! Real life has once again interfered with my blogging. Fortunately, there’s still a lot of what I consider to be good stuff in the archives of the old blog that has yet to be transferred to the new blog. Today looks like a perfect time to transfer at least a couple more articles from…

I don’t see the point. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Basic concepts

On our backchannel discussion forum, we ScienceBloggers have been discussing a rather interesting idea that we could use to provide extra value to our readers. The idea is to do short articles about basic concepts in science. It’s an intriguing idea, and, while I could try my hand at posts about a number of basic…

Science blogging anthology

Here’s an interesting concept that’s just been released for purchase, either as a digital download or as a bona fide book: The Open Laboratory: The Best Writing on Science Blogs 2006. It’s edited by fellow ScienceBlogger Bora Zikovic. Oh, and it happens to contain a couple of posts by yours truly. In any case, it’s…

One of the consistent themes of this blog since the very beginning has been that alternative medicine treatments, before being accepted, should be subject to the same standards of evidence as “conventional” medical therapies. When advocates of evidence-based medicine (EBM) like myself say this, we are frequently treated with excuses from advocates of alternative medicine…

Update on water intoxication death

A couple of days ago, I commented on the sad case of Jennifer Strange, the woman who entered a water drinking contest and died, apparently of water intoxication. While listening to the radio this morning as I got ready for work, I heard pundits discussing the case, and one of them stated that she had…

The History Carnival

The latest History Carnival has been posted at Investigations of a Dog. Lots of good stuff there.

Hit me! Hit me hard!

My dear mother pointed out the other day that my Sitemeter is rapidly approaching the 1,000,000 visits mark. And so it is. I had noticed a couple of weeks ago that I was getting close to the zone, but it crept up on me faster than I had expected. With your help, I should be…

Stomping free speech flat in Europe

Regular readers of this blog know that I have a particular dislike for Holocaust denial and that, indeed, I’ve tried to do my small part to counter the lies spread by Holocaust deniers, beginning on Usenet eight years ago. Regular readers will also know my opinion regarding laws in certain European countries such as Germany…

A truly pointless way to die

After competing in a water-drinking contest to win a Wii for her children, a young mother died of water intoxication: SACRAMENTO, California (AP) — A woman who competed in a radio station’s contest to see how much water she could drink without going to the bathroom died of water intoxication, the coroner’s office said Saturday.…

I think I like Doctor Who better this way…

…or at least the Cybermen would be more entertaining: Now, if I could only see a Dalek episode redone this way. Imagine how the Daleks would sound. (Hat tip: Jody.) And while I’m doing the Sunday Doctor Who thing, who ya gonna call?

Oh the shame!

I’ve lamented numerous times (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) about the sometimes painful ignorance of biology and evolutionary theory that’s all too common among my fellow physicians, an ignorance that leads to truly embarrassing forays into the “debate” over the pseudoscience of “intelligent design” versus the real science of evolution, an example of which includes…