Respectful Insolence

Archives for February, 2007

Basic concepts–patience

I know, I know. I’ve been a bad boy. I’ve been meaning to join in everyone else and produce a couple of “basic concepts” posts. Somehow, I’ve just been distracted. The problem is, blogging is my hobby. It’s what I do for enjoyment. Writing a “basic concepts” post seems too much like work and grant…

Congratulations to Robert Lancaster, purveyor of the fine website Stop Sylvia Browne, a site dedicated to documenting the misadventures and misdeeds of the phony “psychic” known as Sylvia Browne. Apparently she has noticed him. In fact, between Robert, The Amazing Randi, and Anderson Cooper piling on to document her errors and downright callousness towards the…

I’ve written a lot about alternative medicine, much of which I consider to be woo; i.e., treatments for which there is no medical efficacy and the belief in which often requires magical thinking. I’ve expressed my disappointment in medical physicians who fall prey to and become purveyors or woo, doctors such as Dr. Deepak Chopra,…

Prometheus rising

Amazing! I had thought that one of my favorite skeptical blogs, Photon in the Darkness, had gone the way of the Dodo. With no posts since last July, I thought Prometheus had given up blogging for good, never to be seen again. Hoping against hope that he’d reappear, I left his RSS feed in NetNewsWire,…

Since DaveScot has made an appearance or two in the comments here, annoying everyone he comes in contact with, it’s worth pointing out that mine isn’t the only cluestick that could be used to pound some science into him about dichloroacetate, the supposed “cure” for cancer that’s being “ignored” or “suppressed” by Big Pharma. Since…

Pity poor David Kirby. After all, he made his name by hitching his star to a losing hypothesis, namely that the mercury in thimerosal in vaccines causes autism. He wrote a book about it, Evidence of Harm, back in 2005 and has milked that sucker dry ever since. Most recently, his appearances culminated in a…

I fart in your general direction, Doctor

So says this Dalek: Hilarious. Not as funny as the Jamaican Cybermen, but pretty funny nonetheless.

Remember how often I rail against misguided laws that seek to criminalize Holocaust denial, laws such as the one in Austria under which David Irving was imprisoned? I’ve referred to them more than once as “stomping free speech flat,” and I still believe that’s what they do. I’ve also pointed out the danger of a…

Here’s a blog that Shelley discovered and that I’ve been meaning to mention for a week now: Drug Rep Toys. Yep, it’s a blog whose purpose is to review and rate the various bits of swag that drug reps hand out to us doctors in the hopes that (I guess) we’ll prescribe or use their…

I know, I know, I said last time that I probably wouldn’t post on dichloroacetate and the hype some of the more credulous parts of the blogosphere are falling for over its being supposedly a “cancer cure” that big pharma is either willfully ignoring or actively suppressing. However, when DaveScot and the sycophants on Uncommon…

Happy blogiversary to Skeptico

Skeptico announces it’s his second blogiversary! Skeptico is one of the premier skeptical blogs out there, and, although he isn’t posting as much as he used to, can still be counted on to provide some of the best takesdowns of woo there are. Go on over and say hi and read his retrospective of the…

Your Friday Dose of Woo: The Alchemy of Woo

You know, I really wish I could have made it to The Amazing Meeting this year. It would have been really cool to have a chance to hear in person such skeptical luminaries, such as The Amazing Randi, Penn and Teller (although I do concede that Penn’s Libertarianism does occasionally border on credulity for some…

The 53rd Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle

The 53rd Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle has been posted at Slicing with Occam’s Razor. Once again, the best skeptical blogging from the last fortnight has been gathered, sifted, and presented in one tight, easy to peruse package. Next up is Action Skeptics, who will host a fortnight hence, on February 15, 2007. If you’re…

It’s things like this over at Over My Med Body! that show our friend Graham really knows how to make a humble guy like Orac feel the love: Big name bloggers like Orac and Dr. RW and KevinMD are all up in arms about how “medical schools are going the wrong way” and asking “Does…