Respectful Insolence

Archives for July, 2007

Since this seems to be the day for applying Respectful Insolenceā„¢ to people who say stupid things about me… Everyone knows that Dean Esmay and I don’t exactly see eye to eye on a lot of things. Indeed, it could be safely said that Dean has nothing but contempt for me. It doesn’t bother me.…

Cannabis and schizophrenia?

I was going to write about a recent study that purports to claim that smoking pot causes schizophrenia that’s been making the rounds lately. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you see it), this week’s host of the Skeptics’ Circle, Mark Hoofnagle, beat me to it. Can you say, “Correlation does not necessarily equal causation”?…

A couple of weeks ago, inspired by a somewhat drunken encounter two weeks prior, against my better judgment, I waded into the evidence supporting the contention that secondhand smoke is harmful to health, increasing the risk of heart disease and lung cancer in workers chronically exposed to it. In response to a list of quotes…

Bush on health care

If you want to know how clueless our current President is about healthcare and the uninsured, just check out this quote from a speech he gave recently: The immediate goal is to make sure there are more people on private insurance plans. I mean, people have access to health care in America. After all, you…

Resolution of the Tripoli Six story

I’ve been a bit remiss about reporting an update on the Tripoli Six, six foreign health care workers who were falsely accused of intentionally infecting children at a hospital in Libya with HIV, leading to their being convicted and sentenced to death. The evidence against them was crap, and scientific analyses showed that the strain…

Confusion due to cancer care choices

Saturday, I thought that I knew what I’d be writing about for Monday, which, I’ve learned from my two and a half years of blogging, is a great thing when it happens. A certain Libertarian comic had decided that he wanted to argue some more about secondhand smoke and indoor smoking bans, starting a few…

(LOL Oscar from Lauren.) While I expressed skepticism the other day regarding the media reports that a cat named Oscar could predict which patients at the nursing home in which he resides were within hours of death, some of you believed it, some even going so far as to speculate that not only could Oscar…

Gene Simmons, eat your heart out

Continuing this weekend’s silliness, I found a contender for Gene Simmons’ throne, at least as far as the tongue action goes:

Dozing off at the wrong times…

Here’s something that’s not a good idea: Boston, MA (AHN) – The Board of Registration in Medicine, which is the governing authority issuing licenses to Massachusetts doctors, has reportedly suspended a Boston anesthesiologist from the practice of medicine for dozing off during an operation. However, the headline is misleading. It turns out that this doctor…

Ya gotta love The Cramps. Their style of rockabilly is so bizarre that it’s been dubbed by some as “psychobilly.” And, if you happen to be unlucky enough to have to be hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital, I can’t imagine a much better bit of therapy than to see The Cramps perform at your hospital.…

Only 78% of the states…

I guess that’s where I’ve been thus far in my life: create your own visited states map or check out these Google Hacks. How about you? Has anyone been to 100% of the states?

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The Brothers Bleiman Since early childhood, Andrew and Ben Bleiman have shared an obsession with zoology, corresponding with the mammalogist George Schaller before puberty and memorizing more than one illustrated animal encyclopedia. Although they currently both work in the software industry, Zooillogix is both a hobby and a secret outlet of forbidden passion… Andrew studied…

Transition to ScienceBlogs

Zooillogix has been invited to join ScienceBlogs and we have decided to take them up on the offer. ScienceBlogs is a unique community of science related blogs that run the gamut from highly informed and technical to… errr…. us. What this means for you the reader (e.g. the bored desk slave, bored 12 year old…

Waiter, There?s a Spy in my Soup

Harvard professor Robert Wood unveiled his newest creation recently, a robotic fly that can be used as a spy, according to this posting on engadget.com. They fly weighs only .002 ounces and has a wingspan of 1.18 inches. Due to light weight carbon joints, the fly’s wings beat 110 times per minute and the creature…

After all this annoyance I’ve had lately about homeopaths doing surgery in Arizona (not to mention the licensing of quackery there), I can’t forget that the blog carnival bequeathed to me, The Skeptics’ Circle, is fast approaching. This week, the host will be none other than fellow ScienceBlogger Dr. denialism blog. Since the Circle is…

The Kitty of Doom

This sort of thing makes one wonder if the personification of Death should in fact be a cat, although, oddly enough, not a black cat: Oscar the rescue cat is not simply a welcome feline companion at the Steere nursing home in Providence, Rhode Island. According to a new report in a medical journal he…

Your Friday Dose of Woo: Five years

Time is important. Our life is measured in it, and there’s no way to reverse it. How we use our allotted time on this planet is, of course, the most important question that anyone ever faces. But how to measure time? It all seems so obvious, doesn’t it? You have years, which are divided into…

Thank heaven it was only a dream…

…or was it? I’m pretty sure it was. The dream needed a little bit more of a zingy ending, though, like waking up and finding Bobby Ewing still alive or finding out that everything that happened at the hospital was the fantasy of an autistic boy. Or something like that

Until the other day, it had been a long time since I had indulged my interest in World War II history. Not surprisingly, a certain anti-Semitic troll appeared out of the woodwork, thus amazing me with persistence, given that it’s been at least two months since I’ve even mentioned the topic. That’s a long time…

…At least, that’s what I most definitely say after reading this account of The rise & fall of the prefrontal lobotomy. One question that stands out: How could a stepmother force her stepson to get a lobotomy just because she didn’t like his sullenness and defiance, even after being told by other doctors that there…

More on legalized quackery in Arizona

Yesterday, when I wrote about a death in Arizona caused by a homeopath doing liposuction, what amazed me the most was that homeopaths are licensed in Arizona. Although I alluded to it only briefly in yesterday’s post, I was truly astounded at what homeopaths are allowed to do in Arizona. It piqued my curiosity–and horror.…

While I’m back on the subject of Nazi Germany, here’s a rather interesting tidbit of news about a book that I’ll undoubtedly want to read when it comes out: During the latter half of World War II, the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) undertook a massive clandestine operation of which the full, extraordinary details are…

D’oh! How’d I become a Nazi?

Here’s a bummer of a bit of information that some elderly Germans are discovering: Hundreds of elderly Germans are being confronted with the revelation that they were recruited into the Nazi party during the second world war. Historians researching Nazi party archives in Frankfurt have discovered that a string of prominent Germans were among those…

Death by homeopathic surgery

Normally, when I hear such a term as “homeopathic surgery” or of homeopaths doing surgery, I get the irresistable urge to make jokes about it, such as wondering if homeopathic surgery is surgery diluted down to the point where not a single cell in the body is injured or whether homeopathic surgeons make ultra-tiny incisions.…