Respectful Insolence

Archives for August, 2007

Too much coffee!

Yikes! In my grant writing frenzy the last few days, this could easily have been me: Jasmine Willis, 17, developed a fever and began hyperventilating after drinking seven double espressos while working at her family’s sandwich shop. The student, of Stanley, County Durham, was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham, where doctors confirmed…

It arrived a little early, but it’s here now, the latest, greatest edition of Tangled Bank is now posted over at Fish Feet. Go now and get caught up on the best science blogging of the past fortnight.

Via Pure Pedantry, I’ve become aware of a post that resonates over here, given the recent series of posts I did about a certain comic who, unable to dispute the science behind global warming or the health hazards of secondhand smoke in any serious way, has a penchant for labeling scientists who support such positions…

Government-funded woo

It’s that time of year again! Time for the one Center of the NIH dedicated to studying “remedies,” regardless of how scientifically implausible or lacking in evidence to support them, the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) to put forth its budget request for FY 2008. What’s the bill for government-funded studies of…

I can answer that question!

Since I’m still immersed in grant writing, to start the afternoon off, here’s one that I saw a week ago but never got around to answering. It’s a question from this week’s host of the Skeptics’ Circle, Bronze Dog, over at (appropriately enough) The Bronze Blog, who asks: You’ve been captured by Daleks. You’re their…

I debated for a while about whether or not I wanted to comment on this one. The reason, of course, is that, to some extent, I’ve commented on a similar article before. Also, given the utter contempt that the blogger who posted this series holds me in and his delusion that I am somehow “obsessed”…

Science tattoos vs. anatomy tattoos

Science tattoos have been all the rage lately. Even though I’m a scientist, I’m also a surgeon; so naturally I was wondering if there was anything that I’d like to see too. There is. Over at Street Anatomy, there’s a great collection of anatomy tattoos. Anyone who has any surgery-related tattoos, send a picture of…

Greatest. Movie. Ever.

While trying to avoid working on my grant yesterday, I was idly flipping channels. I had planned on killing a few minutes while psyching myself up to go back into the Bat Cave that is my office, ignoring a gloriously perfect sunny day with temperatures in the low 80s, to do battle with the grant…

I thought they were just kidding…

This is disturbing. Yesterday, I did a rather light-hearted edition of Your Friday Dose of Woo about “ionic foot detoxification.” A reader pointed out that in a story in which Randi had also discussed this woo, there was a comment along the lines of “I think autistic children should really do this.” How prophetic! Sadly,…

A friendly reminder

Don’t forget, everybody, that the 67th Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle is due to land at The Bronze Blog on Thursday, August 16. Bronze Dog will host. As you may know, Bronze Dog is the creator of a great list of “doggerel” commonly used by the credulous to defend pseudoscience or the paranormal. It’s up…

After over a year of doing Your Friday Dose of Woo, I can’t believe I’ve never come across this one before. Sometimes there’s a bit of woo that comes my way that’s so off the wall, so unexpected, the claims for which are so unrelated to reality that it startles even me. Moreover, unlike truly…

Somehow, I don’t know how, I managed to wind up on the mailing list of über-woomeister Dr. Joseph Mercola, who’s almost as bad as Mike Adams, only less blatantly crazy in pushing conspiracy theories. Yesterday, I received this pitch by e-mail:

I’m a bit cranky right now. Long time readers are familiar with the logorrhea that usually characterizes this blog. Fans love it; detractors hate it, Some may have noticed a bit of paucity of blogging, at least relatively speaking. There’s a good reason for this. Not only was I out of town last weekend, but…

About

This is an example of a WordPress page, you could edit this to put information about yourself or your site so readers know where you are coming from. You can create as many pages like this one or sub-pages as you like and manage all of your content inside of WordPress.

African Booze Tree

Turns out the monkey isn’t the only creature in the forest getting bombed. Check out this video of the African booze tree. Special thanks to Tom Ferriss for finding this clip. Add to: Slashdot del.icio.usredditnewsvineY! MyWeb

Check out the Carnival of Healing (which should be called the Carnival of Woo, if this recent edition is any example). They’re looking for hosts, you know. Perhaps I should volunteer. Or maybe one of my favorite skeptical bloggers would volunteer. I know, it’s an evil thought.

A giant has passed on

I learned the other day that one of the most renowned historians of the Holocaust, Raul Hilberg, passed away at the age of 81: WILLISTON, Vt. –Dr. Raul Hilberg, a world renowned Holocaust scholar has died. He was 81. Hilberg, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Vermont, died Saturday from a…

Who’s Hitler today?

&uotI’ve been on call and grant writing, both of which have put a major crimp in my blogging time, preventing my usual daily magnum opus and leaving me reposts and pithy link-and-comment posts, at least for today. Since having become

The third season of Doctor Who is over. There’s nothing on the horizon for many months (such as the return of Doctor Who or Torchwood) that’s interesting enough to me coming out of the U.K. that I’d go to the trouble of firing up BitTorrent to check it out, rather than wait until it somehow…

After a long run of arguing against global warming and indoor smoking bans, it appears that our favorite Libertarian comic with a penchant for bad arguments and ad hominem attacks on scientists has temporarily left the field of blog combat in a huff of “giving up” that reminds me of a certain Black Knight telling…

Random strange observation

Seen on the road on my way into work this morning: I passed a bus going the other way. I noticed that it had a prominent sign over its front window scrolling, “NOT IN SERVICE.” We both stopped at the light, the bus on the other side going the other way from me. I then…

The Hand of Doom

I hate flying these days. I’m almost certainly not alone in this dislike of what air travel has become. After all, between widespread flight cancellations and delays, service that would make even cell phone tech support seem attentive and pleasant by comparison, and the necessary but degrading security gauntlet, in which old ladies are treated…

Now I remember why breakdancing got on my nerves in the 1980s: (Via Attuworld.) Thus endeth the silliness for this rainy Sunday.

A double dose of…

…Eneman! I was remiss in July. It happens that I totally forgot to post the monthly feature that has become a tradition over the last two years of blogging. Oh, I tried to make up for it by resurrecting a rather amusing EneMan article from nearly two years ago as an installment of Your Friday…

Behe on the Colbert Report

In case you haven’t seen it yet… Sad. I can’t believe Behe is still using the mousetrap analogy for “irreducible complexity” when the very concept has been so thoroughly debunked over the last several years.