Respectful Insolence

Archives for December, 2007

What better way to finish off 2007 than to look at a most amusing judicial ruling on the admissibility of some of the favorite “expert” witnesses trotted out to try to demonstrate a link between mercury in vaccines and autism. It was issued on December 21 in the case of Blackwell v. Sigma Aldrich, Inc.…

Open mouth. Insert foot.

Given the way that he’s so successfully resurrected Doctor Who, I had come to believe that Russell T. Davies could do no wrong. I guess I was wrong: The Daily Post is reporting that comments made by Executive Producer Russell T. Davies at the preview screening of Voyage of the Damned have caused quite a…

Don’t let the holidays stop you…

…from submitting to the Skeptics’ Circle! Our latest host, Pal MD at White Coat Underground, has sent up the emergency flare. With a mere three days to go, he’s worried that he won’t have enough submissions to his Skeptics’ Circle to keep up the usual high quality when the Circle lands on Thursday, January 3.…

If you think spending the holidays with your family is stressful, imagine what it might be like for the Doctor: By the way, I’ve managed to check out the Doctor Who Christmas Special. By and large it’s pretty good; maybe I’ll post a review sometime in the next few days, while I’m taking it fairly…

Holocaust deniers for Ron Paul?

The other day, I posted about how quacks and pseudoscientists seem to find Ron Paul’s promise of “health freedom” as irresistible as moths do flame. Now it seems that Ron Paul has another most excellent endorsement to add to that of Stormfront, Dr. Mercola, and Mike Adams, not to mention to the support of the…

As if Jenny McCarthy weren’t enough stupidity in pushing the alleged “link” between vaccines and autism, it looks as though Donald Trump has joined the fray on the side of pseudoscience: In an interview with Palm Beach Politics, Donald Trump offered a controversial opinion on a new topic: autism. The New York-Palm Beach real estate…

Speaking of woo…

…I find it rather amazing that after all these months I’m still getting a steady, constant stream of traffic, probably at least a couple of dozen visits a day, to this old post from Your Friday Dose of Woo, all coming from this discussion on the JREF forums. That forum must get a lot of…

Holocaust Children

Over at A Blog Around the Clock, the mother of fellow ScienceBlogger Bora’s is guest blogging. I mention this because she’s blogging about a trip to Israel she took in November to attend a conference of Holocaust Child Survivors. I had no idea. So far, there are four parts: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3…

Ron Paul: Quackery enabler

Lately, bloggers, including some of my fellow ScienceBloggers, have been expressing various concerns about the phenomenon that is Ron Paul, the Republican candidate who’s ridden a wave of discontent to do surprisingly well in the polls leading up to the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries. First, Jake and Greg have pointed out that Ron…

Your Friday Dose of Woo: Happy Holidays!

Orac’s circuits have yet to recover from the assault on his logic circuits caused by the über-woo of a couple of weeks ago, coupled with the even more powerful woo two weeks before that. Consequently, in order to marshal additional time scour the Internet for only the finest woo to be featured in 2008, he…

In case you’re curious…

…this is what a troll is on the Internet. Personally, though, I prefer the Flame Warriors version, although I’m not sure that I agree with Mike Reed’s characterization of trolls as “generally quite harmless.”

End of year update on Abraham Cherrix

It’s been a while since I’ve heard anything about Abraham Cherrix, the teen who rejected conventional chemotherapy for Hodgkins’ lymphoma in favor of the quackery known as Hoxsey therapy. Ultimately, there was a legal battle resulting in a compromise that allowed Cherrix to pursue “alternative” therapy at a clinic in Mississippi run by a radiation…

Skepticism and the scientific consensus

It figures. Some of the most interesting questions and posts showed up right before Christmas, just the time when I didn’t have time to discuss and (hopefully) expand upon them. Neither, I’m guessing, did anyone else, which is unfortunate because this post was about an issue worth further discussion in the skeptical blogosphere. I’m talking…

The whole post-Christmas thing left me without time to do anything other than a couple of brief bits. Consequently, given Deirdre Imus’ two recent appearances on the Huffington Post, I thought it would be as good a time as any to resurrect this post from June 27, 2005. For those of you who haven’t been…

While I’m recharging a bit from the Christmas festivities yesterday to the point where soon I’ll be able to write a substantive post, full of the Respectful Insolence™ and science or medicine that readers have come to expect, here’s something to amuse (I hope). On Sunday, I wrote a not-so-respectfully insolent takedown of a truly…

Holiday Movable Type weirdness

We interrupt this post-holiday blogging slowdown for an important blog housekeeping message. Something weird happened to Respectful Insolence™ over the weekend before Christmas. Sunday, I was composing a little missive to autopost over the holidays. I went to the pulldown menu in Movable Type to assign a category to it and noticed something odd. There…

Bowie and Bing. Christmas. What more needs to be said? Consider this making up for the last Christmas video. Simply awesome.

I think my eyes are bleeding: Maybe this one will be better: Only a little. At least it rocks a bit and is a tad warped in its outlook. That counts for something. In any case, what are you doing here messing around on the Internet and watching silly Christmas videos? Shouldn’t you be with…

The joy of Christmas, take 1: Scared of Santa

It’s Christmas Eve, and nothing says Christmas like Santa Claus. And nothing says Christmas quite as much as the terrified reactions of some little children when they see Santa Claus and realize that they’re Scared of Santa. There are lots more where these two pictures came from here, here, and here. Merry Christmas!

Even though it’s Christmas Eve and I hadn’t been planning on posting anything except what I hope to be humorous holiday greetings, I couldn’t resist mentioning this example of political correctness run amok: A Croatian rock star accused of anti-Semitism will be forced to undergo tolerance counselling as a condition of entry to Australia. A…

Dumbest creationist anti-evolution rant ever?

You be the judge: I believe, first of all, evolution is a crock. It takes a lot of faith to believe that I came from an ameba. A lot of faith! So evolution should be taught in Faith Class, otherwise known in parochial schools as Religion Class. It’s a crazy world we live in. Crazier…

Doonesbury on magical thinking

Getting it right once again (click on the image for the whole comic)… I’ve been meaning to do a piece about Head On, but I think I’ve decided that it’s just too ridiculous to bother with, and that’s saying something. After all, this is the blog that regularly posts pictures of a giant enema bottle.

I’ve mentioned before that it irritates me that Don Imus is back on the air. It’s not that I give a rodent’s posterior that he made an offensive comment about the Rutgers women’s basketball team that lead to his being fired from his previous gig. It’s actually more because he somehow managed to displace the…

Here’s one of my all time favorite David Bowie tunes, truly an underrated gem from his career. (Too bad the movie it came from was only so-so.) This performance is from June 2000: Why? Because Christmas is coming and I felt like it. Enjoy!

Quoth global warming “skeptic” (translation: “crank”) Senator Inhofe: Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) got the crowd cheering early in the day. “I have been called — my kids are all aware of this — dumb, crazy man, science abuser, Holocaust denier, villain of the month, hate-filled, warmonger, Neanderthal, Genghis Khan and Attila the Hun,” he announced.…