Respectful Insolence

Archives for February, 2008

Earlier today I was perusing incoming links. (Yes, most bloggers do that because we like to know who’s linking to us; any blogger who doesn’t do this from time to time is atypical or lying about it.) What to my wondering (and I do mean wondering) eyes should appear, but Respectful Insolence appearing on a…

It’s very bad when I have a week off. Very, very bad. The reason is that when I have a week off I have this rather unfortunate tendency to stay up late at night, and when I stay up late at night I have an even more unfortunate tendency to check out late night infomercials…

This year’s a Leap Year, as it so happens, and it turns out that Leap Day is tomorrow. Unfortunately for “alternative medicine” mavens, conspiracy theorists, and lovers of woo everywhere, that means that the Skeptical Conspiracy to Suppress All Dissent–I mean, the Skeptics’ Circle–is meeting over at–where else?–The Conspiracy Factory, where, just as woo-meisters have…

An update on UCSC animal rights terrorism

In the two days since I first mentioned an attempted home invasion of a researcher at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) by bandana-masked animal rights terrorists, there have been new developments worth posting an update here. First, last night the Santa Cruz Sentinel posted a story indicating that the FBI are now involved…

I didn’t want to blog about this. I really didn’t. No, the reason why I didn’t want to blog about this latest screed by mercury militia enabler David Kirby is not because it is about any sort of slam-dunk proof that vaccines do after all cause autism, a mistaken impression that you might get if…

The consequences of not vaccinating

In case you haven’t heard it enough on this blog and elsewhere: Antivaccination lunacy has consquences. In the UK, measles cases have jumped to a record high: The number of measles cases in England and Wales jumped more than 30% last year to the highest level since records began in 1995. The Health Protection Agency…

When the Terminator becomes real…

…two words: Killer robots! Clearly, we’re all doomed. Skynet, here we come!

Do cell phones make men sterile?

A few days ago, I came across an article on Engadget that mentioned almost in passing some studies that seemed to indicate health problems or no health problems, depending on the specific study, due to the ubiquitous and maligned cellular telephone. Not having dealt with this issue much on my blog, I decided to take…

…and this time it’s a home invasion. Abel Pharmboy at Terra Sig pointed me to this incident, which has all the markings of still more animal rights terrorism. This time, the attack occurred at the University of California Santa Cruz and involved a home invasion by masked intruders: SANTA CRUZ – A UC Santa Cruz…

In a way, I have to hand it to Mike Adams. As you may recall, Mike Adams is the man behind what is arguably one of the top two or three woo-filled sites on the Internet, NaturalNews.com (formerly known as NewsTarget.com). I’m hard-pressed to come up with an example of someone who can deliver delusional…

One way that pseudoscience tries to maintain a patina of respectability to the outside world, a patina that sometimes even manages to take in researchers unacquainted with its methods, is through the “research conference” that has all the trappings of a research meeting but whose topics reveal the pseudoscience at the heart of it all.…

Back in late December, I came across an op-ed piece in the New York Times written by Dr. Atul Gawande, general and endocrine surgeon and author of Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science and Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance, that struck me as a travesty of what our system for protecting human…

You can read parts I and II first, if you like. Yet another reason Bill Maher is an idiot can be found in the video below, taken from Real Time With Bill Maher from the February 8 episode. I happened to catch it in reruns and was looking for a transcript or YouTube version. It’s…

One of XTC’s best songs: I actually heard this on the radio the other night, hence my looking for it on YouTube. I hadn’t heard the song in several years, and I don’t recall ever hearing it on the radio. In any case, it caught my mood this morning.

Woo-hoo! The Quackometer’s back!

I recently wrote about the cowardly manner in which Netcetera booted the Quackometer off of its servers unceremoniously in response to a truly vacuous legal threat from a quack named Joseph Chikelue Obi. Now, the little black duck has found a new ISP. The Quackometer is back in business! Hilariously, “Dr.” Obi is already making…

Anyone who reads this blog knows my opinion of homeopathy. Just type “homeopathy” in the little search box on the left side of this blog, and you’ll be greeted with many, many posts dating back to the very beginnings of Orac’s presence on ScienceBlogs. Of course, science is with me on this one, as it…

Submit now! Or the orbs will get you!

With the invasion of the orbs discussed earlier today, it’s become apparent to me that now, more than ever, a healthy dose of skepticism and critical thinking is imperative. Fortunately, the Skeptics’ Circle is fast approaching and due to land on Thursday, February 28 at the Conspiracy Factory. So, if you’re a skeptical blogger who…

Sometimes woo jumps out and hits you from sources from which you least expect it. Such was the case earlier this week, when I found my self in Detroit lazily watching a local newscast. Now, I realize that local news is not the place to look for skepticism. Heck, just the other day, I mentioned…

Ouch!

I have to hand it to Abel Pharmboy. No one else I know would live-blog his own vasectomy. Even though my traffic is greater than his, he’s definitely trumped me as a blogger today.

I’ve written a few posts now pointing out how, its claims that it is not “antivaccine” notwithstanding, for the mercury militia and those who think mercury in vaccines or vaccines themselves cause autism, it really is all about the vaccines, not any single ingredient, even mercury. I first noticed this nearly three years ago, and,…

Earlier this month, I was remiss in not noting an update to a story about which I had written before, a story of domestic terrorism carried out by so-called “animal rights” advocates who are utterly opposed to the use of animals in research. The series of attacks began with an intimidation campaign against a UCLA…

For duty and humanity!

A blogger’s duty calls: (Click for the full-sized version.) It’s true: A skeptical blogger’s work is never done! When pseudoscience or quackery is noticed on the Internet, no mater what time of day or night, this skeptical blogger cannot resist the call to craft a takedown. Just ask my wife.

Deep underneath the brick and steel of a nondescript building somewhere in Manhattan, within the very bowels of the city itself, not far from the Seed mothership, Orac waited. After over a year’s absence, the monster had returned to consume the most unpalatable brain of a former Nixon speechwriter who had decided that he knew…

Le Canard Noir in trouble? I’m there!

Via WhiteCoat Underground, I’ve learned of a most disturbing development. Remember Le Canard Noir? He’s the skeptical blogger whose Quackometer was one of my favorite websites and tools for identifying pseudoscience and quackery caused him to run afoul of the Society of Homeopaths and a highly dubious practitioner named Joseph Chikelue Obi, both of whom…

In response to my post yesterday castigating J. B. Handley of Generation Rescue for hypocritically accusing the American Academy of Pediatrics of “manipulating the media” when manipulating the media is Generation Rescue’s raison d’ĂȘtre, Mike the Mad Biologist turned me on to a rather fascinating article in the New York Times by its Public Editor…