Respectful Insolence

Archives for August, 2008

As my fellow Americans (ack! I’m sounding like a politician!) know, this happens to be a holiday weekend in the States, Monday being Labor Day. Given that, I’m taking it easy blogging until Tuesday, given that most people (in the U.S. at least) are probably out taking advantage of the opportunity that what is traditionally…

The best Chick tract ever?

Jack Chick is old. After many years of turning out the most hilariously over-the-top Christian fundamentalist cartoons, you may think he’s lost his edge, but if anything he seems to be getting even loonier. For example, check out his latest tract First Bite: Click panel for the tract in all its crazy glory! Yes, it…

Another reason to hate the Yankees!

Having grown up in an American league town east of the Mississippi, as a baseball fan it is my sacred duty to hate the Yankees. This is even more so given how badly my hometown team (the Detroit Tigers) and my second favorite team (the Cleveland Indians) are doing this year. Thanks to the Yankee…

I hesitated about whether to post this, knowing how many antivaccine activists read this blog, which is why I didn’t post it yesterday. Still, I think this might be of sufficient interest to my readers that I thought I’d announce it, just with relatively short notice. It turns out that today’s Science Friday with Ira…

The single most necessary task for a physician practicing science- and evidence-based medicine is the evaluation of the biomedical literature to extract from it just what science and the evidence support as the best medical therapy for a given situation. It is rare for the literature to be so clear on a topic that different…

A reader of this blog was outed by a moron posting as “Mark” on the Age of Autism blog. I will not link to the outing, nor will I link to Age of Autism. I have, however, kept a nice screen shot of the page, just in case someone over there has an attack of…

I lamented how much I needed it, given the persistence of a couple of particularly annoying and obtuse antivaccinationist trolls over the last couple of weeks. Finally, it’s here! We’re talking the 94th Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle over at Reduce to Common Sense. It’s just what I (and hopefully you) need: A dose of…

Believe it or not, there was one area of so-called “alternative” medicine that I used to be a lot less skeptical about than I am now. Homeopathy, I always realized to be a load of pseudoscientific magical thinking. Ditto reiki, therapeutic touch, and other forms of “energy healing.” It didn’t take an extensive review of…

Help a fellow research-minded surgeon out…

…and contribute to the next edition of SurgeXperience, the blog carnival that’s all about surgery. The next host, Dr. Cris Cuthbertson is interested in surgical research and, in addition to good posts about surgery, is looking especially for good posts about surgical research. Instructions for submitting can be found here. Please help her out if…

I’ve been sarcastically “thanking” Jenny McCarthy for bringing the U.S. the gift of measles through her tireless efforts on behalf of Generation Rescue and other antivaccine groups and will continue to do so whenever I deem it appropriate. But Jenny isn’t the only one who deserves our “thanks” (no, I’m not going to thank Andrew…

Welcome, Science After Sunclipse!

In its quest to rule the science blogosphere, the Borg–I mean ScienceBlogs–Collective has assimilated yet another blog, it would appear. It’s a good one too, and adding its uniqueness to us will only strengthen us. So please welcome blogger (not to mention frequent commenter on this very blog) Blake Stacy and Science After Sunclipse to…

Last night was a late night at work, and I didn’t have time to apply my usual annoyingly long-winded analysis to a study that I found interesting and had intended to look at today. It’ll keep. In the meantime, there are always the brief “link-and-comment” (or in my case “link-and-snark”) posts. Also, there was an…

If there is one thing I hate with a burning, red-hot passion in a website/blog/whatever, it’s content that autoplays when I access a site. To have a John Philips Souza march start blaring unexpectedly or some video start suddenly and noisily is a jarring experience, and I consider such content to be an abomination, a…

Yesterday, I was annoyed by a particularly vile article by quackery promoter supreme Mike Adams claiming that Christina Applegate didn’t need a bilateral mastectomy and could have “cured” herself of cancer with “natural” methods. Indeed, my contempt for Mike Adams knows no bounds, given that he is the purveyor of a seemingly never-ending stream of…

Earlier today, I did a rather extensive post about a particularly ghoulish attempt to exploit the story of a woman with cancer, in this case Christina Applegate. It turns out that Mike Adams isn’t the only woo-meister looking to capitalize on Ms. Applegate’s misfortune, You just knew it had to happen, but Thighmaster, Bioidentical Stem…

This is getting to be nauseatingly frequent. As my blog bud Mark Hoofnagle pointed out, the hard-core “alternative medicine” mavens, in particular that despicable promoter of quackery and distrust of scientific medicine who runs one of the two or three largest repositories of antiscience and quackery in existence, Mike Adams, seem to have decided that…

The most intentionally obtuse response ever?

You may recall that on Friday afternoon, I posted a bit of a rant about how a certain liberal blogger named Matt Stoller had disparagingly and contemptuously referred to Presidential Candidate John McCain as a “crazy, cancer-ridden dishonest madman.” It turns out that Mr. Stoller was displeased by my much-justified rebuke. His response is an…

Now there’s a real toaster!

Those who are Battlestar Galactica fans, as I am, know that the disparaging slang humans in the Colonial fleet use for their dreaded enemies the Cylons is to call them “toasters.” The question then naturally follows: Sure, Cylons are toasters, but can they actually make toast? It turns out that they can.

Desperately seeking skepticism

This has been an annoying week on the old blog. In fact, I can’t remember the last time we had an infestation of antivaccinationists this persistent and prolonged in a while. Heck, even one of the “big kahunas” of that blogospheric repository of all things antivaccine, Age of Autism (Dan Olmsted) showed up in the…

The Dark Lord of Vaccination speaks!

While, thanks to the recent CDC report documenting the resurgence of measles in the U.S., thanks to worrisome pockets of decreasing vaccine uptake that could portend a much wider resurgence if the antivaccine brigade, now led by Jenny McCarthy, has its way, I’m back on the topic of vaccines after having amazingly managed to stay…

I was disappointed to find an approving link from a fellow ScienceBlogger to this sort of rant by Matt Stoller: We all know that winning this election is not enough. It’s just not. It’s not even close. This is the most unpopular President we’ve ever had and our opponent is a crazy cancer-ridden dishonest madman.…

Since vaccines seem to be back in the news again, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a fantastic post that I saw the other day over at A Photon in the Darkness. Read it. Read it now. I’ve done fairly long posts about how pseudoscientists and antivaccine advocates are capitalizing on the case…

Regarding the recent antivaccinationist-fueled outbreak of measles reported yesterday, quoth J. B. Handley, founder of Generation Rescue, now arguably the most prominent antivaccine activist group in the U.S., given that its coffers are filled with money from celebrity and pro wrestling fundraisers: Autism and antivaccines advocates are unapologetic about the return of measles. “Most parents…

I realize that I’ve thanked Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield before for giving the U.S. the gift of a measles resurgence. Originally, when I started this sarcastic little exercise, I assumed that it would be 5-10 years before we in the States caught up with the level of endemic measles that has been resurgent in…

I must be slipping. Well, not really. It doesn’t bother me that blog bud and fellow skeptical physician PalMD beat me to an important publication that came out a couple of days ago in the Annals of Internal Medicine. I’m a surgeon and a translational/basic scientist; so Annals is not usually one of the journals…