Respectful Insolence

Archives for October, 2008

Orac gets e-mail. Most of it’s just brief notes with a link that someone thinks I should check out (and possibly blog about). Even though I occasionally make sarcastic remarks about being deluged with one story or other from time to time, I actually do appreciate those. Many have been the times when I didn’t…

Your Friday Dose of Woo: Fifty woo-ful facts

It’s time. Well, it’s sort of time, anyway. As you know, it’s been over three months since I last indulged in my little Friday exercise known as Your Friday Dose of Woo. At the time it was because I couldn’t get myself into the appropriately light-hearted but nonetheless just vicious enough frame of mind to…

Here’s a new one on me: Senator Obama’s support for preventative medical care is another little noted but important key point of difference with Senator McCain that emerged from the debate. Under Obama it is far more likely that insurance plans will cover alternative medicine, including acupuncture, therapy, and government approved herbs and vitamins. This…

Autism in the Presidential debate?

Was it just me, or did anyone else find it jarring when suddenly John McCain interjected special needs children and autism into the debate last night? As you may recall, a few months ago he was tripped up by the antivaccine fearmongers who think, despite an absence of scientifically compelling evidence supporting their view, that…

I thought I had seen it all. Ever since I first discovered the antivaccination movement that is utterly convinced, despite all evidence to the contrary, that mercury from the thimerosal preservative that was in many vaccines until the end of 2001 or, more recently, vaccines themselves cause autism, I’ve been amazed at the panoply of…

One reason why I miss my dog…

Three months ago, our dog Echo died a mere three weeks after we discovered a tumor on her flank. That tumor turned out to be hemangiosarcoma and was already widely metastatic. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long, but amazingly it has. My wife and I still miss her–a lot. Now GruntDoc reminds me…

Why, oh, why do I keep perusing NaturalNews.com? Why do I subject myself to wave after wave of neuron-apoptosing stupidity of a magnitude that even activation of NF-kappaB, Akt, and neuronal cell survival signaling pathways can barely keep the killing stupidity at bay? I guess it’s because it provides such good blog fodder for a…

Dr. Val has moved…

Blog friend Dr. Val Jones has moved. She’s no longer blogging at Revolution Health but has instead gone solo, blogging at Getting Better with Dr. Val. She’s also doing a weekly gig at Science-Based Medicine now, and indeed has started out with a bang. Let’s put it this way: There are few bloggers I know…

OK, I give up. I hadn’t planned on blogging about this because I thought I had already taken care of this woo before. Well, not exactly this woo, but a related woo of which this new issue is just a warmed over more woo-ified version. Indeed, I had even considered it as a candidate to…

Remember Sandy Szwarc of Junkfood Science? It’s been a long time since we’ve last encountered her. Indeed, it was last year when there developed a debate on whether her posts were suitable for the Skeptics’ Circle. At the time, I was conflicted. In many ways, Ms. Szwarc seemed to be a skeptic–at least, when it…

NOTE: This post, which is related to a discussion of Dr. Paul Offit’s Book Autism’s False Prophets, originally appeared over at The ScienceBlogs Book Club. However, now that the book club for this particular book has concluded, I am free to repost it here for those who may not have seen it and to archive…

Framing vaccines again

NOTE: This post, which is related to a discussion of Dr. Paul Offit’s Book Autism’s False Prophets, originally appeared over at The ScienceBlogs Book Club. However, now that the book club for this particular book has concluded, I am free to repost it here for those who may not have seen it and to archive…

NOTE: This review of Dr. Offit’s book Autism’s False Prophets originally appeared over at The ScienceBlogs Book Club. However, now that the book club for this particular book has concluded, I am free to repost it here for those who may not have seen it and to archive it as one of my own posts.…

Nooo! They got Bullwinkle!

The bastards…

…Dr. John Kiely, a.k.a. EpiWonk, will school you otherwise. (I had to attend a function for work last night; so no new insolence for you right now. Maybe later. Hard as it is to believe, I do sometimes have to let my job interfere with my blogging. Fortunately, I’ve been meaning to plug Dr. Kiely’s…

The relentless march to Skeptics’ Circle 100 continues, this time around with Evolved Rationalist over at Evolved and Rational. It’s all for the lulz and the mudkip. What it in fact does is make me realize that I’m not as hip to the latest Internet stuff as I thought, because I had no idea what…

The Vitamin C Empire Strikes Back

Well that didn’t take long, did it? Three days ago, I described a study that I had noticed in the October 1 issue of Cancer Research that described an animal study that strongly suggested that vitamin C administered at sufficiently high doses may interfere with the action of multiple chemotherapeutic agents. You can read the…

Here we go again. It seems just yesterday that I was casting a skeptical eye on yet another dubious acupuncture study. OK, it wasn’t just yesterday, but it was less than two weeks ago when I discussed why a study that purported to show that acupuncture worked as well as drug therapy for hot flashes…

…it’ll be because the flu vaccine poisoned me, of course! That’s right. Today I got my flu shot, complete with thimerosal and formaldehyde! I do put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. No word on whether there was any of the dreaded Polysorbate 80 in the vaccine, though. Oh, well. Maybe next…

For women undergoing menopause, hot flashes are a real problem. In my specialty, as I’ve pointed out before, women undergoing treatment for breast cancer are often forced into premature menopause by the treatments to which we subject them. It can be chemotherapy, although far more often it’s the estrogen-blocking drugs that we use to treat…

The countdown to 100 continues…

…with the 97th Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle, which is due to be hosted at Evolved and Rational on Thursday, October 9. That’s less than three days away, folks. There’s still a couple of days left to get your skeptical entries submitted to Evolved Rationalist. So, if you’ve procrastinated thus far, remember that time’s running…

Vitamin C and cancer revisited

Sometimes I have to look for blog ideas, trolling through various alternative medicine sites, medical news sites, or science news feeds or my medical and science journals. Sometimes ideas fall on me seemingly out of the blue. This is one of the latter situations. This time around, as I do twice a month I was…

Jenny McCarthy gets Rickroll’d

As you may remember, the evening after the Hollywood face of the antivaccine P.R. machine Jenny McCarthy was scheduled to take part in a web chat. At the time, I suggested sending questions in to the Oprah website, to see if any would get through. I’m sure there was some serious screening and vetting of…

More lazy weekend video

I’m still buried working on next week’s talk and my part of the center grant. Fortunately, Saturday Night Live provides some temporary entertainment until I can get out from under the pile. Once again Tina Fey nails it, especially the “maverick” part. While watching the debate last week, by the end I thought I was…

Unfortunately, I’m going to be ensconced in my Sanctum Sanctorum most of the day, pounding out text far less fun than the text I like to pound out for Respectful Insolence. However, I have to admit that this video sums up the attitude behind a whole lot of woo that I like to apply a…