Archives for 2009

(NOTE ADDED 12/7/2010: Kim Tinkham has died of what was almost certainly metastatic breast cancer.) If there’s been one theme running through this blog every since the very beginning, it’s the unreliability of testimonials as “evidence” for the success of a cancer treatment. Indeed, if you go back to one of the very first “Orac-length”…

The worst pseudoscience of the decade?

It’s the end, the end of the ’70s It’s the end, the end of the century. Joey Ramone, 1979 As amazing as it is to me, the first decade of the 21st century is fast approaching its end. It seems like only yesterday that my wife and I were waiting for the dawn of the…

If there’s one thing that irritates me about the anti-vaccine movement, it’s the utter disingenuousness of the movement. How often do we hear the claim from anti-vaccine loons that “we’re not ‘anti-vaccine’; we’re ‘pro-safe vaccine’”? I’ve tried to pin such people down time and time again to answer just what it would take in terms…

Just can’t wait for “The End of Time”

Regular readers here know that I’m a long time Doctor Who fan. That’s why it’s with some sadness that I await the approach of the two-episode finale for David Tennant’s tenure as the Tenth Doctor. Over his three full seasons and multiple specials in 2009, Tennant redefined the role and even began to rival Tom…

Can’t cure stupid, part II

Not too long ago, I opined about how you can’t cure stupid. It turns out that there is no herbal remedy for stupid either: You will see that this is true. In fact, given the quality of arguments advocates of “natural remedies” use to support their favored woo, I have to wonder if herbs actually…

Crank magnetism strikes again

Since I happen to have fallen into the topic of anthropogenic global warming, before I move back to medical topics I might as well have a little fun. Certainly, I could use some, given that I just wrote two posts in which I felt forced to criticize someone whom I admire greatly. Besides, it’s been…

Yesterday, I wrote one of my typical Orac-ian length posts that was unusual. What was unusual about it was not its length. Rather, what was unusual about it was the target of its criticism, perhaps one of the last people in the world I would ever have expected to have to have taken issue with,…

It’s that time yet again. The Skeptics’ Circle has returned once again to provide a much needed dose of skepticism to the blogosphere. This time around, the 126th Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle is being hosted over at World of Weird Things. Next up will be Life, The Universe, and One Brow, where the Skeptics’…

Remember how yesterday I said that sometimes writing this blog depresses me? At the time, I made that observation because there are times when the unending constant onslaught of pseudoscience, anti-science, and woo leads me to despair that the human race will ever overcome its cognitive defects. However, there are other times when blogging depresses…

Last week, I marked the occasion of my fifth anniversary in the blogosphere. Yesterday, my blog bud Abel Pharmboy marked his fourth anniversary in the blogosphere. Anyone who makes it past a year, as far as I’m concerned, has passed the test of time and shown himself (or herself) to be in this crazy thing…

There are times when I get really depressed writing this blog. It’s not because I don’t enjoy it, although like any long term hobby my blogging does occasionally feel like more of an obligation than a hobby. That’s only part of the time, though. Most of the time I really do enjoy what I do.…

It would appear that during my mini-hiatus (indeed, a homeopathic hiatus, so to speak) to celebrate having passed the fifth anniversary of the start of this blog and being irritated by some of my colleagues enough to risk getting myself in a little trouble, I actually missed something that normally I’d leap on like a…

How not to protect your medical turf

When the USPSTF issued new guidelines for who should undergo screening mammography, at what ages, and how often, it set off a firestorm of negative reactions. Some of this is not surprising, given that the reevaluation of the evidence for screening mammography led the USPSTF to recommend against its routine use in women between the…

“Storm”

I’ve decided to chill this weekend after five years of insanity. However, while you anxiously await yet another hemidecade of Insolence, both Respectful and not-so-Respectful, what better way to do so than checking out the awesome Tim Minchin and his most excellent nine minute beat poem “Storm”: Who says skepticism and art don’t mix?

Five years

Has it really been that long? It was a dismally overcast Saturday five years ago when, on a whim after having read a TIME Magazine article about how 2004 was supposedly the Year of the Blogger, I sat down in front of my computer, found Blogspot, and the first incarnation of Respectful Insolence was born.…