Respectful Insolence

One of my complaints about academic medicine is that, all too often, its practitioners seem unwilling to take risks to combat the misinformation and lies of the antivaccine movement. So kudos are indicated for Dr. Claire McCarthy at Children’s Hospital Boston for her blog post Unencumbered by facts: what upsets me most about the anti-vaccine movement.

I see that, predictably, the antivaccine contingent has already begun to swoop down on her. She could use some pre-emptive tactical air support. Fly, my monkeys! Fly! :-)

ADDENDUM: Oh, look. Dr. McCarthy’s post is cross posted at The Huffington Post. Fly, fly, launch a pre-emptive strike before the anti-vaccine wing arrives.

Comments

  1. #1 Reuben
    January 18, 2012

    10-4. I’m coming in hot on a heading of two-niner-zero. Bomb bays open, awaiting visual confirmation of target.

  2. #2 Beamup
    January 18, 2012

    “Swooped down?” Seems a trifle alarmist since there’s been a single antivax reply (albeit tripleposted). The sane have them decidedly outnumbered already.

  3. #3 Mark Roberts
    January 18, 2012

    Thanks Orac. I was hoping you’d alert the forces of science and reason to lend Dr. McCarthy some support. She’s also getting heat from anti-vaxxers on Facebook so anyone on Facebook can show her some support there, too. http://www.facebook.com/ChildrensHospitalBoston

    It really is good to see more people in the medical field publicly standing up to the anti-vax brigade. Let’s hope this is the start of a trend.

  4. #4 missmayinga
    January 18, 2012

    Yes sir, Orac sir!

  5. #5 Marry Me, Mindy
    January 18, 2012

    I guess I don’t see how the anti-vax contingent has “swooped” in. Just one person who triple posted the same thing, right?

    I do like her question, though: how do you contend with people who just make stuff up and present it as “fact.” It’s the old evolution/creation debate problem. Creationists rattle off a list of untruths, and the scientists either have to ignore them or spend their whole time refuting them, coming off as being solely defensive. It’s a no-win situation.

    This is something I have always said about the problem with scientists confronting cranks in public fora (including on TV). Scientists think that they will be ok because they have truth on their side. The only problem is that the other end doesn’t care about truth, they will say anything they want. More than a few scientists have gone down in flames in these situations relying on simply being right. Being right is not enough.

  6. #6 lilady
    January 18, 2012

    Your wish has been granted, Orac. I’ve posted and am “in moderation.”

  7. #7 Th1Th2
    January 18, 2012

    “My only crusade as a pediatrician is to keep my patients healthy—and vaccines are part of what I use to do just that.

    There. That’s more like it.

  8. #8 Chris
    January 18, 2012

    Well, I left one comment. I have also been dealing a mountain of dreck at http://shotofprevention.com/ , including both Erwin Alber and Marsha McClelland (two folks who have never let real facts get in the way of their delusions).

    I have had at least one Pharma Shill accusation for today. And yet no one will tell why it is more cost effective to let kids end up in the hospital rather than get vaccinated.

  9. #9 RPh
    January 18, 2012

    Good article. But someone should let her know she states one detail wrong. The Lancet is where Wakefield’s article was pubilsihed and later retracted, but it’s the BMJ, not the Lancet that is currently being sued in Texas.

  10. #10 iamb
    January 18, 2012

    “Unencumbered by facts” describes perfectly a certain antivaccine Youtube video by someone calling herself “Patriot Nurse” that’s been making the social media rounds this week. I couldn’t stomach the whole thing, but I’m doubtful as to whether she got anything right at all. Ugh.

  11. #11 lilady
    January 18, 2012

    @ Chris: The troops have rallied to your cause. “Lawrence” (“our Lawrence?) and I have just posted about the Patriot Nurse video. I also left “a message” for Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.

  12. #12 Lawrence
    January 18, 2012

    @lilady – yes, that was me….I don’t know if I can take reading any more stupidity today……

  13. #13 Orac
    January 18, 2012

    Oh. My. God.

    I was eating lunch when I noticed that “Patriot Nurse” video and, foolishly, I actually watched it. How so much antivax stupid can be crammed into less than 10 minutes, I don’t know, but somehow she managed to do it. It’s such a “target-rich” environment that I might have to deal with it in tomorrow’s post.

  14. #14 Sid Offit
    January 18, 2012

    “As for the argument that getting the illness gives you stronger immunity—this comes up a lot with chickenpox—that may be true”

    Dr. Claire McCarthy, Children’s Hospital Boston

    Oooops!

  15. #15 lilady
    January 18, 2012

    @ “Our” Lawrence: You’ve had 1.5 hours to rest…now get back on that site. I’ve left another message for Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.

    Orac…We are depending on you to blog about the video.

  16. #16 Denice Walter
    January 18, 2012

    I agree with Pablo ( that is, *Marry Me, Mindy*)- “being right is not enough” because the anti-vax movement does not play fair: they twist facts – as well as fix data, lie, accuse, cry “conspiracy”, sue people and utilise their followers as *manipulanda*.

    So it’s up to us to uncover both the real data *and* how they operate their franchise; I like to illustrate psychological ploys: emotional tactics and how attributions are used. Of course there are conflicts of interest- both financial and emotional- that we can discuss. Because their position relies upon conspiracy-mongering to explain their failure to be accepted by mainstream science, we can also unravel that tangled web of deceit and get observers to consider its improbability.

  17. #17 Calli Arcale
    January 18, 2012

    Sid — well, it is. Are you expecting her to lie? The problem is whether the possibly stronger immunity is worth the definitely greater side effects (like actually having a case of the chickenpox and subsequently being at risk of shingles).

    Personally, I think all that means is that we need to do chickenpox boosters. I don’t really like that I have to wait until I’m 60 before I qualify. (I’ve never been vaccinated for chickenpox, but I’ve actually had it twice — so you’ll have to pardon me if I’m not all that impressed with natural immunity to begin with. Heck, the mere existence of shingles shows that the natural immunity needs boosters too.)

  18. #18 Beamup
    January 18, 2012

    @ Sid:

    So would you rather have:
    – A very large chance of getting the disease once, then a very small chance of getting it again
    – A small chance of getting it once, then a very small chance of getting it again.

    Only an idiot would pick the first. You pick the first. Draw your own conclusion.

  19. #19 Science Mom
    January 18, 2012

    “As for the argument that getting the illness gives you stronger immunity—this comes up a lot with chickenpox—that may be true”

    Dr. Claire McCarthy, Children’s Hospital Boston

    Oooops!

    Bwahaha, was that supposed to be a “gotcha”? That’s pretty stupid, even for you Bob.

  20. #20 Composer99
    January 18, 2012

    “Unencumbered by facts” pretty much sums up Th1Th2.

  21. #21 CG
    January 18, 2012

    “Unencumbered by facts” pretty much sums up Th1Th2.

    No, it goes beyond that. Thingy is unencumbered by reality.

  22. #22 being right should be enough
    January 18, 2012

    Oh how I wish some (of all!) of you had time to take a look at Dr Oz paying homage to tanning bed flogger Mercola last week. D-fascination was rampant.

    http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/dr-joe-mercola-s-health-recommendations-pt-2

    Surprise, surprise, Oz has since re-thought his position.

    http://www.doctoroz.com/blog/mehmet-oz-md/safe-tanning-beds-think-again

    On ‘paper’ that is. But the health claims can easily live on via social media.
    The industry folks are on his site now ( the same ones who indicate the risks are potential and manageable http://www.tancanada.org/ ) referring to a WHO critique (identified in other media as Papas 2011) that appears to be unavailable for public scrutiny.

    This ‘data’ has been used to bolster the fight against teen tanning regulations in Canada. I expect it is used in the US also. ( http://www.theita.com/?page=State_Legislation ) This seems like rather bad form to me. But what do I know.

    And here we have an industry petition lobbying for a “parent’s right to make informed medical decisions” stating “skin type I individuals are restricted from UV indoor sunbathing facilities and educated about their risks of UV overexposure.”

    http://www.gopetition.com/petition/44176.html

    But wait, skin cancer is not limited to skin type ones! (And what is so medically necessary about getting a tan..)

    Oh where oh where can the real scientists be;)

  23. #23 Sir Bedevere
    January 18, 2012

    @Calli Arcale

    Are you expecting her to lie?

    He probably was expecting her to lie. Inveterate liars – a category that includes many in the anti-vax movement – assume that everyone else operates the way they do. Such people often are genuinely surprised when they encounter ethical and truthful behavior.

  24. #24 Denice Walter
    January 18, 2012

    I have a few minutes afore I leave….

    Unencumbered by scruples as well:
    It has struck me that if alt med advocates don’t get their way, they often resort to rather unseemly actions, such as interfering with their critics’ lives, families and employment, spreading false stories and – when all else fails- attempting to sue the pants off of them. Actually, a few of the victims -as well as the perps- have commented here @ RI. You know who you are. In my own case, despite my own tango with one of them, I knew could breathe a sigh of relief because I conveniently leave off one of my last names** ( I wondered though, if the other *Mademoiselles/Mesdames* Denice/ Denise Walter on the internet/facebook got “looked up” and bothered- I wouldn’t be surprised at all).

    Because these dirty tricks are part of an agenda that would silence their critics or seek to harm their reputations and careers, I think it’s fair game to write about it.

    ** -btw- it’s “Howard”. maybe.

  25. #25 Liz Ditz
    January 18, 2012

    Kim Stagliano on Twitter (an yes, I have a screenshot too):

    If you want to know if a commenter on HuffPo is part of a PR push, look at tall their comments. If only on vax posts – voila.

    ===
    I apologize to Chris for leaving her to do the heavy lifting at Shot of Prevention. Sometimes work has a nasty habit of getting in the way of wielding The Lasso of Truth.

  26. #26 lilady
    January 18, 2012

    “Stagmom” has also posted on the Ho-Po about “handsome young doc with no agenda…” (verbatim from her post) I think Kim has “a thing” for Andy.

    I just posted at Stagmom about Andy…I’m in moderation.

  27. #27 Chris
    January 18, 2012

    Liz Ditz:

    I apologize to Chris

    I live in a hilly city that very seldom gets snow. We have several inches today. No one is going anywhere.

  28. #28 Jen
    January 18, 2012

    Sorry “science”mom but it is a bit of a gotcha. Thanks for the link, Orac.

  29. #29 Todd W.
    January 18, 2012

    @Jen

    Uh, how, exactly, is it a gotcha?

  30. #30 Marry Me, Mindy
    January 18, 2012

    Can someone explain to me how Kim Stagliano is anything but a punchline? How can anyone who knows anything about her take her seriously? Whenever I tell people about Kim’s story, most folks end up laughing uproariously at how big of an idiot she is.

    There are people who don’t think she is a joke?

  31. #31 Denice Walter
    January 18, 2012

    Well, Ms Kim is now writing fiction ( about a female sleuth hot on the trail of….)
    I guess her experience @ AoA has enabled her to hone her skills creating imaginary links between un-related topics and discovering non-existent agendas that reveal dreamt up plots.

  32. #32 squirrelelite
    January 18, 2012

    I posted a reply to one commenter who seemed to be making the argument that the chickenpox vaccine was linked to outbreaks of shingles with the vaccine strain in vaccinated people.

    His reference was a pubmed paper id 11099082.

    If I made any mistakes in my analysis, please correct me.

    For background the authors note:

    Approximately 15% of recipients of live attenuated varicella vaccine may develop mild breakthrough varicella months to years after immunization. Although some vaccinees will develop zoster, it is less common in recipients of vaccine than in those who have had natural varicella.

    and their conclusion is

    Wild-type virus was identified in all generalized rashes occurring after the immediate 6-week post vaccination period. When reactivation of vaccine strain occurred, it presented as typical zoster. We find no evidence that reactivation of vaccine virus occurs with the clinical picture of generalized rash.

    The wording in the abstract is a little confusing because they refer to developing or presenting as “zoster” which could be either varicella zoster (chickenpox) or herpes zoster (shingles).

    But, the reference to “mild breakthrough varicella” helps clarify.

    A quick search for that term came up with a Maine state information sheet

    http://www.maine.gov/education/sh/communicablediseases/varicellafaq.pdf

    which gives this definition.

    Q. What does breakthrough varicella disease look like?
    A. Breakthrough disease—varicella disease in vaccinated children—typically exhibits:
    • Shorter duration of illness
    • Fewer constitutional symptoms
    • Fewer than 50 skin lesions (sometimes even fewer than 10)
    • A rash that may be atypical in appearance (maculopapular with few or no vesicles)

    It is clear from this definition that breakthrough varicella is not shingles. It is just a mild, limited outbreak of chickenpox in vaccinated children due to the lower effectiveness of a single shot compared to a follow-up with a second booster shot which they recommend for children 3 months after the first immunization.

  33. #33 Chris
    January 18, 2012

    squirrelelite:

    The wording in the abstract is a little confusing because they refer to developing or presenting as “zoster” which could be either varicella zoster (chickenpox) or herpes zoster (shingles).

    Of course, it gets confusing since they are the same virus:

    Shingles (herpes zoster) is a painful, blistering skin rash due to the varicella-zoster virus, the virus that causes chickenpox.

    Oh, look it also says that you are more than likely to get shingles if you had chicken pox before age one. My daughter had it when she was six months old! It was bad enough that this poor child suffered for two full weeks a year before the vaccine came out even though she was still breastfeeding, but that she has this to look forward to!

  34. #34 Th1Th2
    January 18, 2012

    It is clear from this definition that breakthrough varicella is not shingles. It is just a mild, limited outbreak of chickenpox in vaccinated children due to the lower effectiveness of a single shot compared to a follow-up with a second booster shot which they recommend for children 3 months after the first immunization.

    That is demonstrably false. As stated, it was shingles—reactivation of the latent vaccine virus.

    Wild-type virus was identified in all generalized rashes occurring after the immediate 6-week post vaccination period. When reactivation of vaccine strain occurred, it presented as typical zoster. We find no evidence that reactivation of vaccine virus occurs with the clinical picture of generalized rash.

  35. #35 Th1Th2
    January 18, 2012

    Of course, it gets confusing since they are the same virus:

    What’s the confusion if they are the same virus? Geez.

  36. #36 Liz Ditz
    January 18, 2012

    I wasn’t sure where to put this, it is so good, but this seems just as good as any:

    The Pseudoscientists’ Song

    One verse

    Oh, I am a pseudo-scientist and this is what I do:
    My studies always prove that my hypothesis is true;
    I scoff at reasoned counter-claims and other points of view;
    And when my method’s scrutinised I sue, sue, sue.

    Another verse

    Oh, I am a pseudo-scientist and this is what I do:
    I mess with graphs until they show a predetermined skew;
    I ask some friends for favours and I call it ‘peer review’;
    And if a journalist finds out I sue, sue, sue.

  37. #37 Phoenix Woman
    January 18, 2012

    So why are you so against the modern world, Thingy? You’re female, right? Do you really want the good old days when women were treated as little more than disposable playthings or disposable baby machines?

    Go to a cemetery that’s at least 150 years old sometime. Notice that some men’s markers have four or so satellite markers, one for each of their wives that died in childbirth? (And notice the really tiny markers for the stillborn or short-lived babies they died delivering?)

    Do you really want to go back to that?

  38. #38 ken
    January 18, 2012

    Look up Gary S Goldman PhD- Chris hates him.

    Gary S. Goldman, Ph.D. served for eight years as a Research Analyst with the Varicella Active Surveillance Project conducted by the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LACDHS). The project was funded by the CDC.

  39. #39 DLC
    January 19, 2012

    Went to the blog and left an approving comment. did not do so at huff-po. but there were plenty of positive comments when I left. — I closed the page without thinking to leave a comment.

  40. #40 Narad
    January 19, 2012

    That is demonstrably false. As stated, it was shingles—reactivation of the latent vaccine virus.

    Are you trying to reach some sort of failure quota?

  41. #41 lilady
    January 19, 2012

    “Look up Gary S Goldman PhD- Chris hates him.”

    And, with good reason. His PhD is in computer science. He may know how to design the computer program to tease out the numbers generated by the Los Angeles Department of Health’s doctors, nurses and epidemiologists…he’s still a crank alarmist fiction writer.

    @ Liz Ditz: I looked at the other lyrics…simply beautiful.

  42. #42 ken
    January 19, 2012

    From CHOP:
    Can my grandfather with shingles give my baby daughter chickenpox?
    Yes, although people with shingles cannot give someone else shingles, they can pass chickenpox virus to others through direct contact with the rash. So if your baby has not yet had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine, she could become infected with the virus and develop chickenpox.
    People with shingles can only pass the virus to others through direct contact with the rash. If the rash has yet to develop or has crusted, the patient cannot transmit the virus.

  43. #43 ken
    January 19, 2012

    From Vincent Iannelli, M.D.
    “Does the chicken pox vaccine (Varivax) prevent shingles?
    Not directly, since children who get the chicken pox vaccine, even if they don’t ever get chicken pox, can still get shingles. Their risk of developing shingles does seem to be much less than for children who aren’t vaccinated with the chicken pox vaccine though.

  44. #44 lilady
    January 19, 2012

    @ ken: What is your point with posting a paste up from the CHOP website? If grandpa or anyone in the family has a shingles rash…you keep grandpa/anyone away from the baby.

    Again, what is your point with the possible decreased incidence of shingles after receiving the varicella vaccine-vs-incidence of shingles following actual infection with the virus?

  45. #45 Chris
    January 19, 2012

    ken:

    Look up Gary S Goldman PhD- Chris hates him.

    Please point out where I ever said I hated him. Prove you claim.

    Mostly what I have done is pointed out, like lilady just did, that his PhD is in computer science. At most I have mocked him, especially after reading that his doctorate may not be from a real university.

  46. #46 Narad
    January 19, 2012

    a WHO critique (identified in other media as Papas 2011) that appears to be unavailable for public scrutiny

    This appears to be “Differential Risk of Malignant Melanoma by Sunbed Exposure Type,” a poster presentation at the 3rd North American Congress of Epidemiology.

  47. #47 Th1Th2
    January 19, 2012

    Again, what is your point with the possible decreased incidence of shingles after receiving the varicella vaccine-vs-incidence of shingles following actual infection with the virus?

    Haha. You can’t possibly be the epitome of health if you’re an infection promoter can you ill-lady?

  48. #48 Rowrbazzle!
    January 19, 2012

    Thingy, how can you expect to be treated with respect if that’s how you respond to valid questions?

  49. #49 OracIsAQuack
    January 19, 2012

    “Thingy, how can you expect to be treated with respect if that’s how you respond to valid questions?”

    Interesting. So, is it ok for the sycophants on this site to treat others with disrespect when they ask valid questions?

    Oh, right…I forgot…do as I say, not as I do. How careless of me…

  50. #50 Lawrence
    January 19, 2012

    Hmmm….kinda of funny coming from someone who has yet to bring anything constructive to the discussion…..

  51. #51 Th1Th2
    January 19, 2012

    Thingy, how can you expect to be treated with respect if that’s how you respond to valid questions?

    Because Iilady knows that every time she sticks that varicella vaccine to naive children, she’s creating a herd of shingles candidates in the future. In essence, she’s been promoting shingles her entire professional career.

  52. #52 lilady
    January 19, 2012

    Haha. You can’t possibly be the epitome of MENTAL HEALTH if you’re an infection promoter can you SFB TROLL?”

    “Because SFB TROLL knows that every time IT POSTS HERE ABOUT ITS PSEUDOSCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE ABOUT varicella vaccine AND EVERY OTHER VACCINE, ITS creating a herd of INFECTED PEOPLE in the future. In essence, ITS been promoting ITS DISEASE PROMOTING AGENDA DURING ITS IMAGINARY CAREER IN HEALTH CARE AND DURING ITS TROLL career.”

    -FTFY DELUSIONAL SH** FOR BRAINS TROLL

  53. #53 Th1Th2
    January 19, 2012

    To Rowrbazzle!,

    Be careful what you wish for.

  54. #54 Anton P. Nym
    January 19, 2012

    Once again for the benefit of bystanders joining this conversation recently, I should make clear that Th1Th2 has a very non-standard concept of disease transmission and defines “infection” so broadly that the act of eating and drinking would fall under that definition. (Very much one that would fall under the Strangelovian “Purity of Essence” umbrella, truth be told.)

    I personally think that Thingy doesn’t have a full quotient of marbles, either, but of course I am not professionally qualified to say so.

    And now, back to our regularly-scheduled Internet drama.

    — Steve

  55. #55 Edith Prickly
    January 19, 2012

    @OIAQ – if you bothered to spend any time actually following the discussions here, you would know that the Thing troll never asks valid questions. It just derails threads by spouting nonsensical theories about infection and disease and misquoting other commenters to keep dead arguments going. When that fails to get Thing the negative attention it appears to thrive on, it resorts to nasty insults and personal attacks against people here who have developmentally disabled family members.

    If you can’t tell the difference between a commenter with valid questions and a perniciously obnoxious troll like the Thing, no one’s going to take your comments seriously either.

  56. #56 Narad
    January 19, 2012

    In essence, she’s been promoting shingles her entire professional career.

    But of course, your fantasy alternative doesn’t work, so you’re doing the same thing, only worse.

  57. #57 Anton P. Nym
    January 19, 2012

    Once again for the benefit of bystanders joining this conversation recently, I should make clear that Th1Th2 has a very non-standard concept of disease transmission and defines “infection” so broadly that the act of eating and drinking would fall under that definition. (Very much one that would fall under the Strangelovian “Purity of Essence” umbrella, truth be told.)

    I personally think that Thingy doesn’t have a full quotient of marbles, either, but of course I am not professionally qualified to say so.

    And now, back to our regularly-scheduled Internet drama.

    — Steve

  58. #58 Beamup
    January 19, 2012

    I suspect that the definition of “valid question” being used by OIAQ is “a question asked by someone whose biases are similar to my own.”

  59. #59 Th1Th2
    January 19, 2012

    Th1Th2 has a very non-standard concept of disease transmission and defines “infection” so broadly that the act of eating and drinking would fall under that definition.

    Let’s find out. A child was given OPV, poops and spreads the disease to the community. So what’s the difference of this to wild-type transmission?

  60. #60 Krebiozen
    January 19, 2012

    I’ll probably regret this…

    So what’s the difference of this to wild-type transmission?

    A factor of 7,500. Wild type polio causes paralysis in 1 in 100 cases. Vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis occurs in 1 in 750,000 vaccine recipients.

  61. #61 Th1Th2
    January 19, 2012

    You don’t seem to follow my question. I asked for the difference in disease transmission between OPV and wild-type poliovirus. Well?

  62. #62 v-pills
    January 19, 2012

    I personally think that Thingy doesn’t have a full quotient of marbles, either, but of course I am not professionally qualified to say so

  63. #63 Rogue Epidemiologist
    January 19, 2012

    I have it on good authority that Dr. Goldman was replaced by a talented and science-supportive physician with a specialty in infectious diseases. She also makes great lemon bars.

  64. #64 Th1Th2
    January 19, 2012

    I think it’s rather impolite not to answer such a valid question. You wouldn’t want to disappoint Edith Prickly would you Krebiozen?

  65. #65 Krebiozen
    January 19, 2012

    You don’t seem to follow my question. I asked for the difference in disease transmission between OPV and wild-type poliovirus. Well?

    You don’t seem to follow my answer. The only disease I’m interested in is paralytic polio which is 7,500 times more common after wild polio than after OPV.

  66. #66 Sauceress
    January 19, 2012

    I think it’s rather impolite not to answer such a valid question.

    Th1Th2 wins Irony Meter Exploding Comment of the day.

    So tell us Th1Th2, what’s your excuse for turning tail (mostly by a hasty changing of subject with a couple of red herrings as bait) when asked a valid question?

  67. #67 Krebiozen
    January 19, 2012

    It’s not often I agree with a spambot, but the one echoing Steve at #62 is spot on.

  68. #68 Th1Th2
    January 19, 2012

    You don’t seem to follow my answer. The only disease I’m interested in is paralytic polio which is 7,500 times more common after wild polio than after OPV.

    Are you aware that you’re not giving the original poster (Steve) a fair shake when he asserted that I have a “very non-standard concept of disease transmission”? I have answered accordingly so why don’t you?

  69. #69 Rowrbazzle!
    January 19, 2012

    I think it’s rather impolite not to answer such a valid question.

    Thingy, that’s exactly what I… oh, never mind.

  70. #70 Rowrbazzle!
    January 19, 2012
    <headdesk> <headdesk> <headdesk> <headdesk>
  71. #71 Krebiozen
    January 19, 2012

    I have answered accordingly so why don’t you?

    I think your squirrel’s barking up the wrong tree again.

  72. #72 Narad
    January 19, 2012

    It’s turning into what I imagine a remake of “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane” would be like if done by Ed Wood.

  73. #73 herr doktor bimler
    January 19, 2012

    I think your squirrel’s barking up the wrong tree again.

    Even a blind pig is right twice a day!

  74. #74 Narad
    January 19, 2012

    I think your squirrel’s barking up the wrong tree again.

    Even a blind pig is right twice a day!

    Are you arguing that a blind pig with a lipstick is not a heartless fool?

  75. #75 Delurked lurker
    January 20, 2012

    Thingy no one has actually come out and said this about you as far as my memory serves me, but you are a fucking idiot. Why don’t you do us all a favor and go and blow your fucking useless brains out, judging by the spectacular gibberish you post here a potato gun should suffice.

    Once again you moron, you are a fucking idiot, now go fuck off

  76. #76 Th1Th2
    January 20, 2012

    Whoa. Someone is pissed off.

  77. #77 Igor
    January 20, 2012

    One day ThTH will part into the void of interwebs and you all will all nostalgically reminisce about the good old days where all other batshit insane posters were tolerable compared to ThTh. Be kind to it, for it knows not what it says for the internet hath rotted its brain and good meds are in short supply.

  78. #78 LW
    January 20, 2012

    Thingy (Th1Th2) is best described in the immortal words of stewartt1982: “I never thought I’d meet someone that would actually fail the Turing test, but now I have.”

  79. #79 Beamup
    January 20, 2012

    @ Delurked lurker:

    Regardless of the Thing’s demonstrated idiocy, suggesting suicide (even as hyperbole) is most definitely Not Cool. That really is going too far.

  80. #80 Scottynuke
    January 20, 2012

    Narad @72: There’s always the SCTV version — “Whatever Happened to Baby Ed?” — with the inimitable Mr. Grimley. :-)

  81. #81 Edith Prickly
    January 20, 2012

    Aw, Ed Grimley! Haven’t seen him in years. Nice kid. Gave him his first big break into show business when I hired him at the Melonville studio, ya know. Good to see a local boy do so well.

    http://youtu.be/Uo09e9TwOV4

  82. #82 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    January 21, 2012

    For no good reason I’m reminded of the Car Talk slogan “Non Impediti Ratione Cogitationis”.

  83. #83 Paul McLean
    January 27, 2012

    It is amazing how many of these anti-vaccine groups, and Luddites in general, subscribe to the basic philosophy of ‘my mind is made up; don’t confuse me with facts’. Truely sad that these folks exist in this age of abundant communications and knowledge dispersion.

  84. #84 being right should be enough
    January 29, 2012

    This appears to be “Differential Risk of Malignant Melanoma by Sunbed Exposure Type,” a poster presentation at the 3rd North American Congress of Epidemiology.

    Please forgive me for butting in again, but I’d like to thank Narad for helping me out. I finally found it. All two hundred and fifty four supposedly irrefutable words of it..

    http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/173/suppl_11.toc

    DIFFERENTIAL RISK OF MALIGNANT MELANOMA BY
    SUNBED EXPOSURE TYPE. *M A Papas, A H Chappelle,
    (Chappelle Toxicology Consulting, Chadds Ford, PA), and WB
    Grant (Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center, San
    Francisco, CA)

    Industry take away..

    http://www.calgaryherald.com/health/Show+proof/5926805/story.html#ixzz1iRWCxxsE

    World Health Organization data show no risk for commercial sunbeds when you isolate the people who tanned uncontrolled at home or in medical facilities (Papas 2011). Further, when you remove Skin Type 1 people from the data, it also results in a non-significant risk (Grant 2010). So this is about knowing your skin type, not what age you are. No health organization has refuted these data.

    (My money says no health organization can refute these data while the study remains unpublished.)

    And I can count at least three published studies that support the WHO recommendations…

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20507845

    Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2010 Jun;19(6):1557-68. Epub 2010 May 26.
    … Indoor tanning and risk of melanoma: a case-control study in a highly exposed population.
    Lazovich D, Vogel RI, Berwick M, Weinstock MA, Anderson KE, Warshaw EM.
    Source

    CONCLUSIONS:
    In a highly exposed population, frequent indoor tanning increased melanoma risk, regardless of age when indoor tanning began. Elevated risks were observed across devices.
    IMPACT:
    This study overcomes some of the limitations of earlier reports and provides strong support for the recent declaration by the IARC that tanning devices are carcinogenic in humans.

    NOTE: Dr Lazovich addresses Grant and the skin type one question in an accompanying letter..

    In their letter, Grant and colleagues conclude that “those with preexisting high-risk factors… should be careful in using indoor tanning…”. Our data clearly indicate that both persons with and persons without these factors should expect that use of indoor tanning, especially frequent use,
    will increase their risk of developing malignant melanoma.
    DeAnn Lazovich
    School of Public Health
    University of Minnesota,
    Minneapolis, Minnesota

    ———————————————–

    http://aacrnews.wordpress.com/2011/10/24/increased-tanning-bed-use-increases-risk-for-deadly-skin-cancers/

    Increased Tanning Bed Use Increases Risk for Deadly Skin Cancers October 24, 2011
    M.D., Mingfeng Zhang

    * Indoor tanning use increased risk for three common skin cancers.

    * Risk increased 11 percent to 15 percent with use every four times per year.

    * Risk effect was more predominant during high school/college.

    ———————————————–

    http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Tanning+beds+pose+risk+cancer+Yale+study+says/5852665/story.html

    Scientists at the Yale School of Public Health in New Haven, Connecticut found that young people who tanned on the indoor beds had a 69 per cent increased chance of suffering from early-onset basal cell carcinoma (BCC).

    NOTE…BCC may not be as deadly as melanoma but it can be most disfiguring when it appears on a nose.. http://www.melanoma.org/community/off-topic-forum/just-being-nosey)

    And Non Melanoma Skin Cancers should be avoided as they can predispose patients to other malignancies. http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/early/2010/06/18/1055-9965.EPI-10-0243.abstract

    —————————————-

    Clearly VitD promoters need to cool the hype and quit objecting to public health initiatives aimed at protecting children and regulating radiation delivery for profit.

    http://www.crd.bc.ca/minutes/capitalregionaldistr_/2011_/2011boardminutes01ja/2011boardminutes01ja.pdf

    Delegations re Tanning Bylaw 3711

    page 2

    18. Doug McNabb, JCTA – spoke against Bylaw 3711.

    19. Marc Sorenson, Sunlight Institute – spoke against Bylaw 3711.

    20. Joe Levy, Smart Tan Canada – spoke against Bylaw 3711.

    21. M. Papas, PhD, witness for JCTA – not in attendance.

    22. William Grant, PhD, Sunlight, Nutrition & Health Research Centre – spoke against Bylaw 3711.

  85. #85 Chris
    January 31, 2012

    “being right should be enough”, so should be coherent and on topic.

  86. #86 being right should be enough
    February 2, 2012

    “being right should be enough, so should be coherent and on topic.”

    True, and I apologize. The name I chose was simply a reaction to a comment above and in reference to peer reviewed science, not me personally. (The incoherence is all mine though.)

    Vit D is heavily promoted as a heath benefit and it has been my experience that not only is it used as a sales tool to promote indoor tanning, but doctors who research it are interfering with the public safety initiatives our medical practitioners are demanding. (Even though the medical studies appear to use supplements, not sunshine or tanning beds.)
    I question the ethics of the ‘D movement’ and tend to think it too is unencumbered by facts. And I really appreciate Orac giving me a chance to say so.

    Thankfully I am not alone with these concerns, Medical News Today reported (Feb 01 2012) on a congressional committee tasked with investigating tanning salon practices.

    Tanning Salons Lie About Health Risks Says Congressional Panel
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/241051.php

    Here are a couple of excerpts from the congressional investigative report –

    When presented with requests for health information about indoor tanning, tanning salons frequently directed investigators to tanning industry websites that create a misleading picture of the risks and benefits of indoor tanning

    The other industry website, Smart Tan | Tan With Confidence | How Can We Help You?, also provides misleading information about Vitamin D and tanning. On this website, salon operators may purchase “D-Angel” training, which “teaches [salon] employees why Smart Tanning is vindicated and why they should spread the truth about UV and Vitamin D to their friends and family.” It provides a link to a website for the “Vitamin D Council,” which suggests that Vitamin D promotion yields a host of health benefits, including prevention of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, autism, multiple sclerosis, chronic digestive diseases, food allergies, and tuberculosis, as well as treatment for lupus.

  87. #87 Chris
    February 4, 2012

    True, and I apologize.

    And you are still off topic and incoherent.

  88. #88 Chris
    February 4, 2012

    Let me clarify, Vitamin D is not a vaccine, and we have no idea who you are responding to when you say “reaction to a comment above”. Since you started with being off topic, it actually would be more appropriate to actually post your later comments here.

    Plus it is never a good idea to tell a blogger what he/she should write about, nor try to get others to take on a certain subject. iamb’s comment on the Patriot Nurse did cause Orac to write about her, but it was on topic (she was literally “unencumbered by facts”).

  89. #89 being right should be enough
    April 20, 2012

    Ouch Chris, I came back to this thread to thank Narad for the info. You put me in my place Jan 31 -the delicious post you linked is dated Feb 01

    After the title (the second bit, ok) it was comment number 5 that struck a cord

    Marry Me, Mindy:
    “I do like her question, though: how do you contend with people who just make stuff up and present it as “fact.” It’s the old evolution/creation debate problem. Creationists rattle off a list of untruths, and the scientists either have to ignore them or spend their whole time refuting them, coming off as being solely defensive. It’s a no-win situation.

    This is something I have always said about the problem with scientists confronting cranks in public fora (including on TV). Scientists think that they will be ok because they have truth on their side. The only problem is that the other end doesn’t care about truth, they will say anything they want. More than a few scientists have gone down in flames in these situations relying on simply being right. Being right is not enough.”

    The info I obtained here stuck a few more cords. And the good news is, this time, being right was enough –

    http://www.news1130.com/news/local/article/342856–bc-government-announces-tanning-bed-ban-for-teens

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