Respectful Insolence

The “toxin gambit,” resurrected

Well, I’m here. That’s right. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m at CSICon. As is the case when I’m at conferences, be they skeptical conferences or professional conferences, it’s hard to predict the blogging time available. It could be a lot; it could be a little. Or it could be none. (Well, obviously it’s not none, or you wouldn’t be reading this.) In any case, there was lots of stuff going on, plus there was the second game of the World Series, which made me miss the live recording of The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe. Oh, well. Steve understood. So I wasn’t up for any heavy lifting or taking on a complex study. Maybe later. In the meantime, fortunately for me, everybody’s favorite quackery promoter (at least for blogging purposes) Mike Adams provided me with a topic that, while I’ve discussed it before, deserves being revisited from time to time. Besides, it’s Friday, and I often like to take the blog in a lighter direction on Fridays, and there is little lighter intellectually than a Mike Adams screed.

Certain antivaccine canards never die, no matter how many stakes you stick through their heart or how many silver bullets you shoot them with or how many headshots you’ve pumped into them (depending on whether your favorite metaphor is a vampire, werewolf, or zombie, of course). One such canard is what I like to call the “toxins gambit.” Over the years, we’ve seen it used by such antivaccine “luminaries” as Jenny McCarthy, Dr. Jay Gordon, and others. Basically, it consists of listing all sorts of scary-sounding ingredients that are found in vaccines and then trying to argue that vaccines are horrific cesspits of toxins because they contain trace amounts of formaldehyde, for example. It’s a truly stupid, brain dead gambit, but no matter how many times it’s slapped down, there will always be some ignorant antivaccinationist who will resurrect it. (It’s like a lot of antivaccine misinformation that way, actually, but even more so.) Oddly enough, I had thought that this particular bit of silliness had finally faded away because I hadn’t seen it in a while. Leave it to someone like Mike Adams, the Health Danger, to bring it up again in an article entitled What’s really in vaccines? Proof of MSG, formaldehyde, aluminum and mercury.

MSG? O. My. God. The horrors! (And a new one on me.)

Get a load of Mike’s nonsense:

Have you ever wondered what’s really in vaccines? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s vaccine additives page, all the following ingredients are routinely used as vaccine additives:

• Aluminum – A light metal that causes dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. You should never inject yourself with aluminum.

Except that there’s no good evidence that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The evidence regarding whether large amounts of aluminum can cause Alzheimer’s disease is at worst inconclusive. Here’s a hint: The amount of aluminum in vaccines is not anywhere near what we would call a large amount.

• Antibiotics – Chemicals that promote superbugs, which are deadly antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that are killing tens of thousands of Americans every year.

This is even sillier than the aluminum gambit. It’s as though Adams thinks his audience is too ignorant or stupid to understand that trace amounts of antibiotics left over from the manufacturing process are enough to select bacteria for resistance. I mean, really? Really, Mike? This is the very definition of a non sequitur. It does not follow from the fact that antibiotics, when improperly used (and sometimes even when properly used) can select for resistant bacteria that trace amounts of antibiotics in vaccines are in any way dangerous. The amount in vaccines is so small that it’s not even anywhere near a therapeutic dose.

• Formaldehyde – A “pickling” chemical used to preserve cadavers. It’s highly toxic to the nervous system, causing blindness, brain damage and seizures. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services openly admits that formaldehyde causes cancer. You can see this yourself on the National Toxicology Program website, featuring its 12th Report on Carcinogens.

There, the formaldehyde Fact Sheet completely neglects to mention formaldehyde in vaccines. This is the “dirty little secret” of government and the vaccine industry. It does state, however, that “…formaldehyde causes myeloid leukemia, and rare cancers including sinonasal and nasopharyngeal cancer.”

Here we go again with the formaldehyde gambit (a variant of the toxin gambit). What Adams neglects to mention is that these reports on formaldehyde and cancer suggest that formaldehyde can cause cancer at high concentrations. We’re talking about industrial workers and embalmers exposed to high concentrations of formaldehyde. We’re talking animal studies in which animals are exposed to high levels of formaldehyde. We’re not talking about small amounts in vaccines. As the CHOP Vaccine Education Center discusses, the most formaldehyde that an infant might be exposed to through vaccines at one time is around 0.2 mg, less than one fifth the normal amount of formaldehyde circulating in an infant’s bloodstream. That’s a “worse case scenario.” Usually it’s less than that. Once again, Adams knows that his audience, most non-physicians, and a depressing number of physicians are unaware of that fact; so it sounds scary: “Oh, my god! Don’t you know formaldehyde is in embalming fluid????”

I could go on and on, but I do think it’s interesting to observe the techniques of a crank like Adams. For instance, he goes on and on about the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal in vaccines, neglecting to mention that thimerosal was removed from most childhood vaccines in 2001 and vaccines that still contain thimerosal are all available in a thimerosal-free version. He also neglects to mention that multiple studies have been done since the late 1990s when there was the most concern about thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism and failed to find any correlation with autism or other neurological diseases. The link between thimerosal and autism is a failed hypothesis.

Of course, science is not what Adams is about. Fear mongering is. That’s why he follows up with this passage:

Now, consider this: The most common side effect of a vaccine injection is a headache. The CDC admits that over 30 percent of those receiving vaccines experience headaches or migraines. Gee, think about it: What could possibly be in vaccines that would cause headaches, migraines and brain damage?

Ummm, how about the mercury, the formaldehyde, the aluminum and the MSG!

Even if you believe in the theory of vaccines as a helpful way to train the immune system to recognize pathogens, why would anyone — especially a doctor — think it’s okay to inject human beings with mercury, MSG, formaldehyde and aluminum?

The CDC fact sheet referenced by Adams does mention that about 1 in 3 people complain of headaches within a two weeks receiving a vaccine. One wonders what percentage of people who don’t get a vaccine complain of a headache sometime in any given two week period. Headaches are extremely common. I probably average a at least a headache or two every month. Correlation doesn’t necessarily equal causation. These are simply symptoms that have been reported, and the CDC even points that out, writing, “It is not clear whether these mild or serious problems were caused by the vaccine or occurred after vaccination by chance.” My guess is that the more common ones are probably not (or mostly not) related to vaccination. Again, we’re talking really, really common complaints that even healthy people experience, such as headaches, stuffy nose (which I have right now as I type this; I suspect allergies), abdominal pain (which I actually have a mild case of as I write this, having eaten a burger a few hours ago that really stuffed me), and diarrhea, which is also very common.

Adams then asks:

If vaccines are supposed to be good for you, why do they contain so many additives that are BAD for you? You wouldn’t want to eat mercury in your tuna fish. You wouldn’t want MSG in your sandwich, and you certainly wouldn’t want formaldehyde in your soda. So why would you allow yourself to be injected with these deadly substances?

And just as importantly, why wouldn’t the vaccine industry offer CLEAN vaccines? Without any brain-damaging additives?

Think about it: When you buy health food, you want that health food to have NO mercury, NO MSG, NO aluminum and certainly no formaldehyde. No sane person would knowingly eat those neurotoxic poisons. And yet, astonishingly, those same people literally line up to be INJECTED with those exact same brain-damaging poisons, with the justification that, somehow, “This injection is good for me!”

Absurdly, the vaccine industry says these toxic ingredients are intentionally added to vaccines to make them work better! Yes, that’s the reason: Mercury makes vaccines work better, they insist. Click here to see a video news report actually claiming mercury makes vaccines work better, granting children “improved behavior and mental performance.”

This is the news report that Adams is talking about, and, yes, some idiot reporter does completely misinterpret a couple of studies looking at thimerosal-containing vaccines. I rather suspect that at least one study to which the reporter is referring is Thompson et al, which basically looked at multiple 42 neuropsychological outcomes in children vaccinated with thimerosal-containing vaccines. The study found that a few outcomes were improved and a few were worse in an almost exactly even number. This was almost exactly what would be expected by random chance alone if there were no effect, and the authors therefore quite properly concluded that they found no association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and adverse neuropsychological outcomes. In an intellectually dishonest fashion, antivaccinationists pointed to the handful of measures with poorer outcomes and ignored the ones with better outcomes. Of course. This reporter seems to be having difficulty going the other direction. I’m not sure what the other study to which she refers is, but I’d bet that it’s the same issue she’s confusing.

So basically, Adams’ argument boils down to finding a single reporter who doesn’t know what she’s doing when analyzing medical research and basing his claim that the media is trying to tell you that mercury is good for you on that. Of course, the real reason that these substances are in vaccines is because, given current manufacturing technology, they need to be in vaccines. Formaldehyde is used to inactivate viruses. Antibiotics are used to inhibit bacterial growth and, depending on the vaccine, to select for bacteria containing the plasmid that produces the protein antigens used in the vaccine. Thimerosal used to be used as a preservative for multiple dose vials. Contrary to what Adams says (namely that thimerosal is still used because of greed and the desire not to produce single-dose vials), in Third World countries there are often difficulties keeping vaccines refrigerated, and multidose vials are cheaper per dose, where cost is an issue.

To Adams, though, this is the real purpose of vaccines:

That’s the real purpose of vaccines: Not to “protect children” with any sort of immunity, but to inject the masses with a toxic cocktail of chemicals that cause brain damage and infertility: Mercury, MSG, formaldehyde and aluminum. The whole point of this is to dumb the population down so that nobody has the presence of mind to wake up and start thinking for themselves.

This is precisely why the smartest, most “awake” people still remaining in society today are the very same ones who say NO to vaccines. Only their brains are still intact and operating with some level of awareness.

This is one of the dumbest antivaccine talking points there is. It would be hilarious if so many people didn’t believe it (or half believe it). Notice the vastly inflated view that Adams has of himself that he uses to pander to his audience. Only he and those who refuse vaccines are smart. Only they still have functioning brains, because they haven’t vaccinated. They are superior to all those sheeple who vaccinate. Adams even abuses a classic George Carlin clip to make his point. One can’t help but remember that George Carlin’s description of people who can’t think critically applies to the antivaccinationists far more than it does to those who vaccinate.

Finally, what I can’t figure out is this. If the “world masters” that Adams describes want a docile workforce, one would wonder why they’d choose to load vaccines with all sorts of “toxic chemicals” to do it. Wouldn’t it be easier just to put the mind control chemicals in the drinking water? Or in other products. Oh, wait. It’s Mike Adams. They’re doing that too. In any case, I still can’t figure out why the corporate masters would want everyone to be infertile. Wouldn’t it make more sense to encourage reproduction, the better to produce more willing consumers? I know. I know. It’s Mike Adams. It doesn’t have to make sense. It’s Mike Adams.

Still, I stand in awe at the contempt that Adams has for his audience. he lays down huge quantities of misinformation, pseudoscience, and lies that are so transparent and self-contradictory that it doesn’t take huge amounts of critical thinking skills to see right through them. His audience doesn’t see right through Adams’ stew of misinformation, logical fallacies, and utter nonsense. And Adams knows they don’t.

Comments

  1. #1 Rebecca Fisher
    October 26, 2012

    I can never decide whether Mike Adams actually believes all the nonsense he spouts, or whether he knows it’s rubbish but it helps him make money.

  2. #2 StrangerInAStrangeLand
    October 26, 2012

    I absolutely love the bullet point list of vaccine “dangers” but Adams has forgotten another horrible component that is part of those evil drugs:

    Water – Millions of people drown in it every year!!! And it can contain sharks!!! You don´t want to inject sharks into your veins, do you?!?!

  3. #3 Rebecca Fisher
    October 26, 2012

    Interestingly, Age of Autism seems to have admitted that there’s no plausible mechanism for vaccine / autism link – or serious adverse vaccine reactions.

    http://jabsloonies.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/age-of-autism-admits-no-mechanism-for.html

  4. #4 MikeMa
    October 26, 2012

    FUD Master Adams

  5. #5 palindrom
    October 26, 2012

    “The link between thimerosal and autism is a failed hypothesis.”

    No it’s not — it’s just pining for the fjords!

  6. #6 Julian Frost
    NOYDB
    October 26, 2012

    Ok, I know we like to use the Dead Parrot to mock anti-vaxxers, but I think the Black Knight is far more apt. Anyone care to give it a go?

  7. #7 dandover
    October 26, 2012

    OT: What do we think of this HPV vaccine study that claims they’ve found vaccine antigens bound to blood vessels in the brain that shouldn’t be there and caused “potentially fatal autoimmune vasculopathies”? Is there something here?

    http://goo.gl/iduYF

  8. #8 Orac
    October 26, 2012

    No it’s not — it’s just pining for the fjords!

    Hey, that’s my joke! :-)

    I just didn’t use it in this post because, well, I thought I’d been using it too frequently. Oh, well…maybe you can never use that joke too often.

  9. #9 Todd W.
    http://harpocratesspeaks.com
    October 26, 2012

    @dandover

    IIRC, the journal that published that is part of a vanity journal scam. Do a search for OMICS Group scam.

  10. #10 johnV
    October 26, 2012

    That joke will never grow old.

  11. #11 Anj
    awaiting frankenstorm.....[cue ominous chords]
    October 26, 2012

    “This is precisely why the smartest, most “awake” people still remaining in society today are the very same ones who say NO to vaccines. Only their brains are still intact and operating with some level of awareness. ”

    YAY! We have a winnah! I forget the name of this particular gambit/fallacy. Can anyone help me out here?

  12. #12 Julian Frost
    NOYDB
    October 26, 2012

    @dandover:

    What do we think of this HPV vaccine study that claims they’ve found vaccine antigens bound to blood vessels in the brain that shouldn’t be there and caused “potentially fatal autoimmune vasculopathies”? Is there something here?

    Your link is to the “Child Health Safety” blog of Clifford Miller, so right off the bat I’d say “unlikely”. But as Orac says, “let’s dig in, shall we?”

    The vaccine itself is pointless for 12-13 year old British school girls. The chance of death from cervical cancer before age 20 is ZERO

    He completely ignores the fact that some British school girls are sexually active at that age and can therefore get HPV, and that cervical cancer can take a while to develop.

    The research shows that many of the symptoms reported to vaccine safety surveillance databases following HPV vaccination are indicative of cerebral vasculitis, but are unrecognized as such.

    Why are they “indicative” of cerebral vasculitis, but “unrecognized as such”?

    CHS has separately obtained evidence showing that British Health officials in the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency [MHRA] published analyses of adverse reactions to GSK’s Cervarix vaccine in such a way that the conditions underlying the reported symptoms of 4700 adverse reactions in 4.2 million British schoolgirls could never be identified.

    What form does this evidence take? And were these adverse reactions caused by the vaccination? CHS claims 4700 reactions were reported in “4.2 million schoolgirls” but gives no time frame. Is it over a few weeks or several years?

    This looks like “cooking the books” to ensure no information would be made public which might suggest the vaccine is dangerous

    Or maybe they compared the “adverse reactions” to those in a control group and found no statistically significant difference.
    More hogwash in his post until…

    And why does our headline refer to sons? It is being suggested the same vaccines be given to boys also.

    Yes. HPV has been implicated in cancers that, shall we say, can only occur in males. It’s also been implicated in cancers of the mouth and throat. I’ll leave you to guess why.
    The post comes across to my eyes as a cleverly constructed bit of propaganda. If I was ignorant of the tactics used by anti-vaxxers, I’d be nervous.

  13. #13 dandover
    October 26, 2012

    @Todd W: Thanks for the pointer. That explains it pretty well, the “research” was published in an OMICS Group “journal”.

    I also noticed this in the “acknowledgements” section of the paper:

    “This work was supported by the Dwoskin, Lotus and Katlyn Fox Family
    Foundations.”

    A quick Google search for those foundations reveals that this work might as well have been paid for by the NVIC. Those foundations are about as anti-vaccine as a foundation can be.

    I also found on the researchers’ home page, the “Neural Dynamics Research Group” at the University of British Columbia, that this group is doing a lot of anti-vaccine leaning research:

    In regard to the latter, we are attempting to model aspects of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the latter which correlates with a high degree of significance in humans with the number of aluminum-adjuvanted vaccines administered in early life.

    Now it adds up: researchers with an anti-vaccine bias funded by blatantly anti-vaccine organizations publish their results in a disreputable “journal”.

    The most alarming bit for me was that the research is being done at what would otherwise seem to be a reputable research institution. But I guess if they can teach CAM at Harvard Medical School, why not allow anti-vaccine “research” at the University of British Columbia?

    @Julian Frost: Thanks, also. I was mostly interested in an analysis of the research itself. But a thorough deconstruction of the CHS article is also welcome :)

  14. #14 Krebiozen
    October 26, 2012

    I hope regulars will forgive me for posting a detailed explanation of exactly why Adams’ claims are so idiotic – you have heard this all before but some people have not. Maybe with enough careful explanation and repetition, the message will eventually get through:

    When you buy health food, you want that health food to have NO mercury, NO MSG, NO aluminum and certainly no formaldehyde. No sane person would knowingly eat those neurotoxic poisons.

    All foods contain small amounts of mercury, even fruit. For example a study in the Netherlands found a median of 0.002 mg/kg mercury in fruits. That’s the same as 2 µg/kg, so it wouldn’t take too long for a vegetarian to consume as much mercury as there ever was in the entire childhood vaccine schedule (around 60 micrograms IIRC), but in the more toxic methylmercury form. If you ate half a kilo of fruit every day (as the Health deRanger no doubt does) for six months you would consume about 180 micrograms of mercury. Other foods may contain even more, especially seafoods, of course.

    No MSG? Practically every food that contains protein contains MSG, including meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables, milk and especially soy sauce and miso, of which my local health food store has a wide range. Miso soup, for example, contains on average 1500 mg/kg glutamate, most of which will be in the form of the sodium salt. In contrast vaccines contain at most about 0.2 mg/dose, for example FluMist. So a teaspoonful of miso soup contains about 40 times as much MSG as you would find in any vaccine.

    Aluminum, as the commonest metallic element in the earth’s crust, is certainly present in foods, with vegetables containing up to 33 mg/kg, fruit up to 8 mg/kg, cocoa up to 103 mg/kg and spices up to 695 mg/kg, which makes the 4.4 milligrams of aluminum fully vaccinated infants get from vaccines during the first six months of their lives look very tiny indeed.

    As Orac mentioned, we all constantly produce and metabolize large amounts of formaldehyde, one study “calculated that the daily turnover of formaldehyde would be 31-59 g/day”, mostly from the breakdown of methylated amino acids and methanol in our diets. In any case, many foods also contain quite large amounts of formaldehyde and methanol, there is up to 420 mg methanol in every liter of orange juice, and many foods naturally contain formaldehyde such as apples which contain up to 22.3 mg/kg, pears up to 60 mg/kg and dried shiitake mushrooms with up to 406 mg/kg. A single vaccine shot contains at most less than 0.1 mg. So a 170 gram apple may contain more than 30 times as much formaldehyde as a vaccine shot.

    Fearing such tiny amounts of chemicals when much larger amounts occur naturally in our bodies and in foods is simply irrational.

  15. #15 Denice Walter
    October 26, 2012

    Rebecca Fisher poses an interesting question: does Mikey really believe the stuff he posts or does he broadcast this rubbish knowingly just to make money?

    I think that he ( and the other loon @ PRN) do sincerely believe in the trash they publicise and that they live the life they describe and present to their ardent followers as the epitome of “healthy living”.

    First of all: Mike had another website – since updated ( Health Ranger.com)- that lovingly showcased his personal stats- height, weight, percent body fat, blood chemistry panels alongside a posed photo of his dude-ness displaying his musculature like an underwear model! The other loon similarly talks up – and displays- his ultra-low BMI whilst regalling his audience with minute descriptions of his personal eating/supplement regime, exercise and toiletery habits. He has also poisoned himself with vitamin D. With his own product.

    DSM- 5 should have a new category – orthorexia, being over-concerned with ‘correct’ eating- and both railed against that because they obviously believe that spending most of your waking hours obsessing over what you ingest is perfectly normal. They also promote juice-fasts and drinks concocted of dried vegetable/ fruit powder ( selling machines and supplies for these endeavors at their websites’ stores). They also provide recipes.

    MIke has shown his exercise regime in detail at his website. Sometimes people who are obsessed with weight and appearance use exercise rather than purely dieting to achieve their goals. I think that both of these characters have ‘issues’ about weight : the other often speaks derisively of “fat people” and their horrendous diet of what most people would consider ‘normal food’ ( any meat, dairy, wheat, fast food, snacks, sweets, processed food, non-organic vegetables et al). He recites a litany of offensive foods that most people would probably relish.

    Then there is grandiosity involving their beliefs that they, with their shoddy, nearly absent, so-called education, can overrule all of the research by SBM that casts doubt upon their wild ideas. They know better and will thus ‘educate’ the public. Often they exaggerate studies’ results and possibly, the certainly with which they promote ideas -e.g. they may *believe* that x, y and z most likely prevent cancer BUT they tell their audiences that it is 100% certain- is exaggerated as well. So lying isn’t entirely absent.

    Right now, Mike lives near Austin, Texas, where he raises chickens and organic vegetables, as he waits for the total collapse of the western world for which he is ENTIRELY prepared. He is married and has hinted that he has a small child. For some reason, that thought is unsettling to me.

  16. #16 THS
    October 26, 2012

    “Toxins” – code for shoddy, nearly absent, so-called education. These days, anyway. Shame to waste a previously useful word. DW: orthorexia, eh? Did you coin the term? We’ll be committing food offenses this weekend after we go into the old growth across the creek to get the chanterelles.

  17. #17 Composer99
    http://composer99.blogspot.ca
    October 26, 2012

    Anj:

    I don’t think that gambit has a well-known name the way, say, the Pharma Shill gambit does, but I would say that analogies to preparing unsuspecting animals for harvesting (or, since for some reason sheep are a favourite pejorative animal (wake up, sheeple!), shearing or fleecing) would be apt.

    Since, after all, such talk is buttering up the marks sorry, acknowledging the audience’s wisdom and subject matter knowledge.

  18. #18 brian
    October 26, 2012

    Orac’s post included this verbal diarrhea from Mike Adams:

    The whole point of this [vaccination] is to dumb the population down

    Adams is apparently unware that vaccine-preventable early childhood disease has been associated with long-term cognitive impairment. Accordingly, in addition to, say, preventing death, vaccination can help to increase the average intelligence of a population rather than ‘dumb it down’.

  19. #19 Mike
    October 26, 2012

    It’s as though Adams thinks his audience is too ignorant or stupid to understand that trace amounts of antibiotics left over from the manufacturing process are enough to select bacteria for resistance.

    Given his later self-aggrandizing statement about only “people like him” are smart enough to see “the truth” I would postulate your assessment here, Orac, gives him too much credit. I suspect he doesn’t believe they are ignorant or stupid. I would present he thinks his audience is just as knowledgeable and smart as he is – and therefore Believe! right along with him.

  20. #20 Strewth
    October 26, 2012

    Oh hooray, Ultra-low BMI. Whee. My doctor says I have to put on 40 lbs to be healthy, and I don’t have an eating disorder. Skinny-ass just runs in my family.

    Let me tell you that ultra-low BMI is not your friend, either, Mikey.

  21. #21 Denice Walter
    October 26, 2012

    @ THS:

    I didn’t invent the term, I believe it comes- paradoxically- from alt med originally. I’ve heard it may be included in the new DSM. More information @ WebMD and Mayo Clinic websites.

    Actually these woo-meisters disparage most of the foods reasonable people eat and that dieticians recommend : Mike is not vegetarian but eschews anything NOT organic and GMO- free- all meat / dairy products must meet stringent requirements( free-range, hormone-free, raw milk etc); Null prescribes a vegan, mostly raw, non-GMO, organic, gluten-free, ultra-low fat, high fibre diet ( probably more taboos that I forgot). It makes ‘kosher’ seem simple.

    According to these guys, virtually everything I eat is unhealthy because- although I limit fat and sugar and don’t consume red meat- it’s not raw, organic, non-GMO, hormone-free, wheat-free, vegan etc etc etc.
    Most reasonable people and dieticians would think otherwise.
    But then we’re not talking about reasonable people.

    Of course, if their followers don’t followtheir restrictions TO THE LETTER of the law, they can always buy their supplements/ foods to make up for lost ground.

  22. #22 Edith Prickly
    October 26, 2012

    you are correct Denice, an alternative physician named Steven Bratman coined the term in an essay first published in 1997 (in Yoga Journal, no less!) The essay is actually quite good — an informative and entertaining tour through a couple decades of altie food fads: http://www.orthorexia.com/original-orthorexia-essay

    He later published a book called Health Food Junkies in 2001.

  23. #23 OleanderTea
    October 26, 2012

    Remember kids, toxins are bad, unless you’re Jenny McCarthy and you inject them into your face so’s you can look purdy!

    *eyeroll*

  24. #24 Glaxxon PharmaCOM Orbital
    L5
    October 26, 2012

    MESSAGE BEGINS———————–

    Finally, what I can’t figure out is this. If the “world masters” that Adams describes want a docile workforce, one would wonder why they’d choose to load vaccines with all sorts of “toxic chemicals” to do it.

    Because it’s fun.

    Lord Draconis Zeneca VH7ihL
    Foreward Mavoon of the Great Fleet, Subjugator Magna of Terra, Toastmaster of Toxins

    Glaxxon PharmaCOM Orbital
    0001111010111010101010111110101010

    ————————–MESSAGE ENDS

  25. #25 Denice Walter
    October 26, 2012

    @ Edith Prickly:

    Right. It is a more socially-acceptable disorder than outright starvation or binge-and-purge: notice that woo-meisters’ stores merchandise “cleansing” products and colonic** supplies ( Adams, the latter).

    A quick look at woo-meisters’ photos show that they are often remarkably lean, supposedly below 10% body fat while professing to be “master” athletes- marathoners, hikers etc.

    ** “colema” in his parlance.

  26. #26 Edith Prickly
    October 26, 2012

    @Oleander Tea – everyone knows toxins are only bad when they’re in vaccines! anyway, Botox is made from a naturally occurring substance (unlike those eeeevil vaccines, so full of CHEMICALS!!!) so our bodies automatically know it’s OK

    /sarcasm

  27. #27 AdamG
    October 26, 2012

    Adams:

    why would anyone — especially a doctor — think it’s okay to inject human beings with mercury, MSG, formaldehyde and aluminum?

    Sanga on the other thread:

    It is highly reasonable to doubt that animal cells in vaccines could be harmful in humans along with the chemicals like aluminum, formaldehyde, MSG etc because these are known toxic chemicals.

    I was wondering where Sanga’s MSG nonsense was coming from. Mystery solved!

  28. #28 MikeM
    Montreal, QC
    October 26, 2012

    “…the real purpose of vaccines: … to inject the masses with a toxic cocktail of chemicals that cause brain damage… ”

    How does Mr Adams explain the Flynn Effect?

  29. #29 TBruce
    October 26, 2012

    Now it adds up: researchers with an anti-vaccine bias funded by blatantly anti-vaccine organizations publish their results in a disreputable “journal”.

    The most alarming bit for me was that the research is being done at what would otherwise seem to be a reputable research institution. But I guess if they can teach CAM at Harvard Medical School, why not allow anti-vaccine “research” at the University of British Columbia?

    So this is what Shaw and Tomljenovic are reduced to: publishing crap “research” in a crap “journal”.

    Interesting how they can make a diagnosis of “cerebral vasculitis” when there is in fact no evidence of vasculitis.

    Note to Shaw et al: the mere presence of antibodies in a vessel wall does not equal vasculitis. Any histopathologist could have told you that.

    As to why such research is allowed at UBC, I have one word: tenure.

  30. #30 Shay
    October 26, 2012

    “It’s as though Adams thinks his audience is too ignorant or stupid to understand that trace amounts of antibiotics left over from the manufacturing process are enough to select bacteria for resistance. ”

    I think it’s a given that anyone who listens to Adams is, in fact, too stupid to understand that.

  31. #31 Krebiozen
    October 26, 2012

    My comment comparing the amounts of these chemicals in foods to that in vaccines has emerged from moderation. I think it’s useful to be able to tell people that a teaspoonful of miso soup contains about 40 times as much MSG as you would find in any vaccine, for example.

  32. #32 Krebiozen
    October 26, 2012

    TBruce,

    Note to Shaw et al: the mere presence of antibodies in a vessel wall does not equal vasculitis. Any histopathologist could have told you that.

    I was struck by the lack of any controls, either negative or positive. I want to see how those antibody stains look when used on the brain of someone who died in a road traffic accident, for example. Surely histopathologists use controls, don’t they?

  33. #33 kruuth
    October 26, 2012

    What I find so intriguing is that a lot of these sham artists quote news articles but shy away from real scientific articles and publications. Quantity is not going to ever equal quantity and most of these cranks ether don’t or can’t fathom that. I post on “toxicity” from the Saturday post in Tooleyville isn’t going to ever hold water against something like the Lancet. Junior probationary cub reporters aren’t going to dig as deeply or fact check as thoroughly.

  34. #34 JGC
    October 26, 2012

    [cue stereotypical Mexican accent] “Controls? Controls? We don’ need no steenking controls!”

  35. #35 Todd W.
    http://harpocratesspeaks.com
    October 26, 2012

    @AdamG

    I was wondering where Sanga’s MSG nonsense was coming from. Mystery solved!

    I recently received an email asking about MSG in vaccines. It was a new one on me, too. It’s starting to make sense.

  36. #36 TBruce
    October 26, 2012

    I was struck by the lack of any controls, either negative or positive. I want to see how those antibody stains look when used on the brain of someone who died in a road traffic accident, for example. Surely histopathologists use controls, don’t they?

    Yes, histopathologists should always use positive and negative controls for immunohistology. The failure to do so can result in disasters in both clinical and research applications.

  37. #37 Jay Chaplin
    UW Seattle
    October 26, 2012

    “Oh, my god! Don’t you know formaldehyde is in embalming fluid????”

    It also contains water. I guess we should all stop consuming water.

  38. #38 Peebs
    In the lightheaded world of coryza
    October 26, 2012

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned it.

    Where does he buy his mercury free tuna?

    I’m grumpy old git who insists on my tuna having added dolphin.

  39. #39 Chemmomo
    Just curious
    October 26, 2012

    Does anyone have a biochemistry textbook that details how much of each amino acid make up the proteins in the human body?

  40. #40 AdamG
    October 26, 2012

    Does anyone have a biochemistry textbook that details how much of each amino acid make up the proteins in the human body?

    I don’t know of a specific paper or textbook that has this information explicitly, but it could be fairly easily derived from the human codon usage table:

    http://www.kazusa.or.jp/codon/cgi-bin/showcodon.cgi?species=9606

  41. #41 Shay
    October 26, 2012

    @Peebs — he raises them in the lake at the foot of the mountain where he harvests his own oxygen.

  42. #42 kruuth
    October 26, 2012

    @Jay

    Isn’t there ambient formaldehyde in the air? Maybe he has one of those special bubble thingies he wears.

  43. #43 brian
    October 26, 2012

    Krebiozen wrote:

    I was struck by the lack of any controls, either negative or positive. I want to see how those antibody stains look when used on the brain of someone who died in a road traffic accident, for example. Surely histopathologists use controls, don’t they?

    I suppose that most journals would not have published the Tomljrenovic and Shaw paper since the authors noted, “The obvious limitations of our study are that the tissues examined represent two individuals against which there were no control samples.”

    Perhaps Tomljrenovic and Shaws should have remembered that Andrew Wakefield was tripped up because the work that led to his embrace by the MMR-causes-autism brigade involved a monoclonal antibody that (as another group eventually demonstrated) reacted not only with Measles virus but also with a human protein. (D’oh!)

  44. #44 Krebiozen
    October 26, 2012

    Perhaps Tomljrenovic and Shaws should have remembered that Andrew Wakefield was tripped up because the work that led to his embrace by the MMR-causes-autism brigade involved a monoclonal antibody that (as another group eventually demonstrated) reacted not only with Measles virus but also with a human protein. (D’oh!)

    Weirdly, their argument appears to be that proteins in cerebral blood vessels are so similar to HPV proteins that the vaccine can induce an autoimmune response that results in cerebral vasculitis. I think I detect a Catch 22 problem here.

  45. #45 herr doktor bimler
    October 26, 2012

    I was under the impression that the NZ coroner had allowed tissue samples to be sent to Dr Shaw so that his expert opinion could be heard at the inquest into the death of Ms Jasmine Renata… not so that Tomljenovic & Shaw could add another publication to their CVs.

  46. #46 Krebiozen
    October 26, 2012

    HDB,
    Do we know for certain that one of the subjects of this paper is Ms Renate? Is the identity of the other girl in the public domain?

  47. #47 herr doktor bimler
    October 26, 2012

    All details of Girl 1 match Ms Renata.

    Here’s Erickson of SaneVax (being interviewed by Frompovich):
    “Do you happen to know if Jasmine experienced any medical problems before her death?

    Yes, beginning with warts and mood changes after her first injection; same thing after the second. The warts came back a third time after the last injection, mood and behavior changes, tingling sensations in her limbs, memory loss, tachycardia, chest pains and multiple other symptoms.”

    Now Tomljenovic and Shaw :
    “Her symptoms started after the first qHPV injection when she developed warts on her hand that persisted throughout the vaccination period. In addition, she suffered from unexplained fatigue, muscle weakness, tachycardia, chest pain, tingling in extremities, irritability, mental confusion and periods of amnesia (memory lapses).”

    Other identifying details in the Tomljenovic-Shaw description (“some minor changes involving the gallbladder and the uterine cervix”, etc.) match the NZ pathologist’s report.

    They describe Case 1 as “taking no drugs”, which is incorrect.

  48. #48 Lara Lohne (AKA: Venna)
    Baffled by the anti-vax level of stupid I just read
    October 27, 2012

    MSG in vaccines, why? MSG is a flavor enhancer, so unless it’s in an oral vaccine that’s meant to taste yummy, why would MSG be in a vaccine?

    Funny also that he talks about vaccines causing infertility considering the sheer numbers of us on the planet today, and every several years there is a baby boom (my oldest was part of one back in 1990). I still see plenty of pregnant ladies walking around so I’m pretty sure infertility isn’t an issue for the masses.

    As for only the unvaccinated being smart and only the smart ones not vaccinating, I’m, for the most part, unvaccinated. I mean, I’ve only had three vaccines my entire life, one MMR at 16, one MMR in 2007 after the birth of my son, and a TDaP ‘booster’ in 2010. But all my children are fully vaccinated because after growing up anti vaccine, and realizing how many holes there were in the philosophy, I had to research the truth and the truth lead me to vaccinate and I still believe that is the best decision I could have made for all of my children, including my youngest who has autism.

    Is anyone familiar with Lowell Hubbs, claiming to be editor at VacFACTS.Info? He has been attacking me verbally for the past couple of days in the comments at: http://www.parade.com/health/2012/10/07-why-so-many-parents-are-delaying-vaccines.html and honestly I’m tired of talking to him, particularly when he can’t keep a civil tongue. Would anyone care to take over for me? I counted a minimum of four personal insults he flung at me, and dropped the pharma shill gambit on me twice, calling me a liar and a brat (?) and any number of other things. I have tried to be fair, but after his last comment (at least the last one before my last one) I told him I was removing myself from the discussion because he couldn’t conduct himself in a civil manner and he was not worth my time and the personal insults and strawman attacks was immature. He deemed to respond to that, but I am not able to respond back because I have removed myself from the discussion and I don’t mean to be sucked back in, but I can nearly hear him shouting his victory because he got in the last word. I don’t have the scientific knowledge or verbal skills to put this guy where he needs to be put. Would anyone care to take up the gauntlet for me?

  49. #49 Narad
    October 27, 2012

    s anyone familiar with Lowell Hubbs, claiming to be editor at VacFACTS.Info

    Yes. Yes, indeedy do.

  50. #50 Narad
    October 27, 2012

    Would anyone care to take over for me?

    Sorry, I had some garlic threatening to scorch. The answer is, Sure! But I can’t really sift through hundreds of comments, so if you could give me a bearing, I’d be happy to point out yet again some of Lowell’s personal flaws in reasoning.

  51. #51 lilady
    October 27, 2012

    Even IF I did Facebook Lara…I wouldn’t engage that sicko creep in any sort of debate…

    http://vaccineconspiracytheorist.blogspot.com/search/label/Lowell%20Hubbs

  52. #53 Lara Lohne (AKA: Venna)
    @Narad
    October 27, 2012

    Ooh, I didn’t even think that it might be hard to find the comments in question. I think, if you go to the comments, and where it says:’94 Comments’ there is a drop down. If you select Social Ranking, this at least works for me, my comment shows up on top.

    There are a number of comments from a couple of weeks ago, if you click the link where it says 28 more, his start about a third of the way down the column . His first comment was on October 13. I didn’t respond until October 19 because I had other things going on, and just really didn’t want to get into another debate so had to think about my response for a little while anyway.

    Hopefully you can find it without too much trouble, I don’t know how I would be able to get a link directly to a specific thread in the comments. Good luck and have fun!

  53. #54 Lara Lohne (AKA: Venna)
    @lilady
    October 27, 2012

    Funny because he actually referred to me as a sicko. He is definitely creepy, that’s for sure.

  54. #55 Nebl
    October 27, 2012

    The cancer support list I read is full of STOOPID and the discussion about flu shots was full of anit-vaccine nuts. I was really happy when a sane person posted this:

    The notion that the flu shot increases the risk of Alzheimer’s is ludicrous. Here’s a link (scroll down to Myth 6) and you can follow it to the primary reference.

    http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_myths_about_alzheimers.asp

  55. #56 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    October 27, 2012

    @Narad

    You don’t need to be shown to a comment in particular, he has the same idiotic drivel posted on just about all of them.

  56. #57 Grant
    October 27, 2012

    @Chemmomo (October 26, 2012)

    “Does anyone have a biochemistry textbook that details how much of each amino acid make up the proteins in the human body?”

    Do you mean the overall amino acid composition of the body?

    This isn’t simple to deduce from just the genome sequence or protein sequences themselves. As you’ll know, amino acid composition varies greatly from protein to protein, proteins (and their genes) aren’t expressed in all cells, and amount of them varies greatly too.

    I’ve had a quick look and this is proving stubborn. (Ha.)

    Neither of my copies of Creighton (2nd Ed) or Schulz & Shirmer have a table of this – while a little older these are “definitive” textbooks on proteins. (The latter does have a table for E coli, though.)

    (AdamG’s table, although interesting, doesn’t answer the question I’m afraid. [No offence intended.] Being a head count of the codons used in translating genes to proteins it doesn’t take into account the amount of each protein in the body, alternative splicing, different composition of different cell types, etc.)

  57. #58 Todd W.
    http://harpocratesspeaks.com
    October 27, 2012

    @Lara Lohne

    MSG in vaccines, why?

    Working on a post on just that subject. Been gathering research for a while, now.

  58. #59 Krebiozen
    October 27, 2012

    On the subject of the amount of glutamate in humans, since we are very similar to pigs, it seems likely that porcine amino acid composition would be similar to that of humans.

    Fetal pig protein is about 6% glutamate (13% glutamate/glutamine) and since humans are about 20% protein, I would estimate we are about 1% glutamate, that is a 50 kg person contains about 500 grams, or about 18 ounces of glutamate.

    I did find a similar breakdown of human fetal protein, but it only includes essential amino acids.

  59. #60 Denice Walter
    October 27, 2012

    Hilarity reigns, as it usually does, at AoA:

    today Dan Olmsted reveals how fellow researcher, Tony Bateson, opines that there are no unvaccinated autists; Dan O qualifies this statement, after consulting various professional colleagues: it’s not *none* but very, very few. For example, look at the Amish folk or patients in Mayer Eisenstein’s vaccine-free medical practice**.

    Autism due to causes other than vaccines is very rare. Then he re-iterates a list of toxins – Hg, Al, formaldehyde, DNA et al and talks up his own research from his book.

    You know, these guys remind me of Conservative politicians: they think that if they keep on repeating the same old nonsense over and over, it’ll give it the weight of authority or tradition and people will buy it:
    no, repeating the same untruths over and over only makes people remember*** accurately how wrong you are.

    ** who -btw- had an internet radio show @ PRN but, IIRC, he has moved it to Natural News.
    *** memory DOES work that way so perhaps the unschooled and gullible may accept what they recall as fact- which helps Dan and friends spread their “research findings” amongst the unsuspecting.
    Unfortunately, there are quite a few of those ‘unsuspectings’ around.

  60. #61 brian
    October 27, 2012

    Miso soup, for example, contains on average 1500 mg/kg glutamate, most of which will be in the form of the sodium salt. In contrast vaccines contain at most about 0.2 mg/dose, for example FluMist. So a teaspoonful of miso soup contains about 40 times as much MSG as you would find in any vaccine.

    While baby’s don’t usually eat miso soup, a 4 kg baby consumes about 600 mg of breast milk per day, including about 132 mg glutamate. If roughly 15% of the glutamate is absorbed [Am J Clin NutrSeptem­ber 2009 vol. 90 no. 3 850S-856S] the baby’s glutamate dose is roughly 5 mg/kg/day–day after day, for months. Accordingly, vaccine-phobic activists are worried: that’s only about 14,000 times the dose of glutamate that Gardasil vaccination provides (on three days) to an average-size 12 year old. The horror!

  61. #62 lilady
    October 27, 2012

    @ Denice Walter: I’ve already done my morning *slumming* at AoA. Dan has a *great* synopsis and is still defending Blaxill’s drive-by investigative report that *found* no autistic children in the Amish Lancaster Pennsylvania community….because “the Amish do not vaccinate”. Had Blaxill stopped his car for just a few minutes, perhaps he would have located a special school located in that community with autistic Amish children who were vaccinated.

    Meanwhile, back at the LaCrosse Tribune, (Not An) ASD Researcher a.k.a. “Blackheart” has stopped his copy pasta-ing…because the “comments” are limited to 500 characters.

    I have just posted two comments, questioning why the publisher of the LaCrosse Tribune hasn’t investigated the three prior articles written by the “Sports-Education” cub reporter that skewed those three prior articles to infer that there is a “debate” about vaccines causing autism. I called upon the LaCrosse Tribune Publisher to provide us with the “research” and the “experts” that the cub reporter used for those three awful articles. I’m all for journalistic integrity. Does anyone want to join me on this blog?

    http://lacrossetribune.com/news/opinion/michael-winfrey-former-doctor-was-not-invited-to-uw-l/article_77a7ee6a-13ea-11e2-9389-001a4bcf887a.html

  62. #63 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 27, 2012

    Lara –

    Oh yeah. We’ve definitely met Lowell Hubbs. For instance, the thread where he revealed he couldn’t comprehend the concept of a thought experiment.

  63. #64 Denice Walter
    October 27, 2012

    @ Lara Lohne:

    I would brush off anything he said to you: people who get deeply involved with movements like anti-vaxx or natural health fanaticism, IMNSHO, are using it to boost their own self-esteem and perhaps their marketability (if they have some sort of expertise- real or spurious).

    To illustrate what I mean:
    a person has child with an ASD and feels badly- as though it were a reflection upon him or her own self. Maybe they are not well-educated or don’t have a successful career; now they observe other parents with so-called normal children and they meet with doctors and psychologists who tell that their own child will probably never do well in school or live independently. They hate the message so they shoot the messenger and set themselves up as authorites who know more than the experts and will “show them”. They run into alt med types who agree with them and feed them more bs.

    The second type are the professionals ( actual or facsimile) who jump onto the bandwagon, seeing their own star rise in the firmament, as an alternative to SBM- one that trumps it all. A brave, maverick-y, revolutionary paradigm shifter who has a ready-made audience..

    Perhaps he or she has not become well-known doing groundbreaking research in SBM or never got his or her foot into the university door to begin with! ( I think that you can probably list a few of each type, hmm?) Being outside the standard regime gives them room for fudging data and more self- aggrandisement than would be possible in a SB setting.
    Although a few manufacture data in SBM as well.

    So the two- leaders and followers- feed off of each other; and some followers set themselves up as ‘experts’ on their own- writing books, making personal appearances, writing on blogs ( I’ll bet you know a few of those as well)- all of this offsets their feelings of unworthiness. An audience makes many people feel better about themselves: it’s an alternative to an education, a career and hard work.

  64. #65 THS
    October 27, 2012

    I’d like to believe that frequently repeating the same untruths makes people remember how wrong (someone/some group) is, but I’m not so sure about that. I have the impression that repetition of untruth drives general acceptance of same. Furthermore, by the time the truth may re-emerge, there is generally no accountability or consequences for the liars. Consider politics, where the big lie and repetition of lies has been shown to be effective. Consider Fox “news” and related examples. Example would be climate change “debate”. I don’t think there will be general memory or accounting around the mendacity of the Karl Rove crowd.
    Somebody please convince me I’m wrong.

  65. #66 Krebiozen
    October 27, 2012

    brian,

    baby’s don’t usually eat miso soup

    I was aiming for something even The Health (De)Ranger might consider healthy, but you definitely trump that with breast milk!

  66. #67 Krebiozen
    October 27, 2012

    THS,

    Somebody please convince me I’m wrong.

    I wish I could. I’m feeling depressed after reading the anti-vaccine comments on a couple of pro-vaccine articles, as I do from time to time. I see the same old names (and a few new ones), and the same old idiotic nonsense they have been oozing for years. No matter how many times you explain to these people that it is nonsense, using irrefutable evidence and language a 6-year-old should be able to understand, they carry on repeating it.

    It is so tempting to assume this is some sort of mental health issue. When you explain to someone that their body deals with hundreds of thousands of times more formaldehyde every day than there is in any vaccine, and then a month later you see a comment from them telling people that the formaldehyde in vaccines is toxic and causes cancer and respiratory distress, what else can you conclude? Have they not understood? Do they think all the knowledge we have about the role of formaldehyde in amino acid and methanol has been faked? Do they not care that they are spreading misinformation?

    Thank goodness for the few valiant souls who are willing to battle their way through this black tide. I do try (using a different ‘nym mostly) but I do get dispirited.

  67. #68 Krebiozen
    October 27, 2012

    I meant “amino acid and methanol metabolism“.

  68. #69 Denice Walter
    October 27, 2012

    @ THS:

    Notice that I differentiate ( at least) two groups: those who ‘get it’ and the ‘unsuspecting’. And don’t forget that it works both ways: outlandishly flaming, stupid drivel gets the former group motivated to de-construct and counteract its effect.

    I think that because of video and the internet ( which both also work both ways), prevaricators may have to watch what they say more if they realise that someone can ( metaphorically) hit them over the head with it a day, week, month or year later via tape. The smart ones anyway.

    Still, a messy business.

    @ lilady:
    -btw- Blackie thought that I was ‘interesting’ or suchlike- he even complimented my writing, at least I think it was a compliment. Not entirely sure.
    I do wonder if he has an actual degree in psych.. it’s possible, you know- the field attracts all kinds, unfortunately.

    @ lilady:

  69. #70 Denice Walter
    October 27, 2012

    @ Krebiozen:

    Excuse me for being Ms Happy Cat:
    but you said yourself- it is a small group of activists. Vanishingly small, I believe, but really interconnected.
    Of course they can say that sceptics are a small group as well ALTHOUGH we also represent the consensus of SB professionals in all fields who go about working in labs, with patients, doing research etc.

    The alt media needs to conjure up lists of supporters (e.g. the infamous 2000+ so-called professionals who doubted hiv/ aids often cited by denialists). If you go over facebook numbers for anti-vax groups, it’s not a formidable number ( e.g. 5- 6 K; 12K) and many sign up at each group’s page, thereby inflating numbers. FB may be appropriate for that age cohort, too.

    You- like me- have trudged through the reeking swamp of misinformation that masquerades as science and can say:
    it is a few people with axes to grind and very big mouths.

    And pardonnez- moi but I -unfortunately- have to go off to my event. That should be a joy. At least I can have a drink.

  70. #71 Krebiozen
    October 27, 2012

    Thanks Denice, you’re right, of course. Tis but a drop, not a tide. I feel my depression lifting.

  71. #72 Composer99
    http://composer99.blogspot.ca
    October 27, 2012

    THS, Krebiozen:

    For ‘true believers’ there’s probably motivated reasoning at work, but there’s also the potential for backfire effects when rebutting misinformation. See for example here or here.

    (Both links are to Skeptical Science which aims to rebut climate science pseudoskepticism: tthe former is a handbook for debunking, the latter links to a related paper.)

  72. #73 lilady
    October 27, 2012

    @ Denice Walter:

    ASD Researcher a.k.a. Blackheart a.k.a “John Richard Smith” (his ‘nym when he posts his Spam on the Ho-Po), is clueless about any of the sciences. He now *claims* to have a child diagnosed with an ASD…which I sorta doubt…because he is a pathological liar.

  73. #74 Dangerous Bacon
    October 27, 2012

    “T. Bruce: “So this is what Shaw and Tomljenovic are reduced to: publishing crap “research” in a crap “journal”.

    “Interesting how they can make a diagnosis of “cerebral vasculitis” when there is in fact no evidence of vasculitis.”

    “Note to Shaw et al: the mere presence of antibodies in a vessel wall does not equal vasculitis. Any histopathologist could have told you that.”

    Seconded. You have to see actual evidence of inflammation AND vascular damage, which were not reported. There supposedly was “hemorrhage”, which is a very nonspecific finding that could be related to how the tissue was handled and harvested and have nothing to do with a real life event.

    I am reminded of the crack pathologist(s) who claimed to have found small intestinal “inflammation” in Wakefield’s doomed MMR study, using (to be kind) novel criteria.

    I don’t know about T. Bruce, but I’m started to get really pissed off at the perversion of pathology to support bad science.

  74. #75 Narad
    October 27, 2012
    baby’s don’t usually eat miso soup

    I was aiming for something even The Health (De)Ranger might consider healthy, but you definitely trump that with breast milk!

    Natto (m.m. cheonggukjang), oddly enough, seems to be a popular Japanese baby item. And now I’m going to have the phrase “capsular slime” in my head all day.

    The whole MSG/vaccine ploy seems to go to the glutathione angle. One may recall that OSR#1 was promoted here and there as a “GSH supplement.”

  75. #76 Lara Lohne (AKA: Venna)
    October 27, 2012

    Ahh, so Lowell’s MO isn’t providing actual evidence, unless it’s from his own site or AoA or some other anti-vaccine/void-of-science site or blog, and the insulting a person pointing out what his own flaws are and attempting to project them onto the person who is the target of his attack. Got it. I should have gotten out of that conversation much earlier then I did then. Fortunately, I have a much thicker skin when it comes to insults from pompous ignoramuses, then he has when it comes to someone pointing out where his opinion is flawed. I half expected him to start shouting “My dad can beat up your dad!” because it got to the point that all he could say is I’m lying and I’m crazy and I’m a sicko and I’m full of it. Yeah, the whole shill card and insults really make his point seem so much more valid. NOT!!

  76. #77 Narad
    October 27, 2012

    Funny because he actually referred to me as a sicko.

    I didn’t get over there, as I had a late, long phone call from an old school friend. Anyway, calling people “sick” and “twisted” is basically Lowell’s prompt fallback position when he’s disagreed with.

  77. #78 brian
    October 27, 2012

    I wrote,

    “While baby’s don’t usually eat miso soup, a 4 kg baby consumes about 600 mg of breast milk per day, including about 132 mg glutamate.

    I regret my mistakes–and I regret the lack of the ability to preview comments here, but of course what I meant was this:

    While babies don’t usually eat miso soup, a 4 kg baby consumes about 600 _grams_ of breast milk per day, including about 132 mg glutamate.

    I was referring, of course, to the concentration of free glutamate in milk–which some references indicate is as high as 300 mg/liter. In fact, the total glutamate concentration in human milk is ca. 3 grams/liter.

    I suppose that the fact that the concentration of free glutamate in human milk is ten-fold that of cow’s milk shows nature’s way of protecting the vulnerable developing brains of neonatal calves.

  78. #79 Krebiozen
    October 27, 2012

    The whole MSG/vaccine ploy seems to go to the glutathione angle.

    Don’t forget glutamate is also an excitotoxin, like the phenlylalanine derived from aspartame but, curiously, not the phenylalanine sold as a supplement for depression and chronic pain.

  79. #80 herr doktor bimler
    October 27, 2012

    I would estimate we are about 1% glutamate,

    No wonder we taste good.

  80. #81 Narad
    October 27, 2012

    today Dan Olmsted reveals how fellow researcher, Tony Bateson, opines that there are no unvaccinated autists

    This one has be churning around since at least last week, with Olmsted’s poorly marked stream-of-consciousness interlocutions added. I do, however, suspect that they are quite happy about the Utah item that has been at the top of “In the News,” as Utah’s elevated reported autism prevalence (which, unsurprisingly, seems to correlate with school funding) yet below-average vaccine uptake has been an unmentionable for a while.

  81. #82 THS
    in from the rain
    October 27, 2012

    Still, a messy business.
    and kudos to those who really get after it.
    Point taken re the anti-vaccine crowd; also that these sort of lies do provoke a strong response and I agree re backfire.
    It’s good to have a Happy Cat around.
    In a larger political sense repetition with reckless disregard for the truth is very effective in the short term and that’s the major object. Confound the populace and exhaust the opposition.
    K, I’ve read that phenethylamine is also sold a a dietary supplement for depression and I can think of reasons why they think it or phenylalanine would be effective and why it would probably not be useful.

  82. #83 Krebiozen
    October 27, 2012

    THS,

    K, I’ve read that phenethylamine is also sold a a dietary supplement for depression

    Phenethylamine is much better consumed in chocolate or other cocoa products, in my opinion. I’m currently perfecting a highly sophisticated chocolate ice cream delivery system, which preliminary field testing suggests is very effective at relieving mild depression (I’m wondering if the addition of a MAO inhibitor, maybe a dash of Syrian rue, might result in a sort of chocohuasca – Narad?).

    and I can think of reasons why they think it or phenylalanine would be effective and why it would probably not be useful.

    There’s some evidence for both I think, and there’s biological plausibility, but research seems to have been dropped in the 80s. Maybe it was suppressed by Big Pharma, or wasn’t very effective :-)

    I just found it amusing to see phenylalanine promoted as a treatment for depression on a forum where others were condemning aspartame because it breaks down to phenylalanine which gets inside your brain and overexcites it until it explodes. No one seemed to see any contradiction in this*. Another example of different CAM artists not stepping on each others toes I guess.

    * Until I pointed it out, of course.

  83. #84 lilady
    October 27, 2012

    @ Lara Lohne: I just finished reading the link to Lowell’s comments on RI, provided by Antaeus Feldspar. It certainly reinforces for me just why “I don’t do Facebook”.

    Just reading all his comments are a weird experience. IMHO, he is totally removed from reality and I would not trust him to not act out some of his fantasies…truly a scary human being.

  84. #85 Narad
    October 27, 2012

    (I’m wondering if the addition of a MAO inhibitor, maybe a dash of Syrian rue, might result in a sort of chocohuasca – Narad?).

    Have you heard the one about the tapeworm, hard-boiled eggs, and a rubber mallet?

  85. #86 herr doktor bimler
    October 27, 2012

    Natto (m.m. cheonggukjang), oddly enough, seems to be a popular Japanese baby item.

    I was browsing a web-comic the other day where the author proposed combining Natto and Mexican corn smut to produce ‘Smutto’, the fusion food of the future.

  86. #87 lilady
    LMAO and waiting for hurricane Sandy
    October 27, 2012

    Dear Hubby thinks I am crazy (devolves into laughter), after reading your comments Narad, and herr doctor bimler’s links.

    Where’s “Ren” to comment about canned Mexican corn smut?

  87. #88 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    October 27, 2012

    ‘Canned Mexican corn smut’

    Yanno… I’m not going to go there.

    I’m not even going to pack for that trip.

  88. #89 Autismum
    http://autismum.com/
    October 27, 2012

    Whenever I come late to a thread here, there’s always something to make me hungry. Really want some Chinese food now. Might not fancy eggs for a few days.

    @Lara
    I ducked out of the Parade thread a while ago. I’m surprised it’s still rumbling on. I think deranged Diane was bad enough but Lowell is a whole other level of creepy so that’s why I didn’t engage with him. But then we were in the company of self proclaimed legend, Curt Lindemann so that made it all worthwhile.

  89. #90 flip
    October 27, 2012

    @Krebiozen

    It is so tempting to assume this is some sort of mental health issue.

    I think it’s simply a lack of education. For me, I have an instictive reaction to the mention of formaldehyde – but then I remember it’s in my body naturally. I have to remind myself that my own body is made up of lots of chemicals. I think the woomeisters and their fans have trouble remembering that, and a lot of difficulty seeing that chemicals does not automatically equal synthetic.

    We need to take “chemicals” back from the woomeisters.

  90. #91 Autismum
    http://autismum.com/
    October 27, 2012

    Ahh but, @Flip, you get some antivaxers arguing that “natural” formaldehyde is perfectly safe in the body yet that found in vaccines is not. When pushed (by that I mean asked) to explain why that should be, none proffer an answer.

  91. #92 Antaeus Feldspar
    October 27, 2012

    I half expected him to start shouting “My dad can beat up your dad!” because it got to the point that all he could say is I’m lying and I’m crazy and I’m a sicko and I’m full of it. Yeah, the whole shill card and insults really make his point seem so much more valid. NOT!!

    He told me I was using “alien mind control language.” =)

  92. #93 THS
    October 27, 2012

    Have you heard the one about the tapeworm, hard-boiled eggs, and a rubber mallet
    Well, no. Am I missing something here?
    Taking “chemicals” back from woo & fear-meisters is an ongoing project for all. But – eek -where to put all these very dangerous things?

  93. #94 THS
    October 27, 2012

    messed up italics. darn it

  94. #95 Narad
    October 27, 2012

    Am I missing something here?

    Syrian rue is also used as an antihelminthic.

  95. #96 flip
    October 27, 2012

    @Autismum

    I suspect it comes back to the misunderstanding of synthetic and natural. If it’s found in nature = good, if it’s made in a lab = bad. Again, the problems of people thinking “chemicals” are synthetic, rather than made up of the same periodic table as found in nature.

  96. #97 flip
    October 27, 2012
  97. #98 flip
    October 27, 2012

    Blah, trying to fix the italics and it didn’t work… let’s see if this works.

  98. #99 flip
    October 27, 2012

    Nope… THS broke the site! ;)

  99. #100 Composer99
    October 27, 2012

    You’d think that the systems would just automatically close any HTML tags inadvertently left open at the end of a published comment.

  100. #101 Narad
    October 27, 2012

    You’d think that the systems would just automatically close any HTML tags inadvertently left open at the end of a published comment.

    The problem is that it is, but it’s doing it XHTML-style. There is an inserted <i /><br /> after the word “mallet” in THS’s comment. Nobody types <i />.

  101. #102 Lara Lohne (AKA: Venna)
    @Home, trying to coax my son to eat his dinner
    October 27, 2012

    Interesting thought about man-made versus natural chemicals. As things stand now, everything in the world today, as we know it is no longer ‘natural’ because once it is changed by mankind, it has been altered from it’s ‘natural’ state and is now man-made. Cream and butter are good examples of that (and I prefer them to synthetic creamers and spreads, personally [forgive me if my analogy steps on any toes]).

    Anyway, neither cream, nor butter exist in nature, not until man gets involved, and removes the milk from the cow and separates the cream from the milk. It is unaltered chemically, but still is not a natural substance because man got in the way. Take it one step further and shake that cream up a bit and after a few hours you get butter. Again not a naturally occurring substance, because man got in the way. But how many people prefer spreads made from vegetable oil (which has to be chemically extracted and its molecules modified to become solid) or non-dairy creamer in their coffee instead of cream? That would be an interesting survey to take of the anti-vaccine groupies, how many of them use artificial sweeteners, non-dairy creamers and chemically extracted cooking oil and vegetable spreads? But they still object to the ‘chemicals’ in vaccines?

  102. #103 Denice Walter
    October 27, 2012

    @ Krebiozen:

    I’ll bet you throw *interesting* dinner parties. Chocolate ice cream PLUS.

    At any rate, the so-called natural anti-depressants trend may have been set back a bit following the Japanese tryptophan incident in 1989.

    However the woo-meisters seem to like prescribing niacin, 5-htp and St John’s Wort for depression.
    ( No mention of yohimbe and similar herbs that I’m aware of but I can understand your reasoning).

  103. #104 lilady
    Sorting bungee cords for tieing down deck furniture before Sandy arrives
    October 27, 2012

    @ THS: Key in “tapeworm, hard boiled eggs, mallet joke”. :-)

    Watching SNL and they’re doing a great routine about Romney and Bain Capital.

  104. #105 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    October 28, 2012

    Are we all in italics now?

    Autismum has the right of it. If you start to mention the fact that our bodies are little formaldehyde factories, they’ll start on about how there’s a difference between the formaldehyde we produce, and the formaldehyde found in a vaccine.

    Because it’s impossible to exactly create a compound found in our bodies in a lab, as they say.

    So there’s a ‘natural’ formaldehyde and a ‘synthetic’ formaldehyde. They ignore the regulations for chemical names as irrelevant or a trick of ‘big pharma’.

    Seriously – the derp is strong with them.

  105. #106 THS
    October 28, 2012

    So how do I fix the italics?

  106. #107 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    October 28, 2012

    @THS

    This is why we can’t have nice things.

    I don’t know that we can fix it?

  107. #108 THS
    October 28, 2012

    Wait, what, yohimbine? Many years ago I learned what too much of that stuff can do. There was a comic element.

    Now what’s this about formaldehyde? Could anybody seriously suggest a distinction between “natural’ and “synthetic”? Yes, yes, vitalism woo. I’m stumped trying to figure a good alarmist argument the features “extrinsic” vs. “intrinsic” formaldehyde stipulaintg that the chemicals are of course the same. But why give aid to nitwits?

    And mentioning such, this italics thing I’ve done is embarrassing! Narad notices:
    The problem is that it is, but it’s doing it XHTML-style. There is an inserted after the word “mallet” in THS’s comment. Nobody types .
    1. How does Narad see that? & 2. What *is* the correct format for inserting italics. I’d had a prior trial in this thread that seemed to work using the same clumsy way but there’s clearly a fork-up & I prefer some kindly advice.

  108. #109 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    October 28, 2012

    @THS

    If you visit the Parade thread that was linked further up, you can see Lowell arguing about how ‘natural’ formaldehyde is different from ‘synthetic’ formaldehyde, and that the two cannot possibly be the same compound since we’ve ‘never managed to exactly duplicate a compound found in the human body’ or some other such bullpocky.

  109. #110 Krebiozen
    October 28, 2012

    Syrian rue is also used as an antihelminthic.

    My ice cream will also be an after dinner anthelmintic.

  110. #111 Krebiozen
    October 28, 2012

    Denice,

    At any rate, the so-called natural anti-depressants trend may have been set back a bit following the Japanese tryptophan incident in 1989.

    I was reading about that just recently in regards to GMOs. It seems likely that it wasn’t contaminants in the tryptophan that caused the problems, but horse doctor’s doses of tryptophan itself, though it isn’t entirely clear.

    These types of ‘natural’ cures seem to depend on a rather simplistic view of neurotransmitters, that if you ingest more of a precursor of a neurotransmitter, your brain will produce more of it e.g. tryptophan and 5HTP -> serotonin, phenylalanine -> dopamine, lecitithin (phosphatidylcholine, DMAE ) -> acetylcholine. I’m pretty sure that we have homeostatic mechanisms to prevent this happening, and they will only really help in deficiency, though in depression deficiency is not entirely unlikely.

  111. #112 Krebiozen
    October 28, 2012

    I meant “lecithin” of course. I’m not sure what “lecitithin” is, but if I had not scruples I might register it as a trade mark for a quack weight loss treatment consisting of nothing but lecithin in expensive-looking packaging.

  112. #113 Anj
    October 28, 2012

    I encourage all you science based folk to help spread the science based word on Hurricane Sandy.

    All I can say is thank goodness I don’t watch television news. If you want data, wunderground is good, NOAA has a Sandy page up. Jeff Masters and Bryan Norcross will be blogging the current and predicted situations. Google has a Sandy crisis map.

    Anyone in NJ and the northeast – good luck, be prepared.

  113. #114 flip
    October 28, 2012

    @THS

    You can see the source code of the page by right-clicking and choosing “view page source”.

    The easier way is to get yourself a browser add-on like Firebug for Firefox, which allows you to right-click something and view the code for that particular section.

  114. #115 THS
    October 28, 2012

    @flip: Thanks.
    @Darwy: I had gone to the Parade link but didn’t have the patience to read the idiocy in detail. I should not be surprised by Lowell’s nonsensical argument. So much for organic chemistry.
    If I can wreak havoc with this site with a simple typo…
    — It’s a bit like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

  115. #116 lilady
    October 28, 2012

    I’ll be offline visiting my “other son”. I’ve tied down the deck furniture with bungee cords and hoping we don’t lose electric power. (~ $1,000 food is stashed in our two freezers and in the refrigerator).

  116. #117 Denice Walter
    October 28, 2012

    @ Krebiozen:

    Right. I think I probably read the same article(s). Actually, I know a little more about the incident as a ‘certain person’ I am acquainted with was ‘dabbling’ in these products and got very scared in 1989. He survived.

    Anyway, woo-meisters and their devoted entourages have a rather simplistic view of just about everything physiological- so why stop there? Information- however slight- about neurotransmitters probably makes them think that they can avoid the dread SSRIs and other psychotropic meds ( a/k/a the nectar of demons) by ingesting various amino acids, hormone precursors and herbs as a means of manipulating mood and other physical states..

    I’ve always sworn by strong tea and alcohol- not at the same time.

    @ THS:
    I think that italics can look rather artistic..

  117. #118 Krebiozen
    October 28, 2012

    It amazes me that people who believe that,

    ‘natural’ formaldehyde is different from ‘synthetic’ formaldehyde, and that the two cannot possibly be the same compound since we’ve ‘never managed to exactly duplicate a compound found in the human body’

    have the chutzpah to argue about chemistry with people who have training, qualifications and experience in the area. Formaldehyde is one of the simplest organic molecules you can get. Apart from methane, I suppose, which seems to be what Lowell is full of.

    Good luck to all of you battling with Sandy. Stay safe!

  118. #119 Narad
    October 28, 2012

    Test.

  119. #120 Politicalguineapig
    October 28, 2012

    DW: Speaking of things that should never be taken at the same time- strong tea and steroids. I felt like a rabbit for 20 minutes after that mistake.

  120. #121 Politicalguineapig
    October 28, 2012

    Kreobozien and DW: it is a small group of activists. Vanishingly small, I believe, but really interconnected.

    Yeah, I’m going to be the doubting Thomas over here. Most Americans are science illiterate- because God doesn’t like science, or they don’t like the technicalities, or they had a bad teacher who didn’t think science was for girls- and the anti-vax movement is a symptom of this illiteracy. As with the Quiverfulls, and the fundies, there are a lot more of them then we think. Basically, it’s like mice-take every mouse and multiply by ten, and that’s the true number of mice in an area. As for Europe, in certain areas (Italy *cough* England *cough*) thinking has never been very popular.

  121. #122 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    October 28, 2012

    @Kreb

    I’ve been browsing the Parade article. I like the post where he praises Blaylock’s pills – and then gets hammered about the how Blaylock produced the B12 if not by synthesis.

    The bluster and deflection is truly delicious.

  122. #123 dingo199
    October 28, 2012

    Keep safe Sandy-ites!

  123. #124 Denice Walter
    October 28, 2012

    @ Politicalguineapig:

    Although I agree with you that there are many scientically illerate people in the so-called modern, industrialised world ( N.America, W. Europe et al) and fundamentalists of all stripe ALL over, the true believers- actvists who really work at spreading the word and practising what they preach.. is small.

    How do I know this? A few insights based on polling about vaccines: Reuters, last Sept ( US only) only 30% of parents of children under 18 have ANY questions at all about vaccines. Seth Mnookin , recently, showed that 1% of parents don’t vaccinate at all and 10% selectively vaccinate, Over at Brian Deer’s site, charts reveal how AJW’s so-called research affected the vaccination rate- it goes down- then rebounds after the scandal broke. Notice that even at the height of the madness, most parents had no problem. However, even rates as high as 80% can have effects on herd immunity,affecting the vulnerable.

    Anti-vax sites ( and facebook pages) show how few their numbers are ( 5-6KAoA, TMR, Canaries less; 12 K for Generation Rescue): remember that there is a great deal of overlap amongst them.. which is obvious is you scan the names of perpetrators and commenters. Adams and Mercola can scare up 200K + but that includes any customer who ever bought anything or signed up for anything over many years ( it’s hard to get off the list, I’ve heard).

    If you review guests on PRN or Natural News, you’ll see even more overlap ( also ANH- ’tis worldwide woo); in addition, those who preach paradigm shift once spackled together a list of scientists ( and journalists and leaders and people) who questioned hiv’s role in aids- they managed to get 2000+ ( including dead people and those who wanted to be taken off the list). If there was a list involving scientists etc who DON’T question hiv’s role.. it would number into the millions.

    I could go on..
    it is true that a large number of adults ( all over) aren’t science-based and may follow bizarre trends and belief systems BUT there is a reality-based community that may be growing. I’ve learned to choose my friends wisely and only travel to places where most inhabitants are somewhat sympathetic to my own worldview. Do I need their encouragement? Not at all, I’d just rather spend my money in those places and not have to hear nonsense when I’m away from home- no business travel, fortunately.

    People have been reacting against scientific advances and philosophical change since the Enlightenment and they’ll continue.. Gains against backwardness and superstition will continue slowly.. like learning, they’re INCREMENTAL.

  124. #125 Lawrence
    October 28, 2012

    Italics…………italics everywhere!

  125. #126 Militant Agnostic
    October 28, 2012

    @Lawrence

    Italics…………italics everywhere!

    This is their revenge for us dissing their justice system with regard to the conviction of the scientists for failing to predict the earthquake.

  126. #127 Autismum
    http://autismum.com/
    October 28, 2012

    I think I sound posh in italics.
    Amen to Dingo 99’s sentiments. Thinking of my friends across the pond xx

  127. #128 Krebiozen
    October 28, 2012

    PGP,

    As for Europe, in certain areas (Italy *cough* England *cough*) thinking has never been very popular.

    Wherever did you get that idea?

  128. #129 lilady
    October 28, 2012

    @ Autismum and Dingo 199: Thanks to you both for your concern and good wishes….while we await Sandy.

    We’ve weathered other hurricanes before. Gloria in 1985 left us without electricity for 5 days. The neighborhood kids were delighted because the schools were closed. We partied for the duration….cooking up all the food in our freezers, getting ice for our large ice chests and having enough beer on hand to “see us through”.

  129. #130 flip
    October 28, 2012

    @THS

    You’re welcome! :)

    @Politicalguineapig

    I don’t think it’s US-centric nor related to bad education. One family member of mine is totally into the woo (and even the chemicals=bad idea) and I think it has more to do with the fact that their classes in chemistry/science were some few decades ago. They’re quite well-educated, and in fact a teacher themselves at a good school.

    I think it’s easy to forget just how much we don’t remember if it’s not put to use. I barely remember my own high school stuff and that was less time ago than my family member’s education. The fact is, unless you use it often, you’re not going to remember a lot of the periodic table.

    Having said that: how one can fall for the chemicals=synthetic/natural=good fallacy is more to do with an increasing lack of understanding in how things are manufactured. This is where a lot of the anti-GMO stuff comes from I’d bet.

    The trick is getting people to not only remember the basics, but then figure out how to apply it later in life whether they work in science or not.

    I’d also agree a little with DW, in the sense that I know a lot of people who mix and match: they’ll be all for vaccines, but will eat organic food; some who have genuine disorders but have gone completely to the woo-based ‘treatments'; some who seem to be hypochondriacs and will try anything; and some who are totally science-based… etc. Personally I have a tough time talking to anyone I know in the real world because I’m always trying to avoid saying the wrong thing.

    That’s just my take on it at any rate.

  130. #131 Denice Walter
    October 28, 2012

    @ flip:

    Of course. I think that certain forms of woo-ish belief are very widespread- based on the volume of supplement sales and organic products’ popularity- but the more serious forms of whimsy-based medicine are (fortunately) quite rare- e.g. refusing SBM for serious illness.

    As I’ve mentioned earlier, the infamous graph that illustrates AJW’s hold on the public’s imagination reveals that MMR vaccination dropped from 92% to about 80% then rebounded back to around 85% after his fraud was exposed. So Andy managed to affect quite a few parents.

    The more widespread- and generally more harmless- woo, like taking several forms of supplements or eating only organic foods, serves as a ‘foot in the door’ for alt med entrepreneurs who might later convince you of other non-SBM ideas.

    Internet alt media sites like Natural News and PRN say that they’re non-commercial- actually, everything they present is in effect a commercial for their slant on reality that leads to some product that they hawk.

    And -btw- flip, don’t worry about saying the “wrong thing” because they’ll probably see that your heart’s in the right place.

  131. #132 Politicalguineapig
    October 28, 2012

    DW: Well, polls. Stats don’t tell the whole story, and in a lot of cases, they’re plain contradictory of common sense. I’ll accept that it’s lowish, but I don’t think it’d be too much lower than 10% of the population.

    Krebozien: Well, England spent a very long time in an anti-science haze- see Victorian era- and there’s still a lot of fuzzy thinking left over from that era. As for Italy, they had one era of scientific progess and have been attempting to backtrack ever since. Also.. well, have you ever driven a car with the radio on around an iron-heavy area? The signal fades out on every turn.That’s basically Italy. They can produce scientists there, but they will always be fighting the mindset that the Vatican indoctrinates the people with.

  132. #133 Helen
    Melbourne
    October 29, 2012

    (O/T): Well, this is a new approach (to me) – Vaccination programs are conducted AT GUNPOINT and as such contribute to the oppression of the Global South!

    http://www.naturalnews.com/033119_vaccinations_gunpoint.html?fb_comment_id=fbc_10150389153024741_26498051_10151121313219741#f32e2a97fa714f8#ixzz1uqV93cVq

    (Found via a social justice tumblr blogger)

    …New to me, that is. Apologies if you’ve already dealt with this topic…

    Bill and Melinda Gates are complicit in armies threatening mums and bubs at gunpoint!!?

  133. #134 THS
    italics chasing me up the stairs
    October 29, 2012

    People certainly mix & match technology – or, at least, their attitudes. A simple example would be my friends who like to fly across oceans and don’t trust well-established medical precepts. There’s also an “anti-science” or anti-tech attitude in response to 20th century engineering-industrial hubris and all the bad outcomes – some obvious & ignored & some quite unexpected.

  134. #135 THS
    October 29, 2012

    also, DW, thanks for the kind word. But this is a consequence of me wanting to be fancy & use italics. You folks all did it so nicely. OT but very cool, the last weeks’ rain here in Pac. N-West have brought Chinook. There were 3 or 4 on a redd in the creek at our place in the coastal hills. My heartfelt sympathy with folks tying things down back east. Our time will come.

  135. #136 lilady
    October 29, 2012

    @ Helen: I *heard* that Bill Gates actually captured the children at gunpoint and that Melinda *injected* them. :-)

    THS: Thanks for the kind words…we don’t expect the full force of “Sandy” until Monday evening. When it arrives it is expected to “linger” for 24-36 hours, dumping very heavy rain amounts and sustained winds 75-80 mph.

    Denice, the NYSE and NASDAQ are closed tomorrow and possibly Tuesday as well. My daughter works in lower Manhattan, which has been evacuated and “might” work from home…if she has electric power.

  136. #137 Narad
    October 29, 2012

    Also.. well, have you ever driven a car with the radio on around an iron-heavy area? The signal fades out on every turn.

    What? VHF is line-of-sight, and increased ground conductivity should improve surface-wave propagation in the “AM” band.

  137. #138 Politicalguineapig
    October 29, 2012

    Narad: I was talking about ordinary FM radio. Not this fancy VHF stuff- and I only listen to AM at home and during tornado warnings.

  138. #139 Narad
    October 29, 2012

    I was talking about ordinary FM radio. Not this fancy VHF stuff

    Ordinary FM is VHF.

  139. #140 Narad
    October 29, 2012

    And what the hell is this?

    Well, England spent a very long time in an anti-science haze- see Victorian era- and there’s still a lot of fuzzy thinking left over from that era.

    What gives you the impression that the Victorians were in an “anti-science haze”? And where is the repository for this free-floating, leftover thinking?

  140. #141 lilady
    Somewhere in the northeast with a hand-crank bush radio nearby
    October 29, 2012

    Okay Narad, why do I receive BBC radio on my Hammacher-Schlemmer bush radio that I purchased ~ 30 years ago.

    I bet few of you have a POTS telephone (beige Trimline), on hand to use in case of electric failure.

  141. #142 Narad
    October 29, 2012

    Okay Narad, why do I receive BBC radio on my Hammacher-Schlemmer bush radio that I purchased ~ 30 years ago.

    This is presumably an HF (shortwave) radio, which is to say, not line-of-sight. You’re doing pretty well if you’re still picking up the BBC, as they shut down transmissions aimed at North America several years ago, most notably their Sackville relay. Unless you’re picking up a local FM retransmission, of course.

    I bet few of you have a POTS telephone (beige Trimline), on hand to use in case of electric failure.

    My Trimline’s red, and I’ve had the case open for years for ongoing surgical maintenance. It’s technically stolen, I suppose, as it was rented Bell equipment 35 years ago. Fine audio quality, though.

  142. #143 Quokka
    Hiding under a desk
    October 29, 2012

    The Indonesian government announced last week that it is removing science from the Primary School curriculum. I understand that lessons regarding being a good person are going to replace science.

    Hmmmmm not sure how that is going to work out.

    I always read how the Victorain Era had an almost obsessive love of scientific discovery and exploration.

    Good luck to all those hunkering down – as long as you have enough beer it won’t seem as bad perhaps?

  143. #144 flip
    In summer warmth, sorry folks. Wish you were here!
    October 29, 2012

    @DW

    I find it interesting that vaccination uptake rebounded. It shows that most people are willing to listen to the info out there, but quite often get scared enough to listen to the wrong thing. Point out the flaws in something and they’ll get back to SBM.

    Sadly I just visited my local supermarket and had to avoid eye contact with a whole aisle full of ‘supplements’. They stock more of those than painkillers, bandages, shampoo or first aid kits. It makes me sad.

    As for avoiding the conversations. … No, I’ve already almost put my foot in my mouth. My problem is I have a naturally sarcastic approach to people (without meaning to, I come off far more intelligent in writing than I do in the real world) and almost insulted someone without intending it. Plus, the “heart’s in the right place” style is already taken by someone else in our little group and they’re also known as the most annoying. I don’t think I want *that* crown.

    It does however, make me want to attend my local skeptic’s group. I always forget though.

    @THS

    I disagree again. The people that I mentioned above, all who mix and match, are also extremely tech-oriented. I think this goes back to what I was saying about a disconnect from what they learn, what they remember, and knowing how things are made. You can be all for the latest iphone, not know anything about how it’s made, and then rail against plastics used in food packaging.

    Like with most people who complain about modern advances, they don’t seem to notice that they love their internets.

  144. #145 Grant
    October 29, 2012

    .

    Better?

  145. #146 Narad
    October 29, 2012

    Better?

    It’s only going to get remedied if Orac goes back and gets rid of that <i />.

  146. #147 lilady
    October 29, 2012

    @ Quokka: I’m in the path of hurricane Sandy…but far enough from shorelines, that I don’t have to worry about tidal surges. I’m sure the one spot in my very dry basement where water seeps through during prolonged rain deluges, will not disappoint us. That’s why we have mops and buckets.

    @ Narad: I actually purchased the Trimline phone 40 years ago and used it for years in my upstairs bedroom. As long as the telephone lines don’t go down…I’m in good shape.

  147. #148 lilady
    October 29, 2012

    Oh boy, I expect Orac is in a foul mood already…his beloved Detroit Tigers were swamped in the World Series.

    I’ll put in a good word for you THS, heh, heh. :-)

  148. #149 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    October 29, 2012

    Personally, I think Orac is giggling with glee over the italics.

    Or, I would be.

  149. #150 lilady
    October 29, 2012

    I’m just trying to figure out how the font was messed up.

    I’m just glad it wasn’t me that messed around with the italics. I know my limitations. You’ll never ever see me try “bold-face”…I just learned how to copy and paste links to articles.

  150. #151 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    October 29, 2012

    @lilady

    Apparently THS didn’t close the portion of text he wished to italicize with a , and thus the blog has kept everything in italics since.

  151. #152 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    October 29, 2012

    Er… that should be a … (minus the .’s)

  152. #153 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    October 29, 2012

    Bah. Fuggedaboutit.

  153. #154 JGC
    October 29, 2012

    At least I’m no longer the one who’s inadvertantly italicized the blog…

  154. #155 Krebiozen
    October 29, 2012

    PGP,

    Well, England spent a very long time in an anti-science haze- see Victorian era-

    I’m not sure where you got this idea from either. Maybe you should brush up on your history a little – I suffer quite enough post-colonial guilt about English history without you trying to do away with the bits I can actually be proud of!

    Victorian England was responsible for an enormous explosion in science, technology, engineering, medicine, literature and more. It gave us Charles Darwin, Michael Faraday, John Snow, Francis Galton, Joseph Lister, Thomas Huxley, Joseph Bazalgette (a personal hero of mine, who I give silent thanks to every time I flush my toilet), Charles Dickens, John Stuart Mill, Emily and Charlotte Bronte, and many, many others.

    People in that era all over Europe and America had a strange obsession with spiritualism (which originated in America, by the way) if that’s what you are referring to, but Victorian England was not in any way in “an anti-science haze”, very far from it.

    and there’s still a lot of fuzzy thinking left over from that era.

    Again, I don’t know where you got that idea from. Maybe I have just been lucky avoiding this fuzzy thinking in England, my entire life.

    Do you mean the fuzzy thinking that discovered the structure of DNA and split the atom? The fuzzy thinking of Alan Turing, John Maynard Keynes, Stephen Hawking, Francis Crick, Richard Dawkins, Arthur Eddington, Brian Deer, Simon Singh, Ben Goldacre to randomly name but a few post-Victorian English men who come to mind (aiming in the general direction of atheists and secular humanists)?

    As for post-Victorian English women, I don’t think Millicent Garrett Fawcett, Jane Goodall, Daphne Jackson, Janet Lane-Claypon, Beatrice Webb, Caroline Harriet Haslett, Amy Johnson, Emmeline Pankhurst, Averil Mansfield, Margaret Damer Dawson, Dorothy Hodgkin, Miriam Rothschild, Agnes Hunt or Rosalind Franklin, could be described as fuzzy thinkers either. Many of them deserve to be much better known, by the way.

    The British tabloid press can be moronic, I’ll grant you that, but I don’t know any educated and/or intelligent people who read them. Please don’t let Wakefield, some credulous journalists and some ignorant ‘Mummy Warriors’ smear the reputation of collective intellect of an entire country.

    I’m not so sure about Italy, but they certainly also have a great intellectual legacy, with a few scientists of note [/irony].

    Making sweeping generalizations is generally a bad idea. It’s how prejudice starts and ultimately that leads to the sort of nasty behavior I know you abhor.

  155. #156 Denice Walter
    October 29, 2012

    @ lilady:

    If the NYSE closes for 2 days following a weekend, there is the grave possibility that the world will end:

    money flows from east to west, its current warming the frigid Atlantic but decreasing in speed as it approaches the massive pull of gravitationally dense accumulations of similarly semantically defined coagulating money, slowing down time itself which might then shift the entire planet off its axis or plunge us into a new ice age.

    Without the constant west-flowing motion of NY money towards Asia, the rapidly accumulating dense money from the FTSE, DAX and points east will eventually reach a tipping point and wash over the entire North American continent like a tsunami or the pyroclastic flow from a volcano if it doesn’t implode first. This is not a good thing.

    Thus the 2012 predictions from the Mayans are all true but for some reason they leave out the real causative factor: money. Money truly makes the world go round.

    How do I know this? A couple of guys from the LSE and MIT have a brand new theory and have hired me as fact-checker/ scribe when we had drinks the other day.
    You read it here first.

  156. #157 lilady
    October 29, 2012

    @ Denice Walter: There have been other stock market closures; the last weather-related closure was because of hurricane Gloria…

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-57541916/a-look-back-at-other-stock-market-closures/

    My daughter worked straight through New Years eve 1999-2000 until the Asian markets opened, and worked in shifts in New Jersey for four days, setting up her employer’s alternative trading platform after 9-11.

    The earth’s axis did not shift, the sun still rose in the east and set in the west…and graves didn’t open up for zombies to prowl the earth. :-)

  157. #158 Denice Walter
    October 29, 2012

    @ lilady:

    I know. I’m just joking.
    It is -btw- the anniversary of “Black Tuesday”- the Great Crash of 1929. A two-day event ( 28th and 29th- also following a weekend).

    However- my tongue-in-cheek speculation does contain some metaphorical truth.

    @ Krebiozen:

    Totally agreed. I’m so glad you included Keynes.
    Also how about the British associationists- philosophers whose thought led to the beginnings of psychology and economics- which later *became* sciences? Other material in the social sciences-( e.g. the foundations of cognitive psych, post-war)- unfortunately, I have other work now.

    We can’t leave out the post-Enlightenment ‘coffee houses’ of which we are the proud descendents, I believe.

  158. #159 Michelle
    October 29, 2012

    The Dachel bot strikes again! This time in comments on an article about a tax increase we’ll be voting on in St. Louis to help support special education. The woman is shameless.

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/education/st-louis-county-s-special-school-district-seeks-tax-increase/article_13589411-7861-57d0-b778-fbc9870bdfdb.html?mode=comments

  159. #160 elburto
    October 29, 2012

    PGP – If you’re an American criticising British scientific and social progress since the Victorian era, I will positively p¡ss myself laughing.

    Plus, even with the unelected ConDemNation coalition in charge, we’re not the ones hurtling toward Bronze Age theocracy, a la Atwood’s Gilead.

    Basically, everything Krebiozen said, and more. TV, the telephone, hydraulics, steam, matches, internal combustion, Bletchley Park, women’s suffrage, etc.

    Yeah, the Industrial Revolution, equality for women, no disgusting racial segregation laws, signed on to all the relevant human rights conventions. Then there’s oh… what’s the name of that guy, did that thing… OH YEAH! Tim Berners-Lee!

    Yeah, ignore us, been wallowing in ignorance and HP sauce for hundreds of years, so we haven’t had time to invent or discover anything of real worth.

  160. #161 Narad
    October 29, 2012

    Yeah, ignore us, been wallowing in ignorance and HP sauce for hundreds of years

    I don’t know that I’d bring up the HP Sauce.

  161. #162 lilady
    October 29, 2012

    @ Michelle: Sorry, “I don’t do Facebook”. Not to worry however, the Dachel bot is a hit and run poster, who posts her inanities and flits away.

    Meanwhile back at the LaCrosse Tribune blog, the ever-persistent “Twyla” has linked to VanDerHorst-Larson’s latest bird droppings…

    The ever-persistent “Twyla” has now linked to today’s AoA blog; the rebuttal to Brian Deer’s rebuttal of that whining, b*tching “open letter” to University officials who invited Mr. Deer to the University.

    Still whining, still b*tching, about the “non-debate”. I’ll keep posting back at Twyla…as long as I have electricity.

    http://lacrossetribune.com/news/opinion/michael-winfrey-former-doctor-was-not-invited-to-uw-l/article_77a7ee6a-13ea-11e2-9389-001a4bcf887a.html

  162. #163 Narad
    October 29, 2012

    The ever-persistent “Twyla” has now linked to today’s AoA blog; the rebuttal to Brian Deer’s rebuttal of that whining, b*tching “open letter” to University officials who invited Mr. Deer to the University.

    It’s thoroughly unclear to me why VDB-L is sending this frankly unbalanced-sounding item to over a dozen people when Deer’s response exists solely on his site.

  163. #164 Krebiozen
    October 29, 2012

    Elburto,

    I swear I could faintly hear the strains of Land of Hope and Glory while reading that!

    Denice,

    I’m so glad you included Keynes.

    He was the only economist we studied in economic anthropology who actually made any sense.

    We can’t leave out the post-Enlightenment ‘coffee houses’ of which we are the proud descendents, I believe.

    Indeed, the American revolution was fomented in London coffee houses as I recall, though perhaps mostly for tax avoidance purposes rather than altruism, and most of the Founding Fathers were either English or of English descent. Traitors, losing us a colony. ;-)

    Narad,

    I don’t know that I’d bring up the HP Sauce.

    As long as no one mentions Marmite I think we’ll get away with it.

  164. #165 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 29, 2012

    elburto – I notice that the noted Scotsman Mr. Bell had to go to Canada to invent the telephone. Just saying.

    And by what right to the British claim the television? The exploding penguin on top of the television set I will grant you.

  165. #166 Narad
    October 29, 2012

    And by what right to the British claim the television?

    They do have Crookes, as well as the electron. (Fun fact: the Indian Head test pattern was a dedicated cathode tube.)

  166. #167 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 29, 2012

    The Crookes Tube makes for a rather dull show, I’m afraid, though it was exciting enough in its day.

  167. #168 Denice Walter
    October 29, 2012

    @ Krebiozen:

    True, revolution and liberalism- what’s not to like?- although I was referring more SPECIFICALLY to them being the modernists’ edgey place where atheists, doubters and sceptics of ALL types could perhaps come in from the cold.

    I feel that RI itself is a cyber coffeehouse descended from those esteemed gathering places. I think that we may actually be continuing that grand tradition in our own minuscule- and often irreverent- way.

    -btw- it was Keynes who said: “In the long run, we are all dead”.

  168. #169 Narad
    October 29, 2012

    The Crookes Tube makes for a rather dull show, I’m afraid

    “What are you watching?”

    “A movie about Indians, but it’s really slow.”

  169. #170 Chris
    Neither here nor there...
    October 29, 2012

    A book about a certain age in British science, specially the Royal Society from Banks to Faraday: The Age of Wonder.

  170. #171 Krebiozen
    October 29, 2012

    Ironically it may have been an Italian who ‘really’ invented the telephone.

    It has long amused me that generations of both American and British children have been taught that one of their compatriots invented the television. Brits are taught that it was another Scot, John Logie Baird, who invented television, but it was not one that bore very much resemblance to the one that eventually went into commercial production.

    Denice,
    I agree that this blog does have a coffee house vibe, which I greatly appreciate.

  171. #172 Politicalguineapig
    October 29, 2012

    As it happens, I was talking about Victorian England, and yes, spiritualism. That susceptibility to delusion does get passed on easily, resulting in people who’ll believe anything- see American politics today. And I am aware of all the issues; believe me, the current crop of politicians is only exacerbating my depression.
    Kreb: You really shouldn’t include Crick in your list. He stole Franklin’s work and he’s a straight up crank these days.
    Elburto: What in tarnation is HP sauce? For that matter, could someone explain marmite? I know it goes on sandwiches and is some sort of cousin to vegemite, but is it animal, vegetable or mineral based?

  172. #173 Narad
    October 29, 2012

    HP Sauce is like a cross between A.1. Steak Sauce and Major Grey’s chutney.

    As it happens, I was talking about Victorian England, and yes, spiritualism. That susceptibility to delusion does get passed on easily, resulting in people who’ll believe anything- see American politics today.

    So where are the Theosophists? We’ve really only had Marg so far. “Spiritualism” is occultism. It’s anathema to Christian fundamentalists.

  173. #174 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 29, 2012

    Politicalguineapig – Marmite is salty, concentrated, processed brewer’s yeast. I have spread it very thinly on toast, and it has a flavor (or “flavour”) that is easier to experience than describe.

    As to “animal, vegetable, or mineral”, it’s a fungus-like creature, so none of the above.

  174. #175 Krebiozen
    October 29, 2012

    PGP,

    You really shouldn’t include Crick in your list.

    He was English, he did do some damn good science and was described in his obituary (PDF) as “one of the dominating leviathans of biology”, so he’s staying on my list.

    He stole Franklin’s work

    That’s a bit harsh. I think Maurice Wilkins was more to blame, and even so more the institutional sexism in science in those days. Whatever way you look at it, Crick and Watson’s work was extraordinary, as was Franklin’s which is why I included her on my list. I think she certainly should have shared the 1962 Nobel Prize, and probably would had she not died in 1958 making her ineligible.

    and he’s a straight up crank these days.

    He’s been dead for 8 years, actually. He did have some odd ideas but I wouldn’t describe him as a crank. I think his ideas on directed panspermia were interesting speculation that he abandoned when better data about the likelihood of abiogenesis became available. I also find his work on consciousness interesting. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of speculation in my opinion, as long as it is made clear that’s what it is.

    He did once say, jokingly, “Christianity may be OK between consenting adults in private but should not be taught to young children”, which I would have thought you would approve of.

    On a more serious note, Marmite is a byproduct of the brewing industry, made by adding salt to the yeast deposit left at the bottom of a brewing vessel and then boiling it with added secret ingedients, and is rich in B vitamins.

    It’s very salty, umamish (if that’s the right word) and often tastes revolting to anyone not exposed to it as a young child and to some who were. I love it and have been known to eat it by the spoonful, allowing it to slowly dissolve in my mouth. As M.O’B. has noted, it’s very good spread sparingly on hot buttered toast. Back in my veggie days I would often use a spoonful of Marmite to liven up a bland dish.

  175. #176 Autismum
    http://autismum.com/
    October 29, 2012

    The equals sign = was invented in 1557 by Welshman mathematician Robert Recorde,”To avoid the tedious repetition of these words: is equal to; I will set a pair of parallel lines thus, =, because no two things can be more equal.” I have carried on the Welsh tradition of inventiveness by coming up with stay hot chips. I haven’t worked out how to make them stay hot but it came to me when I dreamt I was on Dragon’s Den and I *do* make nice chips. I’ll figure it out one day.
    I like Marmite btw. It makes a great soy sauce substitute in recipes if you run out (just add hot water)

  176. #177 THS
    Gentle intermittent rain
    October 29, 2012

    If this blog has a coffee house vibe which I do appreciate too, I’m the friendly guy who wandered in & just spilled a carafe all over the table or dropped a pot of tea on the floor or something. In circumstances like this, do italics ever get fixed?

    Tim Leary lecturing in Madison, WI, late 1980’s re Francis Crick: “Much hipper than Watson!”

  177. #178 Narad
    October 29, 2012

    In circumstances like this, do italics ever get fixed?

    I can test out making it all bold, if you like.

  178. #179 Denice Walter
    October 29, 2012

    I don’t relish Euro-centric cuisine and thus don’t think much of any brown sauce in bottles- so HP, W, A-1 whatever.. I have little use for any of them. Marmite .. oh not at all.

    I would replace them with a nice tamarind sauce, soy, teriyaki or even hoisin..I just scraped out the bottom of a corriander chutney jar.. now I’m out. When I shop at local Indo/ Pak stores or E. Asian markets, there are often bemused expressions on the proprietors’ faces. I can imagine their thoughts.

    @ THS:

    Oh, italics match the expresso.
    Truly there is that coffeehouse/ salon vibe around here which is entirely apropo if you consider that RI and similar blogs fulfill a certain function- that is simultaneously instructional and social. So why not? A cafe at the speed of light .

  179. #180 Narad
    October 29, 2012

    <

    I just scraped out the bottom of a corriander chutney jar.. now I’m out.

    Oh, dear. This is something that was never meant to be bottle-cooked.

  180. #181 lilady
    Not in Kansas, Dorothy
    October 29, 2012

    I have a “gently used” huge (12 X 12 Foot) aluminum tool shed in my backyard, now. It’s still intact after being airborne over a 4 foot chain link fence. My neighbor will have a surprise tomorrow morning.

  181. #182 Denice Walter
    October 29, 2012

    @ Narad:

    But really, you don’t think that I brewed up a batch myself, now do you?
    Actually it says that it’s a product of India .. in French yet.

  182. #183 Krebiozen
    October 29, 2012

    Marmite .. oh not at all.

    There’s also Bovril, a beef-based concoction somewhat similar to Marmite, with an interesting vitalist etymology. The ‘Bo’ portion derives from ‘bovine’, obviously, and ‘Vril’ was the fictional life force invented by Victorian Englishman Edward Bulwer-Lytton and taken for truth by various assorted loons. It sounds much more exciting than Marmite but isn’t, sadly.

  183. #184 Edith Prickly
    ye olde Dominion of Canada
    October 29, 2012

    Perhaps this is my colonial roots showing through, but I love brown bottled sauces from England – Worcestershire, HP, A1, and I get Branston pickle cravings from time to time (always with very aged cheddar.) I’ve never worked up the nerve to try marmite though

  184. #185 Politicalguineapig
    October 29, 2012

    Mephistopheles: Thanks. I might try it if I ever work up the courage.

    DW: You sound a lot like me. I don’t like too many commercial American barbeque sauces- most of them run too sweet for my taste. I do like A-1 but..mm, hoisin sauce.

    Kreb: My apologies, I mixed him up with Watson, who is a crank (a rascist crank even). So, half-wrong. I stand by my other comments about him, though.
    Narad: I submit that the credulity is the same. If someone’s ancestors fell for the spiritualists, the decendants are likely to be today’s fundies or a commenter at Age of Autism.

  185. #186 Narad
    October 29, 2012

    But really, you don’t think that I brewed up a batch myself, now do you?

    At its core, it’s merely a raw puree of cilantro and chili pepper with some salt, acidulation, and water to loosen. I’ll keep bottled curry paste around in case of a pinch (and the Thai ones are a real mortar-and-pestle nuisance), but cilantro chutney? No, don’t do this.

  186. #187 Narad
    October 29, 2012

    I submit that the credulity is the same. If someone’s ancestors fell for the spiritualists, the decendants are likely to be today’s fundies or a commenter at Age of Autism.

    But you have advanced nothing at all to defend this assertion. I see no difference whatever to the claim that deposits of iron ore cause some sort of weird automobile-rotation disturbance in FM radio reception, despite the rather plain symmetry axis of the antennas.

  187. #188 Denice Walter
    October 29, 2012

    @ Narad:

    You don’t think that I actually cook.
    It’s more like assemblage.
    And dining out as much as I can.

  188. #189 Shay
    October 29, 2012

    ” If someone’s ancestors fell for the spiritualists, the decendants are likely to be today’s fundies or a commenter at Age of Autism.”

    Bollocks. ALL of our ancestors fell for spiritualism at some point. Including yours.

  189. #190 flip
    October 29, 2012

    @THS

    You can sit with me in this coffee house. I’m a real-life klutz all the time. :)

    Of course in real life I wouldn’t be having a conversation with you all because I’d be too shy.

  190. #191 flip
    October 29, 2012

    Devil’s advocate, what PGP might be saying is that you’re more likely to follow a particular religion if your parents follow it. Religion is documented to have a geographical/cultural trend to it, no?

  191. #192 Krebiozen
    October 29, 2012

    PGP,

    If someone’s ancestors fell for the spiritualists, the decendants are likely to be today’s fundies or a commenter at Age of Autism.

    I see what you mean, but I’m not sure that necessarily follows. Back then the level of scientific knowledge was very different to that today, so falling for spiritualism was not, perhaps, as gullible then as falling for antivaccine nonsense is today. It’s easy to look back at people’s beliefs in the past and make judgements about them based on our current knowledge. To really understand them you need to look at their beliefs within the context at the time.

    I mixed him up with Watson, who is a crank

    And not an Englishman, by Harry and Saint George ;-)

  192. #193 Denice Walter
    October 29, 2012

    Oh well, time to dig up *the Varieties of Religious Experience* for a contemporary’s views of religion in the olden days.

  193. #194 ChrisP
    October 29, 2012

    If someone’s ancestors fell for the spiritualists, the decendants are likely to be today’s fundies or a commenter at Age of Autism.

    Several of my ancestors were Methodist preachers and others were rectors in the Church of Ireland. I have never commented at Age of Autism.

    Perhaps I need to start.

  194. #195 lilady
    October 29, 2012

    “If someone’s ancestors fell for the spiritualists, the decendants are likely to be today’s fundies or a commenter at Age of Autism.”

    Lutheran on my father’s side and Roman Catholic on my mother’s side…and I am a Christian and a Liberal Democrat.

    I’ve commented frequently ABOUT Age of Autism. Does that count?

  195. #196 Narad
    October 29, 2012

    Devil’s advocate, what PGP might be saying is that you’re more likely to follow a particular religion if your parents follow it. Religion is documented to have a geographical/cultural trend to it, no?

    I think it’s important to draw a line between religion and “spiritualism.” PGP is trying to smear them together and mind-transport the paste into the future for unpacking. It’s like a parity-reversed Marg trip, but not substantially different in any way that I can see.

  196. #197 Politicalguineapig
    October 29, 2012

    Shay: I think my father’s ancestors were too busy getting chased by bears at the time. Mom’s ancestors were homesteading in Nebraska, so neither set had a lot of time left over for east coast nonsense.

  197. #198 Shay
    October 30, 2012

    Spiritualism is the belief that the spirits of the dead are always with us and can communicate with the living; and the point I was trying to make was that spiritualism was a component of many ancient religions.

    19th-century spiritualism was widespread throughout the US, not just the east coast, btw. This despite the fact that it was often associated with dubious political causes like abolition and women’s suffrage.

  198. #199 Alain
    October 30, 2012
  199. #200 Narad
    October 30, 2012

    I think my father’s ancestors were too busy getting chased by bears at the time.

    This is another random assertion that is none too promising.

  200. #201 Alain
    October 30, 2012

    catching up:

    I bet few of you have a POTS telephone (beige Trimline), on hand to use in case of electric failure.

    The only thing I can rely on in case of catastrophic failure is my legs (as in walking).

    Sadly I just visited my local supermarket and had to avoid eye contact with a whole aisle full of ‘supplements’. They stock more of those than painkillers, bandages, shampoo or first aid kits. It makes me sad.

    I find it impossible to focus in most aisle of pharmacy (and other stores which has items smaller than 4×2 inches) so if I’m pressed for time, I seek an employee and fire away my questions at him. Otherwise, I take my time for most items or ask a few questions if needed.

    Politicalguineapig – Marmite is salty, concentrated, processed brewer’s yeast. I have spread it very thinly on toast, and it has a flavor (or “flavour”) that is easier to experience than describe.

    Would you have a recipes to make Marmite? I have yeast a plenty at the bottom of my fermenters (two) which would likely be useful :D

    On a more serious note, Marmite is a byproduct of the brewing industry, made by adding salt to the yeast deposit left at the bottom of a brewing vessel and then boiling it with added secret ingedients, and is rich in B vitamins.

    Thanks! gonna try it :)

    I’ve commented frequently ABOUT Age of Autism. Does that count?

    Yes in my book because I often miss some comments of interest despites having them in my feedreader (in windows 8, in a virtual machine that I boot 4 hours per day while the rest of the time is spent on Linux like right now).

    Alain

  201. #202 lilady
    October 30, 2012

    @ Alain: I’m utterly clueless about your “Feedreader and Linux”.

    You know you are commenting at me…I’m so totally not able to understand computerese. :-)

    I was feeling quite lucky a few hours ago because I hadn’t as yet lost phone or electricity. I was listening to the freight train-like noises of Sandy’s power when suddenly I heard a very loud bang…sounded like a “direct hit” in my back yard.

    I checked out the deck and all the furniture that was tied down hadn’t moved. In the dark I saw a very large object off to the side of the deck. Flashlight in hand I venture out . There…is my neighbor’s huge (12 X12 foot) tool shed upside down on my property. It obviously went airborne over my 4 foot chain link fence.

    It has “traveled” about 40 feet and is in front of my deck now, threatening my deck, all the deck furniture and the back of my house.

    So much for disaster preparedness.

  202. #203 flip
    October 30, 2012

    @Narad

    I agree with you, and initially my reaction to the comment on spiritualism was probably similar to yours or Shay’s. But then I remembered the regional thing and thought maybe there was some miscommunication.

    @Alain

    I tend not to talk to the pharmacist if I can help it – if only because I’m always tempted to ask them why they have a naturopath on site.

  203. #204 Alain
    October 30, 2012

     @ lilady,

    Linux is just like windows, an operating system but one that I mostly built myself…with lot of rough edges because I tends to forget thing out.

    I first installed Linux back in 1997 during the ice storm in Quebec and learning how to use it ever since but it’s still a learning experience.

    regarding feedreaders, that’s just a software who alert me for anything that Orac post and other blogs are posting (like AoA) but I don’t have any for Linux.

    Finally, about Sandy, we’re getting strong wind here and the electricity feed is flaky, however, I wonder why it’s still 24 degree C in my apartment despite having the patio door fully open and the fan is blowing air at full speed while outside, it’s 12.4C.

    Alain

  204. #205 Alain
    October 30, 2012

    @ Flip,

    Forgot to add, I don’t tend to ask question about naturopath (we don’t have any here) but still, if I had a naturopath in my pharmacy, I would definitely ask about it.

    Alain

  205. #206 herr doktor bimler
    October 30, 2012

    On a more serious note, Marmite is a byproduct of the brewing industry, […] It’s very salty, umamish

    You marmite eaters are knowing exposing yourself to GLUTAMATE — a known excitotoxin — increasing the activity of the glutamate pathways in your brains, to the extent of poisoning nerve cells and leaving you with the culinary form of PTSD.
    This could explain why people end up thinking they like marmite. They’re just re-living the trauma.

  206. #207 lilady
    October 30, 2012

    @ Alain: My daughter, when she lived with me, used to build her own computers. Her bedroom was a mass of wires and strange boxy gizmos and spare parts. (I always *wondered* if she was switched-at-birth…but she does resemble her dad).

  207. #208 Alain
    October 30, 2012

    @ lilady,

    I do build my own computers since my adolescence when I learned a thing or two about electronics (from Dr. Mims’ books).

    @ HDB,

    I have to wonder how much glutamate is able to pass the blood-brain barrier but a pubmed query answered that to me: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15098938 , I won’t blog about it (I have to many fish to catch) but I’ll read it after I viewed the greater good documentary (53 minutes in at the moment).

    Alain

  208. #209 flip
    October 30, 2012

    @Alain

    I am too shy in real life to ask. Plus, despite how they stock the place, I do like the staff there and in general find the pharmacist to be quite SBM-minded. It’s part of a large chain of stores, so yelling at the pharmacist who has no control over stock is probably not going to do much. Especially when they hold onto my asthma medication ;)

  209. #210 herr doktor bimler
    October 30, 2012

    I work on the principle that any high-glutamate food makes a good pizza topping… sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, parmesan & mozzarella, anchovies, salami, artichokes… I draw the line at marmite, however.

    The Frau Doktorin is not so sure about avocado either.

    I didn’t realise the strength of the ‘anti-excitotoxin’ crowd until now. There is no shortage of glutamate-free diets. The general theory seems to be that eating tomatoes and capsicums are OK as long as they are organically-grown and you cook them lightly in <extra-virgin olive oil. None of these orthorexic diets mention soy-bean products like tofu, which are presumably OK because they are covered by the Non-Western Medicine clause.

  210. #211 Alain
    October 30, 2012

    @ Flip,

    didn’t meant to yell at them but more likely, have a casual conversation about why there’s a naturopath in their store.

    Alain

  211. #212 Narad
    October 30, 2012

    ^ That should have been VDH-L, which I mention only because the strange posturing from the “Canary Party” continues. This item is notable only in that its lone comment is from a “smart grid” paranoiac.

  212. #213 Narad
    October 30, 2012

    (OK, and that Blaxill is plainly indifferent to the TOXINZZ in hair “product.”)

  213. #214 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 30, 2012

    I tried Marmite this year at the breakfast buffet in the Holiday Inn in Bristol – a lovely city whose name brings a smile to my face. It was the last breakfast of the trip; the Marmite was in little packets next to the jelly and Nutella. I figured, “nothing ventured …” and tried it without butter (doubtless marking me as a foreigner for all to see, as though they hadn’t realized that already). As Krebiozen says, it was not unlike putting soy sauce on your toast – a concept I hadn’t tried before.

    I find that bleu cheese is best spread thinly as well.

  214. #215 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    October 30, 2012

    Naturally, I was an American and not a foreigner but the room being full of foreigners, it was a perfectly understandable confusion.

  215. #216 Krebiozen
    October 30, 2012

    M.O’B,

    I figured, “nothing ventured …” and tried it without butter […] it was not unlike putting soy sauce on your toast – a concept I hadn’t tried before.

    The butter makes it easier to spread thinly, thus diluting the taste of the Marmite – less is more, especially if you have not yet acquired the taste.

    Any Antipodeans about? If so, is Vegemite much the same as Marmite? Do New Zealanders eat Vegemite or is it just Australians?

    Soy sauce in a soft-boiled egg works well I find, by the way.

  216. #217 flip
    October 30, 2012

    @Alain

    I know – but I think I would lose my temper quickly. Why is the same person who supplies me preventative asthma medication also stocking half the store with supplements, and another quarter with makeup? Any response would most likely lead me to get annoyed. And I’m bad at hiding it.

    @Kreb

    I’m Australian. I have tried vegemite but not marmite. I’m not a huge fan of it, but will eat it on extremely rare occasions and only a tiny amount. I think I probably hated it for a good long time so it’s definitely an acquired taste.

    I’d agree with MOB in that it’s similar to soy sauce – only probably stronger in flavour. Locally it tends to be PB & Vegemite on toast…

    I have heard they’re not the same in terms of taste, the latter being stronger than the former. Although personally I get the feeling it’s more of a Cadbury/Hershey’s argument, or a Pepsi/Cola one for those not familiar with the local chocolate brand.

    I’m not sure about NZ’ers eating vegemite – I think it’s likely to be more of an Aussie thing, but that’s pretty much based on nothing but my impression.

  217. #218 flip
    October 30, 2012

    Darn, never add an afterthought in the middle of other paragraphs. This sentence:

    I have heard they’re not the same in terms of taste, the latter being stronger than the former.

    is in reference to vegemite/marmite.

  218. #219 Narad
    October 30, 2012

    I’ve actually quite enjoyed Vegemite when it’s been on offer, but then again, as a child I would get up late and sneak Accent meat tenderizer (which is MSG) straight from the shaker and follow it with Miracle Whip rolled in a leaf of iceburg lettuce.

  219. #220 herr doktor bimler
    October 30, 2012

    If I were concerned about the lasting mental changes caused by high-glutamate foodstuffs, Narad’s anecdote would do little to reassure me.

  220. #221 Edith Prickly
    a city where Victorianism lasted far longer than it did in England
    October 31, 2012

    Krebiozen:

    There’s also Bovril, a beef-based concoction somewhat similar to Marmite, with an interesting vitalist etymology. The ‘Bo’ portion derives from ‘bovine’, obviously, and ‘Vril’ was the fictional life force invented by Victorian Englishman Edward Bulwer-Lytton and taken for truth by various assorted loons.

    This is fascinating. Bovril is sold in Canada as a liquid form of bouillion – I had no idea it had such an interesting history.
    And now I also know what Victorian “beef tea” was made from. The things I learn at RI…

  221. #222 Liz Ditz
    In the pantry, looking for the vegemite
    October 31, 2012

    Narad wrote:

    I’ve actually quite enjoyed Vegemite when it’s been on offer, but then again, as a child I would get up late and sneak Accent meat tenderizer (which is MSG) straight from the shaker and follow it with Miracle Whip rolled in a leaf of iceburg lettuce.

    Are we related? The Miracle Whip+lettuce was a delicacy amongst my cousins on both side. Dad used to put Accent on his oatmeal, but he was a guy who made us French onion soup and cold steak for breakfast.

  222. #223 herr doktor bimler
    October 31, 2012
  223. #224 Narad
    October 31, 2012

    And now I also know what Victorian “beef tea” was made from.

    Don’t forget the cocktail possibilities.

  224. #225 herr doktor bimler
    October 31, 2012

    All I have to say to Narad is Bullshot!

  225. #226 Narad
    October 31, 2012

    (Apparently, Amis himself referred to the Bovril item as a “Polish Bison.”)

  226. #227 Denice Walter
    October 31, 2012

    Gentlemen:

    Your suggestions are truly disgusting.
    Don’t you think that a decent drink requires some thing more astringent-y?
    Next thing I know, you’ll probably be telling me to me mix alcohol with (( shuddder)) dairy products.

  227. #228 herr doktor bimler
    October 31, 2012

    There was a time when most of the spiritous liquors available in New Zealand were, literally, dairy products… one of the byproducts of the casein industry was ethanol. Some bright spark realised that it could be flavoured and sold to students.
    http://nzic.org.nz/ChemProcesses/dairy/3H.pdf

  228. #229 Alain
    October 31, 2012

    @Denice,

    umm…..there is lactose in my beer :)

    Alain

  229. #230 Narad
    October 31, 2012

    Next thing I know, you’ll probably be telling me to me mix alcohol with (( shuddder)) dairy products.

    If you insist.

  230. #231 Denice Walter
    October 31, 2012

    @ Alain:
    I know. I don’t drink beer. I’ll just observe, thanks.

    @ Narad:
    Your link doesn’t work. I unfortunately know a great deal about the subject because one of my 1980s ( female) drinking partners used to drink all sorts of horrible concoctions made with either milk or cream.

  231. #232 Krebiozen
    October 31, 2012

    Next thing I know, you’ll probably be telling me to me mix alcohol with (( shuddder)) dairy products.

    Bad enough for a 3-D shudder? That brought back memories of a friend who got hideously drunk on Baileys Irish Cream and afterwards went green at the mere sight or smell of the stuff. She said that vomiting what appeared to be clotted cream was somehow the worst part.

  232. #233 Narad
    October 31, 2012

    Your link doesn’t work.

    Dagnabit. I try again. This is unspeakable even by my standards, and a year ago I was thinking of making a straight fenugreek infusion to get people to quit whining about wormwood. (The version with epazote was going to be held back until the expansion into the Mexican market. Chelada would have been doomed.)

  233. #234 Narad
    November 1, 2012

    There apparently has been earlier experimentation in this realm. After all, it makes a bit of sense: something has to be alcohol-soluble in this stuff, right?

    “It was crawling up the side of the bottle to get out.”

    I must return some day to the quest for a truly black prepared mustard. Perhaps the squid ink. Perhaps.

  234. #235 Narad
    November 1, 2012

    Yes, this intrepid fellow tried to carry on, as it were, in the tradition but failed to grasp that just as cheese is not generally made in four days, neither shall be cheese vodka: “Wings of Ikarus.” The fact that the bacon one was prepared in parallel frankly prefigured the outcome, if you ask me.

  235. #236 Julian Frost
    NOYDB
    November 1, 2012

    @Denice Walter: I take it you haven’t tried Cape Velvet?

  236. #237 herr doktor bimler
    November 1, 2012

    Narad’s suggestions appall me, and I speak as someone who used to home-brew wormwood beer.

  237. #238 Krebiozen
    November 1, 2012

    Maybe there’s something in Cambridge air that inspires weird food experimentation. It was there that some friends of mine held a blue dinner party – all the food was light in color and dyed blue with food coloring. I was away that weekend and missed it, but my friends told me that however tasty and well prepared a dish is, something deep and instinctual makes it unappetizing when it is bright blue. They also told me that an unexpected side effect was blue poo the next day.

  238. #239 Edith Prickly
    November 1, 2012

    Krebiozen, DW – I had a university friend who drank Bailey’s mixed with milk, which I found quite appalling. Bailey’s is strictly for spiking coffee or hot chocolate chez Prickly.

    That said, I am intrigued by bullshots – I think I have also heard of versions that contain sherry and/or tomato juice as well? I might drink something like that hot when I have a cold, but chilled – don’t think so.

    I have no comment on the cheese vodka experiments other than “ewwwww.”

  239. #240 Denice Walter
    November 1, 2012

    OMFG..
    Bailey’s is horrible as are the various liquers that people mix with (( shudder)) cream and creme de cacao, creme de menthe etc. I’m glad i don’t know what Cape Velvet is. I see that Kreb went to an esteemed institution of higher learning where people did really stupid things… same here.. I could tell you a story about an art gallery at a university that would curl ( or straighten- as the case may be) your hair.
    And ladies don’t drink bacon.

  240. #241 THS
    November 1, 2012

    Food & drink digression? So far as food coloring goes, a practical application I know of was to dye milk black. This was a shared refrigerator for several people on independent budgets. It worked as intended.

  241. #242 Julian Frost
    NOYDB
    November 2, 2012

    @Denice Walter: Cape Velvet is a cream liqueur that originated in Cape Town. It’s made of condensed milk, cream, and brandy. Another South African specialty is Amarula, a cream liqueur made using amarula fruit.

  242. #243 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    November 2, 2012

    @Denice

    I’m wary of any Baileys unless I know when the bottle was opened. I had a friend of mine making drinks at a party and, well…

    …let’s just say that the phrase, “Bailey’s Irish CHEESE” was closer to the truth.

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