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Respectful Insolence

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A belated welcome to a new ScienceBlogger

I’m a day late on this, but welcome ERV (a.k.a. endogenous retrovirus) to the Collective. A graduate student studying the molecular biology and evolution of HIV, her joining the Collective was forced to be earlier than she had intended because of an unfortunate incident resulting in the temporary removal of her old blog by Google.…

I’m ready for my close-up…

You didn’t think I wouldn’t take notice of this bit of news, did you? Even if I had, I would have had little choice, as readers deluged me with various news reports about this. Yes, it would appear that there might very well be a new Blakes 7 series. Of course, I’ll believe it when…

Dear Mr. Kirby and Mr. Olmsted: You are both journalists. I realize that neither of you at present work for the traditional press and that both of you seem to devote yourselves mainly to blogging (Mr. Olmsted at the Age of Autism and Mr. Kirby at the Huffington Post), but I have to believe that…

How much cussing happens on this blog?

I’m actually surprised it’s that high: Created by OnePlusYou – Free Online Dating Must be some of the commenters. I have been known on occasion to use the word “bullshit” with reference to, for example, David Kirby, but I really do try to keep this blog fairly clean as far as cussing goes.

To the blog! It’s the Orac signal!

Buried in yesterday’s post was a link to a post on the Science Business blog, which is one of the blogs of Forbes magazine that was a dangerous gratification to my ego in that it mentioned this humble blog as one of the Autism Debate Go-To Blogs. Although Matthew Harper, Associate Editor at Forbes, left…

I really have no idea how valid this is (I suspect not very), but every blogger likes a bit of ego stroking from time to time, and I’m no different. So, take this with an enormous grain of salt, but somehow on a new system of blog ranking on Wikio, Respectful Insolence is ranked #8…

For duty and humanity!

A blogger’s duty calls: (Click for the full-sized version.) It’s true: A skeptical blogger’s work is never done! When pseudoscience or quackery is noticed on the Internet, no mater what time of day or night, this skeptical blogger cannot resist the call to craft a takedown. Just ask my wife.

Le Canard Noir in trouble? I’m there!

Via WhiteCoat Underground, I’ve learned of a most disturbing development. Remember Le Canard Noir? He’s the skeptical blogger whose Quackometer was one of my favorite websites and tools for identifying pseudoscience and quackery caused him to run afoul of the Society of Homeopaths and a highly dubious practitioner named Joseph Chikelue Obi, both of whom…

Hooked into the Matrix again!

I’m baaack. Well, thanks to free WiFi at Panera’s, I was never really truly away. Thanks to Comcast, I was away longer than usual. In any case, although between waiting for Internet access, running errands, and doing some snowblowing last night, I didn’t have time to do the usual epic substantive posts that I’m known…

I hate you, Comcast. I really do. My hatred of Comcast also explains the paucity of activity on this blog over the last few days. You see, over the weekend, I moved to a larger house, and I’ve had no Internet access other than Panera’s or Starbucks for the last three days. Before that, I…

Orac feels the love

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any fan mail, but I did get one a few days ago that amused me. It came from someone with a ‘nym of “Baxtour”. I post it because it represents a common flavor of antivaccinationist response to my blog: You are a fucking moron, which I’m sure you…

A finalist for the 2007 Best Medical Weblog

I’ll admit that I’ve been a bit oblivious to honors and awards in the blogosphere lately, but it’s come to my attention that I’m actually a finalist for Best Medical Weblog. I also note that the competition is fierce. Fellow surgeon Sid Schwab is there for Surgeonsblog, as is one of the pioneers of medical…

If the pontifications of Orac are too–shall we say?–insolent for your taste, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a new group blog in town designed to provide a serious “alternative” voice of reason and science to discuss the claims made in favor of “alternative” medicine. Spearheaded by Steve Novella, President of the New England…

In case you’re curious…

…this is what a troll is on the Internet. Personally, though, I prefer the Flame Warriors version, although I’m not sure that I agree with Mike Reed’s characterization of trolls as “generally quite harmless.”

Holiday Movable Type weirdness

We interrupt this post-holiday blogging slowdown for an important blog housekeeping message. Something weird happened to Respectful Insolenceā„¢ over the weekend before Christmas. Sunday, I was composing a little missive to autopost over the holidays. I went to the pulldown menu in Movable Type to assign a category to it and noticed something odd. There…

…well, not really: OK, I don’t really hate them. But it used to be that science journalists stood between scientists and the public. The scientists did research, then we asked questions and translated their dry jargon and complicated ideas into scintillating prose. Sure, there were a few scientists, like Carl Sagan, Stephen Jay Gould and…

Does it mean you’ve arrived as a blogger…

…when another blogger refers to your linking to him by adding “-lanche” to your ‘nym? I can’t say I’ve ever had that happen to me before.

Oops, I did it again

It’s times like these that I wonder if I’ve been at this blogging thing a bit too long. I ask that question because I’ve done it again. I’ve done the same thing in 2007 that I did a year ago in 2006. I missed my own blogiversary. Yes, believe it or not, yesterday was the…

What language should ScienceBlogs conquer next?

Let’s see, the ScienceBlogs collective started out in English. Earlier this week, our German partner Hubert Burda Media soft-launched ScienceBlogs.de, a German version of the ScienceBlogging collective that you’ve come to know and love (or, in some cases, hate). Now, our benevolent (well, most of the time, anyway) overlords at the Seed Collective Mothership in…

…for reaching a milestone in blogging. One thing that’s always puzzled me is why Abel’s traffic isn’t much higher (and mine lower, to be honest). True, I post much more frequently than he does, but that alone doesn’t explain it. (Maybe it’s EneMan.) Whatever the case, Abel deserves a much larger readership. There’s a disconnect…

Orac, Killer of Buzz…

…or so sayeth Reason.TV, where a credulous blogger didn’t like what Orac laid down and found him oh-so-humorless. Orac, Killer of Buzz. You know, I sort of like the sound of that. I like the sound and humor of this, too. Of course, some buzzes deserve to be terminated with extreme prejudice; so just for…

2,000,000

I demand the sum of…..two MILLION visits! Muhahahahahaha! Yes, I know I did that bit before, but I liked it so much that I wanted to do it again. Sometime yesterday, this blog hit another milestone. Sometime yesterday morning, Respectful Insolenceā„¢ recorded its 2,000,000th visitor. Unfortunately, “sometime yesterday” was while I was at work, and,…

Nominated again?

Amazing. I didn’t actually expect this, but it appears that some knuckleheads have actually nominated Respectful Insolence again for the Best Medical/Health Issues Blog in the 2007 Weblog Awards, and, even more oddly, I somehow managed to be finalist. It turns out that P.Z. Myers is also a finalist in the Best Science Blog category…

Don’t forget, once again the time is fast approaching. Soon yet another installment of the Skeptics’ Circle will be upon us. In fact, it’s less than a week away and due to land at the Holford Watch on Thursday, November 8. Skeptical bloggers, there isn’t much time left for you to get your entries done…

Crank argumentation

Arguing with cranks can be an extremely frustrating experience, which is why I don’t do it very often anymore except on my terms on this blog. Yes, I did cut my skeptical teeth, so to speak, for several years doing just that in the totally unmoderated and wild free-for-all known as Usenet before I dipped…