Entertainment/culture

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Entertainment/culture

Excellent! It’s about time the bigger guns started getting involved. Remember the anti-vaccine ads being run on the big CBS JumboTron in Times Square? Well, the American Academy of Pediatrics has finally weighted in to complaint. Here’s the letter: April 13, 2011 Mr. Wally Kelly Chairman and CEO CBS Outdoor 405 Lexington Ave., 14th floor…

I tell ya. I take a weekend off from this blog, and what do I find on Sunday night when I sit back down to take a look and see if there’s anything I want to blog about? Damn if those anti-vaccine loons aren’t pulling a fast one while I’m not looking. It turns out…

I’m not infrequently asked why the myth that vaccines cause autism and other anti-vaccine myths are so stubbornly resistant to the science that time and time again fails to support them. Certainly useful celebrity idiots like Jenny McCarthy are one reason. So, too, are anti-vaccine propaganda websites and blogs such as Age of Autism and…

Grammar Nazis

Sometimes I complain on this blog about grammar Nazis. I had no idea at the time that grammar Nazis might actually be a real phenomenon. Of course, I’d be dead because my unedited material all too frequently contains multiple run-on sentences. True, I almost always find them later when I reread my posts and then…

You know, I really know the feeling described in this song: I really do. How about you?

There are times when I’m wrong again and again. No, I’m certainly not referring to my writings about vaccines which, as much as anti-vaccine loons like to claim they’re wrong, are not. Nor am I referring to my writings about “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) or “integrative medicine” (IM). While it’s possible that I’ve made…

Medical advice from Chuck Norris

Not too long ago, I posted a rather amusing little video called Immunize! One line in the song that amused me went something like this: Don’t give Chuck Norris shots! That’d be dim. Chuck need vaccines? Naw Vaccines need him? Actually, not too surprisingly, it turns out that the word “dim” should be applied to…

Why do these things always have to happen when I’m out of town? As you might be aware, the anti-vaccine movement is very, veyr unhappy with the recent Supreme Court ruling in the case of Bruesewitz vs. Wyeth. Basically, the Supreme Court upheld the primacy of the Vaccine Court in adjudicating vaccine injury claims and…

Challenging homeopathy

Lest I be left out of the fun, I can’t help but point out that over the weekend the Amazing One himself, James Randi, issued a challenge to homeopathy manufacturers and retail pharmacies that sell homeopathy, in particular large national chains like Walgreens and CVS and large national chains that include pharmacies in their stores,…

Dr. Paul Offit on The Colbert Report

Paul Offit on the anti-vaccine movement: The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c Paul Offit www.colbertnation.com Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog Video Archive Looks like a win to me. Colbert appears to get it. I like how he doesn’t mention Andrew Wakefield’s name and he asks Dr. Offit a…

Of the two, The Daily Show or The Colbert Report, I tend to favor The Daily Show because there are times when I find Stephen Colbert’s schtick tiresome. True, Colbert can at times rise to the level of being brilliant, but there are other times when he gets on my nerves. In contrast, Jon Stewart…

Dr. Oz: Looking for parents afraid of autism?

If there’s a single TV show out there that has the widest reach when it abuses science-based medicine, there is no doubt that it’s Oprah Winfrey’s show. If there’s a show that has the second-widest reach when it abuses science-based medicine, arguably it’s Dr. Mehmet Oz’s show. Whether it be his recent show featuring quackmaster…

Dr. Oz defiantly embraces The Dark Side

Stick a fork in Dr. Oz. He’s done. I know I’ve been highly critical of Dr. Mehmet Oz, Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery at Columbia University and medical director of the Integrative Medicine Program (i.e., Columbia’s quackademic medicine) program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Those are his academic titles. More important, in terms of…

Dr. Oz crosses the Woo-bicon yet again

I take back all those nice things I said about Dr. Oz. Well, I never actually said that much nice about Dr. Oz, but I usually gave him at least a little bit of the benefit of the doubt, other than for his love or reiki. Then Dr. Oz had über quack Dr. Joe Mercola…

Oh, geez. Will the media never learn? Yep, it looks as though Andrew Wakefield will be on Good Morning America tomorrow. True, it is a holiday in the U.S., but that just might mean that viewership will be higher because more people will be at home. I, of course, will be at work; so I…

File this under another “better late (as in after Christmas) than never.” Remember Elyse Anders? Remember how she successfully rallied skeptical activists to try to put the kibosh on an effort by the anti-vaccine group SafeMinds to infiltrate theaters with their commercials desguised as public service announcements over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend? Remember how she…

I’m still perturbed about yesterday. I’m still perturbed that a cancer quack was able to convince a woman who had everything to live for that he could cure her of her breast cancer without surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. I’m still perturbed at this particular cancer quack’s attitude, where he tried to claim that he didn’t…

It’s Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S., and, despite the crappy economy, there are still things to be thankful for. For instance, skeptical activism can still be effective. Remember how on Sunday Skepchick Elyse put out the call to Skepchic readers to complain to movie theaters that were reportedly going to be airing a public…

I am Bonnie Offit!

I hadn’t planned on beating on that wretched hive of anti-vaccine scum and quackery, Age of Autism, again today so soon after having done so not just once but twice yesterday. I really hadn’t. After all, AoA is the crank gift that keeps on giving (and has kept on giving for three years now), and…

How to be vile

Words fail me. How anyone can be so callous beggars imagination. Yeah, sure, Jennifer Petkov ultimately apologized, but only after news of her vileness was spread far and wide around the world. Worse, it was one of those “not-pologies” where Petkov said she was sorry “if anyone was hurt” not that she was sorry for…

Home on a lazy Sunday…

Lazy Sunday, too lazy for blogging, particularly after last week. So instead, here’s some tunage from a group I recently discovered. I’ll be back tomorrow. Yeah, that’s sort of how I feel after a couple of trips in a row.

It just occurred to me that it’s been a long, long time since I’ve done this, but how about an open thread to while away the time until the NIH R01 grant application is submitted, and that gloriously irritating and outrageously beautiful not-so-Respectful Insolence that you all crave can come roaring back with a vengeance?…

I’ve expounded on the principle of crank magnetism. Basically, crank magnetism is the tendency of cranks not to mind the crankery of other cranks, even if the two forms of crankery are mutually exclusive. But it’s more than that. It’s the tendency of a single crank to be attracted to several forms of crankery. We’ve…

The real reason not to get acupuncture

This guy would appear to be screwed: The rat running by the acupuncturist’s door is a nice touch, too. And so appropriate.

A friend of mine sent me a link to one of my hometown news stations because he saw something that irritated him. On the front page, there is a poll of such epic burning stupid that it requires an immediate crash. I may not be P.Z., but I have in some instances overcome my previous…