Friday Woo

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Friday Woo

I’m tired of blogging about anti-vaccine nonsense again. Don’t get me wrong, I had an enormous amount of fun writing my commentary on Fire Marshal Bill’s attempt to explain vaccine/autism pseudoscience. It was a hoot, if I do say so myself, but it depresses me that writing such posts is so necessary so often. Fortunately,…

If there’s one concept that seems to cross many “disciplines” of woo (a.k.a. “alternative medicine,” a.k.a. “complementary and alternative medicine,” a.k.a. CAM) is the concept of some sort of “life force” or “life energy.” It is true that life does depend upon the utilization of energy, specifically chemical energy. That’s what biologists and biochemists mean…

Let me say right up front that I’m not entirely sure that the victim–I mean target; no, I mean subject–of this week’s little excursion into the deepest darkest depths of woo is not a parody. That’s the beauty of it. I’ve never heard of it before, but a little Googling brought me evidence that it…

Let’s try this again. Two days ago, I tried to get away from blogging about antivaccinationists. I even succeeded for one day. Unfortunately, that was all, because J.B. Handley and his crew of antivaccine loons cooked up a really big, really deceptive, and really desperate gambit that just couldn’t go unremarked upon. Thus was I…

Unfortunately, as we have been dreading for the last four months or so since her relapse was diagnosed, my mother-in-law passed away from breast cancer in hospice. She died peacefully, with my wife and the rest of her family at her side. As you might expect, I do not much feel like blogging, and even…

Sometimes, woo makes the news. Does anyone remember “Professor” Bill Nelson, the cross-dressing “inventor” who created a most amazing woo machine? I’ve written about it three times before: Your Friday Dose of Woo: Miraculous quest for the quantum Your Friday Dose of Woo: Serious woo from Down Under The SCIO, Quantum Xrroid Consciousness Interface, and…

I realize that I’ve been neglecting my woo. Indeed, yesterday I noticed that it’s been a month and a half since I did a real Friday Dose of Woo. Of course, that particular installation of my long-running blog series (over two and a half years!) was some incredibly powerful woo. In fact, it was titanic,…

Sepsis is not caused by bacterial infection?

Sometimes I come across something so bizarre, so utterly wrong, that my mind reels in confusion and amazement, not to mention horror, that anyone can actually think or write something something like it. In fact, for a moment I considered offering up this one bit of horrifically inspired craziness up as an installment of Your…

I’m a connoisseur of woo. It’s true. Back when I first started blogging, I came across outrageous bits of pseudoscience such as the ones I feature periodically on Your Friday Dose of Woo, and I wasn’t sure quite what to do with them. Indeed, I had a hard time deciding if some of them were…

What is it about celebrity models and credulity towards woo? Very early in the history of this blog, we first encountered Suzanne Somers, someone who underwent lumpectomy and radiation therapy for breast cancer, as well as radiation, but eschewed chemotherapy for “alternative” medicine. Guess to what she attributed her survival? Then she got into bioidentical…

I had thought about taking the day off after celebrating the 100th Meeting of the Skeptics’ Circle yesterday, but a skeptic’s work is never done, and, besides, my wife’s out of town for a couple of days. Given the choice of television, working on my program’s section of our cancer center core grant or one…

Your Friday Dose of Woo: Fifty woo-ful facts

It’s time. Well, it’s sort of time, anyway. As you know, it’s been over three months since I last indulged in my little Friday exercise known as Your Friday Dose of Woo. At the time it was because I couldn’t get myself into the appropriately light-hearted but nonetheless just vicious enough frame of mind to…

As my fellow Americans (ack! I’m sounding like a politician!) know, this happens to be a holiday weekend in the States, Monday being Labor Day. Given that, I’m taking it easy blogging until Tuesday, given that most people (in the U.S. at least) are probably out taking advantage of the opportunity that what is traditionally…

Your Friday Dose of Woo: An update

It’s Sunday, which makes it a perfect time for a little blog housekeeping, especially about a feature that used to appear regularly on Fridays. As you may recall, after the death of Echo I put Your Friday Dose of Woo on hiatus for a while because I just couldn’t get myself into the appropriately light-hearted…

It’s been a week now since my wife and I learned that our beloved dog, whom we’ve had for eight years, had terminal cancer. At the time I was so sad and down that I just couldn’t even imagine getting myself into the appropriately light-hearted frame of mind that I try to maintain. In the…

Today is Friday, which has normally meant for the last two years that it’s the time every week when I poke fun at some particularly outrageous woo. Indeed. I even had a great idea for a 4th of July-themed post today that (I hope) would have been hilarious. I had even started to write a…

Your Friday Dose of Woo: Generation woo

I realize that I’ve been mighty hard on Jenny McCarthy these last several months. I’ve made fun of her for her idiocy, her arrogance of ignorance, and her antivaccination lunacy, not to mention her utter ignorance of science, and, yes, I’ve been rather vicious at times. However, she richly deserved it. Indeed, I argue that…

I know I like to say that woo is eternal, and it is. That doesn’t, however, mean that individual examples of woo are necessarily eternal. Some, it seems, are. Does anyone doubt, for example, that homeopathy, which has been around for over two hundred years now, will still be around 200 years from now? I’d…

Hard as it is to believe, this little weekly vanity project of mine, this little weekly excursion into the wild and wacky world of woo, is fast approaching two years of existence. Really. I kid you not. This wouldn’t really disturb me so much except that I had been rather hoping to do a special…

I’m tired. I apologize in advance if I’m not as–shall we say?–energetic as usual this week. I’m sure you’ll understand. After all, I just spent the last three days subjecting myself to the most toxic and concentrated woo known to humankind. If you’re a regular reader here, you clearly know what I’m talking about, namely…

In the nearly two years of its existence, I have strived to feature only the finest and most outrageous woo that I can find. It’s mostly been medical quackery but sometimes it’s other topics as well. Oddly enough, the vast majority of the woo featured nearly every week never attracts the attention of any regulatory…

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last couple of years of doing this little feature, it’s that there are a couple of kinds of woo. Actually, there are certainly more than a couple, but pretty much all woo can be divided into a couple of types. The first time is where the woo…

I like my Folder of Woo. Besides providing me endless fodder for this little weekly feature, my Folder of Woo also provides me nearly endless amusement. Sometimes, I’ll just peruse it, looking at woo old and new, woo that’s been featured in this little weekly exercise in diving into the belly of the beast, woo…

This week was difficult. No, it wasn’t difficult because I had hit one of my periodic woo writer’s blocks that I whine about, no doubt to the occasional annoyance of my readers, even though I have one of the greatest hobbies in the world. I mean, I get to do something that I love (writing…

Last week’s woo was pretty darned hard to top, don’t you think? It had it all, after all: Boner potentiation, penis enlargement, magnets, near infrared, and more. The only thing it lacked that would have made it absolutely perfect woo were references to pseudoscientific “vibration” or, even better, quantum theory. That’s the reason I could…