Humor

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Humor

As 2010 ends, let’s be careful out there…

As hard as it is to believe, today is the last day of 2010. An old year has flown by once again, and, almost before I realized it, a new year will arrive where I live in mere hours. It’s been a truly weird year, even more so than the average level of weirdness. That’s…

Steamed vajajay woo

When it comes to “alternative” medical practices from Asia (or from anywhere else, for that matter), I’ve ceased to be surprised by anything I hear. After all, if somehow, some way, people can justify just about any strange health that can be imagined. If you don’t believe me, I have two words for you: Coffee…

It’s times like these that I’m glad I’m a clinician-scientist: Or maybe not. The reason is that the same conversation in a clinician-scientist’s review would be asking why he’s only produced X number of RVUs last year and suggesting pointedly that he needs to double his RVU output. Oh, and, by the way, he needs…

Beyond butt reflexology

Egads! You remember my fun little post about a Sokal-type hoax perpetrated by John C. McLachlan, when he completely fooled the “scientific review” committee of a complementary and alternative medicine conference with a hilarious Sokal-inspired hoax in which he created, in essence, butt reflexology. I thought it was an amusing and fairly original bit of…

I can’t think of a better way to start year seven on the ol’ blog. Remember how I speculated that perhaps Age of Autism or NaturalNews.com would provide me with the first topic of my next year of blogging? It turns out that I was wrong. It didn’t come from either of those sources, although…

Taking the piss out of homeopathy

Silly Crispian, any homeopath will tell you that this isn’t a valid test of homeopathy because you didn’t adequately succuss at each step. (Of course, then there’s the issue of succussing it against a Bible, which Hahnemann himself favored.) I also would have recommended using a different pipette for each dilution to make sure there…

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…

Earlier today, I had a bit of fun deconstructing Dan Olmsted’s whiny complaint about how “progressives don’t ‘get’ autism,” his definition of “getting” autism being, of course, buying into the scientifically discredited notion that vaccines cause autism and the quackery known as “autism biomed” that anti-vaccine loons like Olmsted advocate to “recover” autistic children. Of…

Willful ignorance as a campaign platform

It’s depressing to think that after today people like this may well be running the House: This year, willful ignorance is a campaign platform.

For whenever I start feeling sorry for myself

I know I kvetch from time to time about the currently dismal funding situation for biomedical research and worry about whether I’ll be able to keep my lab funded. However, every so often I’m reminded that cancer researchers by and large have it pretty good, at least compared to some academic disciplines:

The economic argument against woo…

Yesterday was a travel day, which means I was too exhausted to grind out a piece of peerless logorrheic prose full of Insolence, Respectful, not-so-Respectful, or both. Fortunately, readers sent me something rather amusing that is also timely given some of the conversations we had at the Lorne Trottier Symposium Monday and Tuesday, where questions…

Why didn’t I think of this before?

Damn. Every so often another blogger will think of something that I really, really wished I’d thought of before. Times like this, and this handy-dandy alternative medicine flow chart. I do think he missed one thing, though. Just because someone doesn’t like having stuff shoved up their posterior doesn’t mean they won’t be into “detox.”…

Every so often, real life intrudes on blogging, preventing the creation of fresh Insolence, at least Insolence of the quality that you’ve come to expect. This is one of those times. I happen to be sitting here in Palm Beach, Florida, but I’m not chilling at the beach or pool. Rather, I’m attending “leadership training.”…

Could it be I was wrong all along?

Could it be that correlation does equal causation? I wonder…

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.

Researchers versus biostatistics

A friend of mine at work sent this video to me in great amusement. I just hope he wasn’t making a comment on my behavior when it comes to dealing with our biostatisticians. I have, of course, seen investigators approach biostatistians this late in the game. Not that I’ve ever flirted with this sort of…

It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a connoisseur of pareidolia. The various shapes and contortions the human mind can impose on clouds, stains, pancakes, trees, toast, Lava lamps, toilet seats, and even medical imaging tests never ceases to amaze me. We are pattern-seeking creatures, and our brains will go to great lengths to…

Hi I was just authorized by my company, DrNatura, to offer an exclusive $10 coupon to you and the readers of Respectful Insolence, towards our most popular product, the Colonix Program. I thought you and your readers would be interested to know that DrNatura is an internationally recognized line of health products and programs specializing…

It was nearly a month ago when I first marveled at how nonsense could be so well-organized. My marvel was expressed at the awesomeness that was the Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense (which, by the way, is now available in “sanitized” versions, as well as versions in other languages). It turns out that Crispan’s effort…

The Force remains strong in Darth Jobs, even after antennagate. I actually love my iPhone 4 and haven’t had any problems with it. Even so, I found the above video about Steve Jobs’ infamous Reality Distortion Field to be hilarious, even though it comes from Taiwan and I can’t understand a word of it. It…

A first: A cease and desist Tweet

Remember Doctors Data? It’s the highly dubious medical laboratory that Trine Tsouderos exposed in her series on the quackery that is the “autism biomed” movement. A couple of weeks ago, Doctors Data also decided to launch what appears to be frivolous lawsuit against the creator and maintainer of the Quackwatch website, Steve Barrett; i.e. a…

…then how come there are so many believers in homeopathy? Truly, a scientific mystery…

Still away, still having too much fun to blog. So….we still need content: Fear not. The logorrheic insolence will return. Just not today. In fact, as this autoposts, I’ll be heading over to the Skepchick party. I’m a little nervous. I don’t think I’ve been to such a bash since college or medical school. I’m…

Fourth of July fireworks safety tips…

It’s nearly sundown here in the eastern time zone of the United States. That means that soon all sorts of amateur fireworks aficionados will be making a whole lot of noise and, the part that I hate, scaring the crap out of my poor dog. So, for those of you who are soon going to…