News of the Weird

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for News of the Weird

When you don’t have the facts on your side, can’t get published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, and have consistently failed to make a case for your hypothesis, what do you do? Well, if you’re a real scientist, you might just finally pack it in, admit that you were probably wrong, and move on to…

Talk about a real pain in the…

…posterior: MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russians visiting a health resort received a rude shock when a nurse used hydrogen peroxide instead of water to give them enemas. Itar-Tass news agency reported Thursday that 17 tourists in the Caucasus spa town of Yessentuki had to be treated in hospital after the mix-up. All I can say is…ouch!…

Religious crazies on parade

Thanks, PZ. Thanks a lot for posting what has to be one of the stupidest, most vile examples of an idiotic religious nut that I’ve seen in a long time. It was so bad that it has to be seen to be believed: It hurt my brain just to look at this smug, smarmy twit…

Like most people, I have my limits. Actually, I have a pretty high tolerance for tastelessness. It’s a necessity in a world like this, where tastelessness increasingly goes beyond the pale. But even I am not above finding something like this so tasteless and offensive that I can only shake my head: RIO DE JANEIRO…

Victorian post-mortem photography

Via a fascinating blog that was pointed out to me (Morbid Anatomy), I came across a story from last winter about how a Colorado nonprofit organization is reviving a Victorian custom about which I had been largely ignorant, namely the custom of taking photographs of recently deceased loved ones as mementos. Indeed, the photographs were…

PETA outdoes itself in sheer insanity

File this under You Can’t Make Stuff Like This Up. Just when I think People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) can’t get any more zany or ridiculous in its never-ending battle against meat eating, it comes up with a gem like sending a request to the jail where a cannibal killer is being…

Now why can’t all New Age-y pseudoscientific mumbo jumbo be like this New Age-y pseudoscientific mumbo-jumbo? Yes, it’s back. Starting right around now, it’s Global Orgasm time again: WHO? All Men and Women, you and everyone you know. WHERE? Everywhere in the world, but especially in countries with weapons of mass destruction and places where…

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a favorite topic for amusement among general surgeons, rectal foreign bodies, particularly the strange things people like to stick up their bottoms for whatever reason. I pointed out at the time that sometimes the excuses such patients make when seeking medical attention are a bit–shall we say?–hard…

Although his taste in music is questionable at best, Snowball the Cockatoo definitely knows how to get down and get funky. I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything like this before. Now maybe if we introduced Snowball to some old Parliament-Funkadelic. Tear the roof off the sucker, Snowball, and give up the funk!

Cephalopod Awareness Day?

I know I’ve said before that I don’t really “get” the whole cephalopod thing that P. Z. has, but I wonder if he’s heard of this little thing: Monday, October 8 is Unofficial International Cephalopod Awareness Day. Certainly, I hadn’t.

I really would have liked to have sampled this Thai restaurant’s nam prik pao. Maybe next time.

Science and medicine are beautiful things. The range of knowledge and research that can be encompassed under their rubric is truly astounding. Indeed, some scientists have all the luck. Some scientists seem to have all the luck. Some scientists seem able to latch onto the best projects: London, England (CNS) – There is one scientist…

Sorry, Mahmoud

Before moving on to discussions of alternative medicine (don’t worry, there’ll be one in the morning), I couldn’t resist one last dig regarding Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s claim in his appearance at Columbia University on Monday that there are no gays in Iran… Sorry Mahmoud, but there was an Iranian contestant in the International Mr.…

I never saw a vending machine like that before

While wandering through the medical center last week, I came across a rather unusual vending machine, one quite unlike any that I had ever seen before. It definitely hadn’t been there the week before, but there it was now, around the corner from the hospital cafeteria: Perfect if you’re on call and feel the need…

There’s a long and strange history of truly bizarre experiments done in the name of science. Alex Boese has gathered twenty of the strangest examples here. There are the usual suspects, such as the Stanford prison experiment and the Milgram obedience experiment, but there were others that I hadn’t heard of. To me, the award…

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign…

Continuing the wind-down from vacation… (Don’t worry; the Orac-ian magnum opus-style posts will return whenever I manage to work my way back up to them again. Besides, it’s a holiday; do you really want to read one of my rants today?) One of the cool things about wandering around London was hearing and seeing the…

Vacation time! While Orac is gone recharging his circuits and contemplating the linguistic tricks of limericks and jokes or the glory of black holes, he’s rerunning some old stuff from his original Blogspot blog. This particular post first appeared on October 14, 2005. Enjoy! Very early on in this blog, I wrote a post that…

Best. Headline. Ever.

This has nothing to do with science, but this has to be the best headline ever: British dwarf’s penis gets stuck to hoover Original story here. Even better, the dwarf in question goes by the stage name Captain Dan the Demon Dwarf. I don’t think there’s anything to add here.

Too much coffee!

Yikes! In my grant writing frenzy the last few days, this could easily have been me: Jasmine Willis, 17, developed a fever and began hyperventilating after drinking seven double espressos while working at her family’s sandwich shop. The student, of Stanley, County Durham, was taken to the University Hospital of North Durham, where doctors confirmed…

Cannabis and schizophrenia?

I was going to write about a recent study that purports to claim that smoking pot causes schizophrenia that’s been making the rounds lately. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you see it), this week’s host of the Skeptics’ Circle, Mark Hoofnagle, beat me to it. Can you say, “Correlation does not necessarily equal causation”?…

(LOL Oscar from Lauren.) While I expressed skepticism the other day regarding the media reports that a cat named Oscar could predict which patients at the nursing home in which he resides were within hours of death, some of you believed it, some even going so far as to speculate that not only could Oscar…

Gene Simmons, eat your heart out

Continuing this weekend’s silliness, I found a contender for Gene Simmons’ throne, at least as far as the tongue action goes:

Dozing off at the wrong times…

Here’s something that’s not a good idea: Boston, MA (AHN) – The Board of Registration in Medicine, which is the governing authority issuing licenses to Massachusetts doctors, has reportedly suspended a Boston anesthesiologist from the practice of medicine for dozing off during an operation. However, the headline is misleading. It turns out that this doctor…

The Kitty of Doom

This sort of thing makes one wonder if the personification of Death should in fact be a cat, although, oddly enough, not a black cat: Oscar the rescue cat is not simply a welcome feline companion at the Steere nursing home in Providence, Rhode Island. According to a new report in a medical journal he…

More bizarreness from Modern Mechanix

Can anyone explain how something like this might have happened? Maybe I lack imagination, but I’m having trouble figuring out a plausible explanation.