Personal

Category archives for Personal

Orac finds it necessary and desirable to take a break to contemplate a black hole and recharge his Tarial cells. Here’s what will happen in his absence (not much).

There’s a little known aspect of Orac’s history that hasn’t been told for 11 years. Back in the early 1990s, when he was taking a “break” from residency to do his PhD work, he moonlighted as a helicopter flight physician. Here is one of his Tales from the Helicopter.

Of all the cranks, quacks, antivaccinationists, and pseudoscientists that I’ve encountered (and applied a bit of not-so-Respectful Insolence to) over the years, there are a few who belong in the top tier—or, if you prefer, the bottom tier. They stick out in my memory for a variety of reasons, either through their sheer crankitude on…

Sadly, a crank has silenced another skeptic. Many of you may know EpiRen, which is the Twitter and blog handle (and sometimes commenting handle here) of René Najera. René is an epidemiologist employed by the state public health department of health of an East Coast state and has been a force for reality- and science-based…

David Mitchell on Gifts

I realize that this has nothing to do with science, skepticism, or medicine. However, it’s Sunday, and I found it amusing. Nothing like a little fluff before diving back into the usual topics next week. It’s also cool that David Mitchell has his own YouTube series of videos. Given that Christmas is a mere four…

The Orac Christmas tree

My readers might not think that a Plexiglass box full of blinking colored lights cum most advanced computer in the galaxy would go to the trouble of celebrating Christmas, much less putting up an actual Christmas tree. Well, actually, he didn’t. His wife did. But, then, Orac is a Plexiglass box of blinking colored lights.…

Six years in the blogosphere…

Has it really been six years? Six years ago today, on a dim and dreary Saturday in December, almost on a whim I sat down, went to Blogspot, and started up the first version of Respectful Insolence with an introductory post with the cliched title, Please allow me to introduce myself. Here it is, six…

Requiem for a friend I’ve never met

I didn’t feel much like blogging last night, but I felt as though I had to, even if it’s brief. Yesterday was one of those crappy days where there were a lot of problems that didn’t relent, so much so that I was completely occupied and didn’t check my e-mail until the evening. It was…

Has it really been two whole years?

I may be in Las Vegas as The Amazing Meeting winds down today, but still I’m a bit sad. Has it really been two whole years today? Yes, we have a different dog now, but does the presence of a new friend make you forget a friend who’s died?

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…

The ASCO Meeting: The swag!

Orac is on his way home from the ASCO meeting in Chicago. Shockingly, he was so busy that he didn’t bother to write anything last night, his last night in Chicago. Fortunately, he found something from the archives that’s perfect for this occasion. This is something he wrote in 2007, after the last time he…

It was 50 years ago today…

…that my parents tied the knot. All I can say on such an occasion is that my parents, though their example, have taught me what marriage can be at its best. This evening a few dozen of our closest family and friends will gather together to pay tribute and celebrate 50 amazing years together. There…

Three uneaten ears of corn

While I’m away communing with fellow skeptics at TAM7, I’m reposting some classic insolence from the month of July in years past. For today, there was really no other choice for what bit of Classic Insolence to repost, except that, today, there’s no insolence whatsoever. The reason is that today is a very sad day.…

After having been bummed out at the invasion of faith healing and quackery in my hometown newspaper I came to something that bummed me out even more. Most readers here have probably never heard of the Michigan Central Station train depot. Suffice it to say that it is a huge train station that was, in…

Bailey discovers squirrels

It’s Saturday and therefore time for some lazy non-science blogging, especially since after I finish this post I’m going to bury myself in grant writing. Multiple grant deadlines are approaching, and, given that most of my grant support expires towards the middle of next year, I have to go full tilt to keep my lab…