Personal

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Personal

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…

…the reasons are threefold. Reason #1 is my iPhone. As I mentioned the other day, the microphone mysteriously stopped working while I was in Phoenix. At first I thought it was a network thing, as on less rare than I would like occasions I had had difficulty with AT&T in which I might have trouble…

Bizarre iPhone behavior, or is it AT&T?

So here I sit in the Phoenix airport, which (woo-hoo!) has free wifi, contemplating a most puzzling problem. My iPhone, which was working just fine last night and which still seems on the surface to be working fine is behaving most strangely. My wife tried to call me, but I couldn’t pick up because it…

The return

I have returned. The funeral is over; I went back to work yesterday; and it’s time to reenter “regular” life again. To me that includes blogging. I do not know when or if I’ll do a post about my mother-in-law’s death from breast cancer. I tried, and I’m just not ready yet. The only thing…

A death in the family

I would like to thank all of you who have notified me of the decision for the three test cases in the Autism Omnibus hearings before the Vaccine Court. Science actually won in the courts, something you just can’t count on with any reliability. It even won resoundingly. I also realize that, as much as…

Carded!

Well, now there’s something that doesn’t happen to me every day–or every week. Or every month. Or every year, at least not for quite a while. Last night I stopped at our local supermarket to pick up a couple of things, one of which was a six pack of one of my favorite local brews.…

One reason why I miss my dog…

Three months ago, our dog Echo died a mere three weeks after we discovered a tumor on her flank. That tumor turned out to be hemangiosarcoma and was already widely metastatic. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long, but amazingly it has. My wife and I still miss her–a lot. Now GruntDoc reminds me…

There are some days when I just don’t feel like posting the usual stuff, and September 11 is just one of those days. So today there’ll be no woo-bashing, no evisceration of postmodernist nonsense, no sarcastic assaults on antivaccinationists. In a more serious vein, there won’t be any analyses of scientific papers, clinical studies, or…

And there was much rejoicing!

I’m a Detroit guy. I was born there and raised there for the first ten years of my life. After that, my family moved to the suburbs, but still Detroit’s my hometown, even though I spent 20 years away from southeast Michigan. Consequently, I really, really hated what has been happening there since January. That’s…

If you knew what you know now…

Hanging out last night, the final night of a three day holiday weekend, I was momentarily at a loss for what to write. For one thing, having spent a good chunk of the last three days unpacking the remaining stuff we’ve had in our basement in boxes for the last six or seven months, my…

Look what Bora‘s doing with poor Professor Steve Steve: And what’s poor Charles Darwin got to do with it? No wonder Jason‘s looking on in bemusement–or perhaps puzzlement.

“If you’re not a liberal at 20, you have no heart. And if you’re not a conservative at 40, you have no head.” – Winston Churchill Like one of my blog buds, PalMD, I usually don’t discuss purely political issues on this blog. After all, I have my niche, and I’ve become quite good at…

Three uneaten ears of corn

Prelude: Sunday, June 22, 2008 Only three weeks ago. All seems well. Prelude II: Thursday, July 3, 2008 We learn that all is not well. Saturday, July 12, 2008, 6:30 AM He spoke through tears of 15 years how his dog and him traveled about The dog up and died, he up and died And…