Popular culture

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Popular culture

I’ve pointed out before that pover the last couple of years I’ve become a bit of a fan of old time radio, having discovered Radio Classics on Sirius XM Radio. I don’t remember how I discovered it, but I rapidly became hooked on shows like Suspense, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, The Whistler, Gunsmoke, Dragnet, The…

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting imbibing the latest and greatest that science-based medicine has to offer against cancer. The AACR is mainly a basic science and translational meeting; so a lot of this stuff is seriously preclinical. That’s what makes it interesting, though. In any case, my…

Unfortunately, I don’t get to see very many movies these days. My wife and I both lead very busy lives, and with periodic spasms of grant writing, plus several new administrative responsibilities, it’s just hard. Last weekend, however, a movie that I’d rather like to see came out. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it yet; so…

Since I was still recovering from TAM9 last night and crashed on the couch at around 9 PM, I didn’t have time for one of my usual logorrheic posts. I did, however, have time to take note of an update on a story I started covering six years ago. One of the greatest things about…

Epic rap battles: ZDoggMD versus Dr. Oz

It had to be done. With all the quackery and pseudoscience promoted by TV doctors like Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, and “The Doctors,” sooner or later someone had to choose a manner other than blogging to call them out. ZDoggMD has done just that, particularly dissing Dr. Oz. Why? Why not. Because: Why dis Dr.…

Well, well, well, well, well. Look who’s coming to blight my hometown, and look who’s doing it hot on the heels of my having directed some not-so-Respectful Insolence at him. Yes, it’s Deepak Chopra himself showing up on Saturday to bring his woo to one of the places that least needs it, downtown Detroit: Excitement…

Remember Deepak Chopra? He’s the physician (yes, physician) whose grasp on real science is so tenuous and whose ability to abuse multiple scientific disciplines, ranging from quantum physics to astronomy to genetics to medicine, simultaneously in the service of woo is so amazing that a few years ago I once coined a term representing the…

Detoxifying fashionably

How many times have I read or heard from believers in “alternative” medicine that some disease or other is caused by “toxins”? I honestly can’t remember, but in alt-world, no matter what the disease or condition under discussion is, there’s a good chance that sooner or later it will be linked to “toxins.” It doesn’t…

I and others have often written about how “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) and “integrative medicine” (IM) represent a “bait and switch.” The basic concept is that CAM/IM has co-opted several ostensibly science-based modalities, such as diet, exercise, relaxation, and the like. These are used as the bait by representing them as being somehow “alternative”…

Your Friday Dose of Woo: Eat the sun?

With the utter ridiculousness of the arguments laid down by Dr. Oz when Steve Novella appeared on his show and the even more ridiculous silliness of J.B. Handley thinking that Matt Carey, a.k.a. Sullivan, is really Bonnie Offit, I had originally thought that I should find some peer-reviewed scientific article today to do a sober,…

UPDATE 4/27/2011: Dr. Novella has written up a detailed description of his experiences on The Dr. Oz Show. Please read it. Also note that the online video for Dr. Novella’s appearance is now available: Controversial Medicine: Alternative Health, Part 1 Controversial Medicine: Alternative Health, Part 2 Controversial Medicine: Alternative Health, Part 3 I can’t believe…

ImmuniLies, or: Get your vax on!

Hot on the heels of his excellent effort Immunize, ZDoggMD is back for a followup. Unfortunately, his partner in crime, Dr. Chase McCallister, billionnaire hemorrhoid surgeon, whose woo-fighting alter-ego is Doc Quixote, screwed up. Wandering into the University of Google, he came up with a rap that would do Mike Adams proud: More reason than…

Excellent! It’s about time the bigger guns started getting involved. Remember the anti-vaccine ads being run on the big CBS JumboTron in Times Square? Well, the American Academy of Pediatrics has finally weighted in to complaint. Here’s the letter: April 13, 2011 Mr. Wally Kelly Chairman and CEO CBS Outdoor 405 Lexington Ave., 14th floor…

Grammar Nazis

Sometimes I complain on this blog about grammar Nazis. I had no idea at the time that grammar Nazis might actually be a real phenomenon. Of course, I’d be dead because my unedited material all too frequently contains multiple run-on sentences. True, I almost always find them later when I reread my posts and then…

Medical advice from Chuck Norris

Not too long ago, I posted a rather amusing little video called Immunize! One line in the song that amused me went something like this: Don’t give Chuck Norris shots! That’d be dim. Chuck need vaccines? Naw Vaccines need him? Actually, not too surprisingly, it turns out that the word “dim” should be applied to…

Challenging homeopathy

Lest I be left out of the fun, I can’t help but point out that over the weekend the Amazing One himself, James Randi, issued a challenge to homeopathy manufacturers and retail pharmacies that sell homeopathy, in particular large national chains like Walgreens and CVS and large national chains that include pharmacies in their stores,…

Dr. Oz crosses the Woo-bicon yet again

I take back all those nice things I said about Dr. Oz. Well, I never actually said that much nice about Dr. Oz, but I usually gave him at least a little bit of the benefit of the doubt, other than for his love or reiki. Then Dr. Oz had über quack Dr. Joe Mercola…

File this under another “better late (as in after Christmas) than never.” Remember Elyse Anders? Remember how she successfully rallied skeptical activists to try to put the kibosh on an effort by the anti-vaccine group SafeMinds to infiltrate theaters with their commercials desguised as public service announcements over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend? Remember how she…

How to be vile

Words fail me. How anyone can be so callous beggars imagination. Yeah, sure, Jennifer Petkov ultimately apologized, but only after news of her vileness was spread far and wide around the world. Worse, it was one of those “not-pologies” where Petkov said she was sorry “if anyone was hurt” not that she was sorry for…

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…

Here we go again. Apparently, trying to bounce back from the humiliation of having had its plan to do a music and comedy fundraiser with Jill Sobule as one of the headliners shot down when Sobule found out that Generation Rescue is an “autism organization” that supports anti-vaccine pseudoscience like that of Andrew Wakefield and…

Thanks to my “friends” at Generation Rescue and Age of Autism, I’ve learned of something that is so absolutely appropriate, so perfect in its complete perfection (if you know what I mean), it brought a smile to my face. It turns out that anti-vaccine hero and martyr Andrew Wakefield, who has been so disgraced that…

Discuss! A most appropriate analogy! But if Gary Null is the Kent Hovind of alternative medicine, then what does that make Mike Adams?

Sometimes, when it comes to the anti-vaccine movement, I feel as though I’m bipolar. There are times when I’m incredibly depressed that pseudoscience and fear mongering are winning out, leaving our children vulnerable to infectious diseases not seen in decades and believing that it’s only a matter of time before we start seeing really major…

Yesterday, I expressed concern about a FRONTLINE episode that was scheduled to air tonight entitled The Vaccine War (which, by the time you read this, should be available for online viewing in case you missed it). My concern was that there was going to be a heapin’ helpin’ of false balance, based on the promotional…