Popular culture

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Popular culture

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…

What cigarette do you smoke, doctor?

I’ve pivoted immediately from attending NECSS and participating in a panel on the infiltration of quackery into academia to heading down to Washington, DC for the AACR meeting. Then, after a packed day of meetings yesterday followed by spending yesterday evening with a friend whom I haven’t seen for a long time, there’s–gasp!–no new material…

Believe it or not, there was once a time when Dr. Mehmet Oz didn’t bother me that much. At least, for all his flirting with woo, I never quite thought that he had completely gone over to the Dark Side. Although I probably knew deep down that I was fooling myself. Maybe it was because…

Generation Rescue in transition?

Six days ago, celebrity spokescouple for the anti-vaccine movement, Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey, announced their breakup over Twitter. Some of us who have been following the antics of “Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey’s Autism Organization – Generation Rescue” have wondered what this would mean for the pro-disease movement pushing the idea that vaccines cause…

I’m conflicted over this news

Since a whole bunch of you have been sending me this and posting it in my comments, I don’t see how I can avoid mentioning it. Apparently it’s being reported on The Superficial, Celebitchy, and People.com that Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy have broken up. I must admit that it’s hard not to feel a…

I realize that Chris Mooney is a polarizing figure here on the ol’ ScienceBlogs, but I have to give him props for doing a damned fine job handling questions about vaccines, autism, and Andrew Wakefield’s utterly discredited 1998 Lancet study, which was retracted by the Lancet‘s editors last week: Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world…

Blocked by Fire Marshal Bill!

I feel really, really good today. The reason? Simple Orac has annoyed Jim Carrey enough to ban him on Twitter. The exchange went something like this. For the first time in a while, I was perusing Twitter (I have a really hard time keeping my Insolence to 140 characters; so I only check my Twitter…

They’re coming out of the woodwork

Thanks to having been up all night Thursday night and most of the night a couple of days before that working on a grant, I know I haven’t had a chance to write about the GMC’s ruling on Andrew Wakefield’s unethical conduct in conducting his “clinical research” that according to him linked the MMR vaccine…

Hitler doesn’t like the iPad

You knew it was coming. You knew from many previous incidents that it was inevitable: Who knew Hitler was such a Mac geek? Personally, although I think the iPad looks like a really cool device, I’m really not sure where it would fit into my life. I already have an iPhone, which I love, and…

While I’m working today, enjoy some bizarre cartoon awesomeness from Max Fleischer, courtesy of Boing-Boing: Truly amazing. And 80 years old, too, with a wicked jazz soundtrack. The Fleischer brothers rule.

For some reason, I’ve tended to give Dr. Mehmet Oz a bit of a free pass when it comes to promoting woo. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I just haven’t paid that much attention to him. Perhaps it’s because, even when he was on Oprah’s show, he didn’t delve as deeply into the…

If there’s one thing that’s irritated the crap out of me ever since I entered the medical field, it’s celebrities with more fame than brains or sense touting various health remedies. Of late, three such celebrities have spread more misinformation and quackery than the rest of the second tier combined. Truly, together, they are the…

This project is behind schedule. The reasons, I hope, are forgivable. First off, there was just too much other stuff going on last week, to the point where, even though I’ve read several chapters of Suzanne Somers’ new book (if you can call it that) Knockout: Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer–And How to…

Be afraid. Be very, very afraid. After a prolonged wait, it’s finally here: Yes, my promotional copy of Suzanne Somers new book Knockout: Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer–And How to Prevent Getting It in the First Place. (The Dalek was included because, well, I was just feeling perverse when I took this picture.)…

One last brief comment about Suzanne Somers

Before I move on for a while from the topic of that faded 1970s comic actress, Suzanne Somers, whose latest book is a paean to cancer quackery and who has been carpetbombing the airwaves with burning napalm stupid, I think one revelation is worth a brief mention. Specifically, after my post about how I find…

This must go. Now.

Apparently, some of my readers in Canada are getting this when they look at any of my Suzanne Somers posts: No other country seems to be affected; at least, no readers from other countries have reported the problem to me. This will not do. The Overlords have been informed. In the meantime, if you are…