Popular culture

Respectful Insolence

Category archives for Popular culture

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…

There are two times a year that seem to be a time to beware of a serious assault of pseudoscience and quackery. The first time of year is in April, which is Autism Awareness Month. Over the last few years I can be just as sure as night following day, only to be followed by…

Here we go again. The 2009 recipient of the Richard Dawkins Award, anti-vaccine wingnut and lover of cancer quackery Bill Maher, decided to use the occasion of the season finale of Real Time with Bill Maher to answer some of the criticisms that have been leveled against him. All I can say is this: I’m…

The time has come…

…for Bill Maher to receive the Richard Dawkins Award. It was a huge mistake on the part of the Atheist Alliance International to award it, for the reasons I’ve repeated ad nauseam over the last couple of weeks; so I won’t go there again. What I really want to know is what happened. I can’t…

I promised last week in a post in which I described Bill Maher’s latest pro-quackery remarks (this time, supporting cancer quackery), today is the day that I’m going to ask you, my readers, for some help. As I complained a while back, Bill Maher, who is anything but a rationalist or a booster of science…

Khhaaaaaannnn! I mean, Arriiiaaaaannaaa! Ever since its very inception, I’ve been–shall we say?–less than enthusiastic about the Huffington Post’s medical blogging. Indeed, the level of anti-vaccine rhetoric there from the very beginning, back in 2005, astounded me. If anything, HuffPo’s record has gotten even worse over the last four years, be it Deepak Chopra, or,…

There once was a time not so long ago–oh, say, four our five years–when the anti-vaccine fringe was looked upon as what it was: a fringe group, a bunch of quacks and quack advocates, all in essence one big conspiracy theory movement, in which vaccines are the One True Cause of Autism. At the time,…

Suzanne Somers = Mike Adams

The other day, I ripped a certain woo-meister whom regular readers all know and most, if not all, regular readers mostly despise, Mike Adams of NaturalNews.com. As you may recall, a few days ago he slimed Patrick Swayze the day he died from pancreatic cancer, posting an article saying that Swayze was killed by chemotherapy…

Atomic cold cream

Somehow I don’t think any cosmetics company today could get away with doing an experiment like this to prove how well its cold cream cleans the most dirt and makeup residue from a model’s skin. I’d also really love a copy of the “Atomic Test Booklet” that people could mail the company to request. You’d…

R.I.P. Patrick Swayze

I just learned that earlier today Patrick Swayze finally died of his pancreatic cancer after having survived far longer (20 months) than the average patient diagnosed with stage IV disease (less than 6 months). All I can say is: Rest in peace, Patrick. Not only did Swayze deal with his terminal illness with courage, humor,…

Comic books and rubber bands…

I don’t know why, but I’m tired, lazy, and in a bit of nostalgic frame of mind this morning, which makes coming across this ad dangerous: Not only that, but Faygo is a Detroit company. At least it was when I was a kid. At least it’s still bottled in Detroit. Ah, yes, Faygo red…

I realize that I’ve gotten into one of those runs where it seems that all I blog about is anti-vaccinationist loons, but, before trying once again to take a break from the madness, I had to go to the well one more time because this looks a bit frightening: NBC News’ Matt Lauer will take…

Farrah Fawcett: Dead of cancer at age 62

Unfortunately, I saw this coming, although I had thought that it might be a few more months. Farrah Fawcett has lost her three year battle with anal cancer: Farrah Fawcett, an actress and television star whose good looks and signature flowing hairstyle influenced a generation of women and bewitched a generation of men, beginning with…

Oprah and Jenny McCarthy: A woo too far

Last week I wrote a bit about what I’ve been tempted to call Oprah’s War on Science but settled for the title of a documentary called The Oprah Effect. The reason, as I have mentioned before, is that arguably there is no single person who does more to promote pseudoscientific and dubious health practices than…

Combatting the Oprah Effect

I don’t much like Oprah Winfrey. I know, I know, it’s a huge surprise to anyone who reads this blog, but there you go. Over the last four years, I’ve had numerous reasons to be unhappy with her, mainly because, as savvy a media celebrity and businesswoman as she is, she has about as close…

Jenny McCarthy shows off her intellect

I know, I know it seems like the proverbial shooting fish in a barrel, but some creature that I can’t identify is having a fight somewhere in the neighborhood, freaking out my dog, and now I can’t go back to sleep; so why not blog? In any case, I found out last week that Jenny…