Popular culture

Respectful Insolence

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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…

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,…