Posts

November 26, 2014

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11:00 AM | Can you destroy a meter other than an irony meter?
I don’t think I mentioned this, but I’m on a bit of a staycation this week. I figured, what the heck? After coming home from Skepticon I could do with a little R&R. Of course, fool that I am, I still can’t resist blogging a bit. On the other hand, the day before Thanksgiving I…
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11:00 AM | Can you destroy a meter other than an irony meter?
I don’t think I mentioned this, but I’m on a bit of a staycation this week. I figured, what the heck? After coming home from Skepticon I could do with a little R&R. Of course, fool that I am, I still can’t resist blogging a bit. On the other hand, the day before Thanksgiving I…

November 25, 2014

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3:00 PM | The invasion of well-meaning quacks into West Africa continues apace, part deux
I realize that I risk getting repetitive by writing about this again, but it’s a rich vein that just keeps on producing and producing. It also demonstrates that, for every tragedy as huge as the ongoing Ebola outbreak that has killed over 5,000 people in West Africa thus far, there always exist well-meaning people who…
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3:00 PM | The invasion of well-meaning quacks into West Africa continues apace, part deux
I realize that I risk getting repetitive by writing about this again, but it’s a rich vein that just keeps on producing and producing. It also demonstrates that, for every tragedy as huge as the ongoing Ebola outbreak that has killed over 5,000 people in West Africa thus far, there always exist well-meaning people who…

November 24, 2014

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2:45 PM | Evolutionary selection on alternative medicine
(Orac note: I was away at Skepticon over the weekend, where I gave a talk entitled The Central Dogma of Alternative Medicine. (When the talk’s up on YouTube, I’ll provide a link, of course.) Because of all the fun and travel delays I didn’t get a chance to turn my slides and notes into a…

November 21, 2014

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2:00 PM | Off to Skepticon…
As this goes live I’ll be heading to the airport, my purpose being to wing my way to Skepticon 7, where I’ll be speaking tomorrow on a little ditty I like to call The Central Dogma of Alternative Medicine. It’ll be fun, and I’m looking forward to it. However, in true Orac fashion, I haven’t…

November 20, 2014

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1:15 PM | The invasion of well-meaning quacks into West Africa continues apace
Here we go yet again. I’ve been interested in the Ebola outbreak that’s been going on for months in west Africa for a number of reasons. First, it’s a bad disease, and this is the largest outbreak in history. over 5,000 people have died. Second, there’s been a lot of unreasonable fear mongering about the…
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1:15 PM | The invasion of well-meaning quacks into West Africa continues apace
Here we go yet again. I’ve been interested in the Ebola outbreak that’s been going on for months in west Africa for a number of reasons. First, it’s a bad disease, and this is the largest outbreak in history. over 5,000 people have died. Second, there’s been a lot of unreasonable fear mongering about the…

November 19, 2014

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2:05 PM | An amusing bath of crank magnetism
It was a long day in the operating room again, albeit unexpectedly so as a case that I had expected to be fairly straightforward turned out to anything but. Let’s just say, when I’m peeling tumor off of a major blood vessel, my anal sphincter tone is such that if someone were to stick a…

November 18, 2014

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4:11 PM | Juiced frog fad may be the death of this strange species
An endangered amphibian, the world’s largest fully aquatic frog, is being used in Peru for quackery. It looks like a stupid human fad may be the end of it. Peruvian Frog Juice Drinkers Laud Health Benefits – ABC News. Frogs from Peru’s Lake Titicaca are the main ingredient in a juice blend that some Andean… Source: Doubtful News
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11:00 AM | An Ontario court dooms a First Nations girl with cancer: Who’s to blame?
I figured that yesterday’s post about the First Nations girl in Ontario with lymphoblastic leukemia whose parents stopped her chemotherapy in favor of “traditional” medicine would stir up a bit of controversy, and so it did, albeit much more at my not-so-super-secret other blog, which featured an expanded version of this post. Don’t worry, you…
Editor's Pick

November 17, 2014

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3:30 PM | An Ontario court dooms a First Nations girl with cancer
A few weeks ago, Steve Novella invited me on his podcast, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, to discuss a cancer case that has been in the news for several months now. The case was about an 11-year-old girl with leukemia who is a member of Canada’s largest aboriginal community. Steve wrote about this case…
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3:30 PM | An Ontario court dooms a First Nations girl with cancer
A few weeks ago, Steve Novella invited me on his podcast, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, to discuss a cancer case that has been in the news for several months now. The case was about an 11-year-old girl with leukemia who is a member of Canada’s largest aboriginal community. Steve wrote about this case…
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8:00 AM | Ontario fails to protect the life of a First Nations girl with cancer
A few weeks ago, Steve Novella invited me on his podcast, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, to discuss a cancer case that has been in the news for several months now. The case was about an 11 year old girl with leukemia who is a member of Canada’s largest aboriginal community. Steve wrote about […]

November 14, 2014

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7:14 PM | Aboriginal rights trump necessary treatment for child with leukemia in Canada
The headline may be all people will read but the subtitle says it all: 1 child with leukemia has relapsed and is critically ill. The decision means children will die. ‘Doctor’ treating First Nations girls says cancer patients can heal themselves. A Florida health resort licensed as a “massage establishment” is treating a young Ontario… Source: Doubtful News
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2:00 PM | Your Friday Dose of Woo: Naturopathy and “bioresonance”
It’s been a long and entertaining week. Well, at least part of the week was entertaining. After all, it was hard not to be mightily amused at what happened when Dr. Mehmet Oz, known to the world as America’s Doctor but to skeptics as America’s Quack, asked his Twitter followers to ask him anything under…
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2:00 PM | Your Friday Dose of Woo: Naturopathy and “bioresonance”
It’s been a long and entertaining week. Well, at least part of the week was entertaining. After all, it was hard not to be mightily amused at what happened when Dr. Mehmet Oz, known to the world as America’s Doctor but to skeptics as America’s Quack, asked his Twitter followers to ask him anything under…

November 12, 2014

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1:59 PM | America’s quack Dr. Oz asks people to ask him questions on Twitter. Hilariously, the results aren’t quite what he expected.
Getting old sucks. I had a relatively long and busy day in the operating room yesterday, the kind of day that not so long ago I’d handle with no problem. This time around, though, it wiped me out, to the point where not long after dinner I crashed. Hard. Then I woke up around midnight…
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1:59 PM | America’s quack Dr. Oz asks people to ask him questions on Twitter. Hilariously, the results aren’t quite what he expected.
Getting old sucks. I had a relatively long and busy day in the operating room yesterday, the kind of day that not so long ago I’d handle with no problem. This time around, though, it wiped me out, to the point where not long after dinner I crashed. Hard. Then I woke up around midnight…

November 11, 2014

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12:00 PM | Reiki propaganda in U.S. News & World Report
Sigh. Just a week ago, I deconstructed an awful article touting how the mass of prescientific quackery known as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as somehow being “validated” by modern science. Specifically, some truly misguided scientists were attempting to use modern systems biology techniques to look for biomarkers associated with TCM diagnoses such as “hot” or…
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12:00 PM | Reiki propaganda in U.S. News & World Report
Sigh. Just a week ago, I deconstructed an awful article touting how the mass of prescientific quackery known as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as somehow being “validated” by modern science. Specifically, some truly misguided scientists were attempting to use modern systems biology techniques to look for biomarkers associated with TCM diagnoses such as “hot” or…

November 10, 2014

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5:06 AM | Better late than never: Conspiracy theories about the CDC and Ebola
Medical conspiracy theories tend to involve “someone” hiding something from the public. I like to refer to this as the fallacy of “secret knowledge.” That “someone” hiding the “secret knowledge” is usually the government, big pharma, or other ill-defined nefarious forces. The “secret knowledge” being hidden comes invariably in one of two flavors. Either “they”…

November 07, 2014

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2:30 PM | “Autism-induced” breast cancer
Gayle DeLong has been diagnosed with what she refers to as “autism-induced” breast cancer.” She’s even given it an abbreviation, AIBC. Unfortunately, as you might be able to tell by the name she’s given her breast cancer, she is also showing signs of falling into the same errors in thinking with respect to her breast…

November 06, 2014

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2:00 PM | Did the “CDC whistleblower” William W. Thompson apologize to Andrew Wakefield in a text message? A hilarious challenge is issued!
Two months ago, one of the strangest stories ever to be flogged by antivaccine activists was insinuating its way throughout social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and everywhere else, where antivaccine activists were engaged in a frantic effort to get the attention of mainstream media regarding their belief that there was a “CDC whistleblower” who had…

November 04, 2014

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8:00 AM | Tooth Fairy science about traditional Chinese medicine, promoted in the Wall Street Journal
They are winning. I’ve spent nearly ten years on this blog and nearly seven years at my not-so-super secret other blog (where I will likely crosspost this over the weekend) discussing the infiltration of quackery into medicine, both in academic medical centers and, increasingly, even in community medical centers. There’s a term that I wish…
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8:00 AM | Tooth Fairy science about traditional Chinese medicine, promoted in the Wall Street Journal
They are winning. I’ve spent nearly ten years on this blog and nearly seven years at my not-so-super secret other blog (where I will likely crosspost this over the weekend) discussing the infiltration of quackery into medicine, both in academic medical centers and, increasingly, even in community medical centers. There’s a term that I wish…
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1:00 AM | THIEVES Essential Oil – Crimes against public health
As discussed in one of my previous posts, the promotion of quackery is so ubiquitous in my town it’s become white noise for me. I mostly tune it out unless I’m personally asked my opinion. Often this promotion comes in the weekly newspaper, in the advertising-disguised-as-advice page “Ask the Expert.” Occasionally there are columns by […]

November 03, 2014

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12:00 PM | Throwing everything but the kitchen sink, quackery-wise, at Ebola
You know how I sometimes lament that I’ve been writing too much about the hijinx of the antivaccine movement, its crimes against reason, science, and medicine? It’s become a bit of a trope around here at times, to the point where, when I bring it up, I tell myself I shouldn’t be repeating myself so…
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12:00 PM | Throwing everything but the kitchen sink, quackery-wise, at Ebola
You know how I sometimes lament that I’ve been writing too much about the hijinx of the antivaccine movement, its crimes against reason, science, and medicine? It’s become a bit of a trope around here at times, to the point where, when I bring it up, I tell myself I shouldn’t be repeating myself so…

October 30, 2014

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7:50 AM | R.I.P., McKenzie Lowe. Stanislaw Burzynski failed you.
R.I.P., McKenzie Lowe. Unfortunately, Stanislaw Burzynski was no more able to save you than anyone else, his claims of great success treating pediatric brain tumors notwithstanding: HUDSON — Thirteen-year-old Hudson resident McKenzie Lowe died Friday evening after a 2-year-battle against an aggressive and inoperable brain stem tumor. McKenzie died at 10:27 p.m. in her own…
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