Articles in the Category

These Boots were made for walking…….
By majikthyse
Posted in , syndicated on 11 August 2008
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I know I’m not the first to criticise Boots for its shameless exploitation of health fads and fancies, but I happened across what it calls its `Corporate Social Responsibility’ policy. With regard to `Our Marketplace’, they say that:

Central to the success of our Group is the trust in which Alliance Boots is held by our [...]

Hahnemann would have thought modern homeopaths were barmy
By David Colquhoun
Posted in , , , , syndicated on 8 August 2008
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Samuel Hahnemann (1755 - 1843) was the originator of homeopathy. He was clearly a well-intentioned man.. There is good reason to believe that he thought dilution could not go on for ever, but he died 22 years before it became possible to calculate that his favourite 30C dilution already contained nothing at all.

The [...]

The Multi-Coloured Golf Umbrella
By draust
Posted in , syndicated on 6 August 2008
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This week saw the death of arguably the 20th century’s greatest novelist, and certainly one of its moral consciences, with the passing of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn [1].
Although the first Solzhenitsyn I read was One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (required reading for school kids studying Russian back in the days when we still [...]

Otherwise engaged
By draust
Posted in , , syndicated on 4 August 2008
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Dr Aust has not been blogging much lately.

Well, actually Dr Aust never blogs all that much, being much better at ranting off-the-cuff in the comments threads of other peoples’ blogs (thanks again, Holfordwatch, Orac, Dr Crippen at NHS Blog Doctor, Ben Goldacre and David Colquhoun) than at penning considered well-researched essays (too much [...]

Thank God they don’t use Piranhas
By valueaddedwater
Posted in , syndicated on 30 July 2008
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Saw this on news 24 which we have running in the corner in work.
I was whistling the theme tune to Red Dwarf for most of the morning after.
BBC news 24 Fish Pedicure
I’ve asked about getting a fish tank for the lab, but was told that my feet would probably kill the fish with food [...]

Maryport Blues and Autism
By Mike
Posted in , , syndicated on 29 July 2008
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I have just spent a very pleasant weekend at the Maryport Blues Festival with my wife and my son, who has Asperger’s Syndrome. My daughter elected to go to Glastonbury instead. And a good time was had by all of us. There was even an autistic angle to our trip. Jools Holland, who was headlining [...]

Doctor Who? Deception by chiropractors
By David Colquhoun
Posted in , , , featured, syndicated on 25 July 2008
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The article below is an editorial that I was asked to write for the New Zealand Medical Journal, as a comment on article in today’s edition about the misuse of the title ‘doctor’ by chiropractors. Titles are not the only form of deception used by chiropractors, so the article looks at some of [...]

Black is white.. day is night.. less is more.. nothing is everything (yes, homoeopathy again)
By draust
Posted in , , , syndicated on 15 July 2008
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One of the more reliable sources of online laughs recently has been the comments thread following a ludicrous letter criticizing the rather wonderful Professor Edzard Ernst that appeared in the Times Higher Educational Supplement a couple of weeks back.
The letter was penned by Michelle Shine, a London homeopath. Shine is criticizing Ernst for applying critical [...]

Final Instalment of the Fish Oil Saga
By jaycueaitch
Posted in , syndicated on 1 July 2008
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I have had a final response from the Information Commissioner on my attempts to find out what brought about the decision to procede with the fish oil trial initiative.
I am informed that:-
“The Council has again confirmed that it does not hold any information which is relevent to your request. It has stated that no documents [...]

Grand Rounds 4:38 Is Up
By dvnutrix
Posted in , syndicated on 10 June 2008
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Dr Crippen of NHSBlogDoc is hosting Grand Round 4:38.

From Cochrane reviews to celeb bowels: Holford bestrides the arena
By draust
Posted in , , syndicated on 8 June 2008
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Star UK Nutri-Guru Patrick Holford may not be an Honorary Professor any more, but he still likes to quote (or perhaps “cherry-pick”) science to help pitch his advice, books and supplements.
An example is on the extensive website dealing with the modestly-entitled “Holford Low-GL diet”, where he has a bit talking about a recent Cochrane review [...]

Who needs facts? These vaccine conspiracy pieces write themselves…
By draust
Posted in , syndicated on 4 June 2008
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As I write this, Chief PR Man and Publicist of the “New Wave” Vaccines-Cause-Autism-No-They-Really-Do movement, David Kirby, should have done his turn in the House of Lords and be winding up his “free public lecture”. I won’t wish him the stocks and some rotten fruit - that would be churlish - though I might hope [...]

Bookstalls
By jaycueaitch
Posted in , syndicated on 3 June 2008
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No bad science or even venting anger today, just ruminations about how “Fings ain’t what they used to be”.
Second hand bookshops and stalls seem to be disappearing. I know there’s still plenty on the Charing Cross Road but many of the shops in South London I used to haunt twenty years ago have gone. They [...]

Oh, The Hypocrisy
By jaycueaitch
Posted in , , syndicated on 31 May 2008
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You’ve probably heard by now that Tony Blair wants to unite all religions. The man’s Messianic attitude is getting seriously out of hand.
In case it has escaped his attention, different religions believe radically different things. Consequently each believes the others to be totally wrong. How atre you going to get the likes of Becky Fischer, [...]

The “toxins in vaccines” crowd are still with us
By draust
Posted in , , syndicated on 29 May 2008
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Rather depressingly, the anti-vaccinationists, those Never-say-die Energizer Bunny types of the Alt Reality fraternity, are back for another round.
As a lot of Bad Science-aware people will already know, American surgeon-blogger Orac, of Respectful Insolence blog fame - and bete noire of the vaccines-cause-autism lobby - has been writing about the imminent UK arrival (well, [...]

Blind To the Rudolph Effect
By apgaylard
Posted in , syndicated on 26 May 2008
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Can sticking a red light up your nose improve hay fever symptoms? Lloyds Pharmacy say this is “clinically proven”. The proof? A single, decade-old, study with 50 participants and a blinding problem that’s as clear as the nose on your face.

The Vote is in
By draust
Posted in , syndicated on 21 May 2008
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- as of three hours ago.

And, for now, the liberal social consensus just about continues to hold in the UK.

The amendment (to the Embryo Bill) to reduce the abortion time limit to 20 weeks (a time point heavily promoted by Nadine Dorries MP, of the “Twenty week campaign”, and sundry other crypto-antiabortionists) was [...]

Whoops!
By valueaddedwater
Posted in , syndicated on 14 May 2008
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Lets make this clear. I like the idea behind the Dove adverts.
The idea of using everyday women to advertise your products instead of supermodels and celebs is a refreshing change in our “Hello Magazine” Society.
I’m not married to a supermodel or a WAG, and quite frankly I wouldn’t want to be. They’re OK for eye [...]

Boots zapped by Advertising Standards Authority
By David Colquhoun
Posted in , syndicated on 14 May 2008
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After writing the recent post Boots reaches new level of dishonesty with CoQ10 promotion, I sent a complaint about the dishonesty of the advertisements to the Advertising Standards Authority. I got a surprsingly fast response. On April 22 I got

“it appears you have a valid point and, with a view to acting quickly, have [...]

Getting The Story Straight
By jaycueaitch
Posted in , syndicated on 19 April 2008
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Seems to be beyond Durham County Council.
Someone going by the username McCruiskeen has posted a couple of interesting posts recently here. S/he has been questioning Durham County Council about the fish oil trial initiatve and has been told that Durham County Council approached Equazen and that the initiative was planned and lead by David Ford. S/he [...]

We’re All Doomed!
By jaycueaitch
Posted in , syndicated on 11 April 2008
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Private Frazer’s catchphrase came to mind while reading a couple of articles on the fragility of civilisation in last week’s New Scientist.

 In the first, Debora MacKenzie considers the possibility of a pandemic bringing down civilisation, in the second she considers that the very complexity of civilisation makes collapse inevitable. These are not possibilities to be [...]

Research, bureaucrats and Schubert
By David Colquhoun
Posted in , , syndicated on 1 April 2008
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This is an old joke whuch can be found in many places on the web. I came across it in an article by Gustav Born in 2002 (BIF Futura, 17, 78 - 86) and reproduce what he said. It has never been more relevant, so it’s well worth repeating. The title [...]

What gets children interested in science? The stuff we’re cutting.
By draust
Posted in , syndicated on 8 March 2008
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Dr Aust is, in case you hadn’t guessed by now, A Grumpy Old Fart.
Well, a Grumpy Middle-aged Fart, to be exact.
(I have searched high and low for an age definition of “middle aged” that WON’T include me, but I have finally had to admit defeat.)
So I am middle aged.
BUT: [...]

An interesting evening
By majikthyse
Posted in , syndicated on 7 March 2008
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I have a bit of catching up to do, so I am going to tell you about a presentation I was invited to give last October. This was a meeting of Café Scientifique, a network of local science clubs. We had over 100 attending, a full house. People sit around tables café style, with [...]

Quote for the Day
By ambrielle
Posted in , syndicated on 28 February 2008
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Something quick but timely, considering my current interest in woo.
I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being true.
Carl Sagan
[...]

Fun things
By ambrielle
Posted in , syndicated on 22 February 2008
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I’ve used this pic quite a few times now in forums. I thought I would put it here so I know where to find it, but others may find it amusing too. Enjoy.

David Tredinnick: Wow. I mean, woo.
By ambrielle
Posted in , syndicated on 22 February 2008
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You have to love British politics. At a quarter to two on the morning of the 20th of Feb, one David Tredinnick, MP, started a debate on complementary and alternative medicine, specifically homeopathy. Perhaps there was some convoluted procedural reason for starting a debate at that time of the morning, I don’t know, but to [...]

Quackometer gagged – for now – by Netcetera
By draust
Posted in , , syndicated on 20 February 2008
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One has grown used, by now, to the idea that Web hosting companies are “risk averse”.

“Risk averse” here encompasses a whole spectrum of averseness. Some, like Netcetera, appear to be utterly gutless.

It’s not just that Netcetera seem to be worried about things that might cost them money, like lawsuits. While one might [...]

Mr Joseph Chikelue Obi vs. the Quackometer
By ambrielle
Posted in , syndicated on 23 January 2008
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Once again, the quacks are at it with the legal threats. This person in particular seems highly sensitive to criticism, despite the fact he draws a lot of it.
Magnificently blogged by No Nonsense! as the Quackometer’s hosting company, Netcetera is being rather spineless, and Le Canard Noir has been forced to take down the ‘offending’ [...]

Updates
By jdc325
Posted in , syndicated on 18 January 2008
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Just a quick post to point out that I’ve updated a couple of pages - the links page (listed on my blogroll as ‘Better Blogs’) has been updated to include several new links and the Big Pharma - Pill Pushers post has been updated with some (slightly off-topic) ramblings about homeopathy, Patrick Holford and universities due to a [...]