Article Archive for December 2008

New Year’s…zzzz
By draust
Posted in syndicated on 31 December 2008
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* sound of snoring *
New Year’s Eves somehow aren’t quite what they used to be once you have small children. Apart from anything else, exhausted parents have a tendency to be pretty much comatose long before the witching hour of midnight. Of course, the now-popular-in-Britain continental-style New Year fireworks do tend to rouse the little [...]

Two new blogs you need to read this new year
By Kev
Posted in syndicated on 31 December 2008
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The Best Books of 2008
By Le Canard Noir
Posted in syndicated on 31 December 2008
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Pediatrics publishes a critique of an “anti-vaccine” book
By Paul Wilson
Posted in syndicated on 31 December 2008
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A repy from Kathy Sinnott regarding Matthias Rath and a commitment for the new year
By gimpy
Posted in syndicated on 31 December 2008
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I recieved this graceful response from the office of Kathy Sinnott, MEP just before Christmas.
As Iʼm sure you know, Kathy is against the Lisbon treaty in its current form although she is in favour of the EU albeit a reformed and democratic EU. We were asked by an Irish natural health organisation to back an [...]

A Year of Steam
By jaycueaitch
Posted in syndicated on 31 December 2008
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Ben Goldacre has done a review of 2008 so I thought I’d take a leaf out of his book (or should that be a byte out of his blog? Whatever. You know what I mean.) and produce my own review of my first full year of serious blogging.
Homeopathy featured prominently and I began the year [...]

Mothers, HIV tests, consent and choices
By draust
Posted in syndicated on 30 December 2008
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Dr Aust and the family Aust live in a decent sized city in the North of England. As cities tend to, this one has a good share of urban poverty.

A few years back we were discussing how to incorporate a ”learning outcome” (yuck) into Dr Aust’s bit of the University’s medical degree that would [...]

Can you get 23 portions of fruit and veg in a single glass of juice: Patrick Holford Ponders, Briefly, Before Suggesting a Product
By dvnutrix
Posted in syndicated on 30 December 2008
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Can you get 23 portions of fruit and veg in a single glass of juice: Patrick Holford Ponders, Briefly, Before Suggesting a Product where you can consume an astonishing number at a high cost, without any variety and without any evidence of efficacy.

Hamsters rule the internet
By apgaylard
Posted in syndicated on 30 December 2008
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A frivolous review of my blogging year hidden in a google trends exploration of why hamster-based posts are a good idea.

Why science is important to me
By apgaylard
Posted in syndicated on 30 December 2008
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A bit of year-end tidying In which I own up to providing a contribution for Alom Shaha’s “Why is science important?” project; and confess to some dodgy undergraduate experimental technique.

Rebutting Mike Adams on Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Kidney Damage
By Martin
Posted in syndicated on 30 December 2008
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[bpsdb] Mike Adams came to my attention recently, when I decided to subscribe to a couple of the nuttier alternative medicine websites out there to help provide raw material to feed by blogging habit. He is… let’s say passionate, about the wonders of alternal medicine, and the giant conspiracy that is the medical establishment, and his rants are an endless source of amusement to me.

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Medicines that contain no medicine and other follies
By David Colquhoun
Posted in syndicated on 30 December 2008
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The National Health Executive (”the Independent Journal for Senior Health Service Managers) asked for an article about quackery. This is a version of that article with live links.
Download the pdf version.

On May 23 th 2006 a letter was sent to the chief executives of 467 NHS Trusts. It was reported as a front page [...]

The Science Museum and MMR
By apgaylard
Posted in syndicated on 29 December 2008
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The Science Museum’s “mmr files” are generally excellent. As Dr*T and JDC325 have shown they could be better. I’ve written in to point this out. I also outline the evidence provided by Paul Offit in his excellent new book.

New MMR and autism study: no correlation
By Kev
Posted in syndicated on 29 December 2008
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Tim Minchin vs. the Woo Artist
By Martin
Posted in syndicated on 28 December 2008
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[bpsdb] Australian comedian Tim Minchin delivers an inspired piece of poetry about the alternative-medicine-loving girl he once met at a dinner party. Recorded at the London Apollo, apologies for the poor sound quality.

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Tim Minchin?s Storm from 9 Lessons and Carols for Godless People
By dvnutrix
Posted in syndicated on 28 December 2008
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Tim Minchin’s Storm from 9 Lessons and Carols for Godless People.

Do Seat Belts Really Protect Your Internal Organs?
By Martin
Posted in syndicated on 27 December 2008
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I’ve seen this question touted around the internet a few times recently, in response to an advert for a car safety campaign that’s currently being shown in the UK. The advert suggests that wearing a seat belt protects your internal organs from impact, by depicting an unrestrained man who dies due to his organs being turned into something you’d use in gravy after smashing up against his rib cage. What people have been asking is, how on Earth does a seatbelt restrain your internal organs? Surely by restraining your rib cage in place it just makes the impact even worse?

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The Year in Bad Science
By Ben Goldacre
Posted in syndicated on 27 December 2008
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Autism Speaks and the United Nations
By Mike
Posted in syndicated on 26 December 2008
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There has been some consternation amongst critics of Autism Speaks at the news that it has been designated a non-governmental organization (NGO) associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI). Both LeftBrainRightBrain and The New Republic have articles explaining why this is not a good thing for the autistic community and their allies. Autism Speaks [...]

More surreal science comedy from DiscoverMC tv
By Frank the SciencePunk
Posted in syndicated on 26 December 2008
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Fleps Orre has let me know that the post docs at DiscoveryMC have another rather good video out.  I’m fairly sure that #2 is taken verbatim from from the infamous ‘athiest’s nightmare’ video.

What Christmas Really Means…
By Martin
Posted in syndicated on 25 December 2008
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Christmas: A day when rich Westerners celebrate irrational beliefs while the rest of the planet are subjected to famine, war, disease and torture as a result of them. And with that merry thought, here’s John Lennon:

The twelve days of (alternative) Christmas
By draust
Posted in syndicated on 25 December 2008
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Holiday best wishes to all Dr Aust’s readers (all four of them).

As a bit of light seasonal fare, I decided on a Christmas song. Others may like to invent their own versions.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me

Twelve healers “healing”
Eleven chiros suing
Ten psychic surgeons
Nine worthless [...]

Mistletoe and Cancer
By Le Canard Noir
Posted in syndicated on 24 December 2008
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More Dodgy Pills
By jdc325
Posted in syndicated on 24 December 2008
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Some internet-bought diet pills, unsurpisingly, have turned out to contain potentially dangerous ingredients. I referred to contaminated supplements in my post on Jeremy Piven (although these related to levels of heavy metals in herbal medicines) and now the Daily Mail have printed a story about products “promoted as ‘natural’ fat busters, claiming to be new [...]

Why?
By Kev
Posted in syndicated on 24 December 2008
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Christmas Eve 1968 - Apollo 8 vs. Atheism
By Martin
Posted in syndicated on 24 December 2008
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It was Christmas Eve, 1968, and the space race was in full flow. As people travelled to celebrate Christmas with their families on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 - Jim Lovell, William Anders and Frank Borman - circled the moon in their lonely capsule, and became the first human beings to witness the rising of the Earth over the horizon of an alien world. Apollo 8 will be remembered for countless generations to come for those first images of our fragile planet seen from space, but less well remembered is the atheist controversy that the astronauts triggered with a live television broadcast that momentous Christmas Eve, forty years ago today.


Earthrise, seen from Apollo 8, December 24th 1968

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It’s quiet…. Too quiet
By draust
Posted in syndicated on 24 December 2008
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As the year draws towards its end, what has become of one of the big Alt.Reality stories of the year in the UK – the back-crackers Chiropractors vs. Simon Singh libel action?

Well, legal blogger Jack of Kent has been keeping a weather eye on the procedural bubblings-under of this case, in which the [...]

The Media Red Wine Obsession
By jdc325
Posted in syndicated on 23 December 2008
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The media seems to be very keen indeed to tell us all about the wonderful properties of red wine. Here is their latest effort. A Doctor who owns a vineyard is apparently producing red wine high in antioxidants and the Independent reports that he “calls them “vascular pipe-cleaners”, saying the antioxidant they contain - [...]

An Academic Responds to the Homeopathy Challenge
By Le Canard Noir
Posted in syndicated on 23 December 2008
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(Alternative) Medical Advances Continue in North Korea
By Martin
Posted in syndicated on 23 December 2008
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[BPSDB] As we come towards the end of 2008, North Korea’s inimitable national news outlet / propaganda machine brings us news of two amazing new medical breakthroughs that will surely keep the not-at-all brutally oppressed people - the ones that aren’t being slaughtered in concentration camps while the world turns a blind eye - in good health and spirits.

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