The Millenium Project
"And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it, And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it"

We all know that "millennium" comes from the Latin words "mille" and "annus" and means a thousand years. The word "millenium" comes from the Latin words "mille" and "anus" and means something else. This web site is devoted to the millenium of sites which don't deserve a place on the Web. We are not putting them on a pedestal - we are offering them a stool.

Offending the offensive since 1999

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March 14, 2015

I'm back! (14/3/2015)

I've finally finished the move to my new home. It took a little longer than expected because of some fine print in the lease at my old place and an accident while packing that saw me being taken to hospital in an ambulance to have some stitches put in my arm. Now all I have to do is unpack all these boxes and bags.


Very strange email. (14/3/2015)

This was sent to me using the email link that appears at the bottom of pages in this site, so it isn't spam. I suspect that the writer missed the point of whatever page he was looking at.

Date: Sat, 07 Mar 2015 07:32:25 +0300
Subject: RE:IN TOUCH
From: "The Lord's Ministry"

Dear Servant of God, We are glad for your faith and truth which you have posted on your website which indicate that God has inspired you more about the coming Kingdom. We praise be to God because He has a purpose that is why we have been directed to contact you to join our local congregation as our spiritual leader who can inspire us more because our prayer is that we need to grow in the word so that even us can spread the word before the second coming of Jesus Christ. He sent the first twelve followers because of what He had done; having risen from the death he was now back in his place as the son of God with all authority over life and death. it is important that people to know that he has that authority.

Mission Statement • To teach and preach the word of God without compromise and adulteration • To bring spiritual and physical understanding of the word of God with the evidence of a changed lifestyle and purposeful action that will guarantee practical Christian living. • To add values to everyone we interact with through the Good News of Christ Jesus. • To use every available means to reach the people for Christ Jesus • To support poor in the communities and to reach their dreams and calling in Christ Jesus. hope to hear from you soon. Brother Mosoti



See more from A Perfect World here


Speaking of homeopathy ... (14/3/2015)

Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council has just wasted a rumoured $800,000 to produce a report telling us what all honest people have always known - homeopathy is useless. I'll be writing about this for Australasian Science magazine so I'll just put the media release here for the time being. More detailed reports can be found by clicking on the images below.

Media ReleaseStatementInformation PaperAdministration
Report

And are the homeopaths whining and complaining? Well, of course they are, but there is a reason I used the word "honest above. They know, they really know, that homeopathy is a scam of quintessential purity. It has never worked. It does not work now. It will never work in the future. Its sole purpose is to move money into the pockets of quacks.

MEDIA RELEASE MARCH 11
NHMRC releases statement and advice on homeopathy

The National Health and Medical Research Council today released a statement concluding that there is no good quality evidence to support the claim that homeopathy is effective in treating health conditions.

Its release follows a thorough review of the evidence, conducted as part of NHMRC's responsibility to provide advice and support informed health care decisions by the Australian community.

The conclusion is based on the findings of a rigorous assessment of more than 1800 papers. Of these, 225 studies met the criteria to be included in NHMRC's examination of the effectiveness of homeopathy.

The review found no good quality, well-designed studies with enough participants to support the idea that homeopathy works better than a placebo, or causes health improvements equal to those of another treatment.

Although some studies did report that homeopathy was effective, the quality of those studies was assessed as being small and/or of poor quality. These studies had either too few participants, poor design, poor conduct and or reporting to allow reliable conclusions to be drawn on the effectiveness of homeopathy.

According to CEO Professor Warwick Anderson, "All medical treatments and interventions should be underpinned by reliable evidence. NHMRC's review shows that there is no good quality evidence to support the claim that homeopathy works better than a placebo."

He drew particular attention to the NHMRC Statement on Homeopathy's advice that homeopathy should not be used to treat conditions that are chronic, serious, or could become serious:

‘People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness. People who are considering whether to use homeopathy should first get advice from a registered health practitioner and in the meanwhile keep taking any prescribed treatments.'

He emphasised that health practitioners should always offer treatments and therapies based on
the best available evidence.

"Each year NHMRC funds research to test treatments and procedures offered to patients, with more than $320 million spent on clinical and health services research in 2014," Professor Anderson said.

"NHMRC conducts reviews of evidence on a range of health topics which is developed into guidelines or advice. Examples include clinical practice guidelines on the management of overweight and obesity and the Australian Dietary Guidelines," he said.

"It is important that the public has access to independent, high quality advice when it comes to
making decisions about their health care."

"From this review, the main recommendation for Australians is that they should not rely on homeopathy as a substitute for proven, effective treatments."

"This statement was the result of a rigorous examination of the evidence and used internationally accepted methods for assessing the quality and reliability of evidence for determining whether or not a therapy is effective for treating health conditions."

"NHMRC is also aware of strongly held views on this topic so it is important to note that the process was thoroughly consultative and that the public was invited to submit information and evidence, all of which was considered by our expert working committee."

The findings of the homeopathy working group's review are summarised in the final NHMRC Information Paper: Evidence on the effectiveness of homeopathy for treating a clinical condition also released today. Its release follows public consultation on the draft information paper in 2014.


But that's not all (14/3/2015)

One thing that did happen during February was an appearance in court for Fran Sheffield and Homeopathy Plus!. I was there on February 4 to hear the good news about how much the loss was going to cost the homeopath (a fine plus the other side's court costs) but in the normal manner of these things it was all put off until later. Both sides have to submit more information to the Court and the next scheduled appearance is April 22. You can see the order by clicking on the image.

I mentioned that the losers (Sheffield and Homeopathy Plus!) might be ordered to pay the costs of the other side. At the February 4 hearing the solicitors acting for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission turned up with about six trolley loads of documents. Leaving aside the hourly gouge by lawyers, just the photocopying bill at some dollars per page could break most people. I hope to be there on April 22, wearing my "Mr Schadenfreude" t-shirt for the denouement. (And a note for trivia collectors - the previous sentence contains two words borrowed by English from foreign languages to express things that would take much more than one word if expressed in English.)



See more Wumo here


Schadenfreude Corner (14/3/2015)

Here is a story from the BBC. I can't comment on it because I am laughing too much. A biologist?

Germany court orders measles sceptic to pay 100,000 euros

A German biologist who offered €100,000 (£71,350; $106,300) to anyone who could prove that measles is a virus has been ordered by a court to pay up.

Stefan Lanka, who believes the illness is psychosomatic, made the pledge four years ago on his website.

The reward was later claimed by German doctor David Barden, who gathered evidence from various medical studies. Mr Lanka dismissed the findings.

But the court in the town of Ravensburg ruled that the proof was sufficient.

Reacting to the verdict by the court in the southern town, Mr Lanka said he would appeal.

"It is a psychosomatic illness," he told regional paper Suedkurier. "People become ill after traumatic separations."

A recent outbreak of measles in Germany has sparked a debate about whether vaccinations against the disease should be compulsory.

An 18-month-old boy in Berlin died last month of the disease.

The World Health Organization said it was "taken aback" by the 22,000 cases reported across Europe since 2014, urging to step up vaccinations.

Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease characterised by a high fever, a rash and generally feeling unwell.

The most severe cases can be fatal.

January 31, 2015

Preemptive apology (31/1/2015)

I have found the new location for Ratbag Castle, so I will be moving house over the next few weeks (It can't all be done at once because there are some logistical problems). As this will mean three weekends of packing, moving, and throwing out stuff that should have been thrown out years ago, I might not have the time to do much writing here during February. Of course, if something important or newsworthy happens I might just navigate through the packing boxes and fire up the computer. You will still be able to find me on Facebook and Twitter.

And there's this:


Strange mails indeed (31/1/2015)

I do Search Engine Optimisation for a living so it is no surprise that I receive a regular stream of spam offering to do SEO on my web sites. (When I was sued by a pyramid scheme operator in 2005 one of their formal complaints to the Court was that a search at Google for their company name had my page exposing them appearing above their corporate site. True story!) Strangely, I often get spams offering to improve the rankings of the web site belonging to ex-Dr Rebecca Carley, one of the few anti-vaccination liars to be actually and formally declared to be insane. I wondered why this would be and I have now found that not only does ex-Dr Carley mention me by name but she also exposes my email address to spammers. Ex-Dr Carley doesn't choose to reveal her own email address, so all I can do to return the favour is to suggest that spammers harvest webmaster@drcarley.com and start filling the inbox there with many offers of wonderful things. (It would be beyond irony if SEO spammers pick up that address from here and send messages to it offering to improve the ranking for The Millenium Project.)

The correspondence has moved beyond offering SEO services to ex-Dr Carley (and a look at her web site indicates that a good dose of web design wouldn't go astray), and now I have been offered products to sell.

Hi

My name is Sally, a sales from Huachuang Industrial Co Ltd., I got your email from website:http://drcarley.com/ Huachuang Industrial Co Ltd., is a component solutions provider and supplier of rubber and plastic for a wide range of industries. From aerospace, automotive applications, and electronics to HVAC and medical manufacturing.

There's more, but I don't want to expose people to too much amusement (and I'm laughing at ex-Dr Carley, not the rather attractive Sally (she included a picture of herself) who sent the misdirected email.)

Another source of strange emails is LinkedIn. Yes, I do have an account there but it is all about my business and working life. The only thing there connecting me to here is that I list ratbags.com as a hobby web site. The only contact email address there is my work one, yet I get a stream of invites addressed to ratbags.com addresses asking me to link up. The people doing this never send link requests to my work address. Unfortunately there is no way to filter these messages as spam because they come through LinkedIn's legitimate request mechanism, but I wonder how these people acquire the addresses they use.

Then there's this one.

I couldn`t believe this at first...

My diabetic medications are actually worsening my diabetes in the long run?

This medical team recently pinpointed the exact root cause of diabetes (it`s NOT the old stuff that your doctor is telling you, because this is based on the latest research)...

Shows you why diabetics medications actually can do a lot more harm than good...

And also shows you how to eliminate your diabetes by attacking real root cause.

Eliminate The Root Cause Of Diabetes

regards,
Pamela Rodriquez

(Links disabled for obvious reasons)

I thought I'd be brave and click on one of the links (it might have led to a useful addition to the Health Fraud list here, and I have really good ant-virus and anti-malware protection). Pegasus Mail told me this:

I gave it the OK, and sadly the web site no longer exists. Maybe it really did have the cure for diabetes and now I'll never know. Back to those "diabetics medications" that my doctor tells me about.



See more Jesus and Mo here


Maybe it really is over (31/1/2015)

"Dr" Sherri Tenpenny issued a media release about the cancellation of her Australian tour. Unfortunately, many media outlets that had done a good job reporting on the leadup to the cancellation simply took the media release at face value and published it almost verbatim. We were able to get some of them to admit the error and change the lies about bomb threats - yes, threats were made, made by a supporter of "Dr" Tenpenny who threatened to bomb venues if they cancelled her bookings. I won't comment on it except to apply the usual yellow marker to, what should I call them?, oh, that's right, the lies.

Announcement: DR. SHERRI TENPENNY'S SPEAKING TOUR CANCELLED FOR REASONS OF SAFETY AND SECURITY

January 27, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

...

Brisbane, Australia: Ms. Stephanie Messenger and Dr. Sherri Tenpenny have jointly decided to cancel the speaking appearances scheduled for Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Gold Coast. The determination was made to protect the speakers, the public and the venue owners as pro-vaccine extremists have made continual, anonymous threats of vandalism and violence.

"We have reached a point where we can no longer guarantee the safety of those attending the seminar," said, Ms. Messenger. "Some people were planning to bring babies. The threats have been persistent. We are not able to insure that the attendees would be safe from harm."

The anti-free-speech terrorists have voiced bomb threats and have threatened violence against venue owners and their families in some cities originally scheduled for the healthy living seminars. Pro-vaccine extremists have been sabotaging the venues and have threatened to disrupt the normal business operations of the locations during the meetings. Derogatory and false messages have been written about venue locations on message boards, such as Hotels.com, bullying the location owners into cancelling the venues.

"It's difficult to grasp why pro-vaccine forces are so adamantly against these seminars. Not only have they prohibited freedom of speech, they have blocked the freedom to hear information that is not in line with a pro-vaccine message," said Dr. Tenpenny. "I was coming to speak as an invited guest. However, given the level of hostility that has transpired over the last three weeks, and for the sake of my own personal safety, I have also cancelled my planned vacation in Australia."

Dr. Tenpenny and Ms. Messenger send thanks to venue owners and gratitude to the many volunteers who helped during the planning. The support of the seminars in the name free speech is greatly appreciated.

Additional options are being considered but not confirmed at this time. A refund will be issued for all tickets sold.

January 24, 2015

"Dr" Tenpenny tour implodes (24/1/2015)

Three weeks ago I mentioned that there were plans for anti-vaccination liar "Dr" Sherri Tenpenny to tour Australia, telling the normal lies about the non-existent dangers of vaccines. A concerted effort by sensible people resulted in a media blitz, with around 50 stories about the tour appearing on television, radio and in the press. There was universal condemnation of the idea that a foreigner could come here and tell people how to put our children in danger. Venues were contacted, and was found that the bookings had been made deceptively and the venues were under the impression that they were going to host a benefit for a Sudden Infant Death Syndrome charity, not a straight out anti-vaccination liefest. Finally the good news came – all venues had cancelled the bookings.

This fantastic result was announced on a television program which was unique among all those that had commented on the tour – it had "Dr" Tenpenny on all by herself with no pretence at balance. Had there been someone sane in the studio or had the interviewer been smart enough to challenge a defamatory statement, "Dr" Tenpenny might not have got away with accusing people of being terrorists.

However…

The mysterious GanKinMan Foundation which had been promoting the tour fell strangely silent except for a hint that the talks might still go ahead. Stephanie Mesenger, who was organising all of this, has in the past only issued the location of talks by text message shortly before events were to take place, so it is certainly possible that she will be doing the same thing again. As there has been no official announcement from the organisers that the tour has been cancelled, nobody is quite sure how you get a refund if you have already bought tickets. Luckily I hadn't bought my ticket and I am waiting to see what happens in the future. Because of this uncertainty I'll continue my appeal for donations to pay for my $100 ticket, a price which includes having my photograph taken with "Dr" Tenpenny herself. Any money collected over the cost of the ticket (or the lot if the show doesn't go ahead or they won't sell me a ticket) will be donated to the Children's Hospital at Westmead. If I manage to get a photograph taken with "Dr" Tenpenny, autographed prints will be auctioned with the proceeds going to the same place.

All donations gratefully accepted
Please help get me to a seminar.
I don't think free tickets will be forthcoming.

And you know how the anti-vaccinators have been screeching about denying "Dr" Tenpenny's freedom of speech? Here's one of the conditions that people had to accept if they wanted to buy tickets:

"No interjecting or calling out from the audience will be allowed. There will be a question time at the end of the day and only those with a microphone that the staff provide, will be allowed to ask questions. If speakers have time after each of their sessions, they may call for questions, and at that time a staff member will bring a microphone to people as time permits."

I don't think I will be allowed to ask any questions if I managed to get to one of the seminars.


The Bill Gates Annual Letter (24/1/2015)

The annual letter issued by Bill Gates reporting on the progress of his philanthropic work and foundation is always a good read. You can see the 2015 letter by clicking on the image below.



See more Far Side here


Things you should go to (24/1/2015)

If you are disappointed that you won't be able to see and hear "Dr" Tenpenny there are several alternative events coming up over the next month or two. I apologise in advance for only including events around Sydney, but that's where I live.

  • I was heavily involved with Western Sydney Freethinkers for a few years. We took last year off but are back this year with renewed enthusiasm. Monthly Freedrinkers social events are at the Red Cow hotel in Penrith on the first Wednesday of every month. The first formal meeting with a speaker will be at Penrith School of Arts (3 Castlereagh Street) at 4pm on February 15. The speaker will be Dr Peter Slezak on the topic of Atheism, Islamophobia and State Worship.

    You can keep up with WSFT activities through Facebook or preferably through Meetup (which will give you notification and reminders about coming events).
  • Surfcoast Summer Skepticamp IV will be held on February 28 at Airey's Inlet in Victoria. (OK, it's not near Sydney.) I hope to be there but I could be moving house shortly so logistics and finances might keep me at home. You can book a free ticket here.
  • Talk has already started about organising a SkeptiCamp for Sydney. As discussion only started today it's a bit early to announce time, place and date but we are hoping for the same location as previous events (University of Technology Sydney) and a date in the first half of the year.
  • One thing that won't be happening is Bill Nye's tour of Australia in February. I know a lot of people were looking forward to this but as Mick Jagger and Keith Richards reminded us, we don't always get what we want.
  • The Atheist Foundation of Australia will be touring Seth Andrews, Aronra and Matt Dillahunty (The Unholy Trinity) in March and  Robin Ince in April.
  • Australian Skeptics meet at 6pm on the first Thursday of every month for Skeptics in the Pub at the Crown Hotel, corner of Elizabeth and Goulburn Streets, Sydney.


Found on Facebook and a Google search for the phrase "Saving Babies"
produced 115,000 results.


Things get written (24/1/2015)

The weather around my place has been alternating between quite cold, stinking hot, and rainy plus fog lately so it has been difficult to decide what to wear each day. Consequently I applied the Precautionary Principle when getting dressed each morning and put on warm, waterproof clothes, knowing that if I was wrong all I had to do was take some clothes off rather than have to search for more clothes to put on.

Luckily it was a hot day when I sat down to write my Naked Skeptic column for Australasian Science magazine, because I was able to get into character without causing Cody The Religion Hating Dog to wonder why I was shivering when there was a pile of clothes on the floor.

The title of the article was coincidentally The Precautionary Principle. It won't be on the newsstands for a couple of weeks but you can get a sneak preview here.


You can click here to see everything that has previously appeared on the front page.


Book of the Week

Inside Chiropractic : A Patient's Guide Inside Chiropractic : A Patient's Guide by Samuel Homola and Stephen Barrett (Editor). There would be little objection to chiropractors if they just concentrated on relieving musculoskeletal problems and stopped opposing vaccinations, denying the existence of germs, and claiming the mythical subluxation as a cause of all disease. This book is by one of the small group of chiropractors who are trying to get rid of the voodoo and replace it with science.


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