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PreviousNextUpdates made to The Millenium Project in March 2019

March 12, 2019

Two days before the relaunch of this site in march 2019, the mail started to trickle in.

From: "Peter"
Subject: Funny
Date: Mon, 11 Mar 2019 20:32:16 +1000

Peter,

Your email address says a lot about your character.  It displays utter contempt for your audience, and I guess itís well justified.  After all, if you are conscious that you write rubbish, and they arenítÖ.

I came across your page while looking up Archie Kalokerinos.  A great Aussie doctor, who you describe in terms that reflects more on your state of mind than his character.  Either your thinking is seriously corrupted or youíre forced to write crap because you canít get an honest job that pays the bills.  Either way, dig yourself out of that rut youíre living in and break free for your own sake.

Cheers,

Peter Callil

Hello Peter

Thank you for your kind words. We take all criticism seriously around here as we have a policy of continuous improvement so we welcome being told where we have gone wrong.

This is not such a case. Dr Kalokerinos was seriously mad and a danger to children anywhere, or do you agree with his claims that the WHO and Save The Children are engaging in a deliberate policy of genocide and "Put Hitler and Stalin in the shade"? Do you agree with his practice of withholding vaccines from indigenous children, thus increasing the infant mortality that he pretended to care about? How about his idea that all ambulances should be fitted with IV Vitamin C equipment (provided by him, of course) as the first (and maybe only) line of all emergency medicine?

You can see an obituary for Dr Archie Kalokerinos here.

March 14, 2019

It's back! (14/3/2019)
The first six words of the first song on what many consider to be the greatest rock or popular music album of all time are "It was twenty years ago today". Well, it was twenty years ago today that The Millenium Project started to play, so I thought it was a suitable time to bring it back from the extended sabbatical. (Note: For some reason I had thought that the birthday was March 13. A bit of research showed that the original launch date was March 14, 1999. I was pleased about this because March 13 is the birthday of L. Ron Hubbard, inventor of Scientology, and who would want to share a birthday with him?)

I hope the loons welcome me back, because without them there is no Millenium Project.


I assume this is © 1981 ITC Films/IPC Films.

A lot happened while I was away and I will catch up with most of these things over the next few weeks.

A couple of notable changes have to do with how I can get some money to help with the running costs of the site (including legal fees, of course, because I expect that I'll be offending some thin-skinned people who need to be offended). As well as making me sort of lawyer proof it would be handy to have some spare cash to attend quackery and pseudoscience events and to subscribe to some publications and organisations that require money to get inside.

I'm no longer going to attempt to run advertisements. Google have twice cancelled my account, once for mentioning that I was showing ads on a page which had ads showing - apparently this is encouraging people to click on advertisements which for some reason is against Google's rules. The second time was because Google thought that my page about penis enlargement spam was actually a sales outlet for penis enlargement products. Changing that page to not show advertisements wasn't good enough, and I ended up giving up. The money that came in from the advertisements didn't cover the cost of the coffee I drink while working on the site anyway. (As with commission on Amazon book sales, the income gradually reduced to almost nothing over the years as the original high rates were eroded in the cause of greater profits.)

II've also had two methods over the years to collect donations. I originally used PayPal, but they decided I must be running a money laundry and insisted I incorporate as a non-profit organisation, with all the associated costs and bureaucracy. While I was running my IT consulting company I could collect donations through the company's secure site and credit card facilities. Now that I've retired I don't need to keep the credit card thing going.

I'm now using Patreon, which allows people to be patrons of the site by contributing a small amount each month (or even once only, because I'm sure you can opt out at any time). Look for the buttons all over the site. I'll say "Please" now, with an implied "Thank you" afterwards.

Another change is the method of notifying people that the site has been updated. The company who provided a service to notify visitors when the front page changed was taken over by someone who broke the system, so that's gone into the bin. Updates will be announced on Facebook and Twitter, so follow me there to get the latest news. (I might even add some other social media sites one day if I can get the young folk to tell me how they work. Apparently I have 122 followers on Instagram even though I've never posted anything there.)

Updates might be a bit irregular until I get my rhythm back, but again Saturdays will be the preferred option.

As part of the resurrection, I've been going over every page in the site (there are lots of them!) looking for style, grammar and spelling problems, and I've also been fixing all the links that have died or changed in the last three years. If you see anything I've missed, please let me know.

And I've already received my first hate mail. I'm back in business.

March 16, 2019

I write. Right. (16/3/2019)
It's not been all beer, skittles and vacation around here while the site has been taking a sabbatical. I still had to get into costume (or should that be "out of costume"?) to write my Naked Skeptic columns for Australasian Science magazine. The latest one is about how quacks and pseudoscientists love to adopt Nobel Prize winners who apparently support their delusions. In most cases this support is nonexistent, as would be expected.

You can read my words of wisdom here.


What can I say about Christchurch? (16/3/2019)
Many of my friends have decided to avoid social media for the day to avoid reading about the murder of 49 worshippers in a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. The reactions to the atrocity from some directions have been predictable - lunatics have been calling it a "false flag" operation designed to give the government an excuse to place restrictions on gun ownership (the murderer's "manifesto" says that he wants gun restrictions eased!) and a particularly vile Australian politician has said that this is the inevitable result of allowing Muslims to migrate to a country. These people can be ignored, as can anything the murderer had to say about why he did it.

One good thing that might come out of this is that the NZ Prime Minister has announced that tighter controls will be applied to gun ownership, as happened in Australia following the massacre of 35 people at Port Arthur in Tasmania in 1996. Of course, this will just add to the "false flag" cries (which go on any time some lunatic kills a lot of people), but these cries make less sense than the squawking of seagulls because seagulls are more intelligent than gun fondlers.


A sentiment from Australia to New Zealand. It's all over Facebook, and I will acknowledge "Rebel"
as the creator if someone can tell me who they are.


It spreads like cancer (16/3/2019)
The evilness of the late and unlamented cancer quack Hulda Clark didn't die when she did (of cancer!). One of her disciples in Malaysia has branched out and is now in the anti-vaccination lying business. Of course it's really the same business - kill people by denying them proper medical treatment or kill children by denying them vaccinations. The only problem with the business model is that dead kids don't grow up to develop cancer so they never reach the right money producing age. But who has ever thought that anti-vaccination liars can think that far ahead?

Thank you to reader Bing Leow for bringing this to my attention.


Chiropractors quack on (16/3/2019)
Chiropractors have been in the news around my place recently. To nobody's surprise, chiros have been found to be cracking the backs of very young children. Well, it did surprise some people who have short memories because this idiocy had been given wide exposure in 2013. This picture of a chiropractor attempting the impossible even reappeared as if it was new news.

The other disturbing news about chiropractors was a practice called "coccyx manipulation" which involves the chiropractor poking a finger into a child's rectum to make adjustments to the base of the spine. There were immediate justifications for this sexual abuse made by chiropractors, of course, and calls from sane people to have the Chiropractic Board of Australia take action to ban the practice. Given the CBA's inaction in 2013 to the reports and outrage at children's spines being cracked (they talked big, but did nothing), even if professional displeasure is being shown nothing will be done to actually stop chiropractors doing something that would get other people sent to prison. (Please don't try to equate it with manual prostate examination - that is a medical procedure to investigate a medical condition, not something done for no real reason to treat something that doesn't exist.)

There is of course a replacement danger if the CBA takes real action against chiropractors behaving badly. It is the risk to aircraft of collision with flying pigs.


It's deja vu all over again (16/3/2019)
A team of expert vaccine researchers have taken three years to examine the thesis by Judy Wilyman that resulted in her being awarded a PhD by the University of Wollongong. Why it took them so long to discover the "bleeding obvious" is a mystery. One of the things I was taught at university about research was to always pay attention to the references and bibliography attached to any scientific work. The usual reason is to see how many times the authors cite themselves, but my experience with pseudoscientists, quacks and anti-vaccination liars is that they will often cite things that totally disagree with them in the expectation that nobody will check. In the case of Ms Wilyman's thesis it was only necessary to look at the very first entry in the bibliography to find a book that totally refuted everything she had to say. The book was Vaccination: The Facts, the Fears, the Future by Gordon Ada and David Isaacs. (Gordon Ada is Professor and Visiting Fellow at the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Canberra. David Isaacs is a practicing paediatrician, Staff Specialist in Infectious Diseases at the New Children's Hospital, Westmead, Sydney and Clinical Professor at the University of Sydney. I found my copy of the book in a bookshop on a shelf next to books by Hulda Clark and other quacks. I emailed Dr Isaacs to tell him that I had liberated it because it looked embarrassed.)

You can see what I had to say about the thesis shortly after it came out here, together with a response by Ms Wilyman's thesis supervisor.


The climate is changing. It really is. (16/3/2019)
II don't think it's a secret that I'm what climate change deniers call a "warmist". (Apparently climate change deniers don't like being called deniers because it might remind people of Holocaust deniers. Well, that is tough, and if they are offended I don't really care. If you continually deny the truth then you are a denier.) Evidence of the climate changing over the last few decades is everywhere around the country town I live in, from changing rain and snowfall patterns to systematic movements in animal breeding cycles to changes in plant flowering and crop ripening times.


NASA's world temperature map/p>

Australian Skeptics Inc have released an updated version of their 2010 statement on climate change and you can read it here. It will probably come as no surprise that I agree with it.

In one of those coincidences that cause believers in the paranormal to say "See, I told you so", reader Damian Taylor has sent me a link to 50 things that we have to get to look at real soon before they disappear under the ocean or are destroyed by increasing temperatures or eroding winds and rain. You can see "50 Most Beautiful Places That Will Be Affected By Global Warming" here.


And a bit more nostalgia (16/3/2019)
In 2016, ex-Dr Wakefield produced a film of such incredible awfulness that it made anti-vaccination liars wet their pants with glee. Showings were held all over the place, with people paying good money to see what they could see on YouTube for free. In Australia, the usual lies were told to venues that would never consider showing anti-vaccination propaganda for a picosecond in order to get the vile film into school and council public halls, and the locations were kept secret until the last moment (supposedly to prevent sane people turning up and disrupting proceedings, actually to prevent the venue owners being told about the travesty until it was too late). Some of the perpetrators toured Australia with it, adding to the moans of pleasure coming from liars. (This had at least one good outcome - two famous anti-vaccination liars, Pauline Tommey and Suzanne Humphries, were told that they needn't bother to apply for visas to enter Australia for the next few years because they will not be let back in.)

If you have an hour and a half to waste you can watch the film at this not-so-secret venue.

I loved this entry in the comments about the film at the International Movie Data Base site:


and about another 100 more references.

March 23, 2019

Chiropractors under threat. As if! (23/3/2019)
Politicians have been horrified after being told that chiropractors do things that we've all known about for years and which lie outside any boundaries of what could be called proper medical practice. Things will be done! Action this day! And the Chiropractic Board of Australia will act immediately to stamp out these dreadful practices.


(Sorry about the picture. The actual newspaper has one of the most impenetrable paywalls
known to exist. You can read the words here.)

Here's a summary:

And here's a prediction: three years from now chiropractors will still be "adjusting" the spines of babies and young children, still doing dangerous things like sudden neck manipulations, still sticking fingers into places in children where they don't belong and still claiming that the only chiropractors doing any of this are rogues.


Politicians and medicine (23/3/2019)
In case you were wondering about the "COAG Health Council" mentioned in the newspaper article, here is the latest communiqué from the group.


Click on the image to read the whole thing.


Nodding and winking (23/3/2019)
As I was thinking about the CBA nodding and winking to chiropractors and giving them a nudge in the ribs about hiding child abuse for a while the words "A nod is as good as a wink to a blind bat" popped into my head. Here is where that saying came from. Enjoy. Enormously.


I have some good news and some bad news. First the bad news. (23/3/2019)
The Australian Formula One Grand Prix attracts close to the largest attendance of any sporting event in the country, especially when all the days of practice and completion are included. Over 80,000 people were at Albert Park for the race itself, with an awful lot of people there on the preceding days.

On race day and the practice day before, a woman with measles exposed the crowd to infection. She also went to a nearby Woolworths supermarket just to make sure that the infection could be more widely spread (Woolworths is currently running a promotion directly aimed at children). Luckily, this plague vector was identified and was removed into quarantine so she couldn't endanger anyone else. It's possible that she can't really be blamed because she had just come from somewhere where there is an outbreak, but that wasn't really a secret and this is the 21st century where diseases like this have no reason to exist.


You can read the sad story here.


And some good news (23/3/2019)
The crowd funding site GoFundMe has decided that even a single dollar raised to pay for lying to people about vaccines is a dollar too much and such campaigns have been banned from now on. Simultaneously, Facebook, YouTube, Amazon and Pinterest have placed restrictions on displaying, selling or making money from anti-vaccination lies. And are the anti-vaccination liars happy? Well, who cares about the happiness of people who want to see children dead or disabled? I certainly don't, and the whingeing of anti-vaccination liars is one of the most beautiful sounds in the universe.

All of this has inspired them to fire up the Photoshop and get meming. This is an example of their wit, artistic skills and relation to reality.

I'm declaring Godwin. The argument is over.



See more from Emily Flake here.


Update update (23/3/2019)
It seems I might have been wrong about the system that I used to use to notify visitors of site changes being broken.  In a remarkable coincidence I received an email from the new operators telling me that lots of things had been fixed and offering tips and techniques for how to make it work the way I like again. As soon as I've got ten minutes free to investigate I'll bring it back.

March 30, 2019

Busy, busy, busy. (30/3/2019)
One of the things I did while this site was having a holiday was to retire from my IT consulting business and become a man of leisure. Someone once told me that after he retired he wondered how he ever had the time to go to work, and I know how he felt. Back in the Middle Ages I used to compete in and organise forest car rallies, and a lot of this took place around Oberon where I now live. To fill in my spare time I got back into the game as a journalist, and my hobby is now travelling all over the place watching rallies and writing about them for newspapers and my own web site over there. At the last event in 2018 I managed to destroy my very nice camera (I tripped on some blackberry vines and the camera broke my fall) and when I went out a few days later to make some in-car videos of stages my action camera dropped dead after recording 5 minutes out of twenty minutes of driving, during which I managed to dislodge the radio aerial on the car, get a repairable puncture in one tyre and totally destroy another. For reasons that don't matter now I had to drive about 15 kilometres out of the forest on the flat tyre.

Updating to today, with the first rally I'll be attending this year happening in two weeks and the local paper expecting some journalisting and with the saving up for new gear at a suitable point, this week I acquired a new Nikon DSLR camera and a new GoPro for the in-car stuff. And the time disappeared.

And here it is.


Those whacky anti-vaxxers (30/3/2019)
Anti-vaccination liars would make us laugh sometimes if they weren't making us vomit at their callous disregard for the lives and feelings of sane people. I've seen them compare themselves in the past to the victims of the Holocaust, but now they have cranked the offensiveness up to 11. Here is Del Bigtree, one of the producers of the lie-filled film "Vaxxed", wearing a yellow star. The difference is that during the Holocaust the people who wore the stars were the victims, but it's vermin like Bigtree who want to do the killing of millions today.

And here's a political party which will be standing candidates in the coming Australian federal election. I hope none of them campaign in my town, because the urge to commit criminal assault might overcome my normal reticence about doing things that might get me locked up.

These people have no right to live among a sane, civilised population. Oh, and if Laura and Trev object to seeing their names here they can find a fire and die in it.

And just to show that the New Zealand Prime Minister's brilliant response to the Christchurch shooting atrocity doesn't mean that every politician in the country is sensible and of value to the world, Hamilton City Councillor Siggi Henry wore a t-shirt advertising the film "Vaxxed" to an event. The event was part of World Autism Awareness Day. She wore a t-shirt promoting lies about autism to an autism support function. This goes beyond tone deafness into the area of total stupidity, and as she said that she didn't mean to cause offence that stupidity is reinforced.


Click here to read the story


But on a lighter note ... (30/3/2019)


Thanks to The Feed at SBS for this.


But wait, there's more ... (30/3/2019)


See more like this at the Bizarro site.


Chiropractors crack me up (sorry!) (30/3/2019)
I managed to get a copy of the Chiropractic Board of Australia's advice to chiropractors about fiddling with children's backs, and I was right. Everyone's talking about a ban but the actual words are "The Board advises chiropractors to not use spinal manipulation to treat children under two years of age, pending the recommendations arising from the independent expert review". Note, "advises", not "instructs", and the advice only goes on until the meaningless review is done. if the "recommendations" of that review say "It should not be done" then the CBA will jump on the inherent uncertainty in "should not" and advise caution. If the "recommendations" say "It must not be done" then the CBA will say something ambiguous and get prepared to frequently say "rogue". You can read the self-serving drivel from the CBA by clicking on the picture over there on the right.

The CBA has led to the creation of a new simile - "As useless as a warning from the Chiropractic Board of Australia".

Australia's most trusted current affairs television program decided to take a look at some of the excesses of chiropractic, and I assume that chiropractors aren't happy about the result. Of course, anything that makes chiropractors unhappy makes me happy. You can click on the image to see the program. Note the prevarication from the man from the CBA.

As my friend Mr (he's a surgeon!) John Cunningham was in the piece it's probably time to revisit his famous facepalm when asked about chiropractic in a previous show.


Then there's pyramid schemes (30/3/2019)
One thing that didn't go away while this site was resting was the proliferation of pyramid scheme scams, sorry, I meant multi-level marketing opportunities. Because I wasn't paying attention I missed this news about Herbalife in 2016, but I can now make amends.

$200 million to be paid out! It's like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one and the parties are repeated every day for a year. You can read the story here.


And one last thing (30/3/2019)




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