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.

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May 11, 2019

More time off (11/5/2019)

Saturday May 18 is the day that Australians head to the polls to elect the next federal government. I will be working from 7am to 11pm as an official at my local polling place so I will probably be useless for the rest of the weekend. On the Sunday I was supposed to have lunch with some friends and then attend a couple of hours of lectures about science, but I will probably spend the day relaxing and either celebrating or bemoaning the election results.

I'll leave you with some things to read.


How we do things here (11/5/2019)

I keep seeing horror stories about how elections are run in other countries, so here's some information about how this election will happen in Australia.

The election will be administered by the Australian Electoral Commission. Every address in Australia received a pamphlet setting out all the procedures and rules for voting, and it is the same at every polling place in the country. You can see the guide by clicking on the picture at the right.

The polls open at 8am and close at 6pm. Anyone in the line at that time will be allowed to vote, no matter how much time it takes or how many are in the queue. (Officials can't start opening the ballot boxes and counting until the last voter has gone.)

Provided that no suggestions are made about who to vote for, any voter can ask for and receive assistance to vote. If they need to get someone to fill in the ballot papers there must be a witness (who can't be a candidate).

When deciding if a vote is formal or not, the voter's intention has to be considered and benefit of the doubt given. You have to number the candidates in your preferred order, but you can write (and even mix) words like "one", "two" or even Roman numerals. The whole process is based on making the election the result of including as many people's votes as possible.

No hanging chads, and sausage sandwiches for all.

I should also point out that elections are held on Saturdays when most of the working population have a day off, if you can't get to a polling place on the day you can vote early or by post, if you are away from home on the day but still in your home state you can vote at any polling place and if you are interstate there are very many interstate voting places. If you are in hospital or have certain other problems a mobile voting service can come to you, and if you are homeless or itinerant with no fixed address and let the AEC know in advance you can still vote.

Everybody matters or nobody matters.

Also, despite the brochure saying that voting is compulsory, what is compulsory is to attend a polling place and have your name marked off. Except in the case mentioned above where a voter can ask for assistance, no official can see what if anything is on a voting paper before it is placed in the ballot box.


The writing rolls on (11/5/2019)

Obviously I'm famous for running a web site and writing about car rallies for the newspapers so when I say something it carries a lot of weight, even if it has nothing to do with cars or web pages. That's how the celebrity endorsement business works. This didn't stop me from being a bit critical of other celebrities in my latest column for Australasian Science magazine. (With winter approaching this will probably be the last column I can write for a few months while getting fully into Naked Skeptic character. Once the snow starts to fall I'll probably have to put some clothes on.)

I'm a celebrity. What do you want to hear?

Celebrity endorsement has been a part of advertising since the first advertising agent thought "This will sell if we get someone famous to say they like it". It relies on the halo effect, where success or skill at one thing is assumed to transfer to some other thing. It's perfectly acceptable when the celebrity has some relationship to the product through what they are famous for, like tennis stars endorsing racquets and shoes or motor racing drivers telling us that some company makes the best tyres in the world. People quite rightly assume that the celebrities are being paid to say what they say, and again there is nothing much wrong with that.

You can read the rest here



One of those anonymous Facebook memes


Other people write and I write about the writing. (11/5/2019)

The Australian Book of AtheismIt's probably no secret that conspiracy theories are of interest to me, and I've reviewed an excellent book about the phenomenon.

Republic Of Lies: American conspiracy theorists and their surprising rise to power
by Anna Merlan

It's probably not surprising that the content of this book Is somewhat US centric because the subtitle does say "American conspiracy theorists", but there is still a lot that is relevant to Australia (and probably the rest of the world). Many of the US conspiracists rely on (deliberate?) misinterpretation or misunderstanding of the US Constitution, but I suppose that's more understandable than Australian conspiracists citing the same document. I've heard Australians claim their 2nd Amendment right to carry guns and their 5th Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination. (The second amendment to the Australian Constitution allowed the Commonwealth to take over debts incurred by the states prior to federation; the fifth extended the rights and responsibilities of citizenship to the indigenous population.)

You can read the rest here


The Who sang "Won't get fooled again" but the WHO did (11/5/2019)

One of the problem that sane people have is that there is so much misinformation out there that it is easy to get confused about what is truth and what is lies, what is a good source of information and what is a cesspit. One of the cesspits full of lies is an organisation named VINE (Vaccine Information Network). Like the similarly named National Vaccination Information Center, there is very little information there that isn't a lie. It used to be run by one of the vilest anti-vaccination liars around, a thing named Erwin Alber. Alber did the world a favour by dying in 2018, but the putrescence survives.

My Facebook feed went berserk when it was revealed that the World Health Organisation had posted a link to VINE. While the error was soon corrected, it showed that even a group as au fait with vaccine safety and efficacy as the WHO could be fooled if they didn't read closely enough. Unlike the WHO, VINE is resolutely committed to the spread of measles, no matter how many children it kills or blinds or how many get meningitis or other sequelae of the disease.

Oh, and I mentioned conspiracies above. Alber dropped dead outside his house in Thailand. Almost immediately there was speculation that he must have been murdered because of his anti-vaccination stance. Just as anti-vaccination liars can't believe that anyone can oppose them without being paid to do so, they just know that when anyone on their side of the fence dies it must be murder. I suppose that's the sort of thing you think when you don't have a working brain or conscience.


One for the science lovers

See more from Martin Perscheid here (I assume that there's a collection in English somewhere.)

April 27, 2019

Another day off (27/4/2019)

I'll be busy with my other hobby again next weekend (look for me in the pine forests around Orange, NSW) so I won't be here.

If you are in Sydney, however, and haven't had your flu vaccination for this year yet Australian Skeptics will be holding a free vaccination clinic on May 4. You can find out more details here.


For whom the Belle tolls, but is it for she? (27/4/2019)

Back in May 2015 I mentioned that a scam artist named Belle Gibson had admitted that she hadn't really had cancer despite making a lot of money selling a cure that she had supposedly used on herself. She was eventually awarded some penalties for this deception, no, let's call it lying, but of course she didn't pay anything. When you have the arrogance to steal money from desperate people with possibly terminal illness you probably consider yourself above such petty things as courts and regulatory authorities.

Well, four years later it looks like something might be done about her refusal to pay the fines. She is to appear in court on May 17 to explain why she hasn't paid the money she owes, but as she hasn't bothered to attend court in the past bookmakers are offering very long odds on her turning up this time. I asked some statisticians to calculate some probabilities and they came up with these:

Belle Gibson will appear in court on May 17 0.00001
Belle Gibson will express contrition for having deceived and robbed people 0.000001
Belle Gibson will pay the outstanding fines before the heat death of the sun 0.000000

Read the optimistic story here.


Keeping the neighbours happy (27/4/2019)

If t you ran a movie theatre across the road from a church with thin-skinned parishioners you wouldn't want to offend the congregation if you decided to show the film "Hellboy", would you?


Polite email conversation continues (27/4/2019)

Last week's Special Correspondent had more to say. As it lacked a certain amount of coherence I don't think I'll reply.

From: Sales HealthShopCY
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 2019 23:23:23 +0300
Subject: Re: Most ignoars website I seen in ages

I was looking for a honest critical review on the Scenar .....

Print a T Shirt

I made a Website .... slandered a Dr who saved 10 000's with no proof but tons of ignorance .... & I don't give a fuck

Wear it !

I give you credits for responding but I would suggest to look at the .. little long ... interviews Kalokerinos gave in a 10 part series .

Look at a man who devoted his life to helping , go check if the witnesses exist & if they stood by him ... do some research .

AND LISTEN

when you slander off dead people ... you like the guys who claim Michael Jackson rapped them .... years & years they said no he didn't touch them in ANY way ... then he dies & they all over him  changing their stories 10 times .... not taking it to a criminal court ( where they denied it previously ) no just trying to get paid on dead people back ...... ; )

Unless you get paid for this then I pissing against the wind anyway

Yannis


When anti-vaccination liars go mad 1 (27/4/2019)

Some people will believe anything if it supports their insane agenda. A satirical web site publishes a joke about how the authorities are going to use dart guns to vaccinate children and it gets lapped up by people who don't understand the joke because it's just the sort of nonsense they believe. Strangely, this was so transparent that even some of the craziest anti-vaxxers were a bit skeptical. But only a bit. Can't have too much (any?) dissent in the ranks, you know.


When anti-vaccination liars go mad 2 (27/4/2019)

With measles breaking out all over the place, President Trump has come down in support of vaccination. While this might be the only sane utterance to come out of Trump's mouth since 1963 it has been jumped on by the anti-vaxxers. Focus has been placed on his use of the word "shot". As it is singular it can only be a code for a gunshot, and shows that Trump is only saying this because he is afraid of being assassinated by Big Pharma and its allies.

How strange and terrifying it must be to live in the parallel universe inhabited by anti-vaccination liars and other conspiracists, where nothing is as it seems and everything must be feared.



See more SMBC here


Which reminds me of this from a few years back.


See more from Paul Noth in the New Yorker


Gimme that old time miscegenation (27/4/2019)

People familiar with this site or me might be aware that I have little patience with those who reject or abuse science. Now that we have got over the terror of fluoride in my town's water and while we wait for the horror of 5G mobile phone towers to arrive to disrupt our DNA and kill our pets, there is always that other horror of DNA vandalism to worry about - genetically modified plants and animals. I should point out that two of the major industries around where I live are the growing of beef cattle and wool-bearing sheep. Neither Angus cattle nor Merino sheep exist in nature, but are genetically modified forms of something else. Over that hill over there I can find canola and wheat farms, both covered in plants which have been modified over the years (and even millennia) and don't naturally exist. And don't get me started on the cauliflower farm I drive past coming home from my fortnightly shopping in Big Town. All of these unnatural organisms have been created by randomly mixing genes and hoping that something useful might eventually appear.

It's no surprise then to find that someone has found a way to make money out of opposition to genetic modification, by which they mean the careful and scientific use of gene manipulation to produce a predicted and desirable result.

The way to make money is to offer a certification service, where manufacturers can put a label on their products proudly declaring them to be free of all the awful GMOs. The problem is that there is no checking on the certification and all you have to do to get certified is pay for it. You could even put the label on things which can't possibly be modified. Like salt and water.

The FDA has finally got sick of the deception and is hoping to put the Non-GMO Project out of business. Unfortunately, I suspect this will just cause a backlash, with conspiracists claiming that this is just evidence of the control that corporations like the dreaded Monsanto (now hiding inside Big Pharma Bayer) have over the FDA. Whack a Mole isn't just a fun arcade game - it's the reality of trying to fight nonsense and deception.

You can read about the fight here.

I suppose it's a good time to show this again. It never gets old.

Asbestos is bad; definitely get the one on the right. Wait -- this one over here has no swine flu!  Now I can't decide.
See more of XKCD here

April 20, 2019

I've got mail. (20/4/2019)

The mail keeps coming in and someone else is upset about what I had to say about anti-vaccination liar Archie Kalokerinos.

From: Sales HealthShopCY
Date: Tue, 09 Apr 2019 15:53:18 +0300
Subject: Most ignoars website I seen in ages

Hello nameless person

you make the other DEBUNKERS look like rose baby bunnies

Thank you. I strive to be the best at what I do.

LOL I laugh so much at ignorance on the highest level .

Thank you so much for showing me that facts can be totally ignored IF one wants to be " a academic person " .... basically you got complexes for failing in academia and now you try to cling on by regurgitating other BS

I'm not an "academic" person and I never failed "in academia" because I never worked there. I was, however, successful in my academic studies.

Ohh and Kalokerinos , I mean you are the dirtiest slimy little fuck on the web .... 4 sure .

I think I will have that compliment printed on a t-shirt.

Thousands were saved by him , they made him a "this is my life" .... he had 2 adopted Indigenous Kids .... He was THE ONLY WHITE person to be accepted by them

Perhaps this is the time and place to mention Gough Whitlam, who was very much accepted by indigenous people. And he was just one of those who were.

https://www.news.com.au/national/gough-whitlam-former-pm-was-father-of-aboriginal-land-rights-in-australia/news-story/213de38c6ad6fc38f8c773679d71b513

http://guides.naa.gov.au/gough-whitlam/chapter7/7.8.aspx

He showed how Pedo Australia runs it all & how they got rid of them .

Oh he even stood up to cops selling Booze to them .

Ahhhh you are th eleast of the least in kingdom 

DON'T LET ANYONE TELL YOU ANYTHING ELSE

Your faceless garbage just cost me 15 minutes

I'm faceless? I can see my face in a mirror. Of course, if I were a vampire ... By the way, you didn't tell me your name.

COWARD YOU ARE AS WELL !  I'd bitch slap you for days for slandering Kalokerinos the bravest man in Australia!

And now that he's among the deadest children are a lot safer.

You a BITCH .... 10 000 will agree

..
..
This email and any attachments to it may be confidential and are intended solely for the use of the individual www.healthshopcy.com to whom it is addressed. Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of HealthShoCY . If you are not the intended recipient of this email, you must neither take any action based upon its contents, nor copy or show it to anyone. Please contact the sender if you believe you have received this email in error.

Thank you for your comments. Suggestions and criticisms are always welcome here, even if they can be ignored as yours will be.

By the way, as you sell colloidal silver along with other useless and even dangerous quack products you site has been added to the Health Fraud collection here.


Useful medical advice (20/4/2019)


Warning from anti-vaccinators (20/4/2019)

I'm impressed by this list of vaccine ingredients. I especially like the silkworm DNA, because people usually forget about this (probably because of the chemtrails and fluoride working on their brains). I had a flu shot a few days ago and I meant to ask my doctor about what he was injecting straight into my bloodstream but I forgot (we just got fluoride in our town's water) so I'll make a note for next time I have to go there. And what about that "etc"? That stuff would kill a brown dog, as we say out here in rural Australia.

In case the real horror is lost on you, here is a picture of a vaccine ingredient factory. I can't tell you where I got it because I don't want Big Pharma coming around to my house and disappearing me.


But wait, there's more (20/4/2019)

Anti-vaccination liars love to tell us about how all the dangers of vaccines are revealed in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. The problem is that, as it says clearly and prominently on the VAERS site:

When evaluating data from VAERS, it is important to note that for any reported event, no cause-and-effect relationship has been established. Reports of all possible associations between vaccines and adverse events (possible side effects) are filed in VAERS. Therefore, VAERS collects data on any adverse event following vaccination, be it coincidental or truly caused by a vaccine. The report of an adverse event to VAERS is not documentation that a vaccine caused the event.

and

VAERS is a passive reporting system, meaning that reports about adverse events are not automatically collected, but require a report to be filed to VAERS. VAERS reports can be submitted voluntarily by anyone, including healthcare providers, patients, or family members. Reports vary in quality and completeness. They often lack details and sometimes can have information that contains errors.

Of course, as anti-vaccination liars tell lies as a matter of principle it should come as no surprise to find that spurious claims are submitted to VAERS all the time and then these spurious claims are used as "evidence" that vaccines are harmful. Liars gotta lie.

Someone bothered to collect some of the reports, just to see how serious these 'adverse events" might be.

I checked some of these just to make sure that the person making the image hadn't been trying to discredit anti-vaccination liars (as if that were even possible) by making stuff up. These are actual reports made by people who believe that lying about vaccines is an acceptable thing to do, because the ends justify the means. I'm reminded of being told about the deaths from the HPV vaccine which included a 9-month-old baby, a 73-year-old man and a woman who was killed as a passenger in a car crash some months after getting the vaccine. Have I already said that liars gotta lie?



See more Speed Bump here


The self-dug hole gets deeper (20/4/2019)

Last week I mentioned the OMICS conference and journal scam and how an Australian university had paid $3,000 for a student to attend a meaningless and valueless conference. I've found a report from my journalist friend Rick Morton about this. You can read "University paid for anti-vaccine student to attend conference" here.


You can click here to see everything that has appeared on the front page over the last 20 years.


Book of the Week

Republic of Lies Republic of Lies by Anna Merlan. An excellent introduction to the world of conspiracy thinking, with some history to show why people can believe almost anything if it fits their belief systems, prejudices, ideology or agenda.


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