I was away. See why here.
The software does its job (20/3/2021)
When I did my monthly link check, one site tripped Norton Lifelock's anti-badness fuse. The site was The Anti-Aging Medical Clinic, and this is what Norton had to say:
It could be said that many if not all of the sites featured in The Millenium Project fit the description of "a known dangerous webpage" but I'm assuming this result is because of some malware embedded in the site and not Norton deciding to single-handedly rid the 'web of nonsense.
Facebook does its job. Partly. (20/3/2021)
Visitors to the Facebook page of the USA's most disgusting anti-vaccination liar outfit, the National Vaccine Information Center, were treated to the following message a few days ago. Apparently, Facebook are going to remove all anti-vaccine pages and groups. One day. One day soon.
Back in 2014 I submitted a review of the NVIC Facebook page. The page admins didn't like what I had to say and closed down the reviews (but they couldn't delete or hide them. Hah!). Whenever they get told something they don't like, anti-vaccination liars tend to run like cockroaches scurrying under the fridge to get away from the light.
Unfortunately it's not possible to vote zero stars for a Facebook page of an organisation devoted to increasing the number of dead and disabled children. People often ask me how anti-vaccination liars like Barbara Loe Fisher can sleep at night when they think of the consequences of their actions and my usual reply is that people without either morals or consciences don't care. The only thing that would stop them sleeping well is too much excitement at the thought of more dead children.
However and unfortunately, there are cesspits where vermin like NVIC can escape to:
What did I say about cockroaches?
Quintessence Nook (20/3/2021)
February and March 2001 passed almost without notice. The pedants whining about how 2001, not 2000, was really the first year in the decade, century and millennium had retired because nobody was listening any more. Of course, loonity didn't take a holiday (it never seems to do that) and Quintessence of the Loon still had things to mention.
Here are some memories from February and March 2001.
How to Good-Bye Depression: If You Constrict Anus 100 Times Everyday. Malarkey? or Effective Way? by Hiroyuki Nishigaki
Everyone should write a book at least once. Not everyone's book will (or should) get published, but this one did. My problem is that it looks like the title tells the whole story, so I wonder what is in the 241 pages between the covers. (In reviewing a book without reading it, I am following a long tradition. I wrote a book once and when I was out promoting it more than one radio interviewer started by saying "I haven't read the book yet, but …" and then launched into a discussion of the contents.) I was very impressed by the author's claim that a 70-year-old man had followed the procedure and now "can make #### three times in succession without drawing out". I can't begin to guess what "####" is, but I would like to be able to put money into the bank three times without drawing any out.
Doyletics -- A New Science for the 21st Century
There is a very nice waterfront seafood restaurant near Sydney called "Doyle's". When you go there for lunch it's a really relaxing experience and the cares of the world just seem to float away like the little boats leaving the nearby wharf. I never feel fear, anxiety or anger when I have a forkful of lobster in one hand and a glass of chardonnay in the other. I know it's just a coincidence because the Doyle that this web site is about has the first name Doyle so he probably isn't related to Peter Doyle, but is eerie how he also promises to cure fear, anxiety and anger. Perhaps you drag them away in the little red cart.
|The Doyletics people had this to say at http://www.doyletics.com/digest16.htm: |
The only problems I see with this are that a) it didn't win Loon of the Month, b) I'm not the "Skeptical Inquirer folks" (that's CSICOP), and c) I don't remember ever mentioning Dr Semmelweis here. Oh, well …
Alien Love Bite
Here's another book that I haven't read but I think I know something about. It's all about how aliens come here and make us fall in love. Why they should do this is a mystery, but perhaps it's explained in the book. It could be part of the well-documented breeding experiments that aliens have been conducting on us for some time, sort of like dog or racehorse breeders trying to get the best matches. Or maybe it's just that the aliens feel sorry for us. They looked at late-night television and saw all those advertisements for meeting agencies and lonely person chat lines and decided that we should be able to get together without paying $5.95 per minute. Some of them get too involved, though. I went out with an alien female once, but we broke up because she wanted probe more often than I did.
[You can buy this wonderful book here.]
The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement
At first I put this into the Too Good To Be True category, but an awful lot of work has gone into convincing us that we should all stop breeding and return the planet to the state it was before humans evolved and immediately started inventing things like global warming, genetically modified food, atomic weapons, whale harpoons, daytime television shock shows, polyester shirts and broccoli. Imagine a time when all the animals can roam free again without any fear of being eaten (because they will all return to their natural vegetarian states). Imagine a time when plants will flower and fruit in a natural rhythm with the needs of nature and animals. But I see a dark cloud on the horizon. I see the last two humans meeting in a garden. There is a tree there with strange, non-genetically modified fruit. One human offers a piece of this fruit to the other. There is a slithering sound in the grass, and the humans suddenly feel naked and exposed …
Lettuce Ladies and Jesus Was a Vegetarian
Two for the price of one again. It was impossible to pick between these two sites from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. I have a vision of what it must be like at PETA headquarters when everyone gathers for the weekly Issues Meeting. Melissa from the canteen reassures everyone that the butter used on the sandwiches only comes from cows milked by milkmaids with warm hands. Jamie from Theology tells of the latest evidence showing that Judas once attended a camel barbeque. Ralph reports on the success of getting the producers to remove the words "how many polyesters had to die to make that shirt" from the new DVD rerelease of Saturday Night Fever. A vote is taken on what sort of animal should replace Fluffy, the recently-deceased office companion rabbit, and the consensus is a stoat. Because of the danger to cockroaches, everyone agrees to join the blockade against the landlord's planned fumigation of the building.
These sites triggered Loon of the Month in March 2001. The citation said:
|Loon of the Month|
I was originally going to give the Loon of the Month award to the soul catcher, just because it seems so quintessentially silly to not be aware that things have shadows and that the shadows are usually on the side away from the sun. Then I discovered the PETA site. If I didn't know that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has more than 100 employees and an income of many millions of dollars per year, I would have thought that the web site was a parody. I have taken the unusual step of awarding the prize to the entire PETA site and organisation. The examples here just give a taste of the madness within.
But wait, there's more! LotM Part 2.
PETA’s recent letter concerning McVeigh’s last meal
Most correspondence about prisoners on death row is about execution, not food. [You can see an image of the the letter here.]
Timothy McVeigh's last meal before his execution was two tubs of mint chip ice cream. In typical ideologue (and idiotologue) fashion, PETA claimed this as a victory, saying "Mr. McVeigh’s decision to go vegetarian groups him with some of the world’s greatest visionaries, including Albert Schweitzer, Mohandas Gandhi, Leo Tolstoy and Albert Einstein, all of whom advocated vegetarianism as an extension of humanitarianism." I assume the milk in the ice cream (PETA is opposed to dairy farms) came from vegan cows who milked themselves. Hypocrisy or stupidity? You choose.
No longer do you have to face the embarrassment of people quoting Mae West at you and asking you is that a gun in your pocket. The battle of the bulge is won, because you can now hide your artillery in the most unlikely place – down the front of your pants. Another advantage of this is that it lets you get around in more casual clothes. My tailor is always complaining about how hard it is to get my jackets to drape correctly when there is a blunderbuss in an inside pocket (he gave up on the crossbow and quiver), and a shoulder holster chafes something awful when you have to wrestle feral animals. Be careful, though. When you put your gun away, make sure it's not cocked.
But is it science? (27/3/2021)
One of the constant myths pushed by the anti-real-medicine crowd is that blood becomes acidic and needs to be treated by chemicals (non-chemical, of course) to reduce the acidity. (Strangely, one of the methods often touted by quacks is to reduce blood acidity by drinking lemon juice, although reducing acidity by adding an acid is another of those mysteries of alternative (to) medicine.) One of the facts known to those who know what they are talking about is that the lungs and kidneys work to maintain blood pH within a very restricted range.
To make a change from using an acid to reduce acidity, along comes some magic alkaline water.
Click to see the whole label
Now, a pH of 9-10 is pretty dramatic. Not quite up there with sodium hydroxide drain cleaner.
But can you measure it?
Look! A true statement! Litmus strips can only say if something is either side of neutral, not how far away it is from the centre. A friend of mine with access to the sort of practices and procedures used in actual laboratories to measure pH bought a bottle of this water and tested it. And it fell right there in the neutral green zone, just like it did when it came out of the tap.
This is not the first attempt to scam the public with magic water, and I would bet money that it won't be the last. At least this one doesn't have someone who claims to be a chemist saying that "low pH" might counteract acidity.
Not really a joke, but funny anyway (27/3/2021)
I know that an anonymous someone just took a photo and made a meme, but it would be nice to think that Gordon Ramsay is a lot smarter than Australia's favourite "celebrity chef", Paleo Pete Evans.
Looking smart! (27/3/2021)
It's considered bad form to judge people by their appearance, but sometimes it helps to make a snap appraisal. (Stereotypes might be a bad thing, but they are an evolutionary trait which is there so that we can go through life without having to consider all the facts all the time. It's like the way we know that doors are rectangular despite the projection on the retina being trapezoidal.)
Here are some people demonstrating outside the office of the Australian Federal Minister for Health. They are very concerned about rules requiring masks to be worn, the permitted sizes of gatherings and travel between states, rules which are in place to control the current COVID-19 epidemic. They don't like the idea of a vaccine either, of course.
Have I mentioned that the Federal Health Minister has nothing to do with masks or group sizes or interstate travel restrictions, because these are matters for the states? If I called these people "stupid" it wouldn't be because of what they looked like.