Category Archive: Medicine

Dec 09 2012

Rabies vaccinations: now without agony.

Salon writer Irin Carmon was bitten by a strange dog in Brooklyn this weekend, and though the wound itself wasn’t too bad the call is out for people who might know the dog: Hours later, I found a small actual wound and went to the ER, where they told me I have ten days to …

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Dec 05 2012

How anti-vaxxers see the world


That Evil Mr Vaccine. Doesn’t he understand that if there is no polio or smallpox making bad children suffer, the good children won’t have anything to gloat about?

Nov 28 2012

Catholic priests: SHUT UP!

The Irish Catholic bishops have issued a statement on medical care given to Savita Halappanavar… Wait. What the fuck does anyone care what a mob of ignorant assholes say about reasonable, ethical medical care? I can’t even imagine the degree of arrogance involved for these self-righteous, unqualified old men to be so seriously offering advice …

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Nov 27 2012

Douche defends douching

There is a small group of obsessives who really hate Atheism+ — they hate it so much that they pick over every thread on the Atheism+ forum, looking for nits. And then, unfortunately, they write to me in email and twitter and tell me how stupid they are. The latest example: an atheism+ mod writes …

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Nov 26 2012

Science demolishes ant-vax claims

Oooh, here’s a nice short summary of how the human immune system works, geared towards making anti-vaxxers heads explode. (This is also one of the tacks we’ll be taking at the skeptic track at Convergence this summer — we’ve proposed a session on basic, introductory explanations of immunity.)

Nov 20 2012

Aaargh! Physicists! Again!


A while back, two physicists, Paul Davies and Charles Lineweaver, announced their explanation for cancer with a novel theory, which is theirs, that cancers are atavisms recapitulating in a Haeckelian reverse double backflip their premetazoan ancestry. They seemed very proud of their idea. I was aghast, as you might guess. They even claimed that human …

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Oct 18 2012

Greta Christina could use your help

UPDATE: Greta says people have responded so generously that she doesn’t need more donations. But go wish her well if you haven’t already. Our friend and colleague Greta Christina, on the heels of losing her father, just got handed some scary bad news: The bad news is that I was just diagnosed with endometrial cancer. I got …

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Aug 20 2012

Anti-vaxers kill another child

So North Carolina is reporting their first death (of the year, I presume) from pertussis, or whooping cough. A 2-month-old infant has died of the disease. Whooping cough is highly contagious and spread usually by coughing or sneezing in close contact. It can be serious at any age, but it is life-threatening in newborns and …

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Jul 30 2012

That kind of wording scares me

There has been a new outbreak of Ebola in Uganda. This kind of stuff worries me, not in acute “oh-we’re-all-going-to-die-now” sort of way, but in a long term perspective. We’re all sitting here fat and happy and swarming, and what’s going to wipe out this species some day is a combination of resource depletion and …

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Mar 11 2012

The most revolting aphrodisiac ever

All right, is there nothing so disgusting that someone somewhere won’t eat it in the belief that it will make their penis hard? Nepal is suffering from goldrush-style violence over the harvesting of yarsagumba, a purported ‘natural viagra’. This is yarsagumba: Yarsagumba is the result of a bizarre parasitic relationship between fungus and insect. Spores …

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