The anti-vaccination racket

I posted a more detailed article at Daily Kos yesterday, titled in the format used on The Big Bang Theory, The Vaccination Intervention. I was pleased to see the comment section, now 500 strong and climbing, didn’t degenerate into an all out flame war. But there were a few commenters whot were making claims that sounded like they’d been piped straight from an anti-vaxxar website or seminar. Per usual, these individuals appeared impervious to evidence and reason.

As the evidence mounted that the link to autism was a dead-end,  anti-vaxxars did what most pseudoscientists do. They upped the ante with ever more elaborate conspiracies, and moved the goal posts by making claims that were less and testable. Too many too soon is a good example:

Respectful Insolence — As I’m so fond of saying, the vaccine-autism hypothesis is not “pinin’ for the fjords.” It is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet its maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If antivaccinationists hadn’t tried to nail it to the perch it’d be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are now ‘istory! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, it’s shuffled off ‘is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible!! It IS AN EX-HYPOTHESIS!!

BTW, I keep waiting for my Big Pharma payoff to arrive, but so far, nada. Cheap bastards.

There’s some religious angles to this deal. Some vaccines were developed using fetal tissue, then there’s the general distrust of government, fanned by series like X-files and nurtured by the religious right whenever there’s a democrat in the WH. But by and large we’re lucky there’s not a ton of industry money or verses in the Bible fueling this particular anti-science racket. There’s a critical point in any population beyond which large scale epidemics of preventable disease can flourish. We may be pushing in that direction in some communities, but so far at least, we haven’t exceeded that line. Much to our benefit, whether you accept the science or buy into the nonsense.

Another day in the trenches of the unemployed

I spend most of my time these days applying for jobs, taking skills tests for jobs, doing phone interviews and in person interviews for jobs. Then there’s ancillary stuff, like working out to look trim and fit. I typically see a hairstylist to make sure my do is up to snuff, hair professionally colored, and I always see an aesthetician the day before an in person interview to touch up eyebrows and make sure nose or ear hairs aren’t sprouting out grotesquely. I also make sure my wardrobe is appropriate, if there’s a coffee shop nearby sometimes I’ll stake out the employer or peek around online, to get a feel for day-to-day dress code, and often shop for the interview with a fashion-minded friend if need be to make sure I wear just a notch or two above what my prospective employer-interviewer is likely to be wearing. So in short, it’s a full time occupation, one I’m serious and methodical about. I even tan to look as good as possible. [Read more…]

Baby metal explodes on the world stage

If you haven’t seen this wonderful piece of Internet goodness, enjoy. That’s the Japanese Hip-Hop death-metal-fusion group called Baby Metal. With 17 year-old Suzuka Nakamoto on lead vocals, Moa Kikuchi and Yui Mizuno screaming, rapping, and dancing on each side. That video, titled give me chocolate, is tearing the toobz apart right now, probably because, in the words of Elton John, “They’re weird and they’re wonderful.” Have a great weekend!

What a drag it is getting old



These days, you don’t need a boat to wakeboard. There are cable parks, where you grab a handle that’s attached to overhead cables and it pulls you right along. Of course, no boat means no wake to jump. But them young whipper-snappers have come up with a  solution, sliders and kickers. A kicker is a curved ramp, kinda like a half pipe shape to it. A slider is like a balance beam sticking out of the water. Beginner sliders might barely stick out just a few inches, more advanced ones might be three feet tall or more and have A-frame shapes to them. It’s amazing what accomplished riders have learned to do on them.

OTOH, no pun intended, if you’re aren’t a very good wakeboarder, and happen to just pop out of the water next to one of the higher sliders and maybe tap it with your board, just to make sure you can get enough air and control to think about sliding down it for real later on, and let’s just add you have a brand new Ronix Bandwagon board with a triple rocker and camber, so it’s like a flattened, recurved compound bow that launches you into the air with a surprisingly small amount of effort, you might screw up and get too high, you might get generally catty-whompus to the point that a right hand instinctively reaches out to keep you from hitting the top of the slider, and you could just possibly fracture a bone at the base of the thumb called the Trapezium. Which, as it turns out, is a bone you don’t think of much, until it’s messed up. At which time it gets crystal clear just how much that thumb is used on a daily basis.




This is just SICK!


I know this route, I’ve been on it and I’m still friends to this day with the guys who first established it. The climber may have rehearsed it, inspected it carefully for loose holds, and cleaned it from top to bottom. and it’s still every bit as dangerous as it looks.

The trials and tribulations of a single man

We’re all flawed human beings. As a single male constantly on the lookout for female companionship, I can readily admit one of the flaws inherent in the hetero-sexual Y-chromosome community is we, that is men, are easily manipulated by looks. It only takes a few months of puberty to go from painting No Girls Allowed signs on our tree forts to suddenly noticing the pretty faces and shapely bodies quickening on the other side of the sexual divide. But we spend the rest of our lives learning, or trying to learn, how to deal with the consequences. That knowledge doesn’t come easy. To this day, at age 51 and even as a hard-nosed cynical skeptic, I occasionally find myself wanting to give a pretty girl a pass for behavior and actions that wouldn’t be available to other ladies and certainly denied to my fellow man.

At least I’m aware of it, I know it’s a weakness, and as any recovering alcoholic or reformed gambling addict can attest, recognizing you have a problem is half the battle. So I wonder, are women as equally aware that they have a similar weakness for jerks? [Read more…]

2014: Let the games begin!


I should be back to regular posting tomorrow. But I wanted to drop this post on a low traffic day and thank all you regs for the support, both financially and emotionally, you have provided during the toughest year of my adult life. It would have been far worse without you guys. I’ve been on vacay, in part keeping tabs on my mother, she’s having some health issue, but she was well enough to dig up the pic above. That’s a 19 year-old Steven with my beloved bike and windjammer faring in the bottom right corner, in 1982! So much life ahead!

Got great news this week: my blood counts are perfect, hemoglobin is now 15.5. It was 21 at the height of the leukemia scare. My doc told me yesterday that that kind of elevated hemo increases stroke risk by a factor on the order of a 100.  I celebrated with Four Loko last night. On a downside, I did finally lose my job, so I can now reveal I worked at Blizzard, maker of World of Warcraft. But it’s a new year, new hope, with health and a little luck, we can do a lot of good. Let the games begin!