Open Thread! All the Error Messages That Fit

I’ve had a strong suggestion that there should be an open thread here, so this is it.

I usually don’t set comments to close at any particular time, so I’ll loosely monitor this thread in semi-perpetuity and we’ll see if we ever need another one.


  1. Reginald Selkirk says

    In case anyone here still gets their news from Facebook or NFL quarterbacks, I want to make all of you aware that Ivermectin is still not considered an effective therapy against COVID-19 by the biomedical community.
    The Real Scandal About Ivermectin

    In our opinion, a bare minimum of five ivermectin papers are either misconceived, inaccurate, or otherwise based on studies that cannot exist as described. One study has already been withdrawn on the basis of our work; the other four very much should be…
    Most problematic, the studies we are certain are unreliable happen to be the same ones that show ivermectin as most effective. In general, we’ve found that many of the inconclusive trials appear to have been adequately conducted. Those of reasonable size with spectacular results, implying the miraculous effects that have garnered so much public attention and digital notoriety, have not.

  2. anat says

    Re: Ivermectin trials (those that actually happened and weren’t made up of whole cloth):

    The summary of the above threads: Ivermectin trials took place where worm infection is common. The ‘success’ of the treatment was likely because more people on the control arm died of worm-caused illness, rather than from COVID-19. That is supported by the fact that Ivermectin appears more successful where worm infections are more prevalent.

  3. robert79 says

    @4 anat:

    Interesting… if there is also evidence that suffering from a worm disease makes you more susceptible to serious effects of covid, then deworming those parts of the country might actually decrease covid deaths…

    I wonder how regions “where worm infections are more prevalent” would respond to a deworming campaign, whether with ivermectin or some other agent.

  4. Reginald Selkirk says

    @4 @6 If there is a large portion of the population who needs deworming, perhaps that campaign should be run BEFORE they get infected with SARS-CoV-2

  5. Reginald Selkirk says

    A Prominent Study Said Ivermectin Prevents COVID, But The Data Is Suspect
    The Carvallo study:
    Buzzfeed asks PI who did his stats, he gives a name. They contact that person, who denies any involvement.
    Buzzfeed contacts a hospital listed in the paper, the hospital denies any involvement in the study.
    A co-author who was CCed on these messages is so put off by the evasion and sliminess of the primary author that he asks for his name to be removed from the paper.

  6. Reginald Selkirk says

    The Real Scandal About Ivermectin
    The Niaee paper:

    When we looked at an ivermectin study published over the summer in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, for example, we found a highly unusual pattern of numbers that implied a failure of randomization. We reported this issue to the journal more than three months ago and have heard nothing substantive back. One of the journal’s executive editors in chief, Bo Cui, told The Atlantic that the study “represents the best available evidence at the time of publication and has undergone scientific peer review and editor review before its publication”; he also said that the journal has asked the authors to address “the randomization issue” and that any eventual retraction would come only after “due process, free from coercion or pressure.” The study’s lead author, Morteza Niaee, told The Atlantic via email that the randomization procedure was “completely acceptable and well-performed.”

  7. Reginald Selkirk says

    op cit

    A few studies show clear evidence of severe data irregularities. In one from Lebanon, for example, the same section of patient records repeats over and over again in the data set, as if it had been copied and pasted. (An author on that paper conceded that the data were flawed, and claimed to have requested a retraction.)

  8. Reginald Selkirk says

    @4: Note the reply in that thread from Nick Brown:

    I would be very concerned if I thought that any of the IVM trials from those countries had actually taken place.

    Nick Brown is one of the people exposing the errors in multiple ivermectin-COVID papers.
    Some problems in the dataset of a large study of Ivermectin for the treatment of Covid-19

    In short, there is so much error and yes, deliberate fraud, in the ivermectin-COVID literature that any other effect is probably going to be very subtle by comparison. I’m not going to spend time looking for explanations until the smoke has cleared and you can convince me there is a remaining effect to be explained.

  9. StevoR says

    @ ^ itronic?

    One lo-oong jetty here – and some staggering worlds we now know exist beyond our solar system :

  10. chigau (違う) says

    efogoto #13
    “They” say they are working on it.
    I have lots of blankies.
    And a real good space-heater.

  11. anat says

    OK, Re: Avi Bitterman’s tweets about Ivermectin trials: missing from my summary is that the steroids that are used to treat Covid make the patients more sensitive to the parasitic disease. So worm-positive patients on the control arm of the trial suffer a double-whammy – they are denied a necessary medication to treat their underlying illness, and the treatment for Covid makes their body less able to rid itself of the parasites.

    Also, Avi says he excluded from his analysis ‘the ones under scrutiny for potential fraud (Elgazzar) as well as improper randomization protocols (Niaee, Okumus).’

    As for which areas have high infection rates with parasitic worms: ‘The South-East Asia, African, and Western Pacific Regions accounted for 76.1% of the global infections.’.

  12. cvoinescu says

    robert79 @ #6: Interesting… if there is also evidence that suffering from a worm disease makes you more susceptible to serious effects of covid, then deworming those parts of the country might actually decrease covid deaths…

    It may not be the disease, it might be the treatment. Some parasitic worms (Strongyloides [guard] is one I’ve read about recently, but others too) are mostly benign until a patient is treated with steroids or other immunosuppressants. Then they become extremely aggressive and can be deadly. Part of the standard treatment for severe Covid-19 is dexamethasone, a strong (and very cheap) steroid that helps dull the inflammatory response caused by the virus. This would explain why having worms and severe Covid is bad for you, and why ivermectin might make a measurable difference in areas where this type of parasite is endemic (like the third-world parts of Texas).

  13. Reginald Selkirk says

    Ivermectin: How false science created a Covid ‘miracle’ drug

    The BBC can reveal that more than a third of 26 major trials of the drug for use on Covid have serious errors or signs of potential fraud. None of the rest show convincing evidence of ivermectin’s effectiveness.
    Dr Kyle Sheldrick, one of the group investigating the studies, said they had not found “a single clinical trial” claiming to show that ivermectin prevented Covid deaths that did not contain “either obvious signs of fabrication or errors so critical they invalidate the study”.

    That means at least nine seriously flawed studies. Only one has been retracted – so far.

    The scientists in the group – Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, Dr James Heathers, Dr Nick Brown and Dr (Kyle) Sheldrick – each have a track record of exposing dodgy science. ..
    They formed a group looking deeper into ivermectin studies after biomedical student Jack Lawrence spotted problems with an influential study from Egypt.

    Some names, to give credit where due and in case you want to do any follow-up searches.

  14. chigau (違う) says

    The heat is still out in my building but we got this email

    Good afternoon residents,
    You may experience temporary losses of hot water due to the installation of a new exchanger seal that had to be replaced to fix our heating problem. The heat will be restored tonight.

    Please do not bang on the pipes or radiators.

    Kind regards,

    I’m still giggling.

  15. says

    Reginald Selkirk @23 “Twice on the pipes – means the answer is no”.

    From the lyrics, he really sounds like a stalker. How would he love her when she doesn’t even know who he is?

  16. says

    And this is why it’s useful to talk about historical examples of institutionalized racism

    It’s everywhere; the whole country is built on it.

    When you combine “city planning” with redlining, you pretty quickly have enforced ghettoization. And then the “conservatives” can ask, wonderingly, why some people just can’t keep their neighborhoods clean and proper.

  17. says

    Marcus @26:

    And then the “conservatives” can ask, wonderingly, why some people just can’t keep their neighborhoods clean and proper.

    [snark]”But we don’t do that any more, so why aren’t “they” now just like us?[/snark]

  18. JM says

    Police/DA weirdness. Two teens get into a shoot out after a school event. 3 cops at the event hear the shooting and respond by shooting an unrelated car that happened to be moving up a street towards the cops. The cop’s bullets plow through the car and kill an innocent bystander. The DA charges the teens with the death of the bystander.
    This is just hugely wrong, the teens are being charged for the police officers incompetence.

  19. JM says

    Twitch used in large scale money laundering in Turkey. Any system that can be used to transfer money is going to be used for money laundering at some point and this is a pretty simple method. The important thing is that Twitch knew this was happening but didn’t care. A pile of Twitch internal records got dumped and this came out and now Twitch is looking into it.
    The interesting thing is how these on-line semi-real money systems are being used for money laundering. As companies like Kickstarter, Patron, GoFundMe and others become larger this is going to be a growing problem.

  20. StevoR says

    Just found the story behind that last song and clip here :

    An old, old Aussie classic that’s been derided and mocked since but still rings true :

    “Why shouldn’t I get emotional, the Bush is sacred.” It’s hard to explain & not religious but .. it really is at least in a sense.

    This song. So much. Even if now outdated. That quote at the end. Spot on.

    You cannot replace a 200 year old or older tree tree without waiing 200 years or more for one to grow and giving the chance to to do so. /Cap’n Obvs?

  21. StevoR says

    I honestly fear that the Kenosha murders verdict will start a Civil War in the USA – if we can actually say the Civil War ever stopped given the flags carried through Congress on January 6th during the attempted coup by the Trump cult mob.
    Outrageous, appalling if predictable verdict that needs to be overturned as an illegitimate trial given the bias of the Judge in the murderers favour.. Would it be okay if things were reversed and a BLM person turned up with a machine gun at a Trump rally then gunned people down there? Clearly not but here. Is this the precedent they’re setting now? You don’t get to pick a fight and then claim “self-defence” and teenage kids should not be wielding military grade guns.

    Furious and disheartened here and I’m the world’s biggest ocean away so can only begin to imagine how others closer to the action and more directly affected feel. I fear where this is heading and things need to be stopped now before they get much worse.

    Can the White Supremacist killler* here be re-arrested and charged with terrorism and conspiracy to committ homicide or suchlike offences? If so, that should happen. Laws clearly need to be changed and Judges and maybe lawyers removed as well.

    No justice. No peace.

    Well, we’ve had the no justice part of that equation.. (Expletives.)

    * Yes, I’m deliberately not using his name to avoid rewarding him with attenition and a sick sort of glorification and fame. He doesn’t deserve it. What he deserves, well, a lifetime in jail for starters.

  22. StevoR says

    Interesting and concerning here :



    Including note that :

    while any ringtone emanating from behind the bench would be an obvious distraction to any legal proceeding, it was the theme song of former President Donald Trump’s campaign – God Bless the U.S.A. – that came blaring from Schroeder’s mobile device.

    Even before that shocking moment, Schroeder’s ability to oversee a fair trial – particularly a racially charged one – had been called into question. He is the longest-serving active judge in Wisconsin’s trial courts and has long been viewed as a tough jurist.

  23. cvoinescu says

    Reginald Selkirk @ #39:
    NASA seeks ideas for a nuclear reactor on the moon

    That’s some horrible kerning on the sign on that building. Hopefully they’re better at reactor design.

  24. says

    I honestly fear that the Kenosha murders verdict will start a Civil War in the USA

    It might be a good idea. Get it over with. This time, do like the Romans would and crucify the secessionists all along I-95. Because, they’d lose again; they’re too stupid to realize that, and they’d just advance our schedule for White Genocide(tm) by making it self-inflicted.

    Joking aside (not that that was funny) the US collapsing into a civil war might be a good thing for all of humanity.

  25. StevoR says

    @ ^ Marcus Ranum : Dunno. So awfully many individual lives with so much potential to do good as well as evil would be lost if that happens.


    The other night Brian Cox’es new Universe doco screened here in Oz and made rather a big deal of this exoplanet :

    Whch was fascinating but also rather disappointing when I then googled and sought to learn about it because :

    Although on looking further :

    So, hmm, still seems more like a mini-Neptune around a red dwarf and those certainly seem unlikely to be suitable for human life and “advanced” lifeforms but still.. Just so much speculations and unknowns and various possibilities and probabilities here.

    Kepler K2-18b has a pretty good wikipage & space dot com article on it in my view too.

    Also wait 3/4’s of the exoplanets we’ve discovered are now in that size-range.. ?!

  26. StevoR says

    An old song here but a great one I’ve only just discovered via a reference to it in a radio quiz :

    Kev Carmody, ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’ on our treatemnt of Indigenous people in Oz specifically and theplanet more broadly.

    At least now some long overdue, correction and respect and reburial. FWIW I live on Kaurna land. :

    Only in Oz. When your motor race -the Bathurst 1000 – is interrupted by an echidna onthetrack. It lived – the last few seconds of fooage here tho’:

  27. StevoR says

    EVENT ALERT : On the unlikely (?) off chance any other folks in (or near enough to) Adelaide, South Oz read this in time & with apologies for the short notice, there’s an anti-Aukus nuclear subs deal protest tomorrow (Sat 11th Dec) rally on at Parlt House steps, 2 pm details here :

    That group also has an fb page FWIW. We could really use the numbers here and all are welcome so please come if you can.

  28. StevoR says

    @ ^ :-)

    Merry Sol Invictus and here’s hoping for a much less shit new year!


    The JW Space Telescope has launched successfully.

    So far so good — although now it has to deploy and will take a month to reach its final L2 orbit. See timeline and informative site here :

    Then? We start learning and seeing &, I expect, being surprised and awed by what comes with first light and beyond:

    Feels like we’ve been waiting forever and its still no certainty with a lot of steps to happen but .. so happy about this right now.

  29. StevoR says

    In the off-chance and hope that some reading this are in South Australia and able to attend tonight :

    Different day – tonight Weds 29th Dec & start time – 4.45 pm but same location – the Gawler Place intersection near the Pigeon sculpture in Rundle Mall & same Weekly Vigil for the refugees wrongly imprisoned on Manus and Nauru here. Please join us and help try to end this needless, unjust torment of innocent people who did us no wrong and pose us no threat.

    Details from the Adelaide Weekly Vigil for Manus and Nauru facebook page :

    Event by Adelaide vigil for Manus and Nauru
    Rundle Mall
    Duration: 1 hr 15 min
    Public · Anyone on or off Facebook

    Adelaide Vigil members invite you to join us for this week’s vigil – a different day and slightly earlier time this week.

    A few months ago Australian Government announced its plan to abandon the 110 refugee men remaining in Papua New Guinea, having detained them there, illegally, since 2013. That is about to happen as of New Year’s Eve, in a few days, and is causing much anxiety. A new Memorandum Of Understanding has been signed with Nauru, enabling the continuation of Australia’s offshore human warehousing to continue there, into the future. Following an extensive Covid_19 outbreak in the Melbourne detention hotel where 46 medevac refugees are housed, this week there was a fire, and the resident prisoners were not even evacuated, merely moved around the building, despite their justifiable fears.

    This Wednesday, from 4.45pm, we will meet at the intersection of Rundle Mall and Gawler Place, to stand publicly in support of refugees now in their ninth year of detention or immigration limbo, prevented from achieving safe resettlement despite their ever increasing need for it.

    We will stand together for the following 75 minutes, distributing updated information about the situation of those who were originally taken to Manus and Nauru detention centres by the Australian government. We will maintain social distancing and Covid_19 awareness and safe practice.

    Please join us in standing for the freedom, safety and human rights of the refugees the Australian government wants us to forget, with hundreds still being held in inhumane conditions after 8 years of punishment on #Manus, #Nauru and now also PNG and Australian Immigration Detention.

    The only laws that have been broken in their seeking of asylum are those which Australia itself has an international obligation to uphold, through its signing of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention.

    FWIW This Refugee Vigil is a weekly event which is usually (but NOT this one week) held on Friday nights from 5 pm, same place In Adelaide city centre.

    PS. Crossposted on Pharyngula & Affinity blog open threads too. FWIW. Trying to boost the signal and attendence there so hope that’s okay. This group has now done 267 of these weekly vigils and counting. The Refugees have been imprisoned without trial or crime going well into a ninth year with no end in sight now..

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