How Quacks are Created

Although the captions says that being a doctor used to be more fun, this same type of attitude is found in pseudoscientists everywhere.

For example we have the guy who is promoting homeopathic sound as a treatment or prevent the onset of Ebola. The are those who perform chiropractic adjustments on new born infants. How about removing teeth to treat cancer?

The list is virtually endless, and really can be no more effective than injecting monkey skin into your balls, and all of them based on the evidence of let me take your money.

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Liberal Catholics

I very often criticize the Catholic Church for its numerous shortcomings on human rights and paedophilia (among many others). It is important to note that most of these shortcomings are the teachings of the Church and the pronouncements from the Vatican, and not the members of the laity.

In an report issues last winter, surveys and polls have shown the majority of Catholics do not follow the Vatican on attitudes about some very important issues. The survey was conducted in preparation for a Synod on the family that occurred this past October. Continue reading

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Liberal Muslims

Many people think of Islam as a monolithic religion with two main groups, the Sunnis and Shi-ites, battling it out for fundamentalist supremacy. Just like Christianity and other religions, there are differing degrees of modernism among believers, and with some sects being very progressive and others with a total disregard for human rights, and even human life. An article earlier this year in the National Post discusses the movement towards modernity in some groups of Muslims. Continue reading

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Medical Marijuana and Pain

The arguments for legalizing marijuana are overwhelming, only being delayed by governments that get elected on a ‘tough on crime’ stance. This despite the fact that legalizing or decriminalizing pot would allow police to focus on crimes that cause more damage to individuals and society. The first step along the the way to complete decriminalization has been the approval of the use of the drug for medical purposes. Unfortunately, the evidence for the medical benefits in many areas is not particularly strong. Continue reading

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It’s always about sex

Animals reproduce. That’s their primary function, and many things they do can be interpreted through the lens of sex. Perhaps that’s just a way of anthropomorphizing.

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Pro-Choice PEI video

Here’s a new video promoting abortion access as a right for all women—including those living on PEI.

This is a basic medical service for women that the PEI government refuses to offer. Again and again we have seen that abortion has a positive impact on the lives and health of women, and still governments pander to those who care little for those women.

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“Balanced” and “Unbalanced” Journalism

Journalists and editors seem to insist on balanced reporting. This involves statements from different sides of an argument, but too often doesn’t involve any fact checking.

Jay Rosen at PressThink has an example on an accusation of plagiarism against Rick Perlstein in his book  “The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan.”

The problem here is that the Times had what it needed to make a call. “Perlstein plagiarized Shirley” was a checkable claim. Shirley’s accusations were online. Perlstein’s source notes were online. The Times knows what plagiarism is. Its writers and editors have to guard against it every day. Under these conditions, “leaving it there” amounts to malpractice, even though it still feels like normal practice and, as I said, the safer choice.

The risk the Times was taking was exposed the following week. After receiving complaints from readers, the public editor, Margaret Sullivan, took a closer look. “We wrote about it because it was out there and thought we could take it head-on in the story,” said deputy media editor Bill Brink. “We did that in the most responsible way possible, and put it in context.”

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Return to Blogging

I’ve had a summer of home renovations, parties, company, and beach, so blogging dropped to a very low priority. These activities took precedence:

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Deep sea Cnidarian

There are approximately 9,000 species of Cnidarians. They are familiar to us as jellyfish and corals and one of the characteristics of the phylum is the nematocysts that can inject poison through human skin making the pelagic types the bane of swimmers worldwide. This toxin varies from the harmless moon jelly Aurelia aurita to the deadly box jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri, Carukia barnesi and Malo kingi).

An interesting Cindarian, recently filmed, is the Scyphomedusa Deepstaria enigmatica. Continue reading

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Bathroom Breaks in Movies

With Season 4 of the Game of Thrones behind us, we realize that people only use the toilet in movies when the plot demands it. In fact, without doing a count, I suspect people have sex more often than they urinate in movies.  Defecation is even more rare, probably because, as Tyrion Lannister discovered that day,  Lord Tywin Lannister did not, in the end, shit gold. 

Occasionally, a character will stop along the way for a bathroom break, but while many of us, especially as we age, can have our lives disrupted by overly frequent pit-stops, movie characters seldom have that weakness.  Continue reading

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