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The Broken Hut
Working my way up to a full-size building
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This is really appalling—“Doctor Yourself”:


World’s Largest HEALTH HOMESTEADING website

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. This especially includes your health.

What is this, hmm? This is the work of one “Andrew Saul, PhD”1 and what a piece of work it is. Every piece of woo medicine you’ve ever read about is contained in this one website. Homeopathy? Yep. What about vitamin C as a cure for AIDS (and HPV! Double whammy on the sexually transmitted diseases there!)? Oh yeah, we got that too. Maybe throw in magnesium for epilepsy too.

But this is all run of the mill stuff. What about his assertion that “the germ theory was complete bullshit” to really throw the cat among the pigeons?

We do indeed have a proper nutcase here. And he appears to have a love affair with vitamin C. Really, there seems to be nothing it can’t be applied to that won’t be fixed within the week. (I exaggerate, but only slightly.) He’s even got a full guide to strong-arming your doctors into giving intravenous vitamin C.

Unfortunately I don’t really have the medical knowledge to go through this site page by page. This is a lifetime’s project for someone.

I’ll leave you with the knowledge that Dr (or should that be “Dr”) Saul is “Assistan Editor of the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine”, which is probably about as well regarded as Homeopathy. Ho hum.

  1. Why does that title give me the involuntary shivers now? I suppose I’m just glad it wasn’t Dr Andrew Saul, PhD…

12th-Oct-2007 06:33 pm - Notes from the commute

Saw a sign on a van advertising halal chicken. Four chickens for five pounds. That’s quite terrifying. To the point that I wonder how it’s possible to undercut all the supermarkets with such a small market in the first place. Sounds rather suspicious to me.

Doesn’t matter anyway. Not touching cheap meat any more if I can help it.

Also, in the newspapers: “Inquest hears of papparazi photographing Diana crash” or similar. I seem to recall that the day after the crash there was nothing on television but the news. The papers were filled with it for weeks if not months. (And it gets dredged up on a weekly basis in some of the classier red-tops.)

Where did they think all those pictures came from? “Artist’s impression”?!

There’s a long and winding thread going on at Respectful Insolence, where the commenters are thrashing around the subject of “Jewishness” and “Judaism”. Are they different? Can one be an atheist/secular Jew?

Many people, certainly in the US, claim this is a very normal state of affairs. Here, for example, are Coturnix’s thoughts on the subject.

I am an atheist because I was born and raised in an atheist family, atheist school, atheist culture in an atheist country. I am also Jewish. How?

Because my mother is Jewish. She is also an atheist. How can she be a Jew then, you may ask?

Because her parents were Jews. And they were both atheists as well.

I need to go to the fourths generation into the past to find anyone who, apart from being Jewish also partook of Judaism.

… We dip apples in honey on Rosh Hashanah. We eat pork BBQ on Yom Kippur. We give kids eight presents over eight days of Hannukkah. We celebrate Passover as an excuse to have friends over for good food and good wine (no Manishewitz there!) and use a secular/feminist/environmentalist Haggadah for it. We eat, drink and make fun of both religion and the new-agey haggadah simultaneously.

So yes. I am Jewish.

Funny, isn’t it?

My great-grandparents were probably church-goers, and maybe my grandparents too. Though my parents weren’t, to the best of my knowledge. But we decorate a tree every Christmas and give gifts to each other. We used to roll boiled eggs down the hill outside our house at Easter, when we were younger. I still eat Easter eggs. I get a day off on Good Friday. I’m not totally opposed to the consumption of bread or wine either.

I live in a firmly Christian nation. Wikipedia suggests Christianity was introduced to Scotland in the second century AD, and that 70% of the inhabitants identify as Christian. I live in a constitutional monarchy, where the ruling monarch is also “defender of the (Christian) faith”.

Despite all this, anyone claiming I was a “secular Christian” would be recognised for the fool they were.

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. The history of lawyers' letters used to remove material from the internet never go in favour of the lawyers' clients. This is called the Streisand effect.

The Society of Homepaths are one group who have utterly failed to learn this lesson. David Colquhuon (himself no stranger to receiving legal letters) reports on the Society of Homeopaths attempt at bullying:
Many people now have written about the disgraceful and dangerous claims by homeopaths to be able to prevent and cure malaria. My contribution was “Homeopathic 'cures' for malaria: a wicked scam”

One of the best contributions was on the Quackometer blog, The Gentle Art of Homeopathic Killing.

But the post has vanished! Quackometer’s ISP has received threatening letters sent by lawyers on behalf of the Society of Homeopaths, who claim that the truth i.e. [sic] defamatory, while being unwilling to say which statements are wrong. These threats have forced the removal of the post (for the moment), though you can still read it from the Google cache. And a lot of other places too.
You can read the original article here: The Gentle Art of Homeopathic Killing.
11th-Oct-2007 01:15 pm - Completely barmy
Muslim medical students get picky:
Some Muslim medical students are refusing to attend lectures or answer exam questions on alcohol-related or sexually transmitted diseases because they claim it offends their religious beliefs.

Some trainee doctors say learning to treat the diseases conflicts with their faith, which states that Muslims should not drink alcohol and rejects sexual promiscuity.

A small number of Muslim medical students have even refused to treat patients of the opposite sex. One male student was prepared to fail his final exams rather than carry out a basic examination of a female patient.
At what point in your adult life do you decide, "Yeah, I'd like to be a doctor but I'll only treat half the population"?
This is slightly related to my post of the other day about email authentication and integrity. A warrant canary:
rsync.net Warrant Canary

Existing and proposed laws, especially as relate to the US Patriot Act, etc., provide for secret warrants, searches and seizures of data, such as library records. Some such laws provide for criminal penalties for revealing the warrant, search or seizure, disallowing the disclosure of events that would materially affect the users of a service such as rsync.net. rsync.net and its principals and employees will in fact comply with such warrants and their provisions for secrecy. rsync.net will also make available, weekly, a "warrant canary" in the form of a cryptographically signed message containing the following:
  • a declaration that, up to that point, no warrants have been served, nor have any searches or seizures taken place
  • a cut and paste headline from a major news source, establishing date
Special note should be taken if these messages ever cease being updated, or are removed from this page.
The canary (named after the sacrificial birds which were taken down the mines) is appended with the 'weekly message' (like an email) and an encrypted hash string (a digital signature). The website's public key is also published, so you can decode the signature and check its validity.

It's been over a week since the warrant canary was last updated...
The BBC reports:
Wildcat strikes plague Royal Mail
I thought postmen were generally plagued by large dogs, but I suppose this is the effect of XKCD from a couple of days ago.
8th-Oct-2007 10:27 pm - Avoid success at all costs

There is a joke in the computing industry, with regard to bugs, of programming being like sex1—“one mistake and you have to support it for the rest of your life”.

The talk given by Simon Peyton Jones on Haskell’s 15th birthday mentioned:

A smallish, rather pointy-headed user-base makes Haskell nimble. Haskell has evolved rapidly and continues to do so. Motto: avoid success at all costs

Organisations are reputed to become slower to adapt as they increase in size. Small is nimble.

In sex, in business or in programming: if you want to remain unencumbered, avoid success at all costs. Some people, though, go looking for success…

  1. I know what you’re thinking—how are programmers ever likely to know?

The next instalment in this exciting saga of family feuds and cyberwarfare. Tybalt has sent an invitation email to Romeo, impersonating Juliet in order to tempt Romeo to reveal himself.

Romeo opens his mail and finds this message waiting for him:

From: “Juliet” juliet@capulet.net
To: “Romeo” romeo@montague.net
Subject: secret meeting

Come to the town square at midnight, behind the clock.
Come alone and make sure you’re not followed.

J. xxx

If he takes the bait and travels to meet his love, who knows what terrible fate will befall him?

Luckily, we don’t have to worry, because Romeo and Juliet have been smart. They’ve taken precautions.

Click to read more...Collapse )
Expletive infixation:
A simple rule is that the insertion occurs at a syllable boundary, usually just before the primary stressed syllable. Thus, one hears abso-fuckin-lutely rather than *ab-fuckin-solutely. This rule is insufficient to describe examples such as un-fuckin-believable (not *unbe-fuckin-lievable), however, so modifications to this rule are proposed such as morpheme boundaries taking precedence over stress.
Does anyone else think that it should be unbe-fucking-lievable and not un-fucking-believable? The second one just seems like three separate words and is not something I could actually say.
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