Announcements Medicine

The old Respectful Insolence is dead. Long live the new Respectful Insolence!

What the title says. The old ScienceBlogs version of Respectful Insolence is dead. (Well, not quite, but it soon will be.) This new independent version of Respectful Insolence now rises in its place.

The old Respectful Insolence is dead.

Here is the new home of Respectful Insolence. Long may it live!

There have been some unexpected glitches in making this shiny new blog ready to become the official repository of Orac’s Insolence, Respectful and otherwise. In particular, updating the internal links to the new blog format so that they are not dead links has proven more challenging than expected. (If you encounter any old ScienceBlogs links, you can convert them to links here by changing “” to “” It’s a kludge, but hopefully it won’t be necessary too long. Also, the old blog will remain for a few more days in a read-only mode before disappearing into the ether forever. You won’t be able to comment there any more.

Those of you who are not familiar with the blog and its long history, I encourage you to check out my new description of this blog’s mission and of who Orac is. Also note that, although I’m pretty sure I’ve gotten all the posts over, maybe 10% of the comments didn’t make it over, for some reason. I’m trying to figure it out, but at some point, if I don’t figure it out, I’ll have to give up, asking how much effort I want to put into recovering comments that are years old and unlikely to be read. Sorry if that disappoints anyone, but I’m out of time and have already spent a ridiculous amount of time on the migration. So has Alain, who has been kind enough to volunteer his services.

Finally, I know what you’re thinking. When, you’re asking, will Orac start laying down regular doses of that that Insolence you either crave or, if you’re an antivaxer, quack, crank, or science denialist, hate so much? Good question. Soon. That’s about the best I can do. I originally said that I would probably start up again by November 2, but I think it is more likely to be next week. As I said, the transition has been more difficult than anticipated and personal real life has also made it seem prudent that I delay relaunching the blog until next week. I want things to be working properly before I start publishing new blog posts here.

However, you never know. I might see something that so irritates, amuses, or intrigues me that I can’t resist writing about it. In the meantime, kick the tires. Comment. Tell me what you’d like to see in the new blog.

And, because it’s Halloween, and I’m a Walking Dead fan…

No there’s another way to rise from the ashes!

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

228 replies on “The old Respectful Insolence is dead. Long live the new Respectful Insolence!”

Thanks to Orac and Alain for building a new home for the old blog!

Happy Halloween to all who celebrate, and cheers to more insolence soon, whenever you and/or blog are ready!

Hooray for the new blog! Not a huge fan of the ginormous pictures, since I read mainly on computers, not tablet, iPad or phone (shudder). But I’ll definitely still hang around. (Is it safe to go back to an old email yet?)

So far I like what I see and things working better than the old site. Many thanks for your efforts. You and Alain should enjoy a feeling of accomplishment.

“A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention with the possible exceptions of handguns and Tequila.”

― Mitch Ratcliffe

Just sayin’.

Welcome back from the grave!

And special thanks to Alain for all the help.

Since I’m in the throes of a major move of a more traditional sort, I,LLC add a little food note.

I’ve discovered that thinly sliced Buffalo Chicken strips from Buffalo Wild Wings make a great addition to one of those boxed pasta meals we happened to have.

Glad you’re undead, Orac. Long may you blink, and the plexi remain un-yellowed.

Well, you’ve got a redirect for the time being. And Mark Thorson didn’t get my final suggestion.

What’s that poem? “We rise, we rise” No, no it’s not vampire.

At any rate, I will continue to scour the crankosphere for new woo daily.

As a side note, perhaps Orac’s move has inspired Jake to show up at AoA. This can be the start of something big. Heh.

I feel that using, and will serve as an intelligence test, leaving many of Orac’s critics out. ( see the recent hilarious guessing game about Sceptical Raptor at AoA for a sample)

If Orac and Alain were truly skeevey,( and they’re not), they could make a Mike Adams-like web of sites.

Don’t worry, SB people will find you and the loons will later straggle in for our entertainment.

I’ve discovered that thinly sliced Buffalo Chicken strips from Buffalo Wild Wings make a great addition to one of those boxed pasta meals we happened to have.

A girlfriend and I once spruced up a fancy molded biryani with leftover chicken from the late lamented Ribs ‘N’ Bibs.

And man, is this site slow.

Looks like things are mostly working here. A few bugs to be worked out, but there always are with migrations like this.

Large fonts are not necessarily a bad thing. A few years ago I broke down and accepted that I needed reading glasses. Downside: I don’t read books as much as I used to, because of the extra effort involved (you don’t want to wear reading glasses for other purposes–don’t ask me how I know this). So far I haven’t needed reading glasses to look at screens, and the longer that remains true, the better.

I don’t have problems wearing readingglasses. I use them al the time when I’m behind the computer. And I still read a lot.

I will say one thing about the new commenting system: with both the above comment @1516 and the other test comment I made a few hours ago on the “under construction” post, when I hit the “Post Comment” button the comment disappeared for a minute or so, before reappearing. That’s a bit disconcerting, since it isn’t immediately apparent whether the post is taking or whether it is being redirected to a spam or trash folder. (Safari v. 10.1.2 (10603.3.8) on MacOS 10.10.5, in case the tech support people want to know.)

Yeah, I see what you mean. I might have to disable some commenting bells and whistles and/or upgrade my hosting account, which is actually rather basic right now because when I signed up for it expected my traffic to suck for many months as I rebuild after losing a lot of my old Google juice.

To my pleasant surprise, yesterday on this new blog I garnered traffic about 1/2 to 2/3 of that of a usual normal day on the old RI blog. I suspect the influx will fade in the short term, probably its probably being largely due to the announcement of the move. It might also have something to do with 301 redirects, in which case it might be more sustained, and I might bounce back to my former traffic levels much sooner than I had anticipated. (I had guessed that it would take months, if not years, to rebuild to my old traffic levels.) Or it might not. Only time will tell after I get back to regular posting next week.

In any case, regardless of traffic I’ll fiddle with some settings tonight.

Large fonts are not necessarily a bad thing.

Combined with the excessive leading, it’s pretty bad here. I don’t know how much CSS experience Alain has, but this sort of thing is pretty easily tweaked (as I’ve noted by file and line at the SB site, which no longer has a redirect).

Apparently, blocking this script actually prevents commenting in this setup. Amazing.

I [h]ave no idea what this means.

Here. I’m just trying to block as much cruft as possible while maintaining basic functionality.

A 2.6 MB page would pretty quickly exhaust my government phone, mobification notwithstanding.

Disabling queuehandler.js improves performance, but it also breaks “likes.” There’s nothing like poking the bloatware that is Jetpack with a stick to see what it will do.

Woohoo, glad to have you back Orac, if only for one post before having another week off ;). Big thanks also to Alain, i bet this would have taken much longer without your help.

The comments thread takes up a LOT of vertical space. This could get very unwieldy if not downright unreadable when lots of comments fly. It’s not the font size of the comments themselves so much, but the large font for the nyms, the large avatars, and there just being a ton of extra white space in every direction. I don’t know what the reformatting options are, or about the desktop vs. mobile issues, but this will be hell to scroll in a long thread, and it would sure be nice if it were more compact…

I’d also vote for a more obvious marking of links than just the mid-gray. They’re too easy to miss. The standard blue may be a bit much in brightness and saturation, but you should be able to use any non-neutral hue and adjust the S and B to a tone that works for the overall design.

OK, I’m getting bored. It’s the “likes” widget that seems to be the most sluggish item here. Serve it locally.

Just a quicky,

This techy (me!) is going to bed (or should have went 15 minutes ago) and will checkup everything over the next few days starting from tomorrow.


Just thinking aloud … ( and trying to avoid TV news about nearby terrorism Yiiiiii!)

As you may know, Jake Crosby ( Autism Investigated) is NOT linking to the new site and warning Karate Kim to do the same at AoA. so that Orac’s work will shrivel up and die.
I doubt that that’s the REAL reason:
I think that he doesn’t want anti-vaxxers to be exposed to what we ( or the Sceptical Raptor for that matter) say,that is, to SENSE and reality.

Orac has a large readership and his powers are not limited to his personal blog.

The number of people who read the aforementioned anti-vax rags is not huge.( one can estimate them easily) They don’t follow SB material for the most part.

No, Jake is afraid of Orac and company.

You’ll notice that Orac – and yours truly- always either link to or describe the loci of woo-meisters’/ anti-vaxxers’ swill.
I personally WANT people to read ( or listen to) people like Null, Adams and Mercola (, Natural News, respectively) as well as anti-vax moms like Rossi, Conrick, Dachel, O’Toole, McNeil, Habakus et al ( see Age of Autism, Thinking Moms Revolution, Fearless Parent, respectively)
Their own words are often the best argument against them.
I daresay that perhaps I have in this way contributed to their final tallies. Lots of Orac’s minions read this stuff.
They should thank us.

No preview, but (at least for me) the reply window automatically grows to show the entire entry.

It’s not preview, but it’s the next best thing. It’s a lot easier to see mistakes.

It’s not preview, but it’s the next best thing.

It’s freaking WordPress. A commenting system like that at Popehat (which I’m not crazy about, but which would at least settle this matter) could be dropped in trivially. It ought to be even simpler than the freaking CSS.

Oh, goody, wrapping words in asterisks automagically makes them italic. As though I didn’t know how to use italics if I freaking wanted them.


A mere echo of a disappeared comment that got lost in the transfer. It happens.

Is there any chance of turning on comment numbering?

I tried to get to my WordPress account, but got a survey about “my website” instead.

Then I tried to refresh the tab with the older comment and got:

Service Unavailable
Guru Meditation:

XID: 211910272

That should say “older article” rather than “older comment”.

Reply depth seems to be limited to 3. Is that appropriate for this gang?

Clicking on the WP widget in the submit dialog gets me to the WP login popup, which doesn’t work. Maybe I screwed up my email address or my password.

Then I got an email via WordPress to confirm my subscription to this page. The subscription was in the WP subscription list for my account.

I still have to enter my ‘nym and email address, though.

The previous comment is awaiting moderation, ’cause I managed to misenter my ‘nym as “S”. Oh, well. That seems to work, I guess.

No. I never liked numbered comments. the numbering frequently changed as I approved new comments, breaking many references to previous comments. A date and time stamp doesn’t change as new comments are approved. I realize it’s longer, but using date/time stamps eliminates what was a major annoyance for me on the old blog.

I concur. On SB I had to refer to posts by number, because the commenting system there stopped listing the times of the post. But as you point out, the number is subject to change, while the time stamp is not. So I can refer to, in this case, “Orac@0624” and there is no doubt about which post I mean (if I make the reasonable assumption that even a box of blinking lights is unlikely to make more than one post per minute).

Please get rid of comment threading. I usually read RI on my phone, and I won’t see new comments when I refresh if they’re direct replies to an earlier comment. Also, folks here like to make very long, info-heavy comments, which doesn’t go well with multiple indent levels and the ever-narrowing columns of text they create.

As good an opportunity as any to switch to another nym!

I was seriously considering “Hieronymus Borsch,” but in the end decided against it.

Great pun, but methinks if you go for a new nym you might consider referencing some IWW-ish or otherwise Lefty political something. I actually just Googled “IWW women” and the second hit was a page about Lucy Parsons on the IWW site. Pretty rad lady. Check it out!

Takes some getting used to the logging on aspect of commenting; I suppose I can just use my email and nym like over at the old RI.

The website looks great on my phone, but as others have noted, less good on my laptop.

And yeah, the nested comments are annoying. It took me a while to figure out to whom Orac was replying just now, for instance.

Direct replies are indented. (That works up to three or four levels, after which you have to pay closer attention.) You may have to scroll up a bit, but look for the last post to be less indented than the post in question.

It does take some getting used to, but there are significant advantages to it. I’m personally agnostic: I can understand the arguments for going the other way, but as long as the system in place works I can deal with it.

This time when I replied to the Orac post in question, I noticed that there was a Cancel Reply link. So you have a few seconds after pushing the button to say, “Oh, [expletive], I shouldn’t have put that in a blog comment,” and cancel before it appears. At least that’s true if I correctly understand what that link does.

I was seriously considering “Hieronymus Borsch,” but in the end decided against it

“Ersatz Haderach” has already been taken. If anyone wants to be “Abdul al-Hazmat”, I am not possessive about it.

I’m obviously seeing entire comments, but below each is a blue star and “loading…” next to it. What is loading? Why doesn’t it finish? Using iMac desktop/Safari, all latest versions. Thanks anyone who knows.

One thing that Gilbertimmeh did have right was that the old killfile needed a wholesale rewrite; it was redrawing the whole page. Time to refresh my XPath neurons.

I’m afraid culture pessimists find confirmation in the new format. It’s not made for serious text on a big-screen desktop. One three-word comment virtually fills the entire screen. It looks like dumbing-down.
Not that I’m not aware of the difficulties, and of all that Orac has done over the years to hold back the tides of mediaevalism.
yours scrolling eternally…

Of course, for those who dislike nested comments sprinkled willy-nilly across the screen (L-rd only knows what will happen with a long thread), there remains the option of not using them and proceeding as before.


Yeah, Lucy Parsons was awesome! For now I’ll settle for a new avatar, perhaps I will come up with a clever nym. 🙂


Yeah, long threads were exactly what I was thinking of when it comes to the nested comments.

Oh, dear, Sandy Gottstein has fallen on hard blog times. I noticed this only because Yazbork will probably be incoherently cheesed off in some fashion or another by this, if he ever notices it. (And yes, the crazylink was courtesy of AoA.)

Wow. There’s no way he’s spending $20,000 a year in hosting and technical fees. His site is too bare bones, and I highly doubt he has traffic that would cost anywhere near that amount to host. I currently have a fairly bare bones hosting plan, which I will upgrade as my traffic recovers, and I bet I probably get at least as much traffic now as Gottstein does. Maybe he’s paying himself or others for the time it takes them to find vaccine news and write articles about it. That’s the only way I can think of to hit $20,000 a year.

Maybe the legal fees relate to access to the vaccine court documents? I don’t know why i am even trying to find a decent reason for this cost, it is ridiculous .

Maybe the legal fees relate to access to the vaccine court documents?

I’m reminded of Krakow’s asshurt over being informed that grossly overbroad FOIA requests actually take time to complete and aren’t free.

I work in a different country so do not know the cost of FOIA requests and legal access in the US. But, it legitimately could be a death from a thousand cuts type of thing. In Aus FOI requests (or the states equivalents) are not especially expensive but send enough of them and the cost would add up. It is probably unlikely, but it is at least plausible that the costs are real.

But, it legitimately could be a death from a thousand cuts type of thing.

No, it was one preposterously massive request (emphasis added):

“In Unanswered Questions we found 83 compensated cases of vaccine-induced brain damage in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) that also featured autism. This number is alarming because we were able to access less than 200 compensated cases. As of 2011, there were over 1,300 cases compensated.

“We wanted to look at all of the compensated cases but the government blocked our efforts by advising us that our request would take five years and cost $750,000.”

Gee, Bob, you think there might be a certain amount of redaction involved in that request?

^ I guess those weren’t Krakow’s words (I blame the Dachelbot’s composition skills), but I’m pretty damn sure he’s said as much. Here is Conte with the same routine.

Yay! It worked.

Happy to see the new site up and working. Can’t wait for my next dose of insolence! 🙂

A quick survey indicates that woo-meisters and anti-vaxxers are indeed bereft of ideas they continually attempt to resurrect old newsflashes ( i.e. about AJW/ AoA, Autism Investigated), AGW denialism turned up to 11 ( Natural News) and Clinton/ liberal bashing ( TMR was so forgettable that I already forgot what it was.

Anyway, I used to connect to the old RI instantly through a frequent use mark involving the post about a doctor and Goop, I expected it to NOT connect any more BUT, lo and behold! it links to the new RI with the old post. RIGHT HERE! Woo hoo.

Woo-meisters and anti-vaxxers are indeed great at recycleing. Or beating a dead horse. Whatever.

Jake has now posted, the third in, what he promises to deliver, a continuing series of articles about how Paul Offit is sometimes still called the Chief of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and not the ex-Chief of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. What roll that plays in the investigation of the who, what, when, where and why of the autism epidemic (in that order!) is something I have yet to figure out, but maybe it will come to me.

I would also note that from the time Jake promised he wouldn’t link to our new home, and cut off our host’s oxygen, his site has 10 comments, 6 by Hans, and one by Jake himself. This thread has 10 different minions commenting in the first 10 posts. No doubt Jake and the other loons will say they are all ‘bots and shills.

It’s a good thing a box of blinker lights doesn’t need oxygen

@ Johnny:

Oh I know.

I can assure you that because of my travels around these g-dforsaken malarial swamps of unreason ( listed above) I know- or can infer-a great deal about how these people think, interact with others and/ or run their businesses.

I don’t always note my thoughts because I want to allow readers to make their own judgments.

But there are loads of awfulness.
I can usually point to references as I have recently such as Linked In for two people. Others link themselves to materials that show that they may have been exaggerating their roles as caretakers ( because of their devotion to outside interests over several years) and two who tell others how to avoid disaster have been rocked themselves more than once over the past few years. Or an activist having to give up anti-vax activities due to psychological issues due to med refusal. Or how newbies to woo socially climb through video or articles.

It’s a harsh world out there but someone has to do it, why not me?

It’s a good thing a box of blinker lights doesn’t need oxygen

Jake will also be annoyed to learn that my traffic is rebuilding even faster than I could have imagined that it would, and I haven’t even posted any new material yet. 🙂

Thanks to my old Sb overlords for setting up a 301 direct and letting it run until November 30.

“Damn it, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a web design guru and script jockey!”

Give the poor perspex box and his web minions a chance to get the site going. At least some of the layout and design issues are probably tweakable. And, to re-paraphrase Willie Sutton, mobile is where the action is (at least a damn good sized portion). Some compromise is going to be in order.

Excellent! Congratulations Orac (and Alain) – everything looks great. Looking forward to seeing some brand new respectful insolence in the near future.

It looks great. Actually it looks huge! It might be the hugest blog I visit.
But I keep visiting.

Well, it worked, but for some reason when the site reappeared it took me back to the top. Interesting.

Testing…testing…Carey Gillam is a “journalist” in the same sense that Sharyl Attkisson is…testing to see if I’m still in mod pre-approval hell…testing.

Tomljenovic suggested in an email that the problems with the most recent vaccine paper were the result of “intentional sabotage.”

The paper underwent review for nine months prior to publication and nothing came up. “But the bloggers caught it right away. How is that possible?” she said.

“I do believe the truth will come out.”


When the retraction issue bubbled up a few weeks ago, Shaw and Tomljenvoic were getting ready to release a new book they had co-edited with Dwoskin and Lujan called Controversies in Vaccine Safety.

But in light of the journal retraction, Shaw said he and Tomljenovic decided to remove their names and their chapter from the book.

“We didn’t want people to say, ‘Aha! Just another anti-vacc(ine) book. Look at Shaw and Tomljenovic. We know them,’ ” he said.

A spokesman for Elsevier, the book’s publisher, said this week authors of several other chapters have since decided to withdraw their contributions in the wake of the controversy and the book has been cancelled.

Here’s another good quote from the article.

“Just because someone is thinking against the grain doesn’t mean they’re a crank, as long as they’re careful with evidence,” said Heather Douglas, a University of Waterloo philosophy professor specializing in values in science and science policy.

Operative words “careful with the evidence”. And it is blatantly obvious that Shaw was reckless as anything.

The paper underwent review for nine months prior to publication and nothing came up. “But the bloggers caught it right away. How is that possible?” she said.

Shorter Tomljenovic: “I would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for those meddlesome kidsbloggers!”

I would have gotten away with it

No, Tomljenovic may genunely believe that there was an earlier version of the paper, which was rigorous and convincing and full of incontrovertible evidence, the version that passed nine months of review… which has vanished without trace, replaced by the version with the recycled diagram and all the other fabricated diagrams and the description of the research that is contradicted by earlier descriptions. The new version and the substitution being the work of a conspiracy.

Remember, Tomljenovic has also told journalists that she had nothing to do with the paper, she takes no responsbility for it, she didn’t contribute anything and her name is signed on it only through some kind of freak accident. I am quite happy to believe that she never read any version of it and has no notion what it actually contained.

I’ll be jiggered if I can figure out where that invalid-token message is coming from, but it’s in here.

I’ll be jiggered if I can figure out where that invalid-token message is coming from, . . .

One of us has already broken the comment system, but it wasn't me, I hope.
Just someone trying to quote me in a reply.

Well, piffle! Now it has the star and says “Loading . . . ” above “Reply, ” instead of “Like.” Someone is going to have some explaining to do.

Gotta go. I hear my late mother calling me for supper.

I’ll be jiggered if I can figure out where that invalid-token message is coming from


Anybody else getting a blank white frame when trying to comment? I tried a couple of times to comment last night; HIt ‘post comment’ and then was left with just a blank white screen. The comments did not make it. If this one does then good on ya.

Something has changed. I’ve been unable to comment because noscript says “filtered XSS something from jetpack. I did the ‘unsafe reload’ thing but still no comment showing up. I’m now allowing the wordpress scripts to see if that fixes it. Surely, it doesn’t want to set a cookie now??….

The ‘like’ button needs to go as it seems very laggy and silly otherwise.

We went into a camp to inoculate some children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn’t see. We went back there, and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms.


Testing the nesting tree as triskelethecat doesn’t have a reply button but I still do…

Works as expected. It might be ok to allow one more in depth, but I think this is good to keep comments from not being to narrow/tall on mobile. With this implemtation, one actually replies to me (in this case) to continue replying to the last poster. It takes some getting used to but I’ve seen what can happen with unlimited nesting (rows three words wide) so this current implementation is acceptable. I note that reddit does have a seemingly infinate depth to replies but it usually breaks down into short puns and ‘hidden’ comments one must click to continue to read the thread. On that note, reddit seems to mock antivaxers on a regular basis across all subs I’ve been privy to so that may prove amenable to the gist of most of Orac’s posts.

For some reason, reddit thinks it vogue to chide Alex Jones over *what they are putting into the water is turning the frekkin’ frogs gay.

Hmmmm….guess my old wordpress sign on and password work. But I am not sure I want to use that ‘nym here. I like my old one.

In other anti-vax news…

Of course, it’s no news that anti-vaxxers despise Dorit Reiss and the phasing out of California’s vaccine exemptions BUT seriously the only revelation in Adriana Gamondes’s article ( AoA) is that she eschews her habitual hallucinatorily baroque collages and substitutes photos and videos.**

Otherwise, she quotes Mary Holland and goes on to construct a Rube Goldbergesque edifice wherein the recent law leads to the hunting down of vaccine refusing parents and jailing them in corporate prisons for profit: they will become the disappeared ones, victims of the junta currently in power. Just like in Argentina decades ago.

I swear I am not making this up.

Otherwise, the anti-vax landscape looks rather bleak as Jake and TMR perseverate

** I wonder if our mockery had something to do with that?

Otherwise, she quotes Mary Holland and goes on to construct a Rube Goldbergesque edifice . . .

You have besmirched the reputation of one of the icons of American arts and my youth. Mr. Goldberg’s ingenious devices actually accomplished things.

Well, Jake has hit a new low.

He’s calling on both of his minions to track down one of the ‘Lancet parents’.

So Autism Investigated is reaching out to you the reader. We need help tracking down Mr. {REDACTED} and confronting him with the fact that he’s been misled by the British Medical Journal (BMJ). If you have any information about his whereabouts and/or contact information, feel free to post in the comments below.

(Name redacted, because I don’t want to give the guy any unwanted Google juice.)

The lad clearly needs some adult supervision.

@ Johnny:

Yeah, he seems to be on a roll. Down hill.
The last several posts have indeed sunk below his usual tangential nitpicking. Sometimes I wonder why he bothers.

Jake needs more than adult supervision and I think he already has that ( mom).

These people have so much money you think he’d do something worthwhile with his time:
get an education**, start a business, assist his family’s company, hang out on a beach in Hawaii watching big wave surfers, buy clothes, go to Thailand.

** oh wait…

These people have so much money you think he’d do something worthwhile with his time.

This bespeaks a rather appalling misunderstanding of the nature of Capitalism…

The trolls are mostly of the deep under the bridge type. They are really struggling with the caps lock and the exclamation marks. Although they are doing a nice line in racist and sexist remarks against Dorit.

Philip Hills* is there in all his glory.

*In the list of things I don’t understand fully, auto correct suggests Philip Hills to me every time I type Philip.

On the off chance that anybody is interested in my little DIY projects that came up on the old page, I currently have two batches of sauerkraut (one plain, one with garlic and caraway) sitting in the kitchen and bubbling away as they are supposed to do. It is fun to check on them and think about all those little beasties in there. Next on my list is curtido (my friend Desmond makes it and I got his recipe, it’s awesome stuff) and eventually kimchi.

I’m also infusing my own akvavit (akevitt in Norwegian); caraway, orange peel, a few cardamom pods, and a spoonful of sugar. And I’m thinking about making some mead eventually; my Uncle Gary has made mead but mostly sticks to beer these days, so he might have some stuff I could borrow. I would probably add raspberries.

Oh, and it seems only right for me to “christen” (heh) the new blog with a little bit of music. (Speaking of the Balkans.)

Regarding the link, I have to say “Felicity Dumble” is my new favorite name.

Not knowing anything about WordPress layouts…or anything else, really–how difficult would it be to show a comment count under the post on the home page? Without it, you have to click on each post to see if there have been any new comments.

Amazing! ScienceBlogs losing it’s funding due to people waking up… Thrilled about this news. Buh-bye “Orac”

@ JP:

Although I have not fermented much ( except lemons), I DO think that your projects are worthwhile and of general interest. As a matter of fact the new RI has not as YET had a food (hijack?) thread. It really should. After all, it IS a tradition.
And fermentation touches upon several themes near and dear to us all- alcoholic beverages, international culture ( heh) and cuisine as well as a contrast to altie views on the subject and down right hedonism.
We can also talk about Indian stores’ preserved inexpensive treasures in jars.
Hopefully a few of the minions will contribute and if we are really lucky, some lurkers may step up and deliver.

Come on out, I know you’re there.

I’ve decided to become a Breatharian. No more food, recipes or cooking. It’s been one hour. So far so good.

Well, technically the Breatharians are correct. You can go the rest of your life without eating or drinking anything.

As for myself, I’ve managed to get the hang of sous vide NY strip. 2, maybe 2.5 hours at 132f, then onto a rocket hot slab of cast iron for about 1 to 2 minutes per side, including the edges. Brown and crusty on the outside, hot and pink inside, and as tender as a young woman’s heart. Garlic potatoes and sweet corn on the side, with a nice Zinfandel – life is hard, but it’s good.


Although I have not fermented much ( except lemons),

I have heard of preserved lemons in a Middle Eastern context (I do cook Middle Eastern food sometimes), and also limoncello. One of those? I might try both. (Though limoncello is actually an infusion, not a fermentation.)

Uncle Smut has told me that homemade sauerkraut is a gateway drug to the world of fermentation, and it rings true so far.

I got several really cool books at the library the other day: both of Sandor Katz’s books, Wild Fermentation (the new edition) and The Art of Fermentation. I was disappointed to see a nod towards pseudoscience in the chapter on “health benefits” in the latter, but I am mainly interested in the gustatory, cultural, and practical aspects of fermentation, which he covers very well and entertainingly. Also, in the health chapter, he does make an effort to make it very clear that fermented foods do not cure any diseases; he is HIV positive and says that they did not cure his HIV, that he went on retrovirals in 1999, and that modern medicine has saved his life.

I also got Make Mead Like a Viking, which is a super cool book so far.

Also too, here is another good song.

“Well Hannah was at home in the Berlin cabarets of ’32.
But in ’33 the weather turned & the Brownshirts all turned loose.
& rumors were bad. Her Sozi lover Alex was getting scared.
He heard his name was on a list for having red friends & brown hair.
He wanted to get out. Hannah could’ve gone with him to Ukraine,
but instead she took a walk out in the rain
through her Berlin…”

@ JP:

It was Moroccan style ( which I like at restaurants) – I got the recipe on either All Recipes or Recipe Source. There are also Moroccan cuisine sites.

My daughter, 2 friends and I hit a cool antiques market in PA yesterday. I picked up Travels with Charley in hardcover, lovely condition (forgot to check printing number though) for 4 dollars. She picked up an old French history book (in French) and Wine and War – about WWII and the French vineyards. I think that one is in English. I’m going to steal it and read it if it is.

I have heard of preserved lemons in a Middle Eastern context

I once tried to make lime pickle. Protip: It will eat through the top of a Mason jar.

Oh, dear G-d, the “invalid security token” message is caused by any use of an ampersand.

Right, so any explicit HTML entities are parsed as “security tokens.” There’s something one doesn’t see every day.

That could be problematic because there are lots of legitimate uses for HTML entities. For instance, if you want characters outside the standard 7-bit ASCII to show up, and be sure that all users can see it, you need to code it as an HTML entity.

That may also have an effect on my snarking here. Once in a while I use HTML pseudocode to make a point. On SB I got accustomed to using the HTML entity for the less than sign, because an explicit less than sign was always interpreted as the start of HTML code. I will have to do some experimenting on those lines.

As for standard HTML markup, I already know that blockquote, italics, and strikethrough work. Testing now to see if bold works.

It’s also somewhat odd that the sidebar stays open (thus obscuring the text) after one selects a recent comment to view, at least with OS X 10.11.6 and FF “56.0” on a 27-inch iMac.

Might also want to roll the title bar clc, like the rest of the universe. This is my first time seeing on a phone.

In other anti-vax news…

@ kimrossi1111:
claims that you can’t discuss vaccine injury ( on CNN) or gun control because “‘Merica loves its shots” **

Funny, all I seem to be hearing somehow involves control.

other twits tweeting @ del bigtree and @ TMRProf ( Zoey O’Toole)

** PGP might ‘enjoy’ this twitter account and her associated ones

HTML pseudocode test follows.

The idea that a blog would not allow snark in the form of HTML pseudocode is <voice=”Vizzini”>inconceivable.

If you see my HTML pseudocode markup, the test was successful.

There should have been a close tag to go with that open tag. So it was a partial success.

I swear that I tried that before to get less-than and greater-than. Perhaps Alain has fixed it.


Sorry, I don’t when’s the last time I took a vacation (admittedly, a few hours) after school but Now I’m taking one tonight. Got an exam tomorrow (French exam) and on Thursday, another one (algebraic models).

I’ll deal with everything (RI, aetiology and Brian Deer) tomorrow.


Alain: Don’t stress yourself. These are little niggling things. There is no urgency, and other things that are much more important, not the least of which are your own life and your exams.

Good thing I plan on starting to blog again on Wednesday (or Thursday at the latest). It looks like different subjects to comment on are desperately needed here.


Many thanks 🙂


Could you please tone down the testing? We know, the site has issues and I will ask you to give me a few weeks to deal with life, this, aetiology, Brian Deer and a few personnal issues.

Do know that I’m loging in every night, 3 to 4 hours on just the websites (all 3, not just RI) but we’ll fix things, faster than Sb but the backlog items (IOW, my checklist) has a metric ton of items. Give us time.


Bold, sure, but that reminds me; do sup and sub finally work for commenters? E = γm0c2.

Nope, but that should be trivially fixable (koff). Let’s try LaTeX, which should be native, or at least something it takes deliberation to break: E = \gamma m_0 c^2.

Pingdom report. The wait time was almost certainly from, but I’m not sure where the image generation takes place.

I’m going to watch it more closely this time:

\displaystyle F_{\mu\nu} = \begin{pmatrix}  0 &  E_{x}&E_{y}  &E_{z} \\   -E_{x} & 0 & B_{z} &-B_{y} \\    -E_{y}& -B_{z} & 0 &B_{x} \\   -E_{z} & B_{y} & -B_{x} & 0  \end{pmatrix}

^ Oh, right, that should have been “the less-than-sign p greater-than-sign tag,” for standards compliance or something.


Thank you for your hard work! And good luck on the exams. 🙂

I am currently in Portland to visit some good friends and am very much enjoying myself… (been downtown while they are at work.)

Ummm…Portland. Would love to visit.

Thanks for the best wishes 🙂

I’m crashing to bed now. Good night and more comments to come from me in the next few days.


Lucy Parsons was awesome

I’m rather fond of Faith Petric, but I may have already mentioned that. Clare Spark is obscure to me, Pacifica notwithstanding.

@Orac: looking forward to fresh insolence. The thread has degraded into testing rather than food. 😀

@Alain: You have done wonders. Good luck on your exams.

Yes. we are sorely in need of fresh insolence.

And, ( non–existent) lord almighty, I have tried to bring in new atrocious material! DAILY!!!
I have scoured the woo-sphere for altie crap, even descending to the lower depths of websites and twit streams ( green med info, @ kimrossi1111, @ ginger taylor, Tim Welsh, @ TMRProf, Bolen Report et al) at much risk to my personal well being.
BUT found nothing of value or truly laughable enough.


To borrow from Bill Maher, ” I can’t prove it BUT I KNOW it’s true” ( or suchlike)

Woo entrepreneurs like Adams and Null must have low sales because they are both ranting about eugenics, de-population and genocide being engineered by SBM ( see Natural News/ he also went full barrel loony about gun rights after the shooting).

I believe that they want to get their faithful followers riled up so that they will reward them for being like minded by buying over priced supplements and foods. In fact, it seems to me that their first appearances as political/ economic experts came in the wake of the Great Recession ( 2008-2009) when they had to convince people how essential they were and capitalised on their audiences’ anger and fear.

Well, for a laugh, there is always Jake.

He has a new post up about Ben Franklin and his son. It seems that Ben’s kid died of smallpox, not because Ben didn’t have him inoculated , but because the kid no doubt came in contact with someone who was. Because the only way smallpox was spread back in the day was by inoculation.

Didn’t Ben Franklin write that one of the greatest regrets of his life was that he didn’t have his son inoculated against smallpox?

Yep, and it’s Jake’s starting point.


Some peoples’ logic come from different galaxy 🙂


An Australian “celebrity nutritionist” woulld like to retract the claim in her recent book, that folate deficiency causes Down’s Syndrome.

Research suggesting a link between folate consumption and a reduced risk of Down syndrome is “mixed” says Weaver, who will remove the reference to it from the next edition of her book.

Anyone who has already bought a copy of What Am I Supposed to Eat? can return it for a refund, says Weaver.

“Australia’s leading nutritional biochemist” (and “holistic nutritional specialist”) would also like to apologise for using an antiquated and pejorative term for Down’s Syndrome, blaming the lapse on her medical eduation being three decades out-of-date.

She seems to be happy with repeating the claim that oral contraceptives cause folate deficiency.

^ Not that the begging-the-question abstract is all that impressive. I really need to talk to my friend at the former Archives about the moronic style rule that leads to barbarisms such as “1 putative neurodevelopmental mechanism,” too.

While we are awaiting new Insolence I feel it’s my duty to report a vaccine injury. Approximately one month ago my husband and I received the flu vaccine. It must have shed and triggered my son’s vaccine, which he had already been given. Since our vaccines started shedding my son has begun talking in sentences, clambering up previously unscalable furniture and developed a distinct fondness for the word no! It must be the vaccines.

Just for laugh:

In October 2017 the Chiropractic Commission charged chiropractor Staten C. Medsker Jr. (CH00002796) with unprofessional conduct. Charges say Medsker advertised and hosted an event with a goal of breaking a world record by adjusting 10,000 patients in a day. Medsker allegedly subsequently asserted that the event was a marketing tool, that he saw about 100 people, and that a cleaning crew threw away patient records while he left them unattended. The chiropractor also allegedly falsely advertised that he is a massage therapist, but has no such license.

If was to work a 24 hour day, to adjust 10,000 patients he would only have 8.64 seconds per patient. Not even the box with blinky lights is that fast.

Of course he was probably only adjusting their wallets.

I found it ! Okay so I’m fashionably late. Good to see the box of blinking lights, and the crowd.

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