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Happy Holidays from Orac! See you next year!

Happy holidays, all! As I mentioned a few days ago, I’m taking a brief blog break for the holidays. I hope that, wherever you are, whatever faith you hold (or don’t hold), your holidays are filled with cheer. I’ll return either Monday or January 2, depending upon how energetic I’m feeling and what is or isn’t going on in the world regarding topics that concern me.

Happy holidays, all! As I mentioned a few days ago, I’m taking a brief blog break for the holidays. I hope that, wherever you are, whatever faith you hold (or don’t hold), your holidays are filled with cheer. I’ll return either Monday or January 2, depending upon how energetic I’m feeling and what is or isn’t going on in the world regarding topics that concern me. As I said before, I might be back before then if something particularly compelling pops up between now and January 2.

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]

31 replies on “Happy Holidays from Orac! See you next year!”

Gotta love that show. If only they’d put as much thought into that plexiglass box as they did into Jacqueline Pearce’s clothes. In this scene, the fashion afterthoughts ponder how they can get Orac to shut up.

What year was that ? An instance when sci fi predicted that future as the actress is wearing a cold shoulder blouse which nearly current: ( actually I wish it were entirely over with but it’s definitely the last few years).

1978 or 1979 season as some of those characters were written out in the season two bloodbath.

Starting in 2019 can you change the name of this blog to Respectful Insolence and Puppies?

I first posted this on a different thread. You must imagine that Santa has had a very long night, with too much brandy and rich food, and is tired, stressed out and fed up.
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the House,
Everyone felt shitty, even the mouse.
Mum at the brothel, Dad smoking Grass,
I’d just settled down with a nice piece of arse,
when all through the window there came such a clatter,
I sprang from my lay to see what was the matter.
Then out on the lawn I saw a huge prick.
I knew right away it must be St. Nick.
He came down our chimney like a bat out of Hell.
I knew in an instant the fucker had fell.
He stuffed all our stockings with whiskey and beer,
and a pink plastic dildo for my brother the queer.
He rose up the chimney with a thunderous fart.
The son of a bitch blew our fireplace apart!
He cursed and he swore as he went on his way,
“Piss on you all! It’s been a hell of a day!”

After that, what can one possibly add?

Anyway, happy new year, Orac, and we’ll look forward to further insolence about quacks and quackery in 2019.

But Old Rockin’ Dave:
I thought they all have red hoses.

On a more serious note ( Hah!) because it’s Boxing Day, I come bearing gifts:
the Grand Poobah of Woo has updated his frequently discussed Death By Medicine and it is presented in all its despicable, lame brained glory at in both spoken ( 25 minutes in- end/ to be continued tomorrow) and written form ( all) for your listening/ reading “pleasure”.

his followers may think this a precious holiday gift but we surmise better.

I know people who hate-watch sports teams/ musical or acting performers they despise.. so Sceptics, have fun!

Gotta wish you all a too late merry christmas.

Alain <– walking dead, too overworked…

Here’s another joke I found for everyone’s amusement.
One Christmas Eve, things were going horribly wrong at the North Pole.
First, a massive accident occurred in the Toy Workshop, and several elves were badly injured. A bit later, the Wrapping Department reported that they had run out of wrapping paper. Finally, late in the afternoon, an elf had come up from the stables with yet more bad news: three of the reindeer were sick and wouldn’t be able to fly that evening.
As Santa sat at his desk with his head in his hands, wondering if this year would be the first cancellation in history, there was a knock at the door. The elf who was receptionist got up and opened it.
In fluttered a little fairy carrying a big fir tree. “Hello everyone! Isn’t it a lovely Christmas Eve?!”
“A lovely Christmas Eve?” asked Santa through gritted teeth.
“Yes! The skies are clear, there’s a lovely thick blanket of snow on the ground! Oh, and Santa, where would you like me to put this Christmas tree?”
And that’s why there’s a fairy atop the Christmas Tree.

I wonder how long it’ll take for the antivax contingent to make a whoop-de-doo about this alert out of Kentucky. From the state medical board notice:

“The Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) is alerting you about a cluster of adverse vaccination reactions and requests information on any adult patients with adverse vaccination reactions occurring between September 1 and December 31, 2018. Reactions (abscesses, fibroid knots) are associated with a single healthcare provider in a rural county who was providing vaccination clinics at Kentucky businesses. All available evidence points to an injection safety or practice issue and not a vaccine issue. The provider has ceased vaccinating, so there is no continuing risk to the public, but reactions can occur up to 8 weeks after vaccination so patients may develop reactions related to this practice until the end of 2018.

We have been informed of abscesses at the site of injection and inflammatory or fibrous nodules following the administration of hepA, TDaP, pneumococcal, or seasonal influenza vaccinations. If you encounter this in your practice, we ask that you notify KDPH and we recommend a workup for nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) along with other bacterial and fungal pathogens. The following cultures and stains are recommended:

• Anaerobic culture

• Aerobic culture

• Fungal culture

• AFB smear and culture

Clinicians have reported removing “nodules” or “knots” from the arms of some patients at the vaccination sites. Any biologic material should be sent for the same cultures listed above and also sent to pathology for analysis.”

Hah, it’s gotta be them vaccine Toxins.

*Kentucky has also been experiencing an outbreak of hepatitis A. Don’t even think about vaccination; natural immunity is best.

Fair warning- the easily offended may be easily offended..
By popular demand:


Rude-Dolf the Red-Hosed Reindeer had a very shiny member
and if you ever saw it you would say it glowed like an ember
All of the other reindeer used to laugh at Rude-Dolf’s schmuck
They wouldn’t let poor Rude-Dolf have a little reindeer…luck

Then one horny Christmas Eve, Mrs Claus came to say
“Rude-Dolf with your dong so bright, Santa is away tonight.”
Then how the reindeer loved it as they danced around in glee
“Rude-Dolf the Red-Hosed Reindeer, you’ll go down on Mrs C!”

Wish you all a very happy new year.

A bit busy with taking care of cats and chickens. And fish, which are not ment for the cat.

Aother joke for everyone. As we all know, everyone thinks farts are funny. In fact, the oldest written joke is a fart joke. This one comes from China and is the funniest fart joke I’ve ever come across.
A philosopher lived next to a lake and had a friend who lived on the opposite side. One day, the philosopher wrote an insufferably self-congratulatory, supercillious poem about how he had reached the pinnacle of enlightenment, and that “the eight winds can not move me”. He sent it to his friend. The friend read through the poem a few times, wrote “fart” underneath it, and sent it back to the philosopher.
The philosopher received back the poem, saw that the friend had written “fart” underneath it, and got in his boat and sailed across the lake to remonstrate with his friend.
The friend looked at the philosopher and responded thusly:
“The eight winds cannot move you.
But one fart pushes you across a lake.”

Speaking of intestinal gas (and other afflictions), here’s hoping that the Insolent hordes are avoiding dangerous food combinations this holiday season. The Chinese know much more about the problem than allopathic-trained Westerners. For instance:

“Eggs and saccharin, you die. Tofu and honey, you will become deaf. Kelp and pig blood, constipation. Potato and banana, you will get freckles (gasp!!). Beef and brown sugar, the mixture expands inside you and you die. Pork and swamp eel, you die. Lamb and river snails, you will fart a lot (this sounds deadly too!). Celery and rabbit, your hair will fall. Tomato and mung beans, it will affect your qi. Crab and persimmon, diarrhoea.”

And whatever you do, avoid pear-stuffed geese. Very very bad.

Tomato and shrimp: shrimp contain something that when mixed with tomato becomes poisonous. This sounds a bit suspicious as shrimps with tomato sauce, or pasta with shrimps and tomato sounds like something pretty common to eat.

So our local Chinese restaurant, we visited this Christmas, wants to poison it’s customers? They have shrimps in tomato-sauce on the menu.

Single malt for all those continuing the battle with mighty Orac. Here’s to another year of making those little bastards scream, one poke at a time!

I’ll second that! ( Although I’m not so sure I’ll go with a single malt because I’ll have Japanese food later- it won’t work)
I’ll end the year on an optimistic note:

I think that perhaps sceptics are gaining ground against altie nonsense… at least partially. Why do I say this?
BECAUSE I seem to hear woo-meisters/ anti-vaxxers always complaining about censorship and SB attacks-
-it seems that social media has taken steps to counter bullshit on the web and Mike Adams doesn’t like it at all. He has in fact, started his own you tube wannabe, Brighteon. He and other woo-meisters now disparage/ insult facebook, twitter, google, youtube, Wikipedia ENDLESSLY – I wonder why?
– Null and his minions have spent a great deal of time and effort attacking Wikipedia, SBM, Orac and company ( broadcast and articles,, since May). It seems he’s lost money and speaking invitations.
– anti-vaxxers like AJW continuously carping about Brian Deer ( Del Bigtree’s recent Highwire @ Del Bigtree)
– AoA is asking for money; Rossi is losing speaking invitations / TMR often not posting anything for a month or more

Thus, fellow and sister sceptics, Orac, Ms O and minions, Happy New Year! Keep up the good work because If we don’t do it, who will?
I’ll be thinking of you all as I view the famous skyline and laugh at a sarcastic political film.

If we don’t do it, who will?

There’s a reason why I keep returning to the cat dungeon. <a href=”>Selah. TINW.

Denice Walter writes,

I’ll end the year on an optimistic note

MJD says,

My new year resolution is to have a RI guest post ready for consumption by 06/01/2019. Thereafter, the minions can serve MJD their unique version of “umble pie.”

Solstice has passed,
Perihelion approaches.
As January wanes,
We gets eclipses!

Happy new year.


Please excuse me for resurecting an old thread but I have a geothermal energy question and I know there are some scientists and engineers here who could provide an answer. The question:

Is it possible for a geothermal energy system (basically for heating and cooling building depending on seasons) to heat to the sufficient temperature and pressure water to create water vapor?

The possible application would be in ~4-5 years but the water vapor would be used to heat sparge water and beer wort in 35-100 hectoliter beer brewing system (4 such systems planned in such a factory).


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