"Letting Go: What Should Medicine Do When It Can't Save Your Life"
- If you haven't yet read Atul Gawande's riveting, humane, insightful and magisterial New Yorker piece, do so now.
- Then read Ed Yong's analysis of Gawande's writing techniques.
- Jerry Coyne's most excellent response to Phil Plait's much-discussed "Don't Be A Dick" speech. See also: Richard Dawkins' comment on that post, PZ Myers' takedown and Daniel Loxton's spirited defense (featuring references to actual scientific research!!).
"The Ten Commandments of Science Journalism"
- "Each time a journalist writes “just a theory” or “only a theory” or “merely a theory” — or insinuates pseudoscience (astrology, parapsychology, acupuncture, etc.) is a scientific theory — I cry. And Carl Sagan rolls over in his grave. And a furious hobgoblin emerges from some deep crevasse to defecate on concepts such as gravity, electromagnetism, plate tectonics, evolution, antibiotic resistance and so on."
- Via Ed Yong.
- Premiere quackery-smacker Ben Goldacre (again) catches the media being irresponsible (again). Cue lesson on the evidentiary status of anecdotes (something I have written about myself).
- Johann Hari: exactly right. There are few things in the world that would yield society as large an immediate gain as the decriminalization of drugs. This is how to do it.
- Erm... the title says it all. What do you want from me??
- Another Hari piece. Despite what some scientifically illiterate people may think, the science is beyond question at this point.
- Note: Hari attributes the calving of a giant ice island off Petermann Glacier to global warming, but this is premature.
- The Hauser misconduct case continues to unfold. Bad, very bad.
- PZ Myers absolutely nails Kurzweil's silliness. Kurzweil responds (badly) and PZ responds to the response. Steven Novella also wades into the debate.
- Takeaway: Kurzweil doesn't understand the brain.
- Finally the difference between farther and further makes sense! Also... please people, don't say "beg the question" when you mean "raise the question". Srsly.
- Yes, really. Even more evidence that drinking copious amounts of alcohol is good for you...
"Malaria, Sea Grapes, and Kidney Stones: A Tale of Parasites Lost"
"Why I Quit Chiropractic"
- The most excellent Carl Zimmer writing excellently about a parasite that decided to forgo a life of crime...
- Ok, "decided" and "crime".
"Why I Quit Chiropractic"
- Not only is (straight) chiropractic sheer pseudoscience, some chiropractic schools mercilessly exploit their students (while teaching them to exploit patients).
- Wikipedia in all its glory.
- There are some real gems here. I learnt, among other things, that God has a "Holy, Righteous Penis," that apes do not exist, and that women subconsciously want to be hit and told to shut up.