The Telegraph’s Tribute to George Cole

August 7, 2015 at 1:13 am (Media) (, , )

Compare and contrast:


The implication that ‘Er Indoors is a tyrant is reinforced by the appearance of the actress Claire Davenport (famous for such roles) as her sister.

Arthur’s favourite drink was a large vodka and tonic, which he referred to as a “large V.A.T”, a wordplay on Value Added Tax.


…the implication that she is a fierce and formidable woman is reinforced by the appearance of actress Claire Davenport (famous for such roles) as her sister.

Arthur’s favourite drink was a large Vodka and tonic, which was referred to as a ‘large V.A.T’, a wordplay on Value Added Tax (The UK tax on sales).

Perhaps Martin Chilton, Culture Editor online at the Telegraph wrote the Wikipedia page for Minder.

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Independent on Sunday’s HPV Scare Story

May 31, 2015 at 4:53 pm (Anti-Vaccination, Media, Vaccines) (, , )

The Independent on Sunday apparently thought it would be a good idea to publish a front page story scaremongering about the HPV vaccine. Some elements remind me of previous unfounded vaccine scares promoted by the press and the anti-vaccine movement. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wakefield Speaks – But Why Is Anybody Still Listening?

February 10, 2015 at 10:40 pm (Anti-Vaccination, Vaccines) (, , , , )

For some reason, Newsweek decided to ask the discredited researcher Andrew Wakefield for his views in the wake of a measles outbreak. To be fair, they’ve done their research and they do present the important facts (for example the retraction of his fraudulent paper). But: we all know what he’ll say (the same as he did last time there was an outbreak) and we all know how much weight we can give the word of a man who’s chiefly known for his misconduct. Read the rest of this entry »

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Patrick Holford On Cancer

January 18, 2015 at 7:43 pm (Nutritionism, Patrick Holford) (, , , )

Remember Patrick Holford? Well, he’s still going. Here is the latest post on his blog. There are some interesting comments on lifetime risk of cancer and on five- and ten-year survival rates. Let’s start with Cancer Research UK though. Read the rest of this entry »

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Anti-Vaccine Authors To Promote Their Wares At University Of Minnesota

November 16, 2014 at 2:42 am (Anti-Vaccination) (, , , , , , )

Anti-vaccine authors have successfully hired a room at the University of Minnesota. This isn’t an especially impressive or interesting development – I just couldn’t think how else to start this post. The book symposium will take place next January.

Speakers include David LewisJudy MikovitsMark BlaxillDan Olmsted, and the novelist-policeman Louis Conte. Oh, and some lawyers.

The symposium is being sponsored by Skyhorse Publishing, experienced in publishing “books on sports, flyfishing, nature and history” (an obvious choice for anyone who has written a scholarly tome on medical matters – as I’m sure Andrew Wakefield would tell you). The other sponsors are The Holland Center (a treatment centre which offers biomedical interventions such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy, nutrition consulting and allergy testing), CADE (a local non-profit organisation), The Canary Party, Age of Autism and Health Choice (you may notice some overlap between the last three groups and the list of authors).

The minimum ticket price appears to be $25 but this does include one of the ten books being promoted (for $99 dollars you get a ticket and enough books to remedy up to ten wonky tables).

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Krill ‘n’ Shills and Bellyaches

July 3, 2014 at 7:17 pm (Nutritionism, Supplements) (, , , , , )

There’s the TV adverts for Schiff, the advertorials from Alta Care, the celebrity endorsement by Carol Vorderman (Bioglan). People seem to really want me to buy krill oil pills. Read the rest of this entry »

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Homeopathy Awareness Week 2014: Skincare

June 10, 2014 at 10:47 pm (Homeopathic Remedies, Homeopathy) (, , , , , )

Homeopathy, like sympathetic magic, operates upon the premise that “like affects like”. Its proposed mechanisms have been described as “physically impossible“, and the best available evidence from trials was found to be “compatible with the notion that the clinical effects of homoeopathy are placebo effects”. These are just some of the things that homeopaths may avoid mentioning when promoting “awareness” of homeopathy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guardian Publishes Article On Vitamin Pills Written By Vitamin Pill Salesman

April 7, 2014 at 12:00 am (Media, Nutritionism, Supplements) (, , , )

The note at the bottom of this Guardian article ‘the science behind dietary supplements’ states that the website mentioned in the article is “an independent encyclopedia on supplementation and nutrition. It does not accept advertising.” However, nowhere in the article does it mention any other website that the author is involved with. Well, I found one that looked pretty interesting. Read the rest of this entry »

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Crazy Hypothesis Amnesty

April 4, 2014 at 11:43 pm (Miscellaneous) ()

I’m interested in daft, unlikely, or outright weird ideas (there used to be a non-peer-reviewed journal for this) and would like to read yours. I like daft ideas and I think as long as you don’t assume they’re true, they’re probably pretty harmless (as well as having the benefit of entertaining me for literally minutes). Here are some of mine: Read the rest of this entry »

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Weird Cold Symptoms – Is It Just Me?

April 4, 2014 at 7:47 pm (Miscellaneous) (, , , , , )

The symptom checker at gives the following symptoms for the common cold:

  • Cough
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Hoarse voice
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Fever
  • Body aches or pains
  • Decreased smell

Weirdly, I get some slightly odd symptoms not mentioned here. And one that contradicts the final symptom listed by webmd. When I get a cold, my sense of smell (usually pretty terrible) is greatly improved. I haven’t yet found an explanation for my odd symptoms, and nor have I met anyone who has similar symptoms (unless everyone I’ve asked is trolling me). If anything here rings a bell then do please comment. Similarly, if you have a plausible explanation for my odd symptoms I’d be pleased to hear it. Read the rest of this entry »

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