February 2011 Blog Posts

Are you smarter than a Meryl Dorey?

There's now a simple test. Head over to Shellity's blog and try it out.

My new drive

So anyway, over the new year period, the registration on my much-loved Land Rover Discovery expired. I'd just crashed it and had the body repairs done, only to be told that to get registered for 2011 would cost me a tad more than it was actually worth. So I cut my losses and let it go for spares money. My local Land Rover specialist took it off my hands for a fair price, and I commenced searching for a new car. And here's where it got complex. I wanted to buy a Mitsubishi Triton GLXR crew-cab ute, a quite capable four-wheel drive with...

Meryl Dorey and the AVN: Copyright hypocrites

A few days ago, I posted a screenshot to Facebook. Meryl Dorey reported this to Facebook as a copyright violation. It's not the first. She's been abusing the Facebook system for several weeks now, but this is the first time she's reported one of mine. That she reported it at all is odd, considering the picture is not owned by the AVN, and neither is over half the text,which was pasted wholesale from an online journal syndicating "Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology". It also doesn't actually say what she thinks it says, discussing as it does the outcomes of low-level, non-obvious trauma, not vaccination. All up, less...

Urge your employer to run pertussis vaccinations

I wrote a little note to my company's Corporate Responsibility team, HHH, a few days ago.   To: All HHH Contacts I’m not sure if you’re all aware of the recent pertussis (whooping cough) death at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/death-sparks-vaccine-appeal-20110216-1awnl.html Australia is now in the midst of what is quite justifiably being called an epidemic, and children are dying. Two years ago, 4-week-old Dana McCaffery died from Whopping cough at Lismore Base Hospital. Shortly afterwards, and as a direct consequence of the media coverage of Dana’s death, a group called “Stop the AVN” was formed. We at Stop the AVN are focused...

Meryl Dorey

The creator of this image has indicated that it may be posted freely

Yet another theist fails it

Christopher Braga over at Summer Hill Anglican has tried on more of the usual nonsense, painting strawman arguments, begging questions and using playground-level logic when faced with an argument with an atheist Christopher's original questions were Let me ask: who do you think Jesus was? Where did the world come from? Why are humans special (if at all)? My response, after a diversion, was 1. There is no way to know whether jesus was real or fictional. Therefore I cannot speculate. The character as described in biblical text - aside from the miracle claims which cannot be verified by mere text - doesn't...

Erwin Alber and VINE: Intellectually Bankrupt

This weekend, over at the "Vaccine Information Network (VINE)" Facebook page, an interesting graph appeared. This graph, as you can see, is an obvious fake-up. The "total meningitis reporting rate" is tacked on using a cheap graphics program such as MS Paint. It shows an incredibly  implausible trend - that Hib meningitis reporting rates rocketed but hospitalisations and deaths sharply declined. The legend has been clumsily tacked on, in an unmatched font with an unmatched background, and a typo, and the copyright claim, most damningly of all, is both incorrectly declared and purported to be from "fictuscorp". Fictus is a latin...

Antivaxers want your stories

Via Twitter and Skeptical Canary comes a link to an online survey set up by antivaxers into the health of unvaccinated children. There are many things about this which are colossally stupid. One is the self-selection bias which is inevitable in antivaxers carrying this out. If the link is spread among ideologically-motivated antivaxers, then only ideologically-motivated antivaxers will answer, making it "a survey of the purported health of the children of people known to lie a lot" The other majorly stupid thing is that it's on the internet. Guess what else is on the internet? Yep, you guessed right. People like me. So I filled...

Skeptalk: Why atheists get annoyed at "In God We Trust"

I just wanted to archive this response I made to a thread on skeptalk, where a user has asked, somewhat naively: '[...] why "in God we trust" or "One nation under God" upsets atheists' Well, the first thing for me is that it's just a lie. I'm not sure about you, but I was brought up to believe that lies are a bad thing. There's no evidence for a god. None. To make such claims without evidence falls into the "lie" category for me.   The second thing is that such a statement is counter-constitutional. Not that I actually have standing to talk about US...

Cryptic Crossword 19,284

So, welcome to a new category on this blog, called "A Molecular Mixture of Angry Lexemes", in which I'll be attempting to teach whoever cares to stumble by how to solve cryptic crosswords. Today's crossword is Sydney Morning Herald crossword 19,284, set by "EP" and published today, 7 Feb 2011. This is a full walkthrough, constitutes a massive set of spoilers and goes into very nerdy detail. Enter with caution.

Little Sugar Pills: Why Fall For Homeopathy?

Courtesy of Kylie Sturgess

Meryl Dorey: False Copyright Claimant

On top of everything else Meryl Dorey does, Meryl has today been revealed by Facebook as being the false copyright claimant behind recent removals of content from the Stop The AVN Facebook page. An email from Facebook admins confirms what SAVN Administrators suspected all along: -----Original Message----- From: ip+jgimsrn@support.facebook.com [mailto:ip+jgimsrn@support.facebook.com] Sent: Saturday, 5 February 2011 8:52 AM To: <redacted> Subject: Re: Copyright Counter Complaint: #254415615 Hi <redacted>, Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. Please note that we removed the content in question because we received a proper notice of copyright infringement compliant with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 512(c)(3). If you would like to...

More heatwave? This is not good for my brain

So, according to the SMH, Sydney, which has already sweltered through what was apparently the fourth hottest January in 150 years (or something), is in for a record heatwave. This is not good news. You see, I lose my mind in the Australian summer. Completely. What happens is this: I let myself get dehydrated, sometimes because I'm forgetful, but usually because my geek brain does its special trick of tightly focusing on one activity to the detriment of others. Then, because I'm dehydrated and starting to get a little stoopid, I forget to rehydrate. I forget to walk in the shade when I'm outside. I make ridiculous decisions,...

Vaccination Saves Lives: Stop The Australian Vaccination Network
Say NO to the National School Chaplaincy Program