Purely a figment of your imagination

What amuses, annoys, concerns or otherwise interests me – Noodlemaz


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Generic Dating Profile(tm)

I’ve used online dating apps on and off for longer than I care to think about. Here are some common things you’ll find (from men’s profiles*) if you venture in, too!

Most of all you must realise: I don’t take myself seriously. If you take yourself too seriously, we probably shouldn’t hang out. Life’s a big joke, right. Woohoo, I love travelling and food!

MB_canyon

We found it!

I really hate it when girls don’t reply because I’ve put so much effort in saying “Hi beautiful!” – it’s just rude.

Lol no way no ugly fat chicks I’ma ignore that haha, sluts.
I’m looking for NSA fun who wants fun? Continue reading


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2014 in review

I’ve posted these the last couple of years so feel I should continue, partly because I’ve not posted anything since September (!).

Blogposts2014
This is for various reasons I won’t get into; life, mainly. Again. I’m really hoping 2015 will be much less dramatic and stressful – I hope you have a happy new year, too, readers!

Do give me a shout on Twitter if you think I really need to write about some throwaway comment – always good to receive a bit of outside inspiration. Looking forward to engaging with your comments…


 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 36,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 13 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.


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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

It’s been a quiet year for me on here. I can safely say it’s been the most difficult year of my adult life so far – despite having to write up and be examined on my PhD the year before. That wasn’t actually too bad, all things considered.

I didn’t know whether it would be good to write something personal and share some of that, but I’ll try it and see, readers.

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Troublesome TfL

Last year I wrote a post on my blog about the victim-blaming rape culture we live in, in which the primary focus is still on telling women to alter their behaviour in order to avoid rape, when what we need to be doing is addressing the rapists and condemning them (which, thankfully, at least some places are doing, with apparently positive results)

“Oh but everyone knows rape is wrong, what’s the point in that? Nothing wrong with giving people some well-intentioned advice about staying safe.”

No, sod off. Clearly everyone does not know it’s wrong. That alone is clear, since if you leave the word ‘rape’ itself out of questionnaires and phrase them carefully, a shocking majority of people will admit to thinking force is justifiable in certain circumstances.

Recently we had an outcry directed at ITV and Eamonn Holmes specifically for his callous comment to a high-profile rape survivor, who aided her assailant’s conviction by deliberately leaving genetic material for later forensic detection.

For some reason he decided it would be a good idea to tell this woman that she should just take taxis in future. Right, thanks. Because no rapists are ever found driving licensed cabs.

With this in mind, some female friends and I, in a pre-Christmas 2011 exercise, received the following e-mail from Transport for London:

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Science Wooseum Revisited

Time for an update on the Science and Art of Medicine – Living Medical Traditions exhibit in the Science Museum, London!

If you’re not familiar with the backstory, do check out these posts or listen to my report in the Pod Delusion live 2nd birthday episode – go, make some tea and a sandwich while it’s on or something 😀

Briefly, we’ve been trying to improve the Science Museum’s alternative medicine exhibit as there were some serious problems with it. It largely came across as promoting alternative treatments, even advertising practitioners and generally being worryingly uncritical, with no reference to the results of reliable studies (i.e. that most of the ‘treatments’ are no better than placebo and many carry serious risks) – and indeed no mention of the wonderous placebo effect at all.

I’ve highlighted some of the original displays and issues in this photo gallery, now with some new photos – though a lot of them are appallingly blurry, apologies – in this new set.

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Burzynski II

Sorry for the unimaginative title, but I get the feeling number 2 won’t be the last and at least this makes it easily searchable.

In this post, I want to talk about people’s online behaviour regarding this issue, think about it a bit and hopefully get others to do the same. It’s not a sciencey one (lots of links at the end for that, though), but I hope people will read it nonetheless.

I would say that the general acceptance of alternative medicine by the general public (and indeed the NHS, having walked past the ‘Hospital for Integrated Medicine’, formerly the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital, again the other day) creates a dangerous accepting background for these kinds of situations and media coverage of them (the BBC as well), and is a huge contributing factor in people’s choices. So that’s where raising awareness of the dangers and lack of evidence behind alt med as a whole comes in.

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Burzynski

I think it’s time for me to say something on this subject. It is after all very closely related to my current… vocation (if one can call it that, being a PhD student still!) and impacting directly on some of my friends.

One of those friends is my co-host of our long-neglected podcast, Super Duper Woo-Fighting Duo (With Capes)! – Rhys Morgan.

Edit: even BoingBoing is on it this evening!

Background

Feel free to scroll down to ‘The Threats‘ and ‘Some Interesting Correspondence‘ sections if you know all this…

The subject is one Stanislaw Burzynski, based in Houston, Texas. He offers an experimental treatment (though to call it that is probably a bit generous) to cancer patients called “Antineoplaston Therapy”. These antineoplastons are claimed to be peptides (bits of protein – though they’re generally not, technically – see comment 11 for more) found in urine. When a difference between cancer patients’ and healthy individuals’ urine peptide profile was found, an assumption was made that cancer sufferers were lacking these protein chunks and therefore replacing them should be an effective cure. A list of his patents and publications can be found here. This NYT article is extensive and demonstrates the shocking wealth accumulated:

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