Updates on anti-vax, woo, and flying cars…

I have updates on some of what I’ve been writing about lately. So listen up!

In my H1N1 post, I mentioned the “backwards walking cheerleader.”  Via Skepchick, please read this entire post by Orac summing up the aftermath. In summary, Desiree Jennings was taken in by Generation Rescue, the anti-vaxx group that Jenny McCarthy associates with, and they “cured” her with some quack medicine.  Steven Novella also follows up on this story, and points out that the “miraculous cure” points strongly to the psychogenic hypothesis.  I’d really like to know how many people avoided vaccination thanks to this entire mess. I find it hard to laugh about this, but this guy does make it amusing.

Next, the sickening story of the dowsing rods being used by Iraqi security forces to search for bombs.  The James Randi Educational Foundation had asked the company to take the Million Dollar Challenge in October 2008 and had no response.  They have reposted the challenge, but I doubt there will be a response from the money-grubbing murderers unless there was a larger public response.

And finally, in news from my backyard, The Hook has a nice article about the car that flew through a guardrail and into a house… the house next door to me.  It is disturbing to me that new evidence shows that the cops did speed down Rugby Road at 85 miles per hour in pursuit of the stolen car (which at the time was just for a traffic violation.)  I don’t know where I stand on the debate though, since although there is clearly harm in such chases, are there benefits as the police department claims?  Loss of life is an awful thing, but do they save more lives in the process? That’s hard to prove, so maybe they should err on the side of caution. Two things that did strike me in the article:

However, Longo emphasized the dry pavement, the fact that UVA was out for the summer, and that the near-2:30am timing meant an absence of pedestrians.

Right, so because the undergrads are gone, the REST of us who live in Charlottesville year-round aren’t a concern?

Pointing to a black stripe on the pavement spanning the breadth of the roadway, Stone said the perpetrator probably never applied brakes— that he tried to negotiate a right turn at a speed that the laws of physics simply wouldn’t allow.

That right turn, if partially successful, would have brought the car into my living room and probably my bedroom. *shudder*

Alright, that was all depressing, so here’s a kitteh…

CC RWhitesell on Flickr

Happy Friday 13th, everybody.

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