Monthly Archives: October 2009 is misleading to further their anti-vaccine agenda

Someone recently pointed me to an article on  It’s idiocy blew my mind.

I probably shouldn’t even dignify it with a rebuttal, but I can’t help myself.

#1) Where are the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies proving flu vaccines are both safe and effective?
Answer: There aren’t any.

The CDC would like to disagree.  Even if there weren’t such studies, we have to make decisions based upon the best available evidence and every study that has been done points to the flu vaccine being effective and safe.

#2) Where, then, is the so-called “science” backing the idea that flu vaccines work at all?
Answer: Other than “cohort studies,” there isn’t any. And the cohort studies have been thoroughly debunked. Scientifically speaking, there isn’t a scrap of honest evidence showing flu vaccines work at all.

See the previous question.  Studies of flu vaccine effectiveness have not been “thoroughly debunked”.  If this was so how come the scientific consensus still supports the use of the flu vaccine?

#3) How can methyl mercury (Thimerosal, a preservative used in flu vaccines) be safe for injecting into the human body when mercury is an extremely toxic heavy metal?
Answer: It isn’t safe at all. Methyl mercury is a poison. Along with vaccine adjuvants, it explains why so many people suffer autism or other debilitating neurological side effects after being vaccinated.

Point number one, thimerosal is ethyl mercury, not methyl mercury which is a critical difference as ethyl mercury doesn’t accumulate in the body like methyl mercury.  Regardless of that, almost all evidence points to no ill effects from thimerosal in vaccines.

As Wikipedia says:

Most conclusively, eight major studies (as of 2008) examined the effect of reductions or removal of thiomersal from vaccines. All eight demonstrated that autism rates failed to decline despite removal of thiomersal, arguing strongly against a causative role.

On to their next point…

#4) Why do reports keep surfacing of children and teens suffering debilitating neurological disorders, brain swelling, seizures and even death following flu vaccines or HPV vaccines?
Answer: Because vaccines are dangerous. The vaccine industry routinely dismisses all such accounts — no matter how many are reported — as “coincidence.”

I don’t even understand how this is an actual argument.

Correlation is not the same thing as causation.  I’m sure hundreds of people have got in car accidents after getting a flu vaccine as well.  Is that the flu vaccine’s fault?

#5) Why don’t doctors recommend vitamin D for flu protection, especially when vitamin D activates the immune response far better than a vaccine? (…)
Answer: Because vitamin D can’t be patented and sold as “medicine.” You can make it yourself. If you want more vitamin D, you don’t even need a doctor, and doctors tend not to recommend things that put them out of business

Oh gosh, a conspiracy theory.  Why didn’t I see that coming?  It’s not an either/or situation.  Vitamin D does strengthen the immune system.  However, a strong immune system doesn’t keep you from getting the flu.

I’ll finish up with my rebuttal in my next post.

Why Windows Home Server is awesome…

I forget I even have it.

I don’t think there can be any better recommendation for a backup solution.  My computers are all backed up daily, and I don’t even know it happens.

On top of that, there’s so much more that can be done with WHS.  A list of some things I use my WHS for:

  • Storage. I keep smallish hard drives in my PC’s (most of them are around whs_places250GB) and then put big honkin hard drives in my WHS.  Each of the indicated places in the screen shot on the right (take from Explorer in Windows 7) points to storage on my server.
  • Reliability.  You can selectively enable folders on the WHS to be “duplicated”.  What this means is that every file in that folder is stored two times…on seperate hard drives.  This is done transparently to the end user so you don’t have to worry about knowing which copy is the newest.  The benefit is that if a hard drive dies (it will), your important data is not lost.
  • Reliability, Part Deux. In addition to the safety of data stored on the server, the safety of each of my computers is important as well.  If your hard drive in one of your PCs dies, or you royally screw up your system messing around, or some sort of malware just totally infests you, WHS makes it easy to restore your system.  You just pop in the restore cd and reboot your computer.  As long as your BIOS is set to boot from CD (if not, it’s an easy thing to turn on), the restore cd will take over and let you pick a backup from your WHS to restore.  By default, WHS keeps one backup for each of the previous 3 days, one for each of the previous 3 weeks, and one for each of the previous 3 months.  I set it to keep a just-fresh-from-a-new-OS-install backup so it’s easy to go back to that point.
  • Development. I do a bit of hobbyist programming.  Because many of the things I write depend upon a MySQL database, I installed MySQL on my WHS.  This allows me to test my scripts on my local LAN.

We don’t understand ourselves, or, how psychologists see themselves

As Tyler Cowen points out this is quite an interesting time waster:

The email edition of the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest has reached the milestone of its 150th issue. That’s over 900 quality, peer-reviewed psychology journal articles digested since 2003. To mark the occasion, the Digest editor has invited some of the world’s leading psychologists to look inwards and share, in 150 words, one nagging thing they still don’t understand about themselves. Their responses are by turns candid, witty and thought-provoking. Here’s what they had to say…

Here’s one of the answers submitted by Chris McManus, Professor of Psychology and Medical Education at UCL:

Chris McManus: Beauty

What is this thing I call beauty? Not “art” as a social phenomenon based on status or display, or beautiful faces seen merely as biological fitness markers. Rather, the sheer, drawing-in-of-breath beauty of a Handel aria, a Rothko painting, TS Eliot’s poems, or those everyday moments of sun shining through wet, autumn leaves, or even a Powerpoint layout seeming just right. Content itself doesn’t matter – Cezanne’s paintings of apples are not beautiful because one likes apples, and there are beautiful photographs of horrible things. Somewhere there must be something formal, structural, compositional, involving the arrangement of light and shade, of sounds, of words best ordered to say old ideas in new ways. When I see beauty I know it, and others must also see it, or they wouldn’t make the paintings I like or have them hung in galleries. But why then doesn’t everyone see it in the same way?

Get more answers here.