Thursday, December 29, 2011

Vaccine Awareness Week: If Vaccines Work...

I haven't had much time lately to generate new posts, but one thing I've noticed lately is that there is a certain anti-vaccine talking point popping up. So I felt it might be a good time to put up an old post again addressing this point.

So, without further ado, here is a post from November 3, 2010 talking about why pro-vaccine people are concerned about those who refuse vaccines.

"If vaccines work, then it shouldn't matter if I don't vaccinate my kid."

That argument, or some variation thereon, is fairly common among anti-vaccine folks and the parents who fall for their propaganda. The thinking is something like this: vaccine proponents claim that vaccines work; if they work, they must be 100% effective; if they are 100% effective, then my kid getting sick won't affect anyone that's been immunized; therefore, why should it matter to anyone else what I choose for my child?

There's a couple problems with this line of reasoning.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How Not to Make a Fool of Yourself on the Internet: A PSA

It seems that there are people out there who may, perhaps, lack a certain understanding of just how the internet works. They may write some ill-advised comment which draws well-deserved criticism. They might follow this up with additional statements which serve only to attract more criticism, with a big ol' side of humiliation. Maybe they do not realize that in the internet, nothing is truly erased.

And so it is that I find myself here, offering up some advice to the poor, self-centered, crass, ignorant folk on the internet. Even though doing so may rob myself and other bloggers the entertainment of invoking the Streisand Effect, I feel that there are those who may benefit from some instructive illustrations.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Path of Autism Causation Research

A post over at Respectful Insolence inspired me. It gave me an idea for a post that can only be expressed in pictures. So, here you go:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Like Water for Lockjaw

The last Quacktion Figure™ gives me a good excuse to talk about a news item that popped up in my inbox the other day. Well, not so much a news item as someone's notion of a "brilliant" treatment for tetanus. You see, I have some alerts set up looking for vaccine preventable diseases. I take a quick glance at most of the stories and either do a quick tweet or simply archive it for background material for possible future posts. Every now and then, however, there will be something that catches my eye. Some combination of words in the headline or brief blurb snags my attention.

That's what happened with one such alert notification on tetanus. While perusing my inbox, what to my wandering eyes should appear but a story titled "Homeopathic Ledum for Tetanus".

Uh oh.

Quacktion Figure™ Friday: Homeopath

Do you feel constrained by physics, chemistry and biology? Does the idea of selling Tic Tacs at a 5,000% markup appeal to you? Want to be part of a billion-dollar-a-year industry that rivals Big PharmaTM? Would you like to bang cups of water on a Bible to magically turn them into healing tonics?

Well, now you can. Harpocrates Speaks brings you Homeopath!


That's right. With Homeopath, you can kiss Avogadro's Limit goodbye! Got the flu? Not a problem for Homeopath. Just eviscerate a duck, drop a bit of its liver in some water, then dilute until only H2O remains. Use the lever on back for magic succussing action to "potentize" your nostrum, then drip it on a sugar pill. Fend off critics with claims that water has memory, but somehow forgets all the poop it's touched. Sure your remedies don't do jack, but who can resist such a "sweet" personality?

Homeopath stands 5¾" tall and comes with:
  • Eviscerated duck
  • Flask
  • Dropper
  • Scalpel
Table not included. Legal thuggery expansion pack sold separately.

The Fine Print
Figure not actually for sale. Figure and text intended as a work of satire. Image copyright Todd W. and Lil Peck. Quacktion Figure™ is a trademark of Todd W. and Harpocrates Speaks.

Complete Quacktion Figure™ series