Archive for the '#FWDAOTI' category

"Dr." Ann de Wees Allen is standing in the way of her own fame

Sep 16 2010 Published by under #FWDAOTI

I won't name the people who tipped me off to this story---no hat tips, no links.  I don't want to endanger them.  This story may just be too controversial, too risky.  It's about a naturopath named "Dr." Ann de Wees Allen.

It's not that it's so dangerous to write about naturpaths and their assault on medical science and on logic itself.  But apparently, it is NOT AT ALL COOL to use the name "Dr." Ann de Wees Allen.  You see, "Dr." Ann de Wees Allen claims that it is illegal to use the name "Dr." Ann de Wees Allen without written consent from her lawyers.   I have a problem with this.

How are we to tell the world about "Dr." Ann de Wees Allen's amazing accomplishments?  You see, according to "Dr." Ann de Wees Allen's website, she is an "alpha scientist".  That's pretty cool, so I don't know why she wouldn't want people to write things like "'Dr.' Ann de Wees Allen is an alpha scientist!!11!!"  In fact, according to her website, "Dr." Ann de Wees Allen is "in the forefront of scientific breakthroughs" including such things as nanotechnology, "sickle cell polymorphisms", and, most intriguing, "edible computer chips" (Frito-Lay ™, watch out!).

I think it's even more important to point out the accomplishments of an alpha scientist like "Dr." Ann de Wees Allen because she gives hope to budding alphas everywhere.  This hope comes form her ability to be an "alpha scientist" despite a lack of any significant contributions to the scientific literature.  And if we couldn't write her name, how would we be able to tell anyone that "Dr." Ann de Wees Allen is the "queen of arginine"?

I can maybe see her being a little worried about idiots though.  There is a website out there calling itself "Ripoff Report" that says some pretty mean things about her.  I'm going to share with you some of those mean things so that you can empathize with "Dr." Ann de Wees Allen.



See what I mean?  Sure, "Dr." Ann de Wees Allen may use 26 point fonts on her webpage, but is that cause to use all caps?  But the mean all caps guy did say some nice things about her to:


I really hope that "Dr." Ann de Wees Allen considers the children, especially girl children who may wish to become the next "queen of arginine", although that may be a hereditary position. Still, the idea holds.  Her fame and success must not be left unsung.

30 responses so far

Yo, Ball State, sometimes it's better to STFU

Apr 10 2010 Published by under #FWDAOTI

Right now I'm feeling rather civilized. I had a yummy brick-oven pizza with my family, including my parents and one of my sisters, and I just finished getting my cranky, over-tired child to sleep. Now I'm sitting at my kitchen table drinking some seriously killer single-malt bought for me by my loving spouse, and listening to a Haydn string quartet.


Just what the doctor ordered

All was well until my buddy Isis, who is several orders of magnitude hotter and smarter than I, noticed a disturbance in the force (as manifested by a google alert, the tool of internet narcissists everywhere). In this case, it is a group of college students at Ball State getting their jock straps all in a bunch about a text message. Apparently, a few women on campus were assaulted by a male on a bicycle. The campus authorities sent out a text message warning the campus community. But because it was just some harmless grab-assery, a number of students were annoyed and started a facebook group mocking the whole incident. Well, Dr. Isis called them out on it--by name. And some of the boys are upset about it. I mean, can't a bitch take a joke?
No. If it is not immediately obvious to you what the problem here is, then it is time for some introspection. I'll lay it out for those of you having trouble with some of the concepts here.
There is nothing "harmless" about someone riding by a woman and grabbing or slapping her behind. It may or may not cause immediate physical harm. But touching someone against their will is not only a shitty thing to do, it's against the law. The reason it's a shitty thing to do is because many women walking across a college campus are legitimately concerned about being assaulted, either by some asshat on a bike, or by some rapacious frat boy who thinks ass-grabbing is just fine. It is a power play, one that creates an environment where women feel less safe and secure. Given that many campus rapists tend to be repeat offenders, and that smaller acts often escalate into larger ones, the authorities were right to send out a warning.
But more interesting to me is the reaction of some on campus. This facebook group mocks the university for "over-reacting" (you know, like girls often do). There are a number of factors contributing to this sort of reaction. One of them is the incredulity of privilege. Most young men have no idea what it is like to be a not-man and many never acquire the empathy and knowledge to improve on this cultivated naivete. They genuinely cannot understand what all the big deal is about.
Many men absolutely understand what all the big deal is about, and are scared shitless of losing their position of power. I mean, if you can be judged harshly for a little ass-grabbing, you can be judged for every little thing you say and do. You know, like women are.
It's time for the no-longer kids at Ball State to take a deep breath and think a little. Or they could form a misogynist facebook group, comment on it using real names, and then whine like babies when adults call them out on it.

23 responses so far

Why I am not a primatologist

Mar 17 2010 Published by under #FWDAOTI, Science-y stuff

One of the things I love about the blogosphere is the give and take, the ability of people to comment on each others' work, and the diversity of topics. The conversations that take place in the blogosphere have real value (a value which is so far under-recognized and under-utilized). Without the blogosphere, I would never be exposed to many of the things I read online, such as basic research in neuroanatomy and drug abuse, physiology, and primatology.
Interest in primatology is sort of like love of chocolate---I suspect most of us are born with it. As the Bare Naked Ladies sang, "Haven't you always wanted a monkey?" I suspect that the more an animal appeals to us, either as being similar or being cute, the more we tend to endow it with human characteristics. We are narcissistic both as individuals and as a species, and we see more value in an animal the more "human" it is.
I think anyone would be hard-pressed to say that a bonobo is not more like us than an opossum. But that doesn't mean that bonobos are little people. We are---I think rightly---more likely to respect the needs of humans than other animals, and we tend to create an informal hierarchy of which animals can be treated in which ways, often based on our perceptions of an animal's ability to perceive and understand noxious stimuli. Most of us feel comfortable swatting a mosquito just because it bothers us, but few of us would approve of killing a chimpanzee just because it looks at us funny. A high school biology student may cut paramecia into bits to see what happens and sleep well that evening, but if they were asked to do the same to an ape, they would likely balk (I hope).
These admittedly obvious and somewhat unsophisticated observations arose because of a post I read today over at the Primate Diaries. In it, Eric Michael Johnson uses a clever writing device to argue for a moral stance greater than humanism, one that explicitly places us face-to-face with non-human primates.

Continue Reading »

57 responses so far

Everyone else on the internet is wrong

Feb 15 2010 Published by under #FWDAOTI

I'm crabby. Normally I'm a pretty easy-going dude, but right now I'm crabby and some of the stuff I'm reading on the internet lately is so stultifyingly stupid, I just can't contain myself any longer.
It's not unexpected for Dr. Communication-is-My-Field to belie his title with every word he writes, but last week's post of his is truly a new level of dumbassery. Nisbet, who revels in telling the rest of the world how poorly they communicate, lobbed a shit-bomb into the blogosphere when he declared:

Much of the incivility online can be attributed to anonymity. And with a rare few exceptions, if you can't participate in a dialogue about issues without using your full name and true identity, then what you have to say is probably not that valuable.

I've written quite a bit about anonymity and pseudonymity in the past, but if you can't think on your own of at least five reasons his statement is idiotic, you probably have a PhD in communication (and "he forgot to show data" doesn't count, because it's too easy, and his response is, "just google it.").
Anyway, Chad Orzel at least isn't a "communication expert'---but he still doesn't seem to get all this "blog" stuff. Today he announced on his blog that he's giving up blogs for Lent; not his own--he'll probably put up another piece about his book at least forty times---but he's giving up reading blogs.

I'm not down on blogs as a communications medium-- I still think they're a great way to present information to a very broad (potential) audience. Rather, I'm coming to doubt the idea of blogs as a conversation medium.

Really? So basically, you're against everything that makes a blog bloggy rather than book-y. Seriously, it's the fucking blogosphere. Lemme help you, in case Nisbet doesn't get a chance: books and magazines ("traditional media") allow a writer and an editor to present a story without any fear of ongoing, real-time feedback. Blogs allow "the world" to write whatever the fuck they want, even if the original author doesn't understand why. Sometimes, a thoughtful author might actually learn from. As Chad sees it:

I'm finding this more and more irritating as time goes by. I find myself walking around wanting to punch something, all because people on the Internet are pissing me off. And, you know, this isn't good.

"Isn't good"? Of course it's good. If no one challenges your basic assumptions, what's the fucking point?
Whatevs...I'm still gonna read his blog whenever it's not an add for the book, and I'll probably read his book too (but I definitely won't comment on it because it might be uncivil).
Finally, I love love Sharon Astyk over at Casaubon's Book---I really do, but I don't really get it, on a fundamental level. I love her IRL experiment in (illusory) sustainable living, but her type of sustainable living seems really anti-social to me. It's about surviving some sort of society-disrupting disaster alone. Today's post is about getting your family on board with creating your absolutely necessary food reserve, and the day before was about how to get your family to eat all the rotten food you preserved. It's all very interesting, but hardly seems relevant in the real world where when The End comes, some white supremecist militia is just gonna kill you for your pickled kale before they resort to eating each other.
Finally, I'd like to point out that Lucky Charms and California Zinfandels make a surprisingly good pairing.
That is all.

54 responses so far

Is Stephen Sizer a jack-booted, censorship-loving, anti-Jewish hate-monger?

Jan 25 2010 Published by under #FWDAOTI, Politics

From my pal Arikia, I learned of a disturbing case in the UK. A blogger over there has been posting information about Stephen Sizer, an Anglican vicar and holocaust denier. The vicar apparently felt so threatened by the dissemination of his own ideas that he called the cops.
According to various news and blog reports, Sizer is cozy with terrorists and neo-fascists.
I don't know much about this guy, but he apparently is very active in anti-Israel activities that have blended into frankly anti-Jewish activities. He has apparently take his concern for the plight of Palestinians and thrown up his hands at the thought of a real peace. He has bought into the idea of a zero-sum game in the Middle East, and he has chosen his side in that game, denouncing other Christians who have shown "support" (meaning, apparently, acknowledgement) for Israel.
Well, Sizer, you can try to use your jack-booted, neo-fascist intimidation tactics in Yorkshire, but your past subjects over here won't put up with that kind of behavior. As far as I can tell, you, Sizer, are a thug, an anti-semite, and a hate-monger. You should be ashamed.
Oh, and where's the Anglican church in all this? Does he belong to them? If so, and if they haven't spoken up about him, then his views are their views.

7 responses so far

Overheard on the internets

Jan 21 2010 Published by under #FWDAOTI, Medicine

It's funny because it's true.

17 responses so far