Saturday April 1, 2006
Nothing comes for free: if you can cope with 400 words on statistics, we can trash a front page news story together. “Cocaine floods the playground,” roared the front page of the Times last Friday. “Use of the addictive drug by children doubles in a year.”
Doubles? Now that was odd, because the press release for this government survey said Read the rest of this entry »
Greetings Diggers: And congratulations on crashing my server. I am Britain’s sweariest science writer, and I’d like to see any one of you beat this in the British Medical Journal. I write about pseudoscience in the media, quackery and health scares, like here on TV nutritionist Dr Gillian McKeith PhD, and here in my angry geek manifesto.
When I went to meet the editorial policy/legal people at the BBC, the first thing I wanted to know, as you can well imagine, was this: which swear words am I allowed to use?
I was shown a ranked list of rudeness. It was every bit as entertaining as I had hoped, but to my disappointment, there was no possibility of removing this fabulous document from the room. Read the rest of this entry »
Saturday March 25, 2006
Nothing prepared me for the outpouring of jaw-dropping stupidity that vomited forth from teachers when I wrote about Brain Gym last week. To recap: Brain Gym is an incredibly popular technique, in at least hundreds of British state schools, promoted all over government websites, and with Read the rest of this entry »
Saturday March 18, 2006
While all the proper grown up public intellectuals like Rod Liddle were getting a bee in their bonnet about Creationism being taught in a handful of British schools, I’ve accidentally stumbled upon a vast empire of pseudoscience being peddled in hundreds of everyday state schools up and down the country.
I’ll lower you in gently. It’s called Brain Gym, and it’s a string of very Read the rest of this entry »
Judy Mallaber MP spoke rather well on the dismally insecure regulation of the new mobile phone tracking industry in parliament last night (and mentioned me, hurrah!):
“Getting back to child protection, in theory the child must consent to his phone being tracked in the first place, but is there not something a bit odd about Read the rest of this entry »
Saturday March 11, 2006
So last week, it was all about the magnetic ulcer bandages that were suddenly officially available on the NHS: they are made by Magnopulse, who also sell a magnet for the ladies that will give you “softer skin, shiny hair and stronger nails”, and a dog bowl magnet: “given the choice, your pet will always choose to drink magnetic water”. This absurdity didn’t seem to worry the NHS Prescription Read the rest of this entry »
One of the funny things about my hobby is that people you previously considered to be mates and colleagues can cheerfully denounce you as a media whore. Until today I could parry that accusation by suggesting – tenuously mind you – that Read the rest of this entry »
Saturday March 4, 2006
If there’s one thing that irritates a scientist, it’s not knowing. This week, the Prescription Pricing Authority decided to authorise magnetic bandages for ulcer treatment on the NHS: and I have no idea why. They won’t tell me what the presented evidence was, because that’s not their policy. Shhh. It’s a secret. Read the rest of this entry »