Office Hours

April 18th, 2005 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, letters | No Comments »

Helen Pidd
Monday April 18, 2005
The Guardian

· WPM arrives this week sheepish, tail guiltily between her legs. For, for the first time ever, we must begin with a correction. Not just any old correction, either, but one initiated by the Guardian’s biologychemistryandphysics ombudsman. Who? Why, Dr Ben Goldacre of the legendary Bad Science column, of course, who writes offering friendly advice relating to an item in last week’s column. Seven days ago, you’ll remember, we were singing the praises of an ingenious inflatable toilet soon to hit the open market. Science dunce here breezily stated it would be just fine to plug in the device to your office wall socket, instead of a car cigarette lighter as per the instructions. (So you didn’t have to ask your line-manager for a loo break, see?) A bad idea, apparently. Dr Goldacre explains: “As your doctor, I would seriously recommend not putting your naked arse on a 12V device plugged in to a 240V socket. bx”

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