MiniBlog Links

April 20th, 2007 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, MiniBlog | 7 Comments »

The MiniBlog on your right is a rolling ticker of stuff I’m reading at the moment, with a quick one line comment: it’s a mix of entertaining academic papers, absurd news stories, geek stuff, and other peoples’ blogs. It updates fast or slow, depending on how much I’m reading, and you can subscribe to it by pressing the RSS button.

You can also read through the backlog by clicking the MiniBlog title link or here:

There’s no way to comment on individual ones (although the forums at are always a great place to chat) but I might be able to change that if there’s a demand? It would be a shame to swamp the main blog with a links summary everyday (I’m not really that kind of blogger) but I’ll pop a compilation of the links into a post every now and then, especially the older links from before I put the MiniBlog links on the right. You could very easily build a “Cracker” style psychological profile of my head from these links, if you were so inclined.

Here’s the dump for the last few days.

Researchers uncover genetic link to obesity

Is it the gene for the muscle that opens the mouth?

Ben talking about mobile phone risks on Radio Scotland

30 minutes in to the show, posh people trying to force their phone mast onto a poorer community

BBC – Radio 4 – The New Two Cultures

Reasserts outdated bigotries with free bonus of patronising tone

Getting people on the buses

“The north wind and the sun.” Only with p-values.

Is the benefit of exercise a placebo effect?

More excellent non-pill research for the media to ignore. Remember: quack or pharma, it’s only news if it’s a pill.

Menopause Affects Japanese Women Less Than Westerners

Biology, meet culture, now make syndromes.

Culture and symptom reporting at menopause

Menopausal symptoms less prevalent in Japan: culture and biology intersect. Sorry, behind evil pay journal barrier for non university people

What was the question again? …Green polling examined

consistently interesting evidence-based ranting from previous number 10 policy wonk

Magic mushroom non-story

makes “news”

“Why the shootings mean that we must support my politics”

Vintage political parody

White Man For The Job

Johann Hari absolutely pwns Andrew Roberts. Magnifico.

Mormon women ‘tortured children to instil discipline’

i’m blaming religion, quite unfairly, simply because it pleases me to do so.

The Bad Science Forum – extracting the pish, er I mean data.

handy open source software generates the numbers from an image file showing data on a graph or map

Blog –

academic anaesthetist vs daily mail

Confounding variable – Wikipedia

Room for a local genius to fix this page in five minutes and do the world a favour

Could a full English cause lung disease? | the Daily Mail

You’d have thought that “confounding variables” would be an important thing to learn about as a health journalist.

If you like what I do, and you want me to do more, you can: buy my books Bad Science and Bad Pharma, give them to your friends, put them on your reading list, employ me to do a talk, or tweet this article to your friends. Thanks! ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

7 Responses

  1. kim said,

    April 20, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    About the full English…

    Well, yes, but you’d also think that confounding variables would be an important thing for scientists to learn about. You would hope that they’d controlled for the other variables (most obviously smoking) and if they didn’t, what on earth were they playing at?

  2. wewillfixit said,

    April 20, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    From the BBC story:

    “The researchers also found individuals who consumed cured meats frequently were more likely to be male and of a lower socio-economic status, and to smoke, than those who never consumed cured meats.

    They also often had lower intakes of vitamin C, fish, fruits and vegetables, and higher energy intakes.

    Yet they concluded these factors were not to blame for the effects on lungs.

    COPD kills around 30,000 people in the UK every year

    Dr Jiang said: “Adjustment for these factors in our analyses did not appreciably change our findings.” “

  3. Sour Grapes said,

    April 21, 2007 at 10:35 pm

    I like the quick capsule description, which was something I mentioned before. It makes it very clear which ones to click on and which … meh. Thanks.

  4. coracle said,

    April 29, 2007 at 8:19 am

    Awesome, I’ve just made it on the miniblog! And my traffic has sky-rocketed!

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