Judge Suggests Doctors Shouldn’t Impose Their Views on Child Who May Soon Become a Victim of Faith-Based Treatment

Several months ago, I posted about Makayla Sault (below), an 11-year-old with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The disease is treatable with two years of tough chemotherapy and has a nearly 90% survival rate… but Makayla no longer wanted to continue the chemo and her Ojibwe/First Nations parents were more than happy to oblige, seeking out useless faith-based treatments instead.

Makayla was allowed to quit the chemo, but we learned earlier this month that her condition had worsened.

And to make the issue even more on the forefront of people’s minds, it turned out another First Nations girl was in the same position — she would benefit from chemo, but she didn’t want to go through with it for cultural reasons.

This week, Justice Gethin Edward of the Ontario Court of Justice said that the doctors were in the wrong:

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One of Ebola’s Side Effects Could Be a Dangerous Turn Toward Science

Humorist Andy Borowitz cracks wise about the current health crisis:

There is a deep-seated fear among some Americans that an Ebola outbreak could make the country turn to science. In interviews conducted across the nation, leading anti-science activists expressed their concern that the American people, wracked with anxiety over the possible spread of the virus, might desperately look to science to save the day.



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Meet Physicist Stronzo Bestiale, an Asshole If There (N)ever Was One

Stronzo Bestiale is a researcher at the Institute for Experimental Physics in Vienna who is a co-author on a small number of major scientific papers. His work has appeared in peer-reviewed publications that include the Journal of Statistical Physics and The Journal of Chemical Physics.

He’s also a figment of someone’s imagination, which becomes evident when you learn that Stronzo Bestiale, in Italian, means Total Turd, Asshole Beast, or Complete Asshole, depending on whom you ask.

The man who breathed life into this Asshole (sorry for that image) is a retired scientist, William G. Hoover, who was formerly employed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. A writer named Vito Tartamella (whose name, I sincerely hope, doesn’t mean “Blithering Buttwipe”) finally noticed how unlikely the Stronzo name is and got in touch with Hoover to ask about it.



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The Bill Nye Event at Vanderbilt Was Even Better Than I Expected

Bill Nye smiled and waved to the row of people seated along the outside of Langford Auditorium at Nashville’s Vanderbilt University last week. Bow-tie wearers down and around the corner were hopping to their feet with excitement; you could sense they were almost willing to lose their spot in line to run to him. Without stopping to chat, Nye was ushered into the lobby where several dozen well-dress students were eagerly gathered to welcome him to the reception, a pre-event meet & greet for the Vanderbilt Speakers Committee members and a handful of contest winners. Nye confidently walked straight into the crowd, shaking hands, nodding his head with every introduction until he had gone to one end of the room and back.

You may have noticed there are a lot of selfies of The Science Guy on the Internet these days. That’s because he has somehow made it his “thing.” He’s often the one holding the phone — I’m guessing this is because the fans shake too much when they’re on a Nye-high. That, and he’s got arms that extend out like Inspector Gadget. Nye then reminds his fan to look at the camera lens, not the screen, and that he’ll hit the shutter three times, making sure to capture at least one Tweet-worthy pose. That’s the standard routine I observed for several selfie-cycles while monitoring from the front of the line that was naturally forming out from where he was standing. (The picture below is a rare exception to that routine.)

billnye

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The Evidence for Evolution

The team at Stated Clearly have an excellent new video explaining the evidence for evolution by looking at Cetaceans (like dolphins and whales):



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