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Archive for the ‘WTF’ Category

Why I prefer my Martini stirred..

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…not shaken; because vigorous shaking introduces…err… stuff into the solution which could actually cure me. And I don’t want to be cured of my alcohol addiction.

Essentially, that is what this woo-ridden atricle by Dana Ullman in HuffPo explaining Homeopathy is trying to claim (via). It’s filled with gems like:

Further, the micro-bubbles and the nano-bubbles that are caused by the shaking may burst and thereby produce microenvironments of higher temperature and pressure.

Of course, what he is saying has to be true – after all he talks of nano-doses and nano-pharmacology and micro-environments (why didn’t he go to pico and femto ? Those sound even sexier and is actually more accurate to describe homeopathic dosage levels) and Quantum Medicine (I gotta take myself an online degree in that one)!

Sadly however, Ullman missed the clincher: James Bond drank his martini shaken and the shaking introduced super-bubbles into his drink and that’s how he managed to sleep with all the random women. As stated, I drink my martini stirred, and ergo no liaisons with alluring women.

After all, that makes as much sense as the rest of the so-called evidence.

Seriously  folks, there is very little in the way of scientific/medical evidence that homeopathy works. And before people who have been ‘cured’ by homeopathy start flaming me, let me state that I come from a family where ‘allopathy’ was always a last resort. And I too have been purportedly cured of a skin infection with homeopathy. However, at that time, my diet also changed and my mom started making me eat a lot of neem and turmeric etc. I’d think that these latter items which have actual ingredients and not some infinitesimally diluted and vigorously shaken nano/pico drop of water might have done the curing.

Unfortunately, most of the support for homeopathy seems to stem from such anecdotal evidence and not from rigorous double-blind studies that would convince skeptics (alas, some people – check the comments on HuffPo – have even come to regard double blind studies as a big-pharma conspiracy).

I have no problem if people want to indulge in homeopathy to waste time and money, but it becomes dangerous when people ignore good medical advice thinking they are getting a cure, or when homeopathy falsely advertises cure and/or prevention (e.g this earlier bad advice on H1N1 prevention by homeopathy which was being touted by a celebrity on Twitter).

So call it magic, call it a miracle, but explaining homeopathy with some technical mumbo-jumbo doesn’t make any sense.

(also read Dictatorji’s earlier post on homeopathy and astrology and the comments therein )

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

December 15, 2009 at 11:51 am

Barberian idiocy

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After courting controversy days ahead of its release, Shah Rukh Khan’s latest film ‘Billu Barber’ will see the term ‘barber’ dropped from its hoardings and posters across the country following objections from an association of hairdressers, terming it “derogatory”.

The actor-producer, who spoke to representatives of the Salon and Beauty Parlors’ Association over the issue, on Sunday said his production house Red Chillies Entertainment will ensure that the term ‘barber’ is removed from all hoardings.

“We will put a piece of paper on the word barber wherever it can be done in India. We will send teams,” Khan said.

Once again, I am compelled to point out – this is not an Onion-like satire piece, but a sad, sad truth.

Sigh !

Henceforth I demand that ‘post-docs‘ be considered a demeaning term, and our underclass be referred to by the more descriptively appropriate FUUGSS (f$%#ing unbelievably underpaid glorified sweat-shop scientists). Thank You.

(link via a comment by the GreatBong on Facebook)

Weird Protest

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Even giving consideration to the fact that these are Delhi-ites, this has to be one of the weirdest protests I have seen (via a proud Delhi-ite):

Activists of the Shaktipunj Foundation, an NGO, break computers, printers and other electronic items during the protest on the occasion of Radiation Safety Day at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Saturday. They demand that the government should issue guidelines for safety from erection of mobile towers and use of mobile phones similar to those approved by the WHO and which have been adopted in most of the developed countries, including the USA, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Sweden and Australia.(link – have to scroll a bit)

Leaving aside the considerations that (a) mobile phones themselves or wireless towers are yet to be linked to any negative health effects (by WHO or any other health authorities, which have mostly recommended only precautinary principles); or (b) that the same mobile phone models are sold pretty much around the world and Indians don’t get exta-emitting phones, why in the living hell are they breaking computers and printers ?!!

(and what about all the electronic waste created by breaking these computers ?)

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

July 8, 2008 at 12:33 am

Posted in Rants, WTF

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A step back.

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The idea of a women-only IIT sounds absurd and retrograde.

The suggestion to start India’s first all-women IIT at Amravati near Nagpur in Vidarbha had in fact been mooted by Saint Gadgebaba University vice-chancellor Kamal Singh. Patil followed it up when she became the country’s first woman president last July.

‘A recommendatory note from the president’s office was attached to the reminder of the suggestion sent to the HRD (ministry) but we don’t know what happened after that,’ Devi Singh Shekhawat, Pratibha Patil’s husband who heads an education society in Amravati, told IANS.

‘To my knowledge, the president’s office doesn’t keep prodding government departments about individual files but if this (women IIT) is happening without that, it is certainly gratifying’, Shekhawat said.

Not surprising that it has the backing of the current President of India, who seemed to have ascended her post despite questionable ethics partly on the basis of her gender.

The reasoning behind the step: The President’s concern “about fewer girl students making it to the IITs” !

Fair enough, but is it that fewer girls go into IIT due to inherent hostility of the existent IITs towards women or a lower number of women going into engineering in general ?

As usual, a solution is being sought that is less practical and more political (note where the proposed IIT is to be situated). The tax-payer’s money could be much better spent actually encouraging more women to go into science/engineering  at  the secondary education level.

Btw, in the same article:

A global research institute on traditional Indian wisdom in science, technology and community management was among several other innovative proposals sent by the vice-chancellor to the HRD ministry and the University Grants Commission, she said.

Why not attend to the regular science and technology research first, where we seem to be falling back rapidly (via)?

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

June 26, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Posted in India, Politics, Rants, WTF

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The groan heard around the world…

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….(well at least through the hallway of our floor, or more exactly by the two people in adjacent cubicles)… was me venting after having read this.

I suppose I should grin and bear the pj, having heard worse in my lifetime. But I feel a sense of indignation; after all, people seem to be getting upset over even more ridiculous, and far less harmful stuff.

update: More groans. And heh.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

June 4, 2008 at 9:16 am

Posted in Fun, India, Personal, Rants, WTF

Not just a President (2)

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…but America could (theoretically) get a President who depends on miracles to solve problems.

“Well I didn’t major in math, I majored in miracles. And I still believe in those, too.” (link)

Mike Huckabee, nominee for the Republican presendential candidate for the ’08 elections, about his chances to win that nomination. For those who aren’t following, John McCain has all but sealed up the Republican nomination.

Btw, Huckabee is going by the precedence of the recently concluded SuperBowl as “…..(n)obody thought the Giants were going to win the Super Bowl, either“. As I have argued before, the Giants win was less due to miracles more due to a failing Patriots team, good coaching and pure hard work.

Previous post on absurdities in the American election here.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

February 11, 2008 at 11:49 pm

Why ‘Al Pacino’ ?

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(In which I officially start a new WTF category)

On the occasion of his birthday, Rediff calls Kamalhasan the ‘Al Pacino’ of Indian cinema. Apart from the idiotic – but widespread in the Indian media – compulsion to seek validation from the West (Hollywood in this case), I wonder why particularly Al Pacino ? Why not Jack Nicholson, De Niro, or quite possibly, Tom Hanks ? Pacino, while arguably an incredible actor, has mostly restricted himself to unidimensional dramatic roles. KH on the other hand, has not only essayed a variety of characters, but also ventured into other aspects of film-making. Not totally unexpected shoddy work from Rediff.

The comments section, as usual, is a treasure-trove of invaluable laughter, such as:


and this one, bound to start some flame wars:


(in both cases, CAPs are original)

Previous unintentional hilarity provided by Rediff here and here.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

November 8, 2007 at 7:51 pm

Posted in Films, Fun, India, WTF