Emergency department

A pseudoscientist carrying a cake walked out straight in front of my car today.

No, this isn’t the opening line to a joke. This actually happened about an hour ago.
Aimlessly stepping off the pavement, looking grey and devoid of life and energy.

No-one got hurt.

But it was while I was wondering about what might have happened had outcome of the scenario been different, that I was reminded of this place, which is surely where he would have wanted to go, right?

Come for the hilarious chuckaway lines in the Emergency Department, stay for the savage takedowns in the pub scene afterwards.

Wonderful stuff.

Enjoy your cake, Tim.

Not a great day

It’s hard not to be a bit down when you wake up to wind, rain, poor service and no electricity. And then the bad news is compounded by the first two things served to you on social media. All a bit much for a Monday morning.

Still, a problem shared is a blog post written, so let’s go for it.

I mentioned the weather yesterday, so this wasn’t unexpected. And yes, it’s great for the garden. But as I write – and with the rain still coming down hard – we’re looking at over 33% of the rain in the last four months having fallen in the last six hours. It’s dark and chilly and wintery.

And there’s no electricity.

“So how are you writing this, then?” I hear you ask.

Well, the answer is that I am peddling hard on my exercise bike, which I have hooked up to the grid at home. And we’re all good, as long as I can keep up the speed. If I slow down, however, then th





Stage 6 loadshedding today, then (and remember as a rule of thumb, number of hours without electricity each day = Stage x 2) because of the breakdown of 8 (eight) generating units across the country, and the tacit promise of possibly more issues ahead because of the rains up north.

A true taste of what’s to come this winter. And it’s not pleasant.

Then, news that two World Tours have actually made it to South Africa. This has been a long-term gripe for a lot of people down here, and rightly so. We’ve mentioned it more than once, as well. So what I’m about to say might seem a little hypocritical, but I’m going to say it anyway.

The quality of the bands that are coming to SA… isn’t great.

I mean, like this:

This band coming over is problematic for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, the fact that this will count as a potential strike against our indignation at being left out of numerous other “world” tours.
The argument will be: “You say that bands never come to SA, but I saw that the Backstreet Boys included two dates on their recent tour”, like that’s a feather in South Africa’s cap when the band in question haven’t had a hit record in almost 25 years, and clearly just need a bit of extra pocket money for drugs and plastic/orthopaedic surgery.

And secondly, the number of individuals using the line “Backstreet’s Back, alright!” when they hear the news. Don’t do it, please.

We don’t need this. Although, they did give us this amazing TV moment.


But the Backstreet Boys being back, alright! is still better – far, far better – than the other “world” “tour” that’s coming here. Because if you want to talk about grifters out to make a quick buck from a naïve public, well, you really need look no further:

Ah, jesus. What utter trash. The Mattias Rath of this age, peddling snake oil and pseudoscience to a sadly desperate public. And yes, the talk will be free, but don’t expect that there won’t be book sales and voluntary donations and supplements to buy and, and, and… Because if you think that this charlatan is doing this out of the goodness of his own heart (no pun intended), well, then you’re his perfect audience member.

Eish. What a day.

Oh. Wait. I mentioned poor service as well, didn’t I?

Well, the kitchen is still. not. finished. And they haven’t turned up to do anything about that this morning.

This week, and I say this with some degree of (probably misplaced) confidence, can surely only get better.



Without Chemicals

Spotted today at my local, terrible Pick n Pay, this stuff:

I will always be attracted by the word “microbe”. And so it was with this product, nestling amongst the cleaning products, with its owl in a nurses hat, studious-looking glasses and a bow tie, carrying a stethoscope. Why does he need the glasses? Don’t owls have amazing eyesight?
And what’s with the stethoscope? Is he a doctor, and not actually a professor? And why does the patient have cardiac or pulmonary problems if they’re using this wonderful product? None of this makes any sense.

But to be honest, it was the blurb below that really caught my eye.

Clean surfaces safely, without chemicals!

Oh really?
Well, if you’re going to do it without chemicals, then I’m guessing that there must be a motherfunning genie in your spray bottle there, because everything is made of chemicals, dahlink (possibly even genies, actually). But we’ll come to that in a second, because wait… there’s more:

Welcome to the new science of cleaning.
Harnessing the power of beneficial microbes to rid surfaces of harmful germs.

Oh really?
Microbes when they’re beneficial, germs when they’re harmful. It’s pure bacterial racism you’re looking at right there, folks.

But would you really want to spray your surfaces with microbes, beneficial or not, and no chemicals?
Well, it seems that actually, you don’t have to do either, because turn the bottle around and there’s this:

See it?

Ingredients: Aqua, Sodium Citrate, Orange Extract

Well, Aqua is just the posh word for water (which is a chemical), Sodium Citrate is the chemical name for the chemical Sodium Citrate, and your orange extract is basically a group of chemicals that comes from oranges.

That’s an awful lot of chemicals for a product which, just a bottle-turn away suggests that you can clean stuff “without chemicals”.

At least it’s halaal. And that’s likely to be because there is no pork in it and no microbes in there either. Beneficial or otherwise.

So I really am left wondering how this product is “harnessing the power of beneficial microbes to rid surfaces of harmful germs”.
Sure, the chemical in this solution might knock out some of the bugs growing on your kitchen surfaces, but it’s likely to be really ineffective when compared with “traditional” (chemical) cleaning agents, because although Sodium Citrate (which is the chemical name for the chemical Sodium Citrate, as mentioned above) might kill some “harmful germs”, a) it’s really rubbish at it, and b) it’ll kill just as many “beneficial microbes” as well.

Obviously, I didn’t buy any of this stuff, but I would fully expect the limited citrus scent to be overwhelmed with the stench of bullshit.

I’m done here for the moment, but visit the Professor Microbe website and you’ll learn that:

Professor Microbe™ uses Nano-Natural technology with Active Nanoids to cut through fat, oil and grease.

u wot m9?

Yeah, remember that BSc you were going to do in Nano-Natural Science? The one that had the foundation course in Active Nanoids?
You know: the one with all the made up words that sound ever so sciencey, but don’t actually exist?

And don’t even get me started on their “The Technology” page. It’s so deeply unscientific on every line that I’d even bet that Tim Noakes is jealous.

I shall return to Professor Microbe™ in a future post, and share more details on their utter nonsense from a considered, scientific point of view.

For soundbites only

This is a really rubbish column. (No, not this one, the one I’m about to link to.)
(Jeez. Don’t be so rude.)

Anyway, as I was about to say, THIS is a rubbish column. The warning signs are all there. It’s got scare quotes in the title. It’s unscientific, it’s biased, it’s pants. It uses only carefully selected facts from pieces of research that suit its narrative. It’s so bad that you could quite understand sad-faced LCHF cult members holding it up as an example of some of the stuff that their sinister movement has to put up with, while conveniently ignoring the fact that they themselves use exactly the same M.O..

It does the anti-Banting brigade no favours, save for this wonderful analogy of Noakes’ bizarre disciples:

Here’s how I’d describe Noakes’s trusting fans: told by Noakes that they’re flying, they yell: “Look at me” and “So far, so good” as they plummet past a 10th storey window and plunge towards the ground below.

Because yes, when you haven’t yet hit the ground, all does seem to be going to plan. The weight has fallen, you’re full of energy, and you’ve never felt better (maybe because you haven’t thought of the long term consequences). But then that’s probably because no-one really knows what they are.

Even pseudoscientific websites like the medically-challenged dietdoctor and the falsely authoritative authoritynutrition which claim to have “scientific validation” of the long-term safety of the diet, can’t actually provide us with anything more than studies done over 2 years, when you look more closely. That’s certainly long-term if you’re a hamster, and positively eternal if you’re a mayfly, but for humans, that doesn’t really even enter into “medium-term”.

Look, hey. My body is my body. Yours is yours. You’re more than welcome to fill your body with whatever you want as far as I’m concerned. And I even have the manners not to (outwardly) judge you for it. Unlike most of Tim’s weird flock.

Serve To Win – SEEMS LEGIT

I’m crying. I’m not sure it’s laughter, despair or possibly a gluten allergy since I did drive past a bakery on the way to work this morning.

More poo, because here’s a crappy piece about what (given the excerpt that I’ve just read) seems to be a crappy book.

It’s about eating and tennis. Here are the paragraphs that sit particularly uncomfortably with my rational brain:

Novak Djokovic was in Croatia in the summer of 2010 for a Davis Cup tie and was having a consultation with Dr Igor Cetojevic, a nutritionist and fellow Serb.

Cetojevic told Djokovic to stretch out his right arm while placing his left hand on his stomach. The doctor then pushed down on Djokovic’s right arm and told him to resist the pressure. The strength Djokovic would feel in holding firm, the doctor said, was exactly what he should experience.

Next Cetojevic gave Djokovic a slice of bread. He told the bemused player not to eat it but to hold it against his stomach with his left hand while he again pushed down on his outstretched right arm. To Djokovic’s astonishment, the arm felt appreciably weaker.

It was what Cetojevic had expected. His crude test had been to discover whether Djokovic was sensitive to gluten, a protein found in wheat and other bread grains.

I’ve just popped down to my local bookstore and I held a copy of “Serve To Win” up against my stomach and immediately felt nauseous.

It was what I expected.

My crude test had been to discover whether I was sensitive to complete bullshit.

H/T Jacques