Thursday, November 29, 2007

One half of one thing I can't resist

Prometheus has blogged The Alternate RNA Universe and I have a chance (and inspiration from a great post) to tackle a section of DNA (which I've been meaning to do since, oh, '79):

Monday, November 26, 2007

"Canadian Centre for Diversity"

Speaking of radio, on a local station I heard (yesterday) what I think is a very good advertisement. Paraphrasing:

"You can hear my voice but you don't know if my skin is white, black, or brown. You don't know if I'm reading this in text or Braille."

No mention of autistics (that I've found so far) in the web site, so I'll be cautious. The site is not quite autistic-friendly (there are animations, scrolling text) and the download is borderline dialup-friendly (at 56k; a marathon at 28.8k).

The splash page (with Flash animation) is here:

"Skip intro" lands here:

Friday, November 23, 2007

Basic chemistry and the "Lupron Protocol"

Real scientists reference peer reviewed scientific papers, not the breakfast broadsheet. This seems like an important thing to remember.

I understand from... a credible source that the UK organization "Treating Autism" lists "Lupron" as a "New and promising treatment". I've now checked Treating Autism's web site and I see that's true, the page is here. So I wonder how many people have read the following, which is about "testosterone sheets" (integral to the "Lupron Protocol" idea) and the very real absence of "minimal hot benzene" in autistics:

For those not facile with chemistry-speak, the authors took equal numbers of molecules of testosterone and mercuric chloride and dissolved the mixture in the minimal amount of hot benzene that it took to dissolve the mixture.

This is not a condition even remotely similar to anything found in living tissue - of any vertebrate species. In other words, it isn't likely to happen in autistic children unless you dissolve them in hot benzene.

The full article is here. I think of this whenever I hear "Lupron" mentioned. Also Kathleen Seidel's series "Significant Misrepresentations: Mark Geier, David Geier & the Evolution of the Lupron Protocol", now part sixteen.

I agree we should value peer reviewed science above the less-than-thorough kind. Also I gather there are 'junk science' journals just as there are 'tabloids' in the newspaper market. From high school chemistry (which I failed) I recall not only that burnt sulfur smells the way it does (previous post), but also that true science involves rigor. This seems like the thing to watch for in autism research, or in autism researchers.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Back to the Grinning Zone

Added a list of links to pages and projects that got set aside (or forgotten), for one reason or another. Now that some sites offer free remote-link image hosting (such as Photobucket) it's possible to restore pages that previously strained my local web space. Such as The Great Canadian Grinning Zone (just replaced the hit counter, which had stopped working, apparently due to successive changes in ownership).

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Burnt sulfur should smell like roses!"

But it doesn't. It smells like rotten eggs. This is a useful summary (for me) about what's wrong with arguments-of-denial in autism. Put another way: "There's the way it oughta be, and there's the way it is."

I've been thinking about the failed 'conversion' (to prevailing autism advocacy standards) at "The Crux of the Matter" blog. The author, "Sandy", falls in with the wrong company (a prominent autism advocacy spindoctor) and suddenly there's room for only one side to the story. A well known and very polite autistic person, jypsy, is barred from commenting - and the whole thing comes crashing down (the post and comments are removed). Those who are interested can find more details in this post by Steve D ("One Dad's Opinion" blog) and another of the deleted comments here

Since that episode I've been admiring Skeptico's Bingo Night! post - and have now linked (at right) to those skepticism blogs that I've noticed only in passing (while being overwhelmed by everything else). Likewise's Curbie Bingo. Considering the now predictable contributions of people like Fredericton, New Brunswick lawyer Harold L. Doherty, I would add a square: "newspaper science".

More to say but I'll leave that for another post. The comments here have been turned off for a while (I wouldn't have been able to deal with them), now they're back on.