• During COVID times my youngest child TD and I have made a pact to watch all of the Star Trek films. All 13 movies from the very first full-length feature with Shatner’s Kirk to the most recent revival of the […]

  • We are having some landscaping done in our neighborhood this week and, in the process of re-grading a hill, the landscapers cut our internet line. So, for the first time in more than 3 months, I had to come into […]

    • Same issues here, although my university has only promised to try and get us face masks & shields for the fall.

    • 124 days to go, guys…

    • And the dorms. The DORMS. Most of our students live in the dorms and I love them dearly but do we HONESTLY believe they are going to distance themselves enough to prevent an outbreak? They really want to learn on campus and I don’t blame them because I miss them, but… the whole thing is a huge cause of anxiety for me.

  • I have lots of thoughts about recent current events, but today is not the day to say any of it. My heart is broken. Now is a time to listen. We have a lot of work to do, mi gente. A lot of work, indeed.

    I get a […]

  • Last night I started seeing posts pop up in my social media feed from a bird watcher who was accosted by a white woman while watching in Central Park. It absolutely broke my heart. Take a look at Amy Cooper’s […]

    • I don’t know about the company’s current policies. But the ‘Templeton’ in question is the Templeton investment empire; founded by Sir John Templeton of ‘Templeton Prize’ fame. A big fake sciency award given to religious apologists every year. Though they also managed to reward Mother Teresa (1973) and Billy Graham (1982)

    • As a side note, have you looked at the staff here at skeptchick? I have a strong suspicion that no one in leadership at Skeptchick would be afraid to call the police either.

    • Writing as a white man, you’re definitely wrong. We don’t even have to act out “hysterics for maximum emotional manipulation”, as you put it. We just ask.

      What you’re noticing there isn’t extra bonus free privilege white women get. It’s a reflection of the subservient role women are expected (by some) to play. It’s not enough to request, it has to be performed as a desperate plea for help from someone nominally expected to act too weak and helpless to defend themselves. It’s a bullshit dance demanded by those with the most power (us, I’m afraid), before help is bestowed.

    • Kid, the very first thing you did here, your first line. was to put all the blame on white women, implicitly exonerating white men. That’s the bit you got wrong, and that’s the only part of your comment I was addressing.

  • Three days after I gave birth to my youngest child TD, I developed the worst fever I’ve ever had in my life. My teeth chattered so badly I thought my jaw would break and I simultaneously sweat through my bedding […]

  • There are a couple of things weighing on my mind today, as I continue to write and think about the current COVID-19 pandemic. First, I really need the media to give me a day off from debunking inflammatory […]

    • “The pathogen destroyed half of Ireland’s potato crop, leading to rampant starvation and the death of nearly a million people.”

      While the potato blight was clearly the proximate cause of the famine, it’s worth noting that Ireland was exporting enough food to feed its entire population to Great Britain every year of the famine. So in a sense the blight *plus* the colonial domination of Ireland by the British landlord class are together what led to those million deaths.

  • I am writing this blog post during my video office hours. This is what I look like.

    Two students have already popped in with questions. I have not showered and I am wearing a track jacket. I have no makeup on. […]

    • Not only is everything you say here true, but the article is also bad education. The byline you quote:
      “In these trying times, the last thing that students need to see is their professional, highly educated professor falling apart at the seams.”
      Is simply wrong. 25 years ago, when anything I knew was current, the theory of cognitive apprenticeship was well-known; students don’t need to see you produce pristine and shiny solutions out of thin air like magic, they need to see you tackle a real problem, wander down a few false paths, even struggle a little, and watch how you work it out. That doesn’t just apply to your subject matter, it applies to the life lessons on the side. Who could take seriously anyone who didn’t seem profoundly affected by this crisis? So let them see you struggle with this a bit too… and then let them see how you beat it.

    • I’ve been wearing only pyjamas for 3 weeks, and my hair calls into question the validity of natural selection. (There’s no way any species has ever needed THIS.) My camera is always on the work, not myself, but my students have certainly been able to see the racing car pyjama pants that my mommy sewed for me, whenever my legs come into view. And it clearly hasn’t bothered anyone. We’re just glad that any teaching can still continue at all.

      Some of my students are struggling to afford to stay connected, and that’s a far bigger worry. But it’s also a worry most educators are powerless to do much about. Perhaps, for some, this obsession with appearance is just a way to pretend they still have control over the chaos.

    • *Applause.gif*

      Not only is it misogynist, it’s ableist AF. The fact that I am still FUNCTIONING as an educator despite raging anxiety disorder set off by *waves hands around* all this should be the highlight of my tenure package.

    • Thank you for this. It is awesome and totally right on.

    • Really, if you’re trying to get a degree, the only profs whose looks you need to worry about are in cosmetology. Heck, I get miffed if a company I’m working with has a dress code.

  • Isis the Scientist posted a new activity comment 3 months, 3 weeks ago

    It is theoretically possible, but I think only in a situation where the treating physician had a sound understanding of the physiology underlying the patient’s disease. Based on the population-level data that suggests respiratory failure, driving ventilation higher doesn’t not seem prudent.

  • Being a respiratory physiologist in times of a respiratory pathogen pandemic means getting lots of questions from my colleagues and the public about all sorts of stuff. The beauty of being a physiologist is that, […]

    • I don’t know anything about anything, but I read an article that explained that because there are 2 different types of Covid 19, that depending on how a patient presents, that one could be treated for ARDS and another could be treated for HAPE. Could this be a possibility? Meaning that possibly Diamox would only be useful in certain cases and similarly ventilation in others? Again, this is based on my very basic understanding of what I’ve read.

      • It is theoretically possible, but I think only in a situation where the treating physician had a sound understanding of the physiology underlying the patient’s disease. Based on the population-level data that suggests respiratory failure, driving ventilation higher doesn’t not seem prudent.

    • Thanks for such a great explanation. It so easy to get crazy with so much misinformation on social media. I think they should make a law about spreading misinformation and rumors and fine people for such irresponsible behavior.

    • Thank you for the fascinating insight into ventilation. You made it easier to understand than most.
      Note that the team that is proposing to use acetazolamide is claiming that they are seeing the low partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PaCO2) themselves, and are also claiming that the median PaCO2 level as 34mmHg for some COVID-19 patients (a bit low) as referenced in JAMA from clinical observations in Wuhan. They are also seeing some very high elevated lactate, which could also be a sign of respiratory alkalosis.

    • Would a treatment of Diamox and a steroid be plausible?

      • No. There is some evidence that low doses of prednisone can be helpful- but it’s preliminary, and there’s other evidence that overuse of steroids worsens prognosis.
        I’ve been on both Diamox and on Prednisone. A lot, actually. They rank 1 and 2 in “drugs I’ve been on and never want to take every again” (not that I’ll have a choice with either). They have nasty side effects.
        We need effective antivirals, which means rigorous double-blind placebo-controlled trials and go through peer review. Armchair pharmacology isn’t useful, and may actually be harmful.

  • Today’s post is not particularly journalism-y, but our fearless leader gave me the keys to the kingdom and told me I could write whatever I wanted. So, here’s some deeply personal stuff in the times of […]

    • Oh Isis, I am so very sorry that you are experiencing this. 🙁

      My nitric oxide bacteria might be able to help. Email me at my company, [email protected]

      take care.


    • How frightening, and what a horrible time for this to happen. I am so sorry. If there is anything that you need– materially, or just to rant– don’t hesitate to contact me (easiest way is via twitter @biblioteq_tress). I work at a university library, and might have access to a journal or pub you don’t. Also, I live in Boston, & while sheltering-in-place limits some of what I could do, please let me know if you need or want anything from here (including lobster or really good IPA, if either are your thing!). I have friends who work in the Tufts & Harvard medical libraries, & my partner worked at Beth Israel until recently. Info, phone numbers, whatever else, just asked. All the hugs–bibliotequetress

  • Isis the Scientist posted a new activity comment 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    I suggest you send a strongly worded letter to the home office. Maybe I’ll get fired.

  • We are on our 13th day of social distancing in Case de Amontillado, the official name of the Strange-Isis abode. Some day I’ll write about why we named our house after my favorite macabre tale when we bought it […]

    • The problem is that even universities don’t care about society as a whole, or their workers’ work/life balance anymore. They only care about their bottom line and their notoriety.

  • Isis the Scientist posted a new activity comment 4 months, 2 weeks ago

    Contrary to popular belief, I don’t always like to be right. I just found out about this and it makes me very, very sad.

    • One of the things I gradually realized as a grownup is that people who are not smart don’t deserve bad things. That they deserve help and protection, not mockery. This makes me sad too, and all I can hope is that this helps other people realize the danger and not make the same mistake.


    Our president is going to get people killed. I don’t say this lightly. His actions today fall nothing short of reckless. Earlier today, President Trump tweeted:

    Yes, calling for the FDA to act immediately to […]

  • Isis the Scientist posted a new activity comment 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    I’m very sorry to have brought down the quality of this, your very favourite of sites. – I

  • .My darling husband Strange and I have been “social distancing” since Friday. That’s six days of total marital togetherness. We’re surviving pretty well. To be honest, I think every American should be given one […]

    • As a longtime follower of your old blogs, I can only say that it is great to have your voice back on my feed! Thanks so much.

  • This week, more than 40 universities have announced their intent to suspend face-to-face course work and send students home to limit the spread of COVID-19 among the student population. My own university’s Board […]

  • Isis the Scientist posted a new activity comment 5 months, 1 week ago

    Thank you! I’m glad you felt it helpful!

  • I am an Iowan and, as an Iowan, I had the privilege of participating in our nation’s first caucus. I caucused for Warren. I think she’s brilliant. She’s kind, she listens, she’s thoughtful, she’s truthful. she’s […]

    • Thank you. I’m so saddened that my vote for Warren won’t count in November. And the last thing we need is another ‘outsider’ populist in the White House. Even if he’s not THAT bad.

    • I understand the feelings around Bernie, but is supporting a guy who has made a lot of women uncomfortable with unwanted touches really that much better in terms of feminism?

      • I still don’t get it. Hillbots sent me CP (and I was molested by a neighbor when I was seven) during 2016, but I still voted for her in the end. I still have nightmares about that, and I expect David Brock and all the other Republicans she hired to pay for my therapy.

    • Not going to happen. We have a choice: Elect the Democratic nominee (most likely Biden at this point in the process, but Sanders could conceivably still pull it out) or re-elect Trump. Despite the justifiable complaints of many inside and especially outside the US of our terrible behavior over the last 400 years (going back to the slave trade and Metacom’s war, and colonial intervention in the Western Hemisphere since the Monroe Doctrine, and especially since World War 2, Trump is catastrophically worse than any other president ever. He will continue to drive the US and the rest of the world into the clearly visible bridge pilings in front of us. The ensuing wreck should cause no joy for people who think they are innocent bystanders. The explosion and flying debris will cause far more harm to everyone than a continuation of the moderate. democratic policies of Obama, Clinton and Carter, and even those of Reagan and the Bushes. Trump hasn’t actually started a major shooting war yet, but that’s not his fault.

      Don’t tell us to waste our votes on some imaginary unelectable 3rd party candidate who would just guarantee Trump.

      • “Unelectable” is also a very strange American concept. Everywhere else, being actually elected is what makes you retroactively “electable”, because democracy isn’t considered to be predetermined prior to that.

        However, beyond that, I’m not sure what your point is. I’m not arguing in favour of electing trump, and neither was Isis’s article. The issue in question here is who should be the Democrat’s candidate. If you’re already agreed that it could well be Sanders, then I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make, in response to my suggestion that it shouldn’t be Biden. Given a choice of Trump or other, sure, pick other in almost all cases. But that’s not the current discussion; the current discussion is Biden or Sanders, and Biden is clearly not good for most people. The notion that Biden is more “electable” is perverse and backwards. And Sanders is close as damn to Warren, by most reasonable measures.

        • “Unelectable” literally means almost zero chance of winning. I was referring to the current situation in the 2020 election post Super Tuesday, not some bullshit principle like “No woman can be elected President of the US”.

          The president will almost certainly be the nominee of one of the two major parties. No third party candidate has won the presidency since Abraham Lincoln in 1860. Since then, Teddy Roosevelt came closest with 27% in 1912. All the polls agree with this.

          Only two candidates have any chance of getting the Democratic nomination (Biden and Sanders). Trump is a dead cert of the Republican nomination. (Bill Weld has no chance.)

          The only thing that could prevent this is either death or a major scandal taking out BOTH Democratic candidates, or Trump dying.* (Trump is scandal-proof, having already gotten away with every conceivable form of criminal and non-criminal reprehensible behavior imaginable. Nothing he could do is worse than things he has already done.)

          I voted for Elizabeth Warren last week, and won’t have another vote until the final election. I will vote for the Democratic candidate, whoever that is. I would prefer Sanders because his policies are much closer to mine, but Biden would be much better than Trump, if only for the Supreme Court.

          [*] Favorite fantasy: Trump sexually assaults Pence’s wife, and Pence shoots him in public, taking out both of them and resulting in President Pelosi.

          • Okay, I don’t really want anyone to be sexually assaulted, not even Pence’s wife. Maybe Pence imagines Trump did this (knowing his history) and shoots him based on mistaken information?

      • Or, just do as the centrists keep accusing us of doing, let Trump win until the DNC just realizes this is no longer profitable for them to continue this job. Because I can’t see Biden winning this election. He’s like a more disagreeable version of Hillary Clinton, with all that implies. (Picking fights with your constituents. Really?)

    • I disagree with this post. Selecting Biden would set feminism 50 years back but Bernie would forward it. People seem to think that either Warren is a liar, or Bernie is a gas lighter, but I believe neither. I believe Warren misinterpreted something Bernie said. I believe Bernie told warren that a specific challenge for a women trying to become president is sexism. There is nothing wrong with saying that. Warren may have interpreted it as a women can not be president.

      Bernie has spent his entire life fighting for women’s and racial rights. He marched with Martin Luther King, He was arrested protesting segregation, he fought for gay rights when it was considerably more taboo, he is on tape a few decades ago saying there are not enough women in government, etc.

      A good example of Bernie setting feminism forward is medicare for all. This would allow tons of women to have access to safe abortions, this would allow tons of trans people to have access to their required medical care. This is literally a massive positive for gender equality. This is also something that Joe Biden is not fighting for, in fact he is fighting it.

      Another problem is the fact that Joe Biden is pretty corrupt. An example of this would be when Trump made that overseas call to get dirt on Biden. He was acquitted during his impeachment trial for that. Sure, Trump was guilty and deserves to be in jail, but being acquitted is almost saying to the american public who dont follow politics that Trump can not possibly be corrupt, and so Trump can turn that argument against Biden.

      I just disagree with his article so much in that Joe Biden does not have a history of fighting for women’s right in the same way that Bernie does.

    • Pow Wow Chow? I don’t know if that’s racist or just stupid. Both?

    • “Biden’s not perfect, but he’s got three qualities I admired in Warren – he’s honest, he tries hard, and he listens.”

      This Indian says he is exactly as much those things as Warren.

      But seriously, he strikes me as a more disagreeable Hillary Clinton, fighting with his constituents. Even more dismissive than a typical centrist Dem, those masters of rhetorical onanism. And since Trump is an incumbent, he’ll be harder to beat. Really, anyone who thinks Biden is our best option is an ????? and should be treated as such.

    • https://news.yahoo.com/seven-women-have-now-accused-joe-biden-of-inappropriate-touching-131204785.html

      I doesn’t seem reasonable to ignore articles like this one. Biden has demonstrated a clear disregard for women. How can this site, of all my favourite sites, disregard that so easily? How can that be equated to something Sanders might have said, and might not have meant as some claim he meant? How can 7 women (at least) be totally ignored, just to give Warren the benefit of a different doubt?

      In short, what good reasons have you got for wanting such a conservative, worrying man as your president?

      Again, I’m not American, I don’t vote in either your primaries or your elections. But the rest of us in the other 96% of the world do have to live disproportionately with the consequences of your actions. Please, reconsider this position.

    • Medicare 4 All is literally a matter of life and death.

    • To back up my claim that Joe Biden would set back feminism, he is being accused of sexually assaulting a women right now. This is not the guy we want.

    • I remembered reading this a few weeks back and got angry again. This is genuinely one of the worst political takes that I have read, and aligns with this sites mission statement neither in terms of skepticism or feminism. I have been a fan of Rebecca Watson and this site for close to a decade and something like this is honestly indefensible. It gets very difficult for me to tell my friends that they are wrong when they say “How good can the site really be if the quality control let something like that article through?”

      The things you have to ignore in order to say “What there is, is a light between them in terms of how they treat women.” is fucking mind boggling and borders on malicious. With the things Biden has done to staffers, girls and not to mention the Anita Hill debacle, you have to be profoundly disingenuous to pretend that one heated moment between Bernie and Warren should trump that. If you would prefer a sexual assaulter to someone who you assume lied about Warren once in the name of “feminism”, then you are not a feminist. You just want the aesthetic of it so you can claim that your view is right by definition.

      The article would be a lot more honest if it just said that “I am angry that Warren dropped out. I blame Bernie so I would rather vote for someone who has driven conservative talking points for decades than the one who is closest to Warrens policies”. You didn’t care about her policies to begin with if you are so easily turned off.

      As for the whole meme of “electability”, I really don’t know who people think that they are fooling. Trump could run the *exact* same campaign against Biden that he did against Hillary, except now he has even more ammo. Americans seem to use the word “electable” to mean “politician-like”, which is unsurprisingly the exact opposite of what wins elections. People in the US absolutely hate politicians, and with Biden you see basically everything there is to dislike about them. He never admits fault, he goes exactly as progressive as he has to be in order to seem mainstream and he very clearly does not care about real concerns of Americans. Literally telling voters to “Grow up” or “Vote for Trump” rather than give even the slightest hint of encouragement.

      Suffice it to say, I am disappointed that this article managed to get up and stay on a site like this. A site that I think is extremely important in the struggle for rational voices in progressivism and intersectional feminism. It’s disappointing that a writer for it doesn’t seem to genuinely value any of this.

    • Oh man, this was already a weapon’s-grade bad take, but in only a month it’s somehow aged worse than gruyere in the summer sun

  • Allow me to begin today’s post with a brief story that I think will put things into perspective. I am both an employee and patient of my university’s hospital. My primary appointment (ie, job) is in the College […]

    • This is a really helpful overview. I am not in the US, but we also have hospitals with long wait times and a provincial premier who just cut healthcare funding (to force the health service to be more efficient is what his lackeys are telling us). Dr Google telling people there are tests for everything and then hooking us up with links to charlatans is not going to help.

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