The Lower Quote, As If You Didn't Know, Is By Richard Dawkins, Son.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

CNN and Media Fail Skepticism 101...Again

Jesus christ. I need you all to go here and watch the little video. Then come back and read.

Did you see how fast his "facilitator" was moving his finger around that touchpad? I call bullshit. That's the old facilitated communication ruse that was old and busted before the phrase "old and busted" came to be in casual parlance.

On the side of the family, I feel badly. They obviously want to believe that their relative is still there, is not in a vegetative state, might just be there to talk to again. It's very easy to sympathize with them because no one wants to let go, especially when there is something that seems to show progress and a way to get Mr. Houben back.

On the side of the media, they have, once again, produced something that only deserves the moniker of EPIC FAIL on par with "google fail".

google-suggest-fail-aids-black-people

Submitted by B. Wildt and Alexander M


I mean, don't you, as a reporter, think to yourself as you are "interviewing" Mr. Houben, "Hm, I wonder how he's typing so quickly when he's not used his arm/hand in over 20 years? And wow, it really looks like that woman is just moving his finger around the typepad."

Obviously not. It's reporting like this that makes me think I could pull off an amazing prank. I mean, it's not like anyone asks hard questions (unless you're on a "comedy newscast"). Why aren't more actual news programs like this:

I mean, for fuck's sake, why do I have to watch Comedy Central to see assholes get called out? The CNN reporters and the "facilitator" in the video need to be facially slapped, and firmly, to help this family deal with their situation in the most helpful manner for everyone, especially Mr. Houben, so they and he are not exploited. The last thing I need is for him to become a fucking Jeff Probst reality show or have Mr. Houben be the guest banker on Deal or No Deal.

Have the "facilitator" leave the room, show Mr. Houben a random object, then bring the "facilitator" back in and have Mr. Houben "guide her hand" and type what he saw that she didn't. If that happens, properly blinded and 10 times out of 10, then I'll believe he's really in there, conscious and "locked in". Until then, these unthinking parasites need to fuck off.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Star Cracks One

This is great. Make sure you read all the way to the end for the Shyamalan. It's worth it.

(Thanks Tony!)

Friday, November 20, 2009

124th Skeptic's Circle!

That's right, for your brain's enjoyment, the 124th Skeptic's Circle is up over at Beyond the Short Coat. Do yourself a favor and go read. It's way better than a kick to the liver. Way.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Are We Surprised at Huffington Post Anymore?

Over at http://www.welovequacks.com/retard (aka the Huffington Post), they've put up a list of 10 "game changers". People who are on the cutting edge and are making us rethink how we do things. They delve into many areas like business, style, politics, and, of course, wellness. Take a guess who they selected as their "game changer" for the last topic. Go ahead, guess.

Ok, now check out the answer.

That's right. The guy who inspired an epic smack down from the Science Based Medicine blog. I do find it ironic that he's described by FuffHo (haha...I'm totally using that more often) as an, "Online natural health care evangelist". Yep, well, "evangelist" is appropriate as he's all about the dogma and stupidity rather than science. FuffHo says:
Whether or not you agree with his point of view, there is no question that Mercola has helped inspire the explosion of online interest in integrative medicine.
Great, thanks, asshole. No, I don't agree with your point of view because it is demonstrably wrong and air-headed and stupid and, did I mention demonstrably wrong? "Integrative" medicine is the next in a line of adjectives describing shit that is not medicine. It doesn't matter if it's "alternative" or "integrative" or "complementary" - if it works reliably and you can depend on actual measurable outcomes from the treatment or therapy, then it's just medicine. Any descriptive word beforehand should make a consumer weary.

Especially if he's Mercola and describing the staggering lack of medical knowledge displayed in the SBM post linked to above. What a quack.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Everybody Must Get Stoned

What century is this again? Oh, right. Militant Islam is involved in stoning a young woman to death, so I guess we're right on par then.

Carry on.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bill Maher = Medical Fail

(editorial addition - Orac, cited below, has written a post on exactly this topic today and does it with much more medical knowledge than I have. Check his post out as well if you haven't already.)

(extra edit add-on: geez, Steve Novella also beats up Maher here. Neither of these guys use the word "motherfucker", however, so you still need to read my post.)

Bill Maher wrote recently at the Huffington Post an article entitled, Vaccination: A Conversation Worth Having. It is, in part, a response to the open letter written to him by Michael Shermer and goes a bit deeper into his reasons for being against "western" medicine.

I found Maher's article to be painful, much like the way it is painful to put a spoon in a crappy gas-station cup of coffee. You bring the cup to your lips to sip and BAM! the ol' spoon handle in the fuckin' eyeball. The coffee was going to suck anyway, but the spoon just added that extra level of suckatude that wasn't needed.

So the stupid begins...
I feel like I've become a confessor for people who want someone to be raising questions about vaccines. But I don't want the job. I agree with my critics who say there are far more qualified people than me -- its just that mainstream media rarely interviews doctors and scientists who present an alternative point of view. There is a movement to stop people from asking any questions about vaccines -- they're a miracle, that's it, debate over.
Bullshit, plain and simple. The only doctors or medical professionals I ever see interviewed on the mainstream media shows are ones with "alternative" views. The media love "maverick" doctors who buck the mainstream and tout some implausible "cure". Just look around at most of the famous health spokespeople: Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil, fucking Suzanne Somers, motherfucking Jenny McCarthy, and Dr. Christiane Northrup.

Sure, there are some good ones (Dr. Drew Pinsky and Dr. Sanjay Gupta come to mind), but overall if you see an MD or "health spokesperson" on TV, it's going to be a whackjob.
The British Medical Journal from August 25 says half the doctors and medical workers in the U.K. are not taking the flu shot -- are they all crazy too? Sixty-five percent of French people don't want it. Maybe its not as simple as the medical establishment wants to paint it.
Well, the only thing I could find on the 'net saying something like this was this article saying that the BMJ made public research from Hong Kong saying that half of the health care workers there (in Honk Kong) were going to refuse the H1N1 vaccine. It seems in Britain, there is less panic and things are going quite smoothly, thank you. I loved this line in particular: "For every one vaccine dose in the U.S. there are four in the UK. Additives are not used in the U.S. because Americans worry about their safety." Yes, worry away, my pretties, worry away....
I feel its unnecessary and counterproductive to try and silence people with condescension. Michael Shermer wrote me an open letter and felt I needed to be told that "vaccinations work by tricking the body's immune system into thinking that it has already had the disease for which the vaccination was given." Thanks, Doc, I thought there might be a little man inside the needle. Yes, I read Microbe Hunters when I was eight, I have a basic idea how vaccines work.
Really, Bill? You said recently that the swine flu vaccine has crazy stuff like insect repellent in it. You said that we shouldn't believe you and that we should check the CDC's website for ourselves (go ahead, try to find "insect repellent" anywhere on there). Well, luckily for us, a stalwart defender of science-based medicine did just that. He did some poking around and...well, I'll let Orac tell it himself:
I will admit that the "insect repellent" gambit is a new one on me. I looked at the CDC list of vaccine ingredients and couldn't find anything resembling a pesticide or insect repellant chemical. I may not know enough to have identified it; so I did a bit of digging. Guess where I found this one? Really, take a guess? Surprise, surprise! I found it on the uber conspiracy website Rense.com, which complains about the adjuvant MF59, stating that it is made up of Tween 80, squalene, and Span85, about the last of which it says:

Span85: Patented by the now defunct Chiron (bought by Novartis). Its chemical name is Sorbitan Trioleate. It is an oily liquid used in medicine, textiles, cosmetics, and paints as an emulsifier, anti-rust agent, and thickener. [Some factories in China specialize only in manufacturing Tween 80 and Span 85.] According to the Pesticide Action Network North America [PANNA], this chemical is used as a pesticide. It is also used as an adjuvant and is "toxic to humans, including carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, and acute toxicity."(16)

...MF59 has been used in Europe for a dozen years without mishap. Basically, Maher's whine appears to be an even more ridiculous version of the "squalene gambit." Again, remember that the dose makes the poison. As is the case for aluminum, there is no good evidence that squalene or MF59 is harmful at the doses used in vaccines and plenty of evidence that it is safe.
And just to be clear, there is no adjuvant in the U.S. vaccines, is there, Bill? So you guys don't have to worry your pretty little organic-vegetable-eating heads at all. Sure you have a "basic understanding", sure you do. Much like how Deepak Chopra understands quantum mechanics.

Maher goes on to mention that a 60 Minutes reporter asked a question to the Secretary of Health and Human Services about his twitter post which said, "If u get a swine flu shot, ur an idiot". Maher backpedals a bit here and admits:
...so yes, some people are not idiotic to get a flu shot. They're idiotic if they don't investigate the pros and cons of getting a flu shot. But, come on -- it was a twitter from a comedian, not a treatise in the New England Journal of Medicine, that's not what I do.
No, but people who watch Real Time or follow Maher on twitter are not morons and can tell the difference between a joke and an actual opinion. Anyone who actually does "investigate the pros and cons" of flu shots will come away with the opinion that they are worthwhile. That's IF you honestly look at all aspects of the issue.

If you only look at rense.com, whale.to, Natural News or Mercola, you'll get the conspiracy mongering that we've come to expect from anyone who refers to "western medicine", "allopathic medicine", or "boosting your natural immunity". (Pssst...I'm looking at you, Bill)

Ok, here we go with the good stuff:
I would have, for example, added to my discussion with Dr. Bill Frist on October 2 that, yes, any flu or health challenge can be dangerous when you're pregnant, and if your immune system is already compromised by, for example, eating a typical American diet, then a flu shot can make sense. But someone needs to be representing the point of view that says the preferred way to handle flus is to have a strong immune system to begin with, and getting lots of vaccines might not be the best way to accomplish that over the long haul.
Bill, we have to get back to your "basic understanding" of vaccines. You don't have any sort of "basic understanding". See, your immune system takes time to manufacture antibodies when it comes in contact with an influenza virus. When talking about the swine flu, not many people have antibodies because, well, it's a new flu. That's the whole point of the vaccine - no one has contacted this before, so no one is immune. Lots and lots of people will get infected which equals sick time, hospital time, some deaths... It doesn't matter how great your immune system is, if you're exposed and you inhale, you're getting it. Yeah, even you, Superman.

Vaccines give you immunity without the hassle of getting barfy/shitty/horrible sick for two weeks, and there are no credible reasons to think there is any danger at all. If you have that evidence, we'd love to see it.

The "toxin gambit":
In addition, my audience is bright, they wouldn't refuse a flu shot because they heard me talk about it, but if they looked into the subject a little more, how is that a bad thing? If they went to the CDC Web site and saw what's in the vaccine -- the formaldehyde, the insect repellent, the mercury -- shouldn't they at least get to have the information for themselves?
Jesus christ, Bill, really? I'm not even going to tackle that one. Seriously, go here and here to see Orac school the living hell out of both Jim "My Ass is Smarter than my Head" Carrey and Dr. Jay "I (heart) Jenny McCarthy" Gordon on the stupidity that is the "toxin gambit".
Does the polio vaccine have the power to prevent children from getting polio, and did it indeed do just that in the 1950s? I believe it does, and it did. But polio had diminished by over 50 percent in the thirty years before the vaccine -- that's a pretty big fact in the polio story that you don't often hear and which merits debate.
"Diminished by over 50 percent? Ummm, what?
So yes, I get it, we learned how to trick our immune systems. And maybe sometimes, you gotta do it. But maybe the immune system doesn't like being tricked so many times. Maybe we should be studying that instead of shouting down debate.
Yes, Bill, they are studying that. No one is "shouting down debate". What's getting shouted down is people like you bringing up stupid shit like "insect repellent" and the horrible toxins like aluminum and mercury! Do some reading at a site that doesn't use six different-colored flashing fonts and maybe you'll come away with an understanding that's a bit less than basic.
Someone who speaks eloquently about this is Barbara Loe Fisher
Oh jesus christ, here we go...
I find her extremely credible, as I do Dr. Russell Blaylock, Dr. Jay Gordon and many others, but I shouldn't have even mentioned them because I don't want to be "the Vaccine Guy"!! Look it up yourself, and stop asking me about it -- I'm already the Religion Guy, and that's enough work!
If you think these people are credible, then you're likely too far gone down the rabbit hole of stupid and the caterpillar with the awesome weed will keep you company for a long long time.
Anyway, Ms. Fisher is someone who says she is not "anti-vaccine," but just has a lot of questions about the long term effect of using a lot of vaccines...She also points out "that what we need, but do not yet have, are studies of vaccinated vs unvaccinated children."
I would like to point readers to Mark Crislip's excellent article here where he talks, in part, about the ethics involved in trials like the one Mr. Fisher wants. The relevant section teaser!
It would be an interesting informed consent: a large number of studies suggests that the vaccine is protective for morbidity and mortality but we want to prove it with a placebo controlled trial. Are you going to sign up? And you have to ask: if the test proposed by Dr. Jefferson, a large trial of vaccine in the elderly (edit: or kids) with death as an endpoint is accomplished and it shows that the elderly (edit: or kids) do have increased mortality if they are not vaccinated, which is strongly suggested by the preponderance of data we already have, what are you going to tell the next of kin of the dead? We were right, thanks for the sacrifice.
So that happened....

I have to skip ahead in Maher's article here. No reason other than he's getting to me and I've got other shit to do tonight apart from pointing out where Maher is being a retard. You know, like eating fudge and compromising my immune system with a "western diet".
...let's have a real debate about how much we should use vaccines and antibiotics. Of course it's good that we have them in our arsenal, but isn't the real skeptic the one who asks if these powerful but toxic methods do harm to what actually is a a very good defensive system, the one you were born with?
No, Bill, the "real skeptic" is the one who looks at all aspects of the situation and evaluates all the evidence in as impartial a manner as possible. You are clearly not doing this. Look at the "very good defensive system" that most people were born with a hundred years ago and you'll find out pretty quickly that we're alive longer now and it's no thanks to our "natural immunity". You would enjoy your all-natural bout with, and possible death from, pertussis while you just two weeks out of the ol' womb-with-a-view.
Is it conspiracy theory to believe that American medicine too much treats symptoms and not root causes of disease? I always ask my friends when they go to the doctor for something, "Did your doctor ask you what you eat?" The answer is almost always 'no,' and a lot can be cured with diet and a healthier lifestyle. (And a lot can't. I also understand the role of genetics and generations of artificial selection). But Americans don't want to hear that, so doctors don't push it. It's easier and more profitable to write a prescription for Lipitor.
You knew that was coming, right? The "treats symptoms but not the cause" bullshit had to rear its head at some point. Doctors tell people all the fucking time to put down the cheeseburgers, stretch a little bit, and for chrissake take a walk, Tons-o'-Fun. Maher is correct that most people don't want to hear it, but the problem isn't that doctors don't say it, it's that patients fucking ignore it. We see it all the time in the physio clinic I work at. Give clients exercises, they don't do them. Give them stretches, they don't do them. Suggest doing a nightly 20 minute walk and by the look on their face, you'd think you just told them their cock was hanging out. In the face of patient non-cooperation, the best way to extend their life is to prescribe Lipitor.

And by the way, I get pissed when people make the attack that "Big Pharma" makes billions (billions!!) of dollars each year selling drugs. Yes, they do. They sell drugs to us, and not always in the most ethical of way, but as Crislip once said (this is from memory), "the pharmaceutical companies have amazing scientists who develop phenomenal products that save lives, then they turn those products over to scumbag used car salesmen."

Now, to make a point, I think it would be safe to say that Jenny McCarthy is a millionaire. She got that money by appearing on MTV, modeling while sitting on a toilet, and acting in movies like Wieners and Witless Protection. She made some people laugh with performances in stupid b-level movies and by using juvenile toilet humour.

Dr. Paul Offit arguably made millions of dollars from his development of the rotavirus vaccine. This saves lives. Who would you rather be compensated with millions of dollars?
Ms. Fisher said "If we want to create a society that is dependent on shots for immunity -- the same way we are getting dependent on prescription drugs, antibiotics, and surgery -- this is the path we should keep going down." I don't think its "anti-science" to pause and consider that point of view.
It is quite anti-critical-thinking to suggest that the population should give up vaccination or that there is a danger in getting a flu shot. It is ridiculous to insinuate that we are creating a population, "dependent on shots for immunity" when far too few people get the flu shot to provide herd immunity.

In trying to defend himself, Maher drew out his sword and promptly cut off his foot. Then he shoved his severed foot in his mouth and started to gnaw on it. Then my soul died.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Scale!

Via the Bad Astronomer, we have this awesome little sliding scale to give you a perspective of just how small things scientists talk about actually are. This scale goes from a coffee bean down to a carbon atom, which is the coolest thing since the underside of your pillow last night. Yes, I checked.

Going the other way, here's a short video showing the relative sizes of all the planets in our solar system and on up to some damn big stars. There was a video much like this on Phil's site, but I couldn't remember what it was called and my searches turned up empty. I suck. Mea culpa. Enjoy this anyway.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Boom De Yada!

Man, every time I see Discovery Channel's Boom De Yada commercial it makes me happy. I think Carl Sagan would have enjoyed it a lot, so here it is, a bit late for Sagan's birthday, but still....

Another Skeptical RMT

The other day while I was listening to a podcast I enjoy, Skeptically Speaking, I heard a conversation with Paul Ingraham, another skeptical registered massage therapist (RMT). Paul lives in British Columbia and because of his website and opinions on "alternative" medicine, he's being annoyed and potentially sued as well as having the British Columbia College of Massage Therapists try to censor him.

I've said in the past that the field of massage therapy is rife with pseudoscience and just about every kind of "alternative" medicine. It's people like Paul (and myself) who are trying to squash the stuff that doesn't work (or hasn't been proven) and get people the best health care available. If there are others out there, it would be great to band together (Facebook group, local meet-ups, whatever) and do what we can to make massage therapy as legitimate as possible.

Go check out Paul's site and be happy. Oh, and listen to Skeptically Speaking - I hear the host has a stick figure tattoo.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

In Honor of Carl Sagan Day

Who doesn't love Carl Sagan? My favorite piece of Sagan's writing, read by him. Enjoy.



(h/t to David Colquhoun via Twitter: here)

Carrie Prejean is Fucked. Literally and Figuratively.

Y'all remember Carrie Prejean? From this, I assume? Yeah, so here are some quotes from here you might find interesting:
I've done many photo shoots, Matt... It would be like a photographer going into my dressing room and snapping a photo of me without my being aware of it. If a photographer is willing to make an extra buck and did get a photo of me, so be it.
— Carrie Prejean to Matt Lauer on May 13, 2009
I felt as though Satan was trying to tempt me in asking me this question. And then God was in my head and in my heart saying, "Do not compromise this. You need to stand up for me and you need to share with all these people . . . you need to witness to them and you need to show that you're not willing to compromise that for this title of Miss USA."

And I knew right here that it wasn't about winning. It was about being true to my convictions.

Carrie Prejean to James Dobson
Now aren't these amazingly hilarious in light of, oh, say...TMZ reporting this?

I think so.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Friday Awesome Movie

Tonight I shall put the kidlet to bed and then sit back and enjoy a movie I haven't watched for too long - The Big Lebowski. Nothing says Friday chill time like The Dude, plus Walter saying the classic lines: "Shut the fuck up, Donnie! You're out of your element!, and "Hell, I can get you a toe by 3 o'clock this afternoon... with nail polish. These fucking amateurs... "

We'll talk later.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

YouTube Pulls Atheist Video Because They Suck

I think it's hilarious that YouTube pulled this video - and by "hilarious" I mean "pathetic and weak". Sowwy for hurting your widdle feewings wif our scawy afeeist video. Pweeese wet us put it back up...

Ah, never mind, I'll just link to it here and avoid you people altogether.

YouTube Pulls Atheist Video After Making Front Page of Digg.com

(Thanks, Tony!)

1, 2, 3, Here We Go

That's right, the 123rd edition of the Skeptic's Circle is now live over at Blue Genes. Go and read to your little heart's content. There's nothing on TV anyway until later tonight when Mythbusters airs, so you've got the time.

Re-Post of the Pain

Charlene Werner tries her hardest to explain how homeopathy works and executes a perfect EPIC FAIL to facepalm. (note: please do not watch this if you have a weak brain or without adequate pillowing around you for when you fall out of your chair.)



Thanks, Charlene - if you're one of the best spokespeople, you've shown that the woo-woo contingent has about half the brain cells needed to power a potato clock.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Science Works Even When You Are Hammered

Useful? Oh hell yes. You'll all remember this one, baby.



You're welcome.

(h/t to drunk French guy, and, oddly, the Huffington Post)

Monday, November 02, 2009

Amy Wallace's Wired Article

Holy jumping fleas, did Amy Wallace stir up a storm when she wrote her article for Wired Magazine.

Over at Age of Autism, J.B. Handley's shitty rebuttal to Wallace's article is sitting, waiting to be pounced on like a fucking limp gazelle on the African plains, surrounded by hungry hyenas. If you must, check it out here

Just a note: the original article included a title that suggested Paul Offitt "intellectually" raped Wallace and that he must have slipped her a roofie. Joke, sure, but if I had written the article instead of Ms. Wallace, I'm sure that lame, misogynistic joke wouldn't have made it in there. Handley is a low-hanging-fruit type of douchebag.

Some gems from his little piece are as follows, obviously with my hilarious commentary to follow:
Aside from a low-profile visit to Autism One, it seems Ms. Wallace never actually bothered to interview anyone from our side of the fence...
Why would she? Hey J.B., ever seen this video? (watch the whole thing, but for the relevant portion to this post, pay attention starting at 3'10")

You're Barry. Who the fuck would listen to Barry? Why would any serious writer or reporter listen to Barry?

Handley references the website for "14 Studies" as though it were proof of harm from vaccination, which I'm not going to link to - rather, I'll link to David Gorski's excellent post on Science Based Medicine taking Handley to task for being a douche (my word, not Gorski's - he's too classy for that...I'm the low-brow around these parts, thank you). Once you read that post and, hopefully, the others on the same topic, you'll see why I refuse to link to them.

In response to Wallace's statement that no study has linked death or serious injury to the DTaP vaccine (specifically pertussis), Handley says this:
Wow, did you ever go to the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program website? It’s hosted by our lovely government. It shows 792 claims of death from DTaP vaccine, and more than 1,200 claims of injury from DTaP where an award was paid by the government. You can read it all HERE (link to government table). Is that your definition of “nonexistent”? Unbelievable!
It really is unbelievable. Handley seems to not know the definition of the word, "claims". See, J.B., a "study" is a scientific way to determine if there is actually any underlying truth to what you're saying or thinking. A "claim" is something anyone can do, even if they have a tulip in their head where their brain should be. Because "claims" were made and paid out by the government doesn't mean that the injury suffered was actually caused by the vaccine.

He quotes Wallace's point that, counter-intuitively, more educated people tend to have a higher percentage of unvaccinated people/children. To this he replies:
Most people, hearing that rich, well-educated people vaccinate less, would stop and figure out why! Maybe with their brains, education, and free time, they know something you don’t seem to get?
Maybe, just maybe, J.B., it's because of the tendency of well-educated people to think they're educated in areas that they're not. You could talk to James Randi about that, what with the whole Project Alpha thing. You're familiar with the term, "arrogance of ignorance", right?

Wallace mentions that the internet empowers woo-woos to peddle their nonsense, wo which J.B. says:
The mainstream media helps us? Which planet are you living on? And, the internet democratizes truth, you’d think Wired magazine would embrace that!
I'm sorry, but anyone who says that the "truth" is democratic deserves this reaction:

Oh yeah. The laughing baby. It's in your face, J.B., and you can do nothing but hang your head in shame. Your grasp of reality is weak at best and if you think that "democratizing the truth" is a good idea, you must live inside a Colbert sketch. You're a joke, and the baby's having a great laugh.

The rest of his article is a bunch of self-referencing bullshit. Feel free to go check it out, but please, have a good book and some thing soft to land on when you stop laughing. It's painful, but when a good piece like Wallace's comes out in a major publication, the loons come out of the woodwork to take a shit on it. All we have to do is turn on the light so they scatter and sweep up the remains.

Swine!

I got my flu shot today, so if my posts seem incoherent and increasingly erratic, it's because the nano-implant the government put in me is slowly destroying my brain and making me a slave to Big Pharma. Please monitor closely.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Halloween!

We only had 18 kids last night because we're on a short street extension and the douchebag killjoys around us turn their lights off and don't hand out candy. It's too much walking for too little candy for the kids to bother. For you math folks out there: T.dw/c=:) Where T = time and dw = distance walked and c = candy So that makes it time multiplied by distance walked divided by candy equals happiness.

Leaving the whingy attitudes of my neighbors behind, I decided to make an Alfred Hitchcock pumpkin:
Hitchcock Pumpkin
And apparently some "persons of influence" didn't like it too much because...well...here's the result:
Mafia Hit Mike
Some people just have no sense of the holiday spirit....