Friday, 1 April 2011

Chaper 13: Write Wing : Mail Pattern Boldness

Those who have an excessive faith in their theories or in their ideas are not only poorly disposed to make discoveries, but they also make very poor observations.

Claude Bernard (1813-78), French physiologist, 1865.

I gotta have faith; I gotta have faith, 'cause I gotta have faith, faith, 'cause I gotta have faith-a-faith-a-faith. Thus concludes my lecture on the overuse of the word faith in George Michael lyrics.

Allen A. Alan, Time Immemorial, British Placebologist and Alternative Scientist, Likes drinks.

Illness: Mail Pattern Boldness
Discovered by:  The disease of mail pattern boldness is in some ways related to the disease melon land fill lips. As such it is known by almost all civilisations and goes by many names and has many faces. The Mayans called it “that which makes us sacrifice so many people”. To the ancient Greeks it was known as “the rock in front of Plato’s cave” and the Vikings just didn’t put up with that sort of thing and bashed anyone who showed any sign of it to death until they just stopped living. As with melon land fill lips, Dr Alan discovered and formalised its existence on closer inspection of the hate-filled, journal of written guff The Daily Mail. Due to its excellent absorbance and remarkable softness The Daily Mail is often used by Dr Alan in his “smallest laboratory”. One day he noticed there were some words under his “research material”. On reading the words given to the fevered imaginings of the writers he knew he had hit upon a new alternative illness. And then he was sick.
Epidemiology: Mail pattern boldness primarily affects adults. It is not known whether it can cause symptoms in children but it is unlikely as most children do not have access to a printing press or can hold sufficient rage without their fragile bones crumbling to dust. Mail pattern boldness has primarily been observed in men but occurs with equal prevalence in women. In men the disease tends to be contracted by those whose names can be used as alternative names for penises e.g. Richard, William, Little John, Delingpole, Clarkson. The more penis names the man has the worse the mail pattern boldness tends to be. This does not appear to be the case for females who contract the illness. Unless there are any men out there who call their penis Jan Moir.
Aetiology: It is known through a complex series of alternative scientific guesses that with the disease melon land fill lips, a series of ridiculous thoughts are diverted to the sufferer’s lips whereby they emerge in the form of hideous opinions. It has been thought in the past (which is the bit before the present) that since, in some ways at least, the output of those with mail pattern boldness is similar to those with melon land fill lips that the causes of both illnesses are both similar. This was shown to be incorrect by alternative science wrangler Dr Hellena Handkorb who was able to shout slightly louder than everyone else and thus prove that it wasn’t. Instead mail pattern boldness is caused by the magic of crystals. So a bit like gout but more magic. Of course these crystals aren’t actually magic, that would be ridiculous and more concordant with alternative pseudoscience. Rather the disease is produced by a combination of the vibration of crystals and money.
Everybody has a certain amount of crystals in their blood. Don’t check, they just do OK?  The amount of crystals any one individual has depends on a number of factors ranging from their exposure to incense shops to the number of factors the individual is aware of.  Everybody knows (for a given value of knowing) that crystals vibrate. The extent of these vibrations vary with exposure to different stimuli. In the case of the crystals we’re talking about (you know the ones) the vibration is greatest when exposed to weekly pay and the possibility of advertisement revenue. The vibration of these crystals is seen mostly in the joints of the fingers and in the part of the brain responsible for stupidity and pointless rage. These vibrations cause the spontaneous writing are seen in mail pattern boldness.
Symptoms: As suggested by the aetiology of the disease, mail pattern boldness relapses and remits with a periodicity determined by money. If an individual is getting money on a weekly basis then the symptoms will recur weekly. This is more complicated if the symptoms also result in revenue from advertisement. In which case the symptoms will occur on a more constant basis and the individual will be left with more or less constant vibration symptoms.
As stated the vibrations of the crystals are worst in the joints of the hands and in the stupidity and pointless rage centre of the brain. This is known to alternative scientists as the Minimus John’s Purgamentum. The vibrations in the hands cause automatic writing of what can mostly be described as bilge. Hateful right-wing bilge. Sadly the grotesquery of these unfortunate opinions attracts viewers who simply want to gawp at words that superficially make sentences but sound like the thoughts of a deranged toddler who is both afraid of and wants to bully the universe. The gawping can be compared to the staring of viewers of Channel 4 medical documentaries which have a sensitive voiceover but are simply inviting people to look at “the boy with an elbow for a nose” or some such cruelty. Unfortunately for the sufferers of mail pattern boldness the more that people read what they write the more money they get from their weekly pay and from advertising revenue. This increasing money eventually causes the crystals to vibrate at maximum intensity and the unfortunate sufferers are churning out sentences like “if Eastenders were realistic Bin Laden would be in it!”Colin Firth is a frankfurter on the hot dog griddle of life” and “gypsy monsters stole my policeman’s fish fingers because they are gay”. You couldn’t make it up. Except that last one.
Treatment: Going back to first principles it should be obvious that to manage mail pattern boldness either the crystals should be removed from the individuals or no money should be given to them for their writing. There have been several experimental attempts to remove the crystals responsible for the vibrations but sadly it couldn’t be done because of homeopathy or some such stupid reason. The best way to manage the condition is thus to halt the harmful vibrations of the crystals by not applying money to the crystals and thus not allowing them to vibrate. Individuals with known high levels of crystals should therefore not be paid for their writing and their writing should not be read so that they don’t get any advertising revenue. It seems cruel but it’s for their own good. Without the harmful vibrations distracting their rational thoughts, many of these individuals can go on to write rational articles about the dangers of NHS reorganisation or kittens juggling guinea pigs while calculating science! You’d like to see that wouldn’t you?! Yeah you would. Now excuse me, Brian Cox is on TV explaining gravity.
If you must read articles which are seemingly published every week to cause outrage in sensible folks then you can do so with this link which caches it so at least the horrible article doesn’t get the web traffic. Happy outrage!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Chapter 12: Make mine a larger: Societomegaly

“The whole approach of building a bigger, stronger, more active society involves something of a revolt against the top down, statist approach of recent years”
David Cameron, Prime Minister, UK.
“"Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first big society. Britain will be that society. Better than it was before. Bigger...larger...huge! No of course none of that means anything! Idiot"
Dr A. A. Alan, Knows what a prime number is. Plays the ukulele.

Illness: Societomegaly
Discovered by: David Cameron, the prime minister of the UK was the first person to use the phrase, “big society” in a childlike attempt to describe this illness. Sadly this is just a made-up thing and not the technical way of describing it so it doesn’t count in the slightest. Dr Alan took this series of incoherently cobbled-together ideas and gave them a sciencesque (technical term, copyright Dr A.A. Alan) name which means pretty much the same thing and was considered a genius. Genius is definitely the correct word because he wrote it in his notebook and held a press release and all the newspapers wrote about it like it was a fact.  The most sciencesque way of doing things.
Epidemiology: Societomegaly is an alternative physiological adaptation to an existing deformity, so it follows that only those with that deformity can develop this unfortunate affliction. This necessary starting condition is commonly known as horrible budget cuts. The budget is an alternative organ in the alternative body which really hurts if it gets kicked. This can be seen in the common parlance; “Ouch, right in the budget”. In some individuals the fragile skin of the budget can be covered with lots of large cuts. These are usually located randomly so that that the budget can no longer function as it should. It is not currently known what originally causes these cuts. Research placebologists tried to look in THE hisTORY books while at a PARTY to see what DID IT. Sadly they couldn’t because all the libraries had been closed down.
Aetiology: As has already been stated those who go on to develop societomegaly begin by having horrible budget cuts. The alternative body reacts to this embarrassing condition by enlarging the society to attempt to hide these cuts. It should be obvious by now that society is not technically a part of the body. It isn’t even a part of the alternative body like the budget definitely is.  However as any placebologist with a half-functioning imagination is able to bluff, the alternative body is able to affect society because of science. It’s much too complicated for you to understand so there is no point in even trying. Politics is also involved so the reasons for this become even harder to understand. Luckily politics can be immune to evidence so the science behind this effect can simply be inferred.  Dr Alan refers to this as the Lansley Phenomenon.
Symptoms: The unpleasant symptoms of societomegaly occur as the alternative body is only imperfectly able to enlarge society. This difficulty is largely as a result of the horrible cuts all over the individual’s budget. Sometimes these ooze. Yuck! As such the alternative body will attempt to enlarge different aspects of society with the incorrect component parts. Hospital operations will be performed by volunteer jugglers, local nurseries will be run by volunteer gardeners, (which isn’t fine because the nurseries are the nurseries for children and not the ones for plants) and local banks will be run by bankers. Society could probably cope with these enlargements and continue to function except the supply of money to these institutions will be limited.  The money will instead be used by the alternative body as a dressing for the oozing budget cuts. Yuck. And because of the bankers. Yuck.
Treatment: Logic would suggest that societomegaly could be treated by eliminating the horrible cuts on the budget. Following this the alternative body should have no need to hide them and its attempt to enlarge society would cease. In practice however this does not seem to be the case. However it is difficult to interpret research on this matter as it was performed by a passing milkman who wasn’t really listening when he was volunteered to perform it.  As such the only treatment available is to repeatedly point out that volunteers for various charities do an excellent job often under very difficult circumstances and then ask them to do more while making circumstances more difficult. While counterintuitive this certainly has a very negative effect on the society in question.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Chapter 11:Judge Fruity:Melon Land-Fill Lips

Science is a series of judgments, revised without ceasing.

Pierre Emile Duclaux, 1840-1904, French biochemist/ bacteriologist.

Melanie Phillips is a series of judgement. Revile without ceasing.

Allen. A. Alan, Time Immemorial, British Placebologist/ Novelty Pigeon Enthusiast

Illness: Melon Land-Fill Lips
Discovered by: The disease known as melon land-fill lips has been known by many names in many times. Something like it has stalked the earth since the dawn of language. Neanderthals referred to it as Rah No! The people of Tudor times described it as, “Getteth thee that vile bilge away from me!” Even some non-human species incapable of the language skills required to manifest the disease have been known to refer to it. For example some intelligent-looking crows have been known to violently peck off their own right wings in a presumed fear of the illness.
In the significantly equally advanced terms of placebology, Dr Alan first described the disease after he accidentally opened the predominantly fear-based placebology journal The Daily Mail. Almost immediately he began to hate his eyes and brain. This feeling lasted until he’d had a soothing cup of a tea, a lie down and for some reason kicked an immigrant. Sadly without going back to look at the journal there is no way to know the date on which this occurred. Dr Alan isn’t willing to do this and he cries if you ask him.
In journalistic terms the disease has also been described by existing human Johann Hari. Sadly the views expressed by this individual while correct were not expressed in purely placebological terms and so could not be accepted as proof by the alternative alternative medicine community. Even if he does have a face.
Epidemiology: It is extremely difficult to determine the exact population in which this disease occurs as sufferers rarely report themselves to the relevant practitioners through their ingrained fear of being attacked by gay terrorists, dragged to the nearest Mosque where they will be injected with the MMR vaccine which will cause them to believe that global warming and evolution are real.  Given these beliefs it can be seen why such individuals would want to avoid others in possession of facts and decency.
There are some methods by which the numbers suffering from melon land-fill lips can be estimated. If you take the number of people who can un-ironically say the word “Londonistan” and then minus from that the number of people in that group who don’t immediately have a little bit of sick in the back of their throat then the people left are likely to have the melon land-fill lips.
Aetiology: Given the complex nature of the symptoms of the disease, one would expect the cause to be equally complex. However this is not the case. The cause of melon land-fill lips is reasonably simple. Seahorses cause melon land-fill lips. Interestingly in seahorses it is the male of the species that gestates and gives birth to the young, which can be incorrectly but amusingly referred to as sea ponies. This isn’t even amusing. When humans are exposed to this information, a spark of interest occurs. In humans predisposed to melon land-fill lips this spark is redirected down the incorrect mind-pipe and ends up in the hippocampus in the temporal lobe of the brain. Hippocampus in ancient Greek means seahorse. What predisposes people to melon land-fill lips is a deficiency in a little understood alternative neurotransmitter called goodsensagon. Without enough of this vital brain chemical individuals are unable to correctly process ideas, no matter how good. This incorrect processing is what causes the seahorse thoughts to plop down in the person’s hippocampus. When exposed to seahorse on seahorse action they become confused. They begin to think that it’s unnatural. Even though it happens because of nature. They become obsessed with seahorses and how the middle syllable in ancient Greek is camp. Once this thought has occurred to them in an effort for the brain to correct itself it begins to reject and divert these ridiculous thoughts to the lips where they are immediately exposed in the form of words.
Symptoms: Once the toxic thoughts are being redirected from the brain to the lips of the victim the symptoms of melon land-fill lips become more obvious. Sufferers will continuously spout rubbish about the slightest suspicious thought that malignantly flutters across their poor, riddled brain. Commonly they will talk about how maths is gay because of all the long division. They may discuss how environmentalists act like Hitler and that Hitler was green and even how publishing such nonsense in a newspaper is an example of responsible journalism.
Prior to the transmission stage of the illness it is difficult to spot. Subtle signs may be that the individual is staring furiously at the picture of a male emperor penguin lovingly looking after its chick but all the time the sufferer is thinking about how gay the penguin is. This is the tragedy of this illness.  Perfectly normal things get turned into ridiculous connections and get judged, invariably as negative. One previous victim of the disease started telling everyone to boycott water buffalo because they were helping immigrants steal chips from children. Another famously argued that if lesbian couples were given IVF treatment it would cause a crisis of human identity. Luckily the re-directed mind pipes allow the victim to avoid any embarrassment while they are expressing these opinions because they think they are correct.
Finally the redirected and unprocessable, poisonous thoughts start to affect the lips. The lips take on the appearance of a melon. Usually this is watermelon but can be honeydew. It is thought that this is the result of the alternative body trying to protect itself from others reacting to the controversial opinions it is spouting with violence. After all, it is difficult to take someone seriously if they melons for lips; no matter how much garbage they are producing.
Treatment: In medieval times it was thought that illiteracy was the best defence against melon land-fill lips. This is currently known not to be the case as individuals are still more than capable of hearing seemingly innocuous facts that can send them into a judgemental rage. Especially if they go near taxi drivers.
Currently the best treatment is to expose the individual to the opposite of the seahorse. This creature is known as the land seahorse. Contrary to its name the land seahorse is actually a hoofed mammal and can be found in a number of fields and sometimes Aintree. The spark of interest generated by seeing this curious creature (see below for example) counteracts that of the seahorse and prevents redirection of the mind-pipes.

Figure 1: Behold, the mighty land seahorse.
There is currently no evidence that goodsensagon supplements prevent or treat the disease. Although that’s because it hasn’t been tried. But you can’t make goodsensagon outside of a lab anyway. Most placebologists don’t like labs, because you can’t take sandwiches in them. So what’s the point.
Alternatively you can become gay. This won’t help the person with melon land-fill lips but they do find it annoying for some reason. Which can be funny as long as they don’t write it in a widely read “newspaper” or anything.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Chaper 10: The Road to Petition: Astro-intestinal Pleading

Science is a great game. It is inspiring and refreshing. The playing field is the universe itself.

Isidor Isaac Rabi, 1898-1988, U. S. physicist. Nobel Prize, 1944.

Astrology is a great game. It is inspiring and refreshing. The playing field is the universe itself. Oh hang on, I’m thinking of Star Wars Monopoly!
Allen A. Alan, Birthday – Present, British Placebologist and Alternative Scientist, Passed Go, Collected £200.

Illness: Astro – Intestinal Pleading
Discovered by: Physicist, Professor Brian Cox and his Research Comedian Dara O’Briain noted the phenomenon when investigating the topical application of factual information to astrologers. As Prof. Cox and Dara O’Briain are not placebologists they could not attain full alternative understanding of the mechanism of the severe reaction that the contact between these two complex systems produced. Like intelligent people with baffled faces watching an infuriated porpoise flail against a delicious ice-cream they’d offered it, they couldn’t possibly describe what was happening in placebological terms. Luckily Dr Alan noticed the poor bewildered space porpoise but not the use of simile and was able to offer a more or less precise description of the process in terms of its alternative pathology.
Epidemiology: By definition astro-intestinal pleading can only occur in the subset of astrologers capable of comprehending every other word about physics while simultaneously summoning a sense of outrage as well as smashing their fists against a button to sign a petition. Importantly these astrologers have often had accidents dislocating their outrage organ in the past causing it to be misplaced. The proportion of astrologers affected by this condition can therefore be understood by observing the Venn diagram below. Those concerned that the facts of the diagram itself will cause astro-intestinal pleading in any astrologers reading this can relax as astrologers believe Venn diagrams have to be thousands of light years away and on fire before they can affect terrestrial matters.

Figure 1. Some random circles in a pattern that doesn’t mean much of anything unless you want it to. If you like you can call it a Venn diagram. I did.
Aetiology: Understanding astro-intestinal pleading as a disease entity is slightly more complex compared to some other alternative illnesses due to the differences in alternative anatomy that astrologers possess. While all alternative bodies are made up of alternative cells with the usual components of alternative nuclei, alternative mitochondria and other common components of cells which I definitely know all about, the cells of astrologers contain an additional organelle. These are known as celestial bodies and can be seen if you want to take the time and know how to do it. Why this is the case and why it only occurs in astrologers is not currently understood. Ancient Greek alternative physicians used to believe that celestial bodies grew in the alternative cells of individuals born when Pluto (which they hadn’t heard of) was floating heroically through the phlogiston towards the apex of Venus or something. Alternative science now laughs heartily at this idea until it realises it’s a ridiculous, fictional concept and then it stops. The abstract laughter of a fictional concept is justified in this case. The idea that this space ballet can affect biological events, no matter how alternative, in such a specific way is nonsensical for reasons obvious even to that baby over there. No, not that one.
            The effects of the additional alternative organelles on the body of an astrologer are to change the way their alternative gastro-intestinal system works. The alternative digestive system as well as processing alternative food e.g. probiotic yoghurt, is responsible for the digestion of information.  Facts enter the alternative system through the alternative mouth, are broken down into their component truths by the alternative enzyme veritase and metabolised into useable information. Non-useable information, technically known as obvious rubbish is excreted from the alternative rectum. In astrologers however the alternative gastro-intestinal system works in reverse. It seems they are able to function perfectly well in this manner.
From this basic knowledge of the alternative alternative anatomy of astrologers the aetiology of astro-intestinal pleading can be deduced. When facts are applied to the astrologers capable of partially listening to physicists in the traditional sense, their alternative gastro-intestinal systems cannot process it because of all the stuff you just read. Bad things then happen. Not as bad as some things but certainly worse than if you’d just read the more sensible bits of the newspaper. The cartoons perhaps.
Symptoms: Facts ingested through the alternative mouths of affected astrologers are obviously not going to be processed as they are with non-astrologers. Their alternative gastro-intestinal system attempts to dislodge the inserted information through a massive eructation of waste product. While unpleasant this is simply their alternative body reacting naturally to an unwelcome presence inserted in an uncomfortable manner.
Symptoms resulting from this expulsion therefore include angry petition writing, compulsively checking newspapers to make sure the magic words don’t predict a horrible, snotty death for them and angrily shouting the word, “alignment” into the unfeeling darkness of space.
Treatment: The condition of astro-intestinal pleading can be avoided entirely if information is presented correctly to the astrologers. As it is not possible to predict which astrologers can randomly listen to science, all astrologers must be treated in the following cautious manner. Any reading must first be cooled and generalised so it can equally be applied to all astrologers. If any written matter presented to them is too specific and then doesn’t happen in real life as predicted, the astrologer may be make a sad face and be forced to ignore said written matter. All written matter must have a small picture at the top. It isn’t really important what this picture is but an animal or some sort of jug is usual. As long as these precautions are taken then astrologers should be prepared to insert the information in their traditional fashion.
If an astrologer should actually develop astro-intestinal pleading then some comfort can be taken as the condition is not fatal. Once the incorrectly inserted factual matter has been expelled then the astrologer should suffer no continuing ill effects. Approximately 8.3% of astrologers affected will remain a bit crabby for a period after the episode. Regular trips to the zoo can help relieve this. No curative treatment is necessary and the alternative illness can usually be treated symptomatically by ignoring it.

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Chapter 9: Water, water everywhere and there's more than a drop to drink:Toxic Homeopathic Underdose

The good homeopath induces or worsens the disease, the great homeopath misleads the patient into thinking they have the disease.
Allen A. Alan, British Placebologist and Alternative Scientist, 10.23 am – Present

Illness: Toxic Homeopathic Underdose
Discovered by: On January 30th 2010, more than four hundred homeopathy sceptics nationwide took part in a mass homeopathic 'overdose'. Apparently the aim was to demonstrate that as homeopathic remedies contain no active ingredients then they can’t lead to overdose or side-effects. The public would then become aware that these homeopathic treatments contain nothing. As these events occurred some time ago at the time of writing it is now appropriate for an alternative scientific explanation of these events in relation to the central homeopathic concept of, “too little, too late”.
That this event required formal placebological description was flippantly documented by Dr Dean Burnett, a neuroscientist or brain-smith and reported to the office of Dr Alan. Sadly Dr Alan was on a working holiday documenting the effects of exposure to night rainbows on eye psoriasis. Luckily the pigeon that reads and transcribes Dr Alan’s e-mails was patient and was able to pass this urgent scientific note on at once. It is Dr Alan’s fondest hope that this meeting of these three great scientific minds will go down as one of the most existing stories in the history of placebology. Jonty feels that this would be quite a “coo.” This may be a mistranslation due to his pigeon English. Dr Burnett was not contacted but we can assume he agrees based on nothing.
Epidemiology: Primarily there are two concepts that need to be addressed. The group of 400 people who attempted homeopathic “overdose” were clearly highly educated placebologists with a sound understanding of homeopathic principles. As homeopathic medicine becomes stronger the more it is diluted and shaken about a bit, the more you take the less powerful it becomes. The real danger is the toxic homeopathic underdose.  It is reported that many and possibly lots of people place their lives at risk of homeopathic poisoning by not taking any homeopathic medicine at all. Luckily the actual occurrence of toxic homeopathic underdose is extremely rare due to the fact that people drink water. This goes some way to provide a massive dose of natural background homeopathy and leave the majority with only mild symptoms of underdose. The people at most risk of underdose are dehydrated scientists.
Aetiology: As already partially described, homeopathy definitely works and no joking by attempting to cause symptoms in people already experiencing symptoms. What happens next then right, is that the body notices the new symptoms that it already has and cures them itself. Hold onto your hats though because how homeopathic remedies are made is by adding something that produces the symptoms you want to some water and then adding more and more water until there is none of what you originally added left in the water. But wait then it gets good, you shake the water a bit and it can remember what was in it. It only remembers the stuff you want it to remember though, not all the dinosaur shit and pheasant urine and negative vibes from grumpy frogs before you try to get smart. The aetiology of the toxic homeopathic underdose can be simply and logically deduced from these basic underlying principles of the real thing that is homeopathy and its well clever way of reinterpreting all of physics and biology.
The less of an active homeopathic ingredient present in a remedy the more powerful it is. Therefore those that do not take any homeopathic remedies at all are at risk of experiencing enormous, throbbing homeopathic effects and the severe symptoms of a toxic homeopathic overdose. As has already been hinted at, people and animals and plants and chiropractors tend to consume water. While not acting as proper homeopathic remedies like you can buy in the shops for money, the water is at least likely to contain a trace of homeopathic remedy that has been flushed down a toilet in disgust. This provides a small enough dose to place most people safely in the territory of homeopathic overdose or at least remove their risk of underdose. The safe background level of homeopathy that an individual must be exposed to to avoid toxic homeopathic underdose is known as the Two Short Plank’s Constant.
Symptoms: Symptoms experienced by the patient depends exactly on which homeopathic remedy that they haven’t taken. For example if they haven’t taken a homeopathic remedy that is designed to cause them to have toothache when they already have toothache then their teeth will lapse into tremendous pain, fall out and then explode removing their big toes. The events described will not necessarily occur in that order. Conversely if the individual has not taken a homeopathic remedy that is designed to induce the symptoms of a homeopathic underdose of a homeopathic remedy that is designed to induce toothache when they already have toothache then their teeth will do something too complicated to work out right now. I don’t know, they’ll probably jump up into the patient’s brain or something. My brain hurts.
As such it is vital that any placebologist attempting to diagnose a toxic homeopathic underdose has an unwieldy manual explaining the effects of all the homeopathic remedies. Or you can guess if you like. It’s up to you really.
Treatment: The prevention of toxic homeopathic underdose is seemingly straightforward. Simply taking some of the homeopathic remedy that will cause the symptoms that you might have if you don’t take it should be enough to avoid a dreadful fate. As already stated drinking water may be enough to avoid this. But are you willing to take that chance? Best to spend your money and a homeopathic practitioner can give you some indistinguishable water just in case. This is real value as they might also give you some dangerous advice.
 If a patient is already suffering from the symptoms of an underdose then this is understandably more complex. Homeopathic theory realistically states that a defect in the life force of the individual is going to exist because of stuff that they say. In placebological terms a “defect in the life force” can be more accurately described as alternative physical damage to the alternative body. As such alternative surgery may be required to repair this damage. This can involve anything from something to something else. The most common alternative surgery performed is homeopathic surgery where the surgeon does not perform a certain complex operation and the defect repairs itself. Through principles we have already explored, letting a homeopathic surgeon actually perform surgery would be extremely dangerous and should never occur.
For more information on the 10:23 campaign and why homeopathic remedies don’t work and the harm caused by homeopathic practitioners you can click on this link or the link above. Away with you now!

Friday, 7 January 2011

Chapter 8: Parasite, out of mind: A Dreadful Attack of the Fainting McKeiths

Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.

Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776.

Gillian McKeith....

Allen A. Alan, Thesis Not Faeces: A Guide to Why Just Looking at Poo isn’t Science, 2010.

Illness: A Dreadful Attack of the Fainting McKeiths
Discovered by: Technically the alternative parasite responsible for dreadful attacks of the fainting mckeiths was first isolated and sustained as an independent organism by a research group led by Professor Antanddec at the Jungle Institute for Research into Glamorous Leeches. However the association of the parasite with dreadful attacks was first discovered in 1994 in a shed outside a health food shop by some guy. He’s dead now.
Epidemiology: The fainting mckeith alternative parasite is highly attracted to the sight of faeces. As such it can be found in environments wherever faeces can be easily visualised. Such environments will obviously include toilets, sewage systems and the Living channel. However individuals do not have to spend a lot of time in these environments to become infested. As part of its life cycle the fainting mckeith sits around looking at mung beans. Anyone that eats these beans is therefore at risk of becoming riddled with the beasts. It is estimated that between 0 and 100% of people contain a fainting mckeith. No gender, ethnicity or age is particularly at risk although for some reason the fainting mckeith is particularly attracted to lawyers.
Aetiology: The lifecycle of the fainting mckeith is shown in the figure below. The fainting mckeith can be taxonomically categorised as some sort of parasitic spider/insect/monkey/nutritionist. As it is an alternative parasite it sadly cannot be shown in an actual picture, only as an illustration. This is proof enough. Its primary source of food is from looking at things rather than ingesting them in the traditional sense. As such anything the mckeith regards as food would not be regarded in this fashion by a human.

Figure 1. Not like a figure like a man is a figure, but a figure like a picture of something. The lifecycle of the fainting mckeith. Gaze upon it with awe and despair. Then vomit.
The fainting mckeith in its adult form spends most of its time hanging around in the environment looking at faeces. Once it has looked at enough faeces it transfers what it has learned about those faeces into a nest made out of toilet paper in the shape of a book. This is technically known as the mckeith pile of harassed defaecation (PhD). The purpose of the PhD is to interest another fainting mckeith with which to half-heartedly reproduce. Following this both fainting mckeiths attempt to sue each other and die of being excessively litigious. Eventually the PhD regurgitates the larval fainting mckeiths which stagger off to look at some mung beans. If these mung beans are eaten by a human for some reason the larval fainting mckeiths make their way to the large intestine where they grow to maturity.
While in the intestine the fainting mckeiths start to release alternative chlorophyll. Unlike normal chlorophyll, alternative chlorophyll can work without sunlight. Alternative chlorophyll is capable of photosynthesis when any idiot says it is. The stuff released through the alternative photosynthesis (goji berries probably) starts to dissolve small holes throughout the intestines and eventually the host’s entire body. Once the host is suitably holistic they begin to experience the dreadful attack of the fainting mckeiths.
Eventually the now fully grown mckeith gets bored of its own lifecycle and wanders through one of the holes it has made to look at some faeces. Sometimes it makes a big pile of food representing all the food its host has eaten in the past week. It has evolved this mechanism to make the host cry out any fainting mckeiths that may remain in the host’s body.
Symptoms: As described, an individual has to become suitably holistic before they start to exhibit symptoms. While walking, the wind blows through the millions of tiny holes in the host. This creates a noise which sounds like the individual is constantly whining on and on about detoxing and algae dinners. The parasite engorged unfortunate will then start to formulate theories about why they are making that god-awful racket. Sadly they will be too packed with mckeiths and any theory they come up with will be full of holes. In order to disguise this the host will pretend to faint in a fashion more dramatic and spectacular than a popping candy volcano. As they drop hesitantly to the ground they will emit acting less convincing than Keanu Reeves pretending to be Ben Affleck playing Daredevil. Nobody will be convinced and everybody watching will make a sad face.
But the tale of the dreadful attack of the fainting mckeiths doesn’t end there for the inflicted. Unless treated they will begin to collect shreds of peer reviewed scientific journals. They will then take these journals and turn it into some sort of papier mache, distorting all the research and evidence within them, and fashion it into a cocoon-like structure. It is thought by placebologists this is a sub-conscious attempt to protect themselves from all the holes they and their theories contain. Finally, while shrouded in their rickety cloak of scientific authority, the final indignity of the dreadful attack of the fainting mckeiths forces the host to try and import horny goat weed for their own sexual satisfaction. They will fail and claim it has nothing to do with EU regulations. Then they will splutter something about “looking at tongue-spleens” and fart into the release of death.
Treatment: Ben Goldacre