Mathilda’s Weird World Weblog

December 27, 2011

Vaccines, dangerous misinformation and how to endanger your childern

Filed under: conspiracy theory — Tags: , — mathilda37 @ 2:30 pm

Just a brief post. I had a look at this turd of a site last night, and was fairly horrified by it. Enough to get me to post this.

Now, this website maintains that diseases like rubella, measles, whooping-cough etc really aren’t dangerous, and if you followed the downward trend in mortality rates over the past century would hardly kill anyone at all in a healthy, unvaccinated population. My brother believes this, and hasn’t vaccinated his kids because of it. Essentially, since we rarely see these diseases we no longer realise how dangerous they are, and assumed they’ve gone.

What the site doesn’t tell you is that healthy, unvaccinated people in wealthy societies with good health care still die from these diseases.

Yep, a bloody big omission.

A spent a couple of hours digging through mortality stats and rates for rubella, pertussis (whooping-cough) and so on. Here are the facts. Applying to a healthy, non-vaccinated modern population of 60 million through a complete lifetime, with modern healthcare but endemic infection rates.


The UK mortality rate for rubella is about 1/400  (based from a recent Irish outbreak, America is 1/300).  Sounds pretty low, but if you apply it as an endemic disease a population of 60 million you would get over the lifetimes of the sixty million (drumroll)…

150,000 deaths.

Wow, not what the site claims. While it is correct in observing the mortality rate is much lower than it was through overall better health, it’s still a nasty disease that a lot of people (20% in one outbreak) need hospitalization for. I’m not even including the massive amount of brain damage in the unborn and brain damage/blindness caused by rubella infections in the health cost of the rubella outbreak.

Pertussis (whooping-cough)

America typically gets about 17 deaths from pertussis a year.  You’ll get the same kind of information from Australia and the UK. There’s a good article here about it, and a published paper on pertussis mortality here. It’s got a mortality rate of about 1/250 (New Zealand) and about 1/300 from Japan . Not nice. Also, I’m not mentioning the brain damage and lung damage it causes.

240,000 deaths


One thing the site had right was that way fewer people die from measles now, and this is mainly due to increased overall health. Mortality can run to 10% in poorer countries. In modernised countries it has a mortality rate of about 1/5000, with 10% needing an admission to hospital. Not the 1/25 million death rate Child Health Safety claims. That’s about 12,000 dead for the UK.

12,000 dead


Has a mortality rate of about 5%-10%. In the USSR an epidemic infected 150,000 people and caused 5,000 deaths. Even assuming way lower rates of infection than say, measles and chickenpox, you’d still lose masses of people. Even assuming just 10% got infected, roughly…

500,000 dead


And these are just the handful of diseases I could easily find information for.

So, Child Health Safety and other anti-vaccination nut jobs, if allowed to implement their views across the UK, would be the cause of 150k +12k+240k+500,000 deaths. Hmm, if these cranks managed to get vaccinations stopped there would be over..

902,000 deaths

Exposing each of us to a 1/66 chance of death from just these four diseases. I’m not even including the chances of serious brain injury, lung damage, being crippled or left deaf and blind. Or dying from influenza, which the frail are routinely vaccinated against. And so on. The odds are that you’d be close someone who’d die or become disabled as a result of non vaccination. I’ve not even mentioned meningitis and pneumococcus. So your personal odds of dying as a result of non-vaccination would be closer to 2%. Which makes the  vaccine deaths/serious injuries (they aren’t 100% safe, I never said they were) you’d expect from the immunization of sixty million way more palatable. You are massively more likely to die/be injured by the diseases than the vaccines.

The Child Health Safety site has decided to ignore the data that doesn’t fit its beliefs. It’s certainly not based its ‘1/25 million death rates for measles’ in fact.

Autism, part one. Debunking the ‘autism epidemic’ with actual evidence

Filed under: conspiracy theory — Tags: , — mathilda37 @ 12:25 pm

I have a family member who is a conspiracy theory nut. Well, after having my ear bent about how ‘it’s all done to boost big pharma’s profits’, I decided to dig up all the available information I could and start addressing some of his fixations. Fixation one is autism and vaccines. Reading on the internet, I discovered some frighteningly poor sources of information, which he unfortunately has just accepted without checking the provenance of the info, or looking up anything else. Number one of the bad sites is ‘child health safety’. Which has made the hilarious but also dangerous claims that we don’t need vaccines any more. For a later post.

We have a severely autistic family member, which is where this all comes from. Speaking from personal experience, I have known five autistic boys; four of them have Asperger’s. Back in the eighties, four out of five of these children would never have had a diagnosis of ASD. And there’s an excellent chance the fifth would have been labelled as retarded and not autistic. I’ve chatted with numerous older teachers and a retired doctor, and their personal observations agree with mine. That a lot of children who would just have been called odd or naughty, are now getting diagnoses of  ASD.  In fact, four of the ASD children I’ve known seem normal to the untrained eye, and it’s taken specialists to diagnose them.

So I  decided to look up what studies I could find about the incidence and diagnosis of autism. So far, only one backs the idea that there has been a genuine increase in autism cases. I’m pasting the list below. Of course if you are a diehard paranoid conpiracist, you’ll think that all the evidence against an autism epidemic is faked by the drug companies. However, the better balanced among us will observe that the body of the evidence really isn’t supporting some massive increase.

Studies against a meaningful increase in autism incidence.

Autism and diagnostic substitution: evidence from a study of adults with a history of developmental language disorder. link

“Some children who would nowadays be diagnosed unambiguously with autistic disorder had been diagnosed with developmental language disorder in the past. This finding has implications for our understanding of the epidemiology of autism.”

Pervasive developmental disorders in preschool children: confirmation of high prevalence. link

The rate of pervasive developmental disorders is higher than reported 15 years ago. The rate in this study is comparable to that in previous birth cohorts from the same area and surveyed with the same methods, suggesting a stable incidence”

Epidemiology of autistic disorder and other pervasive developmental disorders. link

Epidemiology of Pervasive Developmental Disorders pdf

There is evidence that the broadening of the concept, the expansion of diagnostic criteria, the development of services, and improved awareness of the condition have played a major role in explaining this increase, although it cannot be ruled out that other factors might have also contributed to that trend. …. Although it is clear that prevalence estimates have gone up over time, this increase most likely represents changes in the concepts, definitions, service availability, and awareness of autistic-spectrum disorders in both the lay and professional public.

Epidemiology and possible causes of autism link

“A major cause of the recent large increase in the number of boys diagnosed with autism probably is due to changing diagnostic practices.”

Incidence of autism spectrum disorders: changes over time and their meaning. link

“The true incidence of autism spectrum disorders is likely to be within the range of 30-60 cases per 10 000, a huge increase over the original estimate 40 years ago of 4 per 10000. The increase is largely a consequence of improved ascertainment and a considerable broadening of the diagnostic concept. However, a true risk due to some, as yet to be identified, environmental risk factor cannot be ruled out. There is no support for the hypothesis for a role of either MMR or thimerosal in causation, but the evidence on the latter is more limited”

The Contribution of Diagnostic Substitution to the Growing Administrative Prevalence of Autism in US Special Education pdf

 Prevalence findings from special education data do not support the claim of an autism epidemic because the administrative prevalence figures for most states are well below epidemiological estimates. The growing administrative prevalence of autism from 1994 to 2003 was associated with corresponding declines in the usage of other diagnostic categories.

Vaccines and the changing epidemiology of autism. link

“The recorded prevalence of autism has increased considerably in recent years. This reflects greater recognition, with changes in diagnostic practice associated with more trained diagnosticians; broadening of diagnostic criteria to include a spectrum of disorder; a greater willingness by parents and educationalists to accept the label (in part because of entitlement to services); and better recording systems, among other factors. The cause(s) of autism remains unclear. There is a strong genetic component which, along with prenatally determined neuro-anatomical/biochemical changes, makes any post-natal ’cause’ unlikely.”

The validity of the autism spectrum disorders-diagnosis for intellectually disabled adults link

Prevalence of autism and related conditions in adults in a mental handicap hospital. link

Epidemiology of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Adults in the Community in England link

“To our knowledge, there is no published information on the epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in adults. If the prevalence of autism is increasing, rates in older
Conclusions  Conducting epidemiologic research on ASD in adults is feasible. The prevalence of ASD in this population is similar to that found in children. The lack of an association with age is consistent with there having been no increase in prevalence and with its causes being temporally constant.”

Three Reasons Not to  believe in an Autism Epidemic link

ABSTRACT—According to some lay groups, the nation is experiencing an autism epidemic—a rapid escalation in the prevalence of autism for unknown reasons. However, no sound scientific evidence indicates that the increasing number of diagnosed cases of autism arises from anything other than purposely broadened diagnostic criteria, coupled with deliberately greater public awareness and intentionally improved case finding. Why is the public perception so disconnected from the scientific evidence? In this article we review three primary sources of  misunderstanding: lack of awareness about the changing diagnostic criteria, uncritical acceptance of a conclusion illogically drawn in a California-based study, and inattention to a crucial feature of the ‘‘child count’’ data reported annually by the U.S. Department of Education.

Increase in autism due to change in definition, not MMR vaccine link

Social Influence Plays Role in Surging Autism Diagnoses, Study Finds (can’t locate paper)

the study, by researchers from the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy at Columbia University, found that children living near a child who has been previously diagnosed with autism have a much higher chance of being diagnosed themselves in the following year. The increased likelihood of being diagnosed is not due to environmental factors or contagious agents, the study found. Rather, it is due mainly to parents learning about autism from other parents who have a child diagnosed with the disorder.

The Changing Prevalence of Autism in California pdf

These data suggest that improvements in detection and changes in diagnosis account for the observed increase in autism; whether there has also been a true increase in incidence is not known.

Analysis of prevalence trends of autism spectrum disorder in Minnesota link

We could not assess changes in actual disease incidence with these data, but federal and state administrative changes in policy and law favoring better identification and reporting of autism are likely contributing factors to the prevalence increases and may imply that autism spectrum disorder has been underdiagnosed in the past.

Is autism more common now than ten years ago? link

Even though the prevalence rates refer to slightly different age cohorts, it was concluded that the apparent increase is in part due to better detection, but also to new cases born to immigrant parents. Typical cases of autistic disorder accounted for 75% of cases, and 20% had normal or near-normal IQs.

Reevaluating the incidence of pervasive developmental disorders: impact of elevated rates of detection through implementation of an integrated system of screening in Toyota, Japan. link

An approximately 11-fold increase was noted in prevalence of PDD compared to a previous survey two decades ago, and two main factors were believed to account for this apparent sharp increase. First, inclusion of high-functioning subjects detected during infancy, and second, higher rates of diagnosis resulting from an integrated process of screening.

And the one ‘for’ an increase.

Autism Increase Not a Result of Reclassification link

I’d like to state that an increase is entirely possible, as factors like anti-depressant use in pregnancy and the older age of parents up the risk for autism, so a slight increase is entirely possible. However, the bulk of the papers published agree that it’s the better diagnosis and widening of the definition of ASD that’s caused the massive increase in diagnosed cases of autism. And my personal experience agrees with them.

But most crucially.… Thimerasol containing vaccines were removed from use in California in 2001. Did the incidence of autism fall? Nope. It still rose.

Thimerosal Disappears but Autism Remains

Using an ecologic design and data from the California Department of Developmental Services, the authors showed that the prevalence rate of autism increased continuously during the study period even after the discontinuation of the use of thimerosal in US vaccines in 2001. Had there been any risk association between thimerosal- containing vaccines and autism, the rate of autism should have decreased in young children between 2004 and 2007. Instead, the rate increase did not attenuate, indicating that thimerosal exposure bears no relationship to the risk of autism.

Childhood vaccines have been one of the most important advances of modern medicine in the 20th century. Unfortunately, once vaccine programs have been successful at controlling preventable infectious diseases, people shift their attention to the potential adverse effects of vaccines (which are rare but can nevertheless be serious). Deaths of young children occurred in Europe because of the MMR-autism scare, and as shown in a recent US measles outbreak, 17 children’s health was put at risk by parents who refused to vaccinate their children because of the supposed vaccine autism link. Parents of autistic children should be reassured that autism in their child did not occur through immunizations. Their autistic children, and their siblings, should be normally vaccinated, and as there is no evidence of mercury poisoning in autism, they should avoid ineffective and dangerous “treatments” such as chelation therapy for their children.



July 16, 2009

Adam’s Calendar

Filed under: Ancient Technology — Tags: — mathilda37 @ 4:44 pm

Someone sent this to me as ‘proof’ of an ancient civilisation in Africa.

Adams calendar.


It is claimed to be a Stonehenge like calendar, 75,000 years old. What a load of bollocks that is.

First of all, I’ve seen no evidence this site was ever dated, or that they are anything other than a natural rock formation (although I’ll concede it is possible the stones come from elsewhere, not enough reliable info).

Secondly, they claim it matches the stars- well after 75,000 years no stone circle will match the stars as the damn thing move from their positions over time, and 75k is certainly enough time for a lot of them to have moved away from any ancient intended alignment.

This is meant to show roads and and a city.

Nothing but natural formations there. I guess the guy has to sell his book somehow.

January 14, 2009

Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval get a telling off.

Filed under: strange but true — Tags: , — mathilda37 @ 6:14 pm

Famous (well relatively well known) author of various books, and who I have a link to on my site…

Someone ripping  a strip off him and Robert Bauval. I came across it while doing some research into Egypt. Apparently Hancock won’t acknowledge he made a mistake. Link 

Worth a read if you like seeing an academic ripping into pseudo science. It gave me a giggle.


January 13, 2009

How long can a headless chicken live? 18 months.

Filed under: strange but true — Tags: , — mathilda37 @ 4:05 pm

This comes under the  ‘very strange but definitely true ‘ category.

Miracle Mike.

 On September 10th 1945, Lloyd Olsen went out into  his farmyard in Fruita Colorado, and beheaded a chicken for the table. However, events then took a turn for the bizarre, as ‘Mike the miracle chicken’ kept on pecking around in the dust.

This continued for about 18 months, with Mike being taken on tour, and fed by a dropper straight into his throat. Apparently being headless didn’t affect his appetite, as he’d grown to over eight pounds by the time he died

January 8, 2009

UFO rips arm off wind turbine

Filed under: Aliens, UFO's — Tags: , — mathilda37 @ 2:09 pm

A local turkey farmer described a glowing white light with an orange edge near the turbine as he drove past on Sunday moning. In Lincolnshire. The torn of arm was found beside the turbine, as yet there are no other theories as to how it happened…. date it occured is thought to be Sun 4 January 2009.

Seriously, it does look like something hit it damn hard from the air. Definitely an X files case.

December 13, 2008

Deathbed phenomena

Filed under: Ghosts, strange but true — Tags: , , — mathilda37 @ 1:55 pm

A lot of people (a bit more than half of those conscious near the end) report deathbed visits from relatives or religious figures, or of seeing the afterlife. Quite interestingly, they are lesslikely to have these visions if they are on serious medications or in an altered state of consciousness, which weakens the case for it all being down to hallucinations.

I’ve known quite a few medical staff (nurses and paramedics) and they’ll all tell you one ghost story, or about a patient that’s seen a deathbed vision. It seems that these may now be taken seriously enough to warrant a study. It’s been suggested that sharing their experiences with the medical staff around them helps them to deal with the after effects of the patients death.

Deathbed phenomena and their effect on a palliative care team: a pilot study.

Brayne S, Farnham C, Fenwick P.
Palliative Care Team, Camden Primary Care Trust, London, United Kingdom.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that death may be heralded by deathbed phenomena (DBP) such as visions that comfort the dying and prepare them spiritually for death. Medical practitioners have been slow to recognize DBP, and there has been little research into the spiritual effect that DBP have on caregivers or on how these phenomena influence their work. A pilot study looking into the occurrence of DBP was conducted by the palliative care team at Camden Primary Care Trust. Interviews revealed that patients regularly report these phenomena as an important part of their dying process, and that DBP are far broader than the traditional image of an apparition at the end of the bed. Results of the interviews raise concerns about the lack of education or training to help palliative care teams recognize the wider implications of DBP and deal with difficult questions or situations associated with them. Many DBP may go unreported because of this. Results of this pilot study also suggest that DBP are not drug-induced, and that patients would rather talk to nurses than doctors about their experiences.

Ghost Photographs

Filed under: Ghosts — Tags: , — mathilda37 @ 1:20 pm

First let me state I believe in ghosts. Having stuff thrown at you by one is a real eye opener, and the same spook tried to beat down the bathroom door once, to the point where pictures fell off the wall. Having said that, I’m very suspicious when anyone else claims to have seen one, particularly when they claim to have a photo. Half of the images are either double exposures or just vaguely humanoid looking shadows. Most of the rest are fakes.

This one is a still of a CCTV, from Hampton Court Palace. This I think was a publicity stunt to get in the tourists. The CCTV footage looks very professionally done.

Ghostly Grip

This one was taken on a mobile phone, so it rules out a double exposure. I’m putting this one into the ‘possibly real’ category, unlike most of them. It could have been done on a computer.

This picture was taken inside the infamous ‘Amityville’ house. Bullshit horror story aside, this was the scene of a massacre that wiped out six people. This image was discovered sometime after it was taken (years). A professional photographer set his camera up to shoot infrared all through the night. This sole image was the only one from rolls of film, and was discovered when putting the book together for publication (I saw the interview with the photographer years ago). It has a good resemblance to the youngest Defeo boy, who died aged nine.

I think this is the most likely to be real. Still, most ghost photos are BS.

December 11, 2008

Are UFO’s normal for Norfolk?

Filed under: UFO's — Tags: , — mathilda37 @ 10:08 am


Neal Herbert caught this image over Norwich. Apparently there have been a few sightings recently that way.

October 29, 2008

Suspicious Sumerian seals.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — mathilda37 @ 3:29 pm


I have to say, the bird like figure does look like a space ship with aliens on it. More interesting is this seal with a solar system on it.

According to the stories it includes the destroyed planet that became the asteroid belt. I counted, there are 11 in total. Since I’m pretty sure only the moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter are visible with the naked eye, that leaves four unaccounted for..

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