Global Quickies: Outbreaks, Sects, and All You Can Eat Buffets

Cool (and depressing) interactive map that visually plots global outbreaks of measles, mumps, whooping cough, polio, rubella, and other diseases that are easily preventable by inexpensive and effective vaccines.

MALAYSIA (from Kok Sen Wai)
After the publication of recent statutory rape statistics, a politician implied that non-Muslims are more tolerant of child rape, hence do not report it as much. This article takes a look at those claims.

Doctors warn that the use of alternative medicine is increasingly becoming a cause of renal problems in patients.

A Saudi cleric named Saleh al-Fawzan has issued fatwa against all-you-can-eat buffets.

A doctor will stand trial for the first time in Egypt on charges of female genital mutilation, after a 13-year-old girl died following an alleged operation in his clinic last year.

The story of one of the hundreds of children who were sent by the authorities to foster homes operated by a religious sect.

An open letter to the editor of the Daily Mail, to raise concerns about an article commenting on the race and gender of the academics appearing on Newsnight to explain BICEP2.

The seven year war (1996-2003) was the deadliest ever recorded in Africa. During that period, more than 80,000 women and girls were raped. “Fighting the Silence” tells the story of ordinary women and men struggling to change their society: one that prefers to blame victims rather than prosecute rapists. You can watch the trailer and buy the film here (Trigger Warning, obviously)

Featured Image: Vaccine-Preventable oubreaks from the Council on Foreign Relations


Born and raised in Mexico City, Daniela has finally decided to abdicate her post as an armchair skeptic and start doing some skeptical activism. She is currently living in Spain after having lived in the US, Brazil and Italy. You can also find her blogging in Spanish at

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One Comment

  1. I like that map, as depressing as it is. It’d be interesting to see a description of populations that are genetically naïve to the disease but have been immunized versus those that haven’t been immunized but have better genetic immunity. Obviously something we couldn’t set up ourselves, but we could get general trends. Especially since the antivaxxers tend to be a culture-bound syndrome.

    The India story doesn’t surprise me either. Homeopathy is no more inherently troubling than any other alternative medicine; it’s just water, so you just have the opportunity cost of paying for water instead of medicine. But looking at the stuff in the Ayurvedic and unani medicines, yeah, I can see problems.

    Dead girl from clitoridectomy. This is actually why I’m harshly critical of ‘alternative’ remedies. (Remember, in most cultures where clitoridectomy is practiced, it’s thought that a girl would be sterile or give birth to monsters otherwise.) Once people start doing these things to children, children die.

    I remember a Mark Fiore cartoon from 2003 where it had newspapers saying “Iraq Iraq Iraq Saddam Iraq Saddam” and then cut to: The Congo, where countless people are dying, women and girls are being raped, and boys are drafted into a war. A similar one existed for “Michael Jackson Michael Jackson Paris Hilton Robert Blake American Idol Michael Jackson Paris Hilton Robert Blake”, as if to chastise America for where our priorities are.

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