It is all about me.

I was interviewed for Birmingham Skeptics and you can hear the result at

It is bad enough listening to myself as I correct my podcasts, so I have no idea how good the interview is; it was fun at the time.   And the picture makes me look fatter than I am. Oh well.

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17 thoughts on “It is all about me.

  1. Chris says:

    Cool! I’ll have you queued up after Science Friday. And, of course, the world needs more Mark Crislip.

    There will be a delay as I watch this evening’s “Portlandia”, which starts soon. I’ll think of you in the city where it is still the ’90s.

  2. Dr Benway says:

    Cool, I will check it out.

    OT: My dentist has this new thing: a laser light wand the hygienist touches to the gum line all around my mouth before a regular cleaning. It’s like 30 bucks extra for less bacteremia.

    I said yes to it because
    – it’s not that much money
    – only 2-4 cleanings/year
    – bacteremia is bad
    – the hygienist said studies were done

    But on the other hand
    – the effect of the reduced bacteremia with cleaning is likely small, maybe even unmeasurable, compared to the background of daily transient bacteremia with regular flossing and brushing
    – if the light tool is a scam then it’s wrong to throw money at it, cuz the only thing worse than a scammer is a filthy rich scammer.

    Figured I’d ask an ID guy for an opinion concerning the value of this procedure before I hit Google scholar, which is kinda like homework.

    Please ignore my OT question if it means homework for yourself you don’t feel like doing.

  3. Mark Crislip says:

    AFTER Science Friday. AFTER?!?!?!?!?!!???!

  4. Chris says:

    Of course, why not? I downloaded it before you posted.

  5. Chris says:

    Is your ego that fragile? Come up to the Emerald City (gag!) and I’ll buy you a beer to make it up to you. With enough notice it could be at a drinking skeptically event.

  6. Joe says:

    @Dr Benway on 29 Jan 2011 at 12:15 am

    Can you give us some clues, like the name of the product or the wavelength it uses?

    I have a feeling that you are paying $30 for someone to wave an LED flashlight inside your mouth. If you go to the local discount store, few of the LED flashlights cost more than that. Plus, there are cheap, ordinary UV lights that could presumably do the same thing, if they do anything, that are not expensive. The laser is characterized by monochromatic, coherent light. Those features are not necessary for antimicrobial action.

  7. Dr Benway says:

    Here’s a link to some info on the dental laser and a quote:

    Laser assisted periodontal treatment

    The use of the diode laser in conjunction with routine scaling and root planing is more effective than scaling and root planning alone. It enhances the speed and extent of the patient’s gingival healing and post-operative comfort. This is accomplished through laser bacterial reduction (Picasso, AMD LASERS), debridement and biostimulation.

    A. actinomycetemcomitans, which has been implicated in aggressive periodontitis, may also be implicated in systemic disease. It has been found in atherosclerotic plaque9 and there has been recent data suggesting that it may be related to coronary heart disease10. The diode laser is effective in decreasing A. actinomycetemcomitans2,4 and thereby indirectly improving the patients’ heart health.

  8. BillyJoe says:

    Mark Crislip,

    You seriously need a workout.

    Come down to Mooroolbark on any Sunday morning and I’ll take you over the Dandenong Ranges before lunch (hey, what lunch?). And don’t give me that bv||$#!+ about you being thinner than your photograph! Honestly, photographs do not lie.


  9. JMB says:

    Photographs do lie. They typically add 10 to 15 pounds to the appearance of the adult frame. Maybe the new 3D cameras will catch on because they do not add as much weight.

  10. Checking out the podcast, but I am struck by the title of one of the other articles on the Birmingham Skeptics website.

    “Can brain-parasites influence human culture on a global level?”

    I almost don’t want to read the article, it’s just too delicious a concept to ponder without a skeptical eye.

    Also –

    JMB “Photographs do lie. They typically add 10 to 15 pounds to the appearance of the adult frame”

    Well, either our eyes or our cameras are lying.

  11. skeptyk says:

    (The camera knows the world needs more Mark Crislip.)

    Dental lasers are damned expensive. You then have to justify, to yourself and patients, its use. Oversold by sales reps? Very, IMO. Seems to me that spending extra time on oral hygiene instruction, giving patient the skills and tools to deplaque every day, is of much more real value than any twice a year antimicrobial treatment. Not as sexy as a laser, and takes more time for those $30 (usually for $0).

    Photodisinfection MAY be of use AFTER a “deep cleaning” for patient WITH perio disease and the possible value is site specific (just the pockets with disease). This is not what Dr Benway described, at all.

    The April 2009 ADA Statement on Lasers in dentistry .

    Includes this bit, relevant to Dr Benway’s questions:

    “Reduction of Bacteria Level

    “Lasers, as a group, have inconsistently demonstrated the ability to reduce microorganisms within a periodontal pocket. It appears from the literature that mechanical root debridement remains a priority to attain improvements in clinical attachment levels. However, limited new data suggest that clinical outcomes may be enhanced by the adjunctive use (following root debridement) of a bactericidal irrigant activated by a cold laser.”

    The last bit refers to this:

    Similar treatment described in detail here, with references:

  12. Joe says:

    @Dr Benway on 29 Jan 2011 at 5:39 pm

    That is an interesting link; but it does not seem to address the notion of prophylactic use of the laser as described by you.

    And dang- it sells for under $5,000!! I imagine one could cobble it together for $50. You first two treatments should have paid for it; but I know that simple stuff for medical use becomes outrageously priced.

  13. JMB says:

    Honestly, photographs do not lie.

    Well, either our eyes or our cameras are lying.

    A 2 dimensional image provides less information to our visual perception than a 3 dimensional image. The photograph/camera does not lie, but our perception of volume is less accurate when we lose 3 dimensional clues regarding the shape of the object.

  14. Yes, of course, I was mistaken JMB. I think I was thinking in terms of distortion, like one experiences in a skinny mirror. With cameras or lens you sometimes get distortion, because the camera lens does not match our eye lens. So an object may appear different than our eyes show us, wider or narrower or a straight edge may appeared curved.

    But I think you are saying that the flattening of the image causes a perception of people being heavier. This happens with other objects too, when one attempts to paint from a photo. The surfaces that are going back in space are perceived as part of the front surface, therefore making the object appear wider. This is a different issue. And while the camera might not be intentionally lying, it is certainly mistaken.

    I am going on…

    Regardless, head shots are seldom flattering. My husband looks like a math teacher turned serial killer in every head shot ever taken. “He was always a quiet man…” Not like that at all in real life.

  15. JMB says:


    But I think you are saying that the flattening of the image causes a perception of people being heavier.

    I don’t have scientific proof, but that is my hypothesis.

  16. Anthro says:

    It was a great interview–I feel like I know you now!

    I had no idea you were not outright rude to homeopaths one-on-one and I’m a bit disappointed by that.

    I would never have looked at the picture and said, “oh, look how fat Mark Crislip is”, nor do I think the picture makes you look fat, for what its worth to someone with such an enormous ego.

    I only get my teeth cleaned every five years–am I doomed?

    Oh, yeah, I read that same book–Von Daniken–can it be the path to skepticism to have read that steaming repository of crap? I read much later that me admitted to making most of it up.

  17. Mark Crislip says:

    one of the conclusions I have come to over the years is often it is the idea, not the person holding the idea, that is deserving of ridicule. I assume that 99.9% of alt med providers are really trying to help people with their quackery; they are fundamentally good people being flawed humans. We all think stupid things at one time or another in our lives. So it is hard to be rude to the person. I don’t always adhere to this ideal and it doesn’t apply to everyone.

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