A Swing and A Miss.

A Swing and A Miss.

Twenty percent or 30% of the women who take oral birth control pills experience depression and have to take medication for it. So the difference just struck me. They terminated this study once it showed 3% depression for the men.
– Elisabeth Lloyd, Kinsey Institute
Gather round boys and girls and I will tell you a story of love, lust, and whiny, whiny men…
Don't forget the moral of the story: Fail to plan ahead and you could end up trapped with two ginger future drug addicts for ever.
Don’t forget the moral of the story: Fail to plan ahead and you could end up trapped with two ginger future drug addicts for ever.

Once upon a time, a male birth control was found, one so powerful it “held the sperm count at 1 million per milliliter or less” and had an efficacy rate of 96%. The shot was similar to the female birth control shot Depo-Proveria,  with efficacy rates that were approaching par with this well established option. During a study on this clearly viable option, however, it was discovered that a wicked witch had cast a spell on the potion, and as a result men would have to endure the agonies of mood swings, headache, increased appetite and weight gain. Fear not, dear audience, the brave men of this research project were not subjected to one minute more of these horrors, as the study was halted before completion, and women once again were tasked with preventing all the births. As God intended it.

Ok, we all had a bit of a laugh, but this is a seriously sad subject. Young women’s lives have been cut short because they were taking the pill. One of the most dangerous risks to women of taking the combined pill is the increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (2/10 000), which can be fatal. There is also an increased risk of breast cancer, cervical cancer and stroke. The advice from the regulatory agency? “The benefits outweigh the risks.”

birth-controlSo what gives? Why is it acceptable for women to continue to bear the burden of risk alone, while men are sheltered from side effects that their wives and girlfriends have been taught are a normal part of family planning since grade school? And, honestly, why coddle men like this? My male friends would gladly take a bullet for the women they love, why not let them take a shot in their ass for her, even if it comes with some breast tenderness and a few tears at the end of Forrest Gump? (She was the carrots to his peas. It’s beautiful, dammit).

Equality means equal control and equal responsibility, until this is achieved in regards to preventing unwanted pregnancy, we will never achieve that parity we claim to want so much – and we are so close. Women can die fighting for their country, and they can die working in the most dangerous fields along side their male counterparts… but they should not die trying to plan their families, not when it is in the place of a man having the blues, or a headache.




“If you suffer from any mental illness, you know how many people will put you down for the pain you feel. I may be only one person but please hear me when I say: There is nothing wrong with you, and you are not alone.” – Lauren Rabin

Speculating about someone’s mental health status is one of the most damaging and dangerous things a person can do. Mental illness is what is termed an invisible disability, one that can be terminal. Those who struggle with it and continue to win the battle should be supported and applauded, not belittled and shamed. Read more

Jet fuel can’t melt moonbeams…

I posted this gem a about 3 weeks ago from Tumblr and a follower named David made me this great meme.
I highly…

Posted by Science Pony on Saturday, 9 January 2016

Not-so-pretty Pony.

Not-so-pretty Pony.

I am going to let you in on something that might come as a shock. I need you to just have faith that we can handle this together.

I am a human woman. I know that this is a bombshell. Here you all believed me to be a pony this entire time. Deep breath, because I am not even close to finished yet. I am not always as attractive in real life as I am in my profile pictures. I use the best pictures I can to represent my brand on this page and my site. I then use filters, and crop the images further, to make these best likenesses of myself into something even better. Deep down I suppose I want you to all like me, and think I am pretty. I am sorry I have been so dishonest with you. As you can see, I look different in different pictures. Sometimes I look attractive and sometimes a picture isn’t actually about simply documenting my loveliness for future generations:

Read more

I believe in you.

Just remember, dear followers, I believe in you. 😉

Posted by Science Pony on Thursday, 10 December 2015

Why vaccines matter to me.


dollnMy father was severely crippled by polio and I grew up with a visible, ever present reminder of the damage that vaccine preventable diseases can cause. Immunizations save lives and reduce suffering.

In other parts of the world this is widely accepted to be evidence-based. Over 60 vaccine workers have given their lives in Pakistan trying to bring these gifts of life to the citizens of this country. The concept that people in the west would endanger their children and others around them too young or sick to vaccinate, to the families of those who have died for this cause, is simply mind-boggling.

This is my daughter Cailin. She is 3, fully vaccinated, and perfect. She will never have to bear the burden that her grandfather did.

Because science gave us vaccines.


My name is.

My name is.

A note to my followers.

Many of you follow me on this site, Twitter or my Facebook page because of my outreach work in science forums like Healthy Skepticism and Parents who Science, or know me from my time at SF both as a moderator and board member. Some of you became aware of me because of my #sciencetroll activities, relating to Vaccine Resistance Movement​ and others.


Clearly these are both two very different sides of the same coin. In the forums I strive to be the most civil, charitable, and evidence-based version of myself that I can be,while I employ both snark and sarcasm frequently as a science troll. My goals, desires and frustrations are identical with both pursuits but my methods vary greatly. The juxtaposition between the two, I have no doubt, is probably too great for some and results in them unfollowing me. I can understand and respect that. Those of you who remain in spite of this are true, loyal, friends and your participation in this journey is what makes it worthwhile.

Science Pony is also a character. While she is very close to my real life self and closely mimics the way I think, talk and act, she is just one snapshot of these aspects of my personality. The character is not me, no page or website could even accurately reflect a real person – but, and I need this to be heard and understood – I am one. I am a real person. My name is really PennyLane Handley and I really do love science. I also love my family and am wary of anything that threatens to harm it. It might be easy to forget that there is a flesh and blood human being behind these posts, which are sometimes snarky, sometimes silly, sometimes funny, sometimes trying to be funny and falling short, but I implore all of you who read this to remember that I am a person, someone’s daughter, someone’s mother, and I deserve that same respect as is due to anyone else.

I have no advisors or assistants, I am not part of any secret group of science shills. I have my friends, Destroyed by Science​, The Mad Virologist​, The Credible Hulk​ and James Fell  and I have my own passion and desire to spread the good word about science and my own judgement, and sometimes that judgement is flawed or just plan wrong. I can honestly say that I am trying, and will continue to try because I believe in consensus. I believe in the importance of vaccines, in the importance of countering health woo before people turn their backs on evidence-based treatment methods. I believe that we are all better under the light of science than stumbling around in the darkness of ignorance.

The internet is exhausting.

To those persons who have recently decided to come to my page and impede my ability to outreach because of petty issues and silly squabbles, please take heed:

I am used to dealing with antis, I expect them to troll myself and others who spread science and consensus on these here internets. I never expected that the worst trolling I ever experienced would be from people who claim to support the same goals that I do. It is beyond bizarre. If you don’t like my message, change the channel. But please, and I cannot express this more clearly or loudly or firmly, do not tell me how to run my page. Do not try to enact change to it through ultimatums or threats. Do not think for a second that I would not walk away from this page skipping and whistling a jaunty tune rather than have a group of irrelevant, self righteous little pissants tell me how to do my job.

Fierce friends.

The arrogance it must take the honestly believe that you have the right to tell a perfect stranger what they are and are not allowed to post to a personal Facebook page is astounding to imagine. I posted a conversation that had the second participant’s name redacted. It might be guilty of being low hanging fruit in terms of comedy but it is not in violation of any law, civil or criminal, and it is not in violation of Facebook policy. I don’t know who you think you are but understand who I am – someone who would rather die than kowtow to the harassment and bullying of a few trolls on a Facebook page. So I invite you all to absolutely fuck off secure in the knowledge that if you comment on any of my posts you are banned.

To the rest of you, those who came for the science and stayed for the snark, and vice versa, I am really very sorry about the uninvited house guests, I realize that my desire to give everyone a voice I might have let some truly awful people kill your science buzz. I promise moving forward to do my best to remove the squeaky wheels so you can go back to the reason we are here – so this science groupie can help sneak you backstage at all the best science concerts. I totally can you know. I know a guy.

As always, I love you guys all *THIS* much.

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There had not been a proper science trolling going on 2 days and we were growing restless and wild. Aware of the need for distraction, dear Erik posted a link that he had got from a friend who believes the unfortunate woo that Polio was never really eradicated and is ever present to this day, hiding in plain sight under different names. The resulting thread would go down in history as one of the most entertaining and pointless endeavours that each of them had been a party to. Enjoy.




Nature Raper. Yep. We are doing this.

I have mulled releasing this for some time, usually I am not in favour of releasing private messages to the public as a rule. This member is in no way identified and it is a very informative exchange that has been requested before so I have acquiesced .

It is clearly a combative dialogue. People wonder aloud if there is more to this exchange that led to these fireworks. There is not a terrible lot of backstory here to be honest. Marc Brazeau of Food and Farm Lab Discussion Group were civilly discussing GMOs with a gentleman who was none too fond of GMOs. I kept it civil, Marc took a few pot shots but mostly was charitable as well. The anti got more and more frustrated,  then he moved into private message with me.

Out of Marc and I, I think we would both agree I was far nicer to this nature lover, and yet he decided to take out his pent up aggression on this target. Anti-logic, go figure.

Warning this exchange has even more foul language than usual.