September 16th, 2011
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If you happen to live in the Northeastern United States and are involved in skepticism and science advocacy, you probably know the name Julia Galef.�� In fact, even if you don’t live in the Northeastern United States and are involved in skepticism and science advocacy, you may know the name.

Julia is a writer, blogger, speaker and skeptic who has managed to become an important figure in public engagement in just a couple of years of involvement.�� She’s been heavily involved in the establishment of the New York City Skeptics and contributed enormously to events like NECSS.�� She also regularly hosts their podcast and has an excellent blog which she shares with her brother Jesse.

I’ve always liked Julia’s writing and addresses a lot.� She provides excellent intellectual analysis, but her style is light and entertaining, which is very important in making it accessible and maintaining broad appeal.� She has a great sense of humor which she manages to weave into her commentary very cleverly and subtly, making it all the more entertaining to read.

Julia is also exactly the kind of person who skepticism needs the most.�� The stereotype of the skeptic is generally a rather stuck-up, old bitter white male, and Julia is none of those (well, except she is Caucasian, but none of the others.)� Rather, she’s the kind of engaging, youthful face of an ever expanding and inclusive movement.�� Julia is also not prone to limiting things to the more traditional venues for skepticism.�� Recently she wrote of her trip to Burningman, the kind of event one typically does not associate with skeptic types.

But unfortunately, this post is not simply about gushing over how great Julia is and how much everyone appreciates her seemingly limitless enthusiasm for empirical skepticism and science in popular culture.

I recently found out that Julia had been badly injured in a household accident.�� She received some very serious burns after knocking over a pot of deep-frying oil, and has second and third degree burns over most of her legs.� Julia has been in the hospital for more than a week and is expected to be there for at least another week to ten days.� She stated that she will be “regrowing my skin and relearning to walk.”

(Note: I feel okay saying this because she has posted it on her public Facebook account and the topic has been discussed on forums and boards, so I’m pretty sure she’s not keeping it a secret.)

Like everyone else who heard this news, I was shocked and saddened that such a horrific accident had happened to such an admirable person.�� In fact, I figured that my best wishes for her recovery deserved, at the very least, a blog post.

As for everyone else:

Since I know Julia is passionate about her contributions to skepticism, why don’t you go check out her blog and podcast.� Not only is the content great, but like any other author, I’m sure she loves having her stuff read.�� Also, be sure to leave her some love in the comments, because she really needs it right now.

Keep on getting better, Julia, and if your moral starts to wane, remember how many of us appreciate what you do and are enthusiastically waiting to see you again, once you are fully recovered!

This entry was posted on Friday, September 16th, 2011 at 9:15 pm and is filed under Announcements, Links, Misc, personal. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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13 Responses to “GET WELL JULIA!”

  1. 1
    Russ Says:


    I don’t know your friend Julia, but nobody deserves that and certainly not anyone who has done any good work for science understanding. That’s just so sad to think she’d go through that. Burns are really some of the most painful injuries you can get! Third degree burns can take a long time to heal and it’s really not easy to go through the treatments. I feel so bad for her.

    I hope she can keep her spirits up because that’s very important. Hopefully plenty of other people will go out of their way to wish her well and let her know she has touched their lives.

    Do you know if there’s going to be any need for money to help her out with either med bills or things like lost wages or other expenses? These kind of accidents can get expensive very fast even if you have full coverage because it won’t pay all the misc expenses like for transport and things like rent. If there’s any kind of collection, I’ll throw in some.

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  2. 2
    DV82XL Says:

    There is nothing worse than a burn like that, and my heart goes out to this girl. Words are not enough in a case like this.

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  3. 3
    Kenny Says:

    Terrible news, mate. Burns like that are a bad recovery. I hope they have her on plenty of pain pills. Sounds like a very nice young lady.

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  4. 4
    drbuzz0 Says:

            Russ said:

    Do you know if there’s going to be any need for money to help her out with either med bills or things like lost wages or other expenses?

    I really don’t know, but she is at a very good hospital and nothing has been mentioned of financial issues. I believe her family is also very supportive. I’d think she probably has medical coverage and therefore it’s not an issue, but I do not know for sure.

    However, if it is an issue, I’m sure plenty of people would contribute to help her out. I know I would.

    We’ll see though. If she says she needs it, then we’ll go from there.

            DV82XL said:

    Words are not enough in a case like this.

    No, they’re really not. Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done except sending her best wishes, which seems like a rather small thing to do.

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  5. 5
    Gordon Says:

    Steve, that’s horrible news. My heart goes out to her. It’s one of the worst things anybody will ever experience. It’s very sad but modern medicine has still not managed to conquer burns to much degree. They’re very painful and can be disfiguring.

    It is very kind of you to offer such a message to her on your blog and I’m sure that it will be encouraging.

    I do not want to come off as insensitive or being an armchair quarterback nor do I want to make it sound like I’m blaming this poor woman for her horrible accident, but there are some things that we can learn to hopefully avoid this happening in the future to others. Deep frying is very dangerous and anyone who wants to do so in their home should heed some warnings that can help prevent these horrible injuries. Deep fryer oil is very hot and yet deceptively calm looking. It gets much hotter than boiling water but does not bubble so it has an appearance that would make it seem less threatening.

    Always treat deep frying oil with care and caution. It’s dangerous and don’t forget that. Make all your moves around it careful and deliberate. Don’t be casual or it will hurt you.

    Never fill the deep fryer to the brim. Remember that anything you put in it will displace the oil and can make it overflow. It will also splatter. Make sure there’s plenty of extra room so it won’t overflow.

    Always be ready to put out a fire if the oil catches fire. You should never use water for this. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and make sure it’s the type that can be used for grease fires (dry foaming, not anything that uses a wet kind of spray). Something like baking soda can also be thrown on the fire or a fire blanket. Have a lid you can put on to douse the fire too. Always have a plan for what to do if a fire starts.

    When putting food into the frying oil, be very careful and do it slowly with tongs or a basket that keeps your hands a good distance away. Using things like insulated mits or aprons is a good idea too.

    Never leave the fryer unattended. Never even walk away briefly to do some other cooking task. Stay right there and keep an eye on it.

    Never deep fry anything by putting a pot of oil on the stovetop. If you want to deep fry something, go out and buy a deep fryer. I know, it’s more expensive and it takes up space in your cabinet, but it’s still more than worth it for safety. Deep fryers are designed in a way that helps a lot with safety. They won’t tip over easily like a pot can and they have electric heating elements that are designed to avoid fire. They have thermostats that keep the oil at the right temperature and they have lids and guards for the hot oil. Just be careful with the cord placement. Get a good deep fryer, and don’t save money by getting an el-cheapo unit. Get one that is good and bottom-heavy so it won’t tip and then put it on your counter set back nice and far from the edge. Keep everything else away from it. (probably the most important thing. A good deep frying unit is much safer than just using a pot.)

    Be EXTRA careful if you are going to try to use one of those big units to deep fry a turkey. My brother does that. It’s delicious, but the deep fryer is not a normal one. The turkey is big so it has a huge pot and a big propane burner. When we do it at his place, we’re always extremely careful. We put the fryer far away from the house out in the driveway where there’s absolutely nothing it can possibly damage. Keep big fire extinguishers nearby. Make absolutely certain not to put the turkey in too fast or to overfill the oil.

    This might sound downright ridiculous, but when my brother fries the turkey he wears welding sleeves and a welding apron and goggles. He has them because he has an arc welder as well, so if you have them might as well wear them.

    Sorry if this comment is long and not to lose the point, no disrespect for this poor woman and her misfortune, but take my advice and chances are it won’t happen to you. We certainly don’t want to hear about this happening again to anyone we know.

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  6. 6
    Brian Dunning Says:

    Her post about this on Facebook was so light hearted that I wasn’t even sure it was serious. She is awesome indeed to keep up the spark through such a horrific ordeal. Get well, my friend!!

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  7. 7
    Robin Lloyd Says:

    Terrible news. Wishing Julia a strong recovery.

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  8. 8
    Scott Romanowski Says:

    Get well, Julia! Skeptic events won’t be the same until you’re there again.

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  9. 9
    Maki Says:

    Sorry to hear the news. Hope you have a restful, speedy recovery, and we’ll all see you soon

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  10. 10
    Tezcatlipoca Says:


    Please pass on my well wishes and hopes for a speedy recovery to julia Galeef. I only know of her from
    The Rationally Speaking podcast and I hope to hear that she is able to carry on.

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  11. 11
    Amoeba Says:

    I’d never heard of her. However I experienced an incredibly deep visceral cringe at reading the account of her accident.

    There are so many reasons for not frying with deep fat / oil. And that is one of them.

    I really do hope she gets better soon. Despite acknowledging the fact in reality that neither my wishes nor anyone else’s will make the slightest difference. But that’s life.

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  12. 12
    Al Morrison Says:

    Julia, hope you are feeling better soon.

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  13. 13
    learn how to attract the women of your dreams with ease!!! Says:


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