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WTF Is Going On?! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Matt Lowry   

Quite an attention grabber, isn’t it?  Of course, in this case the letters WTF refer not to the commonly used epithet but to the Women Thinking Free Foundation (which, I suppose, would technically make it WTFF).  In any case, I wanted to share with you all some news about this wonderful organization of which I am a part (I serve as the WTFF’s secretary).  The WTFF is the brainchild of Skepchick Elyse “Mofo” Anders, and it focuses specifically on promoting science, critical thinking & skepticism to women of all ages.

In the time the WTFF has existed (about a year and a half), we’ve done a lot of interesting things – from holding the first Chicago Skepticamp which featured many female speakers, called Skepchicamp; to hosting a “Psychic Fair” where we exposed for fun the tricks used by psychics of all stripes; to organizing and running a free vaccination clinic at Dragon*Con 2010.

And I would like to emphasize that last one, the issue of vaccination and, by extension, the anti-vaccination movement: the WTFF is engaging in major initiatives on that front, as spreading the word about the good that vaccines do and the bad the anti-vaccination movement does is something very near and dear to us.  In this spirit of pursuing our primary interest, last fall while at Dragon*Con we initiated a project called Hug Me, I’m Vaccinated!

We at WTFF feel that, as ordinary concerned citizens – not as doctors, not as the government – we can help to bridge the gap between those official medical & authoritative outlets and concerned parents who have been manipulated by anti-vaccine propaganda.  Through initiatives like the Hug Me, I’m Vaccinated! campaign, it is our hope to not only promote good critical thinking but also good practices in people’s lives. In an effort to take our vaccine outreach to the next level, the WTFF is going to be partnering with the JREF on an important project that will be announced this month.

So, if you are interested in knowing more about the WTFF and what we’re doing, please consider signing up for our newsletter titled “WTF Is Going On?!”  Signing up is easy, simply go to this link and input some basic information and you’ll start to receive our newsletter, which should go out about twice per month.

 

Matt Lowry is a high school & college physics professor with a strong interest in promoting science education, skepticism and critical thinking among his students and the population in general.  Towards these ends, he works with the JREF on their educational advisory board, and he also works with a number of grassroots skeptical, pro-science groups.  In what little spare time he has, he blogs on these and related subjects at The Skeptical Teacher.

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written by Zoroaster, March 11, 2011
Kudos to your fledgling movement! I think the fun, informational, reality based Psychic Fair is a fantastic idea. How many people go to a fortune teller, knowing it's fake, just because they want some cheap theater? Seances, cold readings, ouija boards, tarot cards, the "light as a feather" game could be participated in - then explained. And no, it doesn't take the fun away, in my opinion anyway, it increases it. My physics teacher used to lie on a bed of nails, have students put a stump on his chest and pound it with a sledge hammer. Then he explained about distribution of force. It certainly made for an interesting lesson and got everybody's attention. He pointed out that fakirs would always brag about how many hundreds of nails they were lying on. "If you want to impress me," he would say, "Lay down on a bed of ONE nail."
And the vaccination campaign is also very important. Those who are hearing the anti-vax message want to hear from other parents who are in the same position they are and who worry and want to do what's best for their children. Men in lab coats are scary and suspicious to them.
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Cool!
written by CasaRojo, March 13, 2011
Right on right on right on, WTFF!
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We want to invite you!
written by Lahurongirl, March 13, 2011
Sorry to be rude and post this here but the pro-science ladies and fans of Dr. Amy (The Skeptical OB) have created a pretty funny blog aimed at poking fun at the natural birth movement. We would love for you guys to come over and check it out! Please feel free to leave comments telling us we are idiots or invent your own birthing goddess persona and join in on the fun!

http://themamatao.blogspot.com/
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It seems there is much more constructive ways to spend your time, Lowly rated comment [Show]
@Bea
written by Zoroaster, March 14, 2011
This website may offer some answers to your question, So what if a parent does not want to vaccinate their kids?

http://whatstheharm.net/vaccinedenial.html

But then who cares if some kids experience paralysis or death? That is their karma right? They just got dealt dumb parents and the rest of us should mind our business huh? And the elders from the Pleiades say they'll be reincarnated into super butterfly angels anyway so what's the big deal? I know there is no way for us mere mortals to argue with the ancient wisdom of the cosmos that flows through you so why not just leave us to our folly?
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written by Gaius Cornelius, March 15, 2011
People, let us nip the name-calling in the bud.

There have been many medical advances though the centuries and I imagine it would be very difficult to determine the relative merits of vaccination, antibiotics, hygiene, nutrition, clean water and so on. It is even possible that vaccination is the least of these; in the case of the developed world I might even find that contention plausible.

However, that is all beside the point. The question that matters is whether vaccination is effective and does it do more good than harm. The evidence that vaccination is generally a good thing seems overwhelming.

I can understand that some healthy people may perceive that for them the benefits of other medical advances have reduced the benefits vaccination to the level where vaccination is not worth the risks. As I see it, that is misperception resulting from herd immunity. Refusing vaccination is a selfish act that unnecessarily exposes all vulnerable people – some of whom cannot be vaccinated – to diseases.
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written by Bea, March 15, 2011
@Gaius Cornelius . . . Thank you for being the voice of reason.

Humanity was here before vaccines and will continue to be . . . and clearly there is a need for disease. It does play a role in the game of life and viruses we "conquer" will simply mutate and become different viruses but die we must. Out with the old, in with the new. Gone with the weak, the strong shall survive. The world is so overpopulated it is ridiculous. One hundred years ago there was 1 billion people on Earth and now there is close to 7 billion. It's time to cull the herd. Mother Nature will do it one way or another. Sorry Science but you will never conquer the Big Mama!
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Just in case . . . skeptics need protection too!
written by Bea, March 15, 2011
Thyroid Protection Against Radiation - "In light of the meltdown of Fukushima: protect yourself & thyroid against radiation: kelp, ginseng, ashwaganda (found to regrow nerves), chlorella, zeolites, fulvic acid, nascent iodine, reishi mushroom, sea salt (also salty miso), botanical (plant-derived) or lipo- vit C, magnesium (chlorophyll), selenium (brazil nuts), coconut butter, Megahydrate, Crystal Energy. ~David Wolfe
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I apologize for being off topic . . . but the word needs to get out
written by Bea, March 15, 2011
Maps on the radiation fallout from Japan.

http://www.snopes.com/photos/technology/fallout.asp
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written by Gaius Cornelius, March 15, 2011
Bea, why are you posting lists of radiation prophylactics that I could not recommended to anybody? And what is the point of the link to Snopes about viral e-mails that are false? Is there some lame joke to which I am not privy?
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No joke
written by Bea, March 15, 2011
It's just information. It's no joke what is going on in Japan . . . not sure why you can't recommend it to anyone, but I am sorry if you took it wrong. I personally did not know all the effects of radiation since it is not something I really think about. Sounds like you are very knowledgeable though.

But better get back on topic. Vaccines are not going to help the people in Japan from radiation.
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The last bit
written by Bea, March 15, 2011
was a joke.
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Oddly enough...
written by Zoroaster, March 15, 2011
I happen to agree with Bea that the current population growth is not sustainable and seems headed towards some kind of catastrophe. It is even a likely scenario that some sort of epidemic disease will wipe out lots of people. Personally I would prefer it if humans could think critically enough to just stop having babies for a while. That seems like it would involve a lot less misery than just stopping vaccinations and letting people die slowly and painfully.
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Be still my beating heart
written by Bea, March 15, 2011
@Zoroaster . . . no one on this site has ever agreed with me about anything.

Thank you!
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