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There are spiders in the bananas: This week in Doubtful News for November 12, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Sharon Hill   
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 09:00

Here is a rundown of the weird, wacky woo-woo and WOW courtesy of Doubtful News.

We begin with a story that we really wish was an urban legend but turns out is true. Venomous spiders do hitch a ride on bananas. But it is rare, don't stop eating bananas!

This story, however, was a rumor that spread far and wide like a tsunami, of trash. 

There was a live person buried in a grave. I feel bad for the person who was there when he clawed his way out. 

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Last Week In Science Based Medicine PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Dr. Harriet Hall   
Monday, 11 November 2013 09:00

Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo-woo in medicine.

The sad saga of an Amish girl with a curable cancer whose parents are refusing chemotherapy in favor of “natural healing” (David Gorski)  http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-sad-saga-of-an-amish-girl-with-a-curable-cancer-whose-parents-are-refusing-chemotherapy-in-favor-of-natural-healing/ A 10 year old girl with lymphoma was responding well to chemotherapy, but the parents stopped her treatment in the belief that it was killing her. The hospital got a medical guardian appointed, but the parents fled with the child. A controversy erupted about parental rights, natural treatments, and other related issues.

Update: Chiropractic Neck Manipulation and Stroke (Harriet Hall)  http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/update-chiropractic-neck-manipulation-and-stroke/ The risk of stroke with neck manipulation is generally recognized, but many chiropractors would still like to shift the blame elsewhere. A new study tries to show that the association doesn’t qualify as causation by Hill’s criteria. The author’s arguments are unconvincing and don’t take the “smoking gun” cases into account or address the risk/benefit ratio.

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FDA Releases Burzynski Clinic Inspection Notes PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Robert Blaskiewicz   
Friday, 08 November 2013 12:00

Yesterday, the FDA released inspection notes from a visit to the Burzynski Clinic that took place at the beginning of this year. One of these files had already been released to the public earlier this year.

The information and its implications, should they hold up, are absolutely damning for the Burzynski Clinic and especially for the lead researcher, Stanislaw Burzynski. Those of us who have been researching this topic have known about these findings for a long time, from almost the moment it could be requested through a Freedom of Information Act request (6 months before it appeared on the FDA website), but we have been careful to not release it through blogs. We wanted to see that it got as high profile a release as possible. Of course, the cat is out of the bag in a big way, and so I want to let you know what these documents say.

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Brain Machine Interfaces – Now with Two-Fisted Action PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Dr. Steve Novella   
Friday, 08 November 2013 10:26

I am usually very cautious about predicting future technological development, informed by how poorly past predictions match the present. I will, however, occasionally go out on a limb and tentatively predict when I feel certain technologies are likely to have a huge impact in the future. After all – some past predictions were fairly accurate. In the early 1990’s we felt that the Internet was about to change the world, and it did.

One such technology that I have been following is the brain-machine interface (BMI). Researchers in several institutions have been making steady progress in getting computer chips to talk to brains and vice versa. There are occasional milestones worth pointing out in this research, and I believe we have just passed one – the development of a BMI that allows a rhesus monkey to control two robot arms simultaneously.

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God Bless America PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Dr. Karen Stollznow   
Thursday, 07 November 2013 09:00

Do Satanists really sacrifice babies, skin cats and vandalize graves? Are the Amish allowed to drive carsBook Cover and use computers? Do Quakers wear plain dress, eat oats and address each other as “Thee”?

There are many stereotypes about minority religious groups in America and my latest book confirms some of these but also disproves many others. God Bless America explores a range of religious beliefs and practices that are still found in the United States today and looks at many that are on the increase.

Despite “God’s” appearance in the title this isn’t just a book for atheists; it’s also for humanists, skeptics and those who are just curious about culture. Many themes will be of interest to skeptics, including the Law of Attraction, faith healing, Voodoo folk medicine, Amish alternative medicine, and claims of satanic ritual abuse.

This book answers many burning questions about these people and their ideologies and customs. Is Scientology really a “church”? Can a Quaker also be a Buddhist or even an atheist? How did speaking in tongues really begin? What happens during an Amish date and how is polygamy practiced in fundamentalist Mormon communities?

 

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