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How To Say It? PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   
Sunday, 21 March 2010 12:37

Well, here goes. I really resent the term, but I use it because it’s recognized and accepted.

I’m gay.

From some seventy years of personal experience, I can tell you that there’s not much “gay” about being homosexual. For the first twenty years of my life, I had to live in the shadows, in a culture that was — at least outwardly — totally hostile to any hint of that variation of life-style. At no time did I choose to adopt any protective coloration, though; my cultivation of an abundant beard was not at all a deception, but part of my costume as a conjuror.

Gradually, the general attitude that I’d perceived around me began to change, and presently I find that there has emerged a distinctly healthy acceptance of different social styles of living — except, of course, in cultures that live in constant and abject fear of divine retribution for infractions found in the various Holy Books… In another two decades, I’m confident that young people will find themselves in a vastly improved atmosphere of acceptance.

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Skeptical Evaluator of Alt Med Faces Loss of Funding PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Harriet Hall, MD (The SkepDoc)   
Friday, 19 March 2010 16:06

Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD, is a former homeopath who saw the light and became a tireless advocate for scientific evaluation of alternative medicine claims. He became the world's first professor of complementary medicine. He wrote (with Simon Singh) the excellent book Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine as well as other books and innumerable articles for the media and for scientific journals.

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Under Your Skin PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Penn Bullock   
Wednesday, 17 March 2010 16:00

In 2007, the PositiveID Corporation in Florida injected microchips into Alzheimer’s patients as part of what it termed a “two-year study.” Up to 200 test subjects, many incapacitated, were supplied by a nursing home in West Palm Beach called Alzheimer’s Community Care, which PositiveID has sponsored at fundraisers.

Today, based on new information, doctors allege the study violated medical ethics and regulatory law. PositiveID appears to have abused science for profit, banking on public and even professional ignorance of medical ethics.

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Last Week At Science-Based Medicine PDF Print E-mail
Newsflash
Written by Harriet Hall, MD, The SkepDoc   
Wednesday, 17 March 2010 15:37

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 in medicine.

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How to Debunk Biomagnet Therapy in Less Than a Minute PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Brandon Peterson   
Wednesday, 17 March 2010 10:32

I recently had the opportunity to attend The Amaz!ng Adventure 5. While at Grand Turks, our final port, I was wandering through the duty-free shop looking for deals on liquor (Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel for $39!) when I happened upon a tableful of woo. Seeing as I was a medical student on a skeptical cruise, I had to stop and have my wife help make this video.

In my off-the-cuff video, I didn’t have the opportunity to mention the lack of scientific evidence for their claims. Even if the magnetic field did penetrate the skin, it still would not stimulate blood flow because the amount of iron in blood is far too small. If blood did have a strong magnetic attraction, your body would explode in an MRI (which would be cool, I admit).

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