The Amazing Meeting 2014

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Copper and Magnetic Bracelets Do Not Work for Rheumatoid Arthritis PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Dr. Steven Novella   
Sunday, 22 September 2013 11:24

There is a huge market for selling bracelets that promote health, ijesus copper braceletmprove sports performance, cure some ailment or symptoms, or (better yet) all of those things. Think about it – who wouldn’t want a treatment that was as simple and stylish as wearing a pretty bracelet on your wrist? Some people do that just for the stylish part. There’s also a sic-fi, futuristic, Dick Tracy vibe to high-tech bracelets.

The only problem is that pesky question – do they actually work? Marketers of magic bracelets don’t seem to care about that question, however. It’s irrelevant, or at worst an obstacle to making millions.

The concept is also nothing new. People have been using magnets as healing devices from the moment these “magical” stones were discovered. Magnetism was thought to be a kind of living energy in the rocks. It’s possible that Cleopatra wore a magnetic bracelet for its healing properties.

Debunking of magnetic healing devices by the scientific mainstream is as old as the scientific mainstream. In 1600 a physician by the name of William Gilbert wrote De Magnete, in which he systematically tested and proved worthless hundreds of popular magnetic healing devices of the time. There was probably a bracelet or two in there.

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Never be your Beast of Buderim PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Dr. Karen Stollznow   
Friday, 20 September 2013 11:45

Buderim Forest plaqueWhen I travel I always like to investigate the local legends. When I was visiting my mother in Queensland, Australia, I heard about the “Beast of Buderim” or “Buderim Beast” that allegedly hides in the hinterlands of the Sunshine Coast. There have been dozens of sightings of this creature that is believed by some to be the Thylacine, also called the Tasmanian Tiger, that is thought to have been extinct since 1935. Others claim this is the Queensland Tiger, also known as a yarri, believed to be a descendant of the Thylacoleo, the Australian marsupial lion that became extinct during the Pleistocene era. Some believe the urban legend that it’s a feral hybrid cat created when American soldiers allegedly brought pumas into Queensland during World War II.

 The word is that the Beast of Buderim has been spotted in the Buderim Forest Park which is located about fifteen minutes drive from the coast. Witnesses tell of a creature described variously as a large dog-like or cat-like animal that is between 3-6 feet long. It has glowing yellow or green eyes, massive teeth, and a long tail, while some say the creature has a tail similar to that of a kangaroo. The creature is often reported to be extremely aggressive and there are stories of people finding it has disemboweled their family pet. The descriptions vary in the details although the creature invariably has dark stripes on its back that are characteristic of the Thylacine. 

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Skeptic History: September Anniversaries PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Tim Farley   
Thursday, 19 September 2013 14:32

I like to highlight items from the history of skepticism, so newer skeptics can learn how we've arrived where we are today.  To this end, I post a daily fact from skeptic history on social media.

When they occur, I always try to highlight anniversaries of interesting events in my daily postings.  People sometimes find these things more compelling (though die-hard numerology skeptics may scoff).  

Here are a few skeptical anniversaries for the month of September 2013:

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Inhuman Predators PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Jamy Ian Swiss   
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 10:32

Two weeks ago I wrote here about the 1993 “Nova” special, “Secrets of the Psychics,” and about its relevance to the current trial of “psychic” fortuneteller Rosa Marks, still under way in South Florida. Last week the prosecution brought their star witness to the stand, romance novelist Jude Devereaux, who has written more than 60 novels, at least half of which have become worldwide bestsellers. Of the $25 million that prosecutors are claiming Marks and her personal mafia of storefront psychics scammed from various clients who are testifying in the course of the trial, it is estimated that $17 million of that total came from one sole victim: Jude Devereaux.

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Skepticism and Ritual Crimes in Gabon PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by Leo Igwe   
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 00:32

Skeptical rationality will help the people of Gabon as they grapple with the problem of ritual killing and human sacrifice in the country. The people of this nation need to embrace the values critical thinking and scientific temper in order to end these savage crimes and the magical mentality behind it.

Recently, ritual killing sparked public anger and protest in this central African state after mutilated body parts washed up on the beaches. In May a local politician was arrested and questioned by the police in connection with the ritual killing of a 12 year old girl.The politician was summoned after a man, who was tried and convicted for the murder, implicated him. The man said the politician commissioned him to carry out the killing.But the lawmaker denied the accusation.

In March, a -7 year old girl Astride Atsame was a victim of ritual murder. And in June 2 young women, Effa Stessy, 24, and her friend, 'were killed and mutilated in Port-Gentil', the country’s second largest city.

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