The Amazing Meeting 2014

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Tell Me Something Cool PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jamy Ian Swiss   
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 09:00

A few days ago, my date-for-life, Kandace, posted a strip from the delightful web comic, “Cyanide & Happiness,” which she had come across thanks to the popular Facebook page, “I Fucking Love Science” (sorry, that’s the name!). (Due to this daisy chain of sources and the fact that it’s difficult to find a particular strip directly at the “Cyanide and Happiness” website, I am providing a link to the Facebook page here for proper credit, as well as posting a copy of the strip in question:)

A Mighty Wind: This week in Doubtful News for Sept 24, 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sharon Hill   
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 09:00

 Here is this week's summary of the--- courtesy of Doubtful News. 

We had quite a teaser this week as perpetual infomercial, unsinkable rubber duck guy Kevin Trudeau was finally sent to jail. But, then managed to talk his way out. Bummer.

Big and very doubtful news came out this week that a study concluded there was "alien" life high in our atmosphere. Red flags abound on this piece and the scientific community jumped on it.

Another big story was not really news. It's been known for a long time that holy water fonts and springs are not sanitary and harbor dangerous bacteria. Blessings DO NOT kill germs!

Last Week In Science-Based Medicine PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Harriet Hall   
Monday, 23 September 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.

Naturopathic Medicine Week 2013, or: Quackery Week 2013 (David Gorski) The U.S. Senate passed a resolution declaring the week of October 7-13 to be Naturopathic Medicine Week, recognizing the value of naturopathic medicine in providing safe, effective, and affordable health care. One out of three ain’t bad: it may be affordable. But the vast majority of ideas and treatments offered by naturopaths are quackery. Their training does not qualify them to function as primary care providers.

Is U.S. cancer care “in crisis,” as the Institute of Medicine proclaims? (David Gorski) A 360 page IOM report declared cancer care “in crisis.” It isn’t, although it does have problems: we need better staffing and training, a better IT system, and accessible, affordable care. The IOM report made some excellent recommendations. It is a good example of how science-based medicine rigorously critiques its own practices and is constantly trying to improve.

Copper and Magnetic Bracelets Do Not Work for Rheumatoid Arthritis PDF Print E-mail
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.

Never be your Beast of Buderim PDF Print E-mail
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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