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TAM 7 Begins! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Thursday, 09 July 2009 00:00

For those of you not attending TAM, I can understand if you'd rather not read about it. After all, you're missing out on the premiere skeptical event of the year, and possibly the largest skeptic gathering of al time. But, I urge you to read this, because technology has moved forward, and you can actually attend TAM in the comfort of your own home.

Acupuncture versus Electro-Acupuncture: Application of Occam's Razor PDF Print E-mail
Written by Christina Stephens   
Monday, 06 July 2009 00:00

When one sees press release headlines like, "For Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Acupuncture and Exercise May Bring Relief, Reduce Risks", as seen here, one tends to assume that the content of said press release concerns a specific alternative medicine procedure in which fine needles are inserted into specific parts of the body for therapeutic purposes based on the hypothesis that the needles can alter "energy".  When one reads the text of the press release, one is greeted with, "Exercise and electro-acupuncture treatments can reduce sympathetic nerve activity in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), according to a new study."

Electro-acupuncture and acupuncture are two different things and should not be used synonymously.

Homeopathology PDF Print E-mail
Written by Phil Plait   
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 00:00

We skeptics can rant and rail against homeopathy, how it's useless, how it's nothing more than water, how there is no real methodology or mechanics behind it, how it's been shown over and over not to have any efficacy over the placebo effect... ... but sometimes simple mockery is the best way to sway people's hearts.



How I Learnt to Stop Worrying and Hold My Tongue PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Saunders   
Tuesday, 07 July 2009 00:00

Over the years, I have gained a reputation for being cool in the face of utter nonsense. Attending many, many Mind Body Spirit (Wallet) festivals has taught me to keep a straight face, feign ignorance and ask questions.  This approach has given me a valuable insight into the thinking of those we oppose or at least investigate.  It’s hard to underestimate the amount of information peddlers of woo, will gladly tell you when you seem really interested in what they have to say.  My best result was a number of years ago when I managed to have members of the Australian Homeopathic Association Inc tell me at a Parents, Babies & Childrens’ Expo to keep clear of orthodox vaccinations but instead use homeopathy. (See Homeopathy Exposed Again! ) This resulted in Australian Skeptics blowing the whistle on the Australian Homeopathic Association Inc in the press and on radio.  A good outcome for our side.

All You Need is Love. (Pass it on.) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alison Smith   
Sunday, 05 July 2009 18:30

Recently, I was working out of the JREF offices in Ft. Lauderdale. Sean McCabe, Randi’s personal assistant, volunteered to drive me to the airport when my weekend of sandy beaches was over, and it was time to return to my home – land of sandy deserts (Las Vegas).

We had some time to kill before heading to the airport, and drove around in circles for a while. We passed a sign outside a building that said, simply, “Please Give Peanut Butter. Thank You,” and decided there was no better way to kill time than giving peanut butter to random people who asked for it. We drove to a gas station, picked up peanut butter, and headed back to the building to find someone to hand it to – not knowing what the building was, or what the peanut butter was even for.

I mean, perhaps it was like asking your neighbor for a cup of sugar when you’re baking cookies. Just more elaborate.

But, in fact, we found ourselves donating peanut butter to a Christian outreach group benefitting the homeless and impoverished in Ft. Lauderdale.

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