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Aggregating Skeptical Thought

Rhinestone-encrusted cigarette lighter/tape recorders

Like any good Skeptic a large part of applying skepticism comes down to understanding to some extent human psychology.  Understanding how people think or why they think the way they do can go along way to understanding someone else’s beliefs.

Any good Skeptic should also be fully prepared to turn their critical eye on themselves. Knowing common logical fallacies people make can be used to improve the quality of your own arguments but also highlight weaknesses in other’s arguments.

When evaluating medical claims of herbal supplements I usually apply a “back of the envelope” litmus test to such claims. Failing this litmus test doesn’t inherently disqualify something 1) because its not a fool-proof system 2) I’m not a medical doctor but it does raise some red flags.  Some of those tests are:

“Kitchen Sink” claims
Does this [insert alt med herb/treatment] claim to cure all known diseases, like cancer, memory loss, toxicity and diarrhea simultaneously?

Argument from Naturalness
Does it seem like the biggest thing this [insert herb/claim] has going for it is that its “All Natural”. It shouldn’t need to be said but the claim “natural” is a meaningless term. I’m sure you love your All Natural Wheatgrass/Guava/Arsenic fruit smoothie but I’ll pass.

Does it have Side Effects?
If it doesn’t have any side effects it probably doesn’t have any *main* effects either.

I’ve never really compiled a list of these little litmus tests before and this is certainly not complete. I’d be interested in hearing anyone else’s tests or if someone has already put together a list of these before.

Just like “alt-med” claims there are other little litmus tests that could be applied in specific areas such as investments. Certainly all claims should be thoroughly understood but sometimes you need a cheat sheet.

Here’s a list from U.S. News & World Report on investment scams, The Psychology of Investing Scams. Below is a brief outline to a rather brief article.

While the old adage “if its too good to be true” should always be followed, here are some specific variations on a theme.

The “Phantom Riches” Tactic
If you are guaranteed decent (or extraordinary) and steady returns on an investment, you could end up in a Madoff-style investment/Ponzi Scheme.

The “Source Credibility” Tactic
Anybody can claim to be a financial planner but his she really? Is she registered with an accredited/recognized trade group, like the National Association of Personal Financial Advisers. Are the products sold/marketed registered with the SEC?

The lack of credentials or the registered status of an investment doesn’t disqualify it from being a sound investment but you’ve just removed some level of independent verification and you really, really need to understand how the investment vehicle can generate capital including the risks. You’ve certainly increased your homework.

The “Social Consensus” Tactic
This is fundamentally peer pressure. Everyone else is investing in mortgage-backed securities. Why aren’t you? This is a tough one because in many instances because, “I invested in something because [insert person whose judgment you trust] invested as well.”

The “Reciprocity” Tactic
I call this the “there’s no free dinner” rule. If you are given a free dinner at a nice restaurant and all you have to do is sit through an investment seminar, be prepared for the hard sell. You’ll see this with Buyer’s Clubs where you’ll get a key to a “new car” and all you have to is sit through the sales pitch. The Nigerian Email scam is a grandiose version of this, although this one plays very much to someone’s greed.

The “Scarcity” Tactic
Just as you might assume, “this opportunity will only last for the next 10 minutes so CALL NOW!!!” I think QVC or HSN have perfected this tactic, there’s a reason they show a running clock and slowly dwindling numbers of “items left in stock”. Any long-term investment (and most short-term ones as well) worth being involved in will not disappear overnight. The rhinestone-encrusted unicorn cigarrete lighter/tape recorder on the other hand is only available While Supplies Last.

Cross-posted at FreeThought Fort Wayne

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Filed under: Health, Internet, Skeptic, , , , ,

What is RSS?

This is the first in a series of posts for FreeThought Fort Wayne to assist its members (and readers) in being able to get the most out of their internets.

Who is this for?

You’ve probably heard the term RSS before but haven’t been able to get any clear direction or information on what it is exactly. This first post will be dedicated to the non-geeks out there. You know who you are and I won’t hold it against you 😉 I will publish a second half of this discussion that will delve a little deeper into some advanced features of RSS, despite how simple RSS really is there is an incredible amount of power in the protocol. 

What is RSS?

Any good discussion of RSS would be missing something if it didn’t at a minimum discuss what the abbreviation RSS stands for. RSS currently means Really Simple Syndication and there is a reason for this rather untechnical name. You’d expect RSS to mean Robot Super Scripting or include some kind of Star Trek reference but you’d be disappointed (or not). 
The idea behind RSS is to provide a standard and universal way in which to describe and distribute content. I use the term “Content” very deliberately because RSS can be used for just about anything on the web such as web site articles, news articles, blog posts, podcasts, advertising and even weather updates. Virtually any kind of information you want to distribute via the Internet can be “packaged” into an RSS feed and distributed to anybody with an RSS reader. 
The name can be broken down to describe exactly what RSS does. First, for the Syndication part, think of syndication like TV. When a show like Seinfeld is in PrimeTime, the timeslot and advertisers are tightly controlled, however when its sold for syndication a network like the CW or WGN can air the syndicated Seinfeld episodes whenever they want with whatever advertisers they can get. When an organization like the New York Times decides to “syndicate” their articles on the web via an RSS feed they are largely giving up the ability to decide when that content can be “aired”. If I have an RSS reader (which is nothing more than application or website that knows how to read RSS feeds) I can get to that content whenever and wherever I like. 
The “Really Simply” part of RSS means that the way in which the content (i.e., articles, blog posts) are described is pretty basic. In fact, if you were “look under the hood”; RSS includes a title, description, website link and some basic information about the publisher of the content. That’s it!
With such basic information you can put just about anything into that like the following (all information is made up):
Publisher: CarReviews.com
Item #1
Title: 2009 Hyundai Sonata Limited
Description: This is a very nice car, yada, yada, yada. Gratuitous Seinfeld reference.
Date: 8/1/2008
Item #2
Title: 2009 Toyota Prius
Description: You might not be sure if you are driving a car or toaster but it gets great mileage.
Date 7/30/2008
The above example says that the Publisher of this feed (CarReviews.com) can be found at http://www.carreviews.com and that they have 2 items in their RSS feed, Item #1 describes a 2009 Hyundai Sonata and Item #2 describes a 2009 Toyota Prius. Imagine using that same format for describing a news article at the New York Times:
Publisher: The New York Times
Website: nytimes.com
Item #1
Title: Obama unveils his housing stimulus package in Phoenix, AZ
Description: yada, yada, yada
Date: 02/19/2009
So even though RSS is a “web” thing it can be used to describe pretty much anything. I say “pretty much” because there’s probably something out there but I can’t think of anything that can’t be described but I’ve been drinking and well, you know…
 
What do you mean RSS Feed? Or RSS Reader?
I’ve touched on them a bit earlier but to be specific an “RSS Feed”  (or simply “feeds” or “news feeds”) is a list of items (like our car reviews above) with some information about who is publishing those items. An “RSS Reader” is a stand-alone program (like Microsoft Outlook or Lotus Notes) or a webpage (like NetVibes, Google Reader, Bloglines), either way it’s simply a program or website that can translate an RSS feed into something that is easily readable by you and me. RSS Readers are also referred to as Aggregators or News Readers. 
As an example, click on the NetVibes link (http://www.netvibes.com) and fill out the little bit of information they want to know like your city and your interests and they will generate an entire website of information. The website they generate in my opinion is crazy and chaotic but every single bit of information was generated as a result of an RSS Feed. In fact, it’s fair to say that NetVibes.com is an entire website of RSS feeds and that it is one big RSS Reader. I show you this not to scare you ( or give you a seizure) but to show you what can be done and all the different kinds of information that can be syndicated, like stock tickers, youtube and vimeo videos, Wired.com articles and Google calendars, Oh! and the current weather. 
Now that we have talked about the “idea” of RSS and some ways in which it’s used, i.e., syndicating car reviews or articles on nytimes.com, as well as some common terminology that you might find out there on the Internet,  let’s talk about how to use these things. 
How to use RSS?
128px-feed-iconsvgBefore you can use RSS you have to be able to find an RSS feed. Any decent website, blog or podcast will very clearly label their feed. It will be labeled as “Subscribe to our feed” or “Subscribe via RSS” or simply “Subscribe” (like FreeThoughtFortWayne.org, look in the upper right hand part of the webpage). Often times the RSS feed will be identified by an orange icon with white “radio” waves (See the image to the right).
Most RSS Readers that you use will ask you to setup new RSS Feeds. To setup a feed you will need to copy the URI (or URL) of the RSS feed into their program.This is usually the address in your web browser (see below).
Using Google Reader as an example, in order to “subscribe” I have to type in the URL (website address) of an RSS feed to subscribe to it. 
So to subscribe to the RSS Feed for The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast I will need to type in the following URL:
http://www.theskepticsguide.org/feed/rss.aspx?feed=SGU (to find this URL go to http://www.theskepticsguide.org and click on the “Subscribe via RSS” link)
Another great example is the news site for the BBC. I’m an avid watcher of BBC news. I don’t watch FoxNews (optionally Faux News) or even MSNBC or CNN. I watch the BBC. When I want to see the “high level” news for the day I go to the website http://news.bbc.co.uk/. And what do you think I see in the upper-right hand corner of their website? You guessed it, our familiar “orange icon” from above and the words “News Feed”. When you click on the icon or link it opens the current news feed. Here’s what it looks like right now using Apple’s Safari web browser
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So to take advantage of RSS feeds like the Top News from the BBC, sign up for a webpage like BlogLines.com or Google Reader and begin finding blogs, websites and news organizations you want to get information from. Make sure once  you have found an RSS Reader you like  such as BlogLines and “subscribe” to the various websites URL’s.
Why Use RSS Feeds?
Actually that’s a good question. If I can just go to the NY Times or the BBC or the FreeThought Fort Wayne blog, why bother with all the complication of an RSS feed and something to read it with on top of all that? The question you ask actually highlights the very reason why RSS feeds are increasingly popular. How often do you just go to 2 or 3 websites? After all your question asks about 2 or 3 websites (the NYTimes, BBC and FreeThought Fort Wayne). What happens when you want to know about new articles on 43 different websites*? Now you are talking about a bit of a headache aren’t you?
What an RSS feed and a subsequent RSS Reader allows you to do is tp subscribe to multiple (and many) websites and quickly go through the articles for only those stories that interest you. I love Slate.com but they publish 100 articles a day. Without some mechanism to filter or quickly list recent content there’s no way I would be able to stay on top of the most interesting (to me) content being published.
Another option is the ability to save “searches” in various search engines. For example, I frequently search Google for the following, “Fort Wayne” and “Skeptic” (or “atheism” or “humanist”). I basically want to know anytime Google sees a news article that combines Fort Wayne and the word Skeptic (or Atheist or Humanism). This is a tedious task to type this information into Google on a daily basis. What if I could save my search criteria and with the click of a button perform that search. What if I could simply open an RSS feed that automatically lists the search results? That would be really cool. Guess what!? Subscribe to the following URLs and they do just that. 
Conclusion
There is really nothing inherently scary about RSS. It’s just a very easy way to share any kind of information. RSS is largely seen as a “web” thing but it’s really not. In my professional career we use RSS as a way to universally (and securely) share information between the company I work for and our clients. What I find most ironic about RSS is that for many getting information via a website is “cutting edge” but for many in the business world that is “so 2005”. If I can’t provide our client’s data in RSS we are really behind the times.
* I personally subscribe to 43 different RSS feeds. That includes all saved Google searches, blogs, news feeds and podcasts. And in all honesty I’m not really tyring. There’s really a lot of content being generated by various blogs, etc. that I’m just not taking advantage of.

Filed under: Atheism, Internet, Skeptic, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Onion AV Club interviews Mythbusters

Cool little interview of Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman from the AV club.

And hence the reason I love Mythbusters.

AVC: You guys don’t have any formal scientific training, but you generally seem to follow scientific methods and procedures when you’re testing myths. To what degree are you attempting to scientifically prove something, vs. just indulging your own curiosity?

JH: If it turns out that we’re doing proper science from time to time, it just happens to be that that’s the most efficient way of doing it. We go into each of these stories with an open mind, and one of the great things about how the show works is that we’re not approaching it from a doctoral point of view, we’re just trying to see what happens. And we have relatively little time and a whole lot of curiosity, so the most efficient way to get there is what we do, and that often happens to be some form of science. We may not have a sample size larger than one, or we may not have unlimited resources—it’s a TV show, and we generally turn these things around in about a week or so. That being said, the fact that we don’t have formal training, that makes what we’re experiencing a little bit more accessible to the viewers. If we actually knew what we were doing ahead of time, it would just be like talking at you, instead of experiencing the situation with you.

AS: We don’t necessarily stand by our faults every time, but we will always stand by our methodologies and ethos. And the methodology is much more important to us. Given the restrictions of television, we understand why our results might not be unassailable, but whenever, for instance, on the Discovery Channel online message boards, people pipe in and say we’re idiots and we don’t know what we’re doing and we got something totally wrong, interestingly, the people who jump most vigorously to our defense are working scientists. These are people from everywhere, from Lawrence Livermore and JPL and Sandia National Labs, the FBI, all over the place, real scientists who see what we’re doing, and they consistently thank us. “I agree your results aren’t always right,” they’ll say, “but your methods are clearly showing that science is a re-creative process, and it’s an interesting process because it’s messy, and no other shows show that.”

Filed under: Science, Skeptic, , , ,

Quirkology, A Review

I just finished reading Richard Wiseman’s book Quirkology. Richard Wiseman is an experimental psychologist who conducts research into areas that you wouldn’t normally think psychologists necessarily spend their time. Among the many topics that the author covers in the book are

  • What is the world’s funniest joke.
  • In what month are the luckiest people born.
  • How can you tell a fake smile from a real smile.
  • What simple little tricks can waiters/waitresses do to increase their tips.
  • Why the letter K really is the funniest letter.
  • How do ultra-low frequencies contribute to religious experience (my personal favorite)

 One of the quick little experiments was to have you trace the letter Q on your forehead. Depending on which way you “crossed” the Q indicated whether you were a good or bad liar. Now I know this experiment shows an interesting correlation but it’s not 100%. I happen to be an excellent liar however my Q indicated that I was not.

I have read a number of other reviews online and perhaps the biggest criticism is that the book is a bit shallow. Many of the topics in the book never go into any real depth but that’s OK with me. Personally I’ve taken psychology classes, snooze-o-rama. I don’t think I would have nearly enjoyed the book so much if it had gone into detail.

I highly recommend the book and you can even get a little taste of the kinds of research being performed and even join in the research right now if you go to Quirkology.com.

Filed under: Reviews, Skeptic,

Is It Real?

If you get a chance to check out National Geographic’s Is It Real? program you should. It’s a great example of skeptical investigation. It is not like those crappy History channel-token skepticism UFO specials. This is a show that sets up the paranormal claims and then gives skeptics a decent platform for explaining not only their position but how they come to their positions.

They frequently have James Randi as a guest and the last one I saw involving hauntings featured Richard Wiseman.

Filed under: Psychics, Skeptic, , , , ,

New Skeptical Podcast

There is a new podcast put on by the folks who do the Skeptical Guide to the Universe and contains a brief (about 5 minutes) review of a current news item from a skeptical point of view. It’s called The Skeptic’s Guide 5×5. And if you don’t already subscribe the full Skeptic’s Guide you should be ashamed of yourself.

Filed under: Internet, Skeptic, ,

I may be a legend but the movie wasn’t

First and foremost this blog post will contain MAJOR SPOILERS, if you don’t want to know how the movie or book ends click away now… go on, git.

Let me prefix the following post by saying that the book I Am Legend is perhaps one of my top 5 books of all time, if I were to ever compile such a list. Yes, I will be accused of being a purist, so be it. But please take this away from my post, my critique is not with the detailed, discreet changes to the movie (like the book had a white guy in LA vs. the movie having a black guy in NYC) those are an irrelevance because how you tell the underlying story should not be affected by these changes. In fact, the change of location from LA to NYC was probably a great choice because a deserted NYC is far more visually engaging than Californian suburbia. I actually applaud that change.

Let me start by saying that I think Will Smith did an awesome job acting in this film, he totally conveyed the feeling of loss, despair and isolation that one would feel in his similar circumstance. The director of the film did an excellent job showing the solitude, deafening silence and intensity of the situation. There were many times in theater when you could hear a pin drop, no sound from the movie and no sound from the audience (it’s hard to make a sound when you are holding your breath, or feeling totally depressed at this guy’s circumstance).

There were a couple of times in the movie that Will Smith’s acting had my wife sobbing and I suddenly had something in my eye, it might have been an eyelash… yea… an eyelash. For example, when his dog died and in the movie rental store when he finally had the courage to talk to the “girl in the back”, (that will make more sense if you’ve seen the movie). The phrase, “Please talk to me” has such emotional power for me right now.

There are a number of things I could pick apart in the movie like the CG was meh especially when you see the Infected. But honestly the movie shouldn’t have been about the Infected ala Resident Evil anyway, well not at least for this reason. There was also this random religious “God has a plan for you” thing that kind of came out of nowhere that I think was added to give the movie some depth before it turned into a standard zombie movie. They could have used that subplot even with the original story, I think it would be unnecessary but I’m an evil atheist so what do I know.

Let me get to my minor problems with the story:

Number one the main character in the book was a regular Joe schmoe named Robert Neville and I’m not even sure the book tells for sure how the virus was let loose, it’s honestly unimportant. The movie makes the main character Robert Neville the Number One Guy in the World in charge of stopping the outbreak of the infection and there is a whole subplot about how the K-virus (it now has a name because the virus has somehow itself become important) was even spread.

There was even this kind of ridiculous flashback sequence about how Robert Neville tried to get his wife and daughter airlifted out of NYC before they blew the bridges.  In the book, Robert Neville is a nobody and his wife and daughter eventually get the virus and die and he has to drive them to a large burning pit to dispose of their bodies before they “rise up” again. Actually now that I think about it I think he let them rise again hoping for the best but eventually had to “put them down”, very emotional stuff.

The movie begins to weave this virus subplot into the beginning of the movie and I knew once they elevated the K-Virus and Robert Neville’s status that the ending was going to be fundamentally altered (and it was).

Now let me get to the MAJOR problem I have with the movie and I think the best way to do that is tell you how the book ends, please remember that I haven’t read it in a number of years but the gist is intact.

Robert Neville does tinker in his basement trying to understand the nature of the infection like, “Does garlic work and why?, “What about silver?”, “Do crucifixes work?”, all of the standard vampire lore that anyone is familiar with. Finding a cure like in the movie that’s just ridiculous he’s just some schmoe how is he going to find a cure to some virus of unknown origin. He’s trying to figure out what hurts them not how to cure them.

Eventually, after many years, I think it’s like 20 years (not 3 like in the movie but I could be wrong), Robert Neville finds a woman in the daylight who is clearly frightened and out of her mind trying to survive like him. Up until this time his only interactions with anything is with the Infected and they usually just taunt him and try to break into his house (his neighbor is particularly funny), they aren’t undead supersoldiers and if memory serves me in the book he never leaves his house except during the day and he usually drinks himself to passing out every night so he doesn’t have to hear their taunts and their screams.

The woman (no child like in the movie) comes to live with him for awhile. Eventually and I’m a little fuzzy on how ( I think she healed unnaturally fast) but the woman is revealed to actually be one of the Infected who was sent as a spy to infiltrate his “compound”. They have developed a sunblock that they can wear to allow them out into the sunlight. The Infected have actually begun to build their own society and civilization and Robert Neville in the minds of the infected humanity has actually become the monster. He is the boogieman that infected kids tell other infected kids. Instead of Robert Neville being the human and the infected being the monsters, the infected have become humanity and Robert Neville has become the monster. Humanity has changed, it has evolved, the definition of what it is to be human has changed and Robert Neville has become something other than human.

The end of the book has Robert Neville being caught by the infected who don’t prey on humans anymore, they get their blood from cattle that they farm (that may be wrong but regardless they have progressed to point of not needing any humans and have begun there own civilization) and he is brought before crowds of the infected who are afraid of him and women weep and children cower behind their mothers. As Robert Neville thinks to himself in the closing paragraphs of the book about how he has become the monster, he drinks poison (or something) and his last words are “I am legend” as he slips away knowing how humanity has changed and that he is no longer “human”.

For those of you have seen the movie that is not only not the way the movie ends in the details it is not even the way the story ends in “spirit”. The movie ends with a woman that Robert Neville finds (who is completely human) is on her way to a survivor colony. Robert Neville has found a cure at the last minute in his super high tech lab in the basement of his brownstone. He does die by sacrificing himself while taking out as many of the mindless, animalistic Infected as he can so that the woman (and boy) can get away and make it to the survivor’s colony in Vermont where is “legend” is established by finding a cure for the virus.

I was so hoping that the movie would end with Will Smith standing in front a crowd of the infected (who look and act like pretty much like us) and the woman narrates while there are cut scenes showing a “new humanity” rebuilding itself and finally he drinks the poison and says “I am Legend”. The End. Silence. Gives me chills thinking about my own ending, hey why didn’t anybody call me to ask my opinion, I could have made that movie rock. Oh well.

I would encourage you to read the book even if you have seen the movie because the movie (and Will Smith) do an excellent job portraying his circumstances but when you get to the part of the book when he discovers this woman forget everything you think you know from the movie because the book is completely different in story (not just details).

Filed under: Reviews, Skeptic, ,

Help The Skepchick get on NPR

If you are not aware Rebecca Watson of Skepchick and Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast fame entered an NPR contest and won her own pilot NPR show called Curiosity, Aroused. The pilot is currently being shopped around. Why don’t you help her out and send the following link to get your local NPR station to begin carrying the series. Read more about in on skepchick.org.

 http://www.prx.org/pieces/22589

Filed under: Internet, Psychics, Reviews, Skeptic, , , ,

Terrorists attack with Morgellons… or maybe its aliens

I am going to start by saying I am neither a doctor nor biologist so there may be some other more specific problems with the following article but I ain’t smrt enough to pick up on it.

Apparently the folks at TheParanormalReport.com are reporting, Morgellons – New Disease, or Man-Made Weapon of Terror?, [queue scary music, dum dum dum]. Found via Disinformation. This kind of raises the alert level on my baloney-detector.

Morgellens allegedly is an unrecognized skin disease (like eczema) that contains some kind of mystery fibrous material that won’t “burn until it has been heated to 1700 degrees F”. Accepted medical diagnosis is actually delusional parasitosis a psychological disease in which the inflicted believe that there are bugs crawling under the skin.

This article goes way beyond simply detailing the symptoms of the disease. The author, Jim Swartz of The Conspiracy Journal, not only accepts the existence of the disease (as something real and not psychosomatic) but then postulates that it is actually a man-made bio-weapon that is “configured to receive specific tuned microwave, EMF and ELF signals and radio data.”

Again, I’m no scientist but the author then draws the following conclusion (under the section Morgellons and NanoMachines) that “[the fibers] have no eukaryotic cells, no cell membrane. Meaning that Morgellons is not a parasite, it is not biological, it is a machine.” Um… it’s a machine? That seems like kind of a leap.

The author continues with the obvious conclusion to this madness:

Other nanoconfigurations associated with Morgellons disease carry genetically-altered and spliced DNA or RNA. The nanomachines which precipitate Morgellons thrive in alkaline ph conditions and use the body’s bio-electric energy and other (unidentified) elements for power. There is evidence that certain of the tiny machines possess their own internal batteries as well. The Morgellons nanomachines are configured to receive specific tuned microwave, EMF and ELF signals and radio data.

At this point, why this is happening is anyone’s guess. We do know that Morgellons is commonly found in all body fluids, orifices and often even hair follicles, and are believed to routinely achieve total body systemic penetration.

If these findings are correct, and Morgellons is nanotechnology capable of taking over biological systems, the question remains whether or not these nanomachines were the result of an accident, or a deliberate release with the intention of infecting people for some unknown purpose.

It is almost as if Morgellons is in the process of reconstructing people into an entirely different life form; a cyborg-like creature, both biological and machine. As well, with the reports that the Morgellons nanomachines are capable of receiving radio signals, this could indicate that each infected person/system would be able to communicate with other Morgellon sufferers, creating the potential that each person would be like a single brain-cell of a larger, artificial intelligence.

Are we facing an invasion by machine intelligence, or is this a twisted attempt by some unknown group or government to achieve the ultimate control of humankind? Considering the current world situation, it would not be unreasonable to imagine that someone could stoop to such evil as releasing something such as Morgellons upon an unsuspecting planet. Sometimes the smallest thing can cause the biggest problems. We have to take a deeper look, beyond the affliction itself, before we will find any substantial answers.

Needless to say, or perhaps I do, there are those who disagree.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say on it. And here’s what the Mayo Clinic has to say.
Here’s a link to a ABC Primetime show that was done on it.
The CDC is apparently going to convene a task force to investigate it.

Filed under: Health, Internet, Skeptic, , ,

Shermer vs. Colbert

Dr. Michael Shermer of Skeptic Magazine was on The Colbert Report last night. The video isn’t on ComedyCentral yet but I will re-edit when it is. I think Shermer did a good job getting in some information about 9/11 conspiracies, moon landings and UFO-ology. He even got a good plug for science in as well, I believe the quote was something to the effect of “Science is our best way of understanding the world we live in”. I also believe that Colbert’s response was  reality is whatever he decides or what the market determines

Filed under: Internet, Skeptic, , , ,

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