Thursday, May 26, 2011

Homeopathy - Purveyors of Magic Complain

A while ago (January) I saw a great TV program on homeopathy that aired on the Canadian CBC station. I wrote about it in the Homeopathy on CBC post.
I'm no friend to homeopathy, not only because it is basically magic and wishful thinking, but also because it scams real people out of real money and, what's far worse, it gives them false hope that does not materialize at the end.
A few years ago, I had a personal brush with a homeopathic practitioner, who offered her services to a friend of mine. The diagnosis was laughable, the outcome was predictable (no help), and the price tag was very high.
So, today, browsing the Web, I found out that there were complaints from the proponents of homeopathy after the CBC piece aired. I'm not surprised, as this is a typical strategy of the alt-med crowd. It is also great to see that CBC reviewed the complaints, performed their own, internal "investigation" and found the report sound, well balanced and fair. Maybe it's high time to admit that homeopathy is just magic (or scam if you prefer to see it that way).

Thanks to Neurologica Blog for the news.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

2000 Years... Still Counting

So, we got lucky last Saturday, but don't fear, the wackos have a backup date: October 21st, 2011:
"We've always said October 21 was the day," Camping said during his show. "The only thing we didn't understand was the spirituality of May 21. We're seeing this as a spiritual thing happening rather than a physical thing happening. The timing, the structure, the proofs, none of that has changed at all."

More: Preacher now says end of the world will happen in 5 months

I bet there will be enough crazies, who will not only pour more money into this enterprise, but they'll completely destroy their own lives. This is the best example of what can happen when you don't keep the distance from cults... Like someone smart said: "2000 years of any day now..."

Friday, May 20, 2011

What Are Your Plans For Tomorrow?

May 21st is almost here, but the real question for tomorrow is "which local party to pick: The Best Damned Party, or The Left Behind Party?"...

If you want your daily dose of news high tomorrow, make sure you check for the latest unusual and violent weather, and the Unites States Geological Survey for earthquake activity.

Have a great Saturday... let's wait for 2012.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The End of the World: A Better Perspective

Here is a much better take on the upcoming "end of the world" from Richard Dawkins:
However it happens, the end of the world will be a parochial little affair, unnoticed in the universe at large. The end of the universe itself is a matter of current debate among physicists, a debate that I recommend as providing a salutary, long-term, humbling perspective on human preoccupations and follies.
More: Science explains the end of the world

I tend to agree with Dawkins. We are probably on the way to do away with ourselves nicely, as we have more and more power in our hands, with less and less reason to guide us. Let's hope he's wrong on this one.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pack Your Bags: The End Is Near

Hooray! This "no-good", sinful, third rock from the Sun, is about to be done with!
The end is almost here. As a matter of fact, it's only a bit more than a week away: the World will end on May 21st (or at least it will begin to end). This is what a bunch of real nutcases from the Family Radio claim.
They even got a story on CNN (Road trip to 'doomsday') and MSNBC (Billboards Announcing Doomsday Pop Up On Triad Highways).
The reasons for this date are "convincing":
1. Exactly 7000 years from Noah's Flood (May 21, 4999 BC). I wonder if they took all the calendar changes into consideration?
2. Some really weird anniversary of Creation. Play with the numbers enough and you can get any date you wish for.
3. Even more elaborate math connected to Jesus' death (April 1st??? Really???).
Info above from: Why the world might end next Saturday (

I guess it's time to pack our bags... If I don't blog after May 21, you know were I am... otherwise we'll all continue to have fun (for another six months at least).

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Power of Good Science Reporting

A couple of years ago Chicago Tribune science reporter Trine Tsouderos published an excellent article titled "'Miracle drug' called junk science". Without going into details (read the article, it's excellent), it profiled a duo of "doctors" (Mark Geier and his son David), who went into business of treating autism with a very dangerous and unproven therapy. In a nutshell, it was an example of multi-million dollar businesses built around the "autism community", which feed on mis-information, rumors and unscientific notions about autism's causes and its treatments.
It's good to see when excellent science reporting pays off and helps bring down another source of bad medicine, this one having potential to cause real harm to children. As Chicago Tribune is reporting now, Dr. Mark Geier has had his medical license suspended.
We can only hope that this will send a clear message, not so much to the purveyors of such nonsense (they will always try to make a quick profit), but to the parents, who would be better off pursuing real and proven therapies, instead of wasting their precious resources on stuffing someone's pockets.