Open The Windows, Let In The Noise
It’s spring. The weather is finally nice enough to open the windows and air out the house. Of course, the weather is also nice enough to draw out all the noise makers in the neighborhood. It’s a familiar complaint.
This spring has brought out a neighbor with one of those muscle cars. And it’s rather loud.
Pseudoscience And The Paranormal Have Lost Two Proponents
Stanton Friedman, an actual scientist, believed the earth is being visited by extraterrestrials. He was able to convince himself this rather unlikely prospect was possible. He was also responsible for bringing the mundane incident of a crash high-altitude balloon near a small town in New Mexico back to prominence, making Roswell the legend it is today.
Lorraine Warren was half of a paranormal investigative team. Along with her husband Ed (I think I called him Earl on the show), Lorraine would monger mysteries of haunted houses and other similar phenomena. They never solved any of the mysteries they investigated. They would just confirm that there was a ghost or spirit or whatever hanging around.
Well, Friedman and Warren died recently. Friedman just this past week and Warren last month. It’s sad news no matter whether I believed what they believed or not.
Someone Is Wrong On The Internet. Again.
One of my self-assigned tasks as a skeptic is to provide accurate information whenever someone shares misleading or lying memes on Facebook. I’m not alone, thankfully. I talked about a high school classmate who also does what they can to set the record straight.
I gave three examples of memes being shared that are lies. One related to covers of Time magazine and the “flip flop” of scientists from global cooling to global warming. The other two were related in their Islamophobia in claiming the little girls shown in the photos were pregnant. Pregnancies that were the results of Muslim men marrying little girls.
Well, the global cooling cover of Time is a lie. It didn’t exist. And the two little girls aren’t pregnant. They have a medical condition which caused their livers and spleens to enlarge.
And I’m finding the child bride tradition in Islam isn’t quite what it seems. According to Wikipedia, the marriages are permitted, but the wife is not allowed to live with the husband until she has reached an age when she is fit for martial relations (I’m pretty sure that means sex.)
Regardless, people need to take time to vet memes they are tempted to share on social media. The first question they must answer before clicking share is – Is this true?
Many people don’t do that. This is why a skeptic’s task is never completed.
Oh, I brought up a John Oliver expose of televangelists. Here is where you can watch that excellent bit.
No, Virginia, Pat Robertson Hasn’t Become Pro-Choice
This article has been popping up on Facebook with comments of how shocking it that televangelist Pat Robertson thinks Alabama’s new anti-abortion law is “extreme” and “goes too far.” The comments make me think that people aren’t taking the time to read the article, they just read the headline. The headline is misleadingly. It does give the whole story and it gives the impression Robertson has had a change of heart on abortion.
Robertson hasn’t become Pro-Choice. He still wants abortions to be illegal. He just realizes that the Alabama law would be very unlikely to be upheld by the US Supreme Court. He thinks a less Draconian anti-abortion law would stand a better chance of being upheld effectively overturning Roe V. Wade.
People! People! Please, read the article before commenting!
A Deeper Dive Into Care/Of’s Personalized Vitamin Pack Service
I had talked about this before, but I decided to look deeper into the Care/Of online vitamin supplement supplier. I was always doubtful their online “quiz” was the best way to determine if someone is deficient in some vitamin. No exam by an actual doctor? No blood screening?
I took the “quiz”. Well, not only do they sell vitamins, but they also sell herbal remedies. Right. Hmm. They appealed to antiquity by touting ancient traditional Indian and Chinese medicine. I’m pretty sure all of that traditional medicine has been tested by science. The stuff that worked became medicine.
They also have experts helping them. The experts include a “doctor” of naturopathy and a medical doctor who promotes integrative medicine. Integrative medicine is the combining of actual medicine (science based and shown to work) with magic (Reiki, aromatherapy, acupuncture, etc.). So, when the actual medicine works, the promoters of magic can claim the magic worked.
Save your money.
One Creepy Thing
The parody ad you see above (on right) was on the back cover of an issue of Mad magazine from 1958. It parodies the Miss Clairol ad campaign (above on left) suggesting their hair color products were so good you couldn’t tell if she colored her hair. Only her hair dresser would know.
But with the number of incidences over the past several years of female teachers having sexual relations with their students, the satire of the ad is less funny and more creepy. Don’t you think?
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