"Power Poses" are bullshit

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In 2010, three psychologists published a paper on "power poses", with their finding that people who adopted "power poses" -- think of superheroes on skyscrapers -- felt more powerful and took more risks. Read the rest

Aviation's war on moisture turns ten today

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Ten years ago, British domestic security claimed to have caught a terrorist cell that had planned to blow up airplanes with a gel they'd carry on in a Gatorade bottle and detonate with an Ipod. Read the rest

Flawed police drug-test kits, railroading prosecutors and racism: the police-stop-to-prison pipeline

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The $2 roadside drug-test kit is the go-to weapon of the War on Drugs, despite its incredibly high failure rate and the scientific consensus that the tests need to be validated in labs later; once you've had a random crumb of sandwich or aspirin identified as drugs by one of these kits, you're almost certain to plead guilty, thanks to the heavy-handed tacts of prosecutors and the disarray of public defenders, and then you're off for prison time and a lifetime as a felon. Read the rest

Company says facial features reveal terrorists and pedophiles 80% of the time

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Faception uses 15 secret classifiers of facial features to accuse subjects of terrorism and pedophilia, as well as predicting their poker abilities. Read the rest

Listen: podcast about the alleged "data" collected by wearable devices

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Rachel "Datapunk" Kalmar is a brilliant data scientist with a background in neuroscience, connected devices, sensors, and wearables. Read the rest

TSA Behavioral Detection Program's awful newsletter mocks travellers' worries

The bi-monthly BDO Newsletter serves America's Phightin' Phrenologists as they decide whose lives to screw with based on a $1 billion junk-science boondoggle. Read the rest

It's pretty darned easy to pull off a nutritional "science" hoax

John Bohannon teamed up with a German documentary crew to undertake a crappy junk-science study on the effects of bitter chocolate on weight loss, and managed to push their hoax to major media outlets all over the world -- here's how. Read the rest

Here's the TSA's stupid, secret list of behavioral terrorism tells

The ACLU is suing the TSA to get the details of its billion-dollar junk-science "behavioral detection" program, but in the meantime, here's the leaked 92-point checklist the TSA's psychic warriors use to spot bad guys. Read the rest

ACLU sues TSA to make it explain junk science "behavioral detection" program

The TSA refuses to explain how it spent $1B on a discredited "behavioral detection" program that led airport authoritarians to believe that when they racially profiled fliers, it was because they'd acquired the superpower of spotting guilty people through their "microexpressions." Read the rest

XKCD versus neurobollocks

In his latest strip, fMRI, Randall "XKCD" Munroe nails the problems with brain imaging studies that claim to have found the neuroanatomical link between certain kinds of thoughts and regions of the brain (see 2013's Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience for more). Read the rest

XKCD versus neurobollocks

In his latest strip, fMRI, Randall "XKCD" Munroe nails the problems with brain imaging studies that claim to have found the neuroanatomical link between certain kinds of thoughts and regions of the brain (see 2013's Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience for more). Read the rest

Secret recording of corporate lobbyist is a dirty-tricks playbook

Richard Berman -- called "Dr Evil" by both friends and enemies -- laid out the dirty tricks (PDF) needed to defeat environmental groups and labor activists to a Western Energy Alliance summit, and was so grossly offensive that one exec recorded him and leaked a transcript. Read the rest

British Airways' "Happiness Blanket" sensor detects the totally obvious

British Airways is trialling an in-flight sensor blanket called the "Happiness Blanket" to determine what makes first class passengers happy. Read the rest

TSA blows a billion bucks on unscientific "behavioral detection" program, reinvents phrenology

10 years and $900M later, the TSA's behavioral analysis program is a debacle. Here's the US Government Accountability Office on the program: "Ten years after the development of the SPOT program, TSA cannot demonstrate the effectiveness of its behavior detection activities. Until TSA can provide scientifically validated evidence demonstrating that behavioral indicators can be used to identify passengers who may pose threat to aviation security, the agency risks funding activities [that] have not been determined to be effective."

Basically, the TSA has spent a decade and nearly a billion dollars reinventing phrenology. I feel safer already. Read the rest

Sugar ad: your diet is depriving your kids of vital sugar!

Here's an undated ad from "Sugar Information, Inc" (our old friends), warning mothers that if they include their kids in their sugar-free, dieting lifestyles, they will be depriving the poor kiddlees of vital sugar and exposing them to "exhaustion." Obviously, this was before the cancer scares and other stuff about artificial sweeteners, because surely that's the major reason to keep your kids away from artificial sweeteners. I love the fact that they recommend sugar for dieters, too: "gives you the va-va-voom you need for all those exercises!"

Sugar! Read the rest