Nassim Taleb defends homeopathy (and calls me “very stupid” for criticizing him)


The statistician and risk analyst, who rose to prominence with his 2007 book The Black Swan, has a history of sticking up for junk science, but has crossed a Rubicon with his latest set of tweets, in which he defended homeopathy as harmless placebos that divert hypochondriacs from taking too many real pharmaceutical products. Read the rest

Victoria's Secret's "floral, fruity" perfume almost matches DEET as a mosquito repellent


Floral/fruity scents have long been characterized as attractive to mosquitoes, so it's natural that New Mexico State’s Molecular Vector Physiology Lab researcher Stacy Rodriguez tested a floral/fruity perfume against DEET in a lab trial. Read the rest

Antioxidants protect cancer cells, help tumors to spread


The largely unregulated supplement industry sells a variety of weird and sometimes dangerous stuff that it wink-nudge promises will cure what ails you, but even the most accurately labeled, evidence-based supplements can make sick people much, much sicker. Read the rest

FBI agent faces discipline for alleged polygraph countermeasures


The unnamed career FBI agent could lose their job for allegedly gaming the widely discredited, unscientific polygraph tests that are the US government's equivalent to witch-ducking stools. Read the rest

Pre-crime: DHS admits that it puts people on the no-fly list based on "predictive assessment"

A DoJ filing in an ACLU lawsuit in Oregon admits that you can be put on a no-fly list based on "predictive assessments about potential threats," as opposed to threatening or dangerous things you've actually said or done. 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

University of Toronto upholds "alternative medicine" course that denied vaccines, taught "quantum medicine"

The course was taught under the Anthropology department by "homeopath" Beth Landau-Halpern, who is married to the dean of the Scarborough campus, and who had been previously caught on hidden camera selling sugar pills to parents and calling them "vaccine alternatives." Read the rest

FDA & FTC mull homeopathy's future

Both the UK and Australian governments have issued reports describing homeopathy as bunk, and now the US Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission are holding hearings on the regulation of high-priced sugar-pills. Read the rest

Lifting the lid on Scientology's fatally woo version of rehab

Michael from Muckrock sez, "Scientology-linked Narcanon (not to be confused with Narcotics Anonymous) has a murky history of putting vitamins and exercise over science and medical detox practices." Read the rest

TSA trained Disney World's plainclothes in its voodoo "terrorism detection" methods

SPOT, the TSA's billion dollar "behavioral detection" mind-reading program, is now apparently in use at Walt Disney World, Seaworld and other Florida attractions. 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

DRM for woo: "light therapy" mask's LED only works 30 times

The Illumask LEDs only fire for 30 15-minute sessions, despite being rated for 30,000 hours, thanks to a patented system. Read the rest

UK Tory MP says astrology would improve NHS health outcomes

David Tredinnick, the Tory MP for Bosworth, Leicestershire, claims that astrology could improve health outcomes for the NHS, is bitter that he had to pay parliament back £755 for his expensed astrology software, says he helps other MPs with astrological advice, and says astrology skeptics are "racially prejudiced." (via /.) Read the rest

I Think You'll Find It's a Bit More Complicated Than That

Over the past decade, pharma-fighting Dr Ben Goldacre has written more than 500,000 words of fearlessly combative science journalism.

Detoxing is bullshit

It's true that people with substance abuse problems can "detox" when they get clean, but the kind of "detoxing" offered by stuff in the grocery store or pharmacy has no basis in science and is just a scammy way to scare you into opening your wallet (the companies that sell "detox" can't even say what "toxins" they're getting rid of). Read the rest

Roca Labs sends abusive, unwarranted DMCA notices to banish negative reviews

What do you do if you sell a product on terms that legally bind your customers not to complain and they complain anyway? Pretend that the DMCA gives you the right to censor search results. Read the rest

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