Travel tip: don't throw coins into your plane's engine "for blessings"

A China Southern Airlines Flight from Shanghai to Guangzhou was delayed for five hours while maintenance workers fished nine coins out of the engine, whence they had been flung "for blessings" by an "elderly passenger" from the boarding ramp, as she was brought onto the plane by her husband, daughter and son-in-law. Read the rest

A non-scientist's guide to reading scientific papers

Jennifer Raff -- a bioanthropologist and geneticist who researches and teaches at U Kansas and U Texas -- provides some excellent advice and context on how to read a scientific paper, from figuring out which papers and journals are worthy of your attention to understanding the paper in its wider context in the relevant field. Read the rest

Crowdfunding a pro-vaccination bus to follow the anti-vaxxer bus

Jack writes, "Craig Egan has been a thorn in the side of the anti-vaccination movement for years. Now he's taking that passion for truth and facts on the road, following the Anti-Vaccination people in the Vaxxed bus. He's crowdfunding the tour and donating excess proceeds to a pro-Vaccination charity." Read the rest

A Chinese vitamin MLM cult is replacing healthcare for poor Ugandans

Uganda is so poor that few can afford medical care, giving it one of the lowest life-expectancies on the planet -- this toxic combination made the country ripe for infiltration by Tiens, a Chinese Multi-Level-Marketing "nutritional supplements" cult whose members set up fake medical clinics that diagnose fake ailments and proscribe fake medicines, then rope patients into becoming cult recruiters who convince their friends to sign up for the cult. Read the rest

Juice is basically sugar-water

Fruit is good for you; fruit-juice is mostly sugar and water, and what's more, getting your calories from liquids does not invoke your satiety response meaning that you stay hungry even after consuming crazy amounts of calories. Read the rest

Your squeezing hands outperform this $400 IoT juicer

Juicero is a self-parodying high-tech juicing machine that raised millions in venture capital on the promise of delivering a highly calibrated squeeze to a pack of mulch sold in expensive, DRM-locked pouches, for a mere $400. Read the rest

The Army is using quack "battlefield acupuncture" based on junk science

The exciting field of "battlefield acupuncture" involves training soldiers and medics to perform what amounts to a "theatrical placebo" involving jamming glorified thumbtacks into fellow soldiers' ears and leaving them there until they fall out. Read the rest

The CPAC replacement speaker for Milo Yiannopoulos was a notorious Japanese cult-member

After his awkward endorsement of pedophilia disqualified Milo Yiannopoulos to be the hard right's token gay pal, CPAC needed a new speaker to fill his slot their conference, and the guy they chose was Jikido 'Jay' Aeba, a member of the notorious Japanese "Happy Science" cult, who helped the religion extrude a tendril into the political realm by founding the Happiness Realization Party. Read the rest

"Cruelty free" Italian snail-farming booms thanks to caviar and slime-cosmetics

The Italian snail-farming industry has grown by more than 325% over 20 years, driven by a boom in eating snail-egg "caviar" and snail-slime-based cosmetics (which have little-to-no scientific basis) -- slime sales are up 46% over the past ten months. Read the rest

Even the woo industry thinks Gwyneth Paltrow's "smoothie dust" ads are too much

Gwyneth Paltrow is patient zero in many epidemics of terrible health ideas (remember the time she told women to steam their vaginas, a practice that can lead to burns [duh] and bacterial imbalances, and which provides none of the claimed benefits?) but finally, she and her lifestye site Goop have gone too far, prompting even the National Ad Division (the self-regulating arm of the unregulated "supplement" industry) to tell her knock it off. Read the rest

Explainer: how anecdotal evidence about alternative medicine can lead you astray

Jonathan Jarry's short video on the problems with anaecdotal evidence for "alternative medicine" is a powerful, easy-to-digest primer on the ways that confounding variables, survivor bias and regression to the mean can make stuff like reiki seem like it works, and how double-blind tests can uncover these problems and help us figure out what works and what doesn't -- especially important is the idea that "dead men tell no tales"; that is, no one who died because alternative medicine failed to help them will ever tell you how great it worked. (via Motherboard) Read the rest

Australian educational contractor warns of wifi, vaccination danger to "gifted" kids' "extra neurological connections"

Wise Ones, an Australian "gifted" education programme offers students who test into it vaccination exemption forms, and advises them to avoid wifi, because they say that "gifted children" have "extra neurological connections" that make them vulnerable to "extra sensitivities to food or chemicals." Read the rest

Fruit comparison made simple

Compare Fruits is your one-stop shop for comparing fruit. Whether you are comparing bananas with plantains, lemons with limes, or, indeed, apples with oranges, it has all you need for your fruit-comparison needs. (Warning: nutritional woo, but no worse than gadget spec woo) [via] Read the rest

Family of teen raising money to rescue her from pray-the-gay-away "boarding school"

When Sarah, a 17 year old in Texas, decided to take her girlfriend to the prom, her parents forced her into an "East Texas Christian boarding facility for troubled teens" from which she has repeatedly attempted to escape. Read the rest

Color illustrations of 16th C eye-diseases, including those caused by witchcraft

16th century barber-surgeon Georg Bartisch began his barber-surgeon apprenticeship in 1548 in Saxony, and three years later, became an itinerant barber-surgeon in Saxony, Silesia, and Bohemia. Read the rest

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

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

Big Vitamin bankrolls naturopaths' attempts to go legit and get public money

Backed by huge donations from vitamin companies, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians is pushing to get naturopathic medicine recognized and regulated in all 50 US states, paving the way to receiving public funds in the form of Medicare reimbursements. Read the rest

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