Posted by mattusmaximus on February 4, 2012
I found this image via a skeptical Facebook friend, and it just screams “skeptical teacher”! I’m just jealous that I didn’t think of it first :)
Three words: FOR THE WIN!!!
Image source: Reddit
The solutions (pardon the pun) to these questions reveals one glaring fact: homeopathy, there’s nothing in it, except water.
**Update (2/5/12): For those interested, I have calculated the actual answers to these questions. Contact me if you would like to see the math; here are the answers:
a) 3.46 x 10^21 or 3,460,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms
b) 3.46 x 10^15 or 3,460,000,000,000,000 atoms
c) 3.46 x 10^-39 or 0.000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 00346 atoms (a number so stupidly small we can safely say that there are effectively NO arsenic atoms remaining within the solution!)
Posted in education, medical woo | Tagged: alt-med, alternative medicine, chemistry, class, dilution, homeopathy, homework, physics, question, Reddit, skeptic, solution, teacher, teaching, woo | 6 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on November 2, 2011
In the way that only XKCD can, a very cogent point is made regarding homeopathy. Recall the specific claim that homeopathy proponents make regarding their “solutions” basically containing no active ingredients, then read this comic…
In case you don’t click the link, mousing-over the XKCD graphic on their page reveals the following text:
“I just noticed CVS has started stocking homeopathic pills on the same shelves with–and labeled similarly to–their actual medicine. Telling someone who trusts you that you’re giving them medicine, when you know you’re not, because you want their money, isn’t just lying–it’s like an example you’d make up if you had to illustrate for a child why lying is wrong.”
Well said, XKCD. Bravo :)
Posted in humor, medical woo | Tagged: alt-med, alternative literature, alternative medicine, altmed, CAM, CVS, dilution, homeopathic, homeopathy, humor, internet, medicine, pharmacy, pills, sCAM, solution, web comic, xkcd, xkcd.com | 4 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on February 26, 2011
As a follow-up to the successful 10:23 Campaign: “Homeopathy: There’s Nothing In It!”, I wanted to share with you all an excellent video challenge from skeptic James Randi, who is laying down the gauntlet to homeopathy manufacturers and pharmacies that sell this scam “medicine”…
In addition, please consider taking a few minutes to go over to Change.org and sign the petition which encourages these manufacturers & pharmacies to come clean to the public about these bogus products…
Posted in medical woo | Tagged: 10 23 Campaign, 10:23, 2011, alternative medicine, CAM, challenge, complementary medicine, dilution, homeopathy, Homeopathy There's Nothing in it, James Randi, James Randi Educational Foundation, JREF, law of infinitesimals, law of similars, Little Sugar Pills, magic, manufacturers, medicine, pharmacies, pharmacy, potency, quackery, Randi, remedies, remedy, sCAM, skeptical activism, sleeping pills, solution, suicide, treatment, woo, Ziztur | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on February 3, 2011
You may recall that about one year ago there was a very widespread and public examination of the pseudoscience of homeopathy in what was billed as the 10:23 Challenge – read more about how homeopathy failed to kill anyone via “suicidal overdose” at that event. In keeping with the spirit of grassroots skeptical activism, the 10:23 Challenge is back for 2011, and it’s taking place this Saturday, Feb. 5th. Check out the 10:23 website for more information…
The 10:23 Challenge is a follow-up to the ‘overdose’ protest staged by the 10:23 Campaign in 2010. International protesters from more than 10 countries, and more than 23 cities will gather for over the weekend of February 5-6 2011, to make the simple statement: Homeopathy – There’s Nothing In It.
The challenge will culminate on February 6th at the QED conference in Manchester, where 300 protesters will participate the largest ever single demonstration against homeopathy.
**Update: As a follow up message, I’d like to share with you a Youtube video by my skeptical colleague from Down Under, Kylie Sturgess…
Posted in medical woo | Tagged: 10 23 Campaign, 10:23, 2011, alternative medicine, CAM, complementary medicine, dilution, homeopathy, Homeopathy There's Nothing in it, law of infinitesimals, law of similars, Little Sugar Pills, magic, medicine, potency, quackery, remedies, remedy, sCAM, skeptical activism, sleeping pills, solution, suicide, treatment, woo, Ziztur | 2 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on January 18, 2011
I just received this from a friend, and I had to share it. Skeptic Dr. Ben Goldacre expresses, with humor and verve, why it is that science is, as he puts it, “8 million metric f**k-tons more interesting than any flaky made-up facts reported by some flaky, New Age, pill-peddling quack!” :)
Posted in humor, medical woo, scientific method | Tagged: alt-med, alternative medicine, bad science, Ben Goldacre, CAM, comic, funny, homeopathy, humor, medicine, Nerdstock, New Age, nocebo, placebo, pseudoscience, sCAM, science | 1 Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on July 13, 2010
In a brief, but hilarious, bit of skeptical humor, the famous online comic XKCD chimes in on the pseudoscientific topic of homeopathy :)
Posted in humor, medical woo | Tagged: alt-med, alternative medicine, CAM, comic, funny, homeopathy, humor, internet, pseudoscience, sCAM, xkcd, xkcd.com | 1 Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on April 30, 2010
**Addendum (4/2/10): Jen McCreight, the creator of Boobquake, has a series of great follow-up posts regarding Boobquake, the science behind earthquakes, and related feminist topics. Check them out…
This past Monday, April 26th, marked the first Boobquake – which was a light-hearted attempt to poke some fun at an Islamic cleric’s utterly hateful & stupid comments about promiscuous women somehow causing… earthquakes. Let’s see how it went…
Here is some video footage courtesy of Phil over at Skeptic Money :)
CNN: Boobquake Rocks Web
Boobquake on the Colbert Report
Posted in humor, skeptical community | Tagged: activism, Blag Hag, boobquake, boobs, breasts, cleric, CNN, Colbert Report, earthquakes, homeopathy, humor, immodesty, Iran, Islam, Jen McCreight, mullah, Muslim, promiscuity, Sedighi, skepticism, superstition, tits | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on April 24, 2010
I wanted to pass along a hilarious & fun example of skeptical activism that I stumbled upon a couple of days ago: Boobquake!!! If you recall, you may have heard that earlier this week, an Iranian cleric declared that women’s “immodesty” and promiscuity was to blame for recent earthquakes that have struck various parts of the world. I cannot even think of a non-vulgar response to such blatantly superstitious, misogynstic idiocy, but fortunately I don’t have to – that’s where Jen McCreight over at Blag Hag comes in :)
This little bit of supernatural thinking has been floating around the blogosphere today:
“Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes,” Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media. Sedighi is Tehran’s acting Friday prayer leader.I have a modest proposal.
Sedighi claims that not dressing modestly causes earthquakes. If so, we should be able to test this claim scientifically. You all remember the homeopathy overdose?
Time for a Boobquake.
On Monday, April 26th, I will wear the most cleavage-showing shirt I own. Yes, the one usually reserved for a night on the town. I encourage other female skeptics to join me and embrace the supposed supernatural power of their breasts. Or short shorts, if that’s your preferred form of immodesty. With the power of our scandalous bodies combined, we should surely produce an earthquake. If not, I’m sure Sedighi can come up with a rational explanation for why the ground didn’t rumble. And if we really get through to him, maybe it’ll be one involving plate tectonics.
So, who’s with me? I may be a D cup, but that will probably only produce a slight tremor on its own. If you’ll be joining me on twitter, use the tag #boobquake! Or join the facebook event!
Posted in humor, skeptical community | Tagged: activism, Blag Hag, boobquake, boobs, breasts, cleric, earthquakes, homeopathy, humor, immodesty, Iran, Islam, Jen McCreight, mullah, Muslim, promiscuity, Sedighi, skepticism, superstition, tits | 3 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on April 23, 2010
Welcome students! Now that we’re all gathered we can start this biweekly lesson on all things skeptical, paranormal, pseudoscientific, and just plain nutty. I want to thank you all for allowing me, the Skeptical Teacher, to present these lessons on behalf of my skeptical colleagues. It’s quite a long class, and I know there are other demands upon your time (the weekend is coming, after all), so let’s get started… notebooks & pencils out, please. Pay careful attention, because you never know when or where what you learn in Skeptic’s Class will turn out to be useful :)
First off, since I am a teacher & I’m into all that education stuff, I want to let everyone know about a new organization dedicated to providing skeptical outreach & education to women, the Women Thinking Free Foundation (or WTF Foundation ;) ). I’m totally promoting this new organization not just because I’m a professional science educator who is interested in seeing more young women become interested in science & skepticism, but also because I happen to be on the WTFF board of directors (so promotion is, like, part of the job description). Here’s more info about the WTFF…
Our goal as an organization is to bring science, skepticism and critical thinking to the women of the Midwest. We’re planning some great events, campaigns and outreach programs to help provide women with the tools to fight pseudoscience.
Our next lesson comes from Phil over at Skeptic Money, where he puts a new, modern twist on The Last Supper – he calls it Last Supper With Scientists, where rather than revering various religious figures from Christianity one can bask in the imagery of famous scientists both past & present who have made arguably greater contributions to humanity than most religious figures. Can you guess who they are without peeking at Phil’s blog for the answers?…
Our next lesson comes from Down Under… Kylie at the well-known Podblack Cat blog has decided to share a few tidbits with us. First, there’s her list of skeptical Podblack Finds For 18th April 2010 – which include, among other things, a controversy over something called “Clitoraid” (sounds sexy), a tutorial on scientific skepticism, and superstitions about the money spider. Her second post is a very interesting take on a subject I’ve never seen addressed before – the issue of Deafness and Skepticism. Check it out!
The 360 Degree Skeptic then follows with a lesson that is of interest to many a skeptic, the question of Biblical fallibility, which is outlined in his post on Biblical Claims and Science. In a post that examines a more contemporary issue, he then goes on to explore the question of self-esteem as related to race and how “we would be wise to heed the quiet” of the neglected null in various forms of psychology research.
Next, Dr. Martin Rundkvist publishes a book review for us on how a U.S. sociologist travels to Denmark to study the Scandinavian view on religion and discovers that they pretty much don’t care about it, displaying a marked contrast to how the issue is often addressed (by both the religious & non-religious) in other parts of the world. The book is by Phil Zuckerman and is titled “Society Without God”, and Dr. Rundkvist’s comments can be read here.
Following that we have a few posts addressing a variety of medical woo, specifically a pair of posts on that skeptics’ favorite – homeopathy (one from Skeptics North and another from Science-Based Pharmacy). The folks at Skeptics North take on a popular homeopathic “remedy” called Traumeel while over at SBP they address the question of Homeopathy and Consumer Protection. In addition, the SBP takes some time to examine some… interesting claims regarding whether or not green tea & chili peppers can burn fat.
Our next guest is new to both blogging and the Skeptic’s Circle! Please welcome the librarian from the Labyrinthine Library, who is talking today about how recent earthquakes, volcanoes, and other assorted natural disasters are not evidence for The End of the World. In addition to referencing some nice earth science, the librarian also does a cool historical analysis on the topic and concludes – surprise! – there is nothing to fear.
Last, but not least, over at the Stuff and Nonsense blog we have a very informative post regarding how some doctors are continuing to push various forms of anti-vaccination woo. Some of these woo-ish arguments are new to me, so if battling anti-vax is something that interests you, head on over to read all about it.
Well, that’s all for now, thanks for attending. I hope you took good notes, because there’s going to be a quiz! Yes, I know I didn’t tell you that ahead of time, but you – as a dedicated student of skepticism – should be prepared to stand up for science & rationality at any time, announced or not.
See you in a couple of weeks, on May 6th, for the next class over at 360 Degree Skeptic! :)
Posted in skeptical community | Tagged: 360 Degree Skeptic, anti-vaccination, Bible, blog carnival, blogs, chili peppers, Circular Reasoning, Clitoraid, deafness, Denmark, diet, doomsday, education, end of the world, fat, green tea, homeopathy, internet, Labyrinthine Library, Last Supper, money spider, neglected null, Orac, Podblack Cat, race, religion, Scandinavia, science, Science Based Pharmacy, self esteem, skeptic, Skeptic Money, skeptical community, Skeptical Teacher, skepticism, Skeptics North, Society Without God, Stuff and Nonsense, teacher, The Skeptics Circle, vaccines, Women Thinking Free Foundation, WTFF | 5 Comments »