Month: February 2024

Skeptics in the Pub. Cholera. Chapter 10b

A young woman was waiting at the pump. She introduced herself as Amy Blogg, an Illustrator for the River Weekly. She quickly let us know that she had been briefed by Mrs. Howitt. I demonstrated the workings of the microscope on a blade of grass and an ant. It was met with the usual expressions of amazement by first-timer users. If I...

/ February 24, 2024

The Great Barrington Declaration Wasn’t a Plan For Public Health Officials. It Was a List of Absurd Demands of Them.

The authors of the GBD advised and influenced many politicians at the highest level. They claim to have delineated many practical policies to protect the vulnerable, and they said it would’ve been possible, certainly. So an obvious question emerges. Why didn’t they protect the vulnerable?

/ February 23, 2024

Pesticide in Oat Products – Should You Worry?

You know the rule about headlines - if there is a question in a headline the answer is almost always "no". This article is no exception.

/ February 21, 2024

More Unneeded Adjectives

This is going to be a mostly reference free blog entry. Mostly a rambling opinion about my biases and opinions about science. And you know what they say about opinions. I seem to fret an inordinate amount about adjectives. So often they do not belong in front of the nouns found here at the blog. I remain a touch annoyed at the...

/ February 20, 2024
Whole body MRI

False balance in an NBC news story on whole body MRI scans

Over the weekend, NBC News aired a story on whole body MRI scans. Although it did include the usual cautions about false positives and the harm they cause, the caution was diluted by the story's focus a rare case of a woman who had a brain tumor detected. Overall, it was false balance that reminded me of vaccine/autism stories 20 years ago.

/ February 19, 2024

Science Based Satire: Sure, COVID Is Killing 1,500 Americans Per Week, But I Saw a Stranger Wearing a Mask…OUTSIDE!

We shouldn't "give a shit" about COVID. Instead, we should care deeply about strangers who still "give a shit" about COVID. They need to be publicly mocked and shamed over and over again.

/ February 18, 2024

Skeptics in the Pub: Cholera. Chapter 10a

When I woke up the next morning, I went for my usual tea and scone. Then I caught the trolley to work. When it reached the far side of the Steel Bridge, I hopped off. I took the steps down to the lower level and took the narrow walking path back across the river. I saw no one get off the trolley...

/ February 17, 2024

Music for Reducing Pain in Newborns

Newborns are exposed to painful procedures for good reason every day. Treating pain is important in this population, and music might play a role. At least it definitely won't hurt.

/ February 16, 2024

Adios Aduhelm

The controversial and never-proven-effective drug to treat Alzheimer's disease, aducanumab (Aduhelm) has been discontinued.

/ February 15, 2024

Mayo Clinic Promotes Reiki

The Mayo Clinic is a prestigious medical institution with a deserved international reputation. It also promotes rank pseudoscience. It does this, apparently, for all the reasons we have explored here at SBM over the years. I have seen first hand how one or a few true believers can promote so-called alternative medicine at their institutions, meeting little resistance from colleagues and administrators...

/ February 14, 2024