Skepticism

Skepchick Quickies, 3.30

Jen

Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. Masala Skeptic, Tim Farley, and I got to meet and chat with Derek (the Jenny McCarthy Body Count guy) at an LA Skeptics meeting the night before the JREF cruise. He and the rest of that bunch are a lot of fun and have some great stories about combatting the Cali Wacky. I’m glad the site has gone up and seems to be getting a lot of attention.

    Jenny McCarthy is going to burst an implant when she sees that site.

  2. Bah! I can’t believe that stupid “Mysterious Disease” article actually lead with Morgellon’s, of all things.

    I remember that being mysterious for all of a week before somebody figured out the the BIZARRE AND UNEXPLAINABLE worm-like things were just textile fibers. Like the kind that people scratching at imaginary bugs under their skin would rub into abrasions (also caused by scratching at imaginary bugs under their skin).

  3. WTF? The author of the “10” Should be given a syringe full of “AIDS”, a “Mad Cow” Hamburger, and other helpings of these ailments. Then let’s see if his pronouncement of “Woo-POO POO” works. I don’t believe it..what’s sad is that any internet outlet would even allow this shite to be shown to the public. Its a slap in the face of scientists who are looking for proof that the legit…ailments can be relieved. To say no one knows is well as Penn and Teller (well not so much Teller) say
    Bulls&^###t

  4. Sleep-Typing…no..but I’ve done strange things in my sleep….like get pregnant. Don’t remember a thing. hmmm but then again…that could have just been a boring interaction.
    14 year old posting nude photos? Maybe she was also sleep walking and typing. That should be a level of defence.
    Ghosts? Oh come on Google…get real..
    Jenny? Why is this woman allowed to spread her poison? There should be a law against such ignorance that flies in the face of Scientific data.

  5. When I was a kid I used to watch re-runs of the twilight zone. A lot of those shows were set in the far flung futre of the 1990’s. The people of that glorious future wore metalic looking clothes, had flying cars and presonal heliocopters, video phones and travel the stars. Rod Serling forgot to mention the fact that we would be prosecuting kids who were caught playing doctor. Of course Rod didn’t have to put up with the Reagan revolution and all of the hypocrsy and stupidity that came with it.

  6. @Joshua:
    Same, I started screaming at my computer when I saw CFJ listed. It’s understood pretty damn well. Prions are not that complex, not really. There’s just the whole issue of destroying them without killing the patient. Somehow I don’t think people would be receptive to pouring sodium hydroxide into their brain.

  7. The poor girl. Our society is so messed up when it comes to sexuality that a 14-year old girl who naturaly is curious about her sexuality and wants to explore is charged with child pornography distribution? WTF? There’s a major difference between being stupid and posting pics of yourself than taking erotic pics of children. I’m so sick of all this victim-blaming :(

  8. @Gabrielbrawley: Its been an odd observation of mine that the irrational and extreme prude/perv laws are typically passed by the more liberal legislatures with the tacit support of conservatives. It is not a singularly conservative agenda by any means to want to identify people who commit minor indiscretions as life long RSO’s (registered sex offenders). And sometimes there is outright competition to see who can hate and punish “child abusers” more between liberals and conservatives. All the rational discussion about research into recidivism and what should realistically constitute child abuse or child pornography goes out the window when there’s an opportunity to pander to unthinking voters.

  9. now, 10 did leave out a few important details, like you catch mad cow from eating infected nerve tissue, not the meat. However, the moral that I got out of the story is these are all illnesses we really don’t know how to treat/prevent/cure. All these mentioned, all we can really do is try to attack the illness, but mostly just soften the symptons…unless I’m missing some crucial information.

  10. So a woman in outmoded clothes counts as a ghost now? I knew that standards for positive ghost identification were low, but not that low. What’s next? Men with facial hair will be called “werewolves”? Will they be pointing at Esther Williams as evidence that mermaids exist?

  11. @trumpetess: I have to agree here. Yes, it was stupid to post them to freaking Myspace (yet another sign I should just delete my account) for her boyfriend to see. If she wanted to get the “hey, I have boobies and a vajay-jay!” message across to him, she should have just e-mailed them or gone to his place and showed him in person. To classify her as a sex offender seems ludicrous to me. The only people she offended were the people looking at the pictures; she didn’t exploit anyone else in them. If she’s classified as such she’s going to have to go door-to-door wherever she lives in the future and tell her neighbors that she posted inappropriate pictures of herself on the Internet. That just seems silly to me. I know there’s an age difference, but online porn stars don’t have to do that. Indecent exposure seems like a more proper title for the dirty deed she committed.

  12. The teen, whose name has not been released because of her age, was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography.[…]If convicted of the distribution charge, she would be forced to register with the state as a sex offender […]. She also could face up to 17 years in jail, though such a stiff sentence is unlikely.

    “In other news, a mas was arrested after trying to commit suicide. He will be tried for attempted murder and, if found guilty, will be sentenced to death.”

  13. Hi there.

    I am totally blown away by the response to the Body Count website.

    I did a sneak preview for twitter/facebook followers Saturday night around 8PM and then the site went officially live around 6PM on Sunday. In the less than 48 hours of the site’s existence I have had over 30,000 hits, over 4,000 page views, and over 1,200 unique visitors.

    Holy crap. I seem to have touched a nerve.

    -Derek

  14. I often wonder how Megan Kanka would feel about all the laws that have her name stamped on them? The problem is, none of these laws differentiate between different types of sexual offenders. A person that urinates in public or flashes someone is treated the same as a repeat child rapist. It’s insane.

  15. The article on ‘Somnambulism in the Internet Age’ does appear to answer the question of where PZ gets most of his email from.

    @JSug : Megan’s mother commented on this case and said “”This shouldn’t fall under Megan’s Law in any way, shape or form … She should have an intervention and counseling, because the only person she exploited was herself.”

    @phlebas (“Jenny McCarthy is going to burst an implant when she sees that site.”) : COTW!

  16. Ah – thanks for sharing my pain with the stupid MSN article, folks.

    @infinitemonkey: – The lede on the main MSN.com page for this article was – “10 diseases your doctor can’t figure out”, and they used that horrible color-enhanced x-ray of the advanced arthritis patient. It was purely freak-show and alarmist nonsense.

    Yes, there are diseases that modern medicine hasn’t completely unlocked yet (and may never will). It’s the implication (present on every page of this article), that a disease is either something your doctor can write you a prescription for, or is apparently something that “stumps” them. As if they aren’t trained, diagnostic professionals and there aren’t huge labs dedicated to researching things like Avian Flu or Alzheimer’s.

    It’s not the concept of unpreventable or uncurable diseases (which skeptics like us understand, and are stumped on how you can lump AIDS and Morgellons in one list…and put Morgellons first and AIDS last), it’s the way in which MSN packaged them. It’s simply irresponsible medical reporting. Irritating to this child of a family that is deep into most branches of medical science (I’m the renegade as Geologist).

  17. @Skepotter: Preach the word, sibling.

    I’m not convinced that all material defined as child porn is child exploitation since I think people under 18 are capable of informed consent (consider Tracy Lords). But in particular to arrest and ruin the life of someone who has posted pictures of herself? I thought the point of illegalizing child porn was to protect its “victims,” not to turn them into victims.

  18. @phlebas:

    I posted it on my twitter and Facebook and then posted it on several of the skeptical forums: SGU, Skeptics Society, Randi, Skepticality, Bad Psychics, and CFI. I hadn’t planned to do a press release and now I’m pretty sure that I don’t have to.

    Masala said that once it was live that I might get asked to be on the Skepchick podcast (hint, hint) and I’m going to be talking to Phil Plait tonight about a SWIFT article about it.

    It’s a bit overwhelming. It is the most successful launch of one of my websites, and I’ve had some successful websites.

  19. @James Fox: You are probably right, its just that we had seemed to be stubling in a more or less progressive future and then the repulicans really learned how to play the race card without ever saying the n word and we lost 30 years. It depresses me when I think of where we could be and see where we are.

  20. @mrsepp: You may not be aware that in many jurisdictions “indecent exposure” is also grounds for registration as a sex offender. I guess the principle is that it is better to torment 999 harmless people for life than miss one genuine sexual predator.

  21. Hmmm … the top ten list of mysterious diseases includes CJD, which is well understood; AIDS, which has an entire subheading of excellent scientific literature all to itself; and schizophrenia, the organic and neurochemical manifestations of which have been extensively and productively researched, are “mysterious” diseases … and fibromyalgia doesn’t make the list.

    I think the author of that article was suffering the incomprehensible, but sadly anything but rare, condition known as “rectocranial inversion”.

  22. Once when I was 19 I sent some pictures to a girl (17) who I would end up dating for a few weeks, and only after she asked. When we broke up she accused me of being a pedophile and threatened to go to the police.
    Granted there are some very sick and depraved people out there who should be prosecuted for possession and distribution of Child Porn, but this poor girl certainly doesn’t sound like one of them. She should of had the common sense not to post them on MySpace, that’s basically an open invitation to creepy pedophile stalker folk, but in the end the only person who would of been hurt by this is the girl herself, and if she’s comfortable with her body good for her. It’s insane that this girl’s life could be absolutely ruined over something as trivial as naked photos. I think it’s ridiculous we live in a country where taking and posting naked photos of yourself could cause you to go to jail for nearly two decades.

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