Skepticism

Skepchick Quickies, 6.17

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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30 Comments

  1. @Vengeful Harridan (Elexina): Certainly!

    Anyway, regarding the book burning article:

    “The word ‘f*****’ is very derogatory and slanderous to all males,” the suit continues. “Using the word ‘N*****’ is dangerously offensive, disrespectful to all people. These words can permeate violence.”

    Well, at least we now know how they feel about Huckleberry Finn.

  2. What bugs me about Zicam is that it gained automatic FDA approval by passing itself off as a homeopathic remedy. It’s not, though, not in any real sense. It contains significant levels of zinc gluconate and zinc acetate: 1X and 2X potency respectively, which translates to 10% and 1%, if I’m reading the info correctly. This seems to be contrary to the whole homeopathic concept.

    On the other hand, is sounds like anything can be classified homeopathic if the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention says so. In theory, you could mix 1 ml of anything with 10 ml of water, call it a 1X potency and sell it as such, provided you could get it listed in Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia.

  3. The title of the novel burning article seems totally inaccurate given the story is about some old church biddies suing a library because they had their sensibilities offended by a book containing some stuff they found hard to swallow.

  4. I didn’t even know there was a Christian Civil Rights Union. Does someone actually stand up in court and say “Your denying our civil rights buy not letting us deny theirs”.

  5. “The word ‘faggot’ is very derogatory and slanderous to all males,” the suit continues.

    I’m actually pretty sure that it’s only really derogatory to a specific subset of males. But I suppose that — and, apparently, context — doesn’t matter.

    Their suit says that “the plaintiffs, all of whom are elderly, claim their mental and emotional well-being was damaged by this book at the library”

    And how dare that library force those people to read that book, simply by making it available to the public! Or maybe they tricked them, cleverly disguising it as a “young adult” novel which, as everyone knows, has elderly people as its target demographic. Or was it the mere presence of the book that caused this horrific damage?

  6. @Steve: “What bugs me about Zicam is that it gained automatic FDA approval by passing itself off as a homeopathic remedy.”

    Well it’s not so much approval because the products don’t have approval. The homeopathy lobby got a bill passed that said the FDA was basically not allowed to touch a non-pharmaceutical until it has a sufficient amount of complaints and then it’s up to the FDA to prove that the product is too dangerous.

    Of course this not only means that a HUGE segment of products in your local drug store aren’t even tested for quality let alone whether the product actually works or is safe. Almost everything that is sold as a “supplement” homeopathic or not, has no regulation. Added to that it takes forever for the FDA to get a dangerous product off the market. Which is why it has taken a ridiculous ten years for Zicam and how many people had to die before ephedrine was yanked?

  7. Can I start requiring people to compensate me for exposing me to things that I dislike or disagree with even if I’m not in any way forced to take part in it? If so, I want a billion dollars from every disco artist ever.

  8. Also… I’m totally crushing on Alan Alda. I watched M*A*S*H when I was a kid with my dad and loved him then… now I find out he’s all nerdy and intelligent which totally makes him that much better.

  9. @Steve: It contains significant levels of zinc gluconate and zinc acetate

    So, is there anything to the claim I read years ago that Zinc ions (I forget which valency) are effective in treating the common cold? Allegedly, the ions cling to the cold virus and it is no longer able to pass through whatever “keyhole” in cell membranes normally gives it such easy access to our cells’ replication facilities.

    This is of course orthogonal to the issue of whether or not smearing zinc gel inside your nostrils destroys your sense of smell. And I agree that any treatment that contains active ingredients shouldn’t qualify as “homeopathic” by definition.

  10. The problem with Zicam is that everyone falls for the appeal to nature fallacy. Even the FDA assumed that natural products just can’t be harmful. Everyone always forgets about poisonous mushrooms and various addictive drugs. Nature has no intention to serve humans, and it’s wrong to assume that natural is always safer or healthier. The FDA should know better.

  11. I just tried to find the Christian Civil Liberties Union on the web and funny thing: they don’t even have a web site. (If they do, please correct me.) I guess they’re as technologically retarded as they are morally.

  12. @catgirl: “Even the FDA assumed that natural products just can’t be harmful. … The FDA should know better.”

    It wasn’t the FDA, it was the Senate and House of Representatives. Homeopathic and other supplement companies lobbied the government to take the FDA’s right of oversight for these products away and they got what they wanted.

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