Skepchick Quickies 9.5

  • Just because? – The BBC has an article on correlation vs. causation.  I like the, “Higher ice cream sales do not lead to more shark attacks” analogy.  Thanks Steve.
  • Accupuncture for babies – Jessie sent in this disturbing article. “When Savannah was diagnosed with autism a few months ago, Mary turned to acupuncture, in addition to more traditional therapies, to see if it would help. She said since the treatment began 10 weeks ago, the results have been encouraging.” 
  • Could spy satellites identify us by our shadows? – Rav brings us the latest in conspiracy theory fodder.
  • Sam Harris on Sarah Palin -  Yes, I know we’re all sick to death of Sarah Palin already.  But I like this response to Sam Harris’ LA Times piece.  And for a dissenting opinion, here’s Penn’s article on CNN about how we need smaller government. 
  • Remember that lady who stole a sex ed book from her local library? – Well, she still hasn’t returned the book, despite a court order.  However, the library did receive many copies of said book from people around the country.  “In her closing arguments, Karkos accused the public library of contributing to an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases by disseminating prurient information.”  Even though the book explains STD’s and discusses the benefits of abstinence.


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. That lady is right! If you teach your children to look both ways before crossing the street and respect traffic lights, you are encouraging an epidemic of car accidents. “Just stay home” road safety education is the only sensible approach.

  2. I think I speak for everyone when I say that it’s quite obvious that satellite gait analysis is just a conspiracy to sell more umbrellas to less rain inclined countries.

  3. Does anybody else see a sneaky way to boost book sales. Write a mildly controversial childrens book, pay somebody a few bucks to steal it from the library, and cackle gleefully as other patrons buy copies to donate. Step 3, profit.

    In other news, my new book “Daddy Is A Leather Bear” has just been fast-tracked.

  4. Hey, let’s not be too quick to judge, lets look at the results of abstinence only education. It has been so effective that teenage unwed pregnancy among the population of daughter of Alaskan republican VP nominees is only 20%. That is an 80% success rate. That is nearly as good as the 97% success rate among comprehensive sex education programs. Actually the success rate of abstinence only education has been able to achieve success rates of almost 30% among the general population.

  5. @Gabrielbrawley:

    It has been so effective that teenage unwed pregnancy among the population of daughter of Alaskan republican VP nominees is only 20%.

    I am reading that right? One out of every five Alaskan teenaged girls gets pregnant? You know, there is a word for that:


  6. Andres,

    What I was trying to say was that one out of every five children of Sarah Palin gets pregnant. I was being snarky.

  7. In the comments section, someone says that the city chose not to pursue the woman that won’t return the book. I guess it makes sense as it probably wasn’t worth the cost of the book to chase after her, but it’s disappointing too.

  8. @Gabrielbrawley: I see. Look like it’s my snark detector that’s failing today.

    But seeing how only two of the five children of Sarah Palin are the right age and gender to get pregnant, I’d say the success rate is rather 50%. Why yes, I’d trust my hypotethical children’s sex education to a coin toss any day.

  9. you would be amazed at how young girls can be when they get pregnant. I know of a couple of 10 year olds here where I live. and of course the Palin boy children could have knocked some girls up that we don’t know about.

  10. @genoboost: So now umbrellas will be the new fashion accessory of the tinfoil hat wearing crowd.

    @bnhl: I agree. But then, since the woman wants to be martyred, better to not give her the satisfaction.

  11. I have a quick question for the Skepchick community. (It’s completely irrelevant to today’s news, I’m sorry.)

    I saw this a few weeks ago, put it on my mental list of things to look at when I have free time, and then forgot where I saw the link. I’m looking for the link to some site that generates cartoon-ish avatars for you. Now, I think I saw this posted here some weeks ago, but I might be wrong. Does anybody have any ideas, or remember what I’m referring to? You’re tres awesome, if you can remember for me :)

  12. @enochthered: check out http://www.gravatar.com to add a picture to your comments.

    @Amanda: Today’s million dollar idea: Tin-Foil Umbrellas – “some people say” it protects against alien mind control rays, rain, government spy satellites, emf waves. Less effective against lightening.

    And for everyone else (especially Gabriel), I was going to get off my lazy butt and look up some of the studies on the effectiveness of Abstinence Only Sex Education, but I’m hoping that one of you guys has already done the work and I can get back to my nap. Any links? Anyone..anyone..Buehler…(AHHHH! Ben Stein is in my head! Where’s my tin-foil umbrella?)

  13. durnett,

    No, don’t trust my numbers, I was in total snark mode and was making this stuff up. I have read studies that suggest that abstinence only is very ineffective and may actually be worse than no education. Apparently the kids who are willing to stand up and take the “pledge” to be abstinenent until marriage have a fail rate of over than 70% but that is from memory.

  14. Gabriel – Understood. I was grasping at straws.

    I appreciate the snarkiness, though.

    I do wonder at a politician who continues to support a policy when she sees that it is failing on the national scale and on the personal scale. I guess I will email her campaign and ask exactly what evidence would convince her to drop her support of Abstinence Only. I’m sure that I will get a prompt reply that addresses my exact question.

  15. durnett,

    Undoubtedly you will. I am sure that someone as well prepared and concise as she is will quickly respond with a well reasoned and intelligent answer. I think it will cite many biblical sources.

  16. My mother has been an RN at the local hospital for about 25 years now. She has worked in the nursery all of that time. During those years she has told me of two ten year old girls coming in and giving birth. Also some eleven year olds. All of the fathers were in their twenties or thirties. The parents of the girls were aparently aware of the “relationships” and approved of them. This is a fairly common attitude in this region. When I was a parole officer I put a guy in prison for knocking up a 14 year old when he was in his 50’s. The girls tesitmony and that of her parents was disturbing. Her parents were furious with her for “telling” on the father of her baby. They thought he was a good man because he was willing to marry her and she was stupid and selfish for not doing it.

  17. @Gabrielbrawley: Sadly, my wife (who was an RN in inner-city Chicago in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s) tells me that this was rather common among the low-income African-American population she saw in the Pediatrics ward at Pres-St.Luke’s.

    How terribly sad and frightening to know that it persists.

  18. @enochthered:

    If you want to post your avatar, go to http://www.gravatar.com.

    If you’re looking for a cartoon avatar like the one the Skepchicks have, sorry, those are custom made by Jill, our Skepchick artist and contest creator extraordinaire.

    You can still get a cartoon like Augustus said by going to http://www.meez.com or http://www.simpsonsmovie.com to create your own Simpsons avatar. You might be able to get one at ww.zwinky.com as well, but I’m not 100% on that.

  19. Oh so if I’m not intimatly involved with Jill I can’t have a cartoon me? Well isn’t that elitist.

  20. @Gabrielbrawley:

    Rebecca bribed Jill with all the fame and fortune that comes along with being a Skepchick. If you can offer Jill that much, she’ll probably draw one of you.

    Now, I’m not going to tell you exactly how much Rebecca pays her bloggers, but I’ll give you a hint:
    It’s less than she pays her readers.

  21. Jaysus! Where do you live again Gabriel? Is it Atlanta?

    And what’s up with 10 year olds reaching puberty?

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