Skepchick Quickies, 5.13


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. Sham Acupuncture:
    And while these results suggest that you might not even need the full-fledged needle-penetrating version to find relief, no physician is quite ready to recommend pricking yourself with toothpicks.

    “Dr.” Durnett’s All Toothpick Medical Treatment “Clinic” – coming soon to a strip mall near you!

    I’m going to call my treatments “neurodentology”.

  2. so they do sham acupuncture with toothpicks at the actual acupuncture sites, find benefits to both, and conclude that they both work?

    i feel this is obviously missing the sham acupuncture at non-acupuncture sites.

  3. The Oprah-Jenny article is fantastic, and reminds me of my sister in law. She’s quite fond of sending around email “warnings,” and once she sent around one of those “child rapist getting out of prison” emails asking me to contact the government and demand he stay in prison (the exact details elude me.)

    Well, my SiL is not the most rational person, and I am (at least amongst my family) so I of course snoped it, found out it was an old email about a British prisoner that was already released a decade ago.

    Being the NICE skeptic I am, I emailed her (and just her, not everyone she forwarded the fake email on to) and told her about it, suggesting that snopes was a great website for this kind of stuff.

    Needless to say, she replied (and included everyone she originally sent the email to) excoriating me for such callousness and suggesting that when I had children I’d think differently (fyi, I now do and I don’t.) I just didn’t understand why she would react this way to obviously a fake and useless email suggestion, but the article is a perfect explanation of it.

  4. I’m sold on acupuncture for sore backs! It seems to work for me.

    I just drove a 16 penny nail through my left knee and I suddenly don’t care about my sore back at all.

    Anyone got a band-aid?


  5. @MyNameIsTim: Exactly what I was thinking. The people doing the study seem to have a bias towards believing acupuncture works. I don’t see anything suggesting they’re planning a follow-up study to rule out placebo effect.

  6. I just thought of a TV show pitch:
    Harpo’s Island, a 13-week series in which one person dies from preventable diseases each week.

  7. In a magical world where pink unicorns poop only the candy you want, speak in 15 languages, and pigs fly, Harpo Marx would rise from his grave and sue Oprah for defiling his great name.

    A skeptic can dream, right?

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