Skepchick Quickies 5.29


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

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  1. Hi there!

    Human language gene changes how mice squeak —

    I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but isn’t this how The Secret of NIMH started? :(

  2. “Have you ever seen the cuteness that is the tiny snub snout of a baby crocodile before?”

    They sound surprisingly like puppies, too.

    Slightly asthmatic puppies maybe, but what the heck. :-)

  3. Anyone remember that book and movie back in the 80, the Rats of NIMH (or Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH)? That was one of my most favorite movies as a kid because it was so dark and interesting. This story got me thinking about it. Good times.

    I never understood how or why people believed in the tenets of Scientology. They are so obviously ridiculous and you can so easily trace their roots back to the writings of a hack Sci-Fi writer. Either people are that self-deluded, want to be a part of the new and sparkly club, or are just plain stupid.

  4. @Outsider: Well yah, but people bought into healing crystals, atlantist technology, fairy circles, moonies, hari krishnas, mormonism, lipstick parties, the supposed christian founding of the U.S., deregulation of financial markets, the war on drugs, prohibition, the dangers of D & D, the dangers of satanist run day cares, the dangers of gays giving children the dreaded gay, crocodiles in the sewers, channeling long dead spirits, seances, chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopothy, coffee enemas (is it hot coffee?) sasquatch, chupacapra, invading martians, invading mexicans stealing all of the good jobs, blacks stealing all the white women, riding dinasaours to work, remote viewing, remote writing, a U.S. USSR psychic gap, psychic surgery, ghost orbs, dowsing, energized water, organic food, vegitarinism, veganism, the food of oppression, peta, razors in halloween candy, cheap fruity soda used to make black men infertile, water powered cars, rfid tags as mind control, subliminal advertising, santa god, I’m sure I’ve missed a lot but that is the wacky stuff that people believe that came to mind.

  5. I don’t get how people can drink NOTHING but soda–no water. Just soda. How do people do that?!

    I rarely drink soda…the corbonation makes me feel bad. And diet is so nasty. How do you people drink diet?! Blech!

    I’m craving sun tea all of a sudden. Weiiiiird.

  6. @Gabrielbrawley: like coke or pepsi. i’m not sure if club soda seltzer would apply? (does it have sugar, or is it just corbonation? i’ve never had it. i do know that too much corbonation isn’t good for you.)

    i know SO MANY people who drink NOTHING but soda (cola) and NOTHING ELSE. i don’t get it!

    i drink a ton of water. and usnweeetened iced tea. dammit i really want some sun tea.

  7. @Gabrielbrawley @6 – COTW
    (sorry, I can never get my linky things to people’s posts to work)

  8. @marilove:

    I drink a diet coke once in awhile, but LITERS a day? OMG, I’d puke.

    Of course, anything taken in liters a day for years probably is not good for you. I don’t know, just a thought.

  9. If you read the article it also only states some case studies on pregnant women which MAY have a correlation to Hyperkalemia. They are not sure which ingredient causes the symptom… sounds like cherry picking by someone who is looking to reduce soda usage.

    although drinking that much soda (7 litres) is likely not good for you, this article doesn’t really display that.

  10. @marilove: As far as I know club soda and seltzer are carbonated water, I drink a fair amount mixed with whisky or with lemon juice. Haven’t really drank a cola in about 18 years or so.

    @SaraDee: thank you very much

    @James Fox: good additions but I bet would could come up with more

  11. @Gabrielbrawley: That’s what I thought! I know carbonation isn’t the greatest for you, but it’s likely much better than straight soda. Now that I think about it, I’ve had it — and I hate it! I’m not a huge fan of carbonation in general, though. Makes me feel funny.

    (And I HATE Gin and Tonics omg.) I like my whiskey straight, or with a bit of water & ice. I am clearly bad ass. :)

    @Kaylia_Marie: Oh, men. :)

  12. @James Fox: I’ve heard of it, some of the spies in the W.E.B Griffen novels drank it. Lately I’ve been buying Benchmark, a kentucky bourban, not to bad, about $10 a fifth. Mixes nicely with seltzer. I’m trying to find the anchor brewing 18th century Rye but no luck yet. I’m starting to buy more Irish over scotch. It is so much smoother.

  13. @mikespeir: I was on a road trip with the then girlfriend now wife. I was driving and grabed what I thought was my water but was her Diet dr pepper. Damn near wrecked the car when I got a mouthful of that sludge.

  14. The mouse article, I think, was appropriately titled and written – us skeptics always bitch when journalists mess that up, but we can’t forget to show gratification for well done science reporting.

    Yet, why mice? I’d rather talk to puppies

  15. Damnit you guys, there are hours to go before I can drink and all this talk of whiskey is making me thirsty.

  16. @James Fox: @tiger kitty: @Amanda:

    I’ve been cutting back my consumption in the hope that it will help me lose some weight and better health and all so I’ve been tracking my drinks.

    I have a problem.

    I had 1 martini last night. How many drinks is that? 1 or 2?

    I made it with 2 shots of gin and about 1/8 shot of dry vermouth.

    Do the olives make a food and not a drink?

  17. @Amanda:

    Look at me, I’m in Cali and it’s only 10:37AM in the frackin’ morning….it’s gonna be a long day!

  18. @Gabrielbrawley: One ounce of hard alcohol is a drink, right? And an eighth of a shot of dry vermouth…is magically obliterated by the addition of an olive.

  19. @Amanda: Damn, that’s what I thought, so I have to count it as two drinks. So that is six for the week as of last night. Still that is about 19 less than I would normally have been by that point in the week.

  20. @Gabrielbrawley: How many calories does gin have, though? I can’t imagine it has much. It’s the MIXERS that are the problem more-so than hard alcohol (especially clear hard alcohol).

    Speaking of booze, I HATE VODKA. I always get weird looks when I say that. Even the most expensive vodka tastes like rubbing alcohol. And it’s … cold. Ick.

    Mmmm whiskey.

  21. @marilove: I have no idea how many calories it has but I usually drink a lot like between 4 and 8 a night. I can kill a bottle of whisky in an evening if I don’t pace myself. I don’t eat very much and barely snack at all but alcohol, love it. So looking at my life I had to conclude it was those empty calories that had to be primarily responsible for the extra weight. So I’m drinking less and trying to find time to start walking and then back to running. I want to get in shape so I can try and get my pic in a future skepdude calender.

  22. @Amanda & @Gabrielbrawley:

    1.5 oz of 80 proof liquor = 1 drink.

    1/8 oz. Vermouth = .000000000000000001 drinks

    Olive = appetizer = not a drink at all!

    Stuffed olive = small salad

    Cheese stuffed olive = crustless (aka low carb) pizza

  23. @marilove: The body metabolizes alchohol, (breaks it apart for energy) so there is a calorie count in the alchohol in in-of-itself. I was on a brewery tour and the brewmaster was explaing how they made Light Beer. To do this they first make regular beer, then reduce caloreis by first reducing unfermenteted carbohydrates (flavor) and then alchohol (fun). It was a somewhat complicated and involved processes, though because the byproduct of both of these was water, I observed that really the some results could be acomplished by adding a garden hose to the beer and just watering it down, his response “yeah pretty much, we just make it because people buy it”

  24. @marilove: Hope you like it! I really enjoy Laphroaig Quarter Cask, but its just too damn expensive. I did find out that Laphroaig is one of the single malts used in the Grouse blend which explains why I enjoy it.

    @Elyse: Hmmm, drinks, salad AND pizza for dinner tonight!

  25. I probably drink 2-3 liters of soda per day, however 2 are always Diet Caffeine Free Coke. It may still not be great for me, but I have yet to find much beyond “that much soda must be bad”.

    @marilove – surprisingly, the alcohol is about as much to blame as the mixer for calories. a shot (1.5 oz) of 80 proof gin or vodka is about 100 calories.

  26. (the 3rd liter per day is usually normal Diet Coke because they don’t sell the Caff-Free in as many places.)

  27. @noisician: Diet is no better for you than regular, really :(

    And idk, “can cause muscle problems” seems more like “is bad for you” than “probably bad for you”….

  28. @James Fox: Hee hee! They just know how to make it extra poppy. They call Michael Jackson the king of pop, but I vote for Max Martin.

  29. @marilove:
    Pretty much my opinion of vodka, too.
    According to Mythbusters, it makes an OK poison ivy home remedy.
    Maybe one can use it for lighter fluid if there’s no poison ivy around.

  30. @Skepotter: Interesting on the poison ivy!

    Everyone says “but vodka has no taste!” and I think all these people are lying. I can CLEARLY taste vodka in vodka drinks. Cranberry kinda helps, but I can still taste it. Nasty.

    Gin is worse.

    Give me whiskey or beer, and the occasional margarita.

  31. @marilove … except that none of the 3 ingredients the article tries to tie to muscle problems are in Caffeine Free Diet soda.

    and if diet is no better than regular… why? what is the harmful ingredient or effect i should be worried about?

    most anti soda articles are about sugar, caffeine, or general “oh my, it’s bad”, or end up being about how fat unhealthy people drink diet soda.

    i would just like to see some good data before i try to give up my favorite beverage!

  32. @noisician: Eeeh, I just know (I’m too lazy to look it up) that the fake sweetners are no better for you than sugar, and it’s still bad for your teeth (carbonation) and I can’t imagine that 3 liters of ANYTHING, especially non-essential nutrients, is good for you.

    Mostly, I’ve just found those who drink a TON of soda don’t drink much of anything else. No water, nothing. Just soda. Which has got to be VERY BAD for you.

    You don’t have to give up soda … but you certainly don’t have to drink 3 liters *a day*. That’s just a lot of soda!

    I do drink soda sometimes, it just tends to make me feel ill. I have a hard time finishing a full 20 oz of any soda (clear included) without getting a stomach ache.

    Oh, and gas, lots of gas, lol.

  33. @marilove:
    I have never heard that carbonation was/is bad for the teeth. Huh. I think anything in 3 liter quantities is bad too.

    I admit I was diet coke addict….I was going through a very, very rough period, and it was either drink myself to death or cope with caffeine. I chose caffeine. It sucked to break that habit.

  34. @tiger kitty: A quick google seems to MOSTLY agree with me, but I’m at work and can’t really delve into it right now. Would be an interesting thing to research!

    But yeah, mostly … that’s a lot of soda per day. Makes me go O_o

    Not that I can really talk, considering how I eat. So, you know. I can’t fault someone for drinking or eating what they want to — it just makes me, personally, ill to my stomach to think about drinking that much soda a day.

    And like I said, from my experience, most people who drink that much soda a day (some more!) don’t drink anything else which has got to be very, very unhealthy.

  35. And now I am craving Root Beer. THANKS SKEPCHICK.

    I guess it’s good we don’t have root beer in the vending machines. :)

  36. Hi, my name is Rich (aka, MiddleMan) and I am a Coke Zero(tm) addict.

    I am not powerless against this; just not that big on water and fruit juices.

    @Kaylia_Marie: This definitely explains my late-night muscle cramps, though.

    I should probably mention that I’m also on a BP med that can lower my potassium levels. I try to eat high-potassium foods (bananas, orange juice, etc.), but my schedule and salt cravings make this a challenge at times.

  37. >> Elyse

    Yes, and marachino cherries count as a serving of fruit <<

    And those little umbrella thingies have *lots* of fiber. :-)

  38. Wow, that Cola article was really poorly written. It clearly shows that the author was not a science reporter. He/She showed little understanding of the material they were describing.

    For example the description of a heart blockage sounds incredibly like a pipe is being blocked, when what they almost certainly meant was ‘heart block’ an interruption of the normal electrical signal flowing between the chambers of the heart.

    If they understood they would not have written it that way. I wonder if it is almost a direct quote of the Greek researchers broken English.


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