Skepchick Quickies, 12.7


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. I’d worry about health risks to people on an HCG diet if it weren’t for the modifier “homeopathic”. Pretty much anything is safe if you dilute it 10X (1 part in 10 billion) or, better yet, 100X (1 part per googol).

    1. Not to mention most (all?) hormones are proteins and most (or all?) proteins are broken down by stomach acids into their constituent amino acids. So HCG is almost certainly harmless if taken orally. (Though it is possible it might be absorbed through the tongue or the lining of the mouth or even through the skin, so I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat it. But when given for medical reasons, according to the article, it is injected.) Consult your medical doctor or pharmacist!

      However, the 500 calories/day diet is deadly. According to several Holocaust related web sites I checked (this gets really horrifying really fast, but google “concentration camp starvation calories” for some links), the typical diet at Auschwitz was 1700 cal/day for people working at hard labor and 1300 calories for people doing light labor, and a great many of them starved to death. (I think this must have been for the prisoners working at the camp. I doubt the people being murdered were given any food at all.) At Belsen, at the time it was liberated, the diet had been recently reduced from 1000 to 600 calories, and all the prisoners were on the brink of starvation. (Many had already died and many could not be saved.)

      So go with 500 calories. I don’t think HCG will matter one way or the other.

  2. Haha, oh man. There were already two posts about the HCG stuff on my facebook, from a few friends that still work at the 3rd Party Billing processer that I used to work for. Along with porn, they also deal with continuity market stuff. (You pay just for shipping, and then 2 weeks later you are charged the full amount, and then a new shipment is sent, and you are charged with that, and it goes on until you cancel. It’s awful and was my very least favorite part of my job. The porn was fine … continuity sucks).

    Anyway, HCG is a HUUUUUGE product that they billed for. Huge.

    Those poor call center people. Ugh! I am glad I am no longer there.

  3. My brother, on the recommendation of my know-it-all aunt, was just starting this garbage; I’m glad he won’t be able to get it any more. It’s disheartening really since he is an athiest and a pretty strong skeptic about most things. Guess we all have our blind spots.

    I’ve started calling homeopathy “VM” for Voodoo Medicine which pisses off my mother who reckons there “might be something to it”, or did before I recomended that unicorn farts work far better for “that run down feeling”.

    She has either stopped believing such nonsense or she is frantically searching for an internet source for pseudo-equine flatulence, I don’t want to know which.

  4. Did anyone else notice that Rachel Sklar, when she finished pointing out the real need for recruiting more women speakers, went right ahead and included a ridiculous stereotype about said women? Better clothes indeed.

    And that when showing how including more women would increase the bottom line did so by giving the most superficial examples she could? Zynga games? Groupon? Gilt Group FFS?

    Looks like it’s not just the recuiters that need to try harder.

  5. Congrats to Vandy Beth Glenn for winning her lawsuit. One small step. I met Vandy at the skeptic track programming at Dragon Con a couple of years ago, so she’s a fellow traveler. Not that it matters, but it’s always good to see one of our own succeed.

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