Skepchick Quickies 10.16


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

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  1. Another bit of foolishness involving Prop 37:

    Back in August on the Virtual Skeptics webcast, I documented how it very much appears that one Twitter account promoting it (@CARightToKnow) is in the practice of buying Twitter followers. (Yes, you can buy followers – watch the webcast, my segment starts at around 34 minutes in).

    Here’s a graph of their followers – note how the count surges upward suddenly then falls back down as Twitter disables the fake followers.

  2. Furthermore, MMR vaccine does not lead to musicality, flu vaccine doesn’t lead to Star Trek fandom and there is no known correlation between tetanus immunisation and dance fever.

      1. But lack of a known correlation means there might be an unknown correlation, and therefore it must be true. QED.

  3. From Prop 37:

    “Genetic engineering of plants and animals often causes unintended consequences.”

    Are there actions that don’t often cause unintended consequences?

  4. Amanda,

    Thanks for that story debunking the claims of prop 37 proponents. People have enough to worry about when it comes to their health without the Franken Food boogeyman.

  5. Thank you for the story on prop 37. Whenever I question this proposition, I get an answer along the lines of “how could you question this?!?!”

    Joe Mercola bankrolled this proposition, and he makes his fortune selling products with deceptive labeling and spewing misinformation in general, so suddenly he is concerned with consumers having knowledge?

  6. From the “Science for Girls” article:

    “…and most of all, they didn’t make themselves look too brainy. Boys didn’t like that. At least, the cool ones didn’t.”

    From my own experience, it seems the desire to be a part of the “cool people” can hinder one’s potential to excel in a subject like science.

    If it isn’t being done already, perhaps a way to show that science (real science, as opposed to what’s seen on shows like Ghost Hunters and it’s kind) can be cool (and in fact IS cool).

    I do hope such a message does get out there.
    It can help everyone.

  7. I guess I should say something about the MS article.
    There was something further on the ABC news last night.

    It is suspected that MS has an infectious and a genetic component but the exact role of each is unclear. What is clear is that it is more common in colder climates, e.g. Tasmania, common, Darwin, not so much. Just maybe VID has a role in this. (There may be a more specific hypothesis for a protective mechanism, I don’t know).

    Anyway, Tassie being an island would seem to be a good candidate as a place to do some well controlled research to clarify the protective role. They were saying there are about 150 patients there, so not huge numbers but potential for intensive study of these questions.

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