Skepchick Quickies 8.19

Today is a bad day for witches, apparently. On August 19, 1612, the Samlesbury Witches (in England) were put on trial (accused by someone with the last name “Sowerbutts.”) Coincidentally, on the same day in 1692, five people accused of witchcraft were executed during the Salem Witch Trials.


Mary Brock works as an Immunology scientist by day and takes care of a pink-loving princess child by night. She likes cloudy days, crafting, cooking, and Fall weather in New England.

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  1. This has nothing to do with today’s news stories, but I know of no other forum where I can ask this question. My girlfriend has been hearing the claim that “44 women have died from the HPV vaccine”, and is looking for debunking info. Has anyone else encountered this claim, and has anyone debunked it online yet?

    1. You realise that this translates to about one (probably unrelated) death per million doses?
      Meanwhile every year 4000 women die from cervical cancer.

    2. It’s post hoc ergo propter hoc. 44 women have died at some point following taking the HPV vaccine.

      Or maybe an allergic reaction to the medium the virus is cultured in? That is a thing, and one reason it’s so critical that everyone who can get a vaccine, gets one: If you’re less likely to get an infection, you’re less likely to get it to someone who can’t be immunized.

      Jon, OG advocate of the HPV vaccine for everyone

    1. So it was just a coincidence that my cousin was hit by a bus less than a week after getting the HPV vaccine? That’s just what Big Pharma wants you to think!

  2. I like that Michael Shermer is now himself a trigger warning. Yes, indeed, I can’t look at Michael Shermer without thinking of rape now. Though I loved this part especially:

    See, we’re having fun here. You need to relax, baby. Oh! One more thing: You said “anonymous” women accused you of “rape.” Do you mean they were associated or otherwise affiliated with the nefarious online hacktivist collective known as Anonymous?

    Because Anonymous will fuck your shit up, I have read in Ohio. Good thing you’re not in Ohio!

    Also in Canada now. It’s surprising that a group that started on /b/ has done more to shame rapists than supposedly enlightened adults do.

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