Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Giant Fake snake monster photos

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on February 19, 2009

Via Benjamin Bradford over at LiveScinece.com we get these alleged photos of a giant snake monster in the Baleh river in Borneo. Judge for yourself.

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Looks ameteruishly fake to me and way bigger than the 100ft estimate, looks morelike 100 meters.

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This one looks even faker than the first one, I mean look at the “ripples” around its body, close to it’s head. Does that look anything like real water ripples? The color, the shape everything looks wrong. And Ben Radford makes a great point, if these people got close enough to take one snapshot, how is it that in both cases they only took one snapshot? Wouldn’t you expect the photographer to snap at least a few times? Suspicious indeed.

Final verdict- They’re obvious fakes. It’s interesting that people are still interested in lake/river monsters now a day though no?

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Skepquote of the day

Posted in Skepquote by Skepdude on February 19, 2009

This one’s a little old, but it’s a gem, in fact the whole entry is just deliciously funny. By the way I do not endorse breaking people’s knees with baseball bats, and neither does the author of the entry I assume, so don’t start complaining about it.

So, you may think you’re going to blow me away with your amazing show of rhetoric, but believe me, I have seen it before, and you’re wrong. The thing that you’re about to write is not only wrong, but transparently, stupidly, embarrassingly wrong, so wrong that it makes me wince inwardly with shame at the fact that you’re a member of the same human race that I am. What you’re about to write is evidence that you haven’t bothered to read the FAQs, or comprehended a single book on evolutionary biology that’s not written by one of your crackpot creationist pseudo-intellectuals. So don’t bother writing what you’re going to write. Just go away.

The Abstract Factory

Woman blinded by acid wants same fate for attacker

Posted in News by Skepdude on February 19, 2009

TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) — Ameneh Bahrami is certain that one day she’ll meet someone, fall in love and get married. But when her wedding day comes, her husband won’t see her eyes, and she won’t see her husband. Bahrami is blind, the victim of an acid attack by a spurned suitor.

If she gets her way, her attacker will suffer the same fate. The 31-year-old Iranian is demanding the ancient punishment of “an eye for an eye,” and, in accordance with Islamic law, she wants to blind Majid Movahedi, the man who blinded her.

“I don’t want to blind him for revenge,” Bahrami said in her parents’ Tehran apartment. “I’m doing this to prevent it from happening to someone else.”

Bahrami says she first crossed paths with Movahedi in 2002, when they attended the same university.

She was a 24-year-old electronics student. He was 19. She never noticed him until they shared a class. He sat next to her one day and brushed up against her. Bahrami says she knew it wasn’t an accident.

“I moved away from him,” she said, “but he brushed up against me again.”

When Bahrami stood up in class and screamed for him to stop, Movahedi just looked at her in stunned silence. He wouldn’t stay silent for long.

Bahrami said that over the next two years, Movahedi kept harassing her and making threats, even as he asked her to marry him. “He told me he would kill me. He said, ‘You have to say yes.’ ”

On a November afternoon in 2004, Movahedi’s threats turned to violence.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT “CNN”

Open Enrollment – Part 2 [Repost]

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on February 19, 2009

A while ago, I posted an Open Enrollment for 2 collaborators to join the ranks as authors at Skepfeeds. As the regular readers already know I was very lucky to catch the attention of Rodibidably who joined in and has been doing a marvelous job since then. All of which means there is one position still open for anyone who may be interested. For more details please check my original entry. Thank you.

Queen Margaret University and Prostituted Academia

Posted in The Quackometer by Skepdude on February 19, 2009

A few weeks ago, newspapers were carrying remarkable stories about a Scottish mineral water, Deeside Water, that could halt aging, reduce wrinkles and have amazing anti-oxidant effects – a remarkable fountain of youth. Newspapers gushed with reports of this amazing scientific discovery. Even the BBC had previously reported that Deeside Water could “treat rheumatism, skin conditions and stomach complaints” .

Deeside water were celebrating a press release from Queen Margaret University (QMU) in Edinburgh that said that “A bottle a day keeps the wrinkles away”

For the first time, scientists can prove that Deeside Mineral Water actually slows the signs of ageing and does so 50% more effectively than other tested waters on the market.

In the first of two new research studies, Deeside Mineral Water was rigorously tested against other major international market leading brands of bottled water. The study was undertaken by scientists at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh and confirmed that Deeside Mineral Water is 50% more effective than other waters tested in suppressing free radicals.

Dr Mary Warnock, lecturer in Dietectics, Nutrition and Biological Sciences at Queen Margaret University explained “Free radicals are harmful to the body’s cells and contribute to the ageing process. Reducing free radicals helps protect cells from damage. Deeside Mineral Water has some very unusual properties and we know that people have been drinking it for its curative benefits for centuries. The results from these tests are very exciting. They show that something as simple as Deeside Mineral Water, a Scottish product, could be effective at protecting the body and skin from the harmful effects of free radical damage.”

The study, carried out on women aged between 18 and 52, also showed a reduction in the average number of wrinkles when a litre of Deeside Mineral Water was drunk daily over a period of 12 weeks. Again this is due to skin hydration, one of the single biggest factors in the ageing process. The test results showed that by drinking Deeside Water, the skin was plumped up, leading to fewer wrinkles.

Now, this rang many alarm bells. Firstly, extrapolating from test tube data to ‘health benefits’ of products is one of the cardinal sins of quack nutritionists. Just because a product “suppresses free radicals” in a test tube does not mean that the same product will “slow the signs of ageing” when eaten or drunk. Not least, any antioxidant effects of a mineral water must be utterly insignificant when looked at in conjunction with other components of a diet, i.e. food. The idea that choosing one brand of water over another will have any meaningful effect in ‘slowing aging’ is just preposterous. The research at QMU, if it existed, surely could not support the claims in the press release or the newspapers.

My alarms rang even louder when I read the Deeside Water web site. The site starts of with quite a claim that it “is one of the purest, healthiest waters in the world”. The site gets remarkably worse when it describes Deeside Water as ‘enhancing complementary treatments’. It claims the water has a ‘living energy’ and ‘higher vibration’ than other waters, and advises its customers to “Ask your pendulum which water is the best for well-being!”, Genius quackery. To cap it all, we find out that the water is supplied to Prince Charles, the quacktitioner royal, to bottle as Duchy Original water.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “THE QUACKOMETER”