Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Reincarnation Bank

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on May 26, 2009

The name says it all, Reincarnation Bank! It is a bank for when you reincarnate. You deposit your valuables now and you get them when you “come back”, or as they say, upon the age of majority, defined as some age after the client dies. Would you believe that someone has the balls to try to pull this of? Would you believe that someone actually thinks that other people will fall for this? PZ is right, this is brilliant! Cold and callous, but brilliant nevertheless. Check out some golden quotes from this, very minimalistic, website.

If you leave nothing purposely behind when you die, then what is there here for you when you return?

Begin by believing and just do it. The great end of life is not just knowledge but action so act now and save for your reincarnation.

Screw the 401ks, forget about saving for retirement, save for reincarnation. Now you know a “bank” is on the right track when they’re trying to sell themselves to you by asking you to begin by believing!

Reincarnation bank offer a safe and secure management system for its clients – a place they can leave behind their assets and commodities for their return into the next life.

Genius! Forget about asking you to “remember them on your will” these guys want the whole damn will to be about them. And in order to achieve that they are trying to make you think that it is actually for you. Evil f$%&ing genius!. And look at their Termns and Conditions. These are all of them, not just a portion:

1. No verbal or special arrangements shall be made to the live client or the deceased estate other than those embodied in this agreement.

2. The client or the client’s estate indemnifies 2i Limited, its directors or its agents against any claims arising in consequence of any or all deposits and investments in pursuance of this agreement.

3. No claim can be made prior to the age of majority, majority age being an age after the date of the clients demise. All claims may be subject to verification through regression.

More Genius! Give us your stuff now. You cannot make any claims on the stuff you give us, ever, and your reincarnated self is “subject to verification through regression” – what a great out even if someone was crazy enough to try and claim any funds. Brilliant!

PZ made a brilliant observation too. He noticed that there was only a “Deposit” link on the website, but no “Withdrawal” one. Hmm….Brilliant!

Whooping cough returns in kids as parents skip vaccines

Posted in News by Skepdude on May 26, 2009

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “USA TODAY”

Children who aren’t vaccinated against whooping cough are 23 times more likely to develop the disease than children who get all of their shots on time, a new study shows.

Whooping cough, or pertussis, has been making a resurgence in recent years as more parents decide not to vaccinate their children, says Jason Glanz, author of a study in today’s Pediatrics. In a study of 751 children enrolled in Kaiser Permanente of Colorado, one in 20 children who skipped the vaccine developed whooping cough, compared with one in 500 vaccinated children. In all, 11% to 12% of pertussis cases were in unvaccinated children.

Though more than 90% effective, the vaccine doesn’t protect everyone, says Sean O’Leary, an infectious-disease fellow at Children’s Hospital in Denver.

That’s why vaccinating all children is crucial to creating “herd immunity” for the entire community, including newborns who are too young to be immunized, O’Leary says.

A study in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal in March found that 91 babies under age 1 died of whooping cough from 1999 to 2004. More than half were under 2 months old, the age at which infants get their first in a series of whooping cough shots.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “USA TODAY”

Is Vaccine Refusal Worth The Risk?

Posted in News by Skepdude on May 26, 2009

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT “NPR”

Over the past 10 years, a highly contagious and sometimes fatal bacterial disease once thought eradicated from the U.S. has re-emerged, threatening the very youngest and weakest of our population. Pertussis is a bacterial infection of the lungs and spreads from person to person through moisture droplets in the air, probably from coughs or sneezes. A person with pertussis develops a severe cough that usually lasts four to six weeks or longer.

Health officials cite an increase in the incidence of pertussis, particularly among infants and teenagers. In 1976 there were just over 1,000 reported cases of pertussis in the United States; by 2004, it climbed to nearly 26,000 cases. Between 2000 and 2005 there were 140 deaths resulting from pertussis in the United States.

At the same time, both studies and anecdotal reports from doctors nationwide report an increase in the number of parents refusing to vaccinate their children against childhood diseases.

Much of this refusal has to do with perceived vaccine safety issues, such as purported associations between vaccines and autism, attention deficit disorder, seizures and epilepsy. None of these concerns have been upheld in research. In fact, all scientific studies show vaccines to be highly effective and safe, with only rare, moderate adverse side effects.

Results of this current study show the biggest risk among children who are not vaccinated is the disease itself as well as spreading it to more vulnerable populations who are unable for age or medical reasons to get vaccinated.

In this study, published in the June issue of the journal Pediatrics, researchers from Kaiser Permanente Colorado’s Institute for Health Research used electronic health records to look for immunization refusal and possible pertussis infections.

Specifically, researchers examined the medical records of children between the ages of two months and 18 years who were members of Kaiser Permanente Colorado between 1996 and 2007. First investigators confirmed which children had pertussis infections. Next, they verified whether parents had refused some or all vaccines for their children.

The findings: Children of parents who refused the DTaP vaccine were 23 times more likely to get whooping cough compared to fully immunized children. “A 23 fold increase is huge!” says Jason Glanz, Ph.D., a senior scientist at Kaiser Permanent’s Institute for Health Research who headed the study.

Glanz says the findings should help “dispel one of the commonly held beliefs among vaccine-refusing parents: that their children are not at risk for vaccine preventable diseases.”

READ THE FULL ENTRY AT “NPR”