Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Snake-bite chicken ‘off the menu’

Posted in News by Skepdude on June 1, 2009

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT “BBC NEWS”

China’s health authorities are reported to be putting a stop to restaurants serving chickens which have been bitten to death by poisonous snakes.

The dish, which is served by a small number of restaurants in Guangdong and Chongqing, is billed as detoxing.

But it has generated a storm of controversy in the media and among bloggers after a video of its preparation was circulated online.

The video shows a cook holding a snake and forcing it to bite a live chicken.

A week of intense internet discussion has reached the near-unanimous decision that it is cruel to kill live chickens by forcing deadly snakes to bite them repeatedly.

Some voices noted, however, that they found the cooked dish delicious.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT “BBC NEWS”

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The Detox Foot Pad Scam

Posted in Devicewatch by Skepdude on February 6, 2009

Various adhesive pads and patches are claimed to detoxify the body when applied to the feet. The best known is the Kinoki Detox Foot Pad, which is claimed to remove toxins, restore “balance” within the body, and boost energy. Various other products are claimed to strengthen the immune system, reduce stress, improve circulation, improve sleep, enhance mental focus, relieve headaches and arthritis pain. The alleged explanation for their working include reflexology, unblocking of lymphatic passages, and negative ions that release far infrared rays. All such products should be regarded as fakes, and the proposed mechanisms should be regarded as nonsensical.

Users are instructed to apply the products to the soles of the feet and leave them on overnight. In the morning, they claim, the pads will absorb toxins and turn muddy brown or black.

“Detox” product marketers have done no studies that identify what they claim to remove, measure its level in the body, and see whether such substances accumulate in the pads and have their level reduced in the body. It is unlikely they will ever try, because the basic idea that toxins will be excreted through the skin clashes with what is known about human anatomy and physiology. Real detoxification of foreign substances takes place in the liver, which modifies their chemical structure so they can be excreted by the kidneys which filter them from the blood into the urine. Sweat glands in the feet can excrete water and some dissolved substances. However, its minor role in ridding the body of unwanted substances is not changed by applying foot pads.

In April 2008. ABC’s “20/20” investigated Kinoki ad Avon pads and reported:

READ THE REST OF THIS AT DEVIEWATCH.ORG

What is the Problem of the Anti-vaccination Lunatics?

Posted in Uncategorized by Skepdude on January 20, 2009

Brent council (among many other councils in England) had to start an awareness campaign to motivate parents to start vaccinating their children again! Thanks to some idiots who *still* promote the idea that vaccines cause autism (despite the mountains of evidence collected in recent years), measles have been on the rise again and people are now facing the consequences.

The anti-vaccination crowd is constantly moving the goalposts in order to cling to their favorite idea that somehow vaccines cause autism and other neurological disorders. In the beginning it was the mercury in vaccines (in the form of the preservative thimerosal). Then, when it became evident that this was not the case (partly because of the scientific studies showing not even a correlation, secondly because thimerosal had been removed from most vaccines yet autism still continued to rise), they switched to aluminium; the too many toxins in vaccines; and the overwhelming number of vaccines that overloads the “underdeveloped” immune system of infants. Of course they always fail to provide evidence for aluminium and metal-poisoning from vaccines; they never mention which toxins and why would they affect the immune system in such minute quantities; and they just conveniently bypass the studies showing the huge capacity of the “underdeveloped” immune system to tolerate and fight millions of pathogens of all kinds.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY AT “JOURNEY THROUG A BURNING MIND”

Skepnews – 8/23/08

Posted in Skepnews by Skepdude on August 22, 2008

  • Dinosaurs helped build the pyramids – Far from becoming extinct 65 million years ago, the dinosaurs actually co-existed with early humans, and even helped in the construction of the pyramids.
    This is the word of Vince Fenech, Evangelist pastor and director of a fully licensed, State-approved Creationist institution which admits children aged between four and 18.
  • Oregon tribe to allow same sex marriagesAt the request of a lesbian couple, the Coquille Indian Tribe on the southern Oregon coast has adopted a law recognizing same-sex marriage. Tribal law specialists say the Coquille appear to be the first tribe to sanction such marriages. Most tribal law doesn’t address the issue. The Navajo and Cherokee tribes prohibit same-sex marriages
  • Claims of magnets’ effect on water don’t stick – Magnets have no significant role in treating water, despite the claims of their manufacturers, according to a new study by the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan. So-called magnetic water- treatment devices, which are said to remove and reduce residual chlorine and toxic substances through magnetism, have practically no effect, the center said Wednesday. Companies manufacturing or selling the devices — often over the Internet or door to door — claim to improve the taste of water, giving it a “softer, mellower,” flavor through magnetism.
  • Opt-out plan shields doctors over abortions – The Bush administration Thursday announced plans to implement a regulation designed to protect doctors, nurses and other health-care workers who object to abortion from being forced to deliver services that violate their beliefs. The rule empowers federal health officials to pull funding from more than 584,000 hospitals, clinics, health plans, doctors offices and other entities if they do not accommodate employees who refuse to participate in care they find objectionable on personal, moral or religious grounds. “People should not be forced to say or do things they believe are morally wrong,” Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said. – Skepdude says : What if a city hall clerk refuses to perform a marriage for an interracial couple because they find it “morally wrong”?
  • Saudi ban on woman drivers may be erodingWhen Ruwaida al-Habis’ father and two brothers were badly burned in a fire, she had no choice but to break Saudi Arabia’s ban on women drivers to get them to a clinic. “When I pulled up, a crowd of people surrounded the car and stared as if they were seeing extraterrestrial beings,” the 20-year-old university student told The Associated Press. “Instead of focusing on the burn victims, the nurses kept repeating, ‘You drove them here?'” Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that bans all women – Saudi and foreign – from driving. The prohibition forces families to hire live-in drivers, and women who cannot afford the $300-$400 a month for a driver must rely on male relatives to drive them to work, school, shopping or the doctor. But there are signs support for the ban is eroding.
  • Survey: Americans feel churches shouldn’t meddle in politics – The survey suggests that for the first time in more than a decade, there has been a shift away from the view that religious groups should influence social and political issues. Fifty-two percent of poll respondents said churches should stay quiet, while 46 percent said churches should express political views