idoubtit

Editor and owner of Doubtful News. Writer, specializing in science and society, science policy and education.

Vaccine sabotage suspected in childrens’ deaths in Syria

vaccine

A devastating setback to the fight against the measles epidemic in Syria. At least 34 Syrian children die from contaminated measles vaccine |  The Guardian. At least 34 children have died in rebel-held Syria after being injected with contaminated measles vaccines, the rebel government said on Tuesday, warning that the deaths might be caused by…

UK man fined for selling colloidal silver as cancer cure

Quackery

Guy Chapman reports from the U.K. : A West Mersea man was fined £750 and £1,500 costs after pleading guilty to promoting colloidal silver as a cancer cure. He follows Stephen Ferguson and Errol Denton, live blood practitioners and acolytes of Robert O. Young, who is currently on trial for practising medicine without a license. Man…

Spinosaurus appears to have been toothy and semi-aquatic; but don’t call it a crocoduck

Ibrahim (left) and Sereno with Spinosaurus

Previously-known Spinosaurus was a dinosaur that blew my mind. I couldn’t figure out the deal with the sail and the ultra-long snout. Turns out it had more surprises in store. Scientists report first semiaquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus: Massive predator was more than 9 feet longer than largest T. rex — ScienceDaily. Scientists today unveiled what appears…

Homeopaths get professional accreditation in UK – PSA gets a FAIL

Homeopathic medication

In other words, the foxes guard the henhouse. This is a terrible and stupid idea that opens the door to tacitly endorsed quackery. Independent quality mark for homeopaths. The Society of Homeopaths’ voluntary register has been accredited under a new scheme set up by the Department of Health and administered by an independent body, the…

Chinese pharmacies take significant step to end bear bile farming

M. Silverberg/TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Associated Press

Excellent news as the tide is really turning on supplying bear bile products that cause terrible harm to wild bears. Thousands of Chinese pharmacies reject bear bile products. Animals Asia has announced that over 1,900 Chinese pharmacies have joined its Healing Without Harm programme – pledging to turn their backs on bear bile products. The…

Pseudoscience techniques rampant in schools because they sound like quick fixes

brain

A skeptical parapsychologists tells it like it is at an education conference – teachers embrace nonsense learning ideas because quick fixes are appealing. Long-term meaningful changes are hard. ‘Pseudoscience has nested in schools’ – news – TES. When Nick Rose worked as a parapsychologist, his job was to investigate why people believed they had been…

Real life pop rocks

Exfoliating rock face

Imagine you are just walking around the solid rock under your feet starts to crackle and then POP as pieces fly apart. This doesn’t normally happen. A big chunk of the Sierra Nevada caught fracturing on video | Ars Technica. One interesting way that rocks weather and crumble apart is called “exfoliation.” Like the skin-scrubbing…

Bownessie reemerges as a funny dig at Scottish independence

Photo: Elle Williams

Sometimes, don’t you feel that the media just insults our intelligence? It’s a funny joke that a Scottish monster supposedly visits England during the independence referendum. Scottish independence: now Nessie defects – Telegraph. It seems that it is not just high-street banks, or hardcore unionists, who are looking for the exit door in Scotland should…

Kevin Trudeau Appeals Conviction: Says the government messed up the case

trudeau

As expected, Kevin Trudeau appealed his conviction on contempt of court charges that sent him to prison for 10 years. This article also give us some insight into why we still see his dubious books for sale and his ridiculous infomercials on TV. Infomercial Scammer Kevin Trudeau Appeals Conviction – Consumerist. The appeal contends that…

The Strange remains the same for 08 September 2014

lobster2-1

More lobsters. Because lobsters are freaky in all colors. Why Do People Believe in Ghosts? – The Atlantic. Tennessee woman uses faith healing as defense in teenager’s death – The Portland Press Herald. “The Springer” Leaps From WW2 Urban Legend To Anti-Fascist Superhero. New Series “Angels Among Us” | Ghost TV Blogs. Bigfoot’s local devotees…

Hitchin’ a ride: Wild cats are such opportunists

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 9.16.20 PM

The researchers at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in South Africa got a huge laugh out of not one but multiple unexpected snapshots of genets riding on the backs of cape buffalo and white rhino. Why? Who knows. Surprising Pictures: Wild “Cat” Rides on Rhino – News Watch. As cameras, social media, and technology advance, more and more…

Mysterious light pillars of Malaysia

Some seemed to think it was a meteor but the explanation is more likely light pillar due to atmospheric conditions

Pillar shaped lights are seen in the sky over a town on the island of Borneo. Do they have an earthly cause? Sabahans abuzz over mystery lights in the sky | The Star Online. Mysterious lights streaking across in the night sky here Tuesday had Sabahans abuzz in social media, with no one able to…

Loftus Hall ghost photo goes viral but what good is it?

Photo credit: Thomas Beavis

A new ghost photo follows the pattern of all the others, there is little investigation of the circumstances and such evidence can’t be verified. That makes it interesting but not decent evidence of “ghosts” or the paranormal. This story, however, is chock full of paranormal themes, but little substance. Loftus Hall ‘ghost’ photo sensation. A…

‘Telepathy’ experiment suffers from overzealous news editors

telepathy

The headline sounds magical and makes people excited for the reality of psi but… take a closer look. This is not psychic, it’s technology. ‘Telepathy’ experiment sends 1st mental message – Yahoo News. For the first time, scientists have been able to send a simple mental message from one person to another without any contact…