Questionable claims

Man claims to have invented hand lotion against Ebola

DNlogo

Capitalizing on fear? He says he doesn’t want the money. Valley businessman creates lotion that could protect against Ebola. A Scottsdale businessman says he created a lotion that could guard against Ebola. Richard Rich owns a company called R&R Lotion which manufactures and distributes lotions, sunscreens and other products for commercial and industrial use. Rich…

TV news in Virginia promotes disturbing story about “reincarnated” 4-yr old

Ghost child

On this Veterans Day, a very disturbing and irritating story from a Virginia news station about a mother who out of concern for her child’s issues, is promoting that he may be “haunted” by the ghost of a Marine who died in Beirut. I am unamused. Scared Mother: “Is there a ghost inside my child?”…

Media violence correlated to societal violence: An actual scientific controversy

191673-252295-ViolenceinGamesDestructoidjpg-620x

Experts disagree: violent content in media correlates/does not correlate to violent behavior. No link found between movie, video game violence and societal violence. Since the 1920s, scholars and politicians have blamed violence in movies and other media as a contributing factor to rising violence in society. Recently the responses to mass shootings in Aurora, CO…

UK paper stokes fire of Satanic Panic. False before, what makes it true now?

default lavey satan

Sounds horrific. However, it also sounds exactly like claims made in the U.S. in the 80s and 90’s and resulted in ABSOLUTELY NO CONCRETE EVIDENCE that satanic cults were operating and doing the incredible crimes they were accused of. So, there is a good basis to be solidly skeptical about these new sensationalistic claims. EXCLUSIVE:…

Guilty: Mother who killed autistic son cites facilitated communication as evidence

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 6.50.43 PM

This sounds more like a psychological horror than anything. The details include mention of the mob, sexual abuse of a child, death threats, suicide attempts, and a hoax communication technique. The child was the ultimate victim. A short mention is given that the evidence for the defendant included messages obtained via “facilitated communication” via a Blackberry…

U.K. paper posts the year’s worst story on dowsing (UPDATE: Dowsing is pseudoscience)

7807743-large

What a bizarre article! “Scientists”? Dowsing is a science? No details? Complete rubbish. (I’m picking up the UK lingo…) Dowsing discovers plague pit in Tunbridge Wells. | Kent and Sussex Courier. A trio of scientists claim to have made the gory discovery after exploring the popular town centre park. They tested a secluded part of…

A piece of the Earhart plane? Remains are a QUESTIONABLE claim

amelia earhart pilot

TIGHAR stuff AGAIN?! These guys don’t quit. I’ve been getting emails about their supposedly big find for a few days now. Here it is. It’s still a QUESTIONABLE CLAIM. Amelia Earhart Plane Fragment Identified. A fragment of Amelia Earhart’s lost aircraft has been identified to a high degree of certainty for the first time ever since…

Jack the Ripper mystery: Back to square one

Jack_the_Ripper

You’ll recall last month this blockbuster story “Jack the Ripper identity confirmed by DNA”. Well, as we suspected… meh. Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has ‘made serious DNA error’ – The Independent. A 23-year-old Polish immigrant barber called Aaron Kosminski was “definitely, categorically and absolutely” the man who carried…

Ebola roundup – facts, fear, fiction

ebola_micrograph_0

There are so many news stories out today about Ebola, we’ve grouped them! They all involve questionable claims and hyped fear. FDA cracks down on Ebola scams. At least three companies have been issued warnings by the Food and Drug Administration in the past month for selling treatments, solutions or therapies for Ebola, the deadly virus…

Media continue to promote fearful stories of condition that may not even exist

wifi

Beware of human interest stories that make you sympathetic but use a probably false diagnosis. We’ve had many stories of people feeling incapacitated by environmental sources. But the data for their self-conclusions are poor. Electromagnetic hypersensitivity means Peter Lloyd can’t leave his house… or enjoy any modern pleasures inside. He can’t use mains electricity for…

Hippo living in the Chicago River? Are you kidding me? (UPDATE: publicity stunt)

Screenshot from Youtube

As suspected, this was not real. It was a publicity stunt for a mortgage company. Originally published 23 September 2014 Will people believe anything these days? Yep. They will. Is There Really a Hippo Swimming in the Chicago River?. A video posted on YouTube three days ago claims to show a hippopotamus swimming in the…

Acupuncture or child abuse? Child in China abused by teacher

Photo credit: Tencent News

This would not be called acupuncture in the US, it would be called outright abuse, which it is. Girl gets kidney failure after kindergarten teacher forcibly performs acupuncture on her. A three year old girl was diagnosed with pulmonary infections and kidney failure after her kindergarten teacher in Zhumadian, Henan province allegedly performed acupuncture treatment…

One not too impressive study does not prove life after death

brain

Once again, we see an exaggerated headline and all the eggs metaphorically in one basket. No, this study is not evidence for life after death. First hint of ‘life after death’ in biggest ever scientific study – Telegraph. The largest ever medical study into near-death and out-of-body experiences has discovered that some awareness may continue…

Half-baked ideas about diet, autism and fluoride in Australia

fallen_cake

If you don’t know who “celebrity chef” Pete Evans is, you’re probably not Australian – or you missed several years of TV shows involving food judging, food eating, more food judging and eventually judging of what the audience considers nutrition by one of the judges. To be honest, you didn’t miss much; these shows all…

Fear of underground invasion from North Korea is unfounded

crazy face

Well, this is certainly full of doubtful claims! Thanks to our various tipsters who wanted this story published. Is North Korea still digging tunnels to the South? – CNN.com. Gen. Hahn Sung-Chu never believed North Korea could dig a tunnel that reached Seoul — until now. Standing inside a basement of an apartment block in…