Swiss change tactics with prayer to stop glacial ice from disappearing

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Anti-Glacier Prayer “Worked Too Well”—Vatican Approves New Ritual. About 50 people set out on foot from the Swiss village of Fiesch at dawn on July 31. As the sun rose over 13,000-foot (4,000-meter) Alpine peaks, the procession moved slowly up a mountainside and into the cool of a pine forest, stopping at a tiny church.…

Family prevented from being foster parents due to their anti-vax choice

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Family hoping to foster children runs into problem with the state. Susann and her husband Dan’s hopes of fostering children and then adopting them were recently dashed because their daughter’s aren’t fully vaccinated for philisophical reasons, not religious. According to a spokesperson with the state’s Department of Economic Security, or DES, the state requires that…

Homeopathic nosodes are NOT alternatives to vaccines

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On August 1, Bad Science Watch launched a campaign against homeopathic vaccines. Now, they are back in the press to warn of the hazards of failing to vaccinate against pertussis. Whooping cough: Advocacy group warns against homeopathic prevention as alternative to vaccines. Amidst the recent whooping cough outbreaks in various parts of Canada, a new…

Serious troubles for Scientology’s drug program Narconon

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The Narconon program has been featured here in two stories about questionable deaths and another about promotion in U.K. schools. The program is facing increased scrutiny. Scientology Drug Program Narconon’s Licensing “Extremely Vulnerable” After Oklahoma Deaths, Says Insider. Scientology is facing crises on several fronts: flagging membership, internal schisms, relentless Internet exposure, and whole new…

U.K. church claims olive oil drink is miracle cure for cancer, HIV and diabetes

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Manchester Evening News conducts an investigation to get the attention of the trading standards organization. Revealed: Gorton church sells olive oil and blackcurrant squash as miracle ‘cure’ for cancer and HIV. A church has been slammed for ‘exploiting’ the vulnerable by selling blackcurrant squash and olive oil which it claims can cure cancer. The Victorious…

VP nominee: Climate Denier and Conspiracy Theorist? Or just toeing party line.

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According to Think Progress, Mitt Romney’s nominee for Vice President is a doubtful choice for science and rationality. Meet Paul Ryan: Climate Denier, Conspiracy Theorist, Koch Acolyte | ThinkProgress. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick, is a virulent denier of climate science, with a voting record to match. A favorite of the Koch…

Barton’s revisionist history book pulled by publisher after NPR story

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Good news on bad history. The publisher suggests SOMEONE was lying but it ain’t Thomas Jefferson. Publisher Pulls Controversial Thomas Jefferson Book, Citing Loss Of Confidence Citing a loss of confidence in the book’s details, Christian publisher Thomas Nelson is ending the publication and distribution of the bestseller, The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve…

Peacocks in Pakistan dying in droves

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In Pakistan, a peacock mystery The wild peacocks of Pakistan were dying in droves. Was the government covering it up? That was the question Pakistanis were raising last week as reports persisted from the Thar desert area of southern Sindh province about peacocks whirling themselves to death in mad dances that appeared to have no…

This image has us stumped

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Your Friday pareidolia. Of course, it’s the same guy all the time. Face of Jesus Christ appears on tree stump at Belfast cemetery – Belfasttelegraph.co.uk. An image of the face of Jesus Christ has appeared on a tree stump in a Belfast cemetery. The tree, which was recently felled at Belfast City Cemetery in west…

FDA finds serious quality problems at UK homeopathy manufacturer

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The US Food and Drug Administration found “significant violations of Current Good Manufacturing Practice” in a 2011 inspection of the A Nelson & Co facility in London which produces homeopathic products. The Quackometer blog has the scoop. FDA Raises Serious Concerns About UK’s Nelsons Homeopathics | The Quackometer Blog. Nelsons, UK manufacturers of such products…

Morse waterbording case: Was he torturing his child to further his research into near death experience? (UPDATED)

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Melvin and Pauline Morse waterboarding case: Delaware girl accuses parents of waterboarding her. A Delaware doctor and his wife were arrested this week after their daughter told authorities that she was punished by “waterboarding,” police said. The 11-year-old girl told police that her father, pediatrician Melvin Morse, would hold her face under a running faucet…

The beer went over the mountain

Photo credit: Even B. Nilsen

Bears break in to Norway cabin, drink beer. A family of bears is suspected of having broken into a cabin in northern Norway and polished off over a hundred cans of beer. The bear, and three cubs, are reported to have forced their way into the cabin by ripping a wall off. Nilsen told of…

Children of “muammin” cult rescued from underground dwellings (UPDATE: Authorities exaggerated conditions)

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Cult living underground raided by Russian police | StarTribune.com A self-proclaimed prophet had a vision from God: He would build an Islamic caliphate under the earth. The digging began about a decade ago, and 70 followers moved into an eight-level subterranean honeycomb of cramped cells with no light, heat or ventilation. Children were born. They,…

Curiosity over Mars mystery blotch

NASA (see middle horizon for "blotch")

Curiosity’s mysterious Mars photo stirs speculation – latimes.com. Did Curiosity capture the galactic equivalent of the Zapruder film when it landed on Mars? Seconds after the NASA robot’s landing Sunday night, Curiosity managed to squeeze off a handful of fuzzy, black-and-white photographs. One, taken with a device on its rear known as a Hazcam, captured…

Rain of seaweed in U.K. village

Photo credit: SWNS

Weird weather rains seaweed over Gloucestershire village – Telegraph. They were stunned to find their homes, gardens and cars littered with the smelly marine algae after a stormy weather spout swept up the debris from a beach 20 miles away. Weather experts believe the seaweed was picked up from Clevedon Beach in North Somerset by…

Naturopaths a bit too eager to recommend treatment at Hempfest

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Physicians charged for work at Hempfest – seattlepi.com. Two naturopathic physicians who treated patients at last year’s Hempfest face state charges of providing sub-standard care in conducting patient examinations to authorize medical marijuana, Department of Health staff said Tuesday. Physicians Carolyn Lee Bearss and Dimitrios Jimmy Magiasis face charged from the Board of Naturopathy and…

Blurry vision is a small price to pay for the sin of seeing an immodestly dressed woman

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This story gives me a headache. Is it real? Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men offered blurry glasses look to keep Israeli women out of sight – Yahoo! News. It’s the latest prescription for extreme ultra-Orthodox Jewish men who shun contact with the opposite sex: Glasses that blur their vision, so they don’t have to see women they…

Unusual Aztec burial found in Mexico City

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Mexican archaeologists discover ‘unprecedented’ Aztec burial. Mexican archaeologists say they have found an unprecedented human burial in which the skeleton of a young woman is surrounded by piles of 1,789 human bones in Mexico City’s Templo Mayor. Researchers found the burial about five metres (15ft) below the surface, next to the remains of what may…

Animal mutilation and speculation in Colorado

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Livestock mutilations shake up Gunnison ranching community. In recent weeks, a horse was shot and had its head skinned at the LeValley Ranch property, which is part of the Esty Ranch holdings about eight miles east of Gunnison. The horse also had its tongue and anus removed. Less than two months ago, a prize heifer…

Extreme heat, drought, but, ultimately, global warming is causing massive fish die off

Dead fish float in a drying pond near Rock Port, Mo. Photo credit: Nati Harnik / AP

Is this a result of global warming effects? Study says yes. Extreme Summer Heat Causing Massive Fish Die Off – International Science Times. The record-breaking heat across most of the country has led to fish dying off in the scalding hot water, researchers said. Hundreds of thousands of fish are dying across the Midwest as…

Roswell tall tale: Who needs evidence when you can use your title?

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Roswell reinvented. Again. Editors note: This was a story I refrained from publishing for several days now. Some stories in the media (often originating on non-mainstream blog or on four particular news outlets – the Daily Mail, the Huffington Post, Examiner and Gather [the latter two I don't even consider news sites]), are so baseless…

Warning about Chinese medicine – ineffective and potentially harmful

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Chinese medicine fails IDPs: hospital official. A medical expert in the Kachin Independence Organisation centre of Laiza has warned that Chinese medicines being used to treat people displaced by fighting in the region are ineffective and could have serious long-term side effects. “We are relying only on Chinese medicine. Most of the time it causes…

Weird, tiny jumping objects surprise California neighborhood

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This blog post describes “millions (literally) of tiny sphere-like objects bouncing around on the ground” in Davis, California. Sort of like jumping beans, these plant byproducts are pretty weird but have a natural cause. Jumping Jehoshaphat: amazing jumping oak gall swarm surprises Davis neighborhood | Knoepfler Lab Stem Cell Blog. The tiny balls bouncing all…

Kombucha alcoholic designer drinks make a splash

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Kombucha goes trendy as alcoholic health-food. Colicchio & Sons Experiments with Boozy Kombucha Kombucha, a probiotic tea lauded for its benefits to the immune and digestive systems is a health-food store staple, but two east-coast companies that produce alcoholic versions of the drink are garnering attention among the craft brew crowd. The latest endorsement comes…

Grassroots opposition to Louisiana’s voucher law points at absurdities

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More on the direct consequences of the Lousiana school voucher law. 14 Wacky “Facts” Kids Will Learn in Louisiana’s Voucher Schools | Mother Jones. Thanks to a new law privatizing public education in Louisiana, Bible-based curriculum can now indoctrinate young, pliant minds with the good news of the Lord—all on the state taxpayers’ dime. Under…