Saturday, December 17, 2016

FACEBOOK and Fake News

      I am a senior and I live in Tennessee.  An overwhelming number of my family, friends, and me are Republicans.  I am not surprised that the fake news that I receive ispredominantly Republican leaning.  In fact, I almost never receive fake news reports those who are Democrat leaning.  Most of it comes via email with some heavily biased set of statistics or story. 

     Few of my group use FACEBOOK, including me.  So, I never experienced issues in the press which FACEBOOK is receiving about it being a cesspool of fake news.  However, with virtually everyone having a FACEBOOK account, these reports are probably an accurate reflection of the population in general and can answer the question “Do Republicans tend to circulate more fake and misleading stories than Democrats?” 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fake News

      Fake News is hardly a news story, but it has taken on new life with the Presidential Election and the insinuation of outside interference in the American process of democracy and the inability of the analysts to understand what happened.  The results defy their comprehension.
     What is different in this election is the enormous role that social media played.  According to Will Oremus of Slate in his article, The Real Problem Behind the Fake News: Facebook is under fire for spreading falsehoods. But it’s getting away with a bigger lie.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s election as president, Facebook has taken justifiable heat for its role in spreading misinformation and propaganda about the candidates. In particular, its news feed algorithm fueled a cottage industry of fake and intentionally misleading “news” that skewed heavily anti–Hillary Clinton and pro-Trump, according to a BuzzFeed analysis. These falsehoods attracted far more user engagement, on average, than true stories from the same outlets and drowned out earnest attempts by dedicated fact-checking sites such as Snopes to debunk them.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Real War on Science

A lot is being written about Trump’s Anti-science stance, but how biased is that reporting?  Here is an interesting article that offers counter-point.  We just got through eight years of misrepresentations from the Right about Obama.  There is no chance we won’t experience the same from the Left about Trump. 

From the magazine The Real War on Science, The Left has done far more than the Right to set back progress by John Tierney , Autumn 2016

My liberal friends sometimes ask me why I don’t devote more of my science journalism to the sins of the Right. It’s fine to expose pseudoscience on the left, they say, but why aren’t you an equal-opportunity debunker? Why not write about conservatives’ threat to science?
My friends don’t like my answer: because there isn’t much to write about. Conservatives just don’t have that much impact on science. I know that sounds strange to Democrats who decry Republican creationists and call themselves the “party of science.” But I’ve done my homework. I’ve read the Left’s indictments, including Chris Mooney’s bestseller, The Republican War on Science. I finished it with the same question about this war that I had at the outset: Where are the casualties?
To read more follow this link

REAL science dies whenever one side tries to claim "The debate is over."  

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Evidenced-based Medicine

      Dr. Harriet Hall, MD, aka the SkepDoc, is a retired family physician and Air Force Colonel   As a contributing editor to both Skeptic and Skeptical Inquirer, an advisor to the Quackwatch website, and an editor of, she writes about alternative medicine, pseudoscience, quackery, and critical thinking. Her website is

      In her essay Evidence: “It Worked for My Aunt Tillie” Is Not Enough,

      She provides an easy to understand significance of the difference between science-based medicine and evidence-based medicine.  Evidence means different things to different people. Even quacks and their victims claim to have evidence that their treatments work.  Often that was all the evidence some people need. They don't care about scientific evidence because they say, “Science doesn’t know everything.” 
      However, just because science doesn’t know everything doesn’t mean they can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy tale most appeals to them.  When Oprah Winfrey told Jenny McCarthy that experts said there was no scientific evidence that vaccines caused autism, Jenny retorted, “My science is named Evan, and he’s at home. That’s my science.”

Dr Hall says,
There is no such thing as “alternative medicine.” There is only medicine that has been tested and proven to work and medicine that hasn’t. If a treatment currently considered to be alternative were adequately tested and proven to work, it would be incorporated into mainstream medical practice and could no longer be considered “alternative.” It would become just “medicine.” So-called “alternative” medicine can be defined as medicine that isn’t supported by good enough evidence to earn it a place in mainstream medicine. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Doom Sayers Have a LONG History if Failure

      Here’s a list of predictions made with much fanfare and extensive coverage in the media in the 1970s
  • the population explosion would be unstoppable;
  • global famine would be inevitable;
  • crop yields would fall;
  • a cancer epidemic caused by pesticides would shorten lifespan;
  • the desert would advance at two miles a year;
  • rain forests would disappear;
  • acid rain would destroy forests;
  • oil spills would worsen;
  • oil and gas would run out;
  • and so would copper, zinc, chrome and many other natural resources;
  • the Great Lakes would die;
  • dozens of bird and mammal species would become extinct each year;
  • and a new ice age would begin;
      All of these were extolled in the mainstream media. Not one of them has come even close to meeting the apocalyptic expectations of their promoters. Often it was because the scare was exaggerated.
Later, more predictions of doom:
  • sperm counts would fall;
  • mad cow disease would kill hundreds of thousands of people;
  • genetically modified weeds would devastate ecosystems;
  • nanotechnology would run riot;
  • computers would crash at the dawn of the millennium, bringing down civilization;
  • the hole in the ozone layer would cause blindness and cancer on a huge scale;
Add to these the predictions of Climate Doom
  • malaria was going to get worse because of rising temperatures; it didn’t.
  • snow would become a thing of the past; yet northern hemisphere snow cover shows no trend
  • hurricanes/cyclones would get worse; they haven’t.
  • droughts would get worse; they haven’t
  • the Arctic sea ice would be gone by 2013; it wasn’t.
  • glacier retreat would accelerate; yet more than half the retreat of glaciers happened before 1950.
  • sea level rise would accelerate; it hasn’t
  • the Gulf Stream would falter, as this clip from the movie the Day After Tomorrow latched on to.
All these predictions have also failed so far.
The death toll from droughts, floods and storms has been going down dramatically. Not because weather has got safer, but because of technology and prosperity.

      James Hansen in 1988 said that by the year 2000, “the West Side Highway will be under water. And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won’t be there.” 
      The UNEP predicted in 2005 that by 2010 there would be 50 million climate refugees. In 2010 it tried to delete the web link. 
      Ten years ago, Al Gore said that within ten years we would have reached the point of no return. [Inconvenient truth]

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Universe Made Just for You

Humankind is the center and purpose of creation!  Really?
Using the Hubble Space telescope and other observatories, astronomers have completed the most accurate census of galaxies in the observable universe to date. The observable universe contains 10 to 20 times as many galaxies than previous estimates. That raises the total to about one and two trillion galaxies. Likewise, the new number of stars in the observable universe, which now numbers around 700 thousand billion billion.

It is very difficult to believe that any creator would be that wasteful of real estate such so humans have a pretty night sky. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Explaining Trump

      It is often said that FEAR drives elections, so what's the #1 fear in America?  According to Chapman University's Survey of American Fears, October 11, 2016 it is -- Fear of Corrupt Government Officials.  It exceeds the second highest fear by near 2 to 1.  What is the most common exhalation from Trump other than "Make America Great Again"?  It's Corrupt Hillary Clinton. Read this survey at  

Here is the entire list
FearFear Domain % Afraid or Very Afraid
Corrupt government officials Government 60.6
Terrorist Attack Manmade Disasters 41
Not having enough money for the future Economic 39.9
Terrorism Crime 38.5
Government restrictions on firearms and ammunition Government 38.5
People I love dying Illness and Death 38.1
Economic/financial collapse Economic 37.5
Identity theft Crime 37.1
People I love becoming seriously ill Illness and Death 35.9
The Affordable Health Care Act/Obamacare Government 35.5

Then we have the second mantle for Trumpism - Conspiracies.  Again according to Chapman University

The government is concealing what they know aboutPercent Agree or Strongly Agree
The 9/11 attacks 54.3%
The JFK assassination 49.6%
Alien encounters 42.6%
Global warming 42.1%
Plans for a one world government 32.9%
Obama’s birth certificate 30.2%
The origin of the AIDs virus 30.1%
The death of supreme court justice Antonin Scalia 27.8%
The moon landing 24.2%

Check out Chapman University about other American concerns at 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Climate Fantasy

Typically, we avoid posting opinion pieces but this one is a nice summary of what has been happening in the way of climate change. The Guardian's '100 months to save the planet' was always just a fantasy by Christopher Booker 

He explains that UK politicians remain wholly oblivious to reality. 
The irony is that 2008, when global warming hysteria was still at its height, was the very year when they landed us with the Climate Change Act, committing us to spending hundreds of billions of pounds on “decarbonising” our economy, at a time when other countries, led by China and India, are planning to increase their own “carbon” emissions by far more each year than the UK’s entire annual contribution to the global total. Until that totally insane Act is repealed, we really are heading for national suicide.

Media Bias

      A couple of weeks ago, I engaged in a debate with the producers of Nashville Public Television about bias in reporting. My position was -- it is nearly impossible to be unbiased in reporting. Their position was that they go through great lengths to be unbiased. I opening the discussion with the question, “What is the ratio of Democrats to Republicans on their production staff?” 
     They said that they were not permitted to ask that question. I then said, “How do you know that your reporting is unbiased?’ 
     They said they go through great lengths to follow proper journalistic practices to achieve balance in their reporting. I followed with, "What are your metrics to insure balance. It is human nature to follow stories that interests one; thereby unintentionally interjecting bias in reporting.  They were unconvinced."
      I personally believe that NPT/NPR do the best job of popular media in their attempt to offer both sides of a story, but they are not without bias. They will prioritize that which their staff “believes” is rational over the irrational and that which Is factual over that which is not factual. However, I have friends who argue bias when their pet belief, mostly on the political Right side does get support or worst yet gets reported as wrong.
      In past surveys of staff of the popular media repeatedly show bias although may try to be balanced. Then there is the extreme in terms of bias – Fox News. They aren’t even on a mission to be balance in their reporting. What makes this situation scary is the number of people who actually believe Fox News least attempts to be factual. 
      Here is an interesting op-ed on Fox New from a biased source. “The Foxification of American democracy,” by Shadia Drury in Free Inquiry.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

More Debate "Nuance"

One of the great brouhahas post-debate is whether Trump was against the Iraq War or for it. I was amazed to see this headline (and link) on FoxNews.
2003 video shows Trump, not Holt, right on candidate’s Iraq War stance

I watched the video and thought, “I must be missing something.  It hardly confirms Fox News’s claim.” So I thought it was time to dig a little deeper.  I went to Politifact to see what they had.

Trump still wrong on his claim that opposed Iraq War ahead of the invasion

Did they not hear the video on Fox News?  Yep, they did AND they had the transcript of what Trump ACTUALLY said, plus a lot more detail of other statements.  I was not surprised they disagreed with Fox News. 

Holt RIGHT! BUT, who knows, maybe the “microphone” was also faulty back then.

NPR Conducts Live Fact-Checking of the Debate

       Nashville Public Radio's (NPR) politics team, with help from reporters and editors who cover national security, immigration, business, foreign policy and more, provided live annotation of the debate. Portions of the debate with added analysis are underlined in yellow, followed by context and fact check from NPR reporters and editors.

The transcript on the following link updated live as the debate proceeded. NPR promises to work to correct the transcript as it came in, but due to the live nature of the event, there could be some discrepancies.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Grading Political Candidates on Science

      Two weeks ago, Scientific American asked for help in grading the presidential candidates on their answers to 20 questions about various aspects of scientific endeavor. The questions were refined by a group of scientific institutions representing more than 10 million scientists and engineers, with nonprofit organization as the facilitator. 
        Overall, Hillary Clinton scored highest , followed by Jill Stein. Donald Trump came in last on all counts. One Ph.D. biologist wrote, 
"Trump's answers demonstrate an almost complete ignorance of science or the importance of these imposing problems facing us in maintaining a livable world for everyone."
Did the candidates themselves or their campaign committees answer?

Read more at:

Facts about Illegal Immagration

      A key part of Trump's Presidential bid is his boast that he is going to stop illegal immigration by building a Big Wall.  It seems that people who support Trump for this reason are out-of-touch.  Here are some facts from Pew Research Center.

1) Total illegals has declined since peaking in 2009.
2) Mexicans make up 52% of illegals.
3) Illegals from countries other than Mexico has grown.
4) A rising share of unauthorized immigrants have lived in the U.S. for at least a decade. 
5) 76% American says undocumented immigrants are as honest and hard-working as US citizens.

Illegals pay income and payroll taxes, but do not qualify for public benefits like welfare, food stamps, and Medicaid. 

IRS Warns of Fake Tax Notice Scam

The IRS said it has received numerous reports of scammers sending fraudulent CP2000 notices for tax year 2015. It typically is an email with a fake CP2000 attachment.
The CP2000 can be a legitimate notice that the IRS mails to taxpayers through the U.S. Postal Service, but the IRS noted the notice is never sent as part of an email to taxpayers. Taxpayers and tax professionals should be suspicious of any notices that are sent electronically. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email or through social media such as Twitter or Facebook.
Read more at: 

Is Donald Trump Qualified to be President?

According to a Politico article of the same title as this post, 
Trump is bad with facts and the truth, and perhaps worse, takes perverse pride in being a D student who doesn’t read books, has the sketchiest sense of history, doesn’t read briefing materials, and, according to aides and ghostwriters, can’t even sit still long enough to be given a thorough verbal briefing.
These are not nasty, biased, liberal opinions – they are facts based on reporting and Trump’s own public performances.
Clinton is already the single most scrutinized, parsed, vetted, investigated, attacked and plaudited non-incumbent to ever seek the presidency. She’s been around forever, making enemies since the internet was dial-up, cell phones were the size of skateboards and Trump was engaged to Marla Maples.
We know of people who really don't care if Trump is qualified as long as a vastly more qualified Clinton isn't President.  It seems that they could care less if their hate damages the country.  We would hope they would be a more responsible voter, but our expectations are "no such luck."  If Trump is competent, then he should be able to address the concerns of the Politico article.

But as we have seen in the past, content in these debate does not matter.  It's all image. According to Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone
we're a nation of idiots who choose our leaders on gut feelings and think elections are a form of reality TV.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Incompetent Statements of Climate Change by Politicians

      Climate change is real and to deny it would be deny overwhelming evidence.  However, it is incompetent statements by some politicians that often cause knee-jerk reactions from the community of scientists who promote reality for responsible policy.  In Tom Harris article Political Elite Out of Touch on Climate Change
he notes
In his September 8th speech announcing California’s new greenhouse gas emission laws, Governor Jerry Brown said, “If we don’t stop climate change, it’s not going to be 110 [degrees] in Imperial County; it’s going to be 130, 135! Not for a few days or a few weeks, but for months on end!”
Brown’s statement is ridiculous, no matter what you believe about the causes of climate change.
      Temperature associated with climate change continues to be exaggerated from reality, starting with forecasts from climate models.
      Temperature data is readily available but that seems to be unimportant to politicians.  Those who disagree with the climate warming hysteria are labeled as deniers.  The only thing they deny is the need for this irresponsibility and the establishment of policy and setting of resource utilization priority based on these lies.

Presidential Debate - Their Nature

        The Presidential Debate is projected to have an audience that rivals the Super-bowl.  Each political camp anticipates their candidate to be the winner of the contest.  Each candidate's "base" support will be watching to reinforce their imagined persona for their preference and at the same time confirming the reasons for their dislike of the other candidate.  These debates, however, are not aimed at the “base,” but for those who have not yet made up their minds. So what is going to sway them?  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Upcoming Presidential Debates

      Everyone is wondering what the first debate between Trump and Clinton will be like. If the debate were in front of a college audience Clinton would skewer a significantly incompetent Trump. But it is not.  It is in front on an American audience and the education level to which the candidates must direct their comments is 7’th grade.   That is the grade level at which Trump thinks. He is no more complicated than, “we’re gonna build a big wall.” 
      For the life of her, Clinton won’t stoop to that level and she will get creamed when she tries to impress Americans with her expertise.  The general American public can’t relate to such wonky talk.  Everything she says, no matter how insightful will sail clear over their heads.  Remember this is a woman who could not give straight and simple answers when her candidacy depended on it.  
      She will spout that legalese jargon that will have Trump saying, “There she goes again with the bull shit.” And the American public will understand what he is saying and agree and as a result -- we’ll get skewered.
      For more on debate expectations read.

Educational Malaise

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." Isaac Asimov

      This 2014 article Anti-Intellectualism and the "Dumbing Down" of America, There is a growing anti-intellectual dumbing down of our culture  
seems to demonstrate this sad state of affairs in the 2016 Presidential election.  We suspect that America’s loss of educational superiority has more to do with the loss of the Middle Class than the influx of cheap labor across its borders.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Voter Fraud

    Again, the fear of voter fraud, significant enough to affect an election, has been raised in the upcoming U.S. National election.
     Is voter fraud as widespread as some politicians want us to believe.  They want to push Voter ID laws.  Actually according to several studies, cases of "voter impersonation," against which these laws would protect, are virtually NON-EXISTENT. Study Finds No Evidence of Widespread Voter Fraud
      So why is there so much paranoia about voter fraud?  In Texas the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals found that African-Americans were 1.79 times more likely -- and Latinos 2.42 times more likely -- than whites to lack the required identification.  Therefore, whom do these Voter ID laws target?  And for whom are these groups likely vote?  Voter ID is not just another conspiracy theory, it is a nothing more than an outright illegal attempt to violate the right of citizens.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Olympians Unintentionally Endorse Pseudo-Science

There is no better image for the promotion of quack remedies than athletes.  Many are easy targets for lucky gizmos and are willing to try anything that might provide that tiny edge that makes the difference between coming in first versus second.  In the process they send the wrong message to an adoring fan base that want to be like they in terms of health and physical fitness.

This year the most decorated Olympian Michael Phelps showed up with a lot of large, circular bruises from alt-med practice known as “cupping.” The NBC announcer explain that suction of heated glass bowls applied to the skin was reported to increase blood flow in the area thereby improving healing. 

Unfortunately, not only does this practice have no medical or scientific basis, but it can be quite dangerous, causing burns and infections. See this post from David Gorski

In some of the coverage during the run-up to the games, some athletes have been extolling what they see as the benefits of other pseudo-scientific treatments such as homeopathy, acupuncture, etc. 

For more read 

Science Questions for Presidential Candidates

The Challenge to the Presidential Candidates and to the Press

Science, engineering, technology, health and environmental issues now affect voters’ lives at least as much as the foreign policy, economic policy, and faith and values views that candidates traditionally share with journalists on the campaign trail. America’s leading science and engineering organizations are urging the candidates and the press to give equal priority to discussion of these important issues in the national dialogue, so that well-informed voters may continue to guide the democratic process.  asks the major political party candidates to provide responses, as they did in 2008 and 2012.

The website Right Wing Watch recently spotlighted a 2002 video of then- Representative Pence delivering an impassioned speech on the House floor in favor of teaching “intelligent design” in public school science classes, and challenging the scientific consensus on evolution by natural selection, demonstrating his ignorance of what is meant by the word “theory” in a scientific context.  Advocating that school children be religiously indoctrinated rather than be taught real science will handicap generations of students.

Years later on MSNBC  Pence was asked to restate his views on science and evolution. He resorted to the “teach the controversy” cliché. Pence’s other anti-scientific views consists of climate change denial and cigarettes do not cause cancer. These views can be disastrous for education and public health. 

Separating scientific fact from superstition is crucial when it comes to national policy and the education of our children. The electorate needs to know whether Pense would subordinate science to religion and cling to views that conflict with reality. Would he use his office to promote an anti-scientific agenda.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Lecture Series in Science-based Medicine

      Hardly a person alive has not relied on some cure or 'medical' treatment not yet or never-to-be approved by established medicine.  Be it vitamin supplements, chiropractic, fad diets, bio-magnets, or the like, it is all what used to be called "snake oil."  Most people consider such uses as harmless.  In many cases that is true, but in all cases the use of "snake oil" delays the use of real medical treatment - sometimes until it is too late.
      Since most people are likely to succumb to the promises of non-proven medical treatments in the hopes of that 'miracle', especially in non-curable and life-threatening diseases, identifying what is "real" versus what is "sham" is vital.
      The James Randi Educational Foundation has produced a superb 10-part video lecture series in which Harriet Hall, M.D., contrasts science-based medicine with so-called “complementary and alternative” methods. The topics include: What is CAM?; acupuncture; chiropractic; energy medicine; homeopathy; miscellaneous “alternatives”; naturopathy and herbal medicines; pitfalls in research; science based medicine vs. evidence-based medicine; science-based medicine in the media and politics. The lectures range from 32 to 45 minutes.She has also prepared the following course-guide:  

Here is the link to the videos on the various topics:

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Future War Abated?

      Many futurists have predicted that the next war would not be found over oil, but over fresh water.  Again, Israel defies the "experts." One of the driest countries on Earth now makes more freshwater than it needs. 
      The new Sorek desalination plant, the largest reverse-osmosis desal facility in the world, is Israel’s salvation. Just a few years ago, in the depths of its worst drought in at least 900 years, Israel was running out of water. Now it has a surplus. That remarkable turnaround was accomplished through national campaigns to conserve and reuse Israel’s meager water resources, but the biggest impact came from a new wave of desalination plants.

New Research Suggest Potential for Significant Global COOLING

      Recent research by Professor Valentina Zharkova (Northumbria University) and colleagues has shed new light on the inner workings of the Sun. If correct, the research suggests that the next three solar cycles will see solar activity reduce significantly into the middle of the century, producing conditions similar to those last seen in the 1600s – during the Maunder Minimum. This may have implications for temperatures here on Earth. Future solar cycles will serve as a test of the astrophysicists’ work, but some climate scientists have not welcomed the research and even tried to suppress the new findings.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Deceit in Sea Level Scaremongering

      It is obvious from this essay    Luctor et Emergo by Dr Gerrit J. van der Lingen
that there is no evidence whatsoever that global sea levels are rising due to human CO2 emissions. Predictions of sea-level rise by the end of this century, varying from 18 (status quo) to 600 centimetres, are based on non-validated computer models or are plain scare mongering
     The most important conclusion is that sea-level rise since the end of the Little Ice Age has been at a constant 1.7 to 1.8 mm per year. Mörner (2011) has even come to the well-researched conclusion that the correct figure for global sea-level rise by 2100 is very likely only +5±15cm. 
     Also, contrary to the predictions of the global warming alarmists, there has been no acceleration in sea-level rise over this time. Therefore, at most sea-level will rise by 17 to 18 cm by 2100, probably less.

Read the report at

Friday, July 22, 2016

Nobel Laureate Discusses Global Warming

Political Correctness

      In ‘political correctness’ debate, most Americans think too many people are easily offended.  At a time when the appropriateness of language has become a political issue, most Americans (59%) say “too many people are easily offended these days over the language that others use.” Fewer (39%) think “people need to be more careful about the language they use to avoid offending people with different backgrounds.”
      A new national survey by Pew Research Center finds substantial partisan, racial and gender differences on this question.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


      With the great success in the theaters of the 2013 The Conjuring Director James Wan spins another horror yarn. The Conjuring 2 is supposedly based on a true story, which is a well worn hoax. How many people would be excited if they were told, "we made the whole thing up."  Well, more than we would be disappointed to know.  But this "little" lie does sell more tickets.
      The Conjuring 2 is based on the Enfield Poltergeist in England, 1977 to 1979. Surprisingly, Wikipedia did a good job of reporting the facts of this incident (because they did such a lame job on the Bell Witch).
      Investigator Joe Nickel did a followup Investigative Brief as a follow-up to his earlier direct involvement in the case.
      Tim Wood in LiveSciFi reported the following in Is the movie the Conjuring 2 based on a True Story?
The Conjuring was one of the biggest horror blockbusters in recent memory and it only makes sense that the producers would make sequel. As with most horror movies the producers often try to blend fiction with facts, in order to make the movie bit scarier.  The first Conjuring movie according to Andrea Perron who lived in the house contained very little of the true story that actually occurred at the house. So how much of the Conjuring 2, is based on a true story?  

The answer is
Well it looks like the only part of the Conjuring 2 movie that might be true, might be the fact that the producers have the haunting occurring in Enfield, UK.  Being in the paranormal field for over 10 years and putting numerous hours investigating, reviewing, and trying to document anomalous phenomena for clients, I find it absolutely disgusting that the Warren’s will forever be attached to this case even though they absolutely had nothing to do with.  Even more disgusting is the fact that this movie claims to be based on true story, when it it clearly isn’t.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Only in America - Superstition Thrives

      In it's "Only in America" the July 15'th issue of The Week magazine reported on a recent activity of the Texas Supreme Court.  It ruled that a Christian family had the right to deny their children an education because the parents believed "the Rapture was imminent." Laura and Michael McIntyre refused to provide a school board with proof they've been actually homeschooling their NINE children saying the order violated their constitutional rights. Naturally, the court was ALL-Republican. 

Chinese Laws Denies Promotion of Superstition.

     China's official censorship guidelines technically prohibit movies that "promote cults or superstition" — a holdover from the Communist Party's secular ideology — and the country's regulators occasionally have used this provision as rationale for banning films that feature ghosts or supernatural beings in a semi-realistic way, such as the remake of Ghostbusters and Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, due their depictions of ghouls and cannibalism.  

Highly unlikely the "Ark of Kentucky" would have found a home.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Kentucky Celebrates Religious Ignorance

The Ark Encounter was built according to the biblical dimensions in Genesis. Seven stories tall and 510 feet long, it can be found on 800 acres on I-75 just south of Cincinnati, Ohio in Williamstown, Kentucky.

The monument was built by Ken Ham, founder, president, and CEO of Answers in Genesis and the popular Creation Museum,  A young Earth Creationist Ham said, 
" The Ark Encounter was built to answer the most-asked questions about the account of Noah and to present the gospel of Christ. This theme park is not just about entertainment, but also about presenting the Christian message." 

Friday, July 8, 2016


      Many of us rely on Internet product reviews for making purchase decisions.  However, some of the reviews just don't sound right.  They are either unrealistically negative or positive.  Do you ignore that input?  The website FAKESPOT.COM provides a second look at some of these product comments and provide some perspective on its potential legitimacy.  Here is what they claim.
Fakespot, launched in 2015, analyzes reviews intelligently and calculates a grade based on the authenticity of reviews involving the selected product. Fakespot identifies fake reviews, currently supporting,,,

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


Been to your doctor lately?  Often you get 15 minutes while s/he reads your history from a stack of notes and talks minimally with you.  With hundreds of patients and seeing as many as 40 in a day, how much more personal is your visit than what you might get via Telemedicine?  Do we imagine more personal care than we really get?  With the baby-boomers population, this problem is only going to worsen.

Does your doctor actually consult with the Internet?  With medicine advancing so rapidly, how does a medical practitioner keep up? Maybe the best doctors are those who know how to use the Internet effectively.

The Wall Street Journal: How Telemedicine Is Transforming Health Care -- "After years of big promises, telemedicine is finally living up to its potential. 

CNBC: CVS teams with telehealth trio to boost access to MD care — Pharmacy giant CVS Health announced it will work with three leading telehealth companies 

Forbes: Will Telemedicine Change Healthcare Or Prove To Be Another Venture Fad? — "Telemedicine is booming, but it’s also controversial

Monday, July 4, 2016


This short monograph describes and explains sea-level change and discuss the implications for coastal management. Intended for policy makers, it is instructive for the educated reader. It examines causes and measurement of sea-level change over the past 100 to 150 years. They note that sea-level change is a local phenomenon, with high variability and multiple causes and rebut alarmist propaganda. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Nobel Laureates Letter Supports GMOs

To the Leaders of Greenpeace, the United Nations and Governments around the world. The United Nations Food & Agriculture Program has noted that global production of food, feed and fiber will need approximately to double by 2050 to meet the demands of a growing global population. Organizations opposed to modern plant breeding, with Greenpeace at their lead, have repeatedly denied these facts and opposed biotechnological innovations in agriculture. They have misrepresented their risks, benefits, and impacts, and supported the criminal destruction of approved field trials and research projects. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Why Losing Weight and Keeping It Off Is Such a Pain

      You're trying to lose some recently acquired "baby-fat."  The first few pounds come off okay, but then the rate of weight loss slows down, stops, and often weight starts back up again, even if you are still following the recommended regimes. You think, “There must be something wrong with me. I need to cut back more in order to lose or maintain the weight loss or why bother trying any more?”  Dr. Donna Ciliaka suggests in her recent publication that you may be doomed. Your body has a weight Set-Point.

FACEBOOK Pushes Political Biases?

GIZMODO reports that FACEBOOK intentionally biased its Trending News reports toward non-conservative stories.
Facebook workers routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers from the social network’s influential “trending” news section, according to a former journalist who worked on the project. This individual says that workers prevented stories about the right-wing CPAC gathering, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, and other conservative topics from appearing in the highly-influential section, even though they were organically trending among the site’s users. 

FACEBOOK executives vehemently deny the allegations. 

Studies Masquerading as Science

      Time and time again I hear, "Often the scientists tell us studies prove one thing and then, a little bit later, they say another study proves just the opposite."  The problem is neither claim may actually be science, but all too often only brainless media hype.
      John Oliver does a GREAT job explain what's happening in the following "must watch" video

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Purpose for Creation

      Fundamental to all religions is the belief in human exceptionalism.  The universe was created with humankind as the ultimate product.  This belief leads to the cosmological fine-tuning argument in which numerous physical constants critical to human existence had to be fine tuned by a super intelligent agent.  Even the slightest change in any one of them would have produced an forever lifeless, barren cosmos. The argument continues that the probability of the universal constants taking on the exact values needed to sustain life is so low that they could only have been tuned.

     Jérémie Harris & Edouard Harris challenge this argument in their essay The Non-Fine-Tuned Universe: The Astronomical Failure of the Cosmological Argument for Thesis.  

     One of the commenters shares our opinion of the essay as
Nice article and great writing. It makes a clear point in showing the weakness in any theistic anthropocentric fine tuning argument. In a nutshell: we do not know: there are today too many unknowns .It is a great question, it has a scientific possible answer, and for sure it is part of the scientific domain of inquiry. 
      The authors effectively dismantle the common religious thinking.  However, one might consider "what if humans are not the ultimate objective of the creation experiment, but just a intermediate stepping stone along the way, such as the jelly fish seems intermediate to mammals."  No evidence or argument substantiates the human intent.  As the authors demonstrate, humans are such a infinitesimal part of creation that one must conclude they are most certainly NOT its purpose.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Check the Science Behind Biomedical Research

It's an unfortunate reality -- many biomedical research findings are ultimately proven to be illusory. 
 As a matter of fact, findings in medical research may be only slightly more reliable than Donald Trump's facts and only about as good as sport pundit expert picks against the spread.

Be skeptical about the value of biomedical research:

* Size matters: Small numbers of observations or study subjects are more likely to produce spurious and nonreplicable results. Studies need thousands of subjects to be credible.

* Conflicts of interest: Expect bias by studies published by entities with an interest in the results.

* Confirmation bias: Results expected from a study greatly affects the likelihood of a finding being actually true.

* Double blind? Were the findings from randomized studies and have they been INDEPENDENTLY replicated.

* Valid Statistics: Proof in medicine is based on a two sigma threshold or 95% confidence. In physics 99.99% confidence is required.

Don't fall to the latest trendy supplement or super food. Check the science.  Confirm that it was vigorous

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Cosmic Eye

This remarkable video was created by Danail Obreschkow at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research at the University of Western Australia. A progression of increasingly accurate graphical representations of the scales of our Universe, it shows a combination of real photographs and renderings from state-of-the-art computer models. All scientists and sources have given permission and are fully credited in the app.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Another Trumpism or Worse?

       One of our arguments regarding Donald Trump is -- he is relatively ignorant of the matters that concern being POTUS.  So every time he makes one of his colossal misstatements, we just chalk it up to "this man does not understand the job."  
     With that argument in consideration, what about the recent support from Ben Carson.  Some have concluded "a deal was in the making."  That is the same thought behind a recent complaint filed by the American Democracy Legal Fund, a pro-Clinton watchdog group,with the Justice Department.  
     It alleges that Donald Trump may have promised former candidate Ben Carson a job in the administration in exchange for his endorsement last month.  However, that would be a criminal offense.

18 U.S. Code § 599 - Promise of appointment by candidate

      Whoever, being a candidate, directly or indirectly promises or pledges the appointment, or the use of his influence or support for the appointment of any person to any public or private position or employment, for the purpose of procuring support in his candidacy shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if the violation was willful, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.