"Posing For Posture"
"Posture photos," as they were then called, were taken of every incoming student at many prestigious colleges in the first half of the 20th century, as a part of the registration process. George L. Hersey '51, now a professor of art history at Yale, says, "I was told to show up at the swimming pool, I took my swim test and posed. We were expected to show up and do this." Students acquiesced in the days of single-sex colleges because nudity was a normal part of the college experience, Knight says. "We never wore bathing suits in the swimming pools, it was considered more hygienic that way," he says. "The House [swimming] races were in the nude." And so posture photos were snapped and collected--and saved for later research which was intended to link physique to temperament. This practice--led nationwide by a Harvard researcher--remained widespread through the 1950s and 60s. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jul 7, 2013 -
The Triumph of New-Age Medicine "Medicine has long decried acupuncture, homeopathy, and the like as dangerous nonsense that preys on the gullible. Again and again, carefully controlled studies have shown alternative medicine to work no better than a placebo. But now many doctors admit that alternative medicine often seems to do a better job of making patients well, and at a much lower cost, than mainstream care—and they’re trying to learn from it." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jun 15, 2011 -
Few phenomena have the power to confound as many different types of people as pareidolia
. It doesn't discriminate by culture or religion. It causes Christians to see Jesus and Mary
, Muslims to see the names of Allah and the Prophet
, Jews to see the Star of David
, Hindus to see the monkey-god Hanuman
, and Buddhists to see — you guessed it — the Buddha
. Even atheists who haven't devoted themselves to skepticism have puzzled long and hard over the famous face
, and more recently, Bigfoot
, on Mars. Now video has surfaced on YouTube of pseudoscientist and perennial attention-seeker Richard Heene (yes, Balloon Boy
's dad) seeing things on the red planet too
. If you'd prefer the filler edited out, the remix
is highly entertaining. [more inside]
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis
on Aug 11, 2010 -
The investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks (dubbed "Amerithrax" by the FBI) is now closed. Yesterday, the Department of Justice released a 92-page summary [pdf]
of their investigation. Their conclusion -- that USAMRIID
scientist Bruce Ivins was the culprit -- was backed by an impressive amount of evidence, including microbiological detective work (p. 23 ff). But some of the investigation was downright bizarre.... [more inside]
posted by cgs06
on Feb 20, 2010 -
With all the crystal skulls
, nazca lines
and such at the box office these days now might be the ideal time to reacquaint yourself with the theories of Erich von Däniken
. What better way to do it than by watching William Shatners Mysteries of the Gods
( Pt. 1
, Pt. 2
, Pt. 3
, Pt. 4
, Pt. 5
, Pt. 6
, Pt. 7
, Pt. 8
, Pt. 9
, Pt. 10
)(MULTI LINK YOUTUBE SHATNERFEST)
posted by Artw
on Jun 10, 2008 -
Can't ever find what you are looking for at the bookstore? Tired of seeing pseudoscience or pop psychology books in the science section? Join a grassroots effort to re-shelve books to the appropriate section of the store: Biologists Helping Bookstores
posted by corpse
on Jul 28, 2007 -
Skeptoid: Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena was born in October, 2006 to help fight the good fight against the overwhelming majority of noise in the media supporting useless alternative medicine systems, psychics preying upon the vulnerable, the erosion of science education in the classroom, xenophobia of advanced energy and food production methods, and generally anything that distracts attention and public funding from scientific advancement.
Episodes feature such prominent MeFi discussion material as organic food myths, blood for oil, chiropractics,
Links are to podcast transcripts. Full episode guide.
posted by arcticwoman
on May 24, 2007 -
Dr. Stephen Lanka claims that H5N1 doesn't exist.
. Or disease-causing viruses in general
. "In humans, in the blood or in other bodily fluids, in an animal or in a plant there never have been seen or demonstrated structures which you could characterize as bird flu viruses or flu viruses or any other supposedly disease-causing virus. The causes of those diseases which are being maintained to be caused by a virus, also those in animals, which can arise quickly and in individuals either one after the other or several at the same time, are known since a long time back. However much you stretch things in biology, there is simply no place for viruses as the causative agents of diseases. Only if I ignore the findings of Dr Hamer’s New Medicine, according to which shock events are the cause of many diseases, and the findings of chemistry on the effects of poisonings and deficiencies, and then if I ignore the findings of physics about the effects of radiation, then there is a place for imaginings such as disease-causing viruses."
posted by Sticherbeast
on Jul 24, 2006 -
Nature abhors a gradient.
So I was reading about the latest developments in the Behe Panda trial
and I came across a link to this
way of thinking, in essence that the 2nd law of thermodynamics is the guiding force behind complexity (summarised here
). Like any good scientific theory, they have a blog
but can they explain the Tuatara
, which seems a little lacking in contemporary gradient reduction?
posted by Sparx
on Nov 4, 2005 -
Creationist author Michael Behe: "Astrology is a scientific theory".
If, that is, you use his definition of theory. Behe, you may recall, is the grand high poobah of "intelligent design", the theory that states that somebody (who totally
doesn't have to be God)
designed all life on Earth. It seems the latest iteration of the Scopes Monkey Trial isn't going so well for Mr. Behe. Even the courtroom audience is laughing at him.
posted by darukaru
on Oct 19, 2005 -
:: spend a rainy Saturday afternoon learning how to bend forks with your mind. Sort of.
posted by anastasiav
on Jul 10, 2004 -
:: calls itself a 'Culture Jammer's Encyclopedia' -- its a fabulous compendium of forgeries, fakes, hoaxes, counterfeiting, spoofs, pseudoscience, and just plain weird stuff. Perfect fodder for killing time on a Friday afternoon.
posted by anastasiav
on Apr 23, 2004 -
Butt Candles are an exciting, and time honored, device for internal cleansing
. Their slogan? "Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack be at buttcandle.com".
And don't miss the FAQ section on how to avoid "folicular ignition".
posted by paulrockNJ
on Jan 29, 2002 -
A sunken megalithic city
, perhaps 6,000 years old, has been sonar-photographed with an underwater sub, off the coast of Cuba, 2100 feet down. Well, at least they didn't describe it as 'cyclopean'. Nor is there any word on whether its architectural angles are non-Euclidean
. [More inside]
posted by Slithy_Tove
on Dec 9, 2001 -