This is the background needed to begin to understand why tonight, as the World Series begins between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers, the field will probably be full of men who are wearing what can best be perhaps described as magical necklaces. Or, if you're the geeky type, call them +5 Amulets of Baseball Enhancement.
Wikileaks may have been the big news, but there were numerous other data breaches in 2010. [more inside]
"Con men used to travel town to town hawking medical remedies said to be made of Chinese snakes. Snake oil was useless and dangerous. So the FDA was created to put a stop to it and other food and drug scams. But, today, quack medicine has never been bigger. In the 21st century, snake oil has been replaced by bogus therapies using stem cells. Stem cells may offer cures one day, but medical charlatans on the Internet are making outrageous claims that they can reverse the incurable, from autism to multiple sclerosis to every kind of cancer."* Video Part 1 [13:15] || Part 2 [11:49]. [more inside]
Is Vitamin C worth taking or not? Does Echinacea kill colds? Am I missing out not drinking litres of Goji juice, wheatgrass extract and flaxseed oil every day? A generative data-visualisation of all the scientific evidence for popular health supplements by David McCandless and Andy Perkins. (Still Image) (data) [via] [more inside]
The Lexicon BD-30 is a THX-certified Blu-ray player with "Anchor Bay's award-winning Video Reference Series technology" that retails for $3,500. However, reviewers at Audioholics recently discovered that the BD-30 is nothing more than a non-THX-certified $500 Oppo BDP-83, placed in a new exterior, chassis and all, and marked up by $3000. At least one review forum stands by its assessment claiming that the Lexicon is superior to the Oppo. [via]
Is fibromyalgia a useful way of categorizing the illnesses experienced by several million Americans? The doctor who pioneered the study and characterization of the illness no longer thinks it exists as a distinct entity, and other experts agree. People who've been diagnosed with the disorder experience real pain, and are comforted by being able to put a name to their illness, but their doctors often think they'd have been better off without the diagnosis. [more inside]
Gillian McKeith banned from calling herself 'Dr'. Gillian McKeith, a "nutritionist" who has had several UK TV series, endless adverts for health supplements and sex pills, has for years used her title of Doctor to persuade people that she actually knows what she's talking about. Except now, thanks to the Advertising Standards Authority, she's no longer allowed to call herself a Doctor. I guess non-accredited correspondence-course PhDs and the membership of the American Association of Nutritional Consultants, something that a dead cat can be a member of for the princely sum of $60, doesn't actually mean much after all.
David Lynch - Peace through Yogic "Flying" : Communication departments and film schools throughout the Midwest are currently being approached by representatives of David Lynch and the Marharishi School of Fairfield, Iowa. On the surface, they're out to publicize a seminar about filmmaking and the creative process. In actuality, it's part of an ongoing effort to (according to IMDb) raise $1 billion to build a world wide network of Transcendental Meditation "peace palaces". . . including head-quarters in India which will be capable of housing 40,000 followers - in the hope of bringing peace to the world through the practice of mass "yogic flying". The cost per student? $45. Related MeFi posts: 1, 2, 3
QuackWatch.Org has long been a solid source for debunking medical claims by alternative health care practioners. But it turns out things are not all they are Quacked up to be, find out who is really behind the QuackWatch Conspiracy at QuackPotWatch.Org