Skeptical Fails and Wins This Week

Hello skeptifans. A number of you sent in some vaccine related fails last week, but I honestly can’t bring myself to write another word about that today. Anti-vaxers have me burnt out, so I’m taking a break from them this week. Luckily (or unluckily) there is a lot of other woo to write about.

Hot yoga...bringing new meaning to the "corpse pose".

Thinking of trying hot yoga? Read this first
Erik sent in this win. Are there benefits to hot yoga, or just additional risks? Contrary to what some yogis will say, lightheadedness and fainting are not signs that you’re getting a good workout!

Welcome to the Heart Scanning Industrial Complex
Anna sent in this story. The Tyee has had a history of publishing solid skeptical articles, especially on the subjects of health and consumer protection. This is another win on the benefits (or lack thereof) of expensive heart scans which come with big claims on preventing heart and stroke. The truth is, these scans haven’t been shown to save any lives and they come with risks.

Canadian has devoted life to proving existence of alien life
Ian sent in this fail. This article shows why the media should not be giving a soapbox to woo-hucksters. This story is about a dude who thinks there is a conspiracy to cover up knowledge of alien life. What credentials does he give?

“I have had only 11 hecklers of whom two were drunk. In addition, I have appeared on hundreds of TV and radio shows, been involved in five books, numerous documentaries…”

Exactly. The fact that people like this are covered in the media, gives them credibility. Once they get enough press under their belt, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. “I am someone to write about, because others have written about me before”. Credulous interviews like this one need to stop. Journalists, your job doesn’t stop at asking questions and publishing the answers. You need to dig deeper, challenge your subjects, and find the evidence!

That’s the Fails and Wins this week, folks. See you again next week. Send me your stories at

3 Responses to “Skeptical Fails and Wins This Week”

  1. Wow, I didn’t realize Stanton Friedman was Canadian. Maybe we can bundle him in with Jim Carrey and Pam Anderson for a “No, really… you guys can keep them” package offer.

  2. Erik Davis says:

    To sweeten the deal: Act now and we won’t throw in Anne Murray.

    • Dianne Sousa says:

      I have a feeling that these negotiations will go poorly for us since they always have Celine as a trump card.

      Seriously though, that has to be one of the more “gah” articles I’ve read in a while. I can’t quite see whether the journalist is being honest with his questions or sees the whole thing as oddly interesting or something else entirely.


  • Melany Hamill

    Melany proudly uses the titles of both geek and nerd. As a science-enthusiast and fan of debate, Melany likes to get her facts straight. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Chemical Engineering. Since then her career path has meandered to its current spot as a project manager at a video game studio. Melany lives near beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. She is not seeking treatment for her caffeine addiction.