Hello skeptifans. I hope you are all enjoying the summer. Here are the Fails and Wins in the media last week.
Paying Homage to Darwin in an Unconventional Format: Rap
The New York Times had a great writeup on Baba Brinkman’s show, The Rap Guide to Evolution. Vancouver skepticampers were treated to a fantastic performance from Baba last year. It’s great to see that his form of skeptical entertainment has brought him success. Thanks to Michael for sending in the story.
My five-month old won’t sleep. Is Gripe water okay?
Erik sent in this Fail from the Globe and Mail’s “Ask an Expert” health questions section. While the pediatrician offers up some advice on putting your baby to sleep, he also recommends gripe water, homeopathy, and pro-biotic drops. While I haven’t seen any evidence that gripe water is dangerous, there also isn’t much showing that it works. And homeopathy being recommended by a pediatrician? Gah!
Canadian dies after controversial MS procedure
Liberation therapy has been a big subject in the Fails and Wins. If you aren’t familiar with it, it is an operation to clear the veins of people with MS, based on the unproven assumption that the disease is cause by blockages in these veins. MS sufferers have been flocking to clinics around the world that perform the procedure, spending thousands of dollars, with many returning home with health complications. A clinic in California has been holding seminars encouraging people to get the procedure. One Canadian who did so has now died after the procedure. The Canadian government had originally rejected plans to conduct clinical trials for the procedure, but after public outcry they are moving forward. This flies in the face of the evidence, which has not been promising, and it means taking money away from more promising trials. Thanks to Paul for sending in the story.
That’s the Fails and Wins this week, folks. See you again next week. Send me your stories at firstname.lastname@example.org.