Skeptical Fails and Wins This Week

Hey there skeptifans. Here are the media Fails and Wins you sent me this week.

I like my ramen full of MSG and curly as Justin Timberlake's 90's hair.

How can I relieve my baby’s teething pain?
This doctor recommends homeopathic drops for teething pain, claiming many babies have benefited from them but more studies need to be done. How many homeopathy studies are enough? There are hundreds of them already, and the ones that are properly blinded show no effect beyond placebo. Why should we think that teething drops would work when all other homeopathic treatments tested have failed?

Jyuban: Where ramen purists get their fill

Art sent in this Fail from the Globe and Mail. This restaurant reviewer claims you can get expensive ramen that is “chemical free”. Don’t even get me started on how meaningless that term is. The funniest part of the article is where the author seems to say that she prefers cheap MSG ramen to this stuff, but she KNOWS this ramen is better and the problem is she’s become addicted to the taste of chemicals. It couldn’t possibly be the fact that MSG is freaking delicious. Anyways, if you’d like to drop $40 on a meal that I usually get out of a $0.69 packet, click the link to read more.

Deepak Chopra yoga centre opens in Vancouver

Vancouver loves its yoga and its woo. Now Deepok Chopra is putting his name on a centre that will provide both. This article pulls out terms like “healing arts”, “spiritual laws” and “Chopra wellness”. With phrases like that, who needs evidence?

The Truth About Epidurals

Anna sent in this Win from Slate about epidurals. The author presents some of the common claims from natural birth proponents and puts them up against the hard evidence. She thoughtfully reviews the available research, citing gaps in our knowledge and the difficulties with doing ethical studies in this area.

Did you spot a media Fail or Win? Send it to me at

3 Responses to “Skeptical Fails and Wins This Week”

  1. Rob Wilson says:

    For your “Skeptical Fails and Wins” , Dr. Steven Novella was interviewed on Prime Time Sports about chiropractic neurology. It Aired the week of Jan 16th and is available as a podcast. It was as usual a great job by Dr. Novella.

  2. crf says:

    Those silly ancient Romans and Greeks!
    They made a sauce, garum, out of natural anchovy innards packed in natural salt in a natural baked clay amphorum left out to ferment using natural bacteria in the natural sun!
    What did that natural, yet foul smelling, sauce contain? And why did so much of it trade that they find in shipwrecks? It contained the flavour-enhancing chemical MSG. They used this fish sauce as a flavour enhancer on many dishes, even, apparently, dessert.


  • 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.