Hey there skeptifans. Here are the media Fails and Wins you sent me this week.
Study suggests smelling rosemary aromas can boost brain performance
Art sent in this fail. Apparently smelling rosemary boosts your “brain performance”. What exactly does this mean? Well, the article won’t tell you. It only mentions researchers saw improvements on “speed and accuracy tests”. There is no critical assessment of the study, or explanation of exactly what results were seen. I couldn’t find a recent study that matched the description, but I found two previous papers from the same university that involve rosemary. There may be some genuine effects from aromatherapy, but with reporting like this it’s impossible to separate the wheat from the chaff. These types of articles send people running to the store for expensive essential oils and supplements, without the evidence needed to make good choices.
Herbal stress relief? Try a walk instead
John sent in this win from the Globe and Mail. There are a number of herbal supplements on the market that claim to help you manage stress. But this article points out they are often unproven and carry risks. One thing that has been proven to help is a little exercise…and that’s free.
A Catholic teachers association looks to ban WiFi. What’s next? Coffee?
Lorne sent in this win regarding the ongoing wi-fi in schools debate. The article is a great take down of the claims that wi-fi fear mongerers make by comparing the actual risks to the risks of many other every day things. Why are the teachers not up in arms about microwaves? Or coffee?
Did you spot a media Fail or Win? Send it to me at email@example.com.