Is it okay to question science?

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In the early nineteenth century, phrenology was the talk of every town. The up and coming discipline examined the shape and contours of the skull to deduce a person’s psychological traits. By simply running his fingers across a skull, an expert could uncover amazing details about the person’s life, including spirituality and submissiveness. Except phrenology was nonsense, a pseudoscience used by many to justify American slavery.

Of course, many were critical of phrenology’s claims. Skeptics pointed to the questionable methodologies and lack of scientific guidelines. Others simply did not believe its outlandish claims. History would prove these skeptics correct, dismissing the faux discipline and shoving its findings off the table.

PHrenology Django Racist Slavery Bullshit Fake Faux False not True Brain Skull Head Weekly Show Skepticism

If nothing else, phrenology serves of an example of the scientific community’s fallibility.

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The 5 worst anti-science companies and offenders

POM Pomegranate Juice Cancer Healthy Lies Lawsuit Sue Cures Prevents Prostate Weekly Show

One of the hardest parts about being a science writer is combating the misconceptions floating around the internet. Whether simple misunderstandings or deliberate twisting of facts, these ideas spread like wildfire, embedding themselves deep in people’s minds. To make matters worse, companies, media personalities, and demagogues contribute to the blaze, either spreading faulty information or deliberately lying to their audiences. Instead of picking apart their claims one by one, I’ve decided to list some of the worst offenders and their most outrageous claims. Without further ado, here is Part I of the most egregious anti-science companies and individuals. Enjoy and please share!

5. POM

Hold on, you say. What is my favorite juice company doing at number five? Allow me to explain. Pomegranate juice is chock-full of beneficial minerals and antioxidants, which is a major selling-point. That was not good enough, however, for the marketing team at POM. In order to sell more bottles, POM claimed its juice fights against prostate cancer. They are now embroiled in a nasty lawsuit with the FDA, which is working to prevent liars like these from undermining the food market.

POM Pomegranate Juice Cancer Healthy Lies Lawsuit Sue Cures Prevents Prostate Weekly Show

Pomegranate juice: better than an IV and only half the calories.

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Confessions of a nerd Part II

Everybody, there’s something I need to get off my chest: I am a nerd. Yes, I am an avid Boston sports fan. Yes, I spend too much time at the gym. But deep inside I am as weird as everyone else. I say everyone because I have a hunch that I am not alone: behind our mainstream interest and normal-person façades, we all have our oddities—our guilty pleasures, if you will. Below are some more of my nerdy secrets most people do not know about. I hope that this post can inspire others to share their guilty pleasures as well because let’s be honest: being a nerd is a lot more fun than being normal! Don’t forget to check out part one and part three!

Cat Glasses Dreaming Kitten

“One day I will unlock the secret to time travel…and making the vacuum cleaner go away.”

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Keeping with the spirit of the games

That special time of year is upon us, that quadrennial gathering where the world’s greatest come together to compete for their countries. Fans rejoice in the spirit of the games, cheering on their teams with cries of pride and patriotism. But what is the spirit of the games? Commentators throw the phrase around under the assumption that everybody knows the Olympic message by heart. Let’s look a little further into this saying.

London 2012 Olympic Rings Ceremony

What do these rings represent?

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Scrutinizing the Gods: Penn State Perspective

Ok. I know a lot of people have been talking about the Penn State scandal over the past week-and-a-half, so I’ll try to keep this brief and to the point. Yes, Jerry Sandusky is a disgusting human being. Yes, Joe Paterno and the other leaders at the university were unfathomably more disgusting for allowing this to happen. But believe it or not, these are neither the main points nor the key takeaways from the disaster. Allow me to explain.

Paterno Stature Sandusky Penn State

Twelve months ago, this man was a god.

Jerry Sandusky, one of the greatest defensive coordinators of all time, retired abruptly at the age of 55. For the moment, forget all speculation as to why he quit. What catches my attention here is the aftermath of his retirement. Fifty-five is relatively young for a football coach. Doesn’t it seem bizarre that nobody hired him? Not a single Division I school even spoke to him.

This makes no sense.

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