Something to be said for Snake Oil

One of my favorite quotes on comparing homeopathic remedies with herbal medicine:
At least snake-oil has the decency to contain some snake.
Matt Parker
This comes from Parker's excellent article in TimesOnline in which he shows mankind has not accumulated enough money to buy even one molecule of Arnica at current homeopathy rates: Homeopathy by the (mind boggling) numbers.


Mass Suicide Attempt as Protest Against Homeopathy

This is clever. Some 300 (or more) people in the U.K. will be protesting outside the Boots stores by overdosing on homeopathic remedies!
Boots hit by mass homeopathy 'overdose'
The protesters will drink large quantities of homeopathic fluids to illustrate their claim that the potions are too diluted to have any impact on the body.
Since homeopathic remedies do little more than cure thirst, no lives are at stake. However, some homeopathic medicines are not always truly homeopathic because they do mix in some chemicals, typically taken from some obnoxious plant. These are pseudo-homeopathic, and they can cause harm if taken in large quantities. This group, however, is an offshoot of the Merseyside Skeptics Group, so I'm pretty sure they will be well informed.

In case things go south, I suggest they have professional homeopathic medical personnel standing by. You know, the ones without legitimate degrees or any training whatsoever.

The event is planned for 10:23 on January 30th. See the 10^23 site for more details.


Unidentified Floating Object?

Not quite - it has been identified:
Mystery surrounds the death of a UFO expert who was found dead in the sea.
An inquest into the death of Paul Vigay failed to conclude how he came to drown off Eastney Esplanade, Eastney, Portsmouth.

No-one saw the 44-year-old father-of-one enter the water and he left no suicide note.
As you read the full article, you'll find that the "mystery" is not much of a mystery and he did leave a note which can be interpreted as a "suicide note". But the author of this article tries very hard to shamelessly weave an air of mystery/conspiracy when it is clear that the issues that led to Vigay's suicide are personal ones.


Katie Spotz Rows the Atlantic

Did you know that somewhere on the Atlantic there is a young woman in a row boat attempting to cross the ocean solo? I've been watching her tweets, photos and blog posts (via satphone) over the past week. It's an amazing and dangerous journey. Of course, the rowboat is a high tech affair, complete with sleeping cabin. Still, she has a long way to go. It's a woman against nature.
Now that I am in the trades, I have been rowing in much bigger waves making for one salty ride. Yesterday there was a 20 foot wave that broke on me while rowing – enough to get the heart pumping! For a moment I thought the boat might capsize but luckily came away only losing some bits of gear. Into the sea went my sunscreen, water bottle, sheepskin seat, and rowing gloves (plenty of extras).(link)


It's nice to see we have our priorities in order.
‘Lost’ Fans Can Relax
Fans of the television show ‘Lost’ have no fear. The White House does not plan to schedule the President’s first State of the Union address on the same night as the premiere of the popular ABC series.
What do people think Obama's been doing in Hawaii all this time if not taking onsite tours of the 'Lost' production sites?? And what better way to tease the State of the Union address than saying it will contain a spoiler or two? Or having Hurley sitting between Pelosi and Reid?