Spectacular Science Fails, And Ways The Media Linked To Us Last Week

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1. California declares water unsafe, and hands bottled water companies a giant subsidy. What do you do about water? While water is essentially safer than it's ever been, it's still in the news. Flint, Michigan made national headlines for lead-contaminated water even though it's at least 16X more safe than it was when all of the politicians in Michigan blaming each other grew up there.

In California, the situation is even more confused. Everything comes back to environmental activist Erin Brockovich, though. No one wants to be in another movie. So it doesn't matter if anyone is getting sick or not, anything that shows a blip is getting infrastructure ruined.

In this case, environmental concern about something minor is causing residents to do something makor - namely use a lot of plastic by drinking bottled water. As Norm Benson writes, the Hidden Valley Lake municipal water supply had levels of chromium-6 higher than were allowed by the state division of drinking water. Three parts per billion (ppb) higher. One billion drops of water (at five ml per drop) is enough to fill more than two Olympic-sized swimming pools.

“Logistically, its been a nightmare,” Coyote Valley Principal Shane Lee is quoted saying in the Lake County Record-Bee, “I’m looking forward to turning our faucets back on.”

Chromium-6, hexavalent chromium, is what made Erin famous. The problem? No one was actually sicker than anywhere else and much of it is made in nature. The second problem? The water in question had been safe all along, it was only unsafe because California created an arbitrary standard, and that standard is 10 percent of the federal EPA safety level.

2. We got a shout-out from a site that seems to be a British version of Gawker, unless Gawker was an American version of WhatCulture - one that wasn't driven out of business because they made sport of targeting gay people and anyone more famous than everyone at Gawker.

They write about 7 ways the Food Babe (Food Babe LLC®) is spectaculary wrong about science and list us in their achievement. Their biggest achievement is that they got it down to only 7.