Rarely does a week go by without some rather strange stories emerging about science and medicine. This past week was no exception.
Other Science News
It's January, with an increase in gym memberships as people vow to get fit; but the fitness craze has its roots at least 100 years ago in Victorian Britain. Did HAL, the super-smart computer in 2001 - A Space Odyssey commit murder? Stories with a kernel of truth and a dash of obfuscation or misdirection make TRUTH somewhat negotiable even in textbooks. Finally, images that capture birds in flight by compressing time.
Author Steven Pinker's observation, that the world is less violent now than ever in human history, is probably true.
Here's what we have for you this time: Why Doctors Think They're the Best ... an introduction to the beautiful writing of Robert McFarlane ... a nod to Dr. Aaron Carroll and the fight to debunk bad healthcare claims ... and finally, considering two views of climate change: the "gradualist" and the "catastrophist."
It's a New Year and we begin with watermelon-flavored Oreos (huh?) ... a look at now and then ... and the mainstream media finally realizes that the opioid epidemic was not about prescribing pain medications for pain.
In between the fa la la la la, I had time to read about snowflakes and avalanches, an example of surprise billing that makes me ashamed for my profession, an article on the year's best articles, and for all of you readers, a discussion of how to read a book.
As is the case every year, 2019 was full of junk science, bogus health claims, misinformation, and outright lies. We debunked scores of them this year, but the following list is what we consider the top 10.
The Trump administration is considering a proposal to require all published research that has received federal funding to be made immediately available to the public at no cost. You would think that making our published science available for free would garner applause, but you would be wrong.
The downside of gift-giving, nuclear power redesigned, and a look at one of our first "industrial" foods.
In case you've been waiting around for a really stupid article, your wait is over. And a gratuitous shot at Dr. Alex Berezow. Just for the hell of it. Happy holidays!
The ubiquitous online portals are always in the news. A new study looks at how we use – and are used by – these virtual conversations that first started taking place around the campfire before moving to the water cooler.
Understanding the confidence interval will help you grasp what an election poll is -- or is not -- saying. As you might have guessed, the media consistently gets it wrong.