Category Archives: Alternative Medicine

The Human Stun Gun

Loving this little article i found on New Scientist http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21783-sauropod-farts-warmed-the-planet.html.

What is says is essentially was our planet getting warmed up through the methane in Sauropods and other dinosaurs. What they reckon is that the global population of these dinosaurs released about 520 million tonnes of methane a year which contributed to warming the Earth and this is apparently estimated to be the same as the total current emissions of greenhouse gas.

Wowza. Also during this time there were no polar ice caps, could this be because of some massive farting dinosaurs…

Go check the full article.

Cheers.

Derren Brown

Derren Brown: Miracles for sale.

Already it sounds awesome, pity i’m at work late so it looks like sky + has a job to do.

Its on channel 4 Easter Monday at 9PM.

Just watch it, knowing the rest of Mr Browns work this should be a good watch indeed.

Here is the article from his blog. http://derrenbrown.co.uk/blog/2011/04/new-derren-brown-tv-special/

This is the special about faith-healing that some of you will have heard about. It has been the most intensely difficult project that I have attempted: to train an ordinary member of the public as a faith healer, then take him out to Texas, the heart of the Bible Belt, and try to pass him off as the real deal. We filmed this at the end of last year amidst concerns that we had bitten off far more than we could chew.
The film we made is driven by a desire to expose what I consider to be a foul and dangerous fraud at the expense of the sick, the needy and the faithful all over the world. It is not a comment on the church, or belief, or even, before some people get upset, the idea that God can or can’t heal. It is about a specific fraud, a greedy trick that has nothing to do with God whatsoever, beyond the fact that his name gets shouted around a lot. We made the show with the involvement of Christians and pastors who had been involved in that particular scene.
No faith healer has ever been able to provide evidence of a single miraculous healing ever having had occurred. Some when pushed have offered a few success stories, but when those ‘healed’ people have been approached, they turn out to be the same as before, worse than ever, dead, or not to have had the ailment in the first place. What does seem to happen, though, is a cleverly-engineered emotional event brings people into a state of hype that releases adrenalin, which acts as a pain killer. People in the audience with low-level ailments that can respond to such pain relief – combined with a huge amount of expectation and a desire to be healed, or ‘close to the magic’ – will commonly find themselves pain-free and step forward when asked to. There then follows, at the larger events, a filtering process where stewards send back anyone with a serious or visible ailment (such as an arm missing) and test the remaining arthritics and bad-back sufferers to see if they can display a convincing pantomime of having been healed (touching toes and so on). There are other tricks to seemingly cure the blind and deaf which I will also demonstrate on the show. These poor people are then brought up on stage in their heightened state to bounce around and think they’re healed while the truly afflicted are left to believe God hasn’t taken much of an interest. It’s very disturbing to see the rows of the seriously disabled on drip machines, in wheelchairs and even hospital beds, ignored and invisible, safely behind the TV cameras’ reach at the big-name events. Or to hear of the chronically afflicted being carried to these rallies around America by families who spend every last penny they earn in hope that the man on stage might channel a little of God in their direction. A wake of despair is left behind by these charlatans, made up of hundreds of thousands of people who receive no healing or only temporary pain relief, and are encouraged to blame themselves for not having enough faith when they find nothing’s improved.
And then there’s the money. This is the hub of the whole operation. The financial motivation seems to be closely linked to something called the Prosperity Gospel, which has to be the most perverse and self-serving piece of scripture-twisting I have ever come across. It was loudly preached by Oral Roberts and made popular in the 90s, and takes the rather lovely idea of ‘sow and ye shall reap’ and re-defines it as a financial incentive. Jesus bestows his blessings in the form of money. How do you get these blessings? You first give money. More than you can afford, otherwise it doesn’t count. Jesus will repay you hundredfold. If he doesn’t, you probably didn’t give enough, or perhaps you have secret sin or not enough faith. And to whom do you give your money? Your preacher, naturally. You might want to read that through again if this logic is something new to you. Not surprisingly, the big name preachers earn far more than any Hollywood A-lister from this system. Proof of the fact that Jesus bestows his blessings in the form of money? The stinking richness of your pastor. Perhaps his fleet of private jets might just convince you. And these donations come in not just from a mesmerised flock gathering twice on a Sunday, they flood in from millions of people on mailing lists which form the backbone of the big business of faith healing. The TV rallies, the crusade events, are all designed to encourage people to sign up and send in a sizeable chunk of their earnings every month. Cash floods in tax-free (for as long as you say it’s a church you are pretty much left alone by the IRS) and is spent on lifestyles that in some cases reach beyond imaginable luxury. People imagine perhaps that the money goes somewhere worthwhile to support God’s work. It’s disheartening watching the sick and the elderly put cash they can’t afford into the donation buckets at these vast crusades when I hear of how one big-name healer spent thousands of dollars after a rally, in said cash, on hotel room service and rent boys.
The healers perform their shows over here too: I recently went to see a couple of the current main men at venues in London and have never felt such a heady mixture of disgust and deep pity. A girl behind me screamed to her friend ‘There’s your proof God can heal!’ as we watched a man climb out of his wheelchair on stage; in her delight, she missed the moment later when he collapsed unhappily back into it once the cameras had been swiftly pointed away from him. At least it was his own chair: another common trick is to quietly stick someone with a bad back into one of the healer’s own wheelchairs to ‘make things comfortable’ for them, so that once they are brought before the crowd, the glistening man of God can command them to rise from a chair they didn’t need in the first place. Praise the Lord.
The project was hugely difficult because a big business like faith healing is almost impenetrable. We tried to speak to those who had worked alongside the current big-name healers, as we knew of a few who had been allowed in the inner circles of trust and knowing the depths of the corruption had eventually turned against it. But these are people who live in fear. They were told for years by their charismatic, ruthless leaders that they lived under a curse and that to leave the clan would result in God ending their lives. Disturbingly, that may not always be too far from the truth: we heard of a couple of witnesses who had been brought to testify against a healer and had died mysteriously of heart attacks the night before the trial. Something dark may be afoot.
There is, as one might hope, a growing scepticism in Britain amongst Christians towards these so-called healers. Although I don’t hide my own lack of religious belief, my repulsion at this scam comes as much from my days as a Christian as it does from simply being a human being observing ego- and money- driven fraud. It was a gruelling journey to penetrate the world of that fraud in the small way we could, with our own particular journey of seeing if an ordinary guy could pass as a real healer. I hope that the ranks of intelligent believers will feel the same concern at our findings as the rest of the viewers.

Yesterday, Today and Podcast

Yesterday i went down to Derby with a few friends. It was my first visit there and it seemed alright enough apart from a few things.

No place had any 100% cotton thread which was lame.

I saw a guy from ‘Most Haunted’ and an advertisement for a “Ghost Walk” he was doing in a pub next to the centre.

And one of the weirdest things i have seen which was people in a shop sat on benches with their feet in fish tanks…..

Yeah thats weird enough right but apparently these fish eat dead and rotting skin off your feet and generally swim around them. So yeah that was weird but not the thing that annoyed me about it. What annoyed me was when i read a sign on the window which said these fish help to relieve pain, stress and promote healing through the fishes use of accupuncture points… this was when i turned round and together with a friend we both exclaimed “Pseudoscience!” which a few people heard and yeah i just wanted to tell the people half of what they had read seems a bit unfounded as far as i know.

Anyway the place was called ‘Appy Feet’. This is the link. Pow!

Take a look and tell me what you think or ya know just talk a look and decide for yourselves whether this is bullshit or what.

I met with an old friend and had my first ‘Nando’s’ experience which was awesome i had the sauce from the black bottle apparently my friends thought it might be too hot for me but i love to prove people wrong and so i did i covered most of my food and loved it although it could have been spicier. I did a few tricks whilst in there i did a few card tricks and some tricks to do with how to hide things and not get caught or to double bluff where you hide a coin in one hand. It was all fun and shown them a bit of psychology in practice as it were by doing said tricks. I was happy when they said i should start to put on shows. Made me smile.

All i replied with was i have a waistcoat on the way…

One of my friends Luke Kondor also had a stand up gig in Birmingham so hopefully that went all well. If you get a chance go and watch him.

Also i told my good friend Rich he did well when i person recently told him to try going to a chiropractors for his back and then we ended up doing my podcast primarily on Chiropractic which was a lot of fun and we may go to one for a free screening to check it out first hand.

The podcast should be up later tonight once i have edited it i haven’t had the time due to being at work. The podcast wasn’t our best work due to us being tired from walking and being out in the rain for what seemed like a couple of miles outside of Derby centre. We even had to buy new clothes due to being soaked which made a few folks chuckle. So that is all about yesterday.

So i have one thing to say about today which is i felt sad because i helped an old-ish lady through the checkout today and she said not to pack heavily because she was in agony and because i wanted to make conversation to help with the awkward silence-ness so i asked what have you done. To which she replied i have cancer… at this point i could have cried i felt horrible and the lady said it in a really hushed tone and didn’t feel comfortable. So like a complete douchebag i tried to lighten the mood talking about my Grandad who had his leg amputated because of cancer and who never wanted to wear his false leg which she chuckled about which was nice and basically i got her laughing and talking about it. Then she broke into smiling whilst saying bye. I felt a mixture of relief, horror and just sadness. I just wanted to hide after that person. Glad she smiled though…

Thanks for reading. There will be a post once the podcast is up.

Homeopathy bit from the podcast

This is practically what i read when i did my latest episode of the Skeptic Podcast Of Doom. It is a bit on homeopathy and its intent originally was for the people who i know personally that don’t know anything about the subject and would like to know more. So i may do a section on some other alternative medicines in future episodes.

Homeopathy (also spelled homoeopathy or homœopathy) is a form of alternative medicine, first proposed by German physician Samuel Hahnemann in 1796, in which practitioners use highly diluted preparations. Based on an ipse dixit axiom formulated by Hahnemann which he called the law of similars, preparations which cause certain symptoms in healthy individuals are given in diluted form to patients exhibiting similar symptoms. Homeopathic remedies are prepared by serial dilution with shaking by forceful striking, which homeopaths term succussion, after each dilution under the assumption that this increases the effect. Homeopaths call this process potentization. Dilution often continues until none of the original substance remains.
Homeopathy’s efficacy beyond the placebo effect is unsupported by the collective weight of scientific and clinical evidence.

Modern homeopaths have proposed that water has a memory that allows homeopathic preparations to work without any of the original substance; however, there are no verified observations nor scientifically plausible physical mechanisms for such a phenomenon. The lack of convincing scientific evidence supporting homeopathy’s efficacy and its use of remedies lacking active ingredients have caused homeopathy to be described as pseudoscience, quackery and a “cruel deception”.
Hahnemann conceived of the law of similars, otherwise known as “let like be cured by like” (Latin: similia similibus curentur) as a fundamental healing principle

Oooooh funny…. Some homeopaths also use techniques that are regarded by other practitioners as controversial. These include paper remedies, where the substance and dilution are written on a piece of paper and either pinned to the patient’s clothing, put in their pocket, or placed under a glass of water that is then given to the patient, as well as the use of radionics to prepare remedies. Such practices have been strongly criticised by classical homeopaths as unfounded, speculative, and verging upon magic and superstition.

60X 30C 10−60 Dilution advocated by Hahnemann for most purposes; patient would need to consume 1041 pills (a billion times the mass of the Earth), or 1034 gallons of liquid remedy (10 billion times the volume of the Earth) to consume a single molecule of the original substance

Wikipedia says see also Sympathetic magic…. ahahahahahaha

POW!