The Guild of the Gullible?

August 17, 2006 1

I think that this may be a story of despair. It may be a story about the mountain that has to be climbed if we are to live a society where quacks find it hard to profit from their lies, misinformation and delusions. At present it is a story about how newspapers contribute significantly and fundamentally to the environment in which people are swindled out of their money by quacks [read more…]

Quack Word #37: ‘Holistic’

August 11, 2006 3

As you know, the quackometer works by counting words, or combinations of words, that strongly suggest the web site is full of quackery. I thought I would write about a few of those words and why they are dead give-aways. So, ‘Holistic’ – not in itself necessarily anything to do with medicine, but this word is often used with medicine when quackery is at work. Why is this and what [read more…]

RSS Quack Alert Feeds Now Added

August 9, 2006 1

You can now subscribe to RSS Feeds to get all the Quackiest Stories direct to your browser without scanning the news sites and papers yourself. The News Alert Engine is still being thoroughly tested and handheld. Expect a few technical glitches and bad matches for a few days yet. The biggest problems have been keeping down the false positives, that is, stopping stories being flagged as quacky when they are [read more…]

Advances in Quackometrics – News Alerts

August 4, 2006 3

The latest quackometer functionality is now being tested on the quackometer web site. Throughout the day, the little black duck will be reading the news for you and creating alerts if quackery is found. Hoards of quackbusters around the world will be alerted to potential quackery in the newsapers before it starts hitting peoples’ doormats. Together we can expose the worst offending news sources. Daily lists of quack stories will [read more…]

Do Hedgehogs Give My Cat Acupuncture?

July 31, 2006 3

I thought my post on Reiki Healing for Hedgehogs was going to be a one-off. But a recent trip to the garden centre has opened up a whole new compost heap of prickles. Now, I live in hedgehog country. I have a hedgehog hospital within feather spitting distance of my pond, and I see them around me all the time. I am fond of them. My prickly, vespertine friends come [read more…]

The Quest For The Perfect Quack!

July 13, 2006 5

Well, I’ve had a bit of time to put some effort into the Quackometer, and now it has a few new features and improvements. 1. First – ‘Am I a Quack or Not?’ will allow you to type in a name and see how Quacky that person is. More on this later… 2. Secondly, we have some tables ranking web sites and suspect quacks to give some highlights for the [read more…]

Trademarked Science Trade-Offs

July 10, 2006 37

I have written before about my assertion that if you find someone saying that you cannot get all the nutrients you need through food, then you have also found someone selling food supplements. This is the basic scam behind so many nutritionists – they make the process of eating a healthy diet look so formidable and fraught that you had better hedge your bets and scoff a lot of pills [read more…]

Can I See Your Working, Please?

July 5, 2006 3

I promise I will write about something else other than nonsense in the Daily Mail, but today’s story requires a comment or two. Their headline story on the on-line edition proclaims: Early cannabis abuse ‘does lead to heroin addiction’. Now a headline like that is crying out for some investigation. Taking cannabis as a teenager really does pave the way to heroin addiction in later life, say scientists.Researchers have found [read more…]

Magnetic Migraine Miracle Madness?

June 22, 2006 14

In today’s Daily Mail, Brendan Montague brings us the sensational story that Migraine suffers need not suffer much longer thanks to a wonder device about to be launched in the US and available for a paltry £1,000 (with a further £15 for each treatment). Millions of migraine sufferers have been given hope of a cure with the invention of a magnetic pain “zapper”… The handheld device is placed at the [read more…]

The Quackery of Torture

June 20, 2006 0

As you can see, I have signed up this blog to the Bloggers Against Torture campaign as part of the torture awareness month. I will keep this short. To compare the act of torture to the banalities of quackery will do the victims a dishonour. However, I would venture that both the justification of torture and various quackeries are based on the same misguided logic: What we wish to be [read more…]

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