1) Big Placebo says Medicine never cures anything by Amy Tuteur. A quick, easy-to-read criticism of alternative medicine. I’ve always been really interested in the “natural remedies/alternative medicine” fascination that is so popular today. There are good reasons to be critical of the pharmaceutical industry but they’re not all bad. A recent read of mine, Denialism by Michael Spectre, did a good job of treading the fine line between not over critical and not critical enough. What blows my mind most are the people who accuse the pharmaceutical industry of only thinking about money (which is a fair criticism) while they turn a blind eye to the profits made by alternative medicine remedies. But the real reason I’m extremely skeptical about alternative medicine is because, historically, we’ve always had herbal remedies, weird potions and mystical surgical procedures trying to balance the four humors. As soon as modern, evidence-based medicine hits the scene, BOOM instant improvement in life expectancy. I’m definitely not saying the all natural remedies are ineffective, I wrote an article a while back about a couple that have shown promise, but there’s bunch of expensive supplements out there that are a complete waste of money.
2) Hello ET, We Come in Peace on the New Scientist website. Apparently the Royal Society will be holding a debate next as to whether we should be broadcasting out presence out to the cosmos for anyone who might be out there. That article links to a couple other New Scientist pieces about how the hell we would go about communicating with these aliens…if they exist.
3) Lastly, The Globe Ad Fail by Fagstein. A quick look at what happens when newspaper editors don’t pay attention to the ads next to their content. I’ll bet even American Express cards aren’t accepted right now in Haiti.
4) And while I’m on the topic of Haiti, Bill Easterly, development guru, thinks there can be Too Much of a Good Thing. Relax, he’s not saying people have over-donated to Haiti, but he has a couple good pointers for how to make sure any donations you do make are doing the things you want them to.
5) Oh, and lastly, how a trip to the zoo can win you a wildlife photo contest…as long as you don’t get caught. Which this idiot did (see photo).