So this is Christmas; and what have you done?
Well, this is what I’ve done: a whole lot of media, surrounding my public lecture on ‘The Psychology of Christmas‘ just the other week. Turns out lots of people are interested in Christmas. Who knew?
I’ve made a list (I’ve even checked it a few times):
Dublin City FM:
The Irish Times:
Channel 9 (Australia):
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I know. That’s probably enough, isn’t it? Well, time is certainly running out, so soon it will all be over…
Exhibit A: 1989 and Pons and Fleischmann announce cold fusion — an “inexhaustible source of energy” — at a press briefing in Utah, before they had applied for patents or published their technology. Too bad they were just plain wrong. I bet they feel embarrassed now.
Exhibit B: 2002 and five-word headlines circle the globe as Clonaid announce their human cloning activities. Twelve years on, and we’re still waiting for any evidence whatsoever of said clone.
Exhibit C: The WHO issue a press release concerning a yet-to-be-published paper on mobile phones and brain cancer. The world media reports a definite causal link, even though the yet-to-be-published-paper was (a) unseen by everyone in the world media, (b) focused on only a small subset of possible cancers, and (c) was merely a document where a group of boffins “discussed and evaluated” the available research literature, rather than a new study bringing new data to bear on the issue.
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And finally, apropos of nothing at all, and arising just randomly from miasmic boredom of a Bank Holiday, here is today’s Irish Indo front page…
Hmmm. Stream of consciousness, eh?
Here are some observations on that story featured in the main headline. Continue reading “What ‘Science By Press Conference’ looks like”
Hat tip to c*nty_mc_sh*tb*lls over on Reddit for this one.
Irish patients warned ‘miracle cure’ from US church is bleach
A CONTROVERSIAL American Church which is coming to Ireland this weekend is promising a “miracle” cure for patients – but it is, in fact, industrial-strength bleach…On its website it is advertising the event as including access to its “miracle mineral solution” which, it claims, can “remove” a number of serious conditions including cancer, HIV and autism. However, the product – which is also known as MMS – has been banned in a number of countries including the US and the UK because tests by health and food watchdogs identified it as an “industrial-strength bleach”.
You can basically use a check-list to evaluate this type of story:
- “Church“: check
- “American“: check
- “miracle“: check
- “[cure for] cancer“: check
- “[and for] HIV“: ditto check
- “[and for] autism“: another check
Even the lower-order stuff is in there:
- “mineral“: check
- “solution“: check
- Use of the word “remove” instead of “cure”: check
Oh, and let’s not forget the obvious: Continue reading “‘Miracle’ cure removes cancer, HIV, autism. By killing you”