How Yelp is Affecting Self-Proclaimed Psychics and Tarot Card Readers

For a long time, skeptics have been trying to debunk claims of psychic powers by explaining how cold readings work and demystifying the whole game.

But maybe James Randi just needed Yelp.

An article in the New York Times by Michael Wilson — in his appropriately named “Crime Scene” column — says that reviews on the site may be affecting people in the clairvoyance business.


[Read more…]

This Chiropractor Cracks a Baby’s Back in This Highly Disturbing Promotional Video

The science behind chiropractic, with an arguable exception or two, is virtually non-existent. Manipulating your spine doesn’t “cure” anything. There’s a reason your chiropractor didn’t get a degree from a medical school. And if you’re seeing one for any reason beyond back pain, you’re wasting your money.

But adults are allowed to throw their cash away and put themselves in harm’s way. What’s really messed up is when they subject their children to the same thing.

What’s worse than that is when they allow a chiropractor to “adjust” the spine of an infant. That’s what Australian practitioner Ian Rossborough does in the video below to a baby that was born two weeks prematurely and is only four days old. (The full video is here.)

It’s not for the squeamish.


[Read more…]

Here’s an Excellent Question to Ask People Who Are “Cleansing” or “Detoxing”

Sabrina Tavernise, writing for the New York Times, shines a spotlight on the very Paltrowy practice of juice cleansing.

One of her interviewees is Dr. James H. Grendell, the chief of the division of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, New York. When he has a patient who’s been detoxing, he asks a very simple question.


[Read more…]

Why Do Self-Described Skeptics Sometimes Believe in Pseudoscience and Conspiracy Theories?

If you, like me, are obsessed with Survivor, then you’re no doubt a fan of Yau-Man Chan. He appeared on two seasons of the show, where he was a fan favorite.

Chan also happens to be an atheist. In a talk for the Atheist Community of San Jose, Chan spoke about the weird fact that even self-proclaimed skeptics can end up believing in all sorts of pseudoscience and conspiracy theories.


[Read more…]

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Latest Pseudoscientific Beauty Tip: Get Stung by Bees to Be Beautiful!

It’s probably fair to say that you shouldn’t take health advice from someone who advocates hormone-balancing vagina steam-cleanings. Or tips from someone who advertises the effectiveness of skincare products that have been meditated over and chanted to.

Still, Goop founder and actress Gwyneth Paltrow — who has advocated both — was asked to share her beauty tips in the New York Times. It went about as well as you’d expect.

Discussing how she’s “the guinea pig to try everything,” Paltrow threw out yet another unusual remedy:


[Read more…]