Purely a figment of your imagination

What amuses, annoys, concerns or otherwise interests me – Noodlemaz


Ask for Evidence – Miracle Cures

Sense About Science have  been running a campaign called Ask for Evidence, which has gained plenty of support since its launch.Ask for Evidence

The idea is that by encouraging people to challenge claims made about products, services, lifestyle choices and policies:
– the public could feel empowered to question claims they see in future
– people and companies should expect to be asked to back up their claims
and, ultimately:
– we should start to see fewer false/dangerous/baseless claims.

Examples of what exactly people have asked for evidence of can be found here.

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I think it’s time for me to say something on this subject. It is after all very closely related to my current… vocation (if one can call it that, being a PhD student still!) and impacting directly on some of my friends.

One of those friends is my co-host of our long-neglected podcast, Super Duper Woo-Fighting Duo (With Capes)! – Rhys Morgan.

Edit: even BoingBoing is on it this evening!


Feel free to scroll down to ‘The Threats‘ and ‘Some Interesting Correspondence‘ sections if you know all this…

The subject is one Stanislaw Burzynski, based in Houston, Texas. He offers an experimental treatment (though to call it that is probably a bit generous) to cancer patients called “Antineoplaston Therapy”. These antineoplastons are claimed to be peptides (bits of protein – though they’re generally not, technically – see comment 11 for more) found in urine. When a difference between cancer patients’ and healthy individuals’ urine peptide profile was found, an assumption was made that cancer sufferers were lacking these protein chunks and therefore replacing them should be an effective cure. A list of his patents and publications can be found here. This NYT article is extensive and demonstrates the shocking wealth accumulated:

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SDWFD: Episodes 3-6!

Hello from Super-Duper Woo-Fighting Duo!

You can listen to Episode 3 in which we read Chapter 1 of Jim Humble’s book, and Episode 4 covering Chapter 2 (guest hosted by Hayley Stevens of Righteous Indignation, because I was away! Thanks for filling in, Hayley).

Also check out Rhys on the One Show! Bringing ‘bleachgate’ to the masses.

In Episode 5 (also on iTunes!) we’re taking a break from Jim’s book (back to Chapter 3 in Episode 6!) to look at some other woo;

  • Cosmetic Acupuncture
  • Annie Cap (therapist/telesales extraordinaire)
  • Colloidal Silver
  • Live blood imaging (guest report from @JoBrodie)
  • Pumpkin Pie for pudding

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SDWFD: Episode 2!

Have a listen here, and you can now find us on iTunes!

woo top phlog! 😀

[Intro by Dr*T]

R: Today we’re going to be reading some more from Jim Humble’s book, The Miracle Mineral Solution for the 21st Century.

M: Also, because we didn’t last time, we’d like to give more of an introduction to MMS and Jim Humble [JH for short!] himself, in case anyone hasn’t been keeping up with the exciting news.

R: I was one of the people to discover MMS; I found it on a Crohn’s Disease support forum and I recorded a video about it. I also adapted the video into a blogpost. I discovered it being introduced as possibly a treatment for Crohn’s disease, I noticed people who were saying it had done wonders for them. Then I did more research into it and found it was being claimed that it could cure absolutely everything. The miraclemineral.org site claims it can cure:

AIDS, hepatitis A, B and C, malaria, herpes, TB, most cancer

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SDWFD Episode 1

Here’s the transcript of Episode 1 for those who like it typed out with links! R: = Rhys and M: = me, if that’s not obvious. Emphasis in book extracts, denoted by { stuffaboutwoo }, is mine.

[Annoyingly-catchy jingle from Dr*T # welshboyo and noodlemaaaaz]

R: Hello and welcome to Super-Duper Woo-Fighting Duo (M: with capes!) – I’m Rhys! M: I’m Marianne!

R: This podcast is going to be all about Jim Humble‘s book, or at least this episode will. In future episodes, we aim to ramble on about quacky, wooey things M: General ridicule, bit of comedy, but there’ll be some serious stuff as well.

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Super-Duper Woo-Fighting Duo!

… with capes!

Yeah, lego. Most superman/woman stuff is disturbingly pornographic.

To save the world from the Evil Woo-mongers, Rhys and I have teamed up in spectacularly stylish fashion to produce this new podcast!!

No, the market is definitely not saturated.

Yes, I’m getting a new microphone (sorry about my laptop fan buzz!) – did not have time to prepare as this went from a joke to reality in the space of 24hrs!

You can find us here on ipadio and on iTunes. We hope to bring you some woo-fighting action approximately once a week.

Do join our Facebook group and follow us on the Twitter!

Fortuitously, our first episode is also 10:23 long (ipadio’s added about 0.4s). It’s a sign.

Oh, wait…