Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Flying Dutchman

The Flying Dutchman is a legendary ghost ship that sailors believed was doomed to sail for all eternity, and served as an omen of the spectators' impending doom. First appearing in the 17th century, sightings would continue into the 20th century. Even England's King George V claimed to have seen the ship while on a voyage during his youth. While there are many stories of the ship, there is no evidence of it's existence. Those who saw the Dutchman claimed that it wasn't sailing, but flying above the ocean. The most widely accepted explanation for Flying Dutchman sightings is a phenomenon known as a Fata Morgana. A Fata Morgana is where a superior image (essentially a warped reflection) of an object in the distance is reflected on the horizon above it, resulting in a distorted, ghostly, floating image. It is believed this occurrence is what sailors saw, mistook it for a flying ghost ship, and the myth of the Flying Dutchman was born.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Morgellon's Syndrome

In the realm of claimed diseases with little to no evidence to back them up, Morgellons ranks high in it's absolute strangeness. The main symptom of Morgellons syndrome are a series of metallic fibers that pop up under the skin of the affected party. The fibers often cause discomfort and a crawling sensation under the skin, sometimes being bad enough to cause the patient to dig bloody pits in the skin. People suffering from Morgellons can be identified by self inflicted bloody gouges in the skin and rashes caused by intensive scratching. In 2002 a coalition of people self diagnosed with Morgellons petitioned the CDC to do a study on the effects and causes of Morgellons. After intensive study the CDC found there to be no evidence of anything actually wrong with these people who self diagnosed. Despite the findings of the study people continued to keep insisting on it's existence, even founding support groups to help those suffering from the disease. In academic circles, social scientists have tried to figure out just why widespread belief in this disease is still prevalent. The current idea is that these people may be suffering from delusional parasitosis: a psychotic condition that can be treated with anti psychotics. Morgellons is still very real to a lot of people, there is even a Morgellons research foundation where pamphlets and dvds can be bought to educate the masses on Morgellons. The website also takes donations to help fund research on Morgellons, research that was already done by the CDC. The future of Morgellons disease is murky, but people still believe all the same and it looks like their delusions will continue far into the future.


Our eyes have been said to be "windows into our souls"; Hungarian physician, Dr. Ignatz Perczely believed that an individual's iris could not only look into their soul, but also that the iris "...maps to the rest of the body in some way, and therefore the flecks of color in the iris reflect the state of health of the various body parts" (1). When Dr. Peczely was a young boy, he found an owl with a broken leg. At this time, Dr. Peczely also noticed that the owl had a prominent black stripe in the iris of one eye; after nursing the owl back to health, the black line was gone and ragged white lines had taken its place (1). Dr. Ignatz studied at the Viena Medical College in 1867, where he was able to observe hundreds of patients' irides before and after surgeries (2); he went on to publish his research in his book, Discoveries in the Realms of Nature and Art of Healing and established his "Iris Chart" in 1880 (2), as seen below. The basic approach to iridology stems from a treatment known as the homunculus approach, which explains that one part of the human body maps to the rest of the body (2).

The problem with Dr. Ignatz's "Iris Chart" was that he invented the maps as a product of his imagination and the result of confirmation bias, not from actually scientific research. There were no blinded experiments or studies used to prove his theory. Sadly, iridology has survived and specifically in the U.S. can be traced to chiropractor, Bernard Jensen, who published the book, The Science and Practice of Iridology in 1952 (2); in the U.S., you can get a diagnosis from a naturopath Frank Navratil for only $150 (2). However, these "readings" are only medically cold readings, the iridologist will ask the patient about certain health issues, and if present in any form the theory is validated, but actual research has proven iridology has no effect and provides no useful information.  


Arthritis Pain

Arthritis pain is something that many people believe to be true. I can say without a doubt that I have experienced it. "Arthritis is known as an inflammation of the joint which is also distinguished by swelling, warmth, and redness."However, I do not agree with the background logic concerning it. There is no medical study that shows weather affects the severity of the pain. Personally, my hands are always swollen and in pain, no matter what the weather, validating that the weather argument cannot be true. Many people hear things and agree with them, so hearing that weather causes pain to increase would correspond to them believing that is the source of their pain. Redelmeier and Tversky’s experiment proved that there was no pain correlating with weather, as there was a large gap between the two variables.  Arthritis is something that is still trying to find its way through the medical field. 
As of today there are things like arthritis gloves that people wear to bed, but there is no proof to actually state whether or not it helps.  People that have used these gloves claim that they help to restore mobility in the fingers, as well as ease the discomfort. The arthritis gloves work based on heat, yet many complain that was the original cause of the arthritis. This would mean that the gloves are not working, but merely tricking people into using them for their own profit. there is no medical basis for how these would work and are therefore, a scam.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Car that Runs on Water

          Since 1935, several people have made claims that they have invented a water-fueled car. The invention of such a thing is certainly appealing due to the many concerns people have about using gasoline powered cars. Those who made these claims usually explained the process of removing the hydrogen from water to create the energy that would fuel the car. Some collected money from investors to begin building models of these water powered cars, but the vehicles would never reach the market, leaving the companies and inventors charged with fraud. 
       These cars have received attention in the media repeatedly in the hopes that someone will be able to present a valid case for a car that will successfully run on water. However, the idea that water can effectively power a car is full of faults. In order to use the hydrogen in water to power a vehicle, energy would be lost. Critics state that a car that runs on water does not work with the second law of thermodynamics. As of today, claims of a water fulled car are purely shams. People are looking to gain fame or money by presenting a revolutionary idea such as this one.While water powered cars would be fascinating invention, they are a fantasy.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

What's Your Sign?

A horoscope is an astrological chart or diagram representing the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, astrological aspects, and sensitive angles at the time of an event, such as the moment of a person's birth. The word horoscope is derived from Greek words h├Ára and scopos meaning "time" "observer" Other commonly used names for the horoscope in English include "Natal Chart" astrological chart, astro-chart, celestial map, sky-map, star-chart,cosmogram, vitasphere, radical chart, radix, chart wheel, or simply chart. It is used as a method of divination regarding events relating to the point in time it represents, and it forms the basis of the horoscopic traditions of astrology.
In common usage, horoscope often refers to an astrologer's interpretation, usually based on a system of solar Sun sign astrology; based strictly on the position of the Sun at the Time of Birth, or on the calendar significance of an event, as in Chinese astrology. In particular, many newspapers and magazines carry predictive columns based on celestial influences in relation to the zodiacal placement of the Sun on the Month of birth, Cusp (2 days before or after any particular sign, an overlap), or decante (the month divided into 3 ten day periods) of the person month of birth, identifying the individual's Sun sign or "star sign" based on the tropical zodiac.
No scientific studies have shown support for the accuracy of horoscopes, and the methods used to make interpretations are generally considered pseudo-scientific. In modern scientific framework no known interaction exists that could be responsible for the transmission of the alleged influence between a person and the position of stars in the sky at the moment of birth. Besides, all tests done so far, keeping strict methods to include a control group and proper blinding between experimenters and subjects have shown no effect beyond pure chance. Further, some psychological tests have shown that it is possible to construct personality descriptions and foretelling generic enough to satisfy most members of a large audience simultaneously. This is usually referred to as the Forer or Barnum effect.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Slim Rings

Slim Ring, made by a company in Japan, are one size fits all silicone rings that go around your big toes that make you lose weight. This product costs at least $35 but may cost a lot more. The "science" behind this product is that the bump your big toe presses down on changes your stride. Changing your stride changes the muscles that work when you walk and according to the makers, this change in muscle usage is what causes the slimming of the belly and thighs. This product isn't guaranteed to cause weight loss.

Polygraph Testing

Polygraph tests, more commonly known as lie detector tests, have been placed in a category of pseudoscience although some still think they have a scientific basis. In 1988, the US government passed the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, which banned the use of the polygraph testing for pre-employment purposes. The test consists of two main parts; the subject is first asked a few "control questions" followed by questions that have to do with the purpose of the test. The control questions are set in place to create emotional discomfort. 
The biggest issue with these tests are how they are measured. The test has a physiological recorder that measures blood pressure/heart rate, respiration and skin conductivity. The use of these measurements makes an invalid assumption that there is a standard correlation between the physiological changes and deception. A nervous person may be innocent but afraid to answer the questions while a guilty person could be non-anxious. Another issue with lie detector tests stems from how the amount of physiological change leads to deception. Does it have to be an overwhelming difference or a slight difference? Polygraph tests have been proven to get guilty people to confess but there is a 50:50 chance that is will falsely identify an honest person as guilty.


These "rumpologists" believe they can see your future by looking at your butt. Much like palm-readers and fortune tellers, rumpologists use the lines, crevices, dimples and folds of the butt to gain understanding of a person's individual character and predict future events. There aren't many rumpologists in the world, however, those that are here defend their absurdities as a valid science. Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

Detox Diets/Cleanses

A new diet trend is detoxing/cleansing your body. This means that you either fast, drink only liquids, or stick to a specific diet of vegetables and fruit. They're short-term diets, it's impossible to use one for more than a short period without extreme adverse effects. The diets can cause you to lose weight, but majority of that is water-weight, and once a normal diet begins again, the weight will be gained back. The purpose of this is to flush out toxins. However, the human body is an expert at keeping itself toxin-free without the need of cleansing. 

There is currently no proof that the diets cleanse. Overall, keeping a healthy diet with exercise is the best way to lose weight and stay healthy. However, there are many healthy diets as an alternative to cleansing.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Crystal Healing for Anxiety

After trying all sorts of treatments such as relaxation techniques, medications, and therapy, and seeing no results, people will resort to some strange remedies. When you suffer from disorders like anxiety and panic attacks, and you overhear someone claim that, "crystals are safe, free of side-effects, and it works," you may just agree to try it if you're desperate enough. Cited from their website, "A Citrine Tumblie works to reduce anxiety, fear & depression, and it's nicknamed, "The Happy Stone”. A crystal known as Aventurine, works to establish a calm yet healthy & vital state of mind, keeping you free of fear & anxiety. Next, an Orange Calcite is known for it's confidence boosting energies, driving anxiety far far away. Lastly, dried organic crushed basil leaves reduce anxiety & are uplifting and balance emotions." To other people who understand that these amazing things are completely far-fetched and just aren't physically possible, we work to encourage people not to fall for these deceiving tricks. 

Please do your best to make sure your crystals are ethically and responsibly mined.  Go to gem and mineral shows, and talk to the vendor before buying.: Gems, Healing Crystals, Crystals Stones, Crystal Guidance, Healing Stones, Crystal Healing, Chakra, Panic Attacks

As an educated individual, I truly feel sorry for the people who resort to this type of treatment because I know that they're desperate for a cure and they are so easily influenced by people who are only out to make a quick buck, without any empathy for the people they trick. In recent studies, it has been proven that this is completely a placebo effect. There has been no difference in the results from subjects who were given the actual "healing crystals" and the subjects who were told that they were using the real ones but were actually given fakes. Both groups felt the same benefits and healing sensations from each test, which is just another reason as to why this theory needs to be abolished. Too many desperate individuals are sacrificing their sanity and wasting their money on something that doesn't work and benefiting tricksters who deserve to be punished for their lack of empathy and history of deceiving acts.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Inspired by a 2004 flim, "What the Bleep Do We Know?!", AQUAMANTRA water claims it is Premium Natural Spring Water that "resonates with the energy and frequency of your well-being". AQUAMANTRA's bottled water proposes to deliver powerful messages to improve the quality of your life through the "mantras": "I AM GRATEFUL","I AM HEALTHY", "I AM LOVED", "I AM LUCKY". Apparently, the thoughts people inherently relate to the phrases "permeate the liquid" and subsequently influence the taste and overall beneficial properties of the water. AQUAMANTRA's basis for "changing" their water are based on Dr. Masaru Emoto, who explained "the basic principles of quantum theory, whereby the molecular structure of water was changed by a Zen Buddhist monk’s thought" in his book, "Hidden Messages in Water". Therefore AQUAMANTRA simply uses the design on the labels that are glued to the outside of the bottles to phyisically affect the molecular structure of their "California sourced Premium Natural Spring Water". Basically, each bottle has a custom label inspired by a local artist on the front and it is these drawing/ designs that are ultimately changing the basic molecular structure of a water molecule and additionally the taste of the water itself. AQUAMANTRA claims they are, "combining the potency of the universe with the abundant streams of our mother earth to create what we like to call the ELIXIR OF LIFE". Finally and slightly humorously, AQUAMANTRA major promotional phrase is, " Say the mantra, taste the difference and experience the change in your mind, with your body and through your spirit, to stimulate your soul". And what are consumers saying about AQUAMANTRA's "special" water that they bought for a great price of $27 for 12 bottles: 

  •   ""I consider myself to be a water connoisseur; I've tried all bottled waters and Aquamantra is by far is the best tasting water available. It tastes so clean and refreshing, it feels alive and full of vitality. I've been drinking I AM LOVED for a year now and it not only tastes wonderful, it has completely stabilized my body's alkalinity. My body's PH level was very acidic and after drinking Aquamantra, I maintain a perfect PH balance. I truly believe I AM LOVED is LOVING my body. In addition, my energy has skyrocketed and my skin glows!"  - Jennifer Mattox, Passion for Paws"
The implications of AQUAMANTRA water are glaringly obvious. If we could all benefit from drinking water that was labeled to improve the quality of our lives, why not stick Post-It Notes labeled, I AM RICH or I AM INVINCIBLE on Aquafina?

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Crystal Ball

Used by psychic readers for centuries, the crystal ball is one of the most recognizable items in the world of fortune telling. It was first used by Celtic tribes in the same way it is used today- to see into the past, present, and future of a clients life. Psychics, high priests and priestesses, gypsies, and other supposed mystics believe in the many powers of crystal balls in the process called "scrying". They were originally made of beryllium but are now more commonly made of quartz, both of which are clear, reflective gemstones. Several unproven claims about the usage of crystal balls exist such as, clearing the mind of the psychic, assisting in entering trance-like states, and strengthening their powers of clairvoyance.

All of these claims are almost impossible to prove because they depend on the belief of psychic abilities to begin with. A psychic medium may claim any of these effects and uses for crystal balls, but anyone without supposed psychic powers would be unable to witness these effects. Until then, people who are believers will continue paying for the services of psychics and crystal balls.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicine is any practice that is put forward as having the healing effects of medicine, but is contradicted by established science. Though there is research that shows alternative medicine techniques can help with problems like pain and nausea, there isn't enough medical evidence to determine if they are effective. Alternative medicine is well and good if you're trying to cure a headache, but it becomes incredibly dangerous when it comes to major illness and disease. "I have cancer so I'll go on a juice diet and do yoga, and my cancer will go away- who needs doctors". There's no evidence to prove alternative medicine actually helps cure major illness, in fact there's far more evidence stating that alternative medicine is useless and dangerous. So why do people risk their lives to pick alternative medicine over doctors? People just like the sound of "drink this juice and get better" over "you're going to need surgeries and radiation therapy, and you're gonna hate it but hey you'll have a good shot at living", alternative medicine is incredibly enticing because it looks like the better option by far. However, things that look too good to be true usually are just that. So pro tip: If you get some crazy disease, see a doctor you hipster. Headaches are fair game though, whatever floats your boat.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Mood Rings

This popular fad became famous in 1975 when it was invented by New York inventors Josh Reynolds and Maris Ambats. These mood rings are sold for the purpose and promise of being able to change color to the color of the mood the wearer is in. For example, if the wearer's ring were to turn black, the color code says that the wearer is supposedly stressed. There are hundreds of color codes for these mood rings. In actuality, the ring is a "specialized liquid crystal thermometer". Changes in body temperature is detected by the thermometer, thus causing a change in color in the stone. Therefore, the ring has nothing to do with guessing your mood. Body temperature and moods have no relation with each other. The fad is still popular today, mainly with young children.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Ouija Board

The Ouija board began as a novelty game which could magically identify answers to questions by using a planchette which seemingly moved on its own. The board appeared to suddenly appear into game culture, but in reality a prototype was previously used by individuals attempting seances or communicate with spirits. Some psychologists believe there to be a link between the known and unknown through the board. Once Hollywood began using the board in movies, they became a taboo overnight.

In reality, the movement of the planchette is determined by the users' slight unconscious movement of their fingers. Powerful messages from the Ouija board on impressionable people leads to extreme belief in the power of the board. Psychics, mediums, and everyday believers continue to use these boards and feel that they do in fact contact the dead.

Image result for ouija board

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Jersey Devil

The Jersey Devil

The Jersey Devil is a popular myth local to the South Jersey pine barrens. For about 250 years people all throughout New Jersey have reported seeing a strange creature that looks like a horse with leathery wings and the ability of flight. The devil is said to be the thirteenth child of Mrs.Leeds, a resident of Estell Manor who lived sometime in the early eighteenth century. After learning that she was to have a thirteenth child, the pious Mrs.Leeds yelled "Let it be the devil!" At the end of an excruciating childbirth, Mrs.Leeds delivered an unholy abomination that spread wings and flew out the chimney with a screech. Sightings of devil began around this time with people describing a similar creature killing livestock and abducting babies. Belief was so widespread in the devil that some small towns in the pine barrens organized posses to capture and kill the devil. At one point a 100,000 bounty was even placed on the demon's head. Sightings persist to this day: just in the last few weeks a photo was produced by a Galloway resident who thinks he saw the Jersey Devil. Accompanying the photo is a hazy video of a clearing with a vaguely goat-like creature flying across view. Skeptics attribute most sightings to hoaxes and superstitious people who mistook a trick of the eye as something paranormal. While the sightings may not be conscious tricks, it's very possible that these sightings are nothing more than glimpses of shadows or strange noises misinterpreted. The prevalence of the myth in South Jersey culture could easily cause those with an active imagination to see things in the deep and foreboding pine barrens. The natural fear of darkness and the tendency of these sightings to be in deep woods is often cited as an explanation by skeptics for these stories. As with most sightings of the paranormal nature, photos and reports of the Jersey Devil tend to lack consistency. Photographic evidence can be easily tampered with and there has never been a time when the Devil was actually caught. The passage of 250 years has not deadened the power of this myth, and it looks like we're going to have more reported sightings in the future.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Did the Moon Landing Really Happen?

On July 20, 1969, something monumental occurred. The first landing on the moon. The moon landings were aired on TV, children sit in their school seats absorbing the video, and pictures from the landing are plastered into our minds.
But, still, there are plenty of people talking. Why would the government lie to us about something so big? But either way, Red Hot Chili Peppers still sing, "space may be the final frontier, but it's made in a Hollywood basement." 
Conspiracy theorist love to talk about the way the American flag waves in the vacuum of space. The famous picture of them planting the flag into the moon shows ripples and waves as if a nice breeze just passed by. But there are no breezes in space. On the other hand... people say that the ripples are caused by the reaction force of them shaking the aluminum pole.
Ever heard of Stanley Kurbick's "2001: A Space Odyssey"? That movie came out in 1968- a year before the real landing. Some people claim that after having seen the movie and its amazing effects and visuals, the government persuaded Stanley Kubrick to direct the moon landing videos. Some people claim that the government persuaded Stanley Kubrick to direct the moon landing videos, and "2001: A Space Odyssey" was a practice run. Stanley Kubrick is known for the way that he slides in little symbols and hints in his movies, too. In "The Shining", it is noted that Danny wears an Apollo 11 shirt in one film, and the famous "all work and no play..." on the typewriter, the "All" looks like "A11" which is Apollo 11.
One more theory among hundreds of others, deals with the slow motion walking and jumping. It is said that if you take the speed that the astronauts are walkings and increase it 2.5 times, it is the speed of average walking on Earth. As for people who laugh off conspiracist and say that if it truly was filmed on Earth, how do the astronauts jump so high? Conspiracist will respond by bringing up hidden cables. Some even say that you can see them in certain photographs.
As for the why: people claim that 1969 would be a perfect time for something so big to come out and raise the morale of the Vietnam-stricken United States. 
Who knows. Maybe it is a lie. Or maybe we will all be living on the moon some day soon.