How to (Mostly) Block Donald Trump’s Emergency Text


On October 3, at around 2:00PM Eastern Time (and for up to 30 minutes after), every cell phone in the United States is set to light up with a test “presidential alert” message.1  This intrusion, and the inability to opt out or block it, has upset enough people to kick off a #GoDark920 movement, encouraging Americans to turn off their phones for the entire day.  As I’ll explain shortly, the media is incorrectly calling this message a “text”–but let’s not get into the weeds yet.

If you’re considering turning off your phone, there is an alternative.  Not perfect, but still, I would argue, better than giving up the use of your precious iPhone or Samsung for a day.

You will need WiFi for this to work, but the steps are simple, as shown on my iPhone, below.

  • Put your phone in airplane mode
  • Turn on WiFi
wifi settings for iphone

Setting up an iPhone for WiFi-only text and voice (click/enlarge

Yeah, that’s it.  The steps will be similar on an Android device such as Samsung.  Admittedly, you’re going to lose cellular phone service during this time, but you need not be out of touch with your loved ones, especially in the Apple world.  As long as I’m in range of WiFi, I can both text and call (FaceTime!) other Apple aficionados who are friends and family.

Not into the iPhone?  Not to worry.  There are myriad free texting and calling apps, such as WhatsApp, that are solely internet-based.  No cell phone service required.  In theory, at least, having your phone in Airplane Mode should have cellular service disabled and block the incoming “presidential message.”  If not, we’ve learned something interesting about airplane mode on cell phones.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a popular Internet-based application that allows text and voice without a cellular connection. Myriad such applications exist. (click/enlarge)

Note that the concept of “airplane mode” has been evolving, so I cannot guarantee success on October 3.  It used to be that even WiFi wasn’t allowed on flights, but this has changed; the FAA is toying with the idea of allowing cellular calls in the air, so there may well be phones out there that can receive but not transmit.  I’m going to find out on October 3.

messenger to block trump emergency message

Even the much-hated Facebook Messenger app can be used to communicate (over WiFi) until the presidential message passes.

As mentioned in the introduction, the October 3 message is often incorrectly being called a “text” by the press (I intentionally stuck with that name in the title of my article to avoid confusion.)  The alerts sent at the behest of the president use a technology framework known as Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).  Although WEAs may share some of the infrastructure we’re familiar with (e.g. cell towers, frequencies, our phones), they won’t arrive as standard voice, text, or SMS messages.  Simply put, they blanket all phones known to be in a geographical area with a specially formatted on-screen message accompanied by an audio signal and vibration.

So, to ease your mind, If the blocking hypothesis I describe here does indeed work, you need not fear having a text or voice mail from Donald Trump (OK, FEMA) waiting for you when you take your phone out of airplane mode on the evening of the 3rd.

This makes sense if you think about it.  My wife and I were once fortunate enough to be vacationing in Miami when a major winter storm hit our home state of Kentucky, triggering statewide wireless winter storm alerts.  Not only did we not receive those alerts while in Florida (it would make no sense, both the cellular service and emergency services know how to geo-track users and deliver warnings to the right places), we had no voice mails or texts waiting in our inboxes a week later when we flew back to chilly Kentucky.  In other words, the warning messages aren’t held for you to pick up at a later date.

But, Now That You Can, Should You?
Emergency alert systems exist for a reason–a good reason.  I always leave those for which I can opt-in enabled on my phone.  I would recommend that everyone do so.  A lot of dedicated scientists from myriad fields have worked very hard to put together a system to keep us safe.

So why am I writing about trying to bypass a test, and what the hell does this have to do with debunking bad science (the purpose of my blog?)

This is, in effect, my way of extending a large digital middle finger to Ajit Pai and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for their egregious act of bad science and public policy in rolling back net neutrality, the legal framework that forced Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in this country to treat all internet traffic equally. The Internet is now pay-for-play, meaning ISPs can charge (and receive) large fees to give priority to certain traffic (read: that from large corporations), leaving “unimportant” data (schools, libraries, scientific research, anything coming from your home and mine) to sit in the backwaters of a swamp that was supposed to be cleared.

And, to be honest, looking at what Trump and the FCC have done to botch the internet, I cannot help but have a knot in my stomach when I think of them holding the ability to “brick” every cell phone in the United States, at their whim, in one fell swoop. (WEA messages “brick,” or render your phones useless for communication, during their duration).

So, yes, accepting emergency broadcasts is a good thing.  A superfluous message from a vainglorious, demonstrably scientifically illiterate administration over an arguably redundant notification system, backed in part by an FCC that sold a free and fair internet to the highest bidder?

Yeah, I’m disabling my phone in protest.

Authors Notes
Updated 19 Sep 2018 to include descriptions of, and elaborate upon, the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) framework, how the data sent is not actually a text message, and propose the hypothesis that whatever’s sent between 2:00pm and 2:30pm won’t somehow show up in an inbox or stored as a “missed text.”

References
(1) Presidential Alert Test Postponed (NBC News)
https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/mobile/fema-s-presidential-alert-test-postponed-some-americans-want-disconnect-n910406
Retrieved 18 Sep 2018

Image Credits
iPhone screen snapshots by the author.

Trump on phone parody by the author, used in strict accordance with provisions of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

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Hurricane Florence Blows Mind of Conservative Talk Show Host

Hurricane Florence image

Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast of the USA.  Image by the author, produced via RadarScope software.

Longtime readers of this blog know the practice here is to avoid politics and religion unless members of those institutions cross the line by bringing science into the fray. At that point the gloves come off.  Listening to a few hours of conservative radio talk show coverage of Hurricane Florence yesterday on the Sirius XM Radio “Patriot” channel, climate science was discussed with all the accuracy of two auto mechanics preparing for delicate brain surgery on a newborn infant.  I feel compelled to respond.

The Wilkow Majority
Let’s look at a quote from Andrew Wilkow of the Wilkow Majority, “explaining” why climate change doesn’t exist:1

“[…] weather patterns are cyclical. […] our earth rotation is not perfectly circular, […] we come and go from different distances in relationship to the to the sun. […] tides, everything is affected by that.” 1

There’s a lot to unpack here.

Wilkow confused rotation with orbit, but I’ll cut him some slack.  Rotation occurs in place (think of a spinning top that doesn’t travel), which doesn’t alter our distance from the sun.  He’s clearly talking about our orbit, so that’s what we’ll concentrate on.  Out of kindness, I can say that this is by far the least of his mistakes.

The Earth does indeed orbit the sun in an elliptical, not circular, orbit.  Unfortunately, that’s the only thing Wilkow got right.  The implication that our distance from the sun affects our weather, our climate, and, risibly, our tides, is so wrong a that fifth grader could debunk it.  Not having a fifth grader on hand, I’ll do it myself, and start with the low hanging fruit: tides.

The Moon is responsible for our tides.2  As it orbits the planet, its gravitational tug on our home–and its oceans–causes a bulge that results in tides. Remember being taught this in grade school? Apparently Andrew Wilkow doesn’t.

andrew wilkow climate change

Andrew Wilkow. See Image Credits for photo copyright/use information

But the most scientifically inaccurate claim in Wilkow’s polemic is that the distance of our planet from the sun has anything to do with weather and climate.  In fact, the separation of Earth and our host star has nothing at all to do with  climate, weather, or even our seasons.

For starters, the seasons are caused by the Earth being tilted 23½ degrees on its axis with respect to the plane in which it orbits the Sun.  During the Northern Hemisphere winter, it’s colder because that part of the planet is tilted away from the Sun, receiving less direct sunlight.  A fun science fact is that during this time of year, the Earth is actually closer to the Sun than in the northern summer. Yes, we’re closer to the Sun in January than in June.  Distance doesn’t matter.  Conversely, it’s summer in the Southern Hemisphere in January because that part of the planet is tilted more directly toward the Sun, receiving more direct sunlight.

In Phil Plait’s excellent book, Bad Astronomy,5 Mr. Plait points out that very simple math shows that our non-circular orbit counts for at most a 7°F (4°C) difference, summer or winter. That’s right: statistically, the elliptical shape of our orbit contributes nothing to weather or climate change.  Every year, we swing through a cycle where distance contributes no more than 7°F (4°C), plus or minus, and, a reminder to Mr. Wilkow… we’re  talking weather, not climate.

earth orbit illustration

The Earth’s orbit is indeed elliptical, but it has nothing to do with climate. NASA/NOAA image. (click/enlarge)

This is a perfect segue into Andrew Wilkow’s cringe-worthy statement, “weather patterns are cyclical.”  As all who paid attention in science class know, weather isn’t climate.3   Weather concerns itself with immediate, short-term conditions; climate is the measure and average of weather over long periods of time.  For an example of someone who doesn’t understand the difference between weather and climate, look no further than a senator who brings a snowball (a weather event) to the floor of the senate to “prove” climate change doesn’t exist.4  Ach du lieber gott in himmel.

Full disclosure:  there are some possible considerations due to a phenomenon called precession (the Earth’s wobble on its axis), our orbit of the Sun, and the fact that the tilt of our axis will cause seasons in the hemispheres to eventually reverse.  But this happens on scales of tens of thousands of years.  You could start making climate change arguments for Sarasota and Sydney if you stuck around for 20,000 years, but that’s outside Wilkow’s bailiwick and lifespan.

Wilkow’s broadcast eventually segues from demonstrable scientific illiteracy to hurricane and other emergency preparedness and, wait for it: shilling for emergency food supplies. Yes, the conservative broadcaster just so happens to run an online emergency food store, and there’s nothing like a good natural disaster to drum up business.6

wilkow uses natural disaster to sell overpriced goods

Why stop at using bad science to refute a natural disaster when you can make a little money at the same time? Fear sells, and Wilkow is a master of the art. (click/enlarge)

It has become all too typical in today’ environment to deny science and back up rhetoric with nonsense such as Wilkow’s (e.g., the oceans aren’t really warming, providing more fuel to make hurricanes more devastating.)  Unfortunately, listeners calling into his show readily agreed with him, despite the annoying reality that the facts don’t.  For example, as we’ve circled the sun time again, century after century, our planet has been warming by 1.3° to 1.6° Fahrenheit, on average, but with the rate nearly doubling since 1975.7,8

Here’s what the climate has been doing as we elliptically orbit the sun these last few hundred years:

global temperatures chart

History of global surface temperatures since 1880, courtesy NOAA.8 (click/enlarge)

There you have it graphically:  climate change is a long-term affair.  After listening to conservative talk radio for several hours on Wednesday, I hope that the love affair with scientific illiteracy, as demonstrated by Andrew Wilkow and those calling into his show, doesn’t also prove to be a long term affair.

The planet just can’t afford it.

Authors note (16 Sep 2018):  this article originally reversed units of temperature regarding the earth-sun distance effect.  The correct values are 4 degrees Celsius (7 degrees Fahrenheit).  Thanks to astute readers for pointing out the error.

References
(1) The Wilkow Majority (Sirius XM Radio, Patriot Channel)
Excerpt beginning at 6:24 mark, climate change denial
Live Broadcast, 12 Sep 2018, also available via Sirius XM replay

(2) NOAA SciJLinks: What Causes Tides
https://scijinks.gov/tides/
Retrieved 12 Sep 2018

(3) NASA: What’s the Difference Between Weather and Climate?
https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/noaa-n/climate/climate_weather.html
Retrieved 12 Sep 2018

(4) Senator James Inhofe (Republican) Brings Snowball to Floor (YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E0a_60PMR8
Retrieved 12 Sep 2018

(5) Bad Astronomy, by Phil Plait
https://www.amazon.com/Bad-Astronomy-Misconceptions-Revealed-Astrology/dp/0471409766/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536935776&sr=8-1&keywords=bad+astronomy+-+philip+plait
Retrieved 12 Sep 2018
Disclaimer:  I am not an Amazon affiliate marketer.  I receive no proceeds from the sales of Amazon products and have no association with the author of the linked book.

(6) Prepare With Wilkow (PreparedWith.com)
https://preparewith.com/wilkow
Warning: Not a reputable/scientifically accurate site
Retrieved 12 Sep 2018

(7) NOAA:  Climate Change: Global Temperature
Authors: Rebecca Lindsey and LuAnn Dahlman
https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature
Retrieved 12 Sep 2018

(8) American Meteorological Society, State of the Climate Report
https://www.ametsoc.org/ams/index.cfm/publications/bulletin-of-the-american-meteorological-society-bams/state-of-the-climate/
Retrieved 12

 

Image Credits
Hurricane Florence cover image ©2018 Mark Alsip, all rights reserved.
Produced with the RadarScope app.

Andrew Wilkow image may be subject to copyright.  Used here in strict accordance with provisions of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Earth/Sun orbit image courtesy NASA/NOAA. Used with kind permission and under provisions that image is in public domain because it was produced by a government agency.

NOAA climate change courtesy NASA/NOOA.  Used with kind permission and under provisions that image is in public domain because it was produced by a government agency.

Josh Axe’s Heavy Metal Toothpaste

josh axe heavy metals alternate toothpaste

Josh Axe brings heavy metal to the stage in an unexpected way with his homemade toothpaste recipe. Unfortunately, he himself calls the mix toxic.

Josh Axe, a chiropractor who fancies himself a doctor and makes a living selling unproven natural remedies for all that ails you, has a particular distaste for heavy metal.  No, not the likes of Metalilica, Iron Maiden, or Black Sabbath.  We’re talking heavy metal in the context of lead, mercury, and, of particular importance to today’s column, aluminum.

Just like the old school conservatives who associate satanic meanings with heavy metal music, Josh Axe seems to see the devil in aluminum, the most common metal in the crust of the planet.  He calls it a toxic poison,1 links it to Alzheimer’s,2 and even demonizes common aluminum foil, tying it to dementia.3

It’s rather shocking then that “Doctor” Axe has published an article in which he recommends an aluminum-based homemade toothpaste:4

“As an alternative to baking soda, you can use white kaolin clay.”–Josh Axe4

You see, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s PubChem database, you can’t have kaolin without aluminum.  Don’t believe me?  Well, here:5

“Kaolin is the most common mineral of a group of hydrated aluminum silicates, approximately H2Al2Si2O8-H2O.”5 —-PubChem  (emphasis mine)

Here’s a pretty picture of kaolin.  I’ve highlighted the aluminum in yellow:

kaolin josh axe toothpaste

Kaolin, courtesy PubChem. Note the aluminum. When you brush your teeth with Josh Axe’s homemade remedy, this is what you put in your mouth.

 

When will the public catch on and stop buying from this man? I don’t know the answer. But you, dear reader, can help. Spread these stories. Check Axe’s product labels against his own words. I’ve provided the necessary links in the reference section below. Somewhere out there, I imagine a truly ill man or woman considering throwing out their meds and following one of Axe’s nonsensical, hypocritical wellness plans. They’ll be buying the same chemicals he claims will harm them.

Let’s not let that happen.

References
(1) Dangers of Heavy Metals and How to do a Heavy Metal Detox
Warning: Not a scholarly article. Contains false and/or misleading information.
https://draxe.com/heavy-metal-detox/
Retrieved 03 Apr 2018

(2) Five Gross Grilling Mistakes Damaging Your Health
Warning: Not a scholarly article. Contains false and/or misleading information.
https://draxe.com/grilling-mistakes/
Retrieved 03 Apr 2018

(3) Alzheimers Natural Treatment
Warning: Not a scholarly article. Contains false and/or misleading information.
https://draxe.com/alzheimers-natural-treatment/
Retrieved 03 Apr 2018

(4) Six Ways to Naturally Whiten your Teeth (Josh Axe)
Warning: Not a scholarly article. Contains false and/or misleading information.
https://draxe.com/6-ways-to-naturally-whiten-your-teeth/
Retrieved 03 Apr 2018

(5) Pubchem Kaolin Clay (CID 56841936)
https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/56841936
Retrieved 03 Apr 2018

Image Credits
Intro image is a parody mashup using a base image of unknown copyright status; I believe ©2018 Wallup. Used here along with a cutout of Josh Axe under the parody provisions of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Kaolin structure courtesy PubChem.

Rocket Man Flies in the Wrong Direction

Mike Hughes seems directionally challenged regarding the flat earth conspiracy

Mike “the Rocket Man” Hughes (no relation to Rocket Man Kim Jung Un) made dubious history on Saturday, March 24, launching himself nearly 4⁄10 of a mile vertically, toward outer space, in search of evidence to support his flat earth theory.1

The problem is, Mike flew the wrong way.

mike hughes launches rocket to prove flat earth

Mike Hughes goes the wrong way. Photo ©2018 Mike Hartman/Associated Press. Please see Image Credits section at end of article for disclosure on use.

Hughes took off vertically.  Even had he seen the curvature of the planet, he would have been subjected to the endless conspiracy theories flat earthers apply to NASA footage showing said curvature, where lens distortion or other photo trickery is blamed.

No, a better approach would have been to simply board an airplane and fly horizontally until the edge was reached.  A bevy of photos of the alleged disk-shaped planet hanging there in space would have surely earned Hughes a Nobel Prize in physics.

To help Hughes in his next attempt, and/or as a challenge to any other flat earthers out there, I’ve laid out a highly detailed scientific diagram of the proposed process below, presented free to the flat earth scientific community to help them in their efforts.

You’re welcome.

mike hughes flat earth

If the earth is flat, it should be a simple matter to fly HORIZONTALLY to the edge and snap a photo. Why the obsession with flying straight up? (click/enlarge)

 

References
(1) Mike Hughes Blasts Off in Self Built Rocket (via USA Today)
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/03/26/mad-mike-hughes-who-believes-earth-flat-blasts-off-self-built-rocket/457780002/
Retrieved 26 Mar 2018

Image Credits
Rocket takeoff ©2018 Mike Hartman/Associated Press. Used under provisions of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge; specifically cases where no publicly available image of the event being discussed is available.

Mike Hughes headshot and flat earth graphic used under parody provisions of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge; specifically cases where no publicly available image of the event being discussed is available.  Airplane photo by the author.

Kelly Brogan, MD: A-Salt With A “Deadly” Weapon (Part Two)

kelly brogan fluoride hypocrisy

In part one of this series,1 it was revealed that Kelly Brogan, M.D., sells an aluminum-laden health supplement while simultaneously (falsely) linking small amounts of aluminum to myriad serious health problems, and fear-mongering the population at large into avoiding safe, effective vaccines.  Here, in part two, we’ll look at a second “toxic” ingredient found in the same Brogan supplement.  It’s particularly important to point out Brogan’s hypocrisy and questionable medical practices at this time, as she’s been named to the advisory board of the popular SXSW Conference, taking place March 9-17, 2018,  in Austin, TX.2,3

At question in part two of this series is fluoride, an anion of the element fluorine.  Kelly Brogan, without evidence, links fluoride to depression, low IQ, labels it an endocrine-disrupting poison, and implicates it in birth defects.6,7,8,9

Sigh. Alex, I’ll take “Products Sold in Kelly Brogan’s Online Store,”10 and make it a true Daily Double:

kelly brogan fluoride real salt resources

A two-image composite of the Real Salt sold by Kelly Brogan via her online store. The salt contains fluoride, which Brogan links to birth defects, depression, and neurological disorders. (click/enlarge)

Real Salt.  That’s certainly better than fake salt!  Allow me to point out an ingredient of particular interest for you (click image to enlarge):11

Kelly Brogran SXSW fluoride image

Kelly Brogan’s Real Salt contains fluoride, an anion she falsely links to a plethora of diseases, even when used in small amounts. Why then is she selling it? (click/enlarge)

Do you see it?  Fluoride! I’ve highlighted it for you (click the above image to enlarge).  Yet wasn’t Doc Brogan just this very moment warning us that fluoride caused health problems?    Now, 0.0193mg per serving (13.8 parts per million) might not seem like a lot, but let’s see what Kelly Brogan herself thinks about the presence of wee amounts of an element she’s linked to birth defects:6,7,8,9

We thought that chemicals were only dangerous in big doses.

An entire burgeoning field of toxicology now endorses the role of the endocrine system in the toxic effects of even small doses of chemicals, which can synergize together to wreak havoc in dose ranges as low as parts-per-billion and which regulators still don’t consider in toxicological risk assessments.” (emphasis mine) –Kelly Brogan 12

 

So Kelly Brogan, Medicine Woman, apparently would agree that the small dose of fluoride in her product is enough to be dangerous.  But wait, it gets worse: when Brogan speaks of “synergy”, she’s referring to the concept that the outcome of mixing two chemicals is greater than the expected sum of their parts.  If you’re into tropical drinks, think of synergy like this… it’s the “lime in d’coconut” moment your tastebuds experience when you realize your beverage is fruitier than either the lime or coconut itself could provide on their own.  If you don’t like lime or coconut, and the purists will forgive me, think of synergy as sort of 2 + 2 = 4½.

Why does synergy matter in this discussion?  Because in this same supplement we’ve already caught Brogan red-handed selling more aluminum than can be found in the vaccines she wrongly demonizes.1 Now she’s added fluoride to the mix. If, according to Brogan, small amounts of aluminum are linked to Alzheimer’s,1 and fluoride to birth defects,6,7,8,9 and synergy comes into play when combining even small amounts of “toxic” chemicals such as these, what are we to say then when we find fluoride and aluminum together, locked in a tender embrace, in aisle three, row five, shelf number four, of her online store?

Thomas Jefferson once wrote that “honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.”   In selling her followers a combination of a dose of chemicals (aluminum, fluoride) she claims will  put them at risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine system disorders, and birth defects, while in her own mind believing that synergistic effects could compound the problem, Dr. Kelly Brogan abandons all claims to the aforementioned honesty.  In hosting her on their medical advisory board, the SXSW Festival has thrown Jefferson’s metaphorical book of wisdom onto the bonfire of ignorance.  SXSW draws thousands of journalists and, in 2016, nearly 100,000 attendees,4,5 giving Brogan, an AIDS and germ-theory denier who spreads falsehoods on life-saving vaccines,13,14 fertile ground to spread misinformation that could literally cost human lives.

There is a growing online protest against Kelly Brogan’s presence at SXSW. If you’d like to join in (politely, please), consider tweeting this article (or part 1).  Suggested Twitter handles and hashtags are:

@SXSW @KellyBroganMD #SXSW #BumpBrogan

 

References
(1) Kelly Brogan, MD: A-Salt With a “Deadly” Weapon (Part One)
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/kelly-brogan-md-a-salt-with-a-deadly-weapon-part-one/
Retrieved 19 Dec 2017

(2) SXSW Home Page
https://www.sxsw.com/
Retrieved 06 Feb 2018

(3) Meet the 2018 SXSW Wellness Expo Advisory Board
https://www.sxsw.com/news/2017/meet-the-2018-sxsw-wellness-expo-advisory-board/
Retrieved 06 Feb 2018

(4) SXSW Facts, Figures, Quotes
https://www.sxsw.com/facts-figures-quotes/
Retrieved 06 Feb 2018

(5) (CNN) South by Southwest Fast Facts
https://www.cnn.com/2013/09/13/us/south-by-southwest-fast-facts/index.html
Retrieved 06 Feb 2018

(6) 7 Facts About Depression That Will Blow You Away
Warning: not a scholarly article.  Contains false and/or misleading information.
http://kellybroganmd.com/7-facts-about-depression-that-will-blow-you-away/
Retrieved 18 Dec 2017

(7) Are You Fluoridated?
Warning: not a scholarly article.  Contains false and/or misleading information.
http://kellybroganmd.com/are-you-fluoridated/
Retrieved 18 Dec 2017

(8) Birth Defects From Contaminated Water
Warning: not a scholarly article.  Contains false and/or misleading information.
http://kellybroganmd.com/birth-defects-from-contaminated-water/
Retrieved 18 Dec 2017

(9) Thyroid Symptoms? Q&A with Dr. Amy Myers
Warning: not a scholarly article.  Contains false and/or misleading information.
http://kellybroganmd.com/thyroid-health-qa-dr-amy-myers/
Retrieved 17 Dec 2017

(10) Real Salt (Kelly Brogan Online Store)
http://kellybroganmd.com/resources/
Retrieved 11 Dec 2017

(11) Real Salt Chemical Analysis
http://realsalt.redmond.life/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2017/05/Real-Salt-Analysis.pdf
Retrieved 04 Feb Feb 2017

(12) The Brain Does Have An Immune System
Warning: not a scholarly article.  Contains false and/or misleading information.
http://kellybroganmd.com/the-brain-does-have-an-immune-system/
Retrieved 27 Dec 2017

(13) (Newsweek) HIV Doesn’t Cause AIDS According to […] Kelly Brogan
http://www.newsweek.com/hiv-doesnt-cause-aids-according-gwyneth-paltrow-goop-doctor-kelly-brogan-735645
Retrieved 04 Feb 2017

(14) Immunity: The Emerging Truth
Warning: not a scholarly article.  Contains false and/or misleading information.
http://kellybroganmd.com/immunity-emerging-truth/
Retrieved 04 Feb 2017

 

Image Credits
A small section of the textbook “General Chemistry 101: 607 Pages of Notes Covering All High School and College General Chemistry” by Professor Chemistry, available on Amazon at
https://www.amazon.com/General-Chemistry-101-Covering-College/dp/1979048754/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1513472704&sr=1-2&keywords=chemistry+101, was used in the cover art under provisions of Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law”. This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Food Babe Wants This Made Illegal For Children, So She Sells It To Them

food babe christmas treat banner

One of Vani (the “Food Babe”) Hari’s most hypocritical posts ever just hit Facebook.1  I literally spewed a soft drink across my computer screen when I saw this post:

food babe children artificial color

Food Babe maligns the sale of artificial colors to children while she does the very same thing.(click/enlarge)

For many years now, Hari has sold artificial colors made from petroleum derivatives  to children, in the form of Piggy Paint nail polish, as detailed here.2

Piggy Paint, pushed by Food Babe via her affiliate marketing program,3 contains an abundance of artificial “coal tar dye” colors (her language, not mine), including Orange 5, Yellow 10, Red 22, Red 34, and Violet 2.4

piggy paints with artificial colors, sold by food babe

Piggy Paint nail polish for children, complete with artificial colors,  as sold by Food Babe (click/enlarge)

For those in the #FoodBabeArmy who might cry foul, saying Vani’s only campaigning against so-called toxic chemicals in food products, let me again remind you, she rants against the very same ingredients in beauty products.5

Vani, it’s time to start reading your own product labels.

 

References
(1) Food Babe Artificial Color Post (Facebook)
https://www.facebook.com/thefoodbabe/photos/a.208386335862752.56063.132535093447877/1781149331919770/?type=3&theater&ifg=1
Retrieved 27 Dec 2017

(2) Food Babe Selling Pesticide, Coal Tar Dyes to Children
Bad Science Debunked, 15 Nov 2015
https://badscidebunked.wordpress.com/tag/piggy-paints/
Retrieved 27 Dec 2017

(3) Food Babe: New Products That Make Me Scream In Excitement
(Food Babe Marketing Post)
https://foodbabe.com/2013/04/13/new-products-that-make-me-scream-in-excitement/
Retrieved 27 Dec 2017

(4) Piggy Paint Ingredients
http://www.piggypaint.com/product-info/#.VikWjJegaoc
Retrieved 27 Dec 2017

(5) So Fresh And So Clean–Skin Care Tips
Warning: Not a scholarly link
https://foodbabe.com/2011/08/09/so-fresh-and-so-clean-skin-care-tips/
Retrieved 27 Dec 2017

Image Credits
Piggy Paint and Food Babe screen snapshots and product image captures are used in strict compliance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 of United States copyright law (commonly known as “fair use law”). This material is distributed without profit with the intent to provide commentary, review, education, parody, and increase public health knowledge.

Science Moms (Movie Review)

Science Moms Banner

On a hot summer day in the not-too-distant past, I made a small contribution to a Kickstarter project for a film known as “Science Moms.”  As time went by, the pressures of daily life pushed the movie to the back of mind, along with that promise to my wife to mow the lawn, and something about an engagement party we were supposed to attend on Saturday.  Regarding the film at least, my memory was jogged last weekend, when directors Natalie Newell and Brian Newell saw to it that a copy showed up in the inboxes of the documentary’s supporters.  I was delighted.

Science Moms1 is thirty minutes of entertainment and science wrapped around a hard hitting message: celebrity-driven misinformation on issues such as vaccines and GMOs is making life miserable for parents, who don’t know where to turn for advice–and often end up making costly decisions.

image of baby in sink. Babies are precious to their parents

Children are obviously precious to their parents, who will go to great lengths to protect them. Good advice is critical. It won’t be found in the fear-driven Facebook posts of celebrities. (Photo: © 2017 Miranda Lynn White.)

Five mothers who just happen to be three professional scientists or science writers/communicators were inspired, in part, to make the film after one of their heroes, Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar, made an ill-advised and scientifically inaccurate video on GMOs.  (Yes, scientists love Buffy too!)

The movie is loaded with witty animations, facts that hit home but don’t overwhelm, and, my favorite, touching personal stories from each mother.  The most poignant moment for me was the story of a neuroscientist who reflected that views of the polio vaccine are so different now than they were in her own mother’s time.  This echoes my own mother’s recollections of losing grade school friends to the dreaded disease, and her nightly prayers that she wouldn’t end up in an iron lung herself.  The polio vaccine was/is a Godsend, yet we live in an age where parents are frightened away from safe vaccines by Hollywood stars whose science education is, to be kind, lacking.  Such are the lessons of this wonderful documentary.

I doubt that Science Moms will change the minds of any of the virulent anti-vaccine, anti-GMO, anti-science crowd, but I don’t believe that’s the film’s target audience.  The Science Moms are speaking to other mothers out there who are just as confused and frightened by misinformation as they once were.  I’ve always likened good science communication to vaccines: once someone like Gary Ruskin or Carey Gilam (USRTK) has been infected by anti-GMO propaganda, or Andrew Wakefield’s shameful vaccine lies, there’s probably no chance of saving them.

But there are countless parents who have yet to be infected by the diseased words of the Sarah Michelle Gellars, the Jenny McCarthys, and the Gwyneth Paltrows of this world.  Science Moms is the ideal vaccine for these parents.  To be forewarned is to be forearmed.  Information antibodies introduced into the brain by this $4.99 (downloadable) film could be just the thing to save a confused mother (or father) who comes up against the dangerous, pseudoscientific nonsense of a Vani Hari or David Avocado Wolfe sales pitch.

Curious?  You can learn more about Science Moms at  http://www.sciencemomsdoc.com

 

Disclosures:  I donated to the Kickstarter fund that helped make this movie possible, but I have no financial interest in it whatsoever, including compensation of any type from sales, promotion, etc.  I speak favorably of the film because I believe in it.  I once played hooky from physics class and went fishing. Now you know. [End of disclosure]

 

Image Credits
Science Moms logo copyright (c) 2017 Natalie Newell and Brian Newell/ScienceMoms. Used in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, commonly known as “fair use law,” distributed without profit, for the purpose of review, education, and increasing public knowledge.

Baby in sink copyright © 2017 Miranda Lynn White, all rights reserved.  Used with permission.

Remote control image by Santeri Viinamäki, used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

References
(1) Science Moms
http://www.sciencemomsdoc.com
Retrieved 17 Nov 2017