Sunday, November 22, 2020

Hi-Ho Silver Away!

 Oh the rabbit holes I go down sometimes...

A person sent me a friend request on Facebook.  I checked out his wall.  It was filled with a lot of those guru inspirational quotes.  Definitely not my thing as I find them problematic (that's a topic of discussion for another day).  I then saw he had multiple posts about a holistic dental service.  I was aware of this dental service before.  

The person running the service is not a dentist.  She is a dental hygienist.  While she gives some good advice on her FB business page wall (I actually really like her idea of recycling plastic products and acknowledges that sometimes, those are the best options for her patients), there is also a lot of nonsense and misinformation as well.  Take for example this:

So there is a lot to unpack here.  I'm going to focus just on the liquid product.

"The silver supplement can be taken as a vitamin" Well first off, silver is not a vitamin or anything even close to one.  By definition:  A vitamin is an organic molecule that is an essential micronutrient which an organism needs in small quantities for the proper functioning of its metabolism.  The body doesn't need silver for proper functioning.  Silver has no known purpose in the body. It's not an essential mineral.

" support immunity" is a meaningless phrase.  It is too ambiguous to mean anything.  "Support" is what I call a red flag word.  It doesn't clearly define what it means.  It's just like "helps", "assists" and so on.  The question next would be a big "How?"   That of course is rarely answered.

"..added to mouthwash or water pick, and diffused into a room to eliminate viruses."  No, don't do it.  Silver should not be taken orally.  Putting in mouthwash or water pick, a person might accidentally ingest (especially a child).  While colloidal silver does have some antiviral/antimicrobial properties, it is most effective used directly on surfaces.  A diffuser would promote ingestion of the particles which is not a good idea.

When taken by mouth, silver builds up in your body. This can result usually in a permanent blue-gray discoloration of your skin, eyes, internal organs, nails and gums. This is called argyria. Colloidal silver can also interact with some prescription medicines.  Severe side effects from high doses can include organ damage and seizures. 

"Designed to help boost the immune system"  Any product that uses this phrase is almost guaranteed to be making misleading claims.  My friend Harriet Hall has multiple articles as to why this idea is silly.  Here's a recent one that covers it nicely:  

"Safe for children"--again as mentioned above, children are more likely to swallow mouthwash or water from a water pick.  Not a good idea to have an unsafe substance in there.

"All natural"  Irrelevant.   Being natural does not make a substance safe or effective.  It's an appeal to nature which is a common trope used by nonsense pushers.

"Powerful 10 PPM nano silver solution"  Say what????!!!???   OK, this is an odd statement. 10 parts per million is powerful.   This sounds like homeopathic quackery.  I now have to look at the ingredients so I go to the company website. 

Ingredients:  Purified Silver 50 mcg and Deionized Water.  It's definitely homeopathic-like.

I also notice on the bottle that it states "gluten free" and "non-gmo".  It's water and silver.  Of course it's gluten free and non-gmo!  There's no DNA at all!  This is just pandering to the uneducated who seem to think GMOs and gluten are bad.  Gluten is only bad of course to those with celiac. Genetic modification is simply a tool.  Just silly.

Further looking through their website I see this claim "SilverSol particles leave the body within 24 hours."   OK, so that seems to go against the idea of bio-accumulation.  Let's see the proof.  They claim to have "Over 400 independent studies and test reports performed by more than 60 leading laboratories and universities, all using our SilverSol Technology®. 30 safety reports and studies. 3 published and FDA cleared human ingestion studies.20+ peer-reviewed and published scientific and medical journal articles. Thousands of case studies on SilverSol Technology."

A look on their research page shows...

Well that's a far cry from those numbers they boast about.   The wound studies are mostly just single person case studies.  Pretty much useless as far as evidence goes.  Let's look at the safety data as that's the only other stuff they provide.  

The first "Selective Inaction of ASAP on Probiotics" is not even a study.  It provides no information on how they did the "study".  Utterly useless.

The cytotoxicty report is similar as it gives very little info.

The third is "In vivo human time-exposure study of orally dosed commercial silver nanoparticles".  It's interesting that they don't give the pubmed link but just a pdf of printed out paper.  Probably because if you look for it on pubmed you get links to studies that cite this study like which states "in vivo biodistribution studies have reported Ag accumulation and toxicity to local as well as distant organs."  
So their own study  states "In vivo oral exposure to these commercial nanoscale silver particle solutions does not prompt clinically important changes in human metabolic, hematologic, urine, physical findings or imaging morphology."  To me that means it doesn't do anything to help out.  

The fourth study link is a real kicker! as it states "Oral ingestion of a commercial colloidal silver nanoproduct produces detectable silver in human serum after 14 days of dosing"   So their own link to a study discredits their claim of it leaving the body in 24 hours.

Well I've had enough, I'm not even going to bother with the other two.  It's safe to say this is just nonsense up the wazoo.  I do have a further question though.  Who is the head honcho of this company?

It took some searching but I found it!  "Dr. Keith Moeller is a Managing Director and CEO of American Biotech Labs (ABL).  Prior to his position with ABL, Keith served as Director of Property Development for 3 different mining companies. Keith has almost 30 years of experience working in the silver industry, and holds a B.S. in Business Management, Finance and International Business from Brigham Young University. He is also a Certified Natural Health Practitioner and holds a Doctorate in Naturopathy."   Naturopaths are not doctors.  He has no actual medical credentials.

So would you trust a dental person who is promoting quackery like this?

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Healy Scam


I came across this video debunking the Healy device.  The makers of this device make some pretty big unsubstantiated claims

Thanks to Sir Sic for making the video :)

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Does Turkey Make You Sleepy?

 Around Thanksgiving we always hear the same old story about feeling tired after eating turkey.

So is there any truth to that?

Not really.   Most try to blame tryptophan (more specifically L-Tryptophan). L-tryptophan is an essential amino acid (building blocks of protein).We must get Tryptophan through diet as our body cannot make it itself.  

Turkey is rich in Tryptophan but so is other poultry. It can also be found in meat, cheese, yogurt, fish, and eggs.

Tryptophan is used by the body to make niacin, a B vitamin.  It is important for digestion, skin and nerves, and serotonin. Serotonin is used to make melatonin, a hormone that helps to control your sleep/wake cycles.

Fact: Turkey actually has slightly less tryptophan than chicken.  Therefore, any food rich in Tryptophan should have a similar effect.  It doesn't though.

In order for Tryptophan to cross the blood-brain barrier and to create Serotonin, it needs to be paired with carbohydrates.  More specifically, carbohydrates will pair with Tryptophan already stored in your body from previous meals.  

So don't blame the Turkey!  Blame the carbohydrates you gobble gobble!

Monday, September 28, 2020

HPV Vaccine Causes Transsexuality?!?!?

 Check out this ridiculous post from a chiro on Facebook

First off, I don't think she quite understands what an epidemic is.  6 girls over 5 years does not make an epidemic lol

So yes, she is claiming that the HPV vaccine is causing girls to be transgender.  This of course begs the question of where did the transgender persons come from before the HPV vaccine?  Yeah, it doesn't quite make basic sense.   One also may be inclined to ask:  Why  just girls?  Why not boys who also get the HPV vaccine?   One can also take this post as transphobic.  I can't say that it absolutely is, but it is definitely concerning in that department.

Dena, looking throughout her social media and online presence, is obviously an anti-vaxxer.  She is also an avid anti-masker as well claiming all sorts of nonsense that has been debunked a million times (like masks depriving oxygen).  

Many of the comments from followers on her page are equally nutty.  They parrot the usual detox, homeopathic, and other quackery rabble that is widespread with chiros.


So back to the original post above...
So she seems to admit that transgender can be genetic (although saying at the same time also caused by heavy metals in vaccines).  She mentions a "Genius Scan".    So what is that?   At first doing a google search only brought up an app for scanning documents.  So then I looked up the FB account of Karen.

Holey Rabbit Hole Batman!

Where do I begin?   One thing noticed by my wife was a picture of what she assumed at first might've been with her husband.  Well clicking to enlarge...nope!  It was a picture with the infamous peddlar of nonsense David Avocado Wolfe!   A sure sign of quackery is to be abound!

So Karen's list of jobs is long (so long in fact that I couldn't screencap it all in one shot!)...and most of the postings make almost no sense as they are just words grouped together.   She's a solarian and breatharian.  Both of those have been debunked thoroughly as nonsense.  Also throw in that she is a vegan so she is most definitely not living off of the air.  

She promotes vaginal steaming.   Basically this is as it sounds...steaming one's vagina.  Just throw in the herbs for a spicy taco I guess???   Joking aside, this practice has been debunked and has been shown to be dangerous.

"Chemtrail"???--Again, thoroughly debunked

 OK, so what about this "Genius Scan"?   According to her website it claims that it is a "quantum biofeedback device".  This device allows you to "peer energetically" (whatever that means).  You can use it to increase other areas "in your life besides health, including such things as financial abundance and relationships."  OOOOOOOKKKKKKK.   Of course to try and cover themselves they throw in the line:  "These are only energetic readings and they should not be taken as a physical diagnosis."  but then in the very same paragraph: "readings are closely aligned to the physical experience many of our users."  So does any of this give us any real idea about this app?   Not really.  It's just plain nonsense that gives no real insight.  It's seems to be based on the nonsensical idea of energy healing/medicine.
A starter pack will run you $2300 (or $1400 if you can catch one of their specials).  Still seems excessively expensive when you can get a Fitbit or other similar device/app for $150 or less.

Some of this idea seems to based on PEMF and RIFE.  What are these?  PEMF stands for Pulsed Electromagnetic Field.  PEMF has some weak to inconclusive evidence that it may help in healing non-union fractures and knee osteoarthritis .  There is a bit that it may help with some depression, but again not entirely conclusive.  The companies that sell and manufacture the PEMF pads as "general wellness products" are not permitted to make medical claims of effectiveness in treating disease.

So what is RIFE?  These are devices that alternative medicine quacks claim can cure cancer and other diseases by a barely undetectable electrical current through a persons skin.  Rife devices' have been featured in several cases of health fraud.  Royal Rife first invented a device and it was only after his death that the quacks took ahold of it making claims he did not.  Rife was noted for being against medical fakers who claim to cure disease using "electrical 'vibrations'", stating that his work did not uphold such claims.

So Dena, the chiro, is asking in her post if this Genius scan can repair the assumed faulty genetic code of trans people?  So in simpler terms, using radio waves to wash the gay away.  This is some asinine stuff right here.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Can you measure remaining daylight with your fingers?


This image is being spread on social media.  This idea has been passed around before.  Does it work?    As far as I can tell it would give an reasonable estimate.   The problem that is not mentioned though is that looking at the sun directly can cause eye damage (temporary or permanent) if done with the unaided eye.  

This is why with a sextant (a navigational device using a similar principle) a filter is used to overcome the glare such as "shades" covering both index mirror and the horizon mirror designed to prevent eye damage.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Face Masks and Driving Warning

This seems to be going around social media today...

While the text here seems to be a sincere warning, there is more behind it...

The first thing I noticed is that it is very unlikely that someone would pass out from wearing a face mask.  Numerous studies and real-time example have shown that your oxygen level is not depleted when wearing a mask.  Now there may be certain medical conditions that may cause problems for people wearing masks, but for the general public, it is not a concern.  Thus any way you look at it, the warning is moot.

Secondly, I took a look at the Heart of Newfoundland page.   It appears to be an extreme right wing propaganda facebook page. It has multiple posts that are anti-mask citing the usual nonsense of freedoms being squashed and such.   The page also has anti-abortion, pro-gun, anti-black lives matter, anti-lgbqt+,  anti-diversity, racist and conspiracy posts.  Much is easily refuted on their page.  So their overall credibility is obviously questionable.

Thirdly, I did a reverse image search and found that the pic is from a 2016 crash in Macon GA. This obviously has nothing to do with the current situation.  The original is here:

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Cheryl Gilbert Face Mask Chlamydia

This post has been making the rounds...

It has been shared by multiple on social media and on some news networks since June 25th post on a WIS TV social media.

Looking up Cheryl's Facebook account, and seeing all her visible posts and replies, it is safe to say this is most likely a trolling account, but a very funny one.

Some of her posts include gems like:

There is even a supposed response from her cheating husband...

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Passenger Using Cellphone will get you a $1500 Fine in Canada?

Canada-eh(dot)info put out this "article"

The article doesn't go into much detail but it has some obvious glaring errors.  Driving laws are the responsibility of each Province and Territory.  Thus each has it's own fines and demerit points.  So stating that in Canada this would be the fine, just doesn't make sense. 

Canada-eh is also a know purveyor of false and misleading information.  For example, it claimed in April of 2019 of a boil water advisory in Toronto.  There was no such advisory.  This was a totally made up story.

Canada-eh and other similar fake news sites have been traced to be run by people in Kosovo.  They are obviously preying on gullible people to believe these nonsense stories, just so they get hits on their website.

Checking on a few transportation ministries in Canada, I can't find anything that suggests that there would be a fine for a passenger being on a cellphone. 

Monday, June 29, 2020

Denver Mural COVID 19 Hoax?

Does this 1994 mural at the Denver airport show a prophecy of COVID-19?

Nope.  This is a hoax.  This painting was recently done and it is not at the Denver airport. 

It is a piece called "MASK-COMMUNICATION" It was created by a Filipino Christian Joy Trinidad for COVID-19 awareness. Christian did the painting to remind that clear communication and unity should still dominate to eradicate COVID-19.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

COVID 19 Vaccine Trials Guinea Pigs?

A friend shared this article

The article is very positive, yet somehow many are taking it as a negative and spouting conspiracy theories such as
 "You know why I’ll tell you why because black lives don’t matter"
 "Bill gates and Fauci have a goal to delete the world population by a lot so they go to Africans first"
"They test shit out in Africa because they don't give a shit about them."
"Why didn't they use this on the Americans first? No, no let's test it on the Africans first...see if it doesn't make you go blind and have your toenails fall off ."

Do these concerns and assertions hold any weight?

No not at all.

First off, I think people misread the headline in thinking this is the first vaccine trial for COVID-19.  It is not.

They are doing trials in various countries around the world. There are various different types of vaccine potentials going to trial in England, South Africa, USA, China, UAE, Canada and so on ( I can find 36 potentials as of writing this). Each one is currently in different phases.
The US government is choosing three vaccine candidates to fund for Phase 3 trials under Operation Warp Speed: Moderna’s mRNA-1273 in July, The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca’s AZD1222 in August, and Pfizer and BioNTech's BNT162 in September. 
The South Africa one is a phase 3 (UAE, Brazil, England and China also have phase 3 trials launching). To understand the basic idea of the stages of testing:
Also understand that each country may have different time periods in approving the fast-tracking of vaccines right now.    So this is helping the lives of POC (People of Colour) and not the opposite as some would suggest.

In the ABC article it actually explains "African leaders have been outspoken about the continent being elbowed out in the intense global competition for medical supplies in this pandemic..."  So hence this is a good thing that they are doing one of the trials in South Africa.  Also consider "WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged that the supply of any COVID-19 vaccine be deployed where it’s most needed, rather than based on the “ability to pay.”   With some African countries starting to rise quickly, after loosening lockdown restrictions, these countries could become hotspots very soon.

In regards to the Bill Gates depopulation statement  see:

One Facebook post I saw said this (another one trying to state fallacious info about Bill Gates and vaccines):
"I swear I was reading an article about this when they came around with malaria vax. And they went straight for Africa. Although the vax did eliminate malaria. It had a huge side effect of making women sterile and unable to bear children." 

Well one would hope they would go to the area of the world most affected by Malaria.  So I don't understand the person's problem with that rationale.  As for the claim of making women sterile, I'll just let Snopes handle that:
Whatever vaccine is used, the sterilization claim always seems to be tagged on.

Misinformation about vaccines can have devastating consequences (as we saw in Samoa 2019 with anti-vaccine proponents causing considerable harm by convincing a large portion of the population to not get vaccinated).  It is important to think rationally and to seek out qualified expert advice and not that of cranks. Being anti-vaccine is hurtful and dangerous to POC in Africa.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

GM Mosquito

A friend asked me about this article.  My response:

Well "anonymous" is famously not a great source (they get some things right and some things wrong) so that's always taken with a grain of salt for me. That being said, it is true that the company is looking to release the GM skeeters (males only). The idea behind them is sound in regards to reducing the skeeter population. Male mosquitoes don't bite and only feed on flower nectar. So they aren't harmful to humans. The male GM skeeters will mate with females. The female offspring will die, but the male offspring will grow and then mate and thus reducing the population. The EPA has cleared a new version (the company tried in 2016 and was denied). However, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District have to approve. The Texas releases aren’t scheduled until 2021. As with any initiative, there are valid concerns/questions (like will the decrease of the skeeter population mean less food source for other creatures). There are also some concerns that are way off base (like will they infect humans and cause infertility). Looking at the study they (anonymous) are citing proves that wild skeeters are strengthened: .  
You'll see that upon peer review, the conclusions are being questioned: 
So this part at least is a clear indication of anonymous not looking into their own sources further and just relying on confirmation bias to report. 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

COVID-19 Spread Map

This map is being passed around on social media.

While the map is technically accurate, it is a little misleading when you are not reading the information correctly. 

Here is the original source:

You'll note that not in every country does it show the distribution of the confirmed cases but instead a single dot to represent the total confirmed cases.  In Canada each dot represents the total for each province and not the distribution in that province.  Thus this is why it doesn't show any red dot in Toronto for example.  

This map from April 6th 2020 shows the distribution in Canada a little better than the Johns Hopkins map

So while the point of the original meme poster may be valid (as of writing this blog post has it that the USA is at 2,258,341 cases and Canada 100,148 cases) the map used can give the wrong impression.

Monday, June 15, 2020

COVID Charity Scam

I totally forgot to post this months ago (whoops).

This obvious scam is not just relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic, but happens continuously through various rewrites and tagged on current issues.  This particular person claims to be from the military (this is somehow supposed to create sympathy).  Now why someone in the military couldn't afford internet is strange to me.  What's even stranger is the person is using up his data to talk to people who are not his daughters.  What's even even stranger is the person is supposedly in the city of the person he is talking with.  There are lots of free wifi areas (heck you can drive up next to a McDonald's or Tim Horton's and access their wifi from outside the building).  Also, I do not quite understand how some of these gift cards get you internet access lol.   All around so much doesn't make sense with his appeal.

Home Depot Giveaway Scam

Another day another giveaway scam.

Do not share these links.  Home Depot (and other companies like Pizza Pizza, Walmart, Molson's, etc...) are not giving away free products or large sums of money to everyone who shares some link.
These links often request information that can be used to either identity steal, send viruses or tag you for future scams as they view you as gullible. 

You'll note that the font on the preview link has odd accents.  It also has a weird website with "B-TSXQUIL(dot)com"  That is obviously not a Home Depot website.

So to counter the person who posted the reply that it is arguably worth a try:  Ummm, no it's not worth a try.

For other similar scams see:

Friday, March 27, 2020

GOOP's Holistic Psychiatrist and COVID-19

I've come across Kelly Brogan before through the Science Based Medicine blog.   She is a known anti-vaxxer and purveyor of quackery including pushing the idea that depression symptoms are caused by diet.  She is a very good example of how someone with a medical degree can spout complete nonsense.

Now during the COVID-19 pandemic, Brogan gives some of her outrageous views

"to single one out and villanize it, to me is just silly"   She doesn't believe in germ-based contagion.  She believes that fear is the cause of the deaths of people.

It is ideas like hers that are putting people at risk.  The spread of the virus spreads quickly when people don't follow the advice that we've been given by the real expert medical advice from WHO, CDC, Health Canada, etc.   Beliefs are not enough to go on.   You should base your decisions on facts, science, and rationality.  How people can support quackery pushers like Brogan is beyond me.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

COVID-19 vs Flu

Many people keep trying to compare the coronavirus to the flu.   Here's a quick post to show why you shouldn't do that.

While many of the symptoms are similar for both, that does not make them comparable.  Especially when comparing death rates.

COVID-19 is the name of the coronavirus strain.
The flu is many different strains including H1N1, H3N2, H3N2v, Victoria Lineage, Yamagata Lineage just to list some major ones for this past season.

Thus you can't just lump all the flu deaths as one and then compare it to just one strain of coronavirus.  It just doesn't make sense to do so.  Here is a graph showing positive specimens collected from US Public Health Laboratories:

The other that makes COVID-19 different from those the flu is that we have vaccines for various strains of the flu.  We don't have a vaccine for COVID-19 yet.  This is what is concerning about the current pandemic.  Without any herd immunity at all, the spread of COVID-19 will cause deaths that we can't prevent yet.   Many deaths from the flu are people who are not vaccinated.  For example 80%  of children deaths in the 2017-18 season were not vaccinated.  Many of those could've been preventable. ( ).   Again, without a vaccine, COVID-19 is a growing concern as it becomes more widespread.  This is why we are practicing social distancing and diligent hand washing.  As you can see in the USA, the number of confirmed cases has sharply risen in just 10 days.

One also has to consider the difference between estimated deaths and incremental deaths. Both have different levels of accuracy, precision and meaning. for example shows incremental (deaths as they are reported) for COVID19. Incremental data will not be absolutely accurate because not every single case will be detected (i.e. those who die at home or those whose cause of death can't be accurately attributed on the day of death). Thus the actual numbers will be higher than reported. Incremental data though is more precise than estimated.

Estimated is probably closer to that actual number (as estimated is retroactive) but it has a wider range of error as it cannot be precise. So both data sets can be helpful in understanding an issue. To compare estimated deaths of flu to incremental deaths of COVID-19 becomes obviously problematic then.

If we take the Diamond Princess cruise ship as a closed system example, it gives us more complete data. "For this outbreak, the case fatality rate as of late April 2020 was 1.8% (13 deaths out of 712 cases); age adjusted to reflect the general population, the figure would have been closer to 0.5%. A case fatality rate of 0.5% would still be 5 times the commonly cited case fatality rate of adult seasonal influenza."

As always, make sure to get your info from verified sources (WHO, CDC, Health Canada, etc) as these will give you the most accurate information you will need to make decisions.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Coronavirus and 5G Debunked

Don't be like this person who posted a conspiracy video about COVID-19.  We don't need fear and misinformation in the world at this time (or any time for that matter). 

The lady in this video goes all out conspiracy nut.  Not only does she have poor ideas about 5G and EMF, but she also is a vaccine denialist (blaming Bill Gates for using vaccines to kill off the population.  See this for more info on that being debunked 10 years ago: ), and a HIV/AIDS denialist.

Electromagnetic sensitivity has been debunked.  "The majority of studies indicate that EHS individuals cannot detect EMF exposure any more accurately than non-EHS individuals. Well controlled and conducted double-blind studies have shown that symptoms were not correlated with EMF exposure."

Also see my piece on 5G

"What can be definitively stated is that 5G doesn't cause or spread a virus.
"It's a ridiculous concept," said John Bucher, a senior scientist with the National Toxicology Program, a US Health and Human Services interagency program dedicated to testing and evaluating substances in our environment."

Only seek qualified medical advice about the coronavirus.  Follow the WHO, CDC, Health Canada etc. 

Walmart $55 Hoax

These types of scams will pop up a lot during the COVID-19 quarantines and shutdowns.   People will be scrambling for money as their income becomes very limited to non-existent.  These scams will be enticing because of that.
If you see a post like this saying a company will give free product, money, etc to everyone that shares, it is most likely a scam. Do not click on the link or share it. These links often will ask for information (they may use it for identity theft or hacking), or the link may lead to a virus download of some sort.

Also see

Coronavirus was the Flu hoax

Another day another coronavirus hoax.    This will be a quick one...hopefully.
The first thing I see is the phrase "my Daughter took her Daughter".  That is a very clunky phrase to write instead of just saying my granddaughter.  Sure people probably will say that from time to time, but it does get my "something is off" alarm ringing telling me to be cautious.

I am not sure when this post was made, but as of March 18th, the second case of confirmed infection is in West Virginia (assuming the author means WV is West Virginia).
This totally negates what is being said.  Of course, you have to consider every other state and country as well and the idea this post puts out falls apart.

I'm not sure what type of "Dr" this person's granddaughter saw (it could've been a quack naturopathic practitioner ND...or as we lovingly call them "Not a Doctor".  The same can be said of chiropractors who are not medical doctors), but it is unlikely they would have any information that would back up that statement.  If COVID-19 was already rampant, then more people would be testing positive around the world and the death toll would be higher. 

Any reputable Dr would know that the Flu is not caused by a single strain.  It is caused by any of several different types and strains of influenza viruses.  COVID-19 is caused by...well COVID-19.  So suggesting COVID-19 was "the Flu that had passed through" back in November is meaningless.

Could COVID-19 have started in November?  Well if you figure when the outbreak in Wuhan was reported at the end of December, take into account the incubation period before symptoms show and also the time before a bigger problem (outbreak) was noticed, then yes in the Wuhan area it's relative outbreak emergence would be at the end of November beginning of December.  That of course does not mean anything for the rest of the world.

Suffice to say, this social media post is full of information that doesn't quite add up.  It doesn't match up with official reports and seems to traverse slightly into a conspiracy mindset. 
As always get your COVID-19 info from qualified sources, not random social media posts

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Corona Virus Drinking Water Hoax

There are lots of hoaxes and misinformation about the coronavirus.   It is best to seek information from qualified sources like CDC, Health Canada, etc.

Some of the misinformation include:

  • Drinking cow urine to ward off the virus
  • Holding your breath can diagnose if you are contaminated
  • It's a population control procedure put out by the illuminati
  • It's caused by the Devil
  • You can prevent it by taking tonnes of supplements
One that keeps popping up on social media is this idea:

This doesn't even make sense.   The coronavirus is a respiratory track disease.  It starts off in the nose, mouth, layrnx and bronchi.   It can also enter the body through the eyes (hence why health officials say to not touch your mouth, nose or eyes and even your face in general and to wash your hands).   So are you going to spray vinegar in your eyes and nose too?

The virus does not hang out in your throat for 4 days.   Even if it did, drinking water would not help.  Think about anytime you had a sore throat.  Drinking water doesn't prevent the infection. There have been some that have claimed that you can flush the virus into the stomach where the acid will kill the virus.   Again, drinking lots of water will not help.  While it's important to stay hydrated, drinking copious amounts of water can cause problems like dilution of the blood so there is less electrolytes in the bloodstream including sodium.  Look up water intoxication for more info.

There have been lots of claims about the health benefits of vinegar.   Most are either completely wrong or overhyped.  While vinegar has some antimicrobial properties, it will not do better than washing your hands with soap for example.  In fact, consuming too much vinegar can have negative effects.  It can weaken tooth enamel, increase acid reflux, and nausea. It can also interfere with certain medications. 

This misinformation shared on social media can also do harm by making people think this is all they need to do and they can self-medicate.  Some people will think they are safe and behave irresponsibly thinking they are immune and/or spread an infection to others.   Some people will forgo actual medical treatment opting for useless remedies and may cause more harm to themselves...and to others.

So don't just share things on social media because of fear or because of a bias you may have.  Seek out qualified information if you truly care about yourself and others.

For qualified info on the coronavirus

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Weightloss Scams

You might have seen a Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram post similar to this over the past decade.   This is a common clickbait marketing scheme used by mlm/pyramid scheme supplement companies.  As often is the case with many mlm's they never tell you upfront what the product is.  They have to message you.  The reason being is because if the put the company/product out, many people who have been duped by these products or are scambusters like me would post specific warnings about it.  Unfortunately, from this post I cannot tell exactly which mlm it is. It could be Isagenix, Xyngular, Herbalife, Juice Plus+, Melaleuca, Shaklee or some variation of a green bean coffee extract company (just too many to list all). 

The products they offer often lack much in the way of efficacy.  Most have no double-blind placebo controlled studies behind them.  They often use ingredients that MAY have a small but insignificant effect and then over-hype it.  Some have absolutely no effect or even negative effects.  All they have are often only anecdotes, which of course is not evidence. 

Some distributors (and even the companies) have made misleading and in some cases illegal health claims about the products.

Just for example you can see some of the issues with Isagenix in these articles from Harriet Hall
The similar flawed thinking is rampant throughout mlms.

Then add in the issues with mlms in general where most distributors make little to no money.  Here's Xyngular's report from 2016 showing 82% making $60 a month...sometimes nothing at all!

As with many supplements it is important to note that they are not regulated like medicine.  Some have been shown to contain dangerous levels of heavy metals and carcinogenic substances.  Sometimes quality control isn't the best with supplements.  Some ingredients can also interact with medicines.

As always, always check with your MD, family doctor, specialist, dietician, before taking any supplement.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Little Caesar's Free Pizza

If you see a post like this saying a company will give free product to everyone that shares, it is most likely a scam. Do not click on the link or share it. This particular one, Little Caesar's has confirmed to me that the link "is not a verifiable source or offer."

Most companies would not spend that much to provide free items.  2 Large pizzas (let's say pepperoni and green pepper toppings) costs $26.48 at my location.   Now let's say it was true and that 1million people share.  The company would loose out on 26million dollars.  I don't think a company would risk a viral post going that high or even higher to promote their business.  

A company might gamble with a lower cost item that really would only cost them pennies for each item (Like Free Slurpee Day at 7 Eleven) but these often require you to go into the establishment and many people would more than likely buy other items thus offsetting the cost of the freebie or at least offsetting a large chunk of the cost.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Are MLMs Empowering?

Do MLMs empower people?

The short answer is no.

The longer answer (but still short enough)...
While some people can get the “feeling” of empowerment by being part of an MLM (Multilevel Marketing), the reality is usually quite different.

Most MLMs will often lure people in with the idea of lavish lifestyles and financial freedom.  They show people in with flashy cars, big houses, travelling to exotic places, etc.  The truth of the matter is that in most MLMs distributors end up losing money (99%), and very very few make anything but a thousand a year or less.

Most MLMs are chalk full of inspirational quotes and speakers.  They push “guru” books that give very little real world advice on how to run a business.  Basically you are hiring a cheerleading squad that does little else but cheer.  It’s not much value to a “business owner.”

On that note, most MLMs would like to make you think you are a business owner.  Here’s the truth.  You are not.  For comparison, McDonald’s Franchise owner go to McUniversity to learn how to do everything, including finances.   Most MLMs don’t offer that type of support or advice. 

Most distributors (or whatever name the MLM wants to call them),  lack a registered business name.  The reality is that they are really working for the MLM, but because of a legal loophole they don’t have to pay you like a regular employee. 

Here’s just some of the things a real business owner has to consider:
*Business registration, business licence, vendor permit,  etc. (the basics to just starting your own business)
*Business Insurance (are you covered if something goes wrong at a party at someone’s house?)
*Vehicle Insurance (you are using you car for business purposes.  You need to let your insurance company know that you are because you can be denied a claim if you don’t)
*Health Insurance (most business owners are responsible for their own as they are not working for someone else)
*Office space/Home Office Insurance (again, make sure you are covered. If you are storing retail goods at your home, that needs to be covered)
*Accounting/Finances (most business owners learn how to run basic finances so the can know exactly how much they are making.  That includes all the licenses, insurance, gas/mileage, office supplies, business attire, miscellaneous supplies, advertising/marketing, internet, phone, rent, etc.    This is why most distributors don’t realize they are not making money.  They have no idea what costs they actually incur.)

Most distributors don’t consider the amount of time they put in and make sure their “income” reflects that.    They are making next to nothing while the company is raking in boatloads.  Doesn’t quite seem “empowering” now does it?

Most MLM products are over-priced.  They couldn't compete in the regular retail marketplace.  Their business model then focuses on selling to their distributors (and thus creating the down-line/up-line pyramid scheme type format) who have little hope of selling to regular consumers.  When little is going to end-users is where most MLMs get into legal trouble.  Distributors lose money as MLMs try to convince that if they only worked hard enough they could be wealthy.  If distributors fail, MLMs/Uplines will blame the distributor.  Is that empowering?   I don't think so.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Contest Scam

Be aware that when you enter a contest on social media, like Facebook, that there are lots of ways scammers can attack you.  First and foremost, make sure the contest is legit.  Check to see if that page is the actual product/company page (scroll to see if they have years of postings and not just a week for example).  Never click on links without being sure they are legit.  If you can't tell, then don't click on it. 

Scammers will also send you false winning notifications.

Here's a screencap of a scammer imitating Sweet Baby Rays. 

The first thing I notice is that the name is different.  They have their name as Sweet-BabyRays.  That's a big redflag that it is a scam.  Always be vigilant in checking everything.  Do not let the emotion and excitement of winning lower your defenses. 

I view the legit contest rules and it says winners will be announce 2/28.  Well this person posted on 2/20.   That doesn't make any sense.  I think the person is betting on people not noticing this fact and reacting to the "win". 

This is what the scammer's page looks like:

This is the only post on their page!   Instant red flag!!   They want you to click on a link.  Never click on that link.  They want your email (your email will also be sold to other scammers to let them know that you are gullible, a potential mark), and for you to create a password.  They are banking on the idea that your password will be similar to other passwords you use (something1, something2 etc) and thus will be easy to hack.  

You'll note the weird language "WANT WINNER!!!".   Ummm a legit big company like Sweet Baby Rays would not usually use awkward language like this (Yes sometimes companies can make grammatical mistakes, but bad grammar can also be a red flag...again be vigilant in checking to make sure it is legit).   

They say "this is not fraud".   Ummm no actual company would say that.   

If you see posts/pages like this scammer report it to Facebook, Admins, and even the actual company.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

EMF protecting crystals

I came across a website that claims a lot of things.  Most of what was said was complete nonsense.

The first thing I noticed is that this website/blog is loaded with links to selling crystals.  So the bias is clear.  They want you to buy their crystals.  Keep that in mind.

She talks a bit about what EMF is and while very simplistic, I can’t see much fault there except in the fact that she leaves out important info that would, of course, go against her ideology and prevent the selling of the crystals that she has.

She mentions electromagnetic sensitivity.  People who have claimed this have been tested and every single one fails a double blind test.  Check out the multiple studies and systematic reviews

Ok, so EM sensitivity is psychological and phsyciological.

Are there any concerns about EMFs?   
As I’ve discussed before on my blog.  No, not really.

So do the crystals have any EMF blocking ability?
Some do have some magnetic properties and metals in them that MAY disrupt EMF...BUT that would only be blocking within the crystal itself and not creating some forcefield around you.  Also any metals blocking would have completely surround the person, like a Faraday Cage to be of any actual use.  So even if it could work, a crystal on a chain around the neck is not going to protect you.

Further down she mentions Mercola, whom I’ve discussed many time here on Scambusting as a quack who constantly give bad and misleading information.

She suggests turning off your wifi at home and use a cord to connect to the internet.  Well, EMFs are everywhere my dear.   They are created by things like...electricity.  Also sunlight is part of EMFs.  You can see how silly this person is being with the suggestions as it’s clear she really does not understand EMFs at all.   The EMF spectrum:

She mentions about EMF Blocking paint.  I’ve never heard about this.  Sounds hokey to me.  And so it is.   Assuming EMF blocking paint would work, it’s on your walls.  Again, you have electricity, lights, etc all in your home.   You are not blocking really anything.  Again, if you want to block you have to create a Faraday Cage.  Such paint with conductive metals in it have very limited ability, if any.  Especially if they are not grounded.  Purchasing it is just a waste of money, unless of course if you paint your windows to block out the sunlight!

There is so much wrong that is said in the blog that I won't tackle it all.  Suffice to say, this is just nonsense plain and simple.   It's important to remember this...

The old scam artist rule of thumb:  Create a fake problem and then create the fake cure for it

Glyphosate (RoundUp) in Cereals

Glyphosate (RoundUp) in Cereals

A "study" put out by EWG (Environmental Working Group) has claimed that there are dangerous levels of Glyphosate in cereals. 

 Is this this true and is there something to worry about?

First let’s consider the source:  EWG.   This group is funded by the organic lobby so it has a clear bias.  Critics have labelled EWG tactics as "alarmist", "scaremongering" and "misleading".  They have been debunked many times so anything that they put out is highly questionable.  The EWG also likes to position itself as an official agency.  Many people are unaware of this and just assume it has credibility.

Second: The EWG admits that “The Products meet the regulatory standards set by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.”  The EPA is a legit agency.  So any levels the EWG are claiming are recognized as safe then.

Third:  The Environmental Protection Agency has said that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.    The EWG likes to bring up a recent court case where a farmer sued Monsanto as proof that it is a problem.  Remember that court cases are not science.  Court cases are not always about the truth or reality.  The bulk of the scientific evidence is that glyphosate is perfectly safe.  “Even at the highest level reported by the EWG (833 ppb), an adult would have to eat 158 pounds of the oat-based food every day for the rest of their life to reach the strict limits set by the EPA."  The safety threshold level proposed by the EWG is 100 times lower than any oversight agency around the world.

Fourth:  The study was a round of tests and not peer reviewed.  Hardly a credible study by any means.

Suffice to say, there is no concern and disregard any info put out by the EWG as they have shown time and time again to be misleading.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Debunking: 10 Reasons Why Homosexual Marriage is Harmful

I don’t usually post political/religious content as I tend to stick to idiocy from quackery and health scams.   I came across this blog on Facebook.   Needless to say, the title grabbed my attention, and not in a good way.  “10 Reasons Why Homosexual “Marriage” is Harmful and Must be Opposed”
Must be Opposed?  Oh I sense the idiocy must be rampant here, but ok ok, let’s give it a read and see if there are any valid points (what was I thinking?  Lol).

There first point:  1.  It Is Not Marriage

They state that marriage has always been a covenant between a man and a woman.  This is demonstrably false, even in the bible as there are stories of polygamy, incest and other marriages.  Outside of the bible many different cultures had various different arrangements.  Before the bible (yes the Earth is older than 10,000 years) there were various different types of relationships.

They state that specific primary purpose of marriage is to have children.  Well first off, you can have children without marriage.  Human physiology has more to say about that than some man-made biblical law.   This also brings up the question of those that marry and chose to not have children and those that are unable to have children.  According to their statement, these people are not fulfilling the purpose of marriage.   I think it’s weird that they don’t mention anything about love or companionship.  I guess those are moot in their religious eyes?

Point 2:  It Violates Natural Law

I’m not sure if they understand what natural means as there are clear examples of homosexual activity in the natural world.  It can’t be sanctioned by a god as by definition a god is supernatural and thus natural law cannot be a product of such.  So the reality is that their perceived view of natural law holds no weight in the real world

Point 3: It Always Denies a Child Either a Father or a Mother

Sometimes yes that is true.  That can happen in a hetero relationship as well.  Again though, there are various types of relationships and in that case, also various types of child-rearing.  Some cultures have a village bringing up the children where various people (both sexes) take responsibility.  Many cultures have other family help out (grandparents, aunts, cousins, other siblings...).  Some same-sex relationships have children from previous hetero relationships and thus the child can have a father or mother as well.  Many children grow up with mentors and teachers as well helping with child raising.
Suffice to say, the blog has a very narrow view of the real world and only thinks one-dimensionally.

Point 4:  It Validates and Promotes the Homosexual Lifestyle

Well I would hope it validates it as everyone is worthy of loving another and vice-versa.  I think here they might be worried that children will become gay.  That’s just not how it happens. Even if one could argue it’s all a choice (it’s not),  children often don’t choose the same course as their parents.   The concern just doesn’t make any sense any way you look at it.

Point 5: It Turns a Moral Wrong into a Civil Right

Well, morality is subjective here, but if we are to go by the bible, again I must bring up things like incest.  Also consider issues with women viewed as property and the various other atrocities we no longer morally follow from the bible.

Point 6: It Does Not Create a Family but a Naturally Sterile Union

We’ve already touched upon the different types of child-rearing available in point 3.  Now let’s add in adoption.  It is also important to point out the issues of population growth on our planet.  We have finite resources.  To behave otherwise is to be irresponsible.    Some choose not to add to the plight of the planet.  Some live full and happy lives without children.  Again, marriage isn’t just about having children.

Point 7:  It Defeat’s the State’s Purpose of Benefiting Marriage

Again they focus on raising children and morality.  See previous points.

Point 8:  It Imposes Its Acceptance on All Society

You don’t have to accept it.  You have that freedom, just as others have the freedom to accept it.  I think the thing these people forget is that not everyone is a carbon copy of them.  A very simple concept is that freedom allows for different choices and views.  As long as one is not disallowing the freedom and rights of another go for it.  No one is forcing you into a homosexual relationship.  If you find the idea of same-sex “ickky”, that’s ok.  I find certain actions of some people not to my liking/taste.  The difference is I don’t propose to stop them.   It’s cliche but “Live and let live” works here.

Point 9:  It Is the Cutting Edge of the Sexual Revolution

I don’t know about you, but “cutting edge” sounds like a good thing lol.
I think it’s ironic here how they bring up the slippery slope to incest when some stories in the bible endorse incest.    Obviously the logical arguments against incest and pedophilia are clear.  Genetics warn us that there are potential dangers to incestual sex in regards to offspring.  In regards to pedophillia, it is simply a matter of children not being of the age to make a distinction of risks and issues of sex and thus cannot legally consent.  Pedophillia is then taking the rights away from the child.
Of course if you want to get into consent, then consider the atrocities of condoned rape in the bible.

Point 10:  It Offends God

Well, you can’t go by the bible to discern your god’s thinking as it clearly has issues (rape, incest, etc).
Thus any assertion of offence on behalf of a god is moot as there is no means to clearly identify such.

Friday, February 14, 2020

The plague that is MLM

MLMs are such a plague on our society.  They often offer over-prices and over-hyped products.  Some are outright illegal pyramid schemes (relying more on recruitment than actual retail sales) while other have confusing progression/level plans. 

Here are a few videos that show some of the issues with mlms.

MLMs target women (they give the illusion of empowerment)

Dangerous posts with essential oil mlms

How some mlms can be considered cults

Luluroe issues.

Bitter Economics of MLMs:

Exploiting the Pyramid

Doterra hostpital sponsorship promoting quackery