Thanks to PZ Myers.


Back in June, Voice of Young Science Network calls on the World Health Organization (WHO) to condemn the use of homeopathy:

We are calling on the WHO to condemn the promotion of homeopathy for treating TB, infant diarrhoea, influenza, malaria and HIV.
Homeopathy does not protect people from, or treat, these diseases.
Those of us working with the most rural and impoverished people of the world already struggle to deliver the medical help that is needed.
When homeopathy stands in place of effective treatment, lives are lost.

On August 21, WHO responds:

Dr Mario Raviglione, Director, Stop TB Department, WHO:

Our evidence-based WHO TB treatment/management guidelines, as well as the International Standards of Tuberculosis Care (ISTC) do not recommend use of homeopathy.

Dr Mukund Uplekar, TB Strategy and Health Systems, WHO:

WHO’s evidence-based guidelines on treatment of tuberculosis…have no place for homeopathic medicines.

Dr Teguest Guerma, Director Ad Interim, HIV/AIDS Department, WHO:

The WHO Dept. of HIV/AIDS invests considerable human and financial resources […] to ensure access to evidence-based medical information and to clinically proven, efficacious, and safe treatment for HIV… Let me end by congratulating the young clinicians and researchers of Sense About Science for their efforts to ensure evidence-based approaches to treating and caring for people living with HIV.

Dr Sergio Spinaci, Associate Director, Global Malaria Programme, WHO:

Thanks for the amazing documentation and for whistle blowing on this issue… The Global Malaria programme recommends that malaria is treated following the WHO Guidelines for the Treatment of Malaria.

Joe Martines, on behalf of Dr Elizabeth Mason, Director, Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development, WHO:

We have found no evidence to date that homeopathy would bring any benefit to the treatment of diarrhoea in children…Homeopathy does not focus on the treatment and prevention of dehydration – in total contradiction with the scientific basis and our recommendations for the management of diarrhoea.

[Via the BBC]

An experiment aiming to cheer up the world has begun.

Professor Richard Wiseman launched an ambitious project today which requires the participation of a large number of people who are willing to spend just one minute a day to perform a happiness boosting exercise. It is hoped that the participant’s increased level of happiness will pass on to those around him and may end up cheering the entire world.

As mentioned, the experiment begun today, August 3 and will end August 7, Friday.

Participating is quite easy: Continue reading ‘An experiment on happiness’

While watching the coverage of the funeral procession of former president Aquino, the commentators repeated over and over that they envied the people in the street… because they can say to the people they know that, “Yes, I was there.”

Thinking to myself, I asked… so what if you were there? Did you really accomplish anything? Did you change for the good?…

… Come to think of it, the true legacy of EDSA isn’t democracy for all, but rather a legacy of a people so embroiled in their own self-image that they will go out and march for whatever perceived wrong they see no matter how idiotic it is and how little they know of what they’re marching for or against.

More at Xtian’s Clutter.

An intense discussion about Francis Collins’ nomination to NIH, misquoting the founders, Irish blasphemy laws, atheist organizations and sub-groups.

The Non-Prophets podcast feed.

Subscribe via iTunes here.

Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

Interview with Jennifer Ouellette, director of the Science and Entertainment Exchange. She is the author of two popular science books for the general public: The Physics of the Buffyverse (2007) and Black Bodies and Quantum Cats: Tales from the Annals of Physics (2006). Ouellette has also worked extensively in education and outreach efforts with nonprofit science organizations, including the American Physical Society and the American Institute of Physics. She holds a black belt in jujitsu, and has been known to draw upon that expertise from time to time to demonstrate the fundamentals of Newtonian mechanics to the general public.

News Items:

  • Oldest Animal Fossils
  • New State of Matter
  • FDA Say Mercury Amalgam Safe
  • Past Life Hypnotism
  • Stressful Sweat

Download the episode here.

Subscribe via iTunes here.

In 2003, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed to do a study of 10,000 drivers to determine the risk of cellphone use while driving. The NHTSA wanted this large study to conclusively say what smaller studies have said: driving while talking on a cellphone  is dangerous.

The proposal was allowed to die after members of the US Congress and the Department of Transportation threatened the NHTSA with funding cuts. The reason: it will enrage American drivers and the telecos already have ‘invested’ millions of dollars into congress.

Dead was a draft letter the highway safety agency prepared for (Transportation Secretary Norman) Mineta to send to governors. The letter, as well as a draft policy, said that driver distraction contributes to a quarter of traffic accidents and “the use of cell phones while driving has contributed to an increasing number of crashes, injuries and fatalities.’’ The letter also stated that hands-free phones were no more safe than handheld phones and thus any laws that would ban handheld phones but permit hands-free devices “will not be effective’’ and “may erroneously imply that hands-free phones are safe.’’ (Boston Globe)

This fact was revealed under the US’s Freedom of Information Act. It is hoped that the Obama administration will soon reveal the NHTSA 2003 efforts and commission the 10,000-driver study.

The real score

Studies have repeatedly shown the link between cellphone use while driving and the increased risk for crashes or collisions. A New England Journal of Medicine study concluded that using a cellphone while driving increased the risk of a collision four times. Continue reading ‘Cellphone use and driving don’t mix’