• “Wash your hands with soap and water.”

    That’s the refrain we’ve been hearing more than any other in these times of global pandemic. Along with that refrain comes information about the proper way to wash our han […]

    • 40 years I worked in a hospital lab with all sorts of bacteria and viruses – Hep B, HIV, Staph, even Jacob Creuzfeldt samples – never a problem and I totally agree frequent washing just with ordinary soap and water is the way to go.

      This got me looking though. We did have Gammophen soap at one stage, now with Triclosan but was it always? Gammophen was also a trade name for hexachlorophene which was notorious for killing many babies in France in 1972, and leaving hundreds more with brain damage, after which they regulated that more tightly.

      https://cosmeticsandskin.com/efe/hexachlorophene.php

      This is the sort of mud that when stirred can lead to acute paranoia, I mean, for instance, nobody knows yet what causes Alzheimers Disease.

      Okay so FDA banned a lot of similar additives in soaps in 2016 but STILL they can be used in TOOTHPASTE?
      FFS! Why?

      All these fucking bright ideas that solve a minor problem, in this case, BO, but then a couple of decades later turn out to be the cause of massive health problems. Ima stop before I begin to sound too much like an antivaxxer or anti fluoride….

    • How does the use of antibacterial agents in soaps evolve superbugs if the soap in the product kills everything anyway?

      It is easy to see how the improper use of antibiotics in medicine can induce organisms to evolve resistances.

      • Well, “everything” is defined as “99.9999999….%” so there are always a few bugs left over. It’s like some weeds have evolved resistance to glyphosate.

        About the second point, medicine gets a bad rap for overuse of antibiotics but that’s NOTHING compared to the tons used in agriculture, yet another disaster waiting to happen…

  • Happy Wednesday! I have just two quickies for you this week.

    NPR has a fascinating story about researchers who made and ate recipes that were translated from 4000 year old Babylonian tablets. Apparently the […]

  • Mansplain Mondays are back! You might remember it as the feature that became especially meta when men began responding to the existence of our Mansplain Monday posts by mansplaining the concept of “mansplaining.” […]

  • Those of us in the midwest are freezing our asses off in this record-breaking cold weather this week, so pour yourself a warm mug of hot chocolate while you read through today’s quickies.

    First up, while everyone […]

  • Jamie Bernstein posted a new activity comment 7 months, 4 weeks ago

    The only place I ever donate at the register is at PerSmart, but that’s because they run the shelter in the store. I mean, I see and play with the cats when I’m there then always add $1 to the shelter charity when I’m leaving. However, I wonder how much I’m still being tricked. The shelters are usually run by 3rd party charities, so I might s…[Read more]

  • Jamie Bernstein posted a new activity comment 10 months, 3 weeks ago

    Perhaps I didn’t fully clarify, but I don’t think and hope I didn’t imply that murder was off the table and I certainly do not know exactly what happened. As I mentioned in the piece, murder in jails of high profile prisoners is a real thing that happens and there are many powerful individuals who benefit from Epstein’s death that may have been ab…[Read more]

    • I would contend that the title of this article and sentences like “But, it is unlikely,” are fairly misleading. I fail to see how we can assign that degree of probability to this case; not the least of which being that there is a corruption scandal within the justice system running in parallel with the sex-trafficking scandal. While any of these…[Read more]

  • When the news first broke yesterday that noted child rapist Jeffrey Epstein had died by suicide in jail, I went through a lot of emotions. It started with anger, knowing that he will never be held accountable for […]

    • I can’t remember ever disagreeing w a Skepchick article before. You don’t know that that’s what happened. Hell, you don’t even know that the body was his. I think we need more info to jump to conclusions about JE. The jail thing is probably right on. I’m in Manhattan now, I wonder if they would let me check it out. Maybe I could get some credentials from you and you can give me a possible itinerary. I’d love to interview the correctional officers on duty. I could get you a couple thousand words. I trust you wouldn’t care that I’m not actually a chick…

      • Perhaps I didn’t fully clarify, but I don’t think and hope I didn’t imply that murder was off the table and I certainly do not know exactly what happened. As I mentioned in the piece, murder in jails of high profile prisoners is a real thing that happens and there are many powerful individuals who benefit from Epstein’s death that may have been able to arrange an assassination. It’s not an implausible explanation and people who believe Epstein was murdered are not being irrational in those beliefs. As I said, we’re already in real-life conspiracy-world with Epstein, so it’s not irrational to wonder how far the conspiracy goes. I just wanted to put forward that there are facts we already know about the mismanagement of the MCC that can explain all the supposedly strange things that seemed to happen around Epstein that led to his death and that this is a likelier explanation than an assassination.

        Hopefully a fair investigation will be done that will get to the bottom of what happened, but in the absence of that, it’s fair to assume that the most likely explanation is probably the truth of the matter.

        Just want to be clear that I’m not putting people who believe Epstein was murdered in the same basket as 9/11 truthers or pizzagate people. It is an actual plausible explanation, even if the likelihood of it being true is lower than other explanations.

        • I would contend that the title of this article and sentences like “But, it is unlikely,” are fairly misleading. I fail to see how we can assign that degree of probability to this case; not the least of which being that there is a corruption scandal within the justice system running in parallel with the sex-trafficking scandal. While any of these scenarios seem possible, it’s a bit early to begin making statements with that degree of certitude.

    • Jamie Bernstein: “It seems likely that…”

      Magus: “you don’t know”

      Yeah, genius, that’s why she wrote it the way she did. We don’t know, but we also don’t need to spin ourselves into conspiratorial knots trying to explain something that already has an obvious explanation. But this is the internet, so….

    • Absolutely. Things are bad enough right now without jumping to conclusions about this guys suicide. Just wait and see. There’s enough fodder for real outrage without making stuff up.

  • Rebecca wrote a great piece here at Skepchick this week about the scientists who continued to hang out with Jeffrey Epstein after his conviction for raping a minor. Over at the Hollywood Reporter, they have a […]

  • A lot of words have already been written here at Skepchick about Jeffrey Epstein being arrested on charges of sex crimes. Amy wrote about how she wants every man connected to Epstein that took part in his sex […]

  • On coming out as transgender in Donald Trump’s America by Emily VanDerWerff at Vox: Emily VanDerWerff has long been one of my favorite tv writers and podcasters (RIP The Parenthood Podcast). She is in […]

  • Anti-Abortion Laws Will Put Women in Jail
    “As more states try to adopt what are essentially full bans on abortion, I’ve seen some on the right argue that criminalizing the procedure won’t really punish wom […]

  • Larry Ray and the Stolen Kids of Sarah Lawrence: The fascinating and terrifying story of how the father of a Sarah Lawrence student moved into her dorm and turned their dorm into a cult.
    She’s Asian and […]

  • This year was an unusual year at the Boston Marathon. In a typical year, the top 15 winners in each gender division are given cash prizes with no controversy over whether they really placed in the top 15. This […]

  • Jamie Bernstein posted a new activity comment 2 years, 3 months ago

    I’d love to take your advice, but I typically don’t listen to anything random internet men say. If you could please provide you C.V., I will go over it when I get a chance and determine whether your comment is worth reading or not.

  • Welcome to the second installment of Mansplain Monday. Last time I wrote about men who mansplain statistics to me. Of course, as any woman on the internet knows, if you mention the word “mansplaining” ine […]

    • Since you’re commenting on economics and statistics where an academic and work background makes a difference, have the courtesy to put those credentials in your bio so readers know ahead of time whether they should even bother considering your views to be credible or not.

      • I’d love to take your advice, but I typically don’t listen to anything random internet men say. If you could please provide you C.V., I will go over it when I get a chance and determine whether your comment is worth reading or not.

  • This month researchers* from Arizona State University, University of Iowa, and Pennsylvania State University came out with a study entitled “Women Selectively Guard Their (Desirable) Mates From Ovulating W […]

  • Throwback Thursday is a series we sometimes do at Skepchick wherein we re-post old Skepchick pieces that have updates, are relevant again, or that we just really want to re-share. The U.S. is currently in the […]

    • Thank you for this. My son and his girlfriend have started talking about a baby in a couple of years. I know she’s antivax but I don’t to what level. I’m hoping I can just get her to open up and tell my what she thinks and why she thinks it. I think I’ve got the facts down pretty good (plus citations!). You give a lot of good information up above. I’ll need to think on it. I just hope she hasn’t gone to far down the rabbit hole on this.

      And also. A criticism. I really don’t like the way you state “Don’t lie about vaccines being 100% safe”. First, the “Don’t lie” part. That just bugs me. Hadn’t planned on lying at all.

      And then the context. I read a lot of provax stuff. All over the web. I’ve never seen anybody state that. Hey, it’s a big internet so somebody probably did. But I’ve never seen it and I’m pretty wide read.

      But I have seen the antivaxxers show up on a message thread and claim it. And it is always patiently explained to the troll that nobody claims that. There are side effects, swelling, redness blah blah blah. And then another thread and another troll claiming it.

      So. It bugged me and I thought I would point out why.

  • Jamie Bernstein posted a new activity comment 5 years, 5 months ago

    I actually thought the research showed that in general most people overestimate the percentage of the population of their own ethnic group. It makes sense when you consider the fact that we live in segregated areas, so the people you live around are likely to look just like you.

    A lot (A LOT) of the Hispanic population is going to overlap with…[Read more]

  • ThumbnailBack in November 2012 I went on a road trip from San Diego to Chicago. At one point I spent a full day in Memphis and while there took a ton of photos. I was taking some photos of the Mississippi river when I saw […]

    • Many years ago (about 1968, give or take a year) I had just read the Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, and decided to fake some pictures. I got a real insight into human nature. Most people who saw them were taken in, but when I explained how the pictures were made and pointed out the evidence that showed they were fake they were more amused than anything else. There were, however, a few who were infuriated, the one I remember most vividly said that it was people like me (bad people, presumably) who stopped people from believing in UFOs. He seemed to think I must be the spawn of Satan or something similar. True Believers in almost anything can be kind of scary.

      • I’ve had people cite groups of mostly non-Indian academics who claimed to be our allies. I started going through my social networks, finding ndn activists who may have heard of them, no one from the NCAI, from AIM, from Idle No More, or from any other org ever had. I called the person on this. He continued to cite them. I continued to call him on it. And I get blocked from more Facebook pages that way than any other.

    • btw – the trees in that Bigfoot photo look SO fake!

    • Question, related to the plausibility of Bigfoot existing:
      Some of the people who believe cite our finding of other new species, which is superficially fair, but when was the last time we found a land animal of a similar order of size that was a new species we hadn’t seen before? Also, is species the right level of differentiation? Genus? Family?
      I tried a little google, but my google fu is weak. It mostly returned a ton of dinosaur discoveries, which are great, but not what I meant =P

      • I think there was a member of the horse/zebra family discovered in the jungles of southeast Asia about 30 years ago. It is very rare and very similar to other wild horse species, not an extremely distinctive animal in an unexpected environment like a Bigfoot would be. People catching glimpses of it or discovering remains would probably have assumed it was one of the known horse species or a feral domesticated horse or pony.

  • It may seem unlikely that a telenovela adaptation about a 23-year-old virgin by choice who was accidentally artificially inseminated by her soon-to-be baby daddy’s gynecologist sister would be a bastion of […]

    • This doesn’t surprise me at all, the last “telenovela” to American television translation (Ugly Betty) was similarly deft at handling touchy subjects in a very progressive way (not surprising given that Salma Hayek was executive producer) while still being plenty goofy. I already watch too many shows but once I get bored with too many procedurals I’ll have to give Jane the Virgin a look since Glee has failed to scratch my “goofy melodrama with a heart AND a head” itch sufficiently, especially of late.

    • Especially important is that there is no way anyone can say her pregnancy is her fault. And she chooses (There’s that word, chooses. See, right-wingers? Pro-choice doesn’t necessarily mean everyone has an abortion.) not to have an abortion.

    • Interesting writeup. I’d never heard of the show (don’t turn the tv on much these days).

      I’ve also never heard the word “telenovela” before. What is it?

    • Another show I’ve found surprisingly progressive is Disney’s ‘Girl Meets World’, sequel the old ‘Boy Meets World’ from the nineties.

      The main characters are in the 7th grade (I think), but they’re up front with the idea that girls are attracted to boys. Sometimes I’m amazed they’re as forward as they are. It is Disney, after all.

      And their friend, Lucas, is a pretty good role model for young men, too. Though he’s a little over traditional.

  • Load More