29 June 2013

Tall Ships Race

Today was the Tall Ships Race, one of the Privateers Weekend Events for Second Life's RFL charity drive. Here the winner receives her Trophy on Nepenthe Bridge in Winterfell, the map shows the course around our islands.

Science based websites

Contrary to what Google Search often indicates, there are plenty of good science based websites and blogs. They aren't however dedicated to making money by selling you snake oil and blue sky, so they don't try to get themselves onto that all important first page. Here's a few:

Blog for veggies

Vaccines, fallacies etc

Various nonsenses exposed


What's the harm in pseudoscience?

Alliance for Natural Health

Mostly chemistry

Upbeat stories about how technology can save the planet

24 June 2013

Second tier nonsense

We all know about the quack and fraud industry and its use of the Internet. The front line offenders are regularly debunked and refuted, as Searching on 'mercola fraud' or 'natural news hoax' shows.
Nevertheless they thrive because many people believe anything they agree with.
Backing up the top rankers are a wide network of lesser 'information digest' websites. Below is a selection of them, collected mostly from Facebook friends who posted links to them. This is no reflection on those people, the articles they recommended were generally harmless.
I'm not directly linking to these sites so as not to add to their popularity. Copying, Pasting and looking at them will reveal from their menus that they cover similar ranges of subjects: activism, economy, health food, politics, poverty, rights, GMO, climate, fracking, fluoride, vaccines... you get the demographic. What you won't find is the underlying reality that the quacks hate: critical thinking, basic science, logic and reason.
Some of them appear to be auto-generated, picking up articles from elsewhere and linking to them with no original content. Others are 'citizens' websites, depending on material sent in by others with no editorial oversight. The rest are just unselective, if the content fits it will be printed no matter where it comes from; one of the easiest ways they can be spotted is that they regard the flagship woo sites as reliable sources.
- Reprints from Natural News
- Everything woo in one place
- Mostly quantum woo, just reprints nothing original.
- Mostly OK but no fact checking, includes the GMO rats, super food cures for cancer and vaccine autism court stories
- Citizens Press website, unedited.
- Anti-vaxx, chem trails, fluoride mixed with random science that looks alternative
- General niceness and positivity with woo. Anti-vaxx etc
- Another clone. Anti-vaxx. Gullible, unselective.
- Anti-vaxx
- Health orientated, aggregating.
- Chemtrails, diet cure for cancer, GMO rats again
- References Natural News and Alex Jones, positive, run by gun nut.
- Generalist, quotes Natural News
- Front for homeopathy store