Archive for the ‘Science and Reason’ Category

Welcome to 2016 – Watch DNews

Monday, January 4th, 2016

Happy New Year! 2015 came and went without a post here at It was a busy year with music and art persuits. Early in the year I began playing guitar for the Sin Brothers and we gigged pretty steadily over the summer. That schedule, mixed with frequent road trips which included some BrewPubs, and a bunch of new artwork added to CafePress and Spreadshirt, kept me pretty busy. I barely had time to be distracted by Facebook let alone blog.

Trace and Amy of DNews playing wine glasses.This year my wife and I also became huge DNews fans, and we check in regularly with this vodcast to get our fill of good science on various topics. Their videos typically include real human hosts from a cast of colorful, comical, smart and lively personalities, including Trace Dominguez and Amy Shira Teitel pictured here. But sometimes they do animated presentations on a given topic.

A recent video titled “Which Animals Have Sex for Fun” — you can watch it below — included a short segment on homosexuality in the animal kingdom. I found it quite interesting and thought provoking. I’ve heard people call homosexual behavior “unnatural” but the facts indicate exactly the opposite. Homosexuality is absolutely a natural occurrence, not some twisted perversion to be shunned by “normal” people.

Perversion exist, but on both side of the equation. We’ve got some pretty twisted people out there my friends, gay and straight.

This is not about tolerance either. Social tolerance is an idiotic and conceited notion. I tolerate the stupid buzzer on the clothes dryer. We tolerate different religious beliefs, snoring, humming and other annoying things like that.

Homosexuality is not something to tolerate. What humans need to do is learn, understand and accept the facts. Then move on with their individual lives, practice general human decency and leave other people the hell alone.

Anyway. Enjoy the video and check out other DNews episodes. See links to various resources below the video. Here’s hoping you have a healthy and happy 2016. Here’s hoping I actually think of some more interesting stuff to post before another 12 months have gone by.

There are references to gay penguins, the Laysan albatross forming same sex pairs, and bottlenose dolphins exhibiting homosexual behavior. You can find more information on homosexuality in the animal kindom in this Wikipedia article.

You can subscribe to DNews through iTunes, which is what we have done. You can also watch on their YouTube Channel, or watch and follow on Google+.

The rest of the DNews cast includes Julia Wilde, Julian Huguet, Crystal Dilworth. Learn more about DNews at

Host, Amy Shira Teitel, having a strong passion for spaceflight in particular, authored Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of Spaceflight before NASA, which will be officially release on January 12, 2016. It is available for pre-release at The book details the pre-NASA history of space flight.


Ion Cleanse and DIY Toxin Foot Soak Scams

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Recently I was made aware of an acquaintance falling for a scam known as an “Ion Cleanse” footbath. They actually visited a “clinic,” much like a spa I would guess, where they paid $40 to immerse their feet in a tub with a contraption in it that would, it was claimed, remove toxins from their body through the soles of their feet. $40 is a lot of money, but any amount of money is too much when you’re being ripped off!

Foot Detox is complete nonsense. Be smart, get the facts.This is FRAUD! Pardon my crassness, but how does anyone hearing such a claim not know it is complete bullshit? After all we go to school where, in health class, they teach us about our liver and kidneys which are responsible for the filtration of blood. The liver is the first pass, filtering blood that comes from our digestive tract and removing toxins. The kidneys remove waste from our blood and are responsible for regulation of fluid and electrolyte balance in our bodies.

Even if you were half asleep in class you should at least have gotten the gist of it!

Unless there is a problem with one of these organs or a drug overdose our bodies should not load up with toxins. A regular checkup with your doctor is a good idea too. Good doctors have a tendency to find out if something is wrong with us through blood and urine tests. No level headed doctor will soak your feet or check there for signs of toxicity.

I posted something about the detox foot pad scam a few years ago and I’m amazed to see this kind of con still being perpetrated, and on an even greater level. Not that anything I say would make much of an impact, my readership is scant, but holy crap are we really this gullible? How does this kind of nonsense actually gain a foothold and succeed? We’re not thinking for ourselves and we’re falling for nonsense and quick feel-good remedies. It’s all psychological. There is absolutely no reason to feel good after an ion cleanse, other than the fact that you just had a good foot soak. A good foot soak always feels good.

How the Ion Cleanse Footbath Really Works
It doesn’t work the way it is advertised. It does not cleanse or remove toxins from your body. What does happen is this: salt added to the water bath prompts an electrochemical reaction with metal electrodes present in a device which is placed in the water. The reaction creates a form of rust, that’s it. The color that develops in the water is not caused by toxins in your feet, it is caused by a simple chemistry experiment put in motion intentionally to fool people who will pay good money to have their feet soaked in it.

The YouTube video below, posted by Eb Jensen (three years ago!), clearly shows the Ion Cleanse foot soaking products to be a scam. It generates the rusty colored stuff whether there are feet present or not…

Something needs to give. Something needs to change. We have criminals earning a living by selling nonsense remedies and services to a gullible public. There is something gravely wrong with this picture. If it sounds too stupid to be true (it certainly doesn’t sound too good), then it is. Foot cleansing detox sounds just as stupid as colon cleanse!

We need to put these people out of business, they have NO business being in business. Do not fall for the Ion Cleanse foot spa services and do not buy any Detox Foot Soaking products, they are completely bogus!

Unfortunately these pieces of junk are being sold almost everywhere. If people want to spend money on bullshit there are plenty of retailers willing to grab a shovel.


Enormously Significant in our Insignificance

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

There is an intriguing image floating around the world wide web. It illustrates our incredible insignificance in the cosmic scheme of things; how really small and relatively unimportant we humans are on a cosmic scale, compared to the vastness of space, with its 100 billion galaxies, 100 billion star systems, 8 planets, and 7 billion people on the planet Earth.

It’s interesting, and relatively true, but we can look at human existence in another, more inspiring way.

you are enormously insignificant image

We can say that we are insignificant, compared to the nearly incomprehensible universe, the vastness of space and time, but in our insignificance, aren’t we rather incredibly significant?

Right now, as far as we know, we are the only intelligent creatures that can accurately comprehend that notion. Out of the hundreds of billion galaxies mentioned in the image (maybe closer to 500 billion according to a German super-computer simulation), and hundreds of billion star systems, and our 8 planets plus the 2,321 Kepler planet candidates we’ve found so far, the planet Earth is host to a species that has evolved the ability to think, rationalize, explore, examine and understand. That’s cool.

Carl Sagan said, “we are a way for the universe to know itself.” From that perspective I think we humans are unique, and rare in this universe.


Reverse Aging and The Singularity

Friday, June 10th, 2011

The background noise of our personal, inevitable doom, is the undercurrent in our lives, always tugging at our subconscious, reminding us that we can’t escape it. We can’t live forever. Unless of course you expect that Ray Kurzweil is correct and at some point in the next 40 to 50 years surviving humans will be able to live on inevitably, aided by assorted pills designed for specific tasks, genetically remodeling ourselves to slow or even reverse aging, and fending off disease and disorder in our bodies.

It is dubbed “The Singularity.”1 A proposed time, in the not so distant future, when, it is said, artificial intelligence will exceed human intelligence. The Singularity is based on, and compounds, an exponentially increasing growth of technology and medicine, expanding the arena of Moore’s Law2, which refers to the exponential increase in computer technology. And if you think about it, it doesn’t seem too hard to comprehend.

By then, or maybe because of then, nanotechnology will have developed to the point that armies of microscopic robots will be sweeping our arteries clean, and patrolling our inner workings for viral and bacterial evildoers. Our personal soldiers will take no prisoners, and spare no mercy. I welcome it. My own reserve arsenal to assist my natural immune system? Bring it on!

Our immune system, incredible as it is, and naturally evolved, identifies and reacts to a threat, then it remembers that threat for future reference. But the process is a crash course. The immune system has no real “heads up,” except for vaccinations, a wonderful scientific advancement that has proven immensely beneficial to humanity yet, sadly, are now sometimes avoided by ignorant parents who listen to the likes of Jenny McCarthy.

Ignorance, on some level, may endanger us all, but just imagine what could be possible with scientific advancements like nanotechnology. Our immune systems could have a backup militia to help in the fight against disease. We could be healthier. But that’s not all, we’d have new medicines at our disposal to stop aging, or reverse it. Scientists at Harvard Medical School have successfully reversed aging in laboratory mice.3 Our physical health could be managed, and in that future world, many of us could thwart death inevitably, maybe live forever. Of course, getting hit by a car is another story.

But for now here we are, “each of us,” to quote a line from Free Will by the rock band Rush, “a cell of awareness, imperfect, and incomplete,” living our lives with the awareness that one day, in our future, we will stop living. That’s a tough thing to consider, and many of us do a great job of not considering it at all. But I think we rob ourselves by not pondering our own death.

Singularity aside, we’re all looking down the barrel of the same gun. And, not that it has equal potential of The Singularity, let’s put any notion of an afterlife aside as well. This world is the only one we will ever know, and our individual life is the only one we’ll ever experience. Doesn’t knowing that life is not forever make it that much more valuable? All we see and hear, all of the people we love, are ever more precious because our experience with them is limited. For now…


AC Grayling – The Unconsidered Life

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Wonderful food for thought. I highly recommend you watch this short video, the Unconsidered Life featuring AC Grayling. It is presented by the Richard Dawkins Foundation YouTube channel. Many fine points to ponder, if you’d like tune yourself more into life.

Click Here to watch The Unconsidered Life at YouTube.