What the Swiss Franc Means for the Iraqi Dinar (Spoiler Alert: Nothing)

On January 15, Switzerland shocked the financial world by removing its self-imposed cap on the value of its currency, the Swiss franc. The cap had been put in place in 2011 to prevent the overvaluing of the franc against the Euro, as many foreign investors had been parking their money in Switzerland to avoid getting entangled with Europe’s debt crisis.

The reasons why Switzerland capped the exchange rate of its currency, then removed the cap, are complicated, and good explanations can be found on a variety of financial websites, written by people who understand this stuff much more than I do. But it boils down to bringing the franc back in line with its natural value Continue reading

Birch Water is the New Overpriced Woo Water

birchtreeSo just a week after I wrote an article on food woo trends of 2015, someone shared this link on my Twitter feed: a report from Good Morning America on birch water, the “new coconut water.” While I am one who enjoys a good birch beer now and then, I had never heard of drinking birch water before (or birch sap, as it’s probably more properly called). So of course I had to click through. I found the GMA segment to strike a surprisingly dubious tone on birch water.

Perhaps their producers saw, as I did, the high level of nonsense claims being made. A quick search of the Internet yielded many websites of questionable research, each one claiming that birch water is the next big thing that we should all be drinking. Like coconut water before it, the claims about birch water raise a lot of health woo red flags.

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The Mysterious Origins of Vaginal Steaming

Hey, gals. Ever worry about your yoni, that nasty, carcinogen-ridden creature that lives between your legs? I know I do. After all, that thing must be loaded with toxins. Well, I have good news. For only $75 you can steam your troubles away, along with those pesky toxins.

Don’t have time to go to the spa and your vagina is overflowing with radioactive sludge now? Purchase a home kit for $150. Or make your toilet into an impromptu health and relaxation station for the price a few varieties of herbs and a scalded butt cheek or two. Continue reading

Is Your Birth Control Contributing to the Spread of HIV?

Recent research about injectable long-acting hormone contraceptive suggests it may be increasing the risk of acquiring human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Research with scary compelling narratives always get media exposure. This research is no different. Science reporting has become a lost art, and it is no surprise that facts and meaning seem to be displaced by catchy headlines. Let’s take a close look at injectable hormonal contraceptives and the risk for developing HIV. How strong is this link, and how concerned should you be?

Injectable birth control (Depo Provera), with needle. Via Wikimedia.

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