You’re Wearing the Wrong Bra

Bra sizes can seem complicated and confusing, but getting the right fit means more comfort. And it's easy. Via Wikimedia.

Bra sizes can seem complicated and confusing, but getting the right fit means more comfort. And it’s easy. Via Wikimedia.

Adjusting your bra constantly. Straps digging painfully into your shoulders. Breasts moving around when you use the stairs. Feeling relieved when you take your bra off at night. If any of this resonates with you, you’re wearing the wrong bra. Don’t feel at fault. Hardly anyone is wearing the correct bra. But why?

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RAF Vulcan and a UFO

XH558 UFO1I came across this tiny gem of a UFO sighting via the Huffington Post, UK. According to the article, Elaine Costello, a resident in Sussex, England, was filming a RAF XH558 Vulcan bomber flying overhead. Upon reviewing the video, she noticed an oddly moving dot in the sky, after the bomber had passed out of frame.

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Can Your DNA Tell You Your Ancestry?

The Romanov family tree. Via Wikimedia.

The Romanov family tree. Via Wikimedia.

For those of us living in the United States there’s a cottage industry for ancestry determination. For a fee, websites like ancestry.com or familytree.com claim to research your family history. I have long been fascinated by these advertisements. I always thought it unlikely that a website could accurately track down my family tree without physically researching it. Still, it is possible that they could have a vast database of computerized immigration records. Recently, there have been advertisements purporting the use of DNA testing to tell you your “true” ancestry. DNA testing, unlike a family tree, is a well developed science. Is this feasible? Can your DNA tell you your ancestry? If so how? Since DNA is in the realm of science, I think taking a look at it skeptically is worthwhile. / read more…


Aspartame-Free Diet Pepsi is Here

pepsicanI would be remiss if I didn’t pen a brief follow-up on a post I wrote a few months back about PepsiCo removing aspartame from Diet Pepsi in hopes of increasing lagging sales. The new formulation hit the shelves last week to a very little fanfare from some news outlets (but not, at least in my area, any rush to the stores to try it out). Whether it does in the long run what PepsiCo hopes it will do — boost sales — remains to be seen.

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Education Myths in a Corporate Context

There are different ways of learning, but they are not mutually exclusive.

There are different ways of learning, but they are not mutually exclusive.

Battling and countering myths is, of course, something we skeptics do a lot, especially here at the Skeptoid podcast and blog. But once in a while, some organization outside of the skeptical circle also tackles the topic of countering common myths. No, this time I’m not talking about Playboy, but about the consulting company McKinsey.

In their July issue of their McKinsey Quarterly, they critically analyze three myths about learning. As others have said elsewhere (such as Jozef Van Giel, on his Belgian skeptical podcast Kritisch Denken) and as I’ve experienced myself, the workplace and HR are sadly riddled with a lot of myths and woo. So it is refreshing to see a respected institution like McKinsey tackle these. Hopefully this article gets read by a lot of people in charge.

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Jade Helm 15: The Hell Has Begun

Greetings from Jade Helm internment camp #17-B, somewhere in the heart of Federally Annexed Territory Formerly Known as Texas (FATFKAT). After weeks of scoffing at the idea of UN-financed, Obama-controlled government enforcers knocking down my door and dragging me out in the middle of the night under the guise of “my own protection,” the joke was on me, because that’s exactly what happened. I was informed that martial law had been declared, and that I was suddenly living in an Agenda 21 non-human zone. Even though I knew this wasn’t true, there was nothing I could do, and I was relocated immediately to my comfortably accommodated FEMA camp. I was told further relocation to a local urban stack-and-pack habitation tower was coming soon. / read more…


Beware Direct Response Marketing

AsSeenOnHere at Skeptoid, we like to promote skeptical and critical thinking about a variety of topics. I think that one place that deserves skepticism, that a lot of consumers fail to apply critical thinking to, is marketing and advertising.  There are a lot of tricky sales tactics out there and far too many people willing to buy into them. The old wisdom about fools and their money is as true today as it’s ever been.

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Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, Vaccines, and Mercury

Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Eric M. Garneau prepares to administer an H1N1 flu vaccine aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan 2009. Via Wikimedia

I recently received a copy of Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy, Junior’s new book, titled Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak (Skyhorse Publishing, 2015), which is dramatically subtitled The evidence supporting the immediate removal of mercury—a known neurotoxin—from vaccines. My first impression was one of confusion over the title, since the book is written in English and almost no English-speaking countries use thimerosal in any vaccines. The only exception is a limited number of flu vaccines, which are not generally used on children. RFK Jr has a long history of environmental activism, including fighting against industrial mercury pollution. He has a more recent track record of objecting to the vaccine preservative thimerosal—almost an obsession with the topic. He has been very vocal on talk shows and on Capitol Hill of late. Given the author, who is credited as “editor,” I was not surprised by the subject matter. What caught my eye was the subtitle “let the science speak,” an ironic statement to say the least. The book is a short, well-written redress of a completely inaccurate meme: namely, that vaccines cause autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is a unique tract on the subject. Another whole book could be written on the inaccuracies in this book, I will try to limit the issues to the overriding theme. Let’s take a look at the book, its themes, and its implied (yet denied) purpose. / read more…


Helping Build a Skeptical, Scientific Wikipedia

Hello Skeptoid readers. My name is Susan Gerbic. I’m planning on giving you an overview of one of the most amazing powerful projects that exists today in the world of scientific skepticism. That project is Wikipedia. This is the fifth (or sixth) most viewed website in the world, it is the closest we have to a repository of all knowledge, and it’s built for the average reader. The information inside Wikipedia is so influential and powerful that we, as skeptics, need to make sure that the reader is getting correct information and leaving notable citations that they can follow if they want more information.

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Critical Thinking: My Friend, My Enemy, Myself

Conversations between “skeptics” and “believers” tend to devolve into an argument over who is truly thinking critically and who is not — to nobody’s ultimate benefit. There is a very good reason why trading accusations of a lack of critical thinking is rarely a winning debate strategy: whether it’s true is purely a matter of perspective, and two parties with fundamentally different world views will never be able to agree on what constitutes critical thought. / read more…