Unscientific Rubbish: Everytown for Gun Safety’s Analysis of Mass Shootings

This particular post was prompted via a discussion in which I was involved recently regarding a Washington Post article, “What do many mass shooters have in common? A history of domestic violence.

Though I have no particular problem with the claim that many mass shooters have a history of domestic violence. I could have saved Everytown for Gun Safety the time, effort, and capital involved, and simply told them that those individuals that commit mass public shootings are more likely to have a history of domestic violence.

It’s common sense, and one doesn’t need “research” to back it up.

I put the word research in quotes because Everytown’s analysis: “Mass Shootings in the United States: 2009-2016, is not research by any scholarly definition of the word; a bit of digging reveals that Eveytown’s “study” is a prime example of politically motivated, dishonest demagoguery.

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Unscientific Rubbish: Juuva Energy Cup

In the continuing onslaught of so-called alkaline antioxidant waters, ionized waters, and the devices used to manufacture them, Juuva Energy Cup appears to be a new-comer to this one would think, saturated market of such devices and sham miracle cure-alls. For a good description of so-called “microwater” and “reduced water,” have a look at this document containing a lot of true basic chemistry as well aswater magic; the claims within that document may be addressed in a further post to this blog.

To a certain extent, this will be follow up to information offered discussed previously in this blog.

With respect to Juuva Cup:
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Unscientific Rubbish: Fox News Makes You Stupid? FDU’s Data and Methodology are an Incoherent Mess

Firstly, this entry will be prefaced by noting that The Reactionary Researcher (TRR) has no stake here; TRR has never and will never utilize FoxNews for his information concerning world events. For that matter TRR does not obtain his news from any television based sources.

A “study” has been making a big hit on the internet with its claim that “Some News Leaves People Knowing Less”. Within the first paragraph of this Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll, the authors note that some news outlets,

especially Fox News, lead people to be even less informed than those who say they don’t watch any news at all.

This has been enthusiastically picked up by a variety of sources that have gleefully highlighted the point regarding FoxNews:

Literally hundreds of other websites make similarly irresponsible, uninformed, and ridiculous claims. TRR is doubtful that any of these sources actually bothered to consult the original FDU poll.

Let’s straighten up a couple of things right off the bat: Firstly, this is no “study”, it’s a phone poll conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) that asked 612 random people in NJ exactly four questions, the answers to which were subsequently used to extrapolate this information.
Secondly, it is noteworthy that the fact that Talk Radio, the true news source for most conservatives, had an allegedly positive effect on people’s degree of ‘being informed’ went unnoted by any of the outlets that highlighted the story. Go figure.

Irrespective of what the results say, they are an incoherent and indecipherable mess, that as a consequence of being based on flawed methodology, are ultimately, meaningless.

TRR has reproduced some of the actual data from FDU PublicMind Poll below to illustrate the serious flaw in their methodology:

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Unscientific Rubbish: Energy Armor Bracelets – Part II

The Reactionary Researcher (TRR) recently reviewed Energy Armor Silly Bands Bracelets, offering a scathing, yet reasonable analysis of their products and their “Negative Ion Technology”, exposing it as the fraud, scam, and impotent little rubber band that it truly is.

Energy Armor has responded… though not in an honorable or truthful manner, or in any way that would suggest that they have an ounce of integrity or business ethics.
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Unscientific Rubbish: Energy Armor Bracelets

Sometimes the most difficult thing for me to believe about a product is not that someone actually devised such a product, rather that someone devised this product and believes that someone will actually purchase it. Energy Armor is one such product. Energy Armor is a series of silicone products: dog tags, pet tags, watches, and wristbands, that are alleged to be infused with “negative ions’. According the video at the site negative ions “help energize you, help improve flexibility; they help you feel great.” The “technology” alleges to work with your body’s “electric field” to help keep you “centered and balanced”.

Energy Armor logo

The alleged secret of this wristband is that the negative ions (no specific ions are mentioned) are released in “healthy frequencies” when the bracelet contacts “human electric fields”. The folks at Energy Armor understand FDA regulations and are careful to structure their language so as to not make any specific claims and attribute them the this bracelet. The promotional video explicitly states that “Energy Armor users tell us they experience increased strength, improved flexibility, relief from joint pain, and elevated relaxation of body and mind.” Note that Energy Armor doesn’t claim the bracelet does this, they claim that users report these experiences.
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Unscientific Rubbish: Acupuncture – Part II

Perhaps the month of March is Anti-Acupuncture month.

Published on the heels another study that has been reviewed here, a study published in the Journal PAIN titled “Acupuncture: Does it alleviate pain and are there serious risks? A review of reviews” reports that “…numerous systematic reviews have generated little truly convincing evidence that acupuncture is effective in reducing pain.” Surprisingly, the authors continue, claiming that not only is acupuncture ineffective, but in light of “[s]erious adverse effects” is potentially dangerous, and should be avoided altogether.
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Unscientific Rubbish: Acupuncture

Sigh…. this is probably going to be a painful blogpost for me to author. Not only does it signify a close in a particular chapter of my life, but it will likely not go over well with some of those I consider closest to me. I spent a good portion of my life involved with the supplement, complementary and alternative medicine (SCAM) industry, and letting go of it, piece-by-piece has been painful for me.

That said, I’m a scientist, and I believe in measurable effects for things like medical treatments. Certainly there are plenty of things out of the realm of scientific measurement, I maintain no illusions about this… however, medical treatment is not an example of something out of that realm. Acupuncture, makes specific claims regarding what it can and cannot accomplish — hell, there are academic programs designed to teach acupuncture — given this, what is taught about acupuncture and how effective it may be, is then something that we ought to be able to measure.

The bottom line is this: Acupuncture either doesn’t work, or somehow eludes the scientific method.
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Unscientific Rubbish: Alkaline Antioxidant Water

Though no longer a vegetarian, I still do a fair amount of shopping at either the local health food store, or one of the various health food supermarkets that are popping up in pretty much every community. As I was leaving my local health food supermarket, which shall remain anonymous, I was offered a free news letter that was titled “Health News”.

I’ll accept just about any literature that is given to me for free. In fact, I went out of my way to ensure that I was able to procure my complimentary copy of “Health News”. Indeed, if you’re willing, you can order your own copy of “Health News” –several editions, in fact– here; the specific edition I was given is titled “Alkaline Antioxidant Water (Vol. 20 No. 1) (Third Edition)“.

Among the grandiose claims that one can find in this particular of “Health News” are:

  • “Valley Fever Eliminated”
  • “Alzheimer’s Symptoms Gone”
  • “Paralyzed Dog Healed”
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