Entries by Blythe Nilson

Cupping: Premier Pseudoscience for the Games of the XXXI Olympiad

Every four years the Olympics reveals what sort of pseudoscience is popular among athletes. Four years ago it was “magic tape” (KTape ) and in 2016 it’s cupping. Many athletes, especially the swimmers, are sporting large, circular, suction-inflicted wounds that supposedly help their tired muscles recover more quickly between events. Respectable news outlets, like the […]

Cold-FX Fails the Science Test

This article was originally published in the Kelowna Courier, April 10, 2016 The unsubstantiated claim that cold symptoms will be reduced within days of taking Cold-FX is at the heart of a lawsuit initiated by my new hero, Vancouver Island resident Dan Harrison. His notice of claim states that Valeant, the parent company, continued to […]

The Galileo Gambit and Ted Cruz

This article was originally published in the Kelowna Courier, February 21, 2016 The world according to Ted Cruz The field of scientifically illiterate candidates running for the Republican nomination in the US is deep and rich. It would be hard to choose a winner, but the folks in Iowa recently selected one of my top […]

GM Oh? A technology that deserves more respect.

The original version of this article was published in the Kelowna Daily Courier in November, 2013. One of the first topics covered in first year biology is the mechanism by which cells decode DNA and make protein. It takes some effort for students to master these concepts and I don’t expect non-biologists to fully understand […]

Cryotherapy is Crazytherapy

The original version of this article appeared in the Kelowna Daily Courier on January 10, 2016. Residents of Kelowna no longer need to step outside in a bathing suit this winter to feel really cold. In exchange for $55 you can spend a couple of minutes shivering inside a “cryochamber” cooled to -150C by liquid […]

Good Thinking Society wins a skirmish against UK homeopathy

Simon Singh’s non-profit organization, the Good Thinking Society, achieved an important milestone for science-based health care in the UK last week (November 13th, 2015).  After a long and storied campaign, his organization finally successfully petitioned the Department of Health to consider blacklisting homeopathy. The National Health Service (NHS), which provides the public funding for prescription […]

The 2015-2016 Flu Shot is a Good Idea

For the first time, Canada is providing a flu vaccine that protects against four strains of the virus. Previous versions had only three strains. Our 2015 flu shot protects against: • A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus • A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2)-like virus • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus • B strain – a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus By most accounts the flu vaccine for […]

The Canadian Government’s War on Science

Original version published in the Kelowna Courier, August 2015, by Blythe Nilson Winter is coming. It may still be summer but Canadian scientists are feeling a chill in the air. Federal researchers across Canada say they are muzzled and manipulated by the government. In “Science Under Siege”, aired in June on “Ideas”, the CBC documents […]

Health Canada Decides Kids are Important

Originally Published in the Kelowna Courier August 2015, by Blythe Nilson Bad News for Homeopaths.   Health Canada has finally realized that nosodes, homeopathic products “regulated” by the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD), present a danger to children. Apparently the danger to adults is not worth addressing but we can savour this victory […]

Toxins, Toxins Everywhere, and not a Thought to Think.

Original version published in the Kelowna Courier, July 2011 by Blythe Nilson Purveyors of quackery love vague and scary sounding terms and one of the most popular is“toxins”. We are bombarded daily with ads for products promising to “detoxify” or “cleanse” our “systems”. We don’t want toxins in our systems even if we aren’t entirely […]