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The Bizarre Spread of the COVID/5G conspiracy theory: cartoon of a train pulling a coronavirus particle and 5G symbol

The Bizarre Spread of the COVID/5G Conspiracy Theory

The COVID/5G conspiracy theory has been around since the early days of the pandemic. How did such an out-there idea become so widely known? The dumpster fire that is social media has a fair bit to do with it, with a combination of misinformation (wrong information spread without manipulative/deceptive intent) and disinformation (intentionally spreading wrong …

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Can you manifest a purple people eater?

Can You Manifest a Purple People Eater?

Manifestation is all over the internet, part of the whole law of attraction vibrational package. Because I have a bit (or a lot) of a fixation on purple people eaters, they’ll help us see what we might or might not be able to manifest. The purple monster critter in the image above is someone I’ve …

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The use and misuse of jargon - diagram of science equipment

The Use and Misuse of Scientific Jargon

Many fields have their own jargon, which Wikipedia describes as “specialized terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity” that often isn’t well understood by people outside of that particular field. While jargon can help people within a field communicate precisely, that doesn’t necessarily translate well outside of the field. It can be …

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modified Johari window of knowledge: from what you know to what you don't know you don't know

The Importance of What We Don’t Know We Don’t Know

There’s a lot of knowledge out there in the world. We’ve all accumulated some of it, whether that’s by formal schooling, work, or life in general. Quadrants of knowledge There are several different ways in which we relate to the potential knowledge that’s out there in the world. This can be seen in the modified …

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the word vote displayed across a blue and red background

What Political Polls Mean – And What They Don’t

With an election looming, we’re hearing results from new political polls all the time. But what do those figures actually mean, if anything? To understand that, it’s important to look at how polling works. Sample The sample is the people that the pollers gather opinions from. The goal is to get a sample that’s as …

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The free things online are never actually free: We're just paying with something other than money

The “Free” Things Online Are Never Actually Free

This came to mind recently because of a comment I saw on someone’s blog to do with a news site requiring a subscription to be able to read articles. With the explosion of the internet in recent years and the vast amount of content that’s available, we’ve come to expect things to be free. Except …

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the placebo effect: what causes it?

The Placebo Effect: What Is It and Why Does It Happen?

We’ve probably all heard of the placebo effect, but what is it, and how does it work. For something that happens regularly, it’s not all that well understood. A placebo is any substance that’s not intended or expected to have any therapeutic effect. Ethically, it generally wouldn’t be considered acceptable to give a patient a …

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"High vibration" essential oils: do they really vibrate, or is that just pseudoscience?

“High Vibration”? Essential Oil Frequency Debunked

I’m a very science-minded person, and one of the things that really grates my rutabagas is when people make things up and call it science. In particular, I’m not impressed with pseudoscientific made-up vibrations, and especially the made-up idea of vibrating thoughts, law of attraction style. Somehow, the notion of essential oil frequencies and “high …

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