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

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… Continue reading The Bizarre Spread of the COVID/5G Conspiracy Theory

Violent abuser ≠ psychotic abuser - image of a battered woman and partner
Stop the Stigma

Stigma in the News: A “Psychotic” Abuser

My news source of choice is the CBC, Canada's public broadcaster. Usually they're pretty good, but sometimes they slip up. This was the case with an article published on the CBC website on March 18 about a Russian woman, Margarita Gracheva, whose hands had been cut off by her "psychotic husband." The "psychotic" adjective was… Continue reading Stigma in the News: A “Psychotic” Abuser

Homelessness & addiction: A newspaper embraces stigma
Stop the Stigma

Homelessness & Addiction: A Newspaper Embraces Stigma

drawing of a ho Last year I wrote about a police wellness check gone wrong, in which a young woman was dragged half-naked in handcuffs through her building by a police officer, While the woman was apprehended under the Mental Health Act, a story about the matter in the Kelowna Daily Courier used the word… Continue reading Homelessness & Addiction: A Newspaper Embraces Stigma

Trigger warnings: overused or helpful?
Trauma and PTSD

Are Trigger Warnings Useful?

I saw the topic of trigger warnings circulating in the blogosphere recently, and I thought I'd chime in with my own thoughts. In a very general sense, a trigger is one thing causing another to occur. What's particular to people with a past trauma history is that what's being triggered is re-experiencing. That means re-experiencing… Continue reading Are Trigger Warnings Useful?

the word vote displayed across a blue and red background
Science Corner

What Political Polls Mean – And What They Don’t

With an election looming, results from new political polls are getting tossed around 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… Continue reading What Political Polls Mean – And What They Don’t

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

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 read article. 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 none of it… Continue reading The “Free” Things Online Are Never Actually Free

What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)
Insights into Psychology

What Is… The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms. This week we're looking at the psychology behind conspiracy theories. This topic came up in a recent post by Andy of Eden in Babylon. In particular, the Q-Anon conspiracy theory has become quite popular, despite its utter absurdity. Then there's the variety… Continue reading What Is… The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories

RCMP Cst. Lacy Browning with her foot on Mona Wang's head during a wellness check
Stop the Stigma

A Police Wellness Check/”Arrest” Gone Wrong

I've written before about defunding the police as a way to address the mismatch of the standard police approach and appropriate mental health crisis response. The picture below from a "wellness check" is a good illustration of just how significant that mismatch is. In June of this year, information became public about an incident that… Continue reading A Police Wellness Check/”Arrest” Gone Wrong

Tips on how to spot fake news
Science Corner

Separating Reality from Fake Health News

HoIFLA, Wikimedia Commons During this global pandemic, there's a lot of wild and wacky news out there in the world. This infographic from the International Federation of Library Association and Institutions gives some handy tips for separating the facts from the crap.  In this post, I'll go through those tips with respect to spotting fake… Continue reading Separating Reality from Fake Health News