Reimagined and Revamped. Fighting the spread of nonsense often feels like a Sisyphean task. However, the joy is in making the information available, not the hope of conversion.


No wonder people don't trust scientists anymore. Read this CNN headline:

Scientists baffled by mysterious acorn shortage

Oooh! very scary! So, ok, I read it. In the article:

Virginia extension agent Adam Downing said acorn production runs in cycles, so a lean year is normal after a year with a big crop.
Downing said recovery from last year's big crop, combined with a much wetter-than-usual spring, probably accounts for the acorn absence.
I see, so the only ones who are baffled by the acorn scarcity are the authors of this article and the alarmists worried about the squirrels. Scientists do not seem so baffled.


On 12/12/08, 8:41 AM , carnifex said...

I've found that any remark leading with "scientists baffled", or similar, is usually best ignored, because it will only cause anger. One of my clients is what I like to call a hyper-Christian, and sometimes goes on and on with these pointless, pseudo-science stories. A high percentage of them include "scientists are baffled" or "science can't explain" right before the thing that makes me want to stab him in both eyes.

On 12/12/08, 8:49 AM , Techskeptic said...

I certainly understand the urge to stab. However this came from a news source, not some wacko yapping away. I find it reprehensible that news has to go off on these alarmist rants. Especialyl when the headline simply doesnt match the content.

On 12/12/08, 9:05 AM , carnifex said...

Oh.. oh my. I managed to skim right over the fact that this was on CNN.

I'm used to seeing totally baseless crap from local news, at this point, and my brain just decided "yes, that must be where this is from".

See, now, that's too many eyes to stab. The logistics alone are overwhelming. This makes me sad.

On 12/13/08, 12:37 PM , Anonymous said...

I've noticed this before, that the headline writers go with a catchy headline that often contradicts the actual article. The many BBC articles on acupuncture are good examples. One was headlined "Acupuncture more than a placebo," followed by the description of a study that shows acupuncture working no better than the controls.

On 12/16/08, 8:09 PM , Uncle Glenny said...

After all the election rhetoric, it seemed pretty natural to me that there wouldn't be many acorns out and about...

On 12/22/08, 12:53 AM , wackyvorlon said...

Won't somebody think of the SQUIRRELS?!