The Skeptical Raptor is cyber begging — I need your help

For those of you who don’t me, I have had a difficult relationship with my three daughters. I had spent more time in my career than with them, and now they are adults and we have no relationship. Because of personal medical and spectacular financial disasters, I am stuck in California, far away from my daughters, and all of us know that the only way to be family again is if I am physically close to them. I need them since they are my only family.

Unfortunately, despite my ongoing travesties and missteps, this website was going to be my income stream to get me close to them. For about a year it worked, but Google changed its rankings for this website, and I’ve gotten clobbered. Many of my articles that were in the top 5 of the Google rankings are now <100.

So, I’m asking for your help so that I can be in my daughters’ lives. Even if I get out there, it’s going to be difficult, but it’s the first step. I have limited years left in my life, and if I don’t do this now, I never will be in their lives.

I know that my story is no better or worse than anyone else’s, but I am really stuck. And I could use your help.

So, there are three ways you can help me.

The first way costs you no money, other than buying something on Amazon. Just click on the image/link and buy whatever suits your fancy.

The second way is Patreon:

Become a Patron!

All you have to do is go to my Patreon Page and my latest posts from here will appear there as if they were magic, without any advertising.

And the final way is on my GoFundMe page:

I thank you for your support.

a mother and son playing with paper dinosaurs
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

COVID-19 vaccine facts and debunking myths — the semi-complete list

COVID-19 vaccine facts

There are so many myths about the COVID-19 vaccine, I wanted to post some facts about the new vaccines which we can use for debunking purposes. I used to think that the HPV vaccine brought the most hatred and misinformation from the anti-vaccine world, but it’s clear that the new COVID-19 vaccines are their new targets.

This article will only focus on the five vaccines that I believe will eventually receive FDA or European Medicines Agency (EMA) approval – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ Janssen), and Novavax vaccines. I remain unconvinced that any vaccine made in China or the Russian Sputnik V vaccine will ever get approved by countries with robust drug regulatory agencies. However, if they are, I will certainly add them to a future iteration of this list.

I’m going to make this in a basic chart form for ease of use in finding COVID-19 vaccine facts and myths. I will link to supporting evidence wherever relevant.

Continue reading “COVID-19 vaccine facts and debunking myths — the semi-complete list”

HPV vaccine myth debunking – all the science facts fit to print

I’ve written nearly 200 articles on the HPV vaccine, debunking one myth after another. Despite the new COVID-19 vaccines being a recent target of various anti-vaccine myths and tropes, it has nothing on the FUD disinformation propaganda pushed against the HPV vaccine.

Like I did with the COVID-19 vaccines, I wanted to create easy-to-use charts for those of you who need a quick reference to debunk the nonsense out there.

Continue reading “HPV vaccine myth debunking – all the science facts fit to print”

Science of autism and vaccines – 163 peer-reviewed articles say no link

autism and vaccines

Autism and vaccines are not linked or associated according to real science. This has been published in real scientific journals written by real scientists and physicians. Even though the science is clear to almost everyone, the false claim about vaccines and autism is constantly repeated by anti-vaxxers.

Let’s be clear – the lack of a link between vaccines and autism is settled science. There is overwhelming evidence, as listed in this article, that there is no link. Outside of anecdotes, internet memes, misinformation, and VAERS dumpster-diving, there is no evidence that there is a link. 

Ever since MrAndrew Wakefield published his fraudulent study, which was subsequently retracted, that actually did not show a link between the MMR vaccine and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the anti-vaccine crowd has embraced it as if it were a scientific fact. 

This Wakefield chicanery has spawned a cottage industry of other anti-vaccine zealots like Del Bigtree and his fraudumentary Vaxxed, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Christopher Exley, Christopher Shaw, James Lyons-Weiler, Tetyana Obukhanych, and many others. 

This article presents 163 scientific articles, published in high-quality, peer-reviewed journals. Almost all of them are either primary studies that include large clinical trials or case-control or cohort studies. They also include numerous systematic reviews, which represent the pinnacle of biomedical research.

All of these articles, from some of the top vaccine scientists in the world, show that there are no links between autism and vaccines. None. 

Continue reading “Science of autism and vaccines – 163 peer-reviewed articles say no link”

Intermittent fasting diet — study shows that it might work, maybe

scrabble pieces on a plate

I’m a huge skeptic of diets, but I just read an article that seemed to indicate that the intermittent fasting diet can actually help lose weight. Now, the diet is not magical, it doesn’t make calories suddenly disappear, but it seems to work by a mechanism that causes a calorie deficit.

Now weight loss is a simple equation — calories burned must be greater than calories consumed. Humans are, in effect, a closed system — we don’t create calories from sunlight like plants, and we don’t absorb calories from the air. And we burn calories by doing anything from typing a long blog article to hiking up a mountain. There are no magical ways to change this calculation, despite the claims of many health nuts.

We are going to take a look at what is an intermittent fasting diet and this new research paper. Maybe some of you have tried it and it worked (or failed), then tell me in the comments that I’m either right or wrong.

Continue reading “Intermittent fasting diet — study shows that it might work, maybe”

The depressed feathered Skeptical Raptor needs your help — please read

skeptical raptor

Once again, the old Skeptical Raptor is depressed and fighting hard, but needs your help to try to get back on the right track.

For those of you who don’t know me, I am getting on in years, and I have come to realize that I focused on my career and lifestyle rather than the things that should matter most to most people’s lives — their families.

For me, it should have been my three special daughters. They are now all adults, and I missed watching them grow up. It is time for me to be a part of their lives, as I live in California and they live on the East Coast, far away from me. They have all grown up without me because I chose a career and lifestyle over them, and now I don’t have the career or lifestyle, and I don’t have them.

Because of personal medical and spectacular financial disasters, I am stuck in California, far away from my daughters, and all of us know that the only way to be family again is if I am physically close to them. I need them since they are my only family.

I had a terrible emotional breakdown while running a startup company. I put all of my money into it, thinking that just one more dollar would get it going. I failed, which pushed me into a major depressive disorder, making it difficult to survive from day to day. I think writing this blog has been one thing that keeps my head from imploding. And no, I do not think writing a blog “cures” depression, it just helps me focus.

Speaking of this blog, despite my ongoing travesties and missteps, this website was going to be my income stream to get me close to my daughters. For about a year it worked, but Google changed its SEO algorithms, and the old Skeptical Raptor got clobbered. Many of my articles that were in the top 5 of the Google rankings are now <100. This destroyed my income stream from this website. I’ve tried everything to recover, and nothing works. I have to rebuild it as if I started it yesterday — I’ve actually been doing this for over 10 years.

And in case you don’t know, writing articles, managing the back end of this website, and answering comments and questions is nearly a full-time job. There are other writers out there who just can type out 2000 words in an hour — I don’t have that skill set. I have to read the articles, write out some bullet points, then write the article. It’s difficult and stressful.

Then other things happened to me. My car is an ongoing mess. If I had the money, I’d dump it in a junkyard and move on. But it’s important to my survival. My MacBook Pro, where I do 90% of my work is on its last breaths. The battery is gone, and it constantly crashes from what I think is a bad SSD card (or bad motherboard, which is worse). It’s four years old, just about the limit of life for a laptop. Without it, I won’t be able to write articles. I don’t even know what I’ll do if it finally dies.

So, I’m asking for your help so that I can be in my daughters’ lives and make sure I keep writing. Even if I get out there, it’s going to be difficult, but it’s the first step. I have limited years left in my life, and if I don’t do this now, I never will be in their lives.

But more than that, it helps me keep going writing about vaccines, quack medicine, and whatever else interests you and me.

I know that my story is no better or worse than anyone else’s, but I am really stuck. And I could use your help. Maybe you think I shoulda, coulda, woulda done something else, but I crashed and burned, and this is where I am.

So, there are three ways you can help me.

The first way costs you no money, other than buying something on Amazon. Just click on the image/link and buy whatever suits your fancy.

The second way is Patreon:

Become a Patron!

All you have to do is go to my Patreon Page and my latest posts from here will appear there as if they were magic, without any advertising. You get the same articles that are here, but ad-free (which I know some people want). It only costs $5 to be a Patron, but more will help too.

And the final way is on my GoFundMe page:

Oh, there’s one really easy way to help me out. Please share my articles, that really helps all the time.

selective focus of bald eagle
Another kind of raptor. Photo by Frans van Heerden on Pexels.com

Non-polio enterovirus linked to respiratory disease, not vaccines

non-polio enterovirus

With the appearance of a polio outbreak recently, I wanted to clear up some misinformation (from anti-vaxxers) regarding non-polio enterovirus linked to an outbreak of children’s respiratory disease. There is no relationship between the polio outbreak and the outbreak of non-polio enterovirus, and there is certainly no relationship between either and vaccines.

For this article, I’ll focus on the non-polio enterovirus. There is a lot to this situation, so stay tuned for some science.

Continue reading “Non-polio enterovirus linked to respiratory disease, not vaccines”

Does walking reduce risk of dementia? Study seems to say yes

dementia walking

People are afraid of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease since we really don’t understand the diseases very well. But there’s some good news — a recent paper stated that walking could reduce the risk of dementia — could it be that simple?

As this feathered dinosaur is getting on in years, I worry about declining executive function. So far, I’m doing well. And I walk between 10 to 20 thousand steps every day for the past decade, so this type of science is personally interesting.

Like I always do, I’m going to present the key findings of the peer-reviewed paper, then tell you what I think about the article. So let’s get to it.

Continue reading “Does walking reduce risk of dementia? Study seems to say yes”

Anti-vaxxer blames COVID-19 vaccines for death of Queen Elizabeth II

queen elizabeth vaccines

Yes, an anti-vax MD, Peter McCullough, in a crass and disgusting Twitter post tried to blame COVID-19 vaccines for the death of Queen Elizabeth. Anti-vaxxers will take any opportunity, without regard to morality and civility, to produce propaganda about vaccines. They have no shame. They have nothing supporting their claims, so they use this type of repulsive post to lie about vaccines.

Dr. Peter McCullough, who has a history of promoting misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, should not be considered a source of anything related to vaccines. And he has no clue about the cause of Queen Elizabeth’s death.

Because the Royal Family is always tight-lipped with news, we may never know the actual cause of death. But Queen Elizabeth II was 96 years old, which has nothing to COVID-19 vaccines, mandated or otherwise. She lived an incredibly full life, devoted to service to her country.

At 96 years old, her life expectancy is around three years, so there’s nothing mysterious about her death. What does Peter McCullough think? That Queen Elizabeth’s next 50 years were cut short by COVID-19 vaccines? His ridiculous, unfounded, and unsupported statement would be laughable under normal circumstances, but this is a repulsive disrespect for someone who has just died.

Furthermore, there is a huge volume of evidence that COVID-19 vaccines do nothing that he claims. They are demonstrably safe. And there is NO evidence that the vaccines did what he claims they did to anyone on the planet, let alone Queen Elizabeth.

Oncogenesis? No.

Autoimmunity? No.

Senescence? I don’t even know what that means with regard to vaccines.

Subclinical myocarditis? What?

Thrombosis? Extremely rare with the JNJ vaccine, which she probably didn’t receive since it’s not approved in the UK.

I thought I couldn’t get any more disgusted by the anti-vaccine world. But they do things that bring it to the next level. The anti-vaxxers jumped on the death of Queen Elizabeth to pass along lies about vaccines. Just how low can they get?

New Oxford malaria vaccine shows strong safety and effectiveness

Oxford malaria vaccine

Although it may seem like all we talk about are the COVID-19 vaccines, there is a new malaria vaccine developed by Oxford University that has shown a strong effectiveness and safety profile in phase 1/2b clinical trials. Control of malaria has been a goal of scientists for a long time, a potential malaria vaccine is something that should be celebrated widely.

If all goes well, the Oxford malaria vaccine could be approved by late 2023, saving children in many parts of the world from this scourge.

A new paper has been published that provides details of the clinical trial, which I will review below.

Continue reading “New Oxford malaria vaccine shows strong safety and effectiveness”

Does black tea increase lifespan? I hope so, but time for science

black tea

I was researching nonsense claims about foods when I came across a few articles that claimed that black tea could help you lead a long life. As I am a devoted drinker of black tea (only in the iced form, I’m not British, Australian, or Indian), I was intrigued. Was this some nonsense pushed by woo quacks, or was it based on robust science?

Now, I am especially skeptical about any nutritional study that attempts to link some food to any health benefit, and most of the recent articles were mostly on quack websites that support just about anything a scientist or my loyal readers would scoff at.

As you know, I’m going to get to the bottom of this story. Is there science? Or is it just typical junk science?

Continue reading “Does black tea increase lifespan? I hope so, but time for science”

Mucoid plaques and colon detoxification junk science (UPDATED)

mucoid plaques

The internet is filled with all kinds of nonsense, but one of the more annoying is the issue of mucoid plaques and how they can ruin your life. Colon detoxification or, sometimes, colon cleansing to remove mucoid plaques is one of those strange alternative medicine ideas that hang around without one single bit of evidence supporting it.

Of course, it is time to take a look at this and debunk this junk science. Spoiler alert — it doesn’t do anything except take money from your pocket, like most pseudoscientific scams on the internet.

Continue reading “Mucoid plaques and colon detoxification junk science (UPDATED)”

Homeopathy is a pseudoscientific scam — here’s why (UPDATED)

homeopathy

Homeopathy is a pseudoscientific scam that should be never be considered as a legitimate treatment for any condition. Homeopathy lacks any biological plausibility. Homeopathy lacks any support in basic chemistry. And homeopathy violates the basic laws of physics.

Essentially, homeopathy is the debunked idea that “like cures like,” and that a diluted ingredient can be activated by shaking it in between dilutions. Every robust, rigorous, and repeated clinical study has demonstrated that homeopathy has no clinical effect.

Unethically, individuals push this treatment that has been shown not to work. That is why it’s a scam.

Let’s take a look at the facts about homeopathy.

Continue reading “Homeopathy is a pseudoscientific scam — here’s why (UPDATED)”

The old Skeptical Raptor is depressed is asking for funding

souvenir dinosaur drinking from mug

Once again, the old Skeptical Raptor is depressed and fighting hard, but needs your help for funding.

For those of you who don’t know me, I am getting on in years, and I have come to realize that I focused on my career and lifestyle rather than the things that should matter most to most people’s lives — their families.

For me, it should have been my three special daughters. They are now all adults, and I missed watching them grow up. It is time for me to be a part of their lives, as I live in California and they live on the East Coast, far away from me. They have all grown up without me because I chose a career and lifestyle over them, and now I don’t have the career or lifestyle, and I don’t have them.

Because of personal medical and spectacular financial disasters, I am stuck in California, far away from my daughters, and all of us know that the only way to be family again is if I am physically close to them. I need them since they are my only family.

I had a terrible emotional breakdown while running a startup company. I put all of my money into it, thinking that just one more dollar would get it going. I failed, which pushed me into a major depressive disorder, making it difficult to survive from day to day. I think writing this blog has been one thing that keeps my head from imploding. And no, I do not think writing a blog “cures” depression, it just helps me focus.

Speaking of this blog, despite my ongoing travesties and missteps, this website was going to be my income stream to get me close to them. For about a year it worked, but Google changed its SEO algorithms, and the old Skeptical Raptor got clobbered. Many of my articles that were in the top 5 of the Google rankings are now <100. This destroyed my income stream from this website. I’ve tried everything to recover, and nothing works. I have to rebuild it as if I started it yesterday rather than being over 10 years old.

And in case you don’t know, writing articles, managing the back end of this website, and answering comments and questions is nearly a full-time job. There are other writers out there who just can type out 2000 words in an hour — I don’t have that skill set. I have to read the articles, write out some bullet points, then write the article. It’s difficult and stressful.

Then other things happened to me. My car is an ongoing mess. If I had the money, I’d dump it in a junkyard and move on. But it’s important to my survival. My MacBook Pro, where I do 90% of my work is on its last breaths. The battery is gone, and it constantly crashes from what I think is a bad SSD card (or bad motherboard, which is worse). It’s four years old, just about the limit of life for a laptop. Without it, I won’t be able to write articles. I don’t even know what I’ll do if it finally dies.

So, I’m asking for your help so that I can be in my daughters’ lives and make sure I keep writing. Even if I get out there, it’s going to be difficult, but it’s the first step. I have limited years left in my life, and if I don’t do this now, I never will be in their lives.

I know that my story is no better or worse than anyone else’s, but I am really stuck. And I could use your help.

So, there are three ways you can help me.

The first way costs you no money, other than buying something on Amazon. Just click on the image/link and buy whatever suits your fancy.

The second way is Patreon:

Become a Patron!

All you have to do is go to my Patreon Page and my latest posts from here will appear there as if they were magic, without any advertising.

And the final way is on my GoFundMe page:

I thank you for your support.

close up photo of brown hawk
Or maybe I’m this kind of raptor. Photo by Brett Sayles on Pexels.com