Cyber Begging for the old feathered dinosaur

brown dinosaur mascot

For those of you who don’t know me personally, for the past 18 months I had been working on a project to talk about science in the USA by traveling to various locations in the USA, documenting cool scientific facts, and building a new website and YouTube platforms. A personal issue (both good and bad) interrupted those plans. COVID-19 really interrupted those plans.

I had invested all of my savings and energy into these plans. I had hiked to remote locations, like Bumpass Hell in Lassen Volcanic National Park. Yes, that is its name.

And Lava Beds National Monument:

Or Joshua Tree National Park:

Unfortunately, my car was broken into, and my camera equipment, drone, backup drives, GoPro, tools, hiking clothing and footwear, tools, and backpacking equipment were stolen. Nearly $12,000, a big chunk of my investment.

Then my relatively new SUV, which got me to some beautiful places, decided to break down. Everything from tires, to the starter, to shocks, to brakes, to electronics, to the overpriced battery that should never die, decided to pile on to my stress.

And then there’s this website. It is my full time job, and it was, in combination with my other income, enough to cover my living expenses. But COVID-19 has taken a toll on both readership and advertising. And my other income.

So, I’m here to beg for help from my loyal readers. Many of my friends have chipped in, which allowed me to get my car up and running. And yes, I have an extended warranty (so please don’t call me), but it doesn’t cover things like shocks, brakes, battery, and tires.

Patreon

There are three ways you can help me out. First, you can make a monthly (or even one-time) contribution through Patreon. There’s nothing I can really do special for those of you who have contributed, but I’m hoping you think of this as a service that relies upon subscriptions.

Just click the link below.

Become a Patron!

GoFundMe

Or you can help out through GoFundMe. This is where many of my friends have helped me over the past couple of months, but honestly, it just got me to survival status, not to getting my dream vision of science-based travels to reality.

Amazon

I know money is tight for everyone, but easy way to help out is clicking on the link below whenever you want to buy ANYTHING from Amazon. It won’t add anything to your cost of buying anything at Amazon, but I get a tiny percent. So, if you’re buying a new Playstation 5 for your kids, just click here. And maybe I’ll get enough to replace one lens for my camera.

I really appreciate your consideration and assistance. Thanks!

HPV vaccine has decreased cervical cancer rates in England by 90%

HPV vaccine cervical cancer

There is more good news about the HPV vaccine – since being introduced in the UK in 2008, the cervical cancer rate has dropped by 90% according to a recently published peer-reviewed article. Cervical cancer, which kills over 300,000 women a year across the world, is close to being eliminated in countries that recommend the HPV vaccine for women and men.

The HPV vaccine used to be the most hated by anti-vaccine zealots, being surpassed by the COVID-19 vaccine these days, but it is remarkably safe and effective. There are so few ways to prevent cancer, and yet this is one of the best tools that we have in cancer prevention.

Let’s take a look at this new paper, just so we can pile onto the narrative about the overwhelming effectiveness of this vaccine.

Continue reading “HPV vaccine has decreased cervical cancer rates in England by 90%”

Aluminum in vaccines does not cause type 1 diabetes

aluminum vaccines diabetes

We know that there are no links between vaccines and type 1 diabetes mellitus, and now a new study shows that the aluminum in vaccines also isn’t linked to the disease. I’m sure that Christopher Aluminum Exley and James Lyons-Weiler are crying. Or they will just claim that all other scientists are wrong and they are right.

A lot of the vaccine deniers believe that vaccines cause Type 1 diabetes (or here), based on little evidence. As far as I can tell, this myth is based on the “research” from  J. Barthelow Classen, M.D., who has pushed the idea that vaccines cause type 1 diabetes, through some magical process that has never been supported by other independent evidence.

In another example of the anti-vaccine zealot’s cherry-picking evidence to support their a priori conclusions, they ignore the utter lack of plausibility supporting any link between vaccines and Type 1 diabetes. But once again, real scientific research has found no link between vaccines and diabetes.

And new research has provided robust evidence that there is no link between the aluminum in vaccines and type 1 diabetes mellitus.

Continue reading “Aluminum in vaccines does not cause type 1 diabetes”

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine whistleblower – hand waving about clinical trials

laboratory test tubes

And here we go again – a so-called COVID-19 vaccine whistleblower makes vague claims about the Pfizer clinical trials. Predictably, the anti-vaccine world points a trembling, HPV-riddled finger at us, screaming “SHAME. SHAME. SHAME.”

Except, like a lot of these stories, the anti-vaxxers overstate anything critical about the COVID-19 vaccines, while ignoring the vast majority of evidence that support the overwhelming safety and effectiveness of these vaccines. Their confirmation bias is amazing.

Anyway, let’s take a look at this COVID-19 vaccine whistleblower and see if anything they say passes the smell test.

Continue reading “Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine whistleblower – hand waving about clinical trials”

NFL QB Aaron Rodgers chose homeopathy over vaccines, catches COVID

aaron rodgers covid vaccines

Sometimes my blog posts write themselves. NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers decided to forgo COVID-19 vaccines and chose homeopathy to build antibodies against it. As you can predict, he tested positive for COVID-19.

Shocking, right?

There are two things here that need to be debunked. First, homeopathy, although I know that almost any scientific skeptic knows that homeopathy is pseudoscience. Second, building antibodies without vaccines – can’t be done, but we’ll get to that.

I’m writing this not for you science geeks out there – nothing I’ll write will cause you to exclaim, “Oh my, and I thought homeopathy worked!” But this is for those who may come here to find out if Aaron Rodgers knows anything about vaccines, COVID-19, or homeopathy. He doesn’t.

Continue reading “NFL QB Aaron Rodgers chose homeopathy over vaccines, catches COVID”

CDC recommends Pfizer COVID vaccine for children – saving more lives

two girls doing school works

On 29 October 2021, the FDA expanded the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to now include children, 5-11-year-olds. This followed a thorough review of the safety and effectiveness for 5-11-year-olds by the independent Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC), which then voted unanimously to recommend the EUA expansion.

On 2 November 2021, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended the vaccine for the same age group.

Continue reading “CDC recommends Pfizer COVID vaccine for children – saving more lives”

FDA rejects ICAN petition to revoke of EUAs issued for COVID vaccines

ICAN COVID-19 vaccines

This article about the FDA’s actions on a petition from ICAN to revoke EUAs for COVID-19 vaccines was written by Viridiana Ordonez. Ms. Ordonez has contributed other articles to this website and is aJ.D. candidate at the University of California, Hastings College of Law.

Del Bigtree‘s Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) submitted a Citizen Petition to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on September 27, 2021. In its petition, ICAN requested that the FDA revoke the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) granted to ModernaTX, Inc. (Moderna) and JNJ Jansen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) for their COVID-19 vaccines.

ICAN argued that because the FDA has now approved Comirnaty – the COVID-19 vaccine created by Pfizer-BioNTech – the requirements for issuance of the EUA for the other vaccines are no longer met.

The FDA replied to the petition on October 20, 2021, and rejected the request, explaining that ICAN’s petition did not contain facts demonstrating any reasonable grounds for its request. This post summarizes FDA’s response. 

Continue reading “FDA rejects ICAN petition to revoke of EUAs issued for COVID vaccines”

Facebook failed to stop anti-vaccine posts – profits trump science

Facebook vaccine

Many of us have a love/hate relationship with Facebook – but most of us realized how little it cared about anti-vaccine posts when the COVID-19 vaccines were starting to show high effectiveness and safety in clinical trials. Once we began to believe that we might have COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2020 (which proved to be true), the anti-vaxxers started to move into full action.

I even started to track and debunk the ridiculous claims of the COVID-19 vaccine deniers, most of which I found on various Facebook posts and comments.

And now, with only about 58% of the US population, or around 191 million individuals, having been fully vaccinated, it seems to be more difficult to reach the goal of around 80% of the population who are fully vaccinated to reach herd immunity.

I hate to blame Facebook for all of society’s ills, but it’s clear that they are deeply responsible for the lack of COVID-19 vaccine uptake in the USA and many other countries. Given that only 12 accounts on social media are responsible for around 73% of the anti-vaccine content, it would have been easy for Facebook to block those accounts and keep the noise to a minimum.

But they didn’t. And based on extensive investigations by a consortium of news services across the world, Facebook provided safe harbor for these COVID-19 vaccine deniers for one reason – profits.

Continue reading “Facebook failed to stop anti-vaccine posts – profits trump science”

You cannot boost your immune system – except with vaccines

person getting vaccinated

COVID-19 has been a windfall for quacks who think that they have the secret power to boost your immune system. The problem for these scam artists is that there really is no way to boost the immune system – well, vaccines do that, but they are targeted to single pathogens, like varicella-zoster virus or SARS-CoV-2.

The problem with these immune system myths is that they overlook or ignore a basic physiological fact – the immune system is a complex interconnected network of organs, cells, and molecules that prevent the invasion of hundreds of thousands, if not millions of pathogens and other antigens every single day. In fact, the immune system works almost perfectly all the time – when it doesn’t, it’s because of a chronic disease or condition, not because you haven’t swallowed a bottle of vitamin C.

And no matter how much individuals try to trivialize the complexity of the immune system, it does not make it so. If it were easy as downing a handful of supplements or the magical blueberry-kale soy milk smoothie for boosting immunity to the novel coronavirus or any other disease, every physician in the world would prescribe it.

Unfortunately, even if we could boost our immunity, we shouldn’t – a hyperactive immune system is frequently dangerous to an individual.

The problem with the quacks is that they don’t know any of the science of the immune system, and they make money when they think you don’t.

This article will try to explain the immune system and how to keep it running effectively without buying the overpriced pseudoscience you might find on the internet or your local Whole Foods. So, I’m going to save you some money and give you confidence in the power of your own immune system.

Continue reading “You cannot boost your immune system – except with vaccines”

Prior COVID infection will not keep you out of the hospital – get the vaccine

ambulance architecture building business

I recently discussed a new CDC study that stated that the COVID-19 vaccines provided better protection than a previous infection. Unfortunately, I buried the lede – COVID-19 vaccines are better than a prior COVID-19 infection in keeping you out of the hospital.

Not to be repeatedly repetitive, but I am going to re-review that paper in light of the lede – in other words, the anti-vaxxers keep ranting on about a prior COVID-19 infection. I don’t think it means what they think it means.

Continue reading “Prior COVID infection will not keep you out of the hospital – get the vaccine”