Great Courses: Skeptic’s Guide to Health, Medicine, and the Media

The Great Courses offers continuing education for adults in a wide variety of subjects. They search out the best college professors and have put together over 500 expertly-produced video courses. You can buy them individually or subscribe to The Great Courses Plus, which gives you unlimited access to all their courses. I am a long-time customer,

An HBO Documentary about the Theranos Fraud Raises Concerns

Elizabeth Holmes founded Theranos to develop a device that could do 200 tests on a single drop of blood in a minute. She lied; it failed; she is being tried for fraud and conspiracy. The HBO documentary The Inventor tells the story but has some flaws. We can learn lessons from what happened. Alex Gibney’s film The Inventor:

Fake News about Health Products

One of my biggest pet peeves is advertisements for bogus health-related products that are deceptively presented as news stories. These appear regularly in many newspapers, including my own local paper The Tacoma News Tribune, and they typically fill a full half page. They usually include the words “advertisement” or “paid advertisement” in small print that is

El Dr. Oz Vende Chatarra

Con su entusiasta autobombo y sus embustes al aire, el Dr. Oz siempre me asombró por sonar más a un vendedor de automóviles usados que a un respetado cirujano cardiotorácico. Un vendedor de automóviles usados le dirá a usted que el automóvil está en condiciones impecables, que siempre estuvo guardado en un garaje climatizado, y

Dr. Oz Sells Lemons

FacebookTwitterEmail With his enthusiastic hype and on-air shenanigans, Dr. Oz has always impressed me as sounding more like a used car salesman than a respected cardiothoracic surgeon. A used car salesman may tell you the car is in pristine condition, was always kept in a heated garage, and was only driven round the block once

Misleading Ad for Apeaz

An ad for Apeaz in Discover Magazine is misleading. Its active ingredient may provide some temporary relief of pain, but the claims in the ad are overblown. It is not a new blockbuster drug or an anesthetic. I saw a full-page ad in Discover Magazine for Apeaz, a “New blockbuster arthritis drug” in the form of a cream. Almost

BladderMax: Fake News and Outrageous Headlines

A newspaper ad for BladderMax is disguised as a news story reporting “the end of bladder leakages.” The information is inaccurate and the headlines are preposterous. There is a half-page article in my newspaper. The headline announces, “Scientists Predict End of Bladder Leakages by 2019.” This is reinforced by accompanying statements: “New developments in scientific

Reader’s Digest Promotes Prevagen

Reader’s Digest is advertising a memory aid, Prevagen, that has been tested and shown not to work. Shame on them! I am a long-time subscriber to Reader’s Digest. I enjoy the jokes and some of the human interest stories, but I have become increasingly disturbed by some of the questionable health information they present. The most recent

Premature Ejaculation in the News

No, this is not about sex. Ejaculation doesn’t only mean discharge of semen, it also means “a short, sudden emotional utterance.” People make verbal ejaculations when they’re excited or have something important to say. Headlines are frequently ejaculations. They often express premature enthusiasm, hyping the questionable results of a new research study as if it