Archive | Skeptical Topics RSS for this section

Laser what??

Sorry everybody this is a venting post.  Please disregard if uninterested.

In the morning, as I’m eating breakfast and making my lunch I usually have the TV on the morning news. Of course the plethora of local channels causes me to usually stick to one and never deviate. So I usually have KCRG TV-9 news; it’s the local ABC affiliate. Most days I have no problems with it. They read the news and give me pretty accurate weather info (which is what I’m mostly listening for).

But this morning I heard a story on the local news that just got my dander up. They spent two or three minutes talking about a “new” allergy therapy. Championed by Dr Terri Cooper from the Wholistic Wellness Center in Hiawatha, IA this new therapy is laser acupuncture. All the while they talked about this supposed therapy they showed this lady basically having a laser pointer shot at various points on her body. The main claim they made during the pre-recorded piece was that this could treat allergies. But during the actual broadcast, the anchor also added that they use the treatment for chronic illnesses and CANCER. Well that nearly made me spit out my Cheerios. Below I will lay out the problems with this “treatment.”

#1. I don’t want to get into ad hominem arguments, but the lady from the center they had in the story was Dr. Terri Cooper. ” Dr.” Cooper is the owner/director of the wellness center. I say “Dr.” because she is not an M.D. or a Ph.D.  She is a doctor of chiropractic.  Now I understand that they do go to go through a fair bit of schooling to earn that title, but the entire idea of chiropractic is based on false assumptions.  The idea that most (if not all) maladies of the human body could be caused by misalignment of the spine is just ludicrous.

#2. Acupuncture does not work.  Period.   Its been proven to have no benefit.  There are no special meridians or chi lines.

#3.It seems pretty convenient that most of what they treat are conditions that would come and go on their own. hmmm…

I would love to go over some of the other services they provide at this place, but that will have to wait.  I have an e-mail to write.


Somewhere, Something incredible is waiting to be known -Carl Sagan

Once in a while I get this crazy feeling that its so amazing that we can put a little seed in the ground, work the soil, and then get food.  Food that nourishes us and keeps us alive.  Each time I think about it, for at least an instant, I feel like its some sort of magical experience.  Then I remember that really this is the only way our life could work on this planet.  Humans evolved on this planet and therefore must have the ability to extract energy and nutrients from the environment around them.  This may sound cold and analytical, that’s because it is on the surface.  When I look deeper though I see elegance that comes straight from the human mind and I feel privileged to be here and a part of the world.  The seeds that I plant are not the same type of seeds that were planted by my ancestors 1000 or even 100 years ago.  There are thousands of varieties of tomatoes.  Each one taking years of breeding, cross-breeding, and in-breeding.  Hundreds of man-hours of work.  So when I look at a seed today, I don’t see a seed or even the plant it will be.  I see the human mind.  I see our ancestors and the gifts that they leave us.

OK, so I was feeling a little philosophical today.  Its because my garden task this week was waiting.  I’ve got everything in the ground for this year.  The vegetables are either growing or flowering and some of the flowers are starting to bud.  So it’ll be a bit of a photo dump day.  First the veggies…

Potato plant starting to overflow its trash can home

The beginnings of this years tomato forest

The peas are starting to pull down their own trellis. I’ll have to find something stronger for next year

A pea flower. Is it wired I find these really cute

A blossom from the dwarf grey sugar peas. These ones have a crimson and white flower

Another of the dwarf gray sugar peas. This time in profile with the sun behind, like a superstar

It may be kinda hard to see, but the bean vine is almost three feet tall now. Each rung is 6 inches tall.

The strawberry plants are getting established pretty quick. I planted these just a week ago and none had leaves.

Looks like something has been nibbling at the spinach. I guessing the bunny rabbits.

Chive blossom, I’ve heard these are edible and good on salads. I also just thinks its quite nice looking.

Now for the flowers…

The Lavender looks almost ready to open. You can see little bits of color at the tips.

Daylily about ready to bloom

The Asiatic lily flowers are growing in. These have some big flowers so it’ll still be a while before they bloom

Thanks for taking a virtual stroll through my garden.

Moon phase Gardening

So I find that some people do some weird things in the garden.  One of the strangest systems of garden planning is the pervasive gardening according to the phases of the moon. This strategy is common enough to garner a place in the coveted farmer’s almanac.

What is it:

According to a number of websites, there are two reasons that moon gardening works.  The lesser of the two effects is the moonlight adding additional light beyond what the sun provides during daylight hours.  The second and more important is the gravitational effects from the moon.  The moon controls the tides and pulls large bodies of water towards it.  According to the moon phase gardening theory, the moon pulls water up in the soil and assists in getting water into the stems and leaves of growing plants.  Different phases are said to also have different gravitational effects making certain phases better to plant, fertilize or weed. The moon gravitational effects are constantly changing.  New moon occurs when the moon and sun are on the same side of the earth, causing a perceived increase in that direction.  Below are the descriptions of the proposed effects of the different moon phases.

Full moon:  Gravitational force is high, moonlight is waning.

Waning moon: both moonlight and gravitational effects are decreasing.  Best time for harvesting and transplanting

New Moon: Lunar gravity is high leading to high soil moisture and seed germination

Waxing moon: Moonlight is strong, but gravitational pull is less.  Planting is good at this time

Why it doesn’t work:

The effect of the moon on large bodies of water is visible to the naked eye.  Tides come in and out every day, but to think that those same forces have any significant effect on the water soaked in the soil is just plain silly.  Humans are something like 75% water, so shouldn’t the moon effect us just like the tides according to that logic.  So if I weigh myself on a full moon I’ll weigh less than at new moon.  There have been dozens of studies about effects of the moon (especially the full moon) on human behavior and they show no determinable effects.  Even the tides on the great lakes are never more than a few inches.  The moon gravitational effects do change, but a slight change in nothing is still nothing.  Then there is the apogee and perigee of the moon occurring every 7 1/2 orbits.  This means that sometimes apogee ( when the moon is closest) switches between full and new moon.

What might really be going on:

For thousands of years accurate calendars and information on dates was difficult to come by.  People eventually noticed that the moon has a regular cycle and that could be used to track time with.  The farmer that feels a warm snap early in the season may get excited for an early spring and plant, while the farmer going by the moon has a schedule and waits.  So when it gets cold again, moon phase gardening seems to win.  So in essence gardening in accordance with the moon can be replaced simply by getting a calendar and watching the weather channel.


The Houston Cancer Quack

This site is the cat’s pajamas

You Should Grow That!

How to, garden guides, garden recipes and tips on gardening in the south and NC


trying to live as lightly as possible on our beautiful planet

The Slow Foods Mama

{ sowing seeds of sanity in an insane food system }

A Two Storey Home

Where Marriage and Healthy Living Meet

Less Junk; More Joy!

This blog is dedicated to documenting the transformation of a traditional american family (too much pizza, junk, and beer) to a healthier lifestyle. We're eating better and planting an organic garden. Join me as I learn to love this new lifestyle!


Journalling the journey from house to homestead in the suburbs.

Sarasin's thoughts.......

........ on many things............


Sustainible Living and farming on a Quarter Acre

Simply Primal Family

A Family's Real Food Journal

The Not-So Suburban Homestead Blog

Chronicles of a Gardening Family


Our life with Ulcerative Colitis

No 'FRIES' for 365

- My Journey: A Blog About Fitness, Nutrition, & Overall Health -


a chaotic cottage gardener

Caramelize Life

Making life a little sweeter through food, travel and community

Two Barn Farm

Sustainable Farming, Permaculture, Gardening and Homesteading in Ohio

the doodle house

A gleeful account of the escapades of two 20-somethings, our dogs and a little house in Austin.

Farm City News

just another book about urban farming