A Fifth Year of Steam

My fifth year of blogging has proved interesting in that it has supplied evidence that I’m getting under the skin of one of the dodgy characters I write about. I’m not talking about the personal abuse and snarky comments posted by homeopaths, scenar salesmen and UCKG mouthpieces but someone stealing my name to use in the url of his sales blogs.

The perpetrator, Adam Paul Green, posted in the comments following the blog post but despite a lot of bluff, bluster and abuse he never once explained himself. Hardly surprising – until he pulled that stunt this blog was one of the top sites when you googled ‘xocai’. Clearly Green and co did not like my debunking of the dubious medical claims made for this chocolate and so created these sites in attempt to fool Google.

I was not happy about this and went as far as telephoning Go Daddy, his domain hosts, to complain. To describe them as unco-operative would be an understatement. Regretably, I had not thought to trademark ‘jaycueaitch’ as I did not think it necessary as it is an obvious variant of my name. If I had done so I would have an open and shut case against Green in the US courts. As it is, I don’t have the time to pursue a case against him. Pity – I would love to wipe the smug self-satisfied smirk off his face.

As it is, I probably got off lightly. Norwegian bloggers have also covered the dodgy claims made for this product – and also pointed out that it is little more than a multi-level marketting scam. This did not suit the Norwegian xocai sellers who responded with Mafia style threats, See here, here, here and here. This has all resulted in a lot of press and police interest in the Xocai sales network. It remains to be seen what the final outcome will be.

The British Press has continued in its woeful ignorance of all things scientific. The year began with research into premature aging being presented by the press as eternal youth being just around the corner. Plainly the journalists concerned did no investigation before churning out their rubbish. A few minutes on Google got me an email address for Dr Laura J. Nierdernhofer, the lead researcher who was happy to explain to me what the research was actually about and its actual significance.

January also suppled another pseudoscientific favourite, psychic powers.

Health mis-information was once again a theme throughout the year. The Scotsman on Sunday’s spurious linkage of thyroid problems and vegetarianism was debunked as was an article on electrosensitivity in the Evening Standard, antivax nonsense from Natural News, homeopaths conflating homeopathy and herbalism and the dead tree version of pseudomedical website What Doctors Don’t Tell You.

On this subject, the Guardian has been going down-hill since Ben Goldacre left. I did a couple of blog posts (here and here) on Guardian Weekend’s credulous coverage of La Prairie’s £656 for a 50ml bottle skin cream.

I also continued to examine the various means that quacks and others use to deflect criticism such as ad hom attacks, “whataboutery” and live blood quack Errol Denton accusing his critics of racism.

For various family-related reasons, my blogging tailed off in the latter half of the year. I hope to resume in the New Year – even if it does sometimes feel that I’m playing whack-a-mole with the stupid.

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