Melbourne, Australia based magician and physician Dr. Vyom Sharma is in the Prism Studio for a fascinating discussion about the intersection of skepticism and magic. Dr. Sharma is a Family Medicine physician who has won numerous awards in the magic realm, including (with his troupe Gentlemen of Deceit) appearances on Australia’s Got Talent, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Check him out on YouTube, Facebook, and on Twitter (@drvyom)
Yvette d’Entremont is your SciBabe (formerly Science Babe). She’s always looked at the alternative medicine and pseudoscience movements with a skeptical eye. When Vani Hari, a.k.a. the Food Babe, took a swipe at her Pumpkin Spice Lattes? It was a call to arms.
You just don’t mess with a native Bostonian’s PSL.
The site was launched on facebook and Yvette has been surprised and happy with the site’s early success. The formula of busting pseudoscience with a combination of real science and humor is pure Yvette (and her trusty sidekick, Science Dog).
Yvette holds a B.A. in theatre, a B.S. in chemistry, and an MSc in forensic science with a concentration in biological criminalistics. She currently runs SciBabe full time and resides in Southern California.
Kyle Sanders is the creator of the wonderful skeptical and science based comic strip Carbon Dating (www.carboncomic.com). He shares how he gets his material for his strip, AND he has agreed to partner with The Prism in a cartoon captioning contest!
Yes folks, you heard right! Three. Minute. Orthodontics. Why spend thousands of dollars and years of aggravation with braces, palatal expanders, retainers, cut cheeks, and social isolation when you can correct your overbite in three minutes?
How, you might ask? With all the scientific advances in orthodontic treatment in the past 100 years, with the improvement in imaging, diagnosis, and the amazing materials we have these days- how can we push the envelope even further in orthodontics?
Well, I’ll tell you.
According to the video you’re about to see, “Dental Acupuncture is a special branch of acupuncture. Asthetic Dental Acupuncture is a Super Specialty.” So, dear Prism readers, I hope you feel like a priviliged insider because you’re about to see a “Super Specialist” at work. You can’t get this anywhere else. I’ve been practicing dentistry for over 27 years, and I have studied with some of the finest and most prestigious clinical dentists in academia and in practice, and I have never had the good fortune to even touch the hem of a “Super Specialist’s” garment. So, I hope you’ll excuse my giddiness.
Anyway, many of you may remember the scene from the movie “There’s Something About Mary” in which the hitchhiker, played by comedian Harland Williams, talks about the next big thing – Seven Minute Abs. Watch.
Well, that same “outside the box” thinking has hit dentistry, thanks to a pair of Indian “Super Specialists.” The video below show a case report of an overbite allegedly being corrected by “asthetic acupuncture.” Warning: It’s a little graphic in a stabby, bleedy sort of way.
So there you have it.
Ok, joking aside. I realize that this is a fringe treatment in a far-off land, at least far off from where I’m composing this post. I also realize that this treatment isn’t widespread, nor is it likely to become so. It’s quackery, pure and simple. It’s about as far away from the standard of care as a dental procedure can get. It’s funny because even a non-dentist, nay, even any person with a modicum of science knowledge or common sense can see this is bunk and ludicrous and biologically implausible and every other hyperbolic refuting description one can think of. That being said, it is an excellent example of why we at The Prism do what we do. There are quacks like that out there. Not only in India, but everywhere. There are innocent and gullible individuals who fall prey to such quacks. Not only in India, but everywhere. The quacks need to be stopped and the laypeople need to be educated; it’s as simple as that. The public is harmed when charlatans like this are allowed to deceive the patients who entrust them for their care. Whether you’re an activist trying to shut this crap down, or an educated health care professional, or a concerned resident of Planet Earth, we all must resist woo in all its forms and wherever it rears its ugly head. Even if it seems harmless, the underlying deception and denial of reality hurts everyone.