Thursday, 6 January 2011

Oh celebrities! Will you ever learn?

The excellent UK science charity Sense About Science have released their Celebrities and Science 2010 pamphlet, part of an ongoing campaign to correct some of the pseudoscientific crap spouted by various celebrities.
Each year at Sense About Science we review the odd science claims people in the public eye have made – about diets, cancer, magnets, radiation and more – sent in to us by scientists and members of the public. Many of these claims promote theories, therapies and campaigns that make no scientific sense. We ask scientists to respond, to help the celebrities realise where they are going wrong and to help the public to make sense of celebrity claims.
It has short explanations from experts in the various fields as to why these people are kooky, and is well worth a look, with simple explanations doled out by experts in the various fields. This year's collection includes a variety of food related celebrity silliness, such as Sir Cliff Richards' blood group diet, and Olivia Newton John's insistence on taking "digestive enzymes with every meal". Power Balance bracelets ($60 rubber bands) also get a mention. Disappointingly, my high school crush Julia Sawahla gets called out for, when visiting the tropics, taking homeopathic 'nosodes' instead of anti-malaria tablets; this is exactly the same as doing absolutely nothing.

By far the oddest though, comes from cage fighter Alex Reid with this delightful anecdote:
it’s actually very good for a man to have unprotected sex as long as he doesn’t ejaculate. Because I believe that all that semen has a lot of nutrition. A tablespoon of semen has your equivalent of steak eggs, lemons and oranges. I am reabsorbing it into my body and it makes me go raaaaahh.
although this is spoiled by the party poopers at Sense About Science
Alex... the nutritional content of the ejaculate is really rather small. And it’s worth remembering that unprotected sex might result in pregnancy or the passing on of a sexually transmitted infection.
The main lessons from this exercise are nicely summarised in four dot points:
  • Nothing is chemical free: everything is made of chemicals, it’s just a case of which ones.
  • Detox is a marketing myth: our body does it without pricey potions and detox diets.
  • There’s no need to boost: bodily functions occur without ‘boosting’.
  • Energy and fitness come from… food and exercise: there are no shortcuts.
Oh celebrities! Will you ever learn?


MeatPopsicle said...

But then where will the people spend their billions?

p.s. I thought she was MY high school crush.

Daryl said...

Uh, yeah. Sorry I never mentioned that before. It was fleeting and I didn't want to step on your toes while you thought you had a chance.