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A Skeptical Chat With…The Healthy Fellow

This is a blog series where I interview writers, bloggers, podcasters, etc. about topics relevant to science, skepticism, and critical thinking.

Today I speak with JP Fanton about his website www.HealthyFellow.com and he answers my questions regarding his approach to providing information on natural health and holistic remedies.

Hello and thank you for taking the time to answer some questions about natural health consultation, research, and writing.  Can you start off by introducing yourself to the readers of the Michigan Skeptics Association website, please, about who you are, your interests in natural health consulting and research, and what led you to create the HealthyFellow.com website?


Thank you for having me as a guest on your site, Chris. I’m very happy to be here. A little bit about me: My name is JP Fanton and I’m the content provider for HealthyFellow.com – a website that provides evidence-based information pertaining to natural health issues. My ultimate goal is to assist health care consumers and providers to select the best possible treatment options available. As you mentioned in your introduction, I also offer consultations to individuals and companies that may benefit from my knowledge.

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Skeptic Events For This Week in Michigan

There are many things to do in Michigan that is skeptically related this week.

On Thursday, October 14th:

In Grand Rapids, CFI Michigan is hosting Barbara Oakley, author of the soon to be released “Cold Blooded Kindness”.

Are some people predisposed to kindness to the point of being destructive to themselves and others? How much of our help is fulfilling our own needs—including those of our hidden passions?

Join us to hear Barb Oakley answer these questions and other topics addressed in her latest book Cold-Blooded Kindness, which is soon to be published.

The will be meeting at 7:00 PM in the Women’s City Club, 254 E. Fulton St. Grand Rapids, MI

In S.E. Michigan, the Ann Arbor Science & Skeptics group, run by our very own Chris Lindsay, is hosting a meetup to discuss Global Climate Change. His special guest is Dr. Nalalia Andronova. A Research Scientist and Undergraduate Advisor for Climate Impact Engineering.

A gathering of science enthusiasts, critical thinkers, and rational skeptics to enjoy some tasty Mexican food and cerveza/margaritas/soda at El Camino Real

The meetup is scheduled for 6:00 PM at El Camino Real 625 Hilton Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI

On Friday the 15th:

Melissa LaFavers is hosting the Metro Detroit Skeptics in the Pub.

This is a great opportunity for skeptics to talk, share ideas (and yes, drink) in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. We discuss the issues of the day and whatever else is on our minds. But most of all, we have fun while promoting skepticism, science, and rationality.

Don’t drink? Don’t let that stop you from joining us! Some of the world’s most famous skeptics are teetotallers, and we are happy to have you!

You can find them at 6:30 PM at The Claddagh, 17800 Haggerty Road, Livonia, MI

Also on Friday, Brian Gregory‘s Virtual Drinking Skeptically is having Daniel Loxton as a Special Guest. The VirtualDS is virtual so anyone can join in. They use the Tokbox web application to host a group video chat though you don’t need a webcam or even a microphone to join in. Though you do need headphones to be able to listen in. You can find some Tokbox tips here.

The VirtualDS Is on Friday night at 9:00 Pm on Tokbox. Brian posts the link to the chat usually 15 to 30 minutes before it starts.

On Saturday the 16th:

The Michigan Skeptics Association is having our second Get Together! Come and join us for lively discussion, drinks, dinner and debate! This is a good event for Skeptics of Michigan to come together and discuss local, national, worldwide items affecting skeptics. All are welcome to listen and participate.

We will be having our next get together Saturday, October 16th at 4:00 PM. Join us for Drinks and Dinner! We will be in the back room or Ginger Restaurant located at: 8465 N. Lilley Rd. Canton, MI 48187. Here is a link to the menu for your perusal.

The Next MISkeptics Get Together will be October 16th

We will be having our next get together Saturday, October 16th at 4:00 PM. Join us for Drinks and Dinner! We will be in the back room or Ginger Restaurant located at:

Beer mug with the MISkeptics logo
A Beer Sound good right now...

8465 N. Lilley Rd

Canton, MI 48187
Tel: 734-414-1818
http://www.gingerpac.com/

Here is a link to the menu for your perusal: http://www.gingerpac.com/devel/menu/ginger-carry-out.pdf

Come and join us for lively discussion, drinks, dinner and debate! This is a good event for Skeptics of Michigan to come together and discuss local, national, worldwide items affecting skeptics. All are welcome to listen and participate.

Please be sure to RSVP so I know how many are coming. That way I can modify the reservation if necessary.

I hope to see you all there!

Inject This! Episode One of the Drunken Skeptics Podcast.

Our first episode of the Drunken Skeptics Podcast is finally ready!

[display_podcast]

In this episode we speak with Mary Tocco, head of Michigan Opposing Mandatory Vaccines.

We dedicated the entire episode to the interview.

Plus there’s our Whiskey & Shenanigans segment where we bring attention to the good things that happened (the Whiskey) and call out the bad things (the Shenanigans).

We’ll post the show notes tomorrow.

Feel free to comment and let us know what you think. But be gentle, it’s our first time…

I’ll Take My Origin of Life On The Rocks

A couple of weeks ago, Ed Yong from Discover Blogs posted an entry about a scientific published paper that proposed a new theory that the origin of life may have occurred in an environment consisting of ice, as opposed to the more commonly held belief – a heated super venting of the ocean that churned organic molecules into a primordial soup – of which a fly promptly landed in, and a waiter came by to give a snarky quip.

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Incredibly Depressing Mega Millions Lottery Simulator!

Filling out lottery form
You gotta play to win right? Well, maybe.

Some healthy skepticism and a little math know-how is really all it takes to convince yourself that you should never play the lottery. Especially when you consider the odds of winning the jackpot is 1 in 175,711,536.

But you don’t have to feel left out while everyone else drops their cash to the school system. You now have the ability to give away your money virtually using the Incredibly Depressing Mega Millions Lottery Simulator!

I decided to simulate playing twice a week for 10 years (1040 times). I chose 5 numbers: 11, 20, 29, 38 and 47. I chose my powerball number (13) and hit go.

This is My result:

You played 1040 games of Mega Millions. It cost $1040. You won $89.

It then threw this at me just below my results:

In the 12561263 times this simulation has run, players have won $26486645
And by won I mean they have won back $26486645 of the $12561263 they spent (210%).

And by the way, the odds of you seeing a UFO today are only 1 in 3,000,000.

But look on the bright side, you can play the Incredibly Depressing Mega Millions Lottery Simulator and go ahead and donate your money to public education without half of it not getting there!

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Watches YouTube

I spent a little time today watching the United Nations General Assembly with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I find it very disturbing that he seems to be implying that democracy is the cause of strife and poverty in the world when it was the enlightenment and democracy that promoted the majority of the world’s greatest revelations. This while implying that a totalitarian oppressive religious regime will be a greater asset in today’s society. (Let’s not forget the 13 year old girl that was stoned to death 2 years ago) Then leaps into the idea that the west developed nuclear power before the bomb to somehow justify his attempt to obtain nuclear power. As I recall from history it was the other way around. Frankly the area that he lives in would lend itself better to wind and solar power anyway. (Go green man) Well, then he goes right into the old tale of the US involvement in 9/11 that somehow we conspired to allow it to happen. Mr. Ahmadinejad you need to stop watching youtube and start watching more porn it is better for the nerves.

Announcing the Drunken Skeptics Podcast!

I want to thank everyone that attended our first Get Together. The turnout was better than I could have hoped. The discussions ranged from intelligent to bawdy and everyone had a great time! There was also an unplanned impromptu trip to the ice cream shop for some skeptical ice cream.

Most of the Get Together
This is most of the people that attended our first Get together. I could not get an angle that would fit everyone.

I had promised that I was going to reveal a big secret project that we had been working on these past several weeks. And it was a good one. As you can tell from the title we are producing our own podcast! It will be hosted by myself, Michelle Lester-Bell and Chris Lindsay.

We’re going to be a bit unique from other podcasts. Our main goal is to take a logical and critical view to current events and news, plus try to shed a skeptical light on them. Our intent is to not only get you the facts and the data but to show you where to get them as well.

We had planned on releasing our first show on the same day as our first Get Together, but unfortunately we have to push back the release for a week. So in a week from now be sure to download The Drunken Skeptics Podcast Episode Zero: Orientation.

There are already some great things in store coming up in future episodes. Chris Lindsay managed to get a fairly lengthy interview with the head of an anti-vaccination group. I have an interview lined up for a journalism legend here in Michigan, Jack Lessenberry. A man with over 30 years in the industry.  We are taking ideas for episodes as well. If you have an idea that you think would be great for the Drunken Skeptics please email it to: [email protected].

More great things are coming down the pipe. Be sure to stay tuned to the blog and participating in the forums.

Remember to keep thinking!

Technical Difficulties; Skeptics in the Pub; and our Get Together

It’s been a rather long day.

My hosting company did a short notice move of my site to a new server, and because of a mistake on probably my part I wasn’t notified! So I spent most of the day repairing PHP scripts and SQL entries to get my site back online. I’m tired and could use s drink.

Which is a good thing, since this evening my friend Melissa will be hosting her Skeptics in the Pub event in Livonia! This will be the second month that it will be held in Claddagh Irish Pub and guessing by last month’s turnout, it’s going to be a great night! One night is never enough for good skeptical company.

Which is another good thing (I can segue with the best of them) since we will be having our Get Together this Saturday at Ginger Asian Restaurant! I have the back room booked so we have plenty of room. It’s going to be a great weekend. Be sure to come to both events. Both will have great food and drinks and we will have an announcement on Saturday. I’m pretty excited about it and I hope you are too.

So I look forward to see you tonight ad Claddagh and tomorrow as Ginger!

Here is the information for the Skeptics in the Pub in Livonia.

Here is the information for the MISkeptics Get Together.

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