4.04.2016

How You Can Help Fiddler Crabs

Over the years since i acquired my first fiddler crab i have learned quite a bit and written about what i've learned here.  This blog refers to the fiddlers a lot even though it is a blog i started for basically whatever random things i could come up with.  Anywhoo, on this journey of raising fiddlers and writing about them i have learned that resources about their behavior in captivity are hard to come by.  Really, information on fiddlers at all is kind of hard to come by.  There are basic pages describing tank set up but nothing really digs into the life of the fiddler crab and what all it will need aside from its tank set up.  This is an area all you fiddler caretakers can help with.  If you have fiddler crabs, write about them on the internet.  Start blogs or just put in forum entries about them on aquarium forum websites.  The more accurate resources people have on these creatures the better off the fiddlers will be.  We can teach people with our experiences and observations.  Others can learn from our mistakes and our triumphs.

These little creatures are sold off as cheap throwaway pets, which is ethically deplorable, but if we band together and show that they are just as valuable as any other marine animal then we will be helping them.  Write about their behavior, their needs, what foods they like, how you interact with them, how you maintain their aquarium, what diseases they may be experiencing and what you did to remedy those diseases if you found anything that actually worked on them.  All of that is necessary information.

A huge issue exists regarding a total lack of information about diseases that fiddler crabs get in captivity.  There are a host of parasites, fungi, bacterial and viral infections that fiddlers can likely get but little is written about these diseases and even less is available on the internet.  The information i've found deals with other larger species of crab, it seems likely fiddlers can get the same or similar diseases, but i'd like to be 100% sure just what diseases the fiddlers can get.  So if you have a knowledge of fiddler diseases, by all means post your information on the internet.
Even if you don't know what disease your crab has, post pictures if it has physical symptoms, if it dies, this will sound morbid, but do a little inspection to see if there are visible parasites, deformities, or fungi.  If you happen to have a microscope, even a junior microscope that kids can get at wal-mart, put the organs and body parts under it and observe them, write down what you find.  Sometimes we have to do our own science so we can become better at what we do.

We have these creatures usually because we love them.  If we want to give them what's best, we need to fully understand them and that can only happen through sharing information and resources.  So if you have fiddlers, write about them every chance you get, document their behaviors that seem out of the ordinary, note any physical anomalies.  This is how we all learn and how we help our crabby little friends, through experience, through discussion, through observation, and through sharing.

3.15.2016

Steve the Fiddler


Steve is my little trooper, i've had him since 2013 and he has gotten rather large.  I do wonder if he is approaching the end of his lifespan as he has become less active and prefers to spend most of his day hiding.  His molt frequency has declined as well.  When i brought him home he was rather large, which indicates that he was older when he was captured and shipped.  I'm holding out hope for him though, he does still come out occasionally and will still get out of the way if disturbed so i'm not going to give up on him.



4.07.2015

Chlorine Dioxide, Kerri Rivera, and Why Kerri is Evil Scum

I must note this article will be brief and it will contain obscenities.

This past year it came to my attention that quacks and sociopaths looking to make money are peddling dangerous and lethal autism "treatments" and "cures" online.  There is an evil sociopathic woman named Kerri Rivera behind a very damaging movement that involves giving autistic children multiple chlorine dioxide enemas a day.  In some cases the scary bitch recommends feeding the children chlorine dioxide. 

For those that don't know, chlorine dioxide is a gas and is used as a bleaching agent.  It is used primarily in the paper making process (to make paper white) and in water treatment as an antimicrobial (by the time it makes it to the tap it is so diluted it isn't likely to cause any bodily harm).  When mixed with water chlorine dioxide forms chlorite ions.  In drinking water the max allowed chlorine dioxide levels are 0.8 milligrams per liter, the max for chlorite ion is 1.0 mg/L.  Larger concentrations of chlorine dioxide and chlorite can cause inflammatory responses and they are gastric irritants.  The body removes chlorine dioxide and chlorite through the kidneys.  Animal studies have shown that high concentrations of chlorine dioxide can cause brain development hindrances during the fetal and postnatal phases.  In humans chlorine dioxide inhalation has been shown to reduce the blood's ability to carry oxygen throughout the body and, if more is inhaled, it can lead to pulmonary edema (the lungs filling with fluid and thus drowning the individual).  Skin contact can cause chemical burns and rash.

While many backward fools support the chlorine dioxide treatment regimen as a cure for autism (there are no cures for autism), it is not a cure nor is it a proper treatment.  By administering the chlorine dioxide (often referred to as MMS aka miracle mineral solution) by way of enema, the intestinal linings of the autistic individual are "melted" off and excreted through the anus.  Kerri Rivera, a horrible sadistic bitch that i wouldn't mind seeing strung up and gutted (i don't care who reads that, she's a horrible human being that shouldn't be allowed to continue to exist), tells these foolish, easily brainwashed, easily led parents that the intestinal linings are "rope worms".  The evil sadistic bitch refers to autism as a parasitic infection.  There are no such thing as rope worms and anyone with the most basic understanding of parasite anatomy can clearly tell that the intestinal linings are NOT worms at all.  The parents, when first noticing the shedding of these mucosal linings, will often send them for parasite testing.  The tests come back negative for parasites.  Kerri Rivera then tells these deluded saps that the scientists/doctors were lying and that big pharma is covering up that autism is caused by parasites.  This is how she sells her product and this is how the sociopathic bitch is making her millions.  Meanwhile, while this twisted scum bitch is peddling her products, children (mostly in the US but this is catching on in other countries too) are suffering at the hands of their own parents.  By giving chlorine dioxide enemas to the children and continuously damaging the intestinal linings, it causes chronic inflammation which sets the child up for colon and rectal cancer later in life.

Knowing she can profit off the stupidity and conspiracy cultism, Kerri Rivera also peddles CD for the treatment of other ailments such as cancer.  She has a book out about how to cure autism using this method and she has a facebook group where she tells parents not to use their real names and not to tell people they're using the protocol.  Child protective services have been called on some parents and some cases are ongoing.  If you know anyone doing this to their child, please call your local CPS and turn in the parents.  You may be wondering why the bitch Kerri is still free.  She hides in Mexico and, scary as it sounds, there is a cult that is connected to this ridiculous protocol so that it can fall under religious protections in some areas just like faith healing falls under the same bullshit religious protections.  I invite you to please join the facebook groups listed at the bottom of the article.  Bitch Kerri has to come out of hiding eventually and when she does we need to make sure she gets put in prison or mysteriously disappears (whichever comes first). 

Do note that the opinions (that the bitch should be eliminated) in this article are my own and do not reflect the views of the facebook groups (they just want her imprisoned).  I do not run any of the facebook groups and do not want them to receive any bad press or bullshit for anything i might say.  They're doing good things and exist to save children from the wrath of incredibly stupid parents.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-Kerri-Riveras-Abuse-of-Autistic-Children-and-Adults/594889167310547?fref=ts 

https://www.facebook.com/fightingcd?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/pages/ADHD-ASD-Myths-Misinformation/658534877602198?fref=ts

Lastly, stay away from Generation Rescue, they support the idiocy of the anti-vax and anti-autism movements.

3.15.2015

Natural Rocks in the Fiddler Aquarium

This is going to be a brief article as i am limited on time at the moment but feel this issue should be addressed, even if just briefly.

While many of us look to save money by taking rocks from our yards, local lakes/rivers/ocean side to use in our fiddler crab or aquarium tanks, it may not be such a wise idea.  Rocks generally contain minerals and some metals and those minerals and metals can be dangerous to the aquarium environment.  A lot of rocks contain calcium and/or magnesium, which can pollute a tank by raising ph and water hardness.  Some rocks contain copper, zinc, and iron.  Copper is incredibly dangerous to aquatic invertebrates and iron should be kept out of the aquarium as should zinc because both can poison aquatic animals.  Some minerals can raise or lower the ph of water.  When the ph of the tank gets lower, some metals in certain stones that were once "inactive" can become "activated" and leach into the water to cause havoc for the animals in the aquairum. 

Calcium is fairly easy to test for in rocks.  You can put white vinegar on a rock to see if the rock will give off a bit of fizz/bubbling.  If it does, calcium is present and that rock should not be put in a tank with animals.  Iron is somewhat easy to spot in some rocks exposed to rain and the elements, it takes on a rusty orange appearance.

As a general rule, avoid rocks that you can scratch easily with your nail, that can break easily (like sandstone, shale, limestone), that get muddy after being wet, and those that feel chalky.

Safe Rocks:
Crystalline Quartz
Microcrystalline Quartz
Quartz
Slate (fairly cheap and easy to find at home centers and pet stores)
Granite (rather abundant in a lot of areas, fairly cheap at home centers and pet stores)
Pumice (technically a glass, it usually floats and should not be heated to sterilize it since it can blow up)
Obsidian (technically a glass, often sharp, use with great caution due to the sharpness)
Lava rock (refer to pumice).


Unsafe Rocks:
Sandstone (some animals can tolerate it in the tank but it's better to be safe than sorry, avoid it as it can raise ph and water hardness and sometimes can contain "fool's gold" and other trace minerals, if you don't know the composition of the sandstone, don't use it)
Limestone (raises ph and water hardness, may contain iron pyrite)
Coal
Fool's Gold aka Iron Pyrite (lowers ph making conditions acidic and can also contain lead, copper, and zinc)
Amethyst (a type of quartz but what gives it its purple color, iron and manganese, is what can harm your fish/invertebrates)
Gypsum/Alabaster (is pretty much entirely calcium sulphate)
Marble (made of calcite)

For mineral/rock reference: 
http://www.minerals.net/




2.19.2015

Correcting Previous Errors and Adding New Info on Fiddler Crabs

Steve


When i ventured into the world of fiddler crab care everything was new and i had searched far and wide for adequate information on their care.  While i found some sound information i also found some information that was less than ideal and some that was erroneous and i had posted some of that info my first blog post on fiddler care.  Not liking to be wrong but not liking to look like a dumbass either i must correct my errors for the good of the readers.

With experience i have learned quite a few things about the fiddlers and the first issue i must address is the misidentification of north american fiddler crabs sold in the pet trade.  Incorrectly identifying your north american fiddler likely won't interfere with how you care for it but it is important to know just which crabs you're caring for should you want to buy more of the same type. 

First things first, fiddler crabs fall under the genus of Uca.  The ones commonly captured and kept as pets in North America are part of the sub-genus minuca.  Uca pugilator (referred to as a sand fiddler), Uca pugnax (referred to as a marsh fiddler), and Uca minax (also referred to as a marsh fiddler but more commonly referred to as a red jointed fiddler) are common along the east coast of the US and are found as far north as Massachusetts.

With our first fiddler, Bob, i was unaware of the small differences between Uca pugnax and Uca minax.  Upon further research and closer inspection i can say now with confidence that Bob was in fact Uca minax, not Uca pugnax.  On the bright side, their care is the same.  They are similar in size and color (with uca minax getting a bit bigger with age) and are often found in the same habitats.

In captivity the red joints on the Uca minax may not be red, they might be orange or a ruddy brown.  No matter how hard we humans try we really cannot provide these animals with the adequate diet or space for them to be like they are in the wild, this can result in physical appearances that deviate a little from what is seen in wild fiddlers.  Often the crabs are transported in less than ideal and less than adequate conditions and will become "ill" during transport.  Being kept in freshwater conditions or (as wal-mart stores sell them) in little plastic dishes with barely any water can result in the crab having problems later on down the line.  Uca minax and Uca pugnax can both tolerate low salinity, but cannot molt or live long in a freshwater environment.  Uca minax can tolerate lower salinity than Uca pugnax.  Uca pugilator can tolerate higher salinity (reef aquarium levels even) as well as low salinity.  For minax, ideal salinity would be would be between 18 and 22 ppt.  Pugnax would do well between 20 and 28 ppt.  Pugilator can tolerate salinity up to 32 ppt, but with the fiddlers it is best to keep it under that.  32 ppt and beyond is reef salinity and brine salinity and fiddlers do not require those conditions and may not be able to come through a molt in such salinity.  Brine salinity is deadly to most fiddler crabs.  I've noticed that in my fiddlers, if the salinity rises due to water evaportion, they gain an orange color.  It is a natural response to rising salinity levels.  If you notice this issue in your crabs, test your salinity and reduce it if it reads high (past 28 ppt).

As time has progressed i have had 5 adult uca minax fiddlers.  Only one remains, his name is Steve and he is seen in the image above.  Bob passed away in early September 2014 from an unknown cause.  Bob lived alone in his tank, the salinity was great and the ph was perfect.  He had not been eating well for about a week and on his last day he had become sluggish and just wasn't himself.  He showed no outward signs of illness (no spots, no fungal growths, no missing limbs).  We figured it must have been age.  We had had him for 2 years and a couple months at that point. 
Both females i had passed away.  The first passed when i was ill in 2013 and unable to properly maintain the fiddler tanks.  Her name was Claudia and to this day i feel horrible because she passed due to my errors.  Our second female was murdered by Steve.  Her name was Fern, she was jolly and had a few egg sponges before the incident that caused her death.  I awoke one morning to Fern's molted shell and a dead Fern a few inches away near the filter.  She had a hole in her back and some of her claw tips were missing.  Steve had killed her and cannibalized her.  Then our most recent fiddler (purchased at wal-mart to save him from their negligence), Herb, we had for less than a month.  We purchased him at the beginning of January and he passed on a few days ago.  When we first brought him home he loved the tank, was eating good and was very active for the first couple of weeks.  Then he started slowing down, was hiding more.  We noticed his feeder claw had a strange black spot on it.  He was a young crab, his claw was small and he was about the size of a nickle.  There was hope he'd come out of whatever was wrong with him.  His condition deteriorated and he passed away.  After his death i did a bit of inspection, aside from the odd black spot on his feeder claw (which seemed to be part of the shell), he was missing a leg (which happened before we saw him at wal-mart but leg loss is usually not fatal in crabs), and on one of his leg joints there was a weird black spot in the tip joint.  The black spot made it impossible to bend the joint.  All his other legs bent just fine.  Just what these black spots were i don't know and it's incredibly difficult to find any information on fiddler crab diseases and disorders.  It's a mystery as to just what happened to him.  There's a little comfort in knowing he didn't die in the putrid centimeter of water in that awful wal-mart plastic dish, but due to his size i thought we'd have him for quite a while so his death was disappointing to say the least.

There's a myriad of problems these fiddlers can encounter in captivity.  Some of them we can control, most of them we cannot.  The problems we can prevent are chlorine/chloramine contamination, cyanobacteria (blue green algae) toxin contamination (occurs from overfeeding and too much light/sunlight after the bacteria has been introduced, which is usually by way of food), salinity issues, inadequate ph, ammonia contamination, and temperature changes.  Fiddlers are generally hardy little animals but they are arthropods and arthropods are sensitive to certain things other animals might not be sensitive to.  Avoid handling the fiddlers or putting your hands in the water if you just used soap, lotion, or hand sanitizer on your hands.

With some observation i discovered that fiddler crabs don't much care for loud music, it seems to scare them.  Fiddlers "hear" through the hairs on their body and some sound waves have negative effects on their behavior.  For that reason, it is wise to keep their aquarium away from loud noises and items such as TVs and stereos.

When i first started an aquarium with the fiddlers i thought they'd be fairly easy to care for.  In general they are.  What is difficult is when they die.  It's often for an unknown reason or may be the result of crab on crab violence.  With limited research existing for the public regarding diseases and disorders that may strike these animals, it leaves us humans with a lot of questions.

To any young people out there with a love for these creatures, please consider going into marine biology and specifically studying marine invertebrate diseases.  We need more scientists in the field.  So much is not yet understood about crabs and other marine animals, it would be a great benefit if more young people could pursue careers that would help these little creatures.

Hopefully i addressed all the errors i made previously.  Here's to hoping i didn't make any more in this post.  Further reading and information on the 3 most popular pet trade fiddler crabs in the US is below the picture of Herb.  There are also two links about hydrometers (one links directly to a hydrometer sale page). 


Herb (note the strange black spot on his feeder claw and then the strange black spot on the lower tip of his 2nd leg on the right side)





http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Uca_minax/
http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Uca_pugnax/
http://www.sms.si.edu/irlspec/Uca_pugila.htm
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/1/chemistry
http://www.petsolutions.com/C/Aquarium-Hydrometers/I/Deep-Six-Hydrometer.aspx
http://www.geoexpro.com/articles/2012/04/marine-seismic-sources-part-xi-effect-of-seismic-on-crabs

5.17.2014

Mr. Willers the Clown


The big fuzzy beast loves playing in the hose and then laying in the holes he digs and that's why he's a mess in the pictures.  A few updates on him are in order.  Willers is approaching his 3rd birthday and thus far he has had some joint issues, mostly due to him being a big, clumsy, crazy clown of a dog.  At some point last November he did something to his knee and hasn't been able to walk without a limp since yet still manages run around like a total nut.  We took him to the vet and he gave us some anti-inflammatory pills which worked for a while.  Our vet feared Willers may have a ligament issue that would require surgery if MRI results came back positive for what he thought may have occurred.  Since the pills worked though for a while he was fine and it seemed that what he did to his knee may not require surgery but we'll have to check with the vet again soon.  We believe he got this injury from jumping off one of the beds.  He also has an ongoing issue where he will land badly on his right front paw and the wrist will suffer the consequences but he usually recovers from that after a day or even just a few minutes depending.  He's a tall, gangly dog and that gets him into some pickles.  Anywhoo, aside from those two issues he's been doing well, quite well actually.  A couple months ago he pilfered a frozen raw turkey off the counter top, unwrapped it, ate it and left a small piece which we assume he left for the rest of us lol.  He's also pilfered pork chops and other raw meats from the counter tops.  We have to hide thawing meat in the oven or microwave these days.  What amazes us is that he can unwrap things very well.  Back in September he pilfered caramel apple lollipops one night and managed to unwrap them and the very bizarre thing was that he put the wrappers in one pile and the sticks in another and left 3 for the rest of us.  We don't have kids or anything and there were bits of lollipop everywhere so we know the dog did it.  Humans have a difficult time opening these things but that dog opened them perfectly.  He's a very smart dog and he uses those smarts for his evil plans to take over the world of food.  We love him though, the crazy oaf.  Life is more interesting when you have a crazy dog.

Quacks, Pseudoscience and General Dipshittery

This is quite unlike the other posts on this blog but i've had it up to my bloody eyebrows with reading the insane idiocy that is flying rampantly around the internet.  I am personally quite fond of biological sciences, particularly those dealing in human and animal physiology and health.  For the past year or so i've started noticing that foolishness is taking over people's brains on a disturbingly high level.  Misinformation and lies are being passed as scientific fact all over the internet and people are making stupid decisions based on the misinformation and lies.  The most disturbing trends to emerge are from anti-vaccination nutters, "doctors" wishing to cash in on the fears of conspiracy theorists, and alternative medicine product pushers.  At the end of this article i am going to post a list of sites and facebook pages to avoid because they delight in fear mongering, pseudoscience, product pushing, and presenting hoaxes as facts.

The first group of absolutely ape-shit crazy individuals or just sadly misled folks consists of the anti-vaccination supporters.  Vaccine injuries are remarkably rare and usually result from allergic reactions to components in a vaccine (usually the animal products that are used).  Other less dangerous but more common side effects are injection site pain (because you were poked by a needle) and fever (because your body is building antibodies after receiving a vaccine).  Anti-vaxxers have been led to believe that vaccines cause autism which is a remarkably stupid lie but people nonetheless fall for it easily thanks to scientific illiteracy.  Autism was recently discovered to start in the fetus before birth, the exact cause as to why is unknown but is most likely genetic, though it is possible it could be caused by bacterial or viral fetal encephalopathy or even an unknown parasite.  Now a common argument from anti-vaxxers has to do with all those side effects listed in the package insert with the vaccines.  Well, again they are misled due to general scientific and in this case, medical illiteracy.  There is a raw data collection called VAERS which is what people report to when they think they're having a side effect due to a vaccine.  The claims are largely unproven and anyone can fill out a VAERS report or call into a raw data collection.  An example of this:  Let's say Bob got a tetanus shot 2 days before working on his house.  Well Bob is a clumsy oaf and smacked his hand real hard with the hammer.  Bob goes to the ER and, because Bob is a bit mentally off, tells the ER doctor his hand swelling is from his tetanus vaccine booster he got 2 days before.  The ER doctor, not knowing just how Bob's hand became inflamed because he didn't see what happened feels ethically obligated to send a report of "hand swelling" as a side effect of the vaccine into the raw data collection VAERS.  So from there the possible side effects end up getting listed in the package insert because the company either wants to cover their bums should anything go strange or because they feel ethically obligated and want to give a doctor a heads up about possibilities.  It is insanely easy to fudge a VAERS report and anyone can make one out and i am damn sure many anti-vaxxers have abused the system in just such a manner to push their agenda.  (VAERS reporting page:  https://vaers.hhs.gov/esub/step1 ).

The disturbing thing about the anti-vaxxers is that their fears are based on nothing scientific and everything make-believe from the internet and other nutters.  Meanwhile, as they're freaking out about trivial matters regarding vaccines, their children are getting sick and some are dying from easily preventable diseases.  Another common argument from the anti-vaxxers is that these diseases (measles, mumps, rubella, polio, diphtheria, tetanus, etc) aren't that dangerous.  This is again how ignorant they are.  They do not seem to know that measles and mumps easily lead to swelling of the brain and meningitis, that rubella can lead to viral cardiomyopathy (for which there is no cure other than a heart transplant), polio causes crippling and death, with diphtheria one can acquire peripheral neuropathy (a loss of feeling) and heart inflammation also known as myocarditis, tetanus is an excruciatingly painful way to go and if one survives it they are often left with extensive nerve damage.  These diseases aren't harmless, hence the reason why there are vaccines to prevent them.  But trying to send home facts to the brains of these easily led folks is like talking to a brick wall. Nothing gets through until their kids die or they themselves get rabies.  Personally i think if an adult individual is anti-vaccination they should not be allowed to have rabies vaccinations if they get bit by rabid animals.  They're all anti-vax until rabies shows up.  Hypocrites and pretentious assholes the lot of 'em, think they're masters of biology because they read a few studies from pubmed and a few quack articles they found through google.

Another disturbing trend is labeling every plant a cure for cancer.  "Cure" is not a word tossed around lightly in the medical and scientific communities because true cures are a rarity.  The word "cure" implies to the layman that disease will be eliminated (this is why product pushers use it a lot to describe their homeopathic products or their herbal supplements).  That is not the case with any substance though.  Treatments only become cures in the individual when the treatment eradicates or sends a disease into remission in that individual.  It should never be used as a broad term to mean that a disease will be eradicated in EVERYONE who eats it or takes it.  Sour sop aka cherimoya fruits kill cancer cells IN VITRO but have quite a bit less of an effect in vivo.  In vitro means "outside the body" (usually in a dish or test tube or on a slide), in vivo means "inside the body" (of human or animal test subjects).  To put it bluntly, spaghetti sauce can kill cancer cells in vitro but it doesn't do a damn thing in vivo.  That is how the product pushers will get those with cancer to buy their products, they push false hope onto the desperate and scared by citing in vitro studies and that is ethically appalling.  Turmeric, cannabis, cinnamon, amygdalin (aka cyanide), etc will not cure your cancer.  When things are ingested orally they often change chemical composition, like amygdalin turning to cyanide in the human digestive system.  They also lose potency through the process of digestion.  A fairly large percentage of what we eat does not get absorbed by our small intestine and is pushed through the large intestine to become poop.  Keep these things in mind when reading about cannabis oil being a cure-all for upteen some odd diseases.  I support cannabis therapies but i am not foolish enough to believe it to be a cure for cancer, at least not yet and not in the forms we are administering it in.

Seriously consider the wording of studies and articles when dealing with findings on cancer and other diseases.  There are MANY, yes, MANY horribly terrible studies out there with bizarre, backward, or insufficient methods and sadly they are published and used to mislead.  And while i cannot give an adequate crash course to you on wording to find fault with in studies (it would take many pages), just be aware that very few, if any, reputable, reviewed and well carried out studies will ever use the word "cure" to define what they discovered in the experiment or trial.  Check the methods used in studies too, look for how many people were used in the study, what factors were looked at that could contribute to findings, and if a control group was used.  There are deeper things in the methods that may appear confusing, such as the use of models and various procedures with strange names (look those up if you find it necessary).  Certain mathematical equations also commonly are present in the methods.  Do read the abstract, the methods and the conclusion, 2 or 3 times over if necessary to gain an understanding of the whole process.  If anything sounds fishy, it probably is and beware of the papers in which many words are spelled or used incorrectly, such words are often attached to bad studies.  This is where critical thinking skills are necessary, it is a matter of logic and common sense, but do not be deterred.  And example of a really terrible study (bastards make you pay for the whole deal so i'll post the abstract and the article on the study):  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1471015314000397         http://foodpsychology.cornell.edu/OP/bite_vs_chew

The study i mention above came from Cornell university and is an outright insult to science in every aspect.  They used a nominal number of children (12 kids) ages 6-10 at a 4H camp on just 2 days.  They took absolutely no factors down such as kids that had may have ADHD, ADD, ODD, health conditions, behavioral problems, etc.  They did NOT state what the weather was like (heat can make kids and adults rowdy), if the kids sat next to friends, enemies or neutral individuals, if kids had troubles at home, etc.  It was really, really terribly carried out, but it managed to get published lol and even hit some news sites.  That is what you need to look for, badly carried out studies.  The more you read studies the more easily you will be able to point out BS :)

Back to our original ranting though...

I'm going to now list the websites one should avoid if one wishes to avoid blatant idiocy.  I will also provide a list of websites and facebook pages that are great for those that enjoy real science and deep thinking.

The Evil Doers:

collective-evolution.com (known to promote hoaxes as fact, delight in fear mongering, and continuously post debunked pseudoscience)

themindunleashed.com (sister site to collective evolution, same BS, different name)
truththeory.com (another sister site to the other two, same BS, different name)
naturalhealthwarriors.com (they post a ton of pseudoscientific food "cures" for every ailment, none of it proven to work)
mercola.com (a product pushing website from Dr. Mercola, don't be fooled, he's a quack but sells cures in his shop for everything, he even sells tanning beds to cure your vitamin D deficiency that you don't really have)

naturalnews.com (run by a total deranged nut--seriously he appears paranoid and delusional-- that sadly has a biology degree, posts pseudoscience food "cures", scare mongers about GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, and chemtrails--and probably aliens too--)

spiritscienceandmetaphysics.com (well, it's metaphysics so it's already not scientific but they post some really crazy pseudoscientific BS for the new agers to eat up)

alteringperspective.com (yet another sister site to CE and the others at the top of the list, again, same BS different name)

youtube.com (yes, youtube, they appear to be a victim in the matter but sadly that is the site the nutters post their conspiracy BS and health BS testimonials and "documentaries" to)

The Quacks (also evil doers and product pushers, psychopaths really): 

Dr. Russell Blaylock  (anti-vaccination and a product pusher, is only a neurosurgeon but apparently sucked at it because he prefers selling products now to the easily led)

Joseph Mercola, D.O. (anti-vax, anti-fluoride, anti-vitamin K injections for vitamin K deficient newborns--seedy bastard--, product pusher that has gotten in trouble for making illegal claims about his products and their abilities)

Sherri Tennpenny, D.O. (anti-vax, used to be board certified ER doctor but apparently sucked at it because now she product pushes her own BS treatments, books, DVDs and lectures, believes in the illuminati and a host of other conspiracy theories involving reptilian aliens taking over the planet and she's a general bitch in all honesty, i posted information to her FB page and was booted for using real science)

Bob Sears, M.D. FAAP (not quite as idiotic as the others, promotes a differing vaccine schedule than what is recommended by sane doctors and doesn't believe vaccine preventable illnesses are are a real issue)

Mark Geier, M.D. (geneticist, bought and paid for by the anti-vax movement, tried to treat autism with insane and dangerous "therapies")

Neil Z. Miller, psychologist (has written anti-vax books and gives lectures, but is a damn psychologist which means he knows little to NOTHING about vaccines)

Susanne Humphries, M.D. (writes anti-vax books and product pushes homeopathy BS)

Mayer Eisenstein, M.D. (anti-vax, pushed dangerous autism treatments, product pusher)

Mike Adams (runs naturalnews.com, holds a bachelors in biology, is paranoid and delusional, a conspiracy theorist, product pusher, and anti-vax, anti-gmo, believes in chemtrails)

The Crazy and Stupid but Still Famous:

Jenny McCarthy (anti-vax, yet smokes e-cigs, typical dim bleach blonde, believes vaccines cause autism)
The Refusers (a rather mediocre band that are anti-vax, anti-gmo, consists of conspiracy theorists)
---there are more but it's getting late and i'd be here a while listing all of them----



Sanity and Awesomeness (science sites, refutation sites and general science knowledge sites all used to combat conspiracy theorism, BS health claims and general dipshittery):

https://www.facebook.com/hatepseudoscience  (they f---ing hate pseudoscience, great site for knowledge and refuting idiotic claims)

https://www.facebook.com/IFeakingLoveScience (they f---ing love science, posts on all things scientific with informative articles)

https://www.facebook.com/RtAVM  (they refute anti-vaccination memes and are pro-vaccination and pro-health)

https://www.facebook.com/SARAH.Global (skeptics, atheists, realists, agnostics, humanists, they post information on science, religion, and politics from all over the world)

http://www.jennymccarthybodycount.com/Anti-Vaccine_Body_Count/Anti-Vaccine_History.html  (a website describing how beneficial vaccines are for children and adults)

http://pediatrics.about.com/od/immunizations/tp/Anti-Vaccine-Myths-and-Misinformation.htm (extensive information on vaccines and the nutters in the anti-vaccine movement)

 http://contrailscience.com/ (debunks chemtrail conspiracies, we all know anti-vax goes hand in hand with believing in other insane BS)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ (a fantastic database of biological studies and since i mentioned reading studies earlier this is the place to start, choose full journals when searching and apply critical thinking to what you find, this place posts varying qualities of studies so it's a good opportunity to use critical thinking)

http://www.plosone.org/  (another study database, again, use critical thinking when viewing, studies are of varying quality)



I will be writing further articles in the future on conspiracy theories and similar things to this because we're facing a dangerous epidemic of idiocy and willful ignorance.  If things sound too good to be true, they usually are and if something sounds like fear mongering, it most definitely is.  Don't be easily led, look for sources, for sound evidence and don't be pushed into the cult of conspiracy theorism.  Belief is not evidence.