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Hank CampbellRSS Feed of this column.

I founded Science 2.0® in 2006 and since then it has become the world's largest independent science communications site, with over 300,000,000 direct readers and reach approaching one billion. Read More »

The animal rights activist group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has an op-ed in American Journal of Medicine claiming that if you want the COVID-19 vaccine to work 'better', whatever that is supposed to mean, adopt a vegetarian diet.

It's easy to dunk on people taking ivermectin, they are dumb Republicans according to science-y Twitter, but this kind of nonsense is just as reckless if we want the public to trust in decision-making. I certainly would not want to visit Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, where the lead author of the opinion piece teaches.
A certain demographic have long had concerns about vaccines causing autism, along with fears about GMOs and cellphones causing cancer.

That last one has been the least active. Rich people have always been able to afford organic food and to count on poor kids getting enough vaccines to create herd immunity for their special snowflakes, but cell phones are more challenging because they are individual - and getting a new iPhone was a status symbol. Due to their omnipresence, signals are everywhere, just like TV and radio and cosmic rays before them, so most elites give up and recognize that unless Jimmy Choo makes a hat lined with tinfoil, they are stuck.

Coffee may be about to get its first significant upgrade in 600 years. That's not to say there haven't been efforts to modernize coffee production since its earliest days in Sufi shrines, but that has been mainly in technology. The pan, like you use in delicious Turkish coffee, gave way to a syphon, which used the awesome power of heat-created vacuum physics, then gave way to its opposite, using good old brute force for espresso, but since then it has been all refinement to make brewing easier. If you have ever used a syphon or a truly old espressso machine you know it can be an artistic endeavor getting it right. 
In the fall of 2003, Starbucks tested a new latte in two cities and autumn hasn't been the same since. The pumpkin spice craze was born. 

How did it all happen? We can thank free market economics. The company already had Christmas locked up with cups and flavors, like Peppermint Mocha and Eggnog latte, and wanted to do the same for Halloween. Or Thanksgiving. Whatever period lasts as long as Christmas seems to, they wanted to make money and the way to do that was to come up with something new, or at least new for their customers. 

Some cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove later and they had...pumpkin? Yep, except for some whipped cream on top there was no pumpkin in at all.
To most people, food production, home ownership, and energy don't have much in common, but in the hands of 'science is a corporate conspiracy' theorist Dave Goulson, humans are ruining the planet. The common cultural cancer underpinning of our problem, he believes, is capitalism.

Rachel Carson believed misuse of DDT was harming birds, Goulson claims our very existence is. And his solemn false dichotomy choice to prevent it is Draconian. Start culling the human herd or create a level of social authoritarianism that even John Holdren, Paul Ehrlich, and Anne Ehrlich didn't advocate in their book "Ecoscience." And they embraced eugenics.(1)
President Biden is using his Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) agency to mandate vaccines for companies - by saying they need it to protect workers' safety.