fraud

How Pet Psychics Work

In the early 21st century a trend of people who claim to be able to telepathically and clairvoyantly communicate with animals has grown. Today, the concept of visiting a pet psychic to find a lost pet, find out why a pet is behaving badly or even to learn if a pet is ready to be put to sleep is becoming more commonplace, but is there any basis to pet psychics' abilities? Join Josh and Chuck as they investigate the pet psychic phenomenon.

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Every week, Chuck and Josh read tons of articles. Here are links to the best of the bunch.

The Fraudulent Chicanery of the Professional Wildlife Photographer

A Norwegian wildlife photographer living and working in Sweden has had a rough few weeks, though deservedly. The photog, Terje Hellese, was cold busted using Photoshop to doctor his photos. Apparently, he would shoot an exotic locale to use as a backdrop and cut and pasted images of lynxes he grabbed from stock photo websites. Were Hellese just some photographer, this would be a big deal, tantamount to a writer from the Toledo Blade blatantly plagiarizing another reporter's work. But Hellese is not just some photographer.

The Guardian's science writer, Ben Goldacre, who also runs the Bad Science blog across the pond, recently posted about a disgraced anesthesiologist from Massachusetts named Dr. Scott S. Rueben. Few things evoke Goldacre's vitriol more than fraudulent scientists -- his post on Reuben is titled "Scumbag." The Wall Street Journal reports that between 1996 and 2008 Reuben published 21 medical studies on pharmaceutical painkillers, including Vioxx and Celebrex. Dr. Reuben was, until very recently, the chief of acute pain at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, so when he published his studies, people listened. The problem is that Reuben allegedly made up much of the data he cited in the studies to suit his conclusions. Precisely why he would have done this appears to have been a matter of money. A financial link between Reuben and Pfizer, maker of Bextra, on which Reuben published favorable studies, has been found.