Facebook Fallacies: Blood Water, Fake Ice Cream, Drum Circles & Pigs

FF Cover

Facebook is a breeding ground for stupidity, ignorance and subtle (sometimes overt) racism and prejudice. Since shaming is a good way to get people to change, let’s call them out on their BS. Facebook Fallacies is a weekly column sponsored by Soundtrack of the Week that debunks all of the stupid shit floating around Satan’s asshole, aka Facebook.

The Apocalypse is Coming…for REAL This Time!

FF 1

 

The story: Look at these pictures of oceans and lakes across the world turning blood red! LOOK AT THEM! This can only mean one thing: THE END IS NIGH!

The reality: I hope you are sitting down, because this is going to blow your mind: The world’s waters are not actually turning into blood. In fact, there is a perfectly logical, scientific and “not fucking retarded” explanation behind the above images.

The picture of the wave in the upper left hand corner comes from the Atlantic Ocean off of the coast of Brazil. According to the Brazilian Journal of Oceanography, tFF 1ahe blood red color is the result of a natural phenomenon called algae bloom. In Brazil, a single-cell plankton species (Mesodinium rubrum) appear in masses…like beyond a “shit load.”

Red in color, they are not visible to the naked eye in small numbers, but in large quantities the plankton give the water an appearance of being red in color. The image to your right will give you an idea what a more modest algae bloom can look like. As this The Guardian article points out, the image below the wave (red water on an Australian beach) is also a result of the dinoflagellates taking over the water.

The waterfall and stairs of red water come from China and was caused by two chemical plants dumping red dye into the rivers, according to the National University of Singapore. Nothing more to say about that.

As for the image on the bottom right hand corner, I couldn’t find anything outside of bullshit Tumblr posts on a Google Image search, but I will bet anyone everything I own that it isn’t blood. Any takers?

Walmart Ice Cream Will Kill You!

FF 2

 

The story: Great Value ice cream from Walmart refuses to melt after more than an hour in hot weather. Do you know what this means? It’s fake and will probably kill you!

The reality: Outside of raw food that comes straight from nature, everything we eat is “fake” to some degree. I tend to agree with nutrition buffs that preach to avoid foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce. My diet consists of raw fruits, veggies and lean meats (lightly cooked). However, I also like tasty stuff. I don’t know what methylcellulose, dextrose or maltodextrin is, but that’s not going to stop me from consuming an entire bag of Pizza Rolls.

At any rate, the above Facebook post mentions an experiment that reveals that Walmart’s Great Value ice cream sandwiches melt much slower than Haagen Dazs and Klondike Bars. It then goes on a diatribe comparing the ice cream to McDonald’s hamburgers and warning that heavily processed foods will basically be the cause of your death.

Fortunately, Snopes has already covered this, making my job much easier. What did they find? Nothing unusual, for the most part. From Walmart spokesperson Danit Marquardt:

Great Value ice cream sandwiches melt. Ice cream melts based on the ingredients including cream. Ice cream with more cream will generally melt at a slower rate, which is the case with our Great Value ice cream sandwiches.

“But Walmart is an evil corporation that lies about everything!” Take off the tinfoil hat and listen to someone who is not affiliated with Walmart. Geek.com – a website full of…geeks – discovered the following:

It’s more solid and less melty, so it won’t fall apart in your hand when you bite it. These properties are thanks to the viscosity added by guar gum and calcium sulfate.

There are no scary chemicals at work here and no secret preservatives that will give you cancer. Walmart’s ice cream sandwiches make use of very simple, common food science and chemistry to keep your hands from getting sticky. That’s it.

You want to know what food practically relies on calcium sulfate? Tofu! The same meat substitute ice cream haters probably eat around their drum circles. Put down that Chobani Greek yogurt. It contains locust bean gum, which is basically the same as guar gum. In other words, shut the fuck up and let us all eat our ice cream sandwich in peace.

Drum circles cure cancer and AIDS…or something.

FF 3

 

The story: After years of calling dirty hippies pseudoscience wackos, the science is finally out: Drum circles actually heal the body, mind and spirit. Suck on that, people who moved on from the ‘60s!

The reality: This is by far the best-written pseudoscience article I have come across since starting Facebook Fallacies. In fact, I almost discarded this entry after finding all of the cited research is legit. Many studies from reputable journals have concluded that drum circles or the act of drumming have therapeutic effects. The above article cites research to prove that drumming does the following:

  1. Reduces blood preesure, anxiety/stress
  2. Increases brain white matter and executive cognitive function
  3. Reduces pain
  4. Reduces stress, increases immunity
  5. Enables participants to go into deeper hypnotic states
  6. Improves socio-emotional disorders

All of the sources cited check out. If I want to be really picky, I can point out that the act of drumming, specifically, may not be the reason why the above claims are true. One can argue there is certainly a correlation. With the physical benefits, I could claim that any cardio activity with similar intensity and community engagement would yield similar results. Same goes with the psychological effects: Engaging in an intimate collaboration of any sort could show similar outcomes.

This may all be true, but I would still let it slide if the claim is “check out these six benefits of drumming.” However the first two-thirds of the article make additional claims, including spiritual and “the answer to our question about the biological role of acoustic information in modulating micro and macro physiological processes in a meaningful way is YES.” That is where I have a problem.

The spiritual claim is a tricky one since the term “spiritual” tends to be subjective. The six studies cited above give credence to the notion that drumming reduces stress and improves socio-emotional disorders, but 1) there’s a correlation, not causation and 2) claiming it’s more than biology or psychology – i.e. spiritual, supernatural, transcendental – is something not supported by the studies.

There are also claims that there is some sort of acoustic rhythm noise thingamajig that occurs with percussive motions. This is true…in insects. This is similar to the image that depicted ants going to natural food and staying away from processed foods and claiming nature has it right. Again, if we’re going to compare ourselves to insects, then might as well eat each other’s heads off after having sex. We’re not the same as insects. Dealt with it.

Basically, the author’s proof of spiritual cleansing (or whatever the fuck) came via studies that proved something completely different. The author threw in legitimate studies in an article that was making unrelated claims. Nice try.

In the end, the studies prove that light cardio activity in a community setting is healthy. No shit.

Muslims are trampling on our freedom of speech!

FF 4

 

The story: Every book known to man will no longer contain words associated with pigs because goddamn Muslims (terrorists) might get offended. THANKS, OBAMA!

 The reality: This is another one that has been addressed by Snopes. On one hand, this makes me happy since it makes my job debunking this BS extremely simple. On the other hand, it reduces my faith in humanity since anyone can do a 10-SECOND GOOGLE SEARCH and get factual information themselves. But here we are.

Oxford University Press – one the world’s largest publishers – was accused of banning all words and references to pork/pigs in their books due to global cultural sensitivity. From OUP’s Head of Primary Publishing Jane Harley:

Given that our editorial guidelines that reference pigs and pork have been in place for as long as I can remember, little did I imagine that they would attract international headlines claiming that the Oxford University Press had banned sausages. To clarify, OUP does not have a blanket ban on pork products in its titles, and we do still publish books about pigs. Although there have been no recent changes to our guidance on this topic, these articles highlighted the fine balance needed when considering students’ cultural and learning needs.

In other words, the above Facebook post is completely full of shit. So where did it come from? A talk radio host. Shocker.

Snopes also mentions how many Westerners think exposing a Muslim to any reference to swine works just like garlic or a crucifix does to vampires. The reality is that Islam bans the consumption of pork. They really give zero fucks about seeing words associated with it. I would think this is obvious…but here we are.

Episode 244: All Mixed Up

 On the last episode of Soundtrack of the Week: Ty finally got the interview he’s been anticipating for several years: 311. Unfortunately, a tragic act of racism and domestic terrorism struck Charleston, S.C., this week. SOTW would be remiss to ignore it, so the gang explores how the United States allows racism to happen and perpetuates acts of violence such as these. As a nice palate cleanser after a heavy and sobering converstaion, Ty talks to SA Martinez of 311 about the band and something we all need right now: positivity. Also on Episode 244:

  • Ferguson Update
  • Personality Issue Between Ty and Meredith
  • Feminists are Ruining Father’s Day
  • Donald Trump’s Huge Announcement
  • Blake Anderson Hates Mornings
  • Police Academy Dude Covers Led Zeppelin
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