Friday, January 14, 2011

Road Side Cross Removal

This spring I was driving home from an atheist meeting and I was thinking about some roadside crosses I had seen. I wondered how can we have all these atheists around town and no one removing roadside crosses? Someone should be an activist and set an example. I found my niche. This year I removed four crosses from the side of I-75 and one on a side street, all in broad daylight. They had all been there for years. What I did was not illegal, but you might ask, is that the same as the Grinch trying to steal Christmas? Recall the moral of that cartoon story, the décor was removed, but not the memory.

Of all the ways that a lost loved one can be memorialized, why does a cross need to be stuck in the faces of the captive audience that is passing traffic? There are churches and cemeteries all over the place, if I want to see crosses I know where to go! If I were a believer then I would not place a cross where it can be splashed and muddied, but rather at the cemetery or the church or at home. Perhaps the memorial could be something that can be placed on the mantel and shared and circulated amongst friends and family of the crash victim.

To me, a roadside cross is morally equivalent to a cross or a crèche on the courthouse yard. Would I, in principle, personally remove a crèche from the courthouse yard? Yes, I would move it to the nearest church and leave a note on it, “If you move this back to the courthouse I will take it away for good.” A roadside cross is morally equivalent to someone standing there holding a cross waving it at traffic and shouting, “Don’t forget Jesus!” It reminds me of the two-panel cartoon where the Christian is hitting the Atheist on the head with a cross, so the Atheist grabs the cross away and then the Christian cries, “religious intolerance!”

Another thing that bothers me about the cross, it is uncomfortably similar to the swastika in both form and message. Imagine that I am driving I-75 and there on the roadside is a guy erecting a big swastika for all to see, I pull over and ask why. Because his good friend, a fellow nazi, died there in a car crash. He explains to me that the swastika is the revered symbol of his particular sect and because it has to do with religion at all then I should respect it and let it stand on public property. Now maybe he’s fibbing and there was no such crash, but he just wants to stick that thing in the faces of passers by.

The crosses too, maybe no one died there, maybe someone placed them there just to put a cross in the faces of passers by. What am I supposed to do, lots of research, did any one really die there, or maybe in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, or at the hospital itself?  I am not going to check all this out, I do not grind it that fine; it is wrong either way.

Removing roadside crosses, is that going too far? No. I do not go around erecting upside down crosses on roadsides, now that would be going too far. Out of whatever respect or courtesy because I know they would immediately offend many passers by, and they would soon be removed anyway. So the same applies to right side up crosses. Going too far would be to go around stealing those Madonna statues in Catholic yards. Those are on private property and do not offend me much, it would be pointless to remove them, a battle poorly chosen.

It is going too far to use my tax money to promote religion and its pedophiles with faith based funding…

It is going too far to use my tax money to glorify religion with religious graffiti on the currency, and to wage illegal, immoral and unnecessary wars…

It is going too far to taunt unbelievers with roadside crosses on public property to be seen every time we travel the roads…

I removed the crosses not only for myself but for all unbelievers who do not want to look at another damned cross!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What is THE HUM ?

The Hum is a low, faint rumble or murmur that is in some places barely perceptible and in other places easily noticed. I noticed the Hum years ago, and have long pondered its sources. I do not have a PhD in acoustics, but I’m a mechanical engineer and studied acoustics in college, and later at Denison Hydraulics I conducted sound tests of hydraulic pumps in special rooms with sensitive measuring equipment. This is an important part of engineering; the study and reduction of noise. Pumps, gears, engines, fans, saws…engineers can make them quieter, but there is a limit. As one senior colleague remarked, “A 200 horse power (axial piston) pump can never be made as quiet as a refrigerator, unless you bury it with ten tons of wet sand!”
      In short, the Hum is the sum of all acoustic energy within earshot. Within earshot can be a surprisingly long distance and include thousands of sources! Each source contributes very little, but all taken together is sufficient to produce a ubiquitous sound without a discernable source direction. It is noise pollution similar to light pollution. A single street light does not cause an orange glow on the clouds, but many thousands together do.  I doubt the Hum is solely electrical, or geothermal, or flowing magma, cell phone towers, tinnitus, cosmic radiation, ocean waves, gravity waves, aliens, or HAARP. To hear the Hum best, lie in bed at night (or go to the basement) with all windows and doors shut, and all noise sources in the house turned off, wait until the refrigerator/furnace/AC cycles off. Search your hearing at its faintest, way down. You might think, “That’s just the din of traffic in the distance.” That’s the Hum! Oddly, the same can be heard way out in the country, seemingly far out enough to escape it. There is something about that frequency range that travels well.
    The main contributor is motor traffic, but includes all vehicles, trains, planes, ships, motorcycles, roof fans, thunder, humming electrical wires, wind, crashing waves, helicopters, mowers, blowers, etc. All this noise together is what’s called pink noise; it spans a broad range of frequencies. When in a quiet home the walls filter out masking noise and higher frequencies, but lower frequencies penetrate. When outside the Hum is still in the ears but because of other sounds the Hum is masked, much like odor masking. The stronger drown out the weaker. Most do not recognize it as traffic noise because the acoustic signature is altered with the higher frequencies absent.  We’ve all had the experience of waiting on a red light and another car pulls up with powerful stereo thumping rap music. The car traps the high notes but radiates the bass notes in a way that you can’t recognize the song but you can hear the noise.   
       Another example of such a thing: when I camp in a quiet woods thick with mosquitoes, I notice that I can not identify the sound of any particular mosquito; indeed I can not perceive a mosquito 10 feet away. But because there are so many of them all around me they I hear a noticeable wing buzz from no particular direction. Similar to the cosmic background radiation.
     Wherever I go I listen for the Hum and with a map take note of the distance to the closest 50+ mph roads. It is always louder the closer I am to interstates, even at 3 a.m. For example, when camping in the woods in Geels, Michigan I noticed the Hum coming from the South West, the average direction of I-75, six miles distant. Recall that a freeway is a line source of noise, not a point source like a leaf blower.  
     The Hum is often described as the sound of a diesel engine, which is indeed the major contributor. But heavy trucks at freeway speed are sources for more than just engine noise (1). Consider a large tractor/trailer pulling a typical 53-foot trailer whose sides and top are made of a thin, stiff board material. These panels are big drum heads, and are excited by the engine vibes, the turbulent air and roadway irregularities. Stand in view of a freeway with a gap in the pavement. Note that when a big rig passes over the gap, the panels sound off like mega woofers. Boom-boom! That is a lot of acoustic energy, and it travels for miles. Bridges are rumble sources too, just stand on a bridge during traffic and you can feel it vibrate underfoot.
     Moving vehicles emit lots of tire noise. Think of a trombone and its bell shape on the end to bring the sound out. Remove the bell and the instrument is much quieter. That’s acoustic impedance and there’s an equation to describe it. Now think of a tire on the road, it has two bells of sorts, due to its round shape. 18 tires are 36 bells, and now think of the thousands of big rigs on the roads.  A major source of noise near my house is Walton Blvd. It is a 45 mph choppy concrete road with lots of uneven cracks which cause a cacophony of “whap-whap-whap” tire noise. (2)
   Have you noticed how loud light piston powered propeller aircraft are? The noise is mainly from the prop tips, they are moving so fast. Turboprop aircraft really put a hum in the sky with their big props thrashing the air. A business jet climbing out after take off is as loud as thunder. At any moment there are hundreds of planes in the sky ferrying people around the globe. They plow through the air over 500 mph with their big engines roaring. That they are so high lets their sound carry quite far. You might think that not even a shred of noise from a 767 cruising above Ohio could reach my ears in Michigan, but it is another contributor to the Hum.
     Have you ever been in an office building with an AC on the roof that is a bit out of balance? It makes the whole building rumble and shake a bit, you can hear it and feel it in the floor. You sort of acclimate to it, but it is annoying and hurts concentration.
    And have you ever been driving on the freeway and open one rear window with the others closed? The cabin pressure buffets so strongly it hurts the ears. That is a Helmholtz resonator and there is an equation for it, too. Oddly, the front windows don’t cause the same thing.
     I love the distant rumble of thunder. At any time there are hundreds of thunder storms on earth; the sound of thunder can travel for many miles and especially well across water, which covers ¾ of the earth. Globally there are about 50 lightning strikes per second, that is a lot of acoustic energy. I suspect that distant thunder might be the main source of the Hum in locations far enough from traffic.
    The Hum is near the threshold of hearing, under 10 decibels and is easily masked. In some places it is so low that a person’s own heart beat will make it seem to throb. It is impossible (?) to measure with instruments. Human hearing is very sensitive, more so than any microphone at such low levels. That is one element that makes it so mysterious; the Hum is so difficult to examine scientifically and that puts it on the level of subjective perception. We can not do experiments on the Hum, such as eliminating certain sources of noise and then remeasuring.
     It is the price we pay for living in a motorized world. I would like to travel around the globe and find where I can or not hear the Hum. However, contrary to folk lore, the Hum can not cause nausea, ear aches, nose bleeds, dizziness or anything but annoyance or nocebo (3). Anything causing such symptoms is much more than a faint hum.  I have long advocated a quieter world. Let us install more concrete noise barriers along freeways, and muffle the noisiest offenders – but alas, there is only so much we can do and still have usable machinery. Large jet aircraft are much quieter in recent decades, but it is nearly impossible to muffle a mower blade or open prop.
      So to experience an ultra low noise environment, twice I closed myself in to the anechoic (without echo) chamber at Ohio State University. This chamber has thick, massive walls covered with noise absorbing material. It is amazingly silent within, no Hum. Another experiment I conducted is to pay a visit to a busy interstate on a night without wind, far from the city, preferably in an agricultural area. I used I-70 about 25 miles West of Columbus, Ohio.  It is best to do this in a season without crickets chirping. Take note of the sounds of passing traffic. Then, back off a kilometer and listen again. Repeat repeatedly and note how the noise diminishes to a dull murmur, but still identifiable as the freeway under study. (4)(5)

(1)    It is not only the exhaust that is the noise source! I have noticed the inlet can be surprisingly loud. I used to rent a farm house a mile from a conveyor belt factory near Marysville, Ohio. The factory air compressor must have had an outdoor inlet, because I could hear it cycle on. Bububububububububububub. Another example; when I had a two-stroke trail bike I had the seat and air filter off for cleaning. Out of curiosity I started the bike and blipped the throttle a few times. The pulsing inlet noise from the air box was really loud! BWWAAAAH! Same thing for diesel engines; but they have an unrestricted inlet (no throttle plate) and send a lot of inlet pulsing noise out past the air filter. Here is how to see it literally under your own nose. Take a tall drinking glass and fill it 1/3 of beverage. Put the cup to your closed mouth preparing to drink, hold it still to let the liquid settle down. Rapidly draw in a sip and rapidly stop. Notice this causes a surface wave to travel away from the mouth toward the bottom of the glass. It was caused by sucking, not blowing out liquid, analogous to an engine air inlet. It also happens on the inlet of a hydraulic pump, which is shaped like a trombone bell for easy inflow. We use computer programs to model and minimize the fluid pulsing. Loud pumps do not sell well.

(2)    What really annoys me is HD V-twin bikes with straight pipes who roll up to a stop, pull in the clutch and rev the engine to announce their presence and imagined machismo. That is anti social noise and it makes me want to torture their ears in return with a 44 magnum blank gun. Many places that ban motorcycles are just trying to ban painful noise.

(3)    A nocebo (Latin for "I will harm") is something that should be ineffective but which causes symptoms of ill health. A nocebo effect is an ill effect caused by the suggestion or belief that something is harmful. The term 'nocebo' became popular in the 1990s. Prior to that, both pleasant and harmful effects thought to be due to the power of suggestion were usually referred to as being due to the placebo effect.

(4)    I have long observed that 2- and 3-axle cargo delivery trucks commonly have undersized or leaking rusted mufflers and are offensively loud, such that I have to roll up my car windows to avoid pain when one is nearby.

(5)    Each spring my friend visits Madison, Indiana on the Ohio River for a spicy food festival. He camps in Clifty State Park with its lovely trails and waterfalls. Also on the river nearby is Clifty Creek power station, which he describes as constantly sounding like a “droning C-130” airplane. It must be water pumps, turbines, fans, and generators. I want to camp there, but not listen to that. Years ago, we made a list of fictitious noise sources that would bother a quiet camper, below.

Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute 100 keg rave, free kazoos!

Steam train "tug-o-war" competition and Civil War Gatling gun demonstration

Range Warden’s "home on the downrange" artillery accuracy competition

Buckeye "nitro burners" radio control car night race

Lumberjack chain saw competition with "Hosea's hundred hammers" Amish barn raising

Alpine yodelers hand bell and hound baying chorus wsg Evangelical bagpipers morning praise

”Jolly Green Giant” helicopter rotor balancing workshop

 “Dawn’s first light” crop dusting school

Peterbilt truck jake brake adjustment workshop

WW2 air raid siren show and auction

Confederate air force “Screamin’ Stuka” dive bombing reenactment

Global Warming - My Take

Having listened to the shrill debate over Global Warming (GW) I would like to offer my take on it all, from a non-partisan, engineering perspective, being as realistic as possible. I live pretty modestly by American standards, and it does offend me a bit to see suburbanites driving H2s. I can afford to drive an H2, but I have better uses for my money. I am all for conserving energy and oil because they are expensive, not because I believe in GW.

I notice that GW has morphed in to Climate Change (CC), which on its face is an admission that evidence for rising global temperatures is lacking. Bait and switch! Now any change at all is “evidence”, and of course the climate is always changing everywhere. This smacks of religious faith; a believer sees her god acting everywhere because she was told that her god “drives the universe”. The invisible and the non-existent look a lot alike. To the believers, CC now drives all weather everywhere, even cooling is change, and so no matter what happens the believers feel vindicated.

I often hear that “Weather is not climate” coming from the believers, but when I read their articles they often cite extreme weather to be the result of GW. Must there be extreme weather to do the damage claimed? Is it possible to have no extreme weather and still suffer the claimed ill effects of GW? This reminds me of pareidolia, looking for a cryptic sign from heaven, like a Jesus face on a tortilla. Must there be a hurricane or a drought to prove the existence of GW?

The claims strike me as “the end of the world” all over again. A look in to the history of end times prophesies shows them to be based on faith, not scientific fact. The media love to jerk everyone around, keeping them running scared, always buying more media to feed their morbid fantasies. Big scares mean big profits. At first we had the end of the world because of the return of Jesus, then it was an asteroid, then it was global cooling, then it was the population explosion, then it was Mayan doomsday, then it was a volcano, then it was Y2k, then it was aliens, then it was AIDS, then it was a comet, then it was nuclear war, then it was the last of the crude oil, then it was the flu, it is always something! Remember when a “low carb” diet was fashionable? It faded off the radar screen because it was bull. Diet fads come and go just like end times prophesies. This is business as usual for the fear mongering press. Warnings of doomsday have always been good press, it sells copy, and GW is a real cash cow to the newsman who will milk it to his dying day. GW will always be the disaster that is always just around the corner, but never materializes.

The 2005 hurricane season and Katrina seemed to be the final nail in the coffin, but the next season was hurricane free, which had the faithful backpedaling like mad. Just remember, the computer models have adjustable gains which can be tweaked to report whatever is needed to get the next federal study grant.
Notice the hypocrisy from rich believers. They tell us that we need to sacrifice and cut back and go without, but they do not practice what they preach. They zoom around in private jets, easily pay huge electric bills, and drive in SUV motorcades with 11 tractor-trailers following. This reminds me of televangelists like Jimmy Swaggart preaching about living a pious life, then getting busted for hiring a hooker. If they believe then they should lead by example. Imagine everybody in the world flying around the globe preaching to everyone else to stop using so much energy. Reminds me of Multi-Level Marketing.
Some middle class people preach a “green” life style. But look past the claims; they use just as many lights and computers, drive cars, have kids, eat food, heat and cool their homes as those who don’t claim to be “green”.  They proudly tell others how green they are for buying a few CF lights, recycling some plastics and buying a few products claiming to be “earth friendly”. They think putting a wine bottle in the recycle bin makes a big difference. That is irrational exuberance and is far more of a fashion statement than anything that could make a difference. In fact it is a form of auto eroticism – feeling good without making a baby. It is the current fashion to pay lip service but not really sacrifice anything; it is a way to relieve some of the guilt.
Another odd item is when a developed nation like the US tells someone like Brazil not to cut down their forests, because the world needs the trees to forestall GW. I love trees as much as anyone, but the USA did the same thing when she developed, so let us who live in a glass house not throw stones.
GW claims remind me of Irving Langmuir’s description of Pathological Science, which are;
  • The maximum effect that is observed is produced by a causative agent of barely detectable intensity, and the magnitude of the effect is substantially independent of the intensity of the cause.
  • The effect is of a magnitude that remains close to the limit of detectability, or many measurements are necessary because of the very low statistical significance of the results.
  • There are claims of great accuracy.
  • Fantastic theories contrary to experience are suggested.
  • Criticisms are met by ad hoc excuses.
  • The ratio of supporters to critics rises and then falls gradually to oblivion.
Pathological science, as defined by Langmuir, is a psychological process in which a scientist, originally conforming to the scientific method, unconsciously veers from that method, and begins a pathological process of wishful data interpretation.  Langmuir never intended the term to be rigorously defined; it was simply the title of his talk on some examples of "weird science". As with any attempt to define the scientific endeavor, examples and counterexamples can always be found.
I’m a mechanical engineer and understand energy and chemistry a bit more than the average bear. To listen to pundits and politicians talk about ceasing CO2 production is laughable! To do so would have us all living as we did before we learned how to produce and control fire. Even if GW is happening for sure, and everybody agrees on it and really sees it, what could we possibly do anyway? It would still be the same song, let others sacrifice in order to fix it! There are over 6 billion people on earth and more every day. If it is really happening it is far too late to do anything, anyway.  CO2 production has always been a byproduct of the rise of human civilization. If there is a problem then it is population.
Another item that bothers me is this: if, on average, the whole earth has warmed just one degree Fahrenheit in the last 100 years, then how can that cause any ice to melt in an area whose average temperature is well below freezing (32° F)? If one area must cool while another warms, then what are the benefits of the cooling? The stories always presume that even a little warming is harmful, so by the same thinking a little cooling must be equally helpful. But we never hear about the good effects, this makes me suspicious of a scam.
Oil, coal, wood, and natural gas are “free” energy. By this I mean that, for example, a person’s own hand need not turn a crank to generate electricity. Many live well and enjoy luxuries by using this free energy. Oil is made in to thousands of useful products. If GW is really happening, it is a price we must pay for the use of abundant free energy.

Not-so-green Earth Day Expo

Rochester, Michigan held an Earth Day Celebration Expo, on April 18to 20. (  The web site notes, “150+ covered exhibits of earth-friendly, healthy products & services.” and that, “Since its inception in 1970, Earth Day has grown into the world's largest annual secular event, observed in 150 countries by over one billion people.” That is all fine with me, at face value I am all for it, but I sense something gone awry. This is the Rochester, Michigan where a million electric lights are hung on Main Street in the winter.

First, the claim that it is a secular event. One exhibitor, the Couple to Couple League, is a Catholic group. It is partly due to their church that the world is so over populated that we need to worry about trying to “Save the Earth” at all. We certainly need to save the Earth from organized religion.

Some exhibitors use the words natural, earth-friendly, eco-friendly and herbal to describe their products or services. These words have no specific meaning and are vague marketing buzz words and cause warning lights to flash on the dashboard of my mind.

What caught my attention was the “Wellness Tent”. Whenever I see the words “wellness activities”, “holistic” or “well-being” I smell a scam. Be wary of the words “complimentary” and “alternative medicine”. Quacks who offer “treatments” that give a “sense of well-being” are by definition giving a placebo. You feel better for a few hours, but it is all in your head. Penicillin works even if the patient is in a coma, but with placebo treatments, the person must be awake and aware of receiving the treatment. Trick or treatment?

Three exhibitors, “Natural Awakenings”, “Healing Garden Journal” and “Mind Body Spirit Guide” publish free magazines chock full of nutty new age notions of every stripe; channeling, psychic readers, séances, magnet therapy, reflexology, reiki, energy balancing, ayurvedic, aromatherapy, naturopathic medicine, chi energy, spiritual healing, craniosacral therapy, chiropractic, quantum energy, therapeutic touch. All the popular quackery in one place. How does any of this rubbish connect to a “brighter, greener future” that the Expo touts?

One exhibitor, “The Biomat Company” ( has the most ridiculous claims for their electric heating pad products. The pads are claimed to offer “quantum healing energetics, negative ions, far infrared” and claim a connection to a Nobel prize awarded to Neher and Sakmann in cellular chemistry. The word “quantum” is a sure sign of a scam. When the pads can warm up without being plugged in is when they may use the word quantum. The organizers of the Earth Day Expo help legitimize quackery when they allow this kind of exhibitor to prey on people.

As a mechanical engineer, I know enough about energy, chemistry and technology to see past the hype. At least one electric car on display claimed “zero emissions”. That really insults my intelligence. To build a car makes emissions, and making electricity in the US means burning coal. I have nothing against making electricity, but here again the claims ring empty.

The expo should carry the notice “FOR ENTERTAINMENT ONLY”. A stellar example of this is the $19,000 Hammacher Schlemmer pedal car built for seven people, a nice gee-whiz gadget, but of no practical use. The Expo is a study in Greenwashing and irrational exuberance. Most, if not all offerings are placebos, ways to look and feel green, but without substance.

To be sure, people want a source for green products and services, where they can feel good about their purchases and think that they are making a difference. They want fast gratification without the work of digging past the claims. At the end of the day they get in their SUVs and return to their heated homes, air conditioning, electricity, plumbing, kids and dogs. I can’t blame them. As Americans, we are all oil addicts, no matter how “green” you think you are. One can do very little without giving up a comfy life style. It is virtually impossible to make anything or do anything in a meaningfully “green” manner; it will always use a resource and create carbon dioxide. You can not make an omelet without braking eggs. We can recycle some things, drive a smaller car, compost yard waste, but we don’t want to cause ourselves any pain. And it would take a whole lot of pain to make any difference.

If you really want to be green, live like the Amish. No phone, no lights, no motor car, not a single luxury, like 1793, it’s as primitive as can be.

Healing & Wellness

Healing: I have noticed a strange trend afoot in popular New Age culture. For several years I have been keeping an eye on this area with a sort of morbid fascination, always wondering what silly new quack trend will surface to fleece gullible marks. Along with the internet, I read paper publications like Natural Awakenings, Body Mind Spirit Guide, CoSozo Living, and formerly the now defunct Phenome News. I find these free magazines in the entrance of my nearby WHOLE FOODS, the grocery store with the homeopathy department. These magazines are a mix of stories about nutrition, psychology, most anything from rearing children to pet care, yoga to weight loss. The advice given ranges from obvious things like eat vegetables, exercise, don’t smoke, etc., to soundly debunked notions like human energy fields, crystal therapy and astrology.
Publish Post
These publications use key buzz words like holistic, alternative, integrative, intuitive, which to me are red flags of magical thinking. In some ways it reminds me of optimistic business-speak like “leveraging synergies to energize new paradigms.”  When done correctly it can fill a page without actually saying anything meaningful.
      What strikes me is their use of the word “healing”. On the front page of CoSozo Living is always the phrase “Healing Together”. I wonder what they mean by healing. I bet it is not healing a broken bone or a bleeding cut, but rather a vague psychological kind of healing which would respond to placebo treatments. Who is the typical mark, er, client for such things? It seems to me that these publications aim mainly for suggestible middle aged women who are feeling the years, don’t eat right or exercise enough and are gaining weight. They seek magic bullet “treatments” to relieve the little chronic pains (both physical and emotional) of aging, where a placebo is well suited to provide temporary relief.
    Just what do they mean by healing? Steve Salerno, in his blog “SHAMblog” said, “…women’s magazines and their collective assault on female body image and the like…”  Then perhaps the word “healing” is an attempt at emotional recovery from the combined damage done by women’s magazines and the popular “self help” movement, which critics claim has done more harm than good. I perceive a vicious cycle in it all; women’s magazines and self help books do the damage, then the victims seek relief offered by those advertising in the magazines named above. Of course since it was all in the mind anyway, the placebo “treatments” seem to heal the damaged psyches.  
    New Age is religion in a jump suit, and offers an amazing range of laughable “healing modalities” such as “channeled healings”, “energy healing for animals”, “reconnective healing”, “spiritual healing” and “crystal healing therapy” to name a few. Deep down, I feel sorry for those who pay good money for some ditzy “energy healer” to essentially play ouija board with them.
     Wellness: More alarming is the use of the word “wellness” by mainstream health care providers. It seems to me that they should use only the word “health” in describing a patient’s condition, but more and more the word wellness is creeping in. What exactly do they mean by wellness? To me it suggests that they are making room for quack providers of “healing modalities” in to what used to be scientific evidence-based medicine. So when you go to the hospital for a broken leg, you will not only get the leg set in a cast but also have a session with a therapeutic touch provider, a Reiki master, and an acupuncturist. The quacks have been pounding on the door of HMO companies and hospitals for decades, they want their piece of the huge pie that is the US health care, $2.5 trillion each year.
     I get a kick out of all these “energy healing” claims. If they can heal anything then they should go to hospitals as teams of ten and go from patient to patient, stand as a group around each bed and do some healing. Show the world that energy healing works! Look at how well scientific medicine works; antibiotics and surgery and all the rest. Thus far, no energy healer has ever done anything beyond a placebo! 
     It is shocking that we as a society are wasting so much money on quackery when we need to be going the other way. We need to be getting the most bang for the health care buck. 30 years ago I would have thought that by 2010 medical quackery would have faded away to oblivion, but the opposite has happened, it is becoming more and more widely institutionalized and we are all being forced to pay for it. From “faith based” government to “energy healers” in hospitals, the quacks are creeping in day by day. The quacks want to ride along conventional medicine as does a sucker fish ride along with a larger fish. Quacks know they can’t stand alone and help anything, so they want to have “integrative” medicine where both conventional and “complementary” medicine are used, and then if the patient improves the quack can take some credit, even though it was only conventional medicine that was effective.