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10:23 Challenge (and Brunch!)

Posted on : Feb-01-2011 | By : Liz | In : Blog Post, local, skepticism


This coming weekend, skeptics all over the world will be participating in a global homeopathic “overdose” to help spread the truth about homeopathy: there’s nothing in it. The Boston Skeptics will be holding our event on Sunday, February 6th, at 10:23am in City Hall Plaza (outside the Government Center T station). We will have more specifics about the event coming shortly, so check back to find out everything you need to know!


The “medication” that The Amazing James Randi uses for his famous “overdose” is Calms Forte ( http://www.calmsforte.com/home/ to check it out ), so we’re suggesting this brand if you choose to partake in the pill-poppin’ goodness!

Also, get creative and make your own signs for this event! You can also print out flyers from this template: http://www.1023.org.uk/leaflet.pdf

You can and should spend some time over at the 10:23 website ( http://www.1023.org.uk/ ) to get more familiar with just how global this protest is, and for some useful information about not only the event’s history and culmination, but some good talking points!

And most importantly… let’s make this protest fun and safe!

But there’s more…we are following the “challenge” with (finally) brunch! Join us at the Kinsale (2 Center Plaza, right by City Hall Plaza) at 11 am. 10:23 participation is not mandatory for attendance…but do it! :)

You can rsvp on facebook for 10:23 here and brunch here. See you there!

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Comments (6)

Are you making any suggestions for the type of “remedy” to take? These things are unregulated in the US and my actually contain real stuff in a significant dose (remember Zicam).

Also, will any media be there?

We will be, there is more info coming.

1) Calms Forte actually is less dilute than most homeopathic medicine; the ingredients are all either 1X or 2X (diluted 100 or 10,000 times.) Also the principle ingredient appears to be oats, so what happens if you eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast?

2) Down in the FAQ, they basically admit that homeopathic remedies only work on self-limiting conditions.

Will Calms Forté help with clinical depression?
Depression is not a self-limiting condition, meaning the condition should be monitored by a physician. We recommend you consult a physician if you suspect you are suffering from depression. Remember Calms Forté is a formula created for people who need to calm down and relieve stress.

3) It contains 137 mg of lactose. Since it usually takes 5-10 g of lactose to induce symptoms, it would take 3-6 dozen tablets. Since I’m lactose-intolerant, I’ll see if I can find something with less lactose, or bring a bunch of lactase capsules.

I asked Skepchick Maria for advice, and this is what I got:
“Since it’s hard to be 100% confident about the purity of these preparations, the JREF recommends that people purchase a commercially available remedy that is known to be safe in normal doses, and then dilute it further in order to “strengthen it” according to homeopathic principles. This dilution could even be done as part of your demonstration, to show how ridiculous the idea is. That way, people can supposedly “overdose” on a substance that actually contains a smaller (and therefore safer) amount of the original homeopathic remedy — plus skeptics don’t have to give as much money to the manufacturers of this stuff!”
Sooo this might be a good option!


I thought that 1X and 2X were dilutions of 1:10 at each step. (1C being 1:100) Zicam was “2X” of zinc, which turned out to be a clinically significant amount and caused loss of smell and other problems in people that used it.

Todd – I think you are correct.

I just bought a 50 pill pack of calms forte at the CVS at Fresh Pond (it was the only size they had.) If we are going to “OD” by diluting it (which makes sense to me), I volunteer my package of it. If we are going to “OD” by taking massive quantities (on the theory that it’s only sugar) then 50 pills seems about right.

Does anyone have a graduated cylinder and an eyedropper or graduated pipette? And a horsehide pad (would an old baseball work?)

BTW, I think it was good news that the stuff was really hard to find. I expected there would be whole shelves of homeopathic remedies, just like the vitamins, but there were just 2 or 3 items in the “cold remedies” section, and 2 or 3 more in the “sleep aids/nodoze” section. They were greatly outnumbered by the “all-natural” stuff, and there wasn’t that much of that. Still, I didn’t like giving $7 to them, and was very embarrassed and tongue-tied at the checkout counter.

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