What Anne Hathaway's Prank On 'Ellen' Said About Pseudoscience

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What Anne Hathaway's Prank On 'Ellen' Said About Pseudoscience

Post by SolarpunkFan » 2019-03-11 10:13pm

How do you get a whole bunch of people to try to blow their minds? Through clementines? Have a celebrity like Anne Hathaway tell them to do it.

During a recently-aired episode of the television show the Ellen Show, Hathaway had the following very fruitful discussion with Ellen Degeneres:


As you can see, she began telling a story about a recent trip up the coast of California, saying:

"I found a book in there by this guy who used to be really big – Dr. Q. And he wrote a book called Citrus Healing. And it was all the ways that you can incorporate citrus into your life to kind of like raise your health. And one of the things was how to incorporate citrus into your meditation practice. And it was called Clementime. It was cute."

So, after this very brief story about some person named Dr. Q, who used to be big and perhaps is now small, Hathaway segued into the juicier part of the show.

She got everyone in the audience to hold peeled clementine oranges to their mouths and blow in and out of them, their mouths and the clementines. Not only that, she encouraged them to simultaneously make a sound a bit like Yoda saying "WTH?" She then asked, "Do you guys feel a little bit better? Do you feel good?" While a few audience member had a "this blows" look on their faces and others appeared a bit confused, there were audience members actually nodding in agreement with Hathaway. To that Hathaway responded, "That's impossible, I made the whole thing up!"

Yes, sorry, breathing in and out of a clementine orange is basically just breathing in and out of a clementine orange. There's no mystically, magically, citrusy, health-raisy thing going on here. A clementine orange may smell good to you, but if you want it to help your health, you are better off just eating it rather than treating it like Justin Bieber's microphone.

Hathaway concluded by explaining,"The takeaway of this is do not put something in your mouth just because a celebrity tells you to."

Here is one situation where you should definitely listen to a celebrity. No, not the part about Dr. Q or citrus healing. There was no real Dr. Q. No, not the part about blowing into fruit to help you meditate. What part of "made the whole thing up," do you not understand? Rather, listen to what she said about not simply swallowing anything that celebrities tell or give you.

Hathaway could have easily used the show as a platform to launch some new pseudoscientific health practice or potion. She certainly has the star power to do so. Hathaway is a very accomplished actress, having won an Oscar for her role in Les Misérables and starred in a wide range of movies such as The Princess Diaries, Brokeback Mountain, The Devil Wears Prada, Rachel Getting Married, Love & Other Drugs, and The Dark Knight Rises. Plus, how many people can say that they played the Catwoman, as she did? She can sing too, as demonstrated by this segment on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon:


Heck, if she told people to converse with or even argue with fruit, you might find some takers. After all, if a celebrity-run website can convince you to buy and use coffee enemas, as I have written before for Forbes, why not the Catwoman Clementine Colonic?

Instead, Hathaway used her time on the show to do something commendable: warn people about celebrities peddling pseudoscience. As I have written before, pseudoscience ain't a Phil Collins song (that's Sussudio) but instead is defined by dictionary.com as "any of various methods, theories, or systems, as astrology, psychokinesis, or clairvoyance, considered as having no scientific basis."

What do celebrities have to do with pseudoscience? Ask Timothy Caulfield, a professor of health law at the University of Alberta, Canada, and author of the book Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? He explained how celebrities have fueled the amazing rise in pseudoscience in an article by Wendy Glauser entitled "How celebrities have fueled the amazing rise in pseudoscience," and appearing in the New Scientist. Just because someone is a terrific actor, singer, or whatever reality stars do, doesn't mean that he or she knows anything about science and health.

Therefore, you shouldn't buy a "health" product or do something "for your health" just because a celebrity, who is not a real health expert, tells you to do so. That would be akin to liking a song just because a Nobel Prize winner in Medicine told you that it is a good jam. Instead, think critically. Think scientifically. Look for real scientific explanations and evidence that something works. "I am famous and therefore, you should listen," should never be a reason to do something for your health.

Kudos again to Hathaway for raising more awareness about the growing problem of pseudoscience. This suggests that Hathaway has a healthy respect for science. Indeed, she once told Jonathan Heaf who was writing an article about her for GQ magazine that "Any spare time I have I bury my head in a physics textbook," which alone raises her several dozen points on the coolness scale in my book. Her prank on The Ellen Show certainly added to those points. Orange you glad that she didn't simply use her fame to get you to buy some baloney, as in pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo and not the lunch-meat? Or in this case, some clementines?
Terrible puns in the article aside, it's nice to see celebrities that don't push scams for a change. :)
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Re: What Anne Hathaway's Prank On 'Ellen' Said About Pseudoscience

Post by B5B7 » 2019-03-11 10:33pm

She's a hot actress and a cool person - the perfect medium. :)
Skeptics don't have saints, but we could have sane-ts. :evil:
Kudos also to Ellen; this wouldn't happen on Oprah.
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