Saturday, 23 July 2011

The Weekly Round-up w/e 24/07/2011


Are Nanobots the Future?

There’s been so much good stuff out there on the web this week that tweaking it down to just these few chosen links has been a tricky job, but that hasn’t put us off trying.

Our next SitP is Mark Stevenson author, comedian, science communicator... I’d better stop there his résumé is extensive and we could be some time. He’ll be taking us on An Optimist’s Tour of the Future. Many of the topics he discusses in his book and no doubt his talk pop up in this thought provoking post, The Singularity is Far: A Neuroscientist's View, over at Boing Boing.

You may remember that a few posts ago we discussed the question of the portrayal of images of Mohammed. Now the excellent Heresy Corner tackles the same question inspired by the BBC’s approach to the issue on their current documentary series, The Life of Mohammed in this post titled The BBC: Falsifying Art and History in the Name of Respect.

Whether somebody is a hero or villain often depends on your standpoint. Hacker groups Anonymous and Lulzsec have attracted both admiration and approbation from different sections of society. Evan Bernstein of the New England Skeptical Society and Skeptics Guide, to the Universe gives us his reasons why he believes the hackers and the skeptics are not singing from the same sheet in A Little Less Anonymous Today.

Many moons ago David Gregory, the West Midlands BBC Science Correspondent came to talk to us about science and the media. One of the points he made was how fringe or irrational ideas are often given too much time and space in a mistaken idea of balance. It seems he’s not the only one to think this as this piece from the Guardian illustrates.

What does patient choice mean to you? It depends on whether you’re a quack with a remedy to sell really.  Read what Andy Lewis has to say on the government’s recent announcements over at the Quackometer.

In that previous post Andy mentions the use of Honey on wounds and it’s interesting to cross reference that with another blog post that came out recently by podcaster and Science Based Medicine contributor Mark Crislip entitled simply Honey. Could it be Quackometer vs. Quackcast?

If the unlikely combination of camping, water sports and humanist/skeptical type activities appeals to you, check out Questival. A great event in a beautiful area for all you active free thinkers. They’ve even got SitP favourite Matt Parker there. You can listen to an interview with one of the organisers on our upcoming podcast. Check the webpage soon to see when it’s been uploaded and to listen to past episodes.

We’d like to take the chance to thank Bayani Mills for the blog he wrote for us on way that the South Korean medical establishment handles chiropractors. He’s a keen skeptic and there is lots of other good stuff over at his site. Remember, if you have something interesting to say and you’d like to feature it on our site just get in touch with us to discuss it. We’re always happy to have contributors.

Finally, it’s not exactly skepticism but it’s a great story. At our jam packed Skeptics in the Pub with Jon Ronson he amused the crowd with this tale of the worst swear word in the world. We’ll leave the last word with Jon’s son.

This weeks round up was put together by Patrick Redmond (@paddyrex) with help from others that contributed suggestions.

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