Sunday 16 October 2011

Weekly Round-up w/e 16/10/11

The Weekly Round up is here and we’ve cast our net wide again, with past and present links featuring some big fish, little tiddlers, and some, quite frankly, we should have thrown back in as we ought to know better.

Let’s start with a fishy story that’s still causing a bit of a niff.

Simon Singh explains why he hopes psychic sally will take up an offer to demonstrate her powers in a test.

Also: Psychic Sally to sue someone – maybe. It’s all a bit vague.

In a completely non-psychic related story: The illusory three-faced cow.

Almost everyone is familiar with some version of the following maximyou're more likely to die in an accident on the way to the airport than you are in a plane crash: From Discovery Magazine.

Internet time guide scotched by astrology firm: A database that many Unix-like computer systems use to provide an authoritative source for time zone and daylight-savings data has been taken offline by a lawsuit from an astrology software company alleging copyright infringement. 

Man drinks colloidal silver as home remedy – turns blue. Also at Science Blogs.

From IBM's Emerging Technologies lab in Winchester: Real life Jedi
Fifty years on, Psychedelic research returns: Can the mystical states of mind occasioned by psychedelic drugs help alleviate anxiety and depression in people with terminal and recurrent cancer?

165 million years ago in Peterborough, England: GRAAAR, I don't remember eating those! -Regurgitalites.

Nigerians reassured over killer phone numbers: Nigeria's authorities have been forced to reassure the public that a mobile phone number cannot kill, after rumours were spread by text messages.

Iszi Lawrence: pimp-my-book

It now appears that on top of all of the other potentially catastrophic, costly, damaging, or dangerous impacts of human-caused climate change, there is a very serious risk that it will threaten the production of chocolate: the final chocolate straw.

A Japanese company has developed a miniature version of Noah's ark in case Japan is hit by another massive earthquake and tsunami: Japanese Noah’s ark disaster capsule.

What we learned from 5 million books: Erez Lieberman Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel show us how Google Labs Ngram Viewer works, and a few of the surprising things we can learn from 500 billion words. But what about the books?

Indonesians seek railway therapy:  HO - meopathy!

Palaeontologists unearth Dino: dog fossils show early relationship with humans.

The Doctor and the pomegranate: Once a rare fruit requiring a complicated eating strategy, its derivatives are now stationed on every grocery shelf based on their promise of an antioxidant punch.

Lab-Grown Meat: Would you eat test tube burgers?

Over at Alter Net: Is_atheist_money_too_controversial_for_the_american_cancer_society?: The American Cancer Society may have turned down a potential half-million dollar donation because it came from a non-theistic organization.

What's on Jim Fallon's mind?: Neuroscientist who studies the biological basis of human behaviour finds a Psychopath in the family.

The Onion from, oh, ages ago, but worth resurrecting: Evolutionists flock to Darwin shaped wall stain.

Uk-releases-ufo-files: One of our previous speakers, Nick Pope, concedes there's still no written evidence confirming alien visits to Earth.

Continuing the UFO/Aliens theme: Is this all part of the great deception? 10 reasons why aliens are actually fallen angels demons.

South Park upsets ‘Age of Autism’ with a spoof on vaccine fears. What's up at South Park and CBS?

P Z Myers on Deepak Chopra's review of The Magic of Reality. : “It's largely an exercise in name-dropping and the profession of bleary, vacuous misinterpretations of science on his part, which he then turns around and uses to accuse Dawkins of error because he doesn't share his inoculation of the ideas with pseudoscience.”

In Minnesota: Evangelical biologists who question the existence of Adam and Eve asked to resign: "Evolution makes it pretty clear that in nature, and in the moral experience of human beings, there never was any such paradise to be lost" says Evangelical.

Not had enough reading yet? Then head on over to Austin Cline's excellent blog and the Top Books on Skepticism/ Critical Thinking and Logic review page. Post us your favourites if you have any after the links.

Don’t forget we have Michael Marshall at the Victoria on November 9th with ‘How PR came to rule modern journalism’. Let us know if you’re coming on our Sitp Facebook page.

This week's Round-up was put together by Birmingham Skeptics regular Roy Beddowes.

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