Sunday 22 April 2012

The Round-Up w/e 22/4/12

We don’t have a round-up for ages, we have one, then four days later we have another one.  If I was the type of person that used cliches, I’m sure I’d be using one about buses right now.  You wait for ages for a round-up, then 2 come along at once, just like buses.  Here’s the round-up:

Researchers at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, in Cambridge, have created an alternative to DNA.  Does this move towards ‘playing God’ have the potential to harm our biology though?  Answers on a postcard please.

Bio-engineers in the Netherlands are growing the first artificial meat, since Doner Meat, in a petri dish.  Is it food though?  Few people want Genetically Modified products, so a switch to artificial food grown in a lab is unlikely to whet the appetite.

Some sad news to announce.  On Wednesday, 18th April 2012, after a long battle with relevancy, Facts sadly died.  The obituary is here.  If you want to share any of your memories of Facts, then please do so in the comments.

We have the internet in our pocket, Facebook and its variants, the Kindle and it’s variants, the Samsung Galaxy Tab and its variants, we’re here.  We’ve arrived in the future so we’re getting more variations on a theme.  So, now what?

Some quite cool Star Wars Facebook cover photos.

Stop the press! Someone’s found a proper application for maths. A physicist proved himself innocent of running a stop sign by proving the arresting officer’s “perception of reality did not properly reflect reality.”

You know that itch you keep having? Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone, but this article may interest you.  Are head lice and body lice the same species?

Boris banned those bus adverts that promoted the belief some have that homosexuality can be cured.  Here’s Skeptic Lawyer’s take on it.

Homeopaths on Homeopaths.  Martin Robbins puts a collection of quotes by homeopaths talking about homeopathy together to celebrate Homeopathy Awareness Week.

Thou shalt not commit logical fallacies.

Tweeter facing prison for calling a councillor a cunt on twitter.

The Social Cell by Daniel Dennett. What do debutante balls, the Japanese tea ceremony, Ponzi schemes and doubting clergy all have in common?

A fundraising video trailer here for a documentary about Homeopathy.  Steve Novella’s in it, not much else to say really.

A very classy article on Fox News here about Android Prostitutes.  Apparently they’ll be in service by 2050.  2050?! I don’t think my vacuum cleaner can last until then.

Who does all the work? Science does!

We’ve got an excellent few months ahead of us at Birmingham Skeptics.  This Tuesday night is social night in Birmingham, come along and have some interesting chatter and alcohol with some very nice people.  Coming up, we have Robin Ince coming along to Birmingham Skeptics on 9th May at The Victoria.  Then in June we have Colin Wright of Juggling and Maths fame, here’s a taster of his talk.  Later in June we have the Birmingham Skeptics in the Pub Quiz, get your teams together, it’s free to enter and it’s taking place at The Victoria on 27th June.

That’s about it.  Thanks for listening.  Good night, and good luck.

This week’s round-up was put together by Birmingham Skeptics organiser Paul Bryant (@thebigyeti).

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