Sunday 29 April 2012

The Round-up w/e 29/04/2012

Hello everybody and welcome back to the round-up, a conglomeration of news and views from the week’s world of science and skepticism. I’m going to start this one off with a hearty happy birthday to Sir Terry Pratchett. I’ve had years of pleasure from his books and have nothing but admiration for the way that he is facing and engaging with his Alzheimer’s. If you’re inspired by Terry and want to contribute to the fight against this disease why not throw a few quid towards our old friend Hayley Stevens who will be launching herself out of a plane to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society. (I think she gets a parachute).

Our first piece is the remarkable story of
Camilla the Rubber Chicken and her space adventures. She’s a bit of celebrity and should you be the type of person that follows inanimate objects on Twitter then knock yourself out.

Well we’ve had birthdays and we’ve had space so let’s combine those two themes now and salute the Hubble Telescope as it embarks on its
twenty-third year of service.

Some people complain that there can be too much navel gazing with skeptics. I think a spot of introspection is always good and found myself nodding in agreement with this concise and well-constructed post “
Why I Don’t Call Myself a Skeptic” by Sarah Moglia.

For those of you that enjoyed Islamophobia at the last SitP,  Author of Jesus and Mo presents us Bigotophobia.

Edzard Ernst was a highlight of QED for me; here he is
tackling the chiropractors again looking at new evidence of a link between spinal manipulation and strokes.

If you've got a bit of time to kill, pour yourself a drink and treat yourself to an excellent talk by Simon Singh via the Cheltenham Science Festival and the Guardian Newspaper, "Heresy is at the Heart of Science"

This next article ticked a couple of boxes for me. I
t’s about giant squid, which are cool and border on the cryptozoology and it’s a site designed to encourage young people to get into science. If you're not a child don’t let that put you off following the link, it’s a good place to visit.

Christianity and homosexuality, how do you marry the two? Well if you’re the Catholic Church you don’t
and you get the kids to help you fight it. Here’s another more poignant and illuminating perspective on the subject.

A nice bit of historical skepticism here from the
great ṢSalāḥ ad-Dīn.

Please don’t ask what I was googling when I came across this story about a scientist’s search for the G-spot, but it’s interesting to note the contrasting coverage it got.
Joan Smith at the Independent looks at the social and cultural aspects of the quest whilst Ricki Lewis at Scientific America focuses on the basic scientific blunder made by Doc O en route.

It's the twenty-first century and the Met is having to roll out its anti-witchcraft force.

A great collaboration here as MIT and the Khan Academy join forces to inspire a future generation of scientist and engineers.

Hold the front page! Apparently
not everything you read in the papers is true.

There's always an excellent variety of material over at the 21st Floor so if you're not familiar with it make sure you have a good poke around and maybe stick it in your favourites folder. I'll link you to its latest post on alternative medicine and Bozo the clown to get you there.

Before our now traditional video finale a few mentions of upcoming events. Our next SitP is Robin Ince which is a sold out ticketed event. You can risk turning up on the night in case of no-shows, but there is no guarantee of you getting in so be warned. Two other events I’d like you to put in your diary though are our Skeptics in the Pub Quiz (Facebook) and our Open Mic (Facebook). Both will be lots of fun and we’re working on some special tweaks for the nights. Remember, if you want to do a spot on the open mic night then get in touch and let us know.

Now for a pretty flying geometric thing (please forgive the sponsor ad):

This week's round-up was compiled by Patrick Redmond (@paddyrex) from links he found himself and some he stole from his friends' Facebook pages.

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