Monday, 28 May 2012

The Round-up w/e 27/05/2012


Hello and welcome to the reasonably regular round-up of sometimes scintillating, sometimes silly stories of science and skepticism. Right, that’s my alliteration quota fulfilled and I can get on with the post now. The following round-up is made up of links provided by myself and the Skeptical Surfer aka Roy Beddowes. I’ll leave it to you to guess which belong to whom. (Hint, mine are the better ones obviously.)

Which of you came to Peter Harrison’s talk on Lucid Dreaming? If you missed it look out for him at other skeptic groups. Here’s a report on a device that purports to provide help for all you budding oneironauts.

“Buttocks Humanoid that Represents Emotions with Visual and Tactual Transformation of the Muscles” – Is that enough to get you clicking?

Thou shalt not fit a smoke alarm, apparently.

A wonderful visual effect next with a naturally enhanced capture of a solar eclipse.

Superheroes are coming out of the closet followed by the ever so predictable protests.

Advocates for gay cures have even less credibility as Dr Spitzer says, “Sorry”.

Brainpickings provides us with a reminder from Carl Sagan about the balance between skepticism and openness. I think for any fan of Sagan it’s nearly impossible to read the bit in quotation marks without hearing his voice.

Here’s a review of a fascinating new book by Rebecca Stott called Darwin’s Ghosts. Wouldn’t it be a massive coincidence if she just happened to be the speaker at our August event?

Ever wondered just how much water there is on, in and above the Earth?

Cryptozoology next as a team of scientists turns their genetic code busting talents to the search for the Yeti.

New SitP on the block Kingston Skeptics sent me a polite message via Twitter this week, pointing out that for the last two years the word atheist had been misspelt in my profile! Cheers guys. Thankfully Martin S Pribble didn’t make the same mistake in this post, Fear ofAtheism.

My lack of proof reading skills were evident again in our recent debut newsletter where I failed to spot that the date of the Skeptics in the Pub Quiz was wrong. The actual date is the 19th of July and you can sign up for the newsletter in the embedded form top right of this page.

Scourge of quacks everywhere, Edzard Ernst, wrote in the Guardian about the legal standing of Alt Med.

I shouldn’t think there are many of you reading this that need persuading that vaccinations are a good thing. But just in case why not have a read of Skeptical Raptoron whooping cough?

Were you aware that some psychics are frauds, I know, shocking isn’t it? Here’s a handy guide to spotting the fakes from Exploring Psychics. They should know after all, as they offer to put you in touch with a genuine one, nice.

Our next Skeptics in the Pub event is Colin Wright with the Mathematics ofJuggling on June 13th. We’ve got loads of great events lined up for the whole year so make sure you sign up for the newsletter, ‘like’ our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter or just lurk outside our houses in the early hours of the morning to keep up with all that’s happening.

Thanks to a tip off on Twitter I managed to watch some of this next video live. The docking of the private sector company SpaceX's capsule with the International Space Station is not just a triumph of engineering and science it's another watershed moment in the history of space exploration.


This weeks round-up was put together by Patrick Redmond (@paddyrex) with help from sitp regular Roy Beddowes.

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