Sunday 3 June 2012

The Round-up w/e 03/06/2012

It’s the Royal Round-up Jubilee special and we’ve got more links for you than Mr T’s favourite necklace. Royalist, republican or just couldn’t care less about the monarchy hopefully you’ll find something for your distraction and edification on this page. However, if you do want an opinion then look no further than Crispian Jago.

Let’s have a couple of animal stories. We begin with a discussion about medical dogs and then move on to some whisker twitching cute science with climbing dormice.

An interesting article on how different aspects of fundamentalism and belief convert people to atheism and agnosticism.

I recently wrote an piece about autism research and part of my day job involves socially integrating young adults with autism. This needs understanding on all sides and I’ve therefore got mixed feelings about posts such as this that identify “weirdos” amongst us.

I’m always in awe of the skeptics that work in India. Here’s a guy that possibly saved a whole load of believers from poisoning and ends up being threatened with prison for his efforts.

A quick follow up on the gay superhero story from last week as the original Green Lantern defeats One Million Moms.

Holiday season is coming up and there’s nothing more pleasant than walking down the beach picking up unusual and pretty rocks. That is if they don’t set yourpants on fire.

Interesting atheistic Turing test by Leah Libresco.

Our old friend David Colqhoun has been tackling the College of Medicine, Dr Michael Dixon and the power of the placebo over at Improbable Science.

Faith in God can apparently act as an anti-venom. Oh wait, no it can’t.

Another bit of Sagan here as Eric McDonald explores the Stridency and Sensitivity of Carl Sagan.

There’s another skeptical controversy on the go centred on the blog post of Rebecca Watson about why she’s not attending TAM. To be honest it's probably much more complicated as these things usually are but if you’re interested you can track back through the links, do a bit of searching and make up your own mind. One thing that has intrigued me is that some are billing it as a split in the “skeptical community”. My own view on the existence of that entity is very similar to that espoused by Hayley Stevens.

Maybe we should hand our fiscal economic policy over to Captain Picard. Sure he probably knows little about 21st Century economics, but he looks way cooler than Osborne. Paul Krugman examines the link between science fiction and economics.

Steven Novella reassures us that the conspiracy theories of chemical induced zombification are just that. But he would say that, wouldn’t he.  Then again he is backed somewhat by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who have felt moved by recent horrific events to deny that the zombie holocaust is upon us.

Skeptic North takes an evidence based look at the phenomenon of fishy feet pedicures. (That’s pedicures of feet using fish not that the feet are fishy, though I suppose they might be.)

A few round-ups ago we had the physics behind how the Incredible Hulk jumps. Now we have a lovely anatomical drawing for you comic fans out there. Keeping with the science based art theme some fantastic Da Vinci style images of Cern.

For all you music loving chemists out there it’s time to update Tom’s song as there are a couple of newly named elements on the block.

Remember Harold Camping who predicted the Rapture and got it wrong, twice? Religion Dispatches takes a look at what some of his followers are doing a year on.

Next Thursday sees a transit of Venus, a useful and important astronomical event. If you want to find out more about it from the experts the Guardian is providing you with your very own set for an hour. Well, you have to share but it’s still jolly nice of them.

We’ll probably run a more full blog post in the near future about Skeptics on the Fringe, but for now look up all the great line up of speakers and events they have just announced.

One of our regular attendees, Rich Wiltshir, gave us this blog post on the Gish Gallop. We love to receive guest posts and are happy to consider anything that falls within the broad remit of scepticism and science.

Don’t forget that we have Colin Wright and the Mathematics of Juggling in just over a week, that one will be brilliant so don’t miss it. There is still time to apply for a speaker slot in the open mic night and to put our Skeptics in the Pub Quiz in your diary.

Last round-up we finished with the first commercial space flight to dock with the ISS and this week we end with another space travel debut and the first tent in space.

The blog post was put together by me Patrick Redmond (@paddyrex) with the help of links provided by Roy Beddowes. Any opinions expressed are my own.

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