Wednesday 26 September 2012

Round-up w/e 23/9/12

It's round-up time again, lots of linkety goodness to gives your wits a treat.  It's our social Thursday night, come along, it's good to talk; especially with us lot.  Details are here. 

Ever sat at home wishing there was a Skeptics in the Pub in your living room?  We all have at some point, haven't we?  Well, your prayers have been answered with Skeptical DVDs.  Have a look at the Facebook group here, like it if you like.

Is it science or philosophy that can answer the big questions of life?  Philosopher Julian Baggini fears that, as we learn more and more about the universe, scientists are becoming increasingly determined to stamp their mark on other disciplines. Here, he challenges theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss over 'mission creep' among his peers.  Philosopher Massimo Piglucci feels Baggini was too soft on Krauss, so dissects the debate here to (a) poke fun at Krauss and (b) to learn something from these scientist vs philosopher skirmishes.

Are there some facts that are beyond the reach of science, even in principal?  Ian Pollock considers the thought experiment known as 'Mary's Room' to try and find a solution here in Fifty Shades of Qualia.

In light of the recent violence in response to THAT film, SA Hoseini argues that blasphemy should be censored.  He reasons that the lives of those who die as a result of the violence are more important than the right to say what you want in a movie script.  Tauriq Moosa disagrees, arguing freedom of expression means the freedom to insult.  Andrew Copson says an international blasphemy law must be resisted.  Meanwhile, a video mocking atheism is greeted with global disinterest by atheists.

A British team are developing a 1000mph car powered by a rocket with a Eurofighter engine bolted on.

The winner of this year's IgNobel prize for literature was the US General Accountability Office for "issuing a report about reports about reports that recommends the preparation of a report about the report about reports about reports"

A couple escape a prison sentence after being convicted of negligent homicide when they opted for prayer over hospital to treat their 16 year-old son's burst appendix.

Tickets for QEDcon are on sale, the gala dinner tickets are sold out already so hurry up and book in if you want to go.  The line-up is looking great, Richard Dawkins and Ben Goldacre already confirmed, see who else is confirmed here.

Homeopathy's value under the microscope.  Edinburgh Skeptics' Keir "Keith" Liddle takes on President of the Faculty of Homeopathy, Dr Sara Eames

The kiddies have returned to school and the discussion surrounding vaccination always seem to peak this time of year.  David Gorski discusses the problem of non-medical exemptions to school vaccine mandates.

Attention all exorcists, get yourself over to Poland, there's an exorcism boom going down.

Not content with just starting his own religion, noted nutcase L Ron Hubbard had a weird music career. Well, what other sort of music career would he have?

A former microbiologist has changed careers to become a visual artist.  He hasn't left microbiology far behind though as he creates artworks in petri dishes out of bacteria.

Iranian cleric gets a kicking from a woman who he told to cover up.

In gay news tonight, the Iranian media claim Jews are spreading homosexuality in bid for world domination.  And, the homophobic theory of dinosaur extinction.

Confessions of an acupuncture dropout.  Robin Askwith wasn't involved with this one.

This week's round-up with carefully put together by Paul Bryant.

1 comment:

Plum said...

Sorry it's taken me a while to read that entry and all your links, Paul.

I've been very amused (and just tweeted) to find that the Scotsman story about the pros and cons of homeopathy has some interesting popup advertising associated with it - it seems Boots has paid them to link all mentions of homeopathy to blood glucose testing kits ! (rather than their homeopathic "teatments") Are they trying to say that homeopathy patients should be aware of ingesting too much sugar? ;)