Tuesday 11 September 2012

The Round-up w/e 09/09/2012

Hello and welcome to this week’s gleaning of the Internet where, like a skeptical blue whale, we filter the plankton of reason from the seas of superstition. I really need to get more sleep. Nonetheless, on with the show.

You know how you wait ages for something on the placebo effect and then three pieces come along at once? For those that have time here’s a lecture by Harriet Hall on Fairy Tale Medicine and the Placebo Effect. Next we have a scholarly article by Andy Lewis on Chekov, Homeopathy and the Placebo effect.  And we’ll finish our triumvirate of articles with this look at an evolutionary explanation of this palliative phenomenon.

We’ll stay in the realms of alt med for a while as a new centre offering all kinds of CAM opens with the blessing of one of her majesty’s children, but not the usual suspect this time. I wonder if they’ll be offering didgeridoos there?

Hey look, Michael Marshall from the Merseyside Skeptics has only gone and got into the Guardian on the subject of Powerbands! I don’t care what he says there is nothing that is going to deprive me of my Jedpower. OMG!!!

A few stats on creationism  here. If some people had their way the figures might be even worse. They should take a cue from the Koreans.

The next couple of links come with a yuck warning. First off is a parasite that could make you blush. After reading this next one I felt that I had learned a lot, and learning is good, isn’t it?

An experimental approach to test quantum mechanics gets reported over at the BBC.

Our old friends over at the Mail are taken to task for the way they report about computer games. I’ll stick to board games, definitely less geeky, right?

Nasa test out a planetary lander that is just very cool. If you should ever venture into space don’t forget for cases of emergency you should always take your towel, an inanimate carbon rod and your toothbrush.

A couple of sad and serious stories next. Skeptical Humanities give us a good summary of the story about the young girl arrested for blasphemy in Islamabad with an interesting twist about the alleged actions of her accuser. Bigotry and belief seems to be behind the disgusting actions of this former medic too.

There are lots of great places to visit in London, I haven’t made it to the Grant Museum yet, but after looking at this it’s going top of my list.

A brief account of the appointment of the new health minister with the conveniently rhyming name can be found over at Stuff and Nonsense.

Tony Ortega takes an interesting angle on the pitfalls of Scientology’s investment in fame.  It mentions in that article that their drug rehabilitation centre in Quebec was closed down, but that’s not going to stop them offering their services out in Vietnam.

Coronation Street veteran Bill Roache does an Icke

All that’s left is to remind you all that Wednesday 12th of September is our open mic night with six wonderful speakers for your pleasure. If you’ve never made it to a SitP you should, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy yourself and meet some interesting people. Find your nearest one here and if there isn’t one why not start one?

We video some of our talks at Brum Skeptics for those that can’t make it or just want the chance ot go over the great talks at their leisure. Keep checking back here to see what we’ve got available and I’ll leave you with this teaser for our video of the amazing Colin Wright.

This week’s round-up was put together by Patrick Redmond with help from the very much appreciated Roy Beddowes.

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