Wednesday 19 September 2012

The Round-up w/e 16/09/2012

Splunding vurr thrigg Earthlings. And after that piece of retro nerdiness from my youth that does nothing to dispel the world’s perception of Skeptics as a bunch of geeks we’ll plunge on with the round-up.

I’m still riding on a high from our brilliant Open Mic night last week, but looking at the photos I think I might be showing those early stages of aging on my smooth youthful features. Good job Dean is around to point me in the right direction.

Newsbiscuit treats us to the crime fighting homeopathologist and the New Scientist explains how DNA might help us to create an image of a suspect’s face. Sometimes I have trouble spotting the science from the satire.

Another DNA based story here as we look at the predictive and ethical implications of unravelling this complex little molecule.

Space based fun next as you’re offered the chance to write your name in the stars by our good friends over at Galaxy Zoo. And if you want more (but less mature) fun then join the Skepchicks in porno astronomy.

Coming up on the right we have Pat Robertson with his words of advice on how to control your rebellious woman. Right alongside him and competing strongly for the Tool of the Week Trophy we have Virginia State delegate Bob Marshall.

I’ve long found religion to be inadequate for my personal needs, but now it seems I have some agreement from the Dalai Lama no less.

You may have noticed that there has been a bit of a stir around a certain film lately. Kenan Malik gives us a good analysis. This next picture, in reaction, sets out to be as offensive as it can be to some of the major religions in the world. Jesus and Mo gives us, as ever, a droll response to the response.

I don’t want you to get the idea that all followers of these world religions are paragons of tolerance, as Sean Rankin discovers when he interviews the cuddly Westboro Baptists.

Simon Singh has started up the Good Thinking Society, head over and see what it’s all about. One of the things that you can do on there is to nominate a quack for the Golden Duck awards. Far less ignoble are the winners of the Golden Goose though.

At first glance I thought this was an amusing piece of pareidolia, but on further reading it’s more than a little sad.

A more scientific analysis of a study on ESP here, I bet you can’t predict the results before following the link. The same study is used as part of this more in-depth and disturbing look at how scientific research can be taken off track.

Whilst we’re looking at studies of dubious phenomena here’s an article about one on, acupuncture.

The old saying is that you are what you eat, I really hope not given my post pub dietary habits. However bad my assorted kebab meat, curry sauce and suspicious sausage intake is, I think I’ll give this particular rock star diet a miss.

There’s been a jump in vaccination opt-outs at private schools in the States. It’s not just the kids that need educating. If you got chance to talk to them would you approach them in this way?

A bit of professional interest here for me, part of my day job is taken up by teaching people with a visual impairment to travel independently. I’ve worked with many incredible people over the years but have never come across anybody with the remarkable abilities of Daniel Kish.

Another from the BBC here as we look at the potential of boom and bust cycles to accelerate evolution.

Bored of videos of Curiosity landing on Mars yet? Well I’m not and this is a great one. It’s a good job they didn’t try that during a Martian snow storm. If you decide to head out into the galaxy here’s an appropriate snack for you.

There are plenty of great things to put into your diary. Our social is on the 27th of September and our next talk Hypnosis without Hypnosis is on the 10th of October. Oh and we're going to be doing a book group so keep an eye on this.

It’s not just us putting on fantastic events though, tickets for QED go on sale tomorrow and I for one will be there to mix the many excellent people that attend. Closer in both space and time the Festival of the Spoken Nerd is coming to Bromsgrove, that’s got to be worth a jaunt out. All being well we might even be found in the foyer trading our wares. If so come along and say hi.

The final video this week is by no means new but it was reposted on our Facebook page recently and it is so wonderful it deserves another play.

This blog post was compiled by Patrick (@paddyrex) with contributions from the Roy Beddowes and Paul (@thebigyeti)

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