Wednesday 24 October 2012

Round-Up w/e 21st October 2012.

Welcome all you super people to the Brum SitP Weekly Round-up. Let’s see what interesting things we have in store for you over the coming winter months? 

Our next speaker is Aarathi Prasad with ‘Like a Virgin’ – How Science is Redefining the Rules of Sex. Aarathi will be with us on November 14th with more speakers to be announced very soon for January and March. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter feeds for the latest updates and information.

Coming up in 2013 we have talks from Neil Denny of Little Atoms podcasts and Rupert Sheldrake on The Science Delusion. To get you started here’s a selection of articles for you to dip into so you can get your questions and notes prepared early:-

Aarathi Prasad: It’s a wonderful mixed up world; Neil Denny: How rational is America?, and Rupert Sheldrake interviewed by the Fortean Times: The Science Delusion. Get scribbling people.

We love xkcd, oh yes we do. They modestly describe themselves as "a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language." Find out more about the site and its creator Randall Monroe in this interview over at The Atlantic.

Those atom smashing  people at CERN have been busy of late; collaborating with Angry Birds creator Ravio to develop a "learning program" for kids aged 3 to 8; planning a debate with philosophers and theologians over the origins of everything, and  defending their safety reports from a very worried German woman who was convinced the world was going to disappear up its own black hole.

Ooh, argh. This is the first time I’ve composed a Round-up sitting up in bed, laptop on my knees. This sitting up position doesn’t half bring on fierce pins and needles in the old glutes though - urff! And what should I take for this condition? Well, I could always rely on the law of similars to sort it out. How about a split dose of Hedgehog 40C? Okay, as a non-scientist I might need a spot of help here. So, when homeopathic solutions or solvents (usually a water/alcohol mixture) are transferred to a sugar pill, the solvent then, of course, evaporates. Okay, right? Good. Does this mean the sugar pill then remembers the ‘transferred information’ the same way water does? Good grief! Tell everyone. Sugar has memory!

A while back we ran a feature on the atheist handmade shoe kickstarter project. After successfully reaching their target they’ve gone and launched a funky internet shop to sell their fabulously comfy and distinctive footwear. €125 for a pair of kitten testicle grey trainers – IWOOT, preferably two. Drop by their Facebook page  to see our favourite Australian, Atheist, songwriter, musician sporting a pair.

There’s no place like home: GPS take me home shoes - Via the kebab shop every Thursday night if Patrick’s Facebook page is anything to go by.

Oh, those amazing quacks from history and their radical cures. Normally we would advise shoving them where the sun doesn’t shine; however, these devices bring a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘widening one's circle of clients’.   Here’s the bottom line from the Quack Doctor.  More on this subject from with 8 terrifying instruments old time doctors used on your junk.

 "Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!” Mum donates stools for fecal matter transplant - saves daughter’s life. All is well.

Here’s our third and final number two related link if you want one, and topical too: How to keep that magic underwear clean - Tide for Mormons; leading nicely into some things you may not know about missionaries.

Let’s not dispense with the quack theme just yet as over in New Zealand a home schooled teen claims that if gay marriage is approved “ducks could take over the world”. Kneel before your Mallard Overlords!

Well I do like these: Modern stone & flint tools and Fractal kitchenware. Not available at your local Lakeland store – now!

Explore the tree of life with this new interactive website which shows a phylogenetic tree of everything, as zoomable as Google Earth. All you have to do is zoom in and out. Another great clickable tree of life representation here based on Richard Dawkins’ The Ancestor’s Tale.

Correlation/Causewaytion argument finally resolved.  Stop groaning at the back. Some additional and very interesting news has just arrived on this story.

We always enjoy a good sing-along – this isn’t going to be one of them: Astrology songs.  Can you make it through all twelve?

This is rather blooming splendid, and the planning and effort required etc.: A hand painted evolutionary time lapse movie on a massive scale – BIG BANG BIG BOOM.

Pareidolia Corner: A photograph of Muppets on Mercury or just a superposition of young craters over old taken from the Messenger spacecraft? Oh, alright then, just for you - COOKIES!!!

Noticing pareidolia can be tricky and a time consuming activity, so why not build yourself a robot  to do the hard work for you? Although it would be up to you to tell it what subject to look for; could be anything, you name it.

More robotic brilliance from just 20 or so miles away as Surgeons at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton have carried out the first ever robotic heart operation in Britain.

Over at the National Secular Society they’ve called on the Government to end the religious exemption to animal welfare legislation that permits animals to be slaughtered without stunning.

Feathered Dinosaurs drive creationists crazy: Ken Ham of the Creation Museum is saddling up his Triceratops and riding into town to take Dinosaurs back from his mortal enemy, the nefarious secular humanist gang.

Our second NSS link: In a blatant piece of religious discrimination, an 11 year-old boy is excluded from Scouts because he doesn’t believe in God.

It must be getting near Halloween again as over at The Guardian Chris French asks “Why won't psychic Sally Morgan accept our invitation to test her powers?” Click through the numerous links for the history behind the story, the challenge set to the top five touring mediums in the UK, and the obvious conclusions.

What to leave you with? Hmm, this was mentioned by Martin Taylor at the last Sitp event, Hypnotism without Hypnosis, and I can’t recall what he called it. Bah! Somebody please check the DVD - Click the colour and not the word. (This java game worked great on IE for me but not Chrome btw - Ed).

Have a great week.

This week’s Round-up was compiled by SitP regular Roy Beddowes.

1 comment:

Tom Williamson said...

Sheldrake? Look forward to an enjoyable evening of face palming! :)