Tuesday 29 January 2013

The Weekly Round-up w/e 28/1/2013

You thought we'd forgotten about you, didn't you? Of course we didn't, we're just a couple of days late with it that's all. No need to worry, it's here now. It's been all go here at Birmingham Skeptics organising some interesting talks for you. As a result, we've got 2 talks for you in February. You'll find details hidden amongst the round-up, just to make sure you read it.

You might remember us mentioning the £4.25m Grade II listed mansion owned by the Church of Scientology in Moseley that’s been left empty for years. Well, it turns out they have a load of grand, empty properties around the world according to this article that details what some are calling a real-estate scam that’s alienating some of its most faithful followers. Thanks to @James_Rhead on twitter for the link.

On the subject of Scientology, we have Panorama’s John Sweeney popping along to The Victoria at the end of February to talk about his new book; The Church of Fear: Inside the weird world of Scientology.  Details of the event are here and here.

Thou shalt be more careful when carving words into granite.  A new monument in Oklahoma City honouring the 10 commandments has a couple of spelling mistakes. Does Tipp-Ex work on granite?

Aliens admit cutting down on visits to earth since the advent of camera phones.

The grand scientific institution that is the Solid Fuel Association have, with absolutely no vested interests of course, announced to the world the results of their in-depth study into climate change (or they might have copy and pasted some bullshit they found on the internet) in the form of “Ten reasons to reject the theory of catastrophic man-made climate change”.  Further down that page you’ll notice how suddenly man-made climate change appears to be a credible theory again when it helps their members shift more units; they announce “the substitution of gas for coal as an energy source results in increased rather than decreased global warming for many decades.”

Cambridge researchers discover evidence of quadruple-helix DNA structures.

I’d rather be ‘cured’ by a placebo than rely on science and remain ill.

It looks like science is making a comeback in the Islamic world, at least according to the Economist.

STOP PRESS! Apparently, homeopathy is ‘rubbish’. Who’d have thunk it? Well, Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies thought it and said it. Magic water salesman, Dr Lionel Milgrom, disagrees though and wrote her a letter. Shame he didn’t use 30c ink.

Did you know, that the KKK were actually pretty nice guys? No? You’ve obviously not been reading creationist-inspired school books then, have you? Start here with 10 lessons from creationist-inspired school books.

Don’t forget that on Wednesday, February 13th host of the Little Atoms Radio Show and Podcast, Neil Denny, will coming to The Victoria to tell us about his road trip around America through the frontiers and the battle-lines of science. Details here and here.

You can’t refrigerate homosexuality like pork, so it’s still a sin says a confused man.

Struth! Australian boffin/expert ‘can’ ‘prove’ that Black Country crop circles are not a hoax the clever old beggar.

Reports of Bigfoot sightings are on the rise in Tunbridge Wells according to Bigfoot research UK. The caption below the picture asks ‘Is this a footprint of the Kentish Ape Man?’ Answers on a postcard.

Meanwhile, doctors have discovered that alcohol can help you pass-out.

and finally, did you catch Wonders of Life the other night? The answer talked over Eric Idle's song at the end, didn't she? Cuh, what are they like? Here is the updated song in full:

This week's round-up was put together by Birmingham Skeptics co-organiser Paul Bryant

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