Wednesday 27 February 2013

Weekly Round-up w/e 24/02/2013 (ish)

It’s the weekly round-up and we’re back with our usual mix of stories, news and views from the worlds of science, skepticism, religion and anything that amused us and we can shoehorn into this post.

We’ll start off with a good old piece of skeptical fair with a couple of articles on spontaneous human combustion. Firstly a Dickensian tale of exploding drunkards and then a contribution from Steve Novella bringing it right back up to date.

A bit of a cavalcade of Catholicism starting with the New Statesman as it asks whether a documentary forced the Pope to resign. We get an atheist’s perspective of the main runners in the pontiff dash from Sara Lin Wilde. If you’re wondering where the Atheist Camel sits on this you might get a clue from the title, Why I Despise Catholicism and Those Who Keep it  Alive. Newsthump were somewhat prescient with this tongue in cheek satire of Cardinal O’Brien just days before his resignation.

Here’s some word’s from about tonight’s SitP speaker John Sweeney and how the Internet could be the scourge of Scientology. And here is a good example of the phenomenon.

Forget Skeptics in the Pub, how about Skeptics in Papua New Guinea? Mind you if you were setting up a new SitP wouldn’t this be the perfect venue?

Fantastic images here of the wiring of the brain. And Gizmodo take us through what happens in there when you get black-out drunk.

Francis Wheen has a go at homeopaths in the Daily Mail, while the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission takes them to task over their anti-vaccination stance. They’re not alone though as fellow Aussie Stephanie Messenger promotes Melanie’s Marvelous Measles. (Feel free to join in the review section). John Stumble’s adds further light to this story.

The Twenty-First Floor provides this handy guide to posting on the Internet for Quacks.

Edzard Ernst re-examines the dangers of spinal manipulation by chiropractors. You probably remember that it was Simon Singh’s entanglement with the BCA that threw full force behind the Libel Reform movement. Well here’s the same paper, same photo but not such a happy development.

Mirror mirror on the wall who’s the most gullible of them all?

Apparently you can’t believe everything you read in the beauty ads, who would’ve thought it? How about combining your ablutions with your caffeine intake?

A real life story of vampirism from Turkey.

Gruesome but beautiful (upside down) images of zombie ants.

Apparently religion is rational. Not all would agree, especially if you want to take it into the classroom. Mind you it doesn’t make much sense in the field of dating either. I wonder what the Dalai Lama has to say on the subject of homosexuality.

It’s a miracle, God doesn’t heal paralysed boy!

I was trying to work out the name of the logical fallacy in this post by Ray Comfort. I think it’s the Total Bollocks Fallacy.

Very moving and worth a watch as we take time to consider the way that an outsider’s view of the earth has affected astronauts. We haven’t put anybody in orbit around Mercury, but if we did it would look something like this.

Dalek designer dies. (No not Davros!)

Can’t decide what to do with your hair, you’re lucky you’ve got a choice.

When you’ve finished with this website here’s the new one for the Rationalist Association that you might be interested in.

How many unique English tweets are possible? How long would it take for the population of the world to read them all out loud?

As mentioned we have John Sweeney tonight, and in two weeks time we’ve got the excellent Andy Lewis on the subject of Steiner Schools. Not long after is the third in our very popular and successful book groups discussing Thinking Fast and Slow. Keep an eye on this page and all our other outlets for upcoming events and news.

I had the pleasure of meeting the people behind this brilliant little robot recently. Here’s a really interesting potential application of the technology in our final video.

This week’s round-up was put together by Patrick Redmond but would not have been possible without the immense help of Roy Beddowes.

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