Monday 26 September 2011

Weekly Round-up w/e 25/09/11

Hello and welcome to this week's weekly round-up.  After last week's sterling effort by Roy, this one is only a brief one to try and keep you up to date with what's going on.  Don't forget, this week we have Mark Stevenson coming to Birmingham to present his Optimist's Tour of the Future talk.  If you've not already, get over to our Facebook page and click 'yes, I'm attending' on the event page.  Only if you're coming though, click no if you're not.  Anyway, here you go:

Can neutrons exceed the speed of light?  If so, I will eat my boxer shorts on live TV.

First Irish case' of death by spontaneous combustion.

Double whammy gene therapy clears HIV from body.

As a world centre of fashion, if any country was going to introduce a dress code, then France would be it.  As with all arbitrary laws such as this, the target is a minority.

Tearing pages from Bibles makes atheists ugly according to someone I’m not interested in.  It may be just paper with words on it, but it’s needlessly provocative.

Sub-nuclear particles may move faster than light, who says homeopathy can’t work?

UC Berkeley Invents Mind Reading Machine Called 'Natural Movies'

Coronation Street are to have visitors from another planet as UFOs are spotted by a couple of the characters.  You won’t find any Gail Platt ET jokes here.

Prescribing Jesus.  Is it really appropriate for a doctor to offer Christianity as part of the treatment?

xkcd, topical as always:

Newly set up Project Barnum has a nice looking website with some good resources and useful information on the sort of tricks used by psychics to con their customers.  It also has a campaign to get theatres to stop booking psychics if you’re into that sort of thing.  I quite liked the Magicians Vs Psychics poster.

This week's round-up was rounded-up by Paul Bryant (@thebigyeti)

Saturday 17 September 2011

Weekly Round-up w/e 18/09/2011

Welcome once again to the Birmingham Skeptics in the Pub round up of internet things that are collected by us to amuse or bemuse; a smorgasbord of thoughts and ideas that you can take away and mull over for a while until the next interesting thing comes along to displace them.  

This week’s blog is slightly different and it’s something we’ve been actively encouraging, a guest blog by a regular member of the Sitp audience; hi, my name is Roy, and I’ll be your skeptic sub-contractor this week right down to the end of this page. If you’re interested in contributing to any future blogs, including this one, please form an orderly queue behind me. Let’s begin - hardhats on.

Sunday 4 September 2011

Weekly Round-up w/e 04/09/2001

Hi folks, welcome to the Birmingham Skeptics round-up of things that we’ve stumbled across and enjoyed over the last week or so. The first piece is s bit of scientology news from the southern hemisphere. This is a new angle of attack and if it works out could prove very difficult for these Thetan clearing adherents. Don’t forget we’re looking forward to hearing Martin Poulter on Scientology in October

I make no apologies for including Orac for a second week running. Most of us know the essentials of homeopathy and how it works. There is nothing in it and it doesn’t. But just when you thought  there was little more to read on the subject Orac comes up with a very amusing post about something that is ridiculous by even homeopathic standards

You know how you wait ages for a bus and then two come along at the same time? Yes, it’s probably an example of confirmation bias but I promise I wasn’t looking for this in particular when I came across not one but two posts involving Big Foot. The first is from a group of Minnesota skeptics who linked to a video of somebody who firmly believes in the existence of the creature. It’s interesting to then pop across to Brian Dunning at Skepticblog to see how he takes apart the main arguments of the proponents.

Now I only came across this next item this morning via Greg Laden over at ScienceBlogs. The Nasa website has been responsible for losing many hours of time and I don’t think that this is going to change much with the introduction of the ability to explore the solar system from the comfort of my armchair. I found the controls a little difficult at first but worth the time and effort to experiment and get to grips with them.

Crispian Jago has a wicked sense of humour and a creative bent to match. Check out his endorsement of the Detox 2000 (Patent Pending) for proof of this.

Climate change has never been a controversial area has it? The Guardian report on a remarkable geoengineering experiment looking to mitigate the effects of global warning. Read the comments below and you’ll find a lively discussion on all aspects of this subject.

The final link is a shameless plug for my posting about meeting the Asian Rationalist Society of Britain and the great Narendra Nayak.

We’re always looking for guest bloggers  on our site so if you haven’t blogged before and fancy a go, or you're a regular blogger but would be willing to contribute your talents to our page, then please get in touch at, we’d love to hear from you.

This weeks round up was compiled by Patrick Redmond (paddyrex)