Sunday 6 May 2012

The Round-up w/e 06/05/2012

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away… some bright spark had the idea of doing a weekly round-up for the Birmingham Skeptics and so here I am again scouring the universe for stories from the light and dark sides of  science and scepticism from the week? Did you see what I did there? Of course you did, Friday was Star Wars day and so we’ll kick off with Matthew Cresswell’s views on the growing church of Jedism.

Another thing growing, unfortunately, is the number of cases of measles! If only somebody could find some way of preventing it, like a simple vaccination or something!

But then why stop at measles? There­­­ are lots of other fun diseases to enjoy out there. Pertussis anybody?

Wait, what’s that up in the sky? Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s Supermoon! Or maybe not.

Interesting developments in the application of technology to visual impairment.

After the recent disastrous election results for the Liberals, NewsThump reports on efforts to save them from extinction.

I’m including this blog post on gender targeted marketing from the Independent for a couple of reasons. For one I enjoyed  it very much and for another it has been written by Nat Guest one of our sitp regulars from way back, who has since moved to London. She has a great blog, recently recommended on Twitter by none other than Dara O’Briain. She is also  one of the organisers of the BBC Question Time Watchalong held at the same venue as the Hackney Skeptics. Basically she’s just great.

This one brings to mind all the old arguments about skepticism denying hope to those that need it, but really, psychics?

Misinterpretation and misinformation about neuroscience covered by the wonderful Dean Burnett of Cardiff Skeptics.

I’ve heard it debated that skeptics should be wary of dishing out logical fallacy slam-downs as a way of winning arguments. I think it’s all to do with delivery really. You have to hand it to Steve Novella though; when he wields the words of power he takes no prisoners.

UFOs are always fun, unless you're having a probe stuck somewhere dark and private. Here’s a nice analysis by Robert Shaeffer of a well-known sighting in the Yukon.

Zombie-ants and monster fleas, what a film that would be! And while we’re talking about movies and giant jumping things (sleek segway eh?), here is a brilliant analysis of the physics behind the jumping power of the Hulk!

Scientific extrapolations of science fiction funnery are all the rage these days. I still wasn’t convinced that this is really the first step to the sonic screw driver but it’s a good article nonetheless.

I've been asked to include something that crosses the skeptic/squirrel interface. Yes I know some odd people. But ever happy to oblige we'll have the Fortean Squirrel debunking some mythconceptions about toilets. and I'd like to introduce you to Robosquirrel.

The next SitP is Robin Ince and it’s a sold-out ticketed event folks. We’ll be opening the doors at 7:00pm, but be warned there are only a few seats so there’s a good chance you’ll be standing. Sorry about that but it’ll be well worth it. If standing for the duration will be difficult then let us know before the night by emailing us and we’ll reserve one for you. You can get us through the Contact page. If some people don’t show and there is space we’ll squeeze a few extra in just before the start but we can’t guarantee how many if any, we’re bound by fire regulations and oxygen capacity I’m afraid.

Right, all that’s left is for me to wish you all the best for the coming week and in the spirit of the upcoming Olympic Games to leave you with this:

This week's round-up was lovingly crafted by Patrick Redmond (@paddyrex) one of the organisers of Birmingham Skeptics in the Pub.

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