Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Round-up - Week 12

Hello and welcome to the spring edition of the Round-up, mind you, for many of us looking out of the window today it seems more like winter. It might be good to have an educated discussion about global warming at this point, but maybe not if the government has their way. Ben Goldacre has more than a few words to say about the use of evidence  in education in this excellent post.

Dean Burnett puts
women in their rightful place over at the Guardian. More women in science here with a review of a book looking at the fascinating history of the women behind the Manhattan Project. And here is a young woman who has already got her name into the science books, quite literally.

Voyage 1 is leaving the solar system again, or maybe not.

Jedi blessing your wedding you could have. Although there are some marriages that they might feel are just a light jump too far. Sticking with the Jedi theme, do we really know the truth behind that Death Star deal, well do we?

From an out and out parody to a piece of film that has been doing the rounds of the conspiracy sites. Is Obama’s bodyguard a face changing alien?

Couple of gift ideas now, for that ghost hunter in your life you can pick up this fully functioning
EMF reader for a bargain price, and for the more artsy scientist how about a necklace of their own voice?

Not content to just sift through the Bible for evidence to support their views it seems creationists will turn their powers of textual analysis on other unsuspecting ancient writings.

Every cloud might not have a silver lining but earthquakes might have a gold one.

Everything you need to know about Pope Francis in forty-seven seconds.

Spiderlizard, Spiderlizard does whatever a Spiderlizard can.

The ethical considerations around circumcision from Brian Earp.

Ilkley are hosting an alternative medicine festival, grab your tent, load up your arnica and head out on there. If you prefer to take your unproven remedies in a more exotic setting how about a luxury hole somewhere in Australia? This next couple of pieces relate to Australia too as the call goes out for pharmacists, those qualified people that the public tends to trust, to not stock remedies that have no basis in evidence, and we ask the question of whether windfarm sickness actually exists.

Here’s a question relevant to a Skeptics in the Pub, can you survive just on beer and no water?

There are all kinds of ways of protesting or showing support for a cause. Here’s a guy that found a way to make a colourful stand for the LGBT community right on the doorstep of those loveable hatemongers the Westboro Baptists.

Our next speaker at the SitP is Rupert Sheldrake and if you’re familiar with his work you’ll understand that we’re expecting a lively evening. If you want a bit of background here’s an article that’ll bring you up to speed on some of his ideas ready for the evening. He’s no stranger to contentious debate as this recent episode with Tedx shows.

They say there are lies, damned lies and statistics. So here are lie detectors, truth drugs and why not to believe the statistics.

Chad Orzel explains why you should think like a scientist. Here’s a great post on the Gambler’s Fallacy by somebody that has no problem doing so, Steve Novella.

Steve was a key speaker at the first QED conference and we’re only a few weeks away from the next and I’m already getting excited. One of the speakers this year is Richard Dawkins, who, love him, hate him or be indifferent to him, has certainly played a major part in the discussion and promotion of atheism. Here is one of his early works opposing the creationist view.

What’s the harm of alternative medicine? Quite a lot in some cases unfortunately.

I love a good squid me, and the bigger the better. Scientists have turned up some interesting facts about the ironically hard to find and mysterious giant squid.

A great free science resource here provided by the people over at Nature. Not one of their articles but of interest nonetheless is this brilliant study looking at the not so natural selection effects of road traffic.

Like something straight out of Jurassic Park comes this article on bringing extinct species back to life.

Here is the scariest looking beauty treatment that I have ever seen or heard of. See if you can find it on Crispian Jago’s venn diagram of irrational nonsense.

Lots of ethical and scientific considerations here as a controversial form of IVF moves a step closer.

Before the final closing video a reminder to keep checking our various internet pages for upcoming events. You can always find links to Twitter, Facebook and our DVD page around this site if you look hard enough. I’ve already plugged the Rupert Sheldrake talk but just to say that seats are limited so if you are coming and have difficulty standing for the duration then use one of those social networking outlets or our email and we’ll reserve one for you. Also don’t forget our social this week and the upcoming book group, great chances to meet excellent people and get down to the nitty gritty of things.

I'll leave you with this brilliant film  capturing images and much more relating to the ISS.

The ISS Image Frontier - "Making the invisible visible" from Christoph Malin on Vimeo.

This post was put together by Patrick Redmond with lots of help with links from Roy Beddowes. If you fancy having a go at a round-up yourself or  doing a blog post for us then please get in touch.

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