Sunday, 11 December 2011

Weekly Roundup week ending 11/12/2011

Hello and welcome to the Birmingham Skeptics weekly roundup of the good, the bad and the sometimes ridiculous from the world of science and skepticism. We had our last meet of the year this week with David Allen Green and it was great to get chance to chat to people at the end. Make sure you check our website and join the Facebook group to keep up with all upcoming events and socials.

Time for business, we’ll kick off with an excellent bit of paradolia as the Mail brings us this wonderfully creepy image from beneath the ground. Sticking with fantastic images over at the Friendly Atheist we have some controversy as the combination of the Bible, Lego and explicit sex scenes (albeit with no genitals) proves too much for some retailers.

A nice post here looking at the correlation between religiosity and the declineof science literacy in the States. In a similar vein the Turkish government feel that the young need protecting from Darwin and evolution.

I’ll insert a quick and shameless plug for our latest podcast here. This one has a bit of swearing in it but it’s a good one. You can stream it here or find the iTunes details here. It’s me interviewing a couple of skeptical podcasters from America and it’s lively and funny. Look out for upcoming podcasts, the next one will have Becs O’Neill the Skeprechaun.
A serious and sad article from the Observer next, although it’s a story and theme long covered by Private Eye, so let’s tip a hat to them. It’s the case of Carole Myers who died amidst claims that she had suffered satanic abuse at the hands of her parents. Chris French features in here and anyone who saw him at the talk he gave at the Brum Skeptics will know his interest and scepticism about recovered memories.

We’ve just passed the anniversary of the death of John Lennon. I can’t believe it was 31 years ago! This blog marks that sad event but finishes on an upbeat note that’s worth a read by those involved in skepticism.

Another well known speaker on the skeptics circuit had an article out this week. Nick Pope writes about unexplained structures, aliens and conspiracies with some great photos.

If you weren’t already excited enough about the upcoming QED conference in March, they’ve just announced that there will be a skeptical award ceremony there. Even if you can’t make it to the event you can still try to ensure that your favourite skeptical endeavours receive the reward and recognition that they deserve.

And finally a video. It’s not particularly skeptical but I love octopuses and I’ve put this together so you’re going to have to put up with it. Besides, it is very very cool. Give them a few million more years of evolution and they might be moving into a neighbourhood near you. That is how it works right? Just enjoy the video and don't worry whether it's octopuses, octopi or octopodes, it's an eight legged wonder!

This week's roundup was put together by Patrick Redmond (@paddyrex)

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