Wednesday, 6 February 2013

The Round-up w/e 3/2/2012(ish)

Alfred Russell Wallace
So many lovely links to share, it’s difficult to know where to start? How about a local story, as a so-called Australian boffin believes he’s uncovered a history of Black Country crop circles. Mind you, I think that Tunbridge Wells have us beat with their big foots or big feet or whatever the plural is. The Youtube link within that article doesn’t work so here it is for ease.

Homeopathy often gets a bit of a kicking in the round-up and some people might think it’s an easy target and we should leave it alone, but not the chief medical officer. Mind you she gets some support in her views from a practising acupuncturist/herbalist for whom it seems that homeopathy is a step too far. In a vain and wholly false attempt at balance here is an incoherent defence of the treatment.

Talking of barely grasped understandings of the scientific process, did you hear the one about the astrology believing, homeopathy advocating, moon phase watching member of the Science Select Committee.

The ministers have voted and the equal marriage bill has moved on to the next stage with a 400 – 175 majority. As you can imagine there are people with not so sensible views on this subject, actually replace that with horrendously offensive views.

We all know that homosexuality is abhorrent to God, but then so is pork… hmmm pork. If you want a full list of all the stuff that God has a downer on then here you go.

The American Humanists Association are trying to introduce a National Darwin Day. This film on the Texas Text Book Wars shows that there is a bit of a need for it I think. Whilst they’re remembering Darwin let’s hope they don’t forget Alfred Russell Wallace, the Natural History Museum certainly don’t want them to. Mind you, if we are descended from…. How come there are still…?

Valentine’s Day is not too far away and it’s time to think of gifts for that special someone. How about the geeky cute crocheted Time Lords and the plain disturbing vampire babies?

Andy Lewis takes to task the magazine that claims to tell you what doctors don’t, i.e a total pile of BS about vitamin C. Mind you if you want a bit of ridiculous bashing of the medical profession look no further  than the Health Ranger who believes that  guns don’t kill people, doctors do.

Telescopes, Lucifer and Jesuit astronomers.
I watched a 3D printer produce a skull last week, it was pretty cool. Here’s the something on a whole larger scale, a printed house! And here’s an even better application of the concept as we reach to the moon.

After reading the account of the royal corpse divining rod that is Phillipa Langley, you might have thought that popular archaeology had peaked. You’d be wrong though, the ancient history of curry.

GlaxoSmithKline has put its support behind the AllTrials campaign. Here’s a great explanation of the need for this via one of our regular attendees Dr Anthony Cox using the unlikely but brilliant illustration of Aston Villa Football Club. (If you know about football please insert a suitable joke about how rubbish they are)

Here’s some interesting research that has finally made the link between alcohol consumption and unconsciousness.

Staying on the theme of beautifully illustrated science here is a wonderful account of why we have a winter flu season.

Hundreds of years of important manuscripts are in danger in Timbuktu. Here is a bit of an insight into the mind-set that can lie behind the destruction of cultural artifacts by Islamists.

I’ve long resisted the urge to join in with many of the “what is skepticism about” debates that happen, mainly because most of what needs to be said is said by somebody at some point. Howevert I will link to the views of Steve Novella on this, as I think that he approaches most every subject from a very rational point.

And to follow that here’s a short opinion piece by Penn Jillette on the relationship between atheism and religion.

Hyperdermics could go the way of the Betamax and the Huhne.

If you were God how would you cope with your own immortality?

An everyday story from Zimbabwe here that involves an exploding goblin. Apparently that’s not their equivalent of the Sunday Sport.

Should women soldiers serve on the frontline? Some alternative opinions.

Anybody that has ever read one of my round-ups before will know that I am a big fan of the What if? But how can you not love a guy that considers the science behind an interplanetary Cessna.

Time for the usual pluggage of events we have coming up. This month sees two talks and a book group. In order of appearance we have the marvellous Neil Denny describing his fantastic scientific odyssey (13th), Ben Goldacre’s BadScience (17th) and John Sweeney taking us Inside the Weird Worldof  Scientology (27th). If you’ve missed past talks don’t forget you can get hold our brilliantly produced DVDs with Robert Llewellyn’s about to join the catalogue any day now.

And finally a blast from the past with the Lunar Rover of Apollo 16:

The Round-up was put together by Patrick Redmond (@paddyrex) with substantial assistance from the wonderful Roy Beddowes

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