News From Around The Blogosphere 01.13.09

January 14, 2009

Bill Maher is religulous! - You know, I’ve always kinda liked Bill Maher. I’d heard that he was big into alternative medicine and Big Pharma conspiracy woo but I never seemed to have caught interviews or episodes of his show where that came out. What I always caught was his anti-religious rants, which I’ve always loved. But he’s now revealed that he’s not only kinda into nonsense medicine but has now taken it upon himself to promote and endurse HIV/AIDS Denier Christine Maggiore’s book. As reported last week, Maggiore just died because of AIDS. Though her denialist friends are making up nonsensical “alternative” explanations for her death. Bill, your movie was still one of the best of last year but please, just leave the doctoring to the doctors.

vaccine1A few weeks ago antivaccinationist J.B. Handley whined about how biased the New York Times was after they interviewed him. This was before the article he was being interviewed for even came out–probably not a smart move if you want a favorable review. Well now that article is finally in print. And it mops the floor with these fools playing doctor. And not only that but the article even squeezes in passing references to other infamous wacko conspiracy theories.

Couple defends claim of cures for herpes, bird flu, smallpox -  A couple in New Zealand who claim to have homeopathic cures for many diseases are being prosecuted for making misleading claims.

foil-hatSon of a Psychic Healer – WNYC’s Leonard Lopate interviews Philip Smith. “Philip Smith grew up in 1960s Miami, with a psychic healer father who was into yogic diets, mystical vibrations, and reincarnation.  Smith himself became a Scientologist at the age of 17. His new memoir about his youth is Walking Through Walls.”  It’s sad that this guy is still this guillible. Not only is his father delusional but he’s deliberately defrauding people, as evidenced from the description of his magically making their legs the same length, a tired old trick that James Randi debunked years ago. It’s a facinating listen, if not tragic that this guy has been so indoctrinated that he can claim to have done so much research and yet managed to miss good skeptical critique.

Barack Obama should not become honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America – Every president since William Taft has accepted the title to this discriminatory organization. But the Secular Coalition for America says the buck should stop here.

Correction: Oops. I posted the wrong photo. That’s a photo of the Hitler Youth, not the Boy Scouts of America. My mistake.

Citizen Obama – Those cranks trying to come up with any excuse to  bar Barack Obama from becoming president are at it again. They’re sticking with their false claim that he’s not a natural born citizen have put together a TV ad that all the major networks have refused to air. It’s a fun piece of batshit insanity that may have you rolling on the floor laughing:

Do you know ANYONE who still has their original birth certicate? Okay, I might. But I’m pretty sure if I do I’m a rare exception.


News From Around The Blogosphere 01.07.09

January 8, 2009

Oklahoma has put up the first anti-evolution bill for 2009 -

Senate Bill 320 (document), prefiled in the Oklahoma Senate and scheduled for a first reading on February 2, 2009, is apparently the first antievolution bill of 2009. Entitled the “Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act,” SB 320 would, if enacted, require state and local educational authorities to “assist teachers to find more effective ways to present the science curriculum where it addresses scientific controversies” and permit teachers to “help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories pertinent to the course being taught.” The only topics specifically mentioned as controversial are “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.”

Yeah, Oklahoma is dead to me. I highly recommend making it the punchline to your every joke about stupid people. Which reminds me: How many Oklahomans does it take to change a lightbulb? None. They thought the first bulb was an evil spirit and tried to kill it. Then after it all gone dark, they became convinced God was angry with them and are praying for the light to return.

Meanwhile, Indiana just went up a notch -

The Indianapolis Star has been running a pointless little prayer on page A2 of the newspaper for years. Not any more; the editor has decided to discontinue it.

Of course this decision received complaints like the hilarious one PZ Myers cites that compares prayer to astrology ironically trying to persuade them to keep the prayer in. Well I’ll say one thing, the comparison is apt.

HIV/AIDS Deniers, the Ministry of Truth, and the failure of memory holes in the Internet Age – A fantastic look into the deceptive nature of denialism.

Senator Oddball has died - Former Rhode Island Sen. Claiborne Pell, best known for the student grant program that bears his name,  died on New Year’s Day. But there was another side of him. Time magazine, called him “Senator Oddball” because of his strong interest in the paranormal, such as remote viewing, UFO’s, and Uri Geller, who he invited to Washington, where Geller claims to have bombarded a Soviet arms control negotiator with “intense images of peace.” Yeah, apparently we had a U.S. Senator living in the 20th Century who urged a “psychic” to cast a magic spell on our enemies. Chew on that one for awhile. And then freak out. Imagine how much fun it’d have been if he’d become president, huh?

Paul Offit, Charlotte Moser, and Steve Novella refute Robert Sears – A seriously awesome and epic take-down of another antivaccinationist proponent of the myth that vaccines cause autism.

Porn industry wants a bailout now? What?! – Yeah, I hope this is just Larry Flynt’s attempt at satirizing the absurdity of the government bailouts.

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

scientist-use-in-case-of-emergencyTestes Stem Cells Change Into Other Tissues – “Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine and at UC-San Francisco have succeeded in isolating stem cells from human testes. The cells bear a striking resemblance to embryonic stem cells — they can differentiate into each of the three main types of tissues of the body — but the researchers caution against viewing them as one and the same.”

Black Holes Lead Galaxy Growth – “Astronomers may have solved a cosmic chicken-and-egg problem — the question of which formed first in the early Universe — galaxies or the supermassive black holes seen at their cores.”

Levitation Created At Microscopic Scale – “Magicians have long created the illusion of levitating objects in the air. Now researchers have actually levitated an object, suspending it without the need for external support. Working at the molecular level, the researchers relied on the tendency of certain combinations of molecules to repel each other at close contact, effectively suspending one surface above another by a microscopic distance.

Researchers from Harvard University and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have measured, for the first time, a repulsive quantum mechanical force that could be harnessed and tailored for a wide range of new nanotechnology applications.”

Physicists Squeeze Light To Quantum Limit - “A team of University of Toronto physicists have demonstrated a new technique to squeeze light to the fundamental quantum limit, a finding that has potential applications for high-precision measurement, next-generation atomic clocks, novel quantum computing and our most fundamental understanding of the universe.”

Researchers Create Car Parts From Coconuts -“A team of Baylor University researchers who have identified a variety of low-cost products that can be manufactured from coconuts in poor coastal regions have now developed a way to use coconut husks in automotive interiors.”


News From Around The Blogosphere 12.31.08

January 1, 2009

And here are Canadian Skeptical Failures of 2008

Oprah’s having bad luck with memoirists: turns out her favorite Holocaust story isn’t true either. This is the second time she was caught being duped by a bogus memoir. . .and this is one of the most influential people in the world. You all (except for George Bush) know the old expression:  “fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Combine that with her credulous acceptance of Jenny McCarthy, loads of bogus psychics, The Secret, Dr. Phil, Memet Oz and I feel I have to ask:  is therre anyone who seriously doesn’t think I could sell Oprah magic beans for million dollars?

HIV Deniers Celia Farber on the death of Christine Maggiore: It was a “radical detox” regimen, not HIV

Time for some poll-crashing – Yes, I’ve very aware I have a very small readership right now, hardly enough to significantly effect poll results. But in this case I feel any help I can give, the better. Go here and look up “Generation Rescue”, “autism”, and “vaccines” in the search box. Then after registering, vote for good questions about autism health care and vote against questions pushing the anti-vaccinationist agenda.

Oh, and a look back at some of the anti-vaccinationist epic fails of 2008

Lord of the Woo – Michael Flatley has returned to dancing after insisting that an anonymous virus he’d contracted was cured by an Irish “energy healer.” Ugh!

AND NOW FOR A MOMENT OF SCIENCE:

scientist-use-in-case-of-emergencyDeciphering Dolphin Language With Picture Words – “In an important breakthrough in deciphering dolphin language, researchers in Great Britain and the United States have imaged the first high definition imprints that dolphin sounds make in water.”

2008: Year in review:

Happy New Year Everybody!


News From Around The Blogosphere 12.30.08

December 31, 2008

Skepchick names The Top 10 Skeptics Who Kicked Ass in 2008 – Find out who made the list. I’m also quoted in this blog making it EXTRA special. Also, I was the first to suggest one of the winners to Rebecca, Sanal Edamaruku.

After his colossal error this year involving not understanding the meaning of the word “eponymous”, Casey Luskin of the creationist “think” tank Discovery Institute botches up again.

creationism-cartoon-a-miracle-occursIndiana Congressman Mark Souder on Intelligent Design -

I personally believe that there is no issue more important to our society than intelligent design. I believe that if there wasn’t a purpose in designing you — regardless of who you view the designer as being — then, from my perspective, you can’t be fallen from that design. If you can’t be fallen from that design, there’s no point to evangelism.

vaccine1Harriet Hall explains why the $150,000 Vaccine Challenge is absurd

HIV Denialist Christine Maggiore is dead - I never heard of her but Orac explains her story here.

How to profit from the coming Rapture - This is a satirical how-to book by Steve and Evie Levy.

atheists-support-gaysHow atheists can be good allies

8 albums about atheism you never heard of



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