Links Du Jour For #TAM2012 (New Podcast Episode Out Today And E-Book Of Token Skeptic Book!)

Just a few links that have caught my eye this morning – and bon voyage to friends like Sharon Hill and Eugenie Scott et al, who are heading on their way to TAM!

As always Sharon’s updates on Doubtful News are well worth subscribing too and so is CFI’s/Paul Fidalgo’s The Morning Heresy. They update more diligently than I do and are entertaining while they’re at it!

To help weary travellers out – later today on Lulu.com (and Amazon, once I play around with the features for submitting a Kindle pdf) – the electronic version of The Scope of Skepticism: Interviews, Essays and Observations from the Token Skeptic podcast!

Firstly, thanks to SkepReview who has recommended my podcast amongst others for any journeys you may be having (such as off to work, like me!) - a post called TAM Travel Podcasts:

Whether you are traveling by commercial airliner, bus, train, or in the back of your friend’s Mini, hopefully what follows will help you ease the hours away until you get to rub elbows with the likes of Dr. Stuart Robbins, Blake Smith, or Sharon Hill.  Not all are necessarily skeptical podcasts, but episodes that help while away the long hours stuck next to the smelly gentleman who’s using your shoulder as a comfy pillow flying from Liberty International to McCarron airports.

Here’s a sneak preview of the interviewee for today’s episode on the Token Skeptic…

Anthony Barnhart (aka, “Magic Tony”) is a doctoral candidate in cognitive psychology at Arizona State University in the United States and a part-time professional magician with over twenty years of performing experience.  In the lab, he studies the psychological processes underlying handwritten word perception and the psychological foundations of magic and illusion.  An expert in the psychology of illusion, Tony has lectured on the topic at magic conventions and to students of psychology at colleges and universities.  As a performer, he employs psychological principles to elevate his magic’s impact and increase the audience’s sense of wonder.

A while back I interviewed Prof Bruce Hood about his efforts to challenge dowsing by “bomb detector” devices, which is featured on the Curiouser and Curiouser column – guess what? Bomb detector’ maker Jim McCormick faces fraud charges!

From Australia’s Minister of Health:

In a world first, Australian schoolboys will be able to get the successful Gardasil® vaccine, which will protect them against developing a range of cancers and bolster the effectiveness of this vaccine in women.

If you don’t know what vaccinating a guy for Gardasil looks like – Professor Funk aka Dan Keogh demonstrates:

I’d like to think that the Government watched the Hungry Beast TV show…

THIS is something I’ve said (and also support an earlier article called “Is that a fallacy in your pocket or can you cite some sources? A response to Women and Feminism at TAM8 which in a not-so-dissimilar fashion talks about perspectives) - Don’t Make Me Defend Jenny McCarthy on Slate:

Don’t make me defend Jenny McCarthy! The problem, critics, has nothing to do with McCarthy posing nude, but that she has no medical or scientific credentials. Besides, she is arguably much more famous as an alternative health crusader than she ever was as a model or actress. Her good looks and B-list celebrity status helped her career as an activist, but they don’t fully explain her continued influence.

Yes, the most likely picture we’ll find of Jenny McCarthy is one in a bikini. Let’s face it, those photos are there. But the focus on people’s quality and expertise in their field is key, even if they Google as being in a bikini more often than not. So, I thought this was a good article by Slate.

…and to finish – some random and cute science about cats: Cats and Their Cute Genetic Anomalies (=^ェ^=)

Tortoiseshell cats, like Moggy, are almost always female and are characterised by their mottled mish mash of black, chocolate, blue and ginger fur. They are adored by mad old ladies and loving families alike. Moggy has some interesting genetics going on and it has something to do with the phenomenon of Random X-chromosome Inactivation. What on earth is “Random X-chromosome Inactivation” I hear you say…

Right! Back to work! Have a great end-of-week!

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.

  • chris

    Am I the only person who cannot connect to Doubtful News? I used to be able to, now I just get “Problem loading page. The server at doubtfulnews.com is taking too long to respond.”

    By the way, my 21 year old son received his first HPV vaccine, and will get the 2nd later this month.

    • Kylie Sturgess

      I just tried it then and it’s fine; Sharon’s attending the Monster Talk dinner over there in Vegas and I’d hate to contact her to tell her it’s down, so I’m glad it’s just you! And well done on the vaccine!

      • chris

        Tried again: “The connection has timed out

        The server at doubtfulnews.com is taking too long to respond.”

        So :-p … it must hate my corner of the world (a corner of the USA near Canada and the Pacific Ocean).

        On that vaccine: Since he is gainfully employed part time (though almost full time during the summer), as well as being a college student, he has employer supplied health insurance. They are not paying for the HPV vaccine. It is not a cheap vaccine, but I am quite willing to pick up the bill for the starving college student.


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