October 4, 2011

Yes, I know, I know – we’ve enjoyed the Australian wins for the Ig-Nobel’s already – but here’s the real deal and Australians are featured! From ABC News: Australian National University astronomer Brian Schmidt has been named a joint winner of the 2011 Nobel physics prize for his research into supernovae. The prize was awarded “for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae”, the Nobel Committee for Physics at the Royal Swedish Academy of… Read more

October 4, 2011

From the Examiner’s Space Exploration column, by Paul Scott Anderson (click to embiggen): Space-themed corn mazes celebrate NASA!   Most people have seen or heard about corn mazes, those huge patterns cut into corn fields in a wide variety of shapes and themes, where you can wander around in them and try to find your way out again. Similar to but not quite the same as crop circles, they have become a very popular form of agritourism, especially for children. Now NASA is… Read more

October 4, 2011

This is the first time I’ve been part of a blogging network that took part in something like Donors Choose – and yes, there’s a number of us at FreeThought Blogs who are involved! Here’s the FreeThought Blog Leaderboard for science blogging, so you can see how the team is going. I was entertained by Digital Cuttlefish’s verse on the matter (as always): So please join with me, and this atheist squad (though your money’s still good if you worship… Read more

October 4, 2011

Woken up by email at 4am… to learn that I am scheduled to help out with a squid dissection! I’m rather excited, will give me something to report upon for Cephalopod Week. 🙂 From Boing Boing – Hanlon, senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, studies camouflage in cephalopods–squid, cuttlefish and octopus. They are masters of optical illusion. These are some of Hanlon’s top video picks of sea creatures. Read more

October 4, 2011

In a blog post over at Science Based Medicine, (‘Pseudoscience Sells’) Dr Steve Novella sums up TitaniumION Bands: Next up is the Titanium Ion Bands. Their claims are essentially the same – wear a little bracelet on your wrist and you will have improved performance. Instead of holograms and frequencies, their bands are alleged to work through negative ions. This is just another recycled pseudoscientific claim that has been around for years. Just search on “negative ions” and you will see a variety of products… Read more

October 3, 2011

From Wilson daSilva – Flow chart of climate denial machine produced by sociologists. It says that it’s from Dunlap and McCright, ‘Organised Climate-Change Denial’ in the Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society, Oxford University Press, 2011, p.147. Read more

October 3, 2011

Monday Morning Muse – Sometimes It’ll Get You Through The Rest Of The Week. Like many non-Americans, I suspect, I came across Ira Glass rather late in life. But, like my interest in David Sedaris, Frank Zappa, John Hodgman and Sarah Vowell, I’ve been working on my late-bloomer status. Here’s a YouTube version (the full, unanimated lectures of Glass feature here) using kinetic typography. Read more

October 3, 2011

Thanks to the overloading of vodcasts from Dragon*Con, I seem to have capped my Libsyn account temporarily. However, thanks to the wonderful patience and professionalism of Hayley Stevens, I do have a sneak-preview transcript of the start of the interview that will be appearing on the Token Skeptic podcast, episode Seventy-Nine! When I’ve figured out the bandwidth issue, you can download Token Skeptic #79 – On Project Barnum – Interview With Hayley Stevens from the official Token Skeptic podcast site. In the… Read more

October 2, 2011

The more than 200 audits of complementary medicines, conducted between June 2009 and December 2010, found hundreds of instances where treatments failed to comply with regulations and sparked a wave of news reports, opening something like this: ”Many vitamins, herbs and Chinese medicines make false claims and don’t work.” …Research has shown that more than half of Australians incorrectly believe alternative medicines are independently tested by the TGA before being allowed on sale. That is true of only a small… Read more

October 2, 2011

Sunday Morning Survey – Because, Let’s Face It, I’m Not Going To Be Doing Anything Else This Morning. This one was posed by the Guardian Newspaper and it struck me as fairly relevant to my life and perhaps to yours as well. My nephew and his fiancee have a baby son and I have been invited to attend the christening. But as a staunch atheist I find the whole idea of welcoming a baby into a religion repugnant; I would… Read more

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