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Skeptic Summary #36

By The Staff
Posted on: 4/15/2005

Fifteen, a promotion, ephedra, religious traps, goals, Tyrannosaurus, paralysis and more!

Week ending April 15, 2005 (Vol 2, #15)

Welcome to the Skeptic Summary, a quick week-in-review guide to the Skeptic Friends Network and the rest of the skeptical world.

Special Note:
As many of us have recently finished with our taxes, and are sick to death of numbers, I find it amusing that this, the 15th issue of volume 2 of the Skeptic Summary is for the week ending on the 15th. It is also the 36th issue we have created. 36 is a digit 3 plus the total of 3 times 2, which if you simply switch the two arithmetical operations becomes 3 times the total of 3 plus 2, or 15! If you add the digits in 4/15/05, you get the same value as the number of letters and spaces in “Skeptic Summary” which is… 15! So forget about your taxes: how many more fifteens can you “find” in, or relating to, this issue of the Summary? Don’t hesitate to let us know about them.

In other news, Cuneiformist (one of our chat hosts) is now also moderator of our Book Reviews folder.
Forum Highlights:
Judge Overturns Ban on Ephedra - Get your speed naturally.

Trick questions for the spiritual folks… - And for the not-so-spiritual as well, it seems.

What is your goal in being on SFN? - And thanks for your input, too!

Editor’s Choice: How to kill a fire breathing T-Rex in Tennessee - I think we all really, really want to see this attempted on a suitable surrogate.
Kil’s Evil Pick:
Waking Up to Sleep Paralysis - The range of alleged “paranormal” experiences that this condition may explain — from alien abductions to ghost sightings — is truly vast.
Chat Highlights:
Sunday: Jobs, legal or otherwise; lack of snake-venom discussion; Star Wars and the Boundin’ Jackalope; Grief-counceling ex-pet owners. We also had some virtual cyber fighting.

Wednesday: After several weeks of technical problems for Cuneiformist, he’s baaaack! Also: Revelations; Blood Bowl; Mab at work; Kil on vacation; fun with fireworks; Mr. Tax Man; love (sorta) and marriage (and divorce). Missed out? Don’t worry — there’s always next week!

Come chat with us.
New Members this Week:

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
Bad Science

Skeptic’s Dictionary Newsletter 54

What’s New by Bob Park

Got some skeptic news items? Send them to us, and we’ll think about adding them.
Book of the Week:
The Memory Wars: Freud’s Legacy in Dispute, edited by Frederick C. Crews

“Crews mounts a slashing critique of Sigmund Freud’s mistaken diagnoses, sexist hectoring of patients, exaggeration of results, equivocation and attempts to cover up therapeutic disasters. According to this distinguished critic and professor emeritus (UC Berkeley), Freud ascribed to some patients repressed oedipal sexual desires after he had unsuccessfully goaded them to remember childhood incest or molestation. Furthermore, Crews maintains, Freud in 1905 retroactively changed the alleged seducers of infants to fathers, whereas in his reports of the previous decade, they were said to have been siblings, strangers, teachers, governesses. Freud’s brainchild, psychoanalysis, was and remains a pseudoscience, in Crews’s estimate. Its offspring, he asserts, is today’s recovered-memory movement, which he believes is deluding countless patients, mostly women, into leveling false charges of sexual abuse based on supposedly recovered memories that, in Crews’s opinion, are often manufactured through overzealous or incompetent therapists’ suggestions. This volume contains three articles that Crews published in the New York Review of Books in 1993 and 1994, together with his fiercely contentious exchanges with 19 letter-writers, mostly psychoanalysts, who challenged his views.”

— Publishers Weekly

More issues of the Skeptic Summary can be found in our archive.

The Skeptic Summary is produced by the staff of the Skeptic Friends Network, copyright 2005, all rights reserved.

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