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Skeptic Summary

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Skeptic Summary #177

By The Staff
Posted on: 2/3/2008

Eating their own, NERDS!, shutupshutupshutup, rumbling, infoscams and more!


Week ending February 2, 2008 (Vol 5, #5)

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

Forum Highlights:
Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed! - This week, the creationists expelled themselves.

How nerdy are you? - Answer for SFN: very.

Would you people please shut up - No.

Editor’s Choice: Let’s get ready to rumblllle… - Bring it.
Kil’s Evil Pick:
informercialscams.com - Here is a great site. It’s what everyone should know about infomercials. The site is the work of one Justin Leonard, who brings to us a pretty complete lowdown on some of those infomercials and complaints by real buyers who have posted about their experiences after being suckered in by some pretty amazing claims.

This is a must read: “Infomercial Scams Exposed: A Disturbing Report on How Infomercial Companies Really Get Paid.”

I just had to throw this in: what do actual buyers say about Kevin Trudeau and his business practices, not to mention the products he sells? Many of the complaints are very recent. That guy makes Sylvia Brown look like a rank amateur in the scam department…
Natural Cures - Kevin Trudeau Complaints

Total Complaints: 642
SkeptiQuote:
It is better to know some of the
questions than all of the answers.
— James Thurber
Chat Highlights:
Sunday: Our chat host was busy recovering.

Wednesday: Our chat host, Ricky, arrived late. So that might explain why he didn’t write up a chat summary. Anyhow, the usual suspects were there and all had a good time. Oh and hey, chat actually worked for me (Kil) for the first time in quite a while. My ISP may be a large company, but it works, which is more than I can say for Time Warner Cable. Perhaps I will stop harping on them now. Naaaaaaaa…

Come chat with us.
New Members This Week:
jacksowm
FranQui

(Not a member? Become one today!)


Elsewhere in the World:
Cannabis casualties, hybrid cars, and cubic litres

Fear and Loathing from the Discovery Institute

Lasers Make Other Metals Look Like Gold

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:
Stephen Hawking: a Biography, by Kristine Larsen.



“Stephen Hawking is arguably the most famous physicist since Albert Einstein. His decades-long struggle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), combined with his singular brilliance as a cosmologist, has fascinated both the public and his colleagues in science. In this engagingly written biography, Kristine Larsen, a physicist and astronomer herself, presents a candid and insightful portrait of Hawking’s personal and professional life. Avoiding the hero-worship sometimes found in popular works on Hawking, Larsen emphasizes that Hawking is first and foremost a scientist whose work has made significant contributions to our understanding of the nature and origins of the universe. Writing in nontechnical language for the lay reader, Larsen clearly explains Hawking’s complex scientific accomplishments, while telling the story of his challenging life.

Topics include Hawking’s early lack of focus as a college student; the impact of ALS on his career and personal life; his groundbreaking work on radiating black holes; his later cutting-edge theories of black holes, cosmology, and the anthropic principle; the amazing publishing success of A Brief History of Time, and his status as a pop icon and spokesperson for the interplay of science and society. Larsen situates Hawking’s sometimes-controversial work within the broader context of scientific peer review and public debate, and discusses his personal life with compassion, respect, and honesty.”

— Book Description


This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. We’d invite Hitler to speak, says Columbia dean (8,404 views)
  2. LiLo (Behe) is back! (2,524 views)
  3. Hell, your final destination? (2,384 views)
  4. When cdesign proponentists attack (934 views)
  5. How nerdy are you? (400 views)
  6. Bush’s legal fictions (293 views)
  7. What are your favorite words? (285 views)
  8. The ol’ ‘gay, straight, or bi’ (270 views)
  9. Really creepy illusions (239 views)
  10. Stop laughing, dammit! This is serious shit! (207 views)
Articles:
  1. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark (1,169 views)
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two (867 views)
  3. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (103 views)
  4. Skeptic Summary #152 (71 views)
  5. Skeptic Summary #176 (50 views)
  6. The Bible’s Bad Fruits (46 views)
  7. Cold Reading (45 views)
  8. Evolution, Scientology Style (42 views)
  9. Miracle Thaw Tray (42 views)
  10. Questioning the Validity of False Memory Syndrome (42 views)
There were 16,877 daily visitors this week.
Last Month’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. We’d invite Hitler to speak, says Columbia dean (27,109 views)
  2. LiLo (Behe) is back! (5,697 views)
  3. When cdesign proponentists attack (5,498 views)
  4. Hell, your final destination? (3,106 views)
  5. Buck on Huck (1,290 views)
  6. Religion versus vaccines — sound familiar? (1,042 views)
  7. Are the humanities of any value, really? (945 views)
  8. Really creepy illusions (844 views)
  9. Bush’s legal fictions (835 views)
  10. Owl on the dollar bill… (788 views)
  11. Stop laughing, dammit! This is serious shit! (700 views)
  12. New features? (664 views)
  13. How we stopped Randi’s Million-Dollar Challenge (623 views)
  14. Unknown ancient geometry (560 views)
  15. Telepathy and whatnot (530 views)
  16. Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West (526 views)
  17. Four reasons to believe in God (489 views)
  18. Fox News changes Wikipedia to smear rivals (430 views)
  19. Everything is overrated, what bugs you? (421 views)
  20. W.A.D. of I.D. (405 views)
Articles:
  1. Evolving a Venom or Two (3,409 views)
  2. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark (3,379 views)
  3. A Cherry Picker’s Guide to Choosing Evidence for Traumatic Repression or False Memory Syndrome (1,612 views)
  4. 2nd Law of Thermodynamics Argument Weak on Both Sides (690 views)
  5. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (519 views)
  6. Skeptic Summary #152 (381 views)
  7. Cold Reading (334 views)
  8. The Bible’s Bad Fruits (235 views)
  9. Miracle Thaw Tray (227 views)
  10. Questioning the Validity of False Memory Syndrome (197 views)
  11. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony! (182 views)
  12. Evolution, Scientology Style (173 views)
  13. Evolution is a Lie (126 views)
  14. TAM4 (124 views)
  15. Spam Scams and Slams (115 views)
  16. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down? (114 views)
  17. Scientific Truth (112 views)
  18. Calorad (111 views)
  19. Time Warner Cable: Trick or Treat? (107 views)
  20. Evidence Cited as Hard Proof of the Existence of Satanic Cults (89 views)
There were 55,469 daily visitors in January.



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 2008, all rights reserved.



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