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Skeptic Summary #195

By The Staff
Posted on: 6/29/2008

High mileage, justice is served, rethinking, help!, the awesomeness, Masonic lies, poor old Sylvia and more!

Week ending June 28, 2008 (Vol 5, #23)

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:
Hypermiling - Aiming for a million miles per gallon.

SCOTUS handgun decision - Aiming at the liberals.

Southern Baptist leaders beat a retreat on MMGW - Next year: no more Flood.

Statistics help - What’s really needed is a better database.

Editor’s Choice: Dr. Lenski is awesome! - Four days later, and I still think so.

From the Archives: Masons created and perpetuated Evolution - Another verlch classic.

Kil’s Evil Pick:
I Speak With Sylvia Browne,” by Robert Lancaster - Lancaster, who runs that thorn in Sylvia Brown’s side, the Stop Sylvia Browne site, his wife Susan, along with skeptic Clause Larson, editor of the Skeptic Report, attended a performance of Browne’s in Las Vegas, on the Sunday afternoon after the closing of TAM6. What a happy coincidence that a Browne performance and TAM6 were going on at the same time in the same town.

Lancaster is a classy guy, as demonstrated by his recounting of the visit to the Browne show. His restraint in the face of the confrontations that he faced during and after the show makes him the perfect person to fight this particular battle.

As an aside: someone asked me, and I can’t remember who it was, if I would be interested in going to the Browne show. Hell no! It makes perfect sense for Lancaster to go but I will do nothing that would move even a cent of my money to her pot! Anyhow, Robert Lancaster rocks!!!

Alas, to wear the mantle of Galileo it is not enough that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment, you must also be right.
— Robert Park

Chat Highlights:
Sunday: The weather around the entire globe was too good for anyone to spend indoors in front of the computer, chatting, so no one showed up. Not even Kil. His best excuse: being busy at TAM6. I can accept that…

Wednesday: We had a pretty full house for summer. People came and people went and no one noticed that Ricky, our chat host was not there. Well, except for Cune, who would because he is one of our ex-chat hosts. Anyhoo, Cune also needed help crunching some numbers or something or other that required some help from the math geeks. We have no shortage of those, and the night’s conversation, whatever it was, turned to helping Cune. That had the effect of getting some people very involved (Dave, Boron10 and Simon) while reminding others that it was late and time for bed. Oh, well. I held on until the very end by offering irrelevant observations on other subjects of my own device, until my hand started to hurt. As always, a good time was had by all of us who survived it…

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:
Ed Hudgins

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
The Canadian reviews trickle in

Suicides, Aids, and a masts campaigner


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:
Brain Droppings, by George Carlin.

“George Carlin’s been working the crowd since ‘the counterculture’ became ‘the over-the-counter culture’ around 1967 or so; his new book, Brain Droppings, surfs on three decades of touring-in-support. It’s the purest version of book-as-candy that one could imagine, serving up humor in convenient, bite-sized packages. Snack on chewy one-liners like ‘A meltdown sounds like fun. Like some kind of cheese sandwich.’ Or: ‘If you can’t beat them, arrange to have them beaten.’ Brain Droppings also contains highlights from Carlin’s concert repertoire, and that more than makes up for the occasional spray of pointless nihilism. Tell us, George, what exactly were you going for with ‘Kill your pet’ and ‘Satan is cool?’ Quick — hide the paper before Daddy sees it! Still, if you’re a fan of this sarcastic semanticist who’s given Bad Attitude not necessarily a good name, but at least a comfy bank account, by all means rush out and snag Brain Droppings. Carlin’s book melts in your mind, not in your hand.”

— Amazon review

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. PZ expelled from Expelled — Dawkins slips in! (4,209 views)
  2. Could have been Darwin’s debt to Christianity (414 views)
  3. TAM6: here I go again… (413 views)
  4. SCOTUS handgun decision (314 views)
  5. Dr. Lenski is awesome! (313 views)
  6. Possum on the half shell (299 views)
  7. Stop laughing, dammit! This is serious shit! (278 views)
  8. Crop circles again...... (251 views)
  9. Proof! Water ice found on Mars (248 views)
  10. What is photorealism? (245 views)
  1. Evolving a Venom or Two (1,472 views)
  2. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark (614 views)
  3. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (125 views)
  4. Skeptic Summary #152 (72 views)
  5. Miracle Thaw Tray (58 views)
  6. Evidence Cited as Hard Proof of the Existence of Satanic Cults (40 views)
  7. The Bible’s Bad Fruits (40 views)
  8. Skeptic Summary #194 (40 views)
  9. N. 54, October 2004: Abortion, a Philosophical Approach (33 views)
  10. Cold Reading (33 views)
There were 16,080 daily visitors this week.

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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