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Skeptic Summary #217

By The Staff
Posted on: 12/21/2008

Chickens, spacetime, weird things, hardcore, getting schooled and more!

Week ending December 20, 2008 (Vol 5, #45)

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:
A chicken comes home to roost - With a size 10.

Stupid time-space - Dumb physicists with their weird symbols, long equations, and half-dead cats.

What is the weirdest thing? - Religion, honest.

Editor’s Choice: Are you a hardcore atheist? - Apparently not.

Kil’s Evil Pick:
Taken to School: An Interview with the Honorable Judge John E. Jones, III:
I had a lot of criticism after this decision; a lot, I think, was born out of ignorance about how we do things. People didn’t understand there was a Lemon test or an Endorsement test. People thought I made this up as I went along. They think judges rule according to their own philosophical biases or predilections.
Derek, our friend at Skepticality, posted the link to this interview with Judge Jones, over on Facebook. So, thanks Derek!

Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality.
— Jon Stewart, on gay marriage

Chat Highlights:
Sunday: Dipshit Dan’s new Rock Star: Sye TenB. Sharing job experiences. Long time no see! when Trish and Beskeptigal and Marfknox return after a long hiatus. Westboro Baptist Church wants a “Santa takes you to hell” sign. Food: preparing for Christmas, or hunting it. Politics: what is the default political stance of a skeptic? Many seem to default to libertarianism? Several prominent skeptics have, anyway. Media: how to keep media a-political.

Wednesday: Dave receives pressure from other SFN members to join Facebook and makes a comparison to Invasion of the Body Snatchers. This caught on and other classic movies were discussed. Meanwhile Kil discovers that you can now order pizza online. Then more Facebook, especially concerning famous skeptics. Trish shares the Facebook entry of her daughter, and then casually reminds us that she herself is a marine. Discussion moved on to comparing the women on House, and then music mostly focusing around Dylan, Morrison and Spinal Tap (including “These Go to Eleven”). The night ended with weird superstitions, incorrectly attributing real phenomenon, and oddly enough, binary digits.

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:
River Otter

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
The 10 Worst Predictions for 2008

The 102nd Skeptics’ Circle: [Bleeping] Edition

Bad statistics? The Sunday Times isn’t kidding

Censorship of a Fraudulent Student Paper?

Skepticality Episode #91 — Undercover Skeptics

Tiktaalik (Your Inner Fish)

W. Mark Felt, Watergate Deep Throat, Dies at 95

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:
Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions, by James Randi.

“In this book, Randi explores and exposes what he believes to be the outrageous deception that has been promoted widely in the media. Unafraid to call researchers to account for their failures and impostures, Randi tells us that we have been badly served by scientists who have failed to follow the procedures required by their training and traditions. Here, he shows us how what he views as sloppy research has been followed by rationalisations of evident failures, and we see these errors and misrepresentations clearly pointed out. Mr. Randi provides us with a compelling and convincing document that will certainly startle and enlighten all who read it.”

— Book Description

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Possum on the half shell (432 views)
  2. This year’s cynical holiday humor (370 views)
  3. PZ expelled from Expelled — Dawkins slips in! (324 views)
  4. Nazi Christmas (314 views)
  5. Beelzebufo ampinga (310 views)
  6. The shallow end of the gene pool… (288 views)
  7. What is the weirdest thing? (260 views)
  8. A chicken comes home to roost (248 views)
  9. Merry UnChristmas blog (209 views)
  10. A Half of a Wing & A piece of A Prayer (198 views)
  1. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark (1,105 views)
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two (971 views)
  3. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (121 views)
  4. Skeptic Summary #152 (116 views)
  5. Miracle Thaw Tray (96 views)
  6. Skeptic Summary #216 (42 views)
  7. The Bible’s Bad Fruits (40 views)
  8. Cold Reading (39 views)
  9. Come & Receive your Miracle: A Sunday Afternoon at a Robert Tilton Crusade (36 views)
  10. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony! (35 views)
There were 9,385 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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