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Skeptic Summary

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Skeptic Summary #242

By The Staff
Posted on: 6/28/2009

Darwin axed, MJ sighted, Sanford shamed, moderators challenged, universe curved, hot women painted and more!


Week ending June 27, 2009 (Vol 6, #24)

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:
Johnny Darwin Seed - Creationist revision of On the Origin of Species abridges half the original, including the title.

Michael Jackson dead - Let the sightings begin!

’Round the bend we go, hiegh-ho! - Dark horse Mark Sanford gaining on Limbaugh and FOX News in “World’s Biggest Hypocrite” race.

Editor’s Choice: Hello - Interesting start… lousy follow-through.

From the Archives: Time and Space Distortion - Questions about the nature of reality from a man of faith.



Kil’s Evil Pick:
18 Vintage Sci Fi Posters: Robots, Aliens, Monsters and Hot Women,” by Yosef Solomon — I found this article and the posters by way of Chuck Shepherd’s weekly column, News of the Weird, a site that I figure I have picked for a past Weekly Summary. (It’s worth revisiting.) Anyhow, I do love old science fiction movie posters, along with all the other weird things that pretty regularly pleases me. Solomon opens:
From the 1950s to the 1980s, sci-fi films were pretty bad: bad acting, bad special effects and overall lackluster villains. This was, however, and era in which movie posters were still pieces of art in an [sic] of themselves. They were pulpy, and they featured strange-looking robots, aliens and monsters. But most importantly, many of them featured hot women. Below is a collection of some of our favorite posters from this time.
The first of eighteen posters:


Of course, you need not be a skeptic to appreciate these posters, but it’s the rare skeptic who doesn’t enjoy a bit of science fiction tack-o-rama.

SkeptiQuote:
[Replying to Napoleon saying ‘You have written a large book about the universe without once mentioning the author of the universe.’] “I have no need of that hypothesis.”
— Pierre-Simon Laplace


Chat Highlights:
Wednesday: The night started off with talk of sports bowling but quickly became focused on the current state of the economy. It seems that UCLA is looking to reduce Cune’s external grant money in order to deal with the troubling times. How this makes any sense whatsoever is up in the air right now. The next segment of chat was centered on one profound question: why do images of Chuck Norris appear less frequently in things (i.e. a grill cheese sandwich) than those of Jesus? It turns out Chuck Norris wanted to give Jesus a popularity boost out of pity. The rest of the night was spent talking about TAM6, TAM7 and even TAM8: stories from previous years, who and how many will be attending this year, and plans for the future.

Come chat with us.


New Members This Week:
l_u_c_i_d
Reality Check
Sfhts
Science Pricktion
Jennifer Delmont
olorin
casimir
ambikaprasadkisan
theybannedme

(Not a member? Become one today!)




Elsewhere in the World:
A 19th-Century Photoshop Disaster

7 Man-Made Substances that Laugh in the Face of Physics

Bertrand Russell Interview (part 1 of 3)

Hansen Arrested

The Last 100 Years: 1950s & The Tragedy of Fred Hoyle

Maybe There is Hope for us Afterall

Stoned wallabies make crop circles

What’s New by Bob Park

What should science do? Sam Harris v. Philip Ball

The world’s most annotated man

Got some skeptic news items? Send them to us, and we’ll think about adding them.



Book of the Week:
On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not, by Robert Burton.



“You recognize when you know something for certain, right? You ‘know’ the sky is blue, or that the traffic light had turned green, or where you were on the morning of September 11, 2001 — you know these things, well, because you just do.

In On Being Certain, neurologist Robert Burton shows that feeling certain — feeling that we know something — is a mental sensation, rather than evidence of fact. An increasing body of evidence suggests that feelings such as certainty stem from primitive areas of the brain and are independent of active, conscious reflection and reasoning. In other words, the feeling of knowing happens to us; we cannot make it happen.

Bringing together cutting-edge neuroscience, experimental data, and fascinating anecdotes, Robert Burton explores the inconsistent and sometimes paradoxical relationship between our thoughts and what we actually know. Provocative and groundbreaking, On Being Certain challenges what we know (or think we know) about the mind, knowledge, and reason.”

— Book Description




This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. The Supper
  2. New World Order happening right now!
  3. Stop laughing, dammit! This is serious shit!
  4. Hello
  5. Possum on the half shell
  6. PZ expelled from Expelled — Dawkins slips in!
  7. The shallow end of the gene pool…
  8. Great shirt
  9. ’Round the bend we go, hiegh-ho!
  10. Beelzebufo ampinga
Articles:
  1. Evolving a Venom or Two
  2. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  3. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  4. Skeptic Summary #152
  5. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  6. Mesmer, Casino Monkey, and Video Sex
  7. Miracle Thaw Tray
  8. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony!
  9. Cold Reading
  10. N. 6, January 2001: Split brains, paradigm shifts, and why it is so difficult to be a skeptic
There were 12,096 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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