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Skeptic Summary

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Skeptic Summary #251

By The Staff
Posted on: 9/5/2009

Obama's yakking, filthy's scattering, Kennedy's passing, funereal whining and more!

Week ending September 05, 2009 (Vol 6, #33)

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:
Obama’s speech to schoolchildren - It’ll wash their little brains clean.

Scattershots: gargoyles & grotesques - Ooooo, spooky.

Ted Kennedy has died - And his zombie will bring about the liberal utopia!

Your thoughts on funerals - Not too happy about them for a variety of reasons.

Kil’s Evil Pick:
What Do I Do Next? 105 Ways To Promote Skeptical Activism, a quick reference guide edited by Daniel Loxton:
The following list of 105 suggestions for skeptical activism is a point-form distillation of a much longer document. The full version (PDF) of “What Do I Do Next?” comprises over 30,000 words of in-depth panel discussion, in which 13 leading skeptics offer their commentary and advice on the 105 topics below. Both versions are completely free.

Abbreviated here for easy reference, the 105 topics are arranged under general headings:
  • Support Major Skeptical Organizations
  • Learn & Communicate
  • Investigate
  • Local Organizing & Fun
  • Your Community
  • Interact with Media
  • Schools
  • Libraries
  • Political Action
  • Consumer Activism
  • Film & Video
  • Online Activism
  • Personal Relationships
The full version of “What Do I Do Next?” is a panel-format discussion between Daniel Loxton, Benjamin Radford, Dr. Eugenie Scott, Jeff Wagg, D.J. Grothe, Brian Dunning, Dr. Karen Stollznow, Robynn “Swoopy” McCarthy, Kylie Sturgess, Tim Farley, Dr. Randy Olson, Pat Linse, and Jay Novella…
I recommend downloading the full PDF file. But there is plenty of info at the What Do I Do Next? link.

Creative thinking should be viewed as an essential supplement to, though not a replacement for, critical thinking.
— Lloyd P. Provost & R. M. Sprout

Chat Highlights:
Wednesday the 26th: Chat started off with an analysis of this comic, and we all found a deeper meaning of life. At about this time Kil started cooking dinner which prompted warnings from chatters not to burn various things (water, the metal pot, his dignity, etc). But then Robert Lancaster (from dropped by and he ended up overcooking the pasta and burning the toast. Ah well. Of course there was some talk of what Sylvia is up to these days, but also of the last TAM and cat puns. marf also dropped by announcing her new site, Make sure you go check it out! Then the conversation became mostly focused on politics for much of the night. Chat ended with more comics and a titillating sneak peak at Dave’s new game, to be looking for beta testers sometime soon.

Wednesday the 2nd: A central theme for chat this week was Dave’s new game, Myoss Gamma. But other topics included Robert Lancaster and his recovery, the renewal of the Million Dollar Challenge, and a bit about Unscientific America. Much of the end of the night was focused on movie talk, particularly concerning bad Johnny Depp movies, and a rather weird Oingo Boingo clip.

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
13 Bizarre Stipulations in Wills

Alberto Gonzales: The Opera

Biotech Co: First Human Embryonic Stem Cell Trial Hit Small Speed Bump

A bizarre living fossil

Changing Standards of Mass

China — a (medical) capitalist paradise

Conservatives Speak Out Against the Worldnutdaily

Drop that BlackBerry! Multitasking may be harmful

Glenn Beck scrawls wild conspiracy theories on a chalk board

Health warning: exercise makes you fat?

Judge: Homeland Security can’t require dependence on God

The Long March of the Koalas


Morning sickness

My Life as a Thief

On the Origin of Species: The Preservation of Favoured Traces

Pat Buchanan: Hitler apologist

Rivalry Among The Reefs: Charles Darwin and a Century of Conflict Over the Coral Reef Problem

Save Your Foreskin From Obama’s Death Panels!

Saving lives? It’s patently obvious

Skeptic’s Dictionary Newsletter #107

Survival of the Pithiest

Warmest Arctic temperatures for 2,000 years, says new study

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:
Dictionary Of Atheism, Skepticism & Humanism, by Bill Cooke.

“In the tradition of Voltaire’s Philosophical Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce’s Devil’s Dictionary, and Joseph McCabe’s Rationalist Encyclopedia, this accessible dictionary addresses the contemporary need for a reference book that succinctly summarizes the key concepts, current terminology, and major contributions of influential thinkers broadly associated with atheism, skepticism, and humanism. In the preface, author Bill Cooke notes that his work is intended ‘for freethinkers in the broadest sense of the word: people who like to think for themselves and not according to the preplanned routes set by others.’ This dictionary will serve as a guide for all those people striving to lead fulfilling, morally responsible lives without religious belief. Readers are offered a wide range of concepts, from ancient, well-known notions such as God, free will, and evil to new concepts such as ‘eupraxsophy.’ Also included are current ‘buzzwords’ that have some bearing on the freethought worldview such as ‘metrosexual.’ The names of many people whose lives or work reflect freethought principles form a major portion of the entries. Finally, a humanist calendar is included, on which events of interest to freethinkers are noted. This unique, accessible, and highly informative work will be a welcome addition to the libraries.”

— Product Description

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. The Supper
  2. Stop laughing, dammit! This is serious shit!
  3. PZ expelled from Expelled — Dawkins slips in!
  4. Obama’s speech to schoolchildren
  5. The shallow end of the gene pool…
  6. Possum on the half shell
  7. Beelzebufo ampinga
  8. Myoss Gamma
  9. Your thoughts on funerals
  10. Documentary: 1983 ‘Moonwalk’ was staged
  1. Evolving a Venom or Two
  2. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  3. Evolution, Scientology Style
  4. Cold Reading
  5. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  6. Skeptic Summary #152
  7. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  8. N. 6, January 2001: Split brains, paradigm shifts, and why it is so difficult to be a skeptic
  9. Scientific Truth
  10. Miracle Thaw Tray
There were 14,268 daily visitors this week.
Last Month’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. The Supper
  2. Stop laughing, dammit! This is serious shit!
  3. PZ expelled from Expelled — Dawkins slips in!
  4. New World Order happening right now!
  5. The shallow end of the gene pool…
  6. Possum on the half shell
  7. Richard Dawkins interviews Wendy Wright
  8. Funny FAILS
  9. Beelzebufo ampinga
  10. Documentary: 1983 ‘Moonwalk’ was staged
  11. Wow, this is outrageous
  12. Barney Frank smacks down anti-health care idiot
  13. Bold threats of death against all non-Catholics!
  14. Moon-walker claims alien contact cover-up
  15. A half of a wing & a piece of a prayer
  16. Ted Kennedy has died
  17. Great topic for skeptics missed!
  18. Socialism
  19. Unscientific America
  20. Ad hominems, again
  1. Evolving a Venom or Two
  2. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  3. Skeptic Summary #152
  4. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  5. Miracle Thaw Tray
  6. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  7. Evolution, Scientology Style
  8. N. 6, January 2001: Split brains, paradigm shifts, and why it is so difficult to be a skeptic
  9. Scientific Truth
  10. TAM5
  11. Cold Reading
  12. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony!
  13. Come & Receive your Miracle: A Sunday Afternoon at a Robert Tilton Crusade
  14. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down?
  15. Mesmer, Casino Monkey, and Video Sex
  16. Evolution is a Lie
  17. Quantum Age Water
  18. Kent Hovind is a Kwazy Kweationist
  19. Calorad
  20. Preaching that Anti-Evolution Propaganda
There were 61,870 daily visitors in August, 2009.

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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