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Skeptic Summary #284

By The Staff
Posted on: 5/8/2010

Mr. Rogers, the Democrats, horrible video, Mana, Hubble and more!

Week ending May 08, 2010 (Vol 7, #19)

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:
Fox News: “Mr. Rogers was evil” - Well, knowing the source…

Screw the Democrats! - Draconian measures from an unexpected corner.

That video is a horror! - There are several forms of child abuse, this shows one of them.

Editor’s Choice: Mana - No new “energy” here.

Kil’s Evil Pick:
HubbleSite — Well, what can I say? I’m back to astronomy, again. Honest though, it’s really a coincidence.

As you may have guessed, HubbleSite is all things Hubble. The site includes a news center, a gallery, Hubble Discoveries, a section on the Hubble Telescope itself, plus a reference desk and much more. Most of the sections include videos as well as amazing photos and informative descriptions that will keep you busy for hours. From the site:
Starry-Eyed Hubble Celebrates 20 Years of Awe and Discovery

In 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into its orbit around the Earth. Over the past two decades, the world has followed Hubble’s saga, watching as image after image revealed another part of the cosmos that would otherwise be invisible to our eyes. We absorbed the discoveries that the pictures sparked and witnessed the astronaut missions that brought the telescope new technology and extended its life.

This year Hubble achieves its 20th anniversary, renewed and equipped by the latest servicing mission for many more years of astronomy. More than 30,000 objects have come under the telescope’s gaze, each observation slotting another piece into the cosmic puzzle of the universe. Join us as we celebrate one of the world’s most successful observatories, even now changing the face of astronomy, its final legacy still in the making.
Help to celebrate the Hubble Telescope’s 20th anniversary by paying a visit to HubbleSite. If you are not blown away by the scope of Hubble’s discoveries and by the magnificent images it has brought back to us that are on display on the site, I will personally refund your money! (It’s free.)

Inquiry is fatal to certainty.
— William J. Durant

Chat Highlights:
Wednesday: The first part of the night was spent trying to help a new chatter face his newly founded atheism amidst a family of devout worshipers. Unfortunately he had to leave early, but we swear we could have helped more if there was more time. Arising out of this discussion was the old forum topic How did you become an atheist, as well as the difference between a cult and a religion. From here chat moved onto politics and how economic situations can fuel a shift in the political spectrum. After a good deal of analyzing various presidencies, we turned to the current economic climate specifically regarding the Tea Party and whether they will split the Republican ticket. I think podcat said it best: “The original tea party protested taxation without representation. The modern tea partiers are just protesting taxation.” It was at this point that my internet connection dropped out, and so this is where my summary has to end.

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:
There were no new members this week.

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
13 Things That Saved Apollo 13

Bonobo chimps filmed shaking their head to ‘say no’

Climate Change and the Integrity of Science

Climate scientists cleared of malpractice by panel

Deniers abuse power to attack climate scientists

DNA Frees Innocent Man, But What About Eyewitnesses?

Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds

Fire and Ice of the Owens Valley

How Darwin’s Little-Known Work Impacts Current Schizophrenia and Autism Treatment

Imagining Other Dimensions

In the Land of Believers

John Edward: Spirit Huckster by Joe Nickell

A Message to Skeptics

Michele Bachmann calls net neutrality an Obama censorship plot

Move over, Deepak, there’s a new woo-meister at HuffPo

The Mystery of the Moving Tombstone

The origins of “woo”

Pope Nearly Endorses the Shroud of Turin, But Is It Real?

The power of election smears

Real-time natural selection on crops and their pests

Richard Dawkins Debunks Noah’s Ark

Shaming the Atheists

The Skeptic’s Dictionary Newsletter #115

Skepticality #128 — Young Science Podcasters

Social Psychology Done Wrong

Sunday Sacrilege: Prometheus’ sin

Times of India: Chicken bones and black magic cannot harm you

To replace John Paul Stevens, an atheist

Toward a Science of Morality

TX parents challenge ‘under God’

What’s New by Bob Park

Woman runs down Lord Jesus Christ

Your doctor’s only in it for the money. Right?

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

Book of the Week:
The Paranoid Style in American Politics, by Richard Hofstadter.

“This timely reissue of Richard Hofstadter’s classic work on the fringe groups that influence American electoral politics offers an invaluable perspective on contemporary domestic affairs.

In The Paranoid Style in American Politics, acclaimed historian Richard Hofstadter examines the competing forces in American political discourse and how fringe groups can influence — and derail — the larger agendas of a political party. He investigates the politics of the irrational, shedding light on how the behavior of individuals can seem out of proportion with actual political issues, and how such behavior impacts larger groups. With such other classic essays as ‘Free Silver and the Mind of “Coin” Harvey’ and ‘What Happened to the Antitrust Movement?,’ The Paranoid Style in American Politics remains both a seminal text of political history and a vital analysis of the ways in which political groups function in the United States.”

— Product Description

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. The Supper
  2. PZ expelled from Expelled — Dawkins slips in!
  3. Funny FAILS
  4. A literal jewish conspiracy
  5. The shallow end of the gene pool…
  6. Quote Mine warning propaganda poster
  7. Scattershots: gargoyles & grotesques
  8. Moon-walker claims alien contact cover-up
  9. Bathynomus giganteus, a really cool isopod!
  10. Documentary: 1983 ‘Moonwalk’ was staged
  1. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two
  3. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  4. TAM5
  5. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  6. Skeptic Summary #283
  7. Scientific Truth
  8. Come & Receive your Miracle: A Sunday Afternoon at a Robert Tilton Crusade
  9. Cold Reading
  10. Miracle Thaw Tray
There were 12,246 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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