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Skeptic Summary #315

By The Staff
Posted on: 1/15/2011

Doritos and Pepsi, Freshwater, Giffords, ID, commies, resolutions, chupacabra and more!

Week ending January 15, 2011 (Vol 8, #3)

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:
Doritos and Pepsi: the flesh and blood of Christ - Jesus never tasted better!

Freshwater recommended for termination - Buh-bye, now.

I hope these aren’t the first shots in a civil war - Politics, the media, and the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords

Editor’s Choice: An intro to Intelligent Design for skeptics - The IDiocy continues.

From the Archives: USA is a de facto communist state - Dusting off a classic from JEROME DA GNOME

This Week’s Poll:
More resolution than the Hubble? - Tell us about your resolution.

Kil’s Evil Pick:
The Cryptid Zoo: A Menagerie of CryptozoologyBigfoot stories won’t go away. Sightings of Chupacabra are not as rare as they probably should be. Expeditions to Lock Ness in search of Nessie still happen. And what the hell is a Mirapinna?

Put together by Jamie Hall, who also wrote a great introduction to the site, The Cryptid Zoo has them all! From A to Z, just about every fantastic animal (that doesn’t actually exist) is not only listed on the site but also described with citations and including sources for more information about each animal. In short, if mythic beasts, monsters or creatures that have been described, but as of yet, have not actually been found in nature fascinates you, this is your kind of site.

The The Cryptid Zoo itself is broken down into three sections. They are Humanoids, Draconic and Animals. Those sections are further divided into subsections that include all the creatures on the A to Z list, below the main three sections. So there are two ways to explore the information on the site. You can do it by section or by using the alphabetical list of creatures. That makes the site great for some cryptozoological surfing or for looking up a specific creature.

I didn’t know anything about Globsters. I didn’t know they had a name. But now I do!

We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.
— Carl Sagan

Chat Highlights:
Wednesday: Chat started with a new guy from Florida, close for trips to Kennedy Space Center, and Dragon*Con “up north”… We spent time sighing over people with fantasy-filtered world-views, and while doing that a friend of Ky came over to say ‘Hi’ then disappeared. Ky wants a tatoo with the sun and physics formula in it. Old actors have done unexpected things in their youths, and lots of puns pulled out of a visit to the dentist. After that, politics and economy. The chat ended with Dr. Mabuse leaving to get home from work, while Kil and the rest stayed and solved the world’s problems.

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:
christian devor

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
Andrew Wakefield: In it for the money all along?

Best Way to Measure Dark Energy Just Got Better

Cassini to Probe Rhea for Clues to Saturn Rings

Contrary-to-fact Conditionals & Media Vultures in my Crosshairs

Egypt’s Muslims attend Coptic Christmas mass, serving as “human shields”

List of Common Misconceptions

Now you see it, now you don’t: why journals need to rethink retractions

Skepticality #146 — Today’s News is Tomorrow’s Skeptic History

Top Ten Evolution Stories of 2010

Tribal Scientist: The Others

What Was Lost in the Fire: A Conservation Memorial — Eric Michael Johnson, Primate Diaries in exile

Zodiac signs are off by a month, expert says

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

Book of the Week:
Judging Edward Teller: A Closer Look at One of the Most Influential Scientists of the Twentieth Century, by Istvan Hargittai.

“Many people know Edward Teller as the ‘Father of the H-Bomb.’ His name tends to generate extreme views. To his supporters he was a hero of the Cold War. To his detractors he was evil personified. Between these extremes was the life of the real man.

In this definitive and comprehensive biography, Hungarian scientist Istvan Hargittai, a personal acquaintance of Teller’s, presents a balanced portrait of the multifaceted and enigmatic scientist against the backdrop of a turbulent period of history. Taking pains to avoid bias and preconceptions, Hargittai critically examines Teller’s personality, family background, and the experiences that guided his actions — correcting many of the myths that others and Teller himself promulgated.

Drawing for the first time on hitherto unknown archival material from Hungarian, American, and German sources, the author provides fresh insights that help the reader to understand Teller’s motivations, his relationships with friends and foes, and his driven personality. In addition to this research and his own memories of Teller, Hargittai has interviewed for this book such prominent figures as Richard Garwin, Freeman Dyson, George A. Keyworth, and Wendy Teller (Edward Teller’s daughter), among others…

Who was Edward Teller — the real ‘Dr. Strangelove,’ the driven crusader for the H-Bomb, the villain who destroyed Oppenheimer, or the devoted husband, loyal friend, patriot, and strongly idealistic scientist? This monumental work will reveal the contradictory nature of this complex man in all his strengths, flaws, and brilliance.”

— Product Description

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Neti pots, sinus disease, and migraines
  2. I hope these aren’t the first shots in a civil war
  3. An intro to Intelligent Design for skeptics
  4. Funny FAILS
  5. We came unarmed… this time
  6. Moon-walker claims alien contact cover-up
  7. The Supper
  8. Big Bang bankrupt
  9. Dr. Jeffery Life and Cenegenics
  10. What’s the policy on ‘problem posters’
  1. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two
  3. Cold Reading
  4. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  5. Scientific Truth
  6. The PQ Test
  7. Skeptic Summary #314
  8. TAM5
  9. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony!
  10. Miracle Thaw Tray
There were 8,051 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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