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Skeptic Summary

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Skeptic Summary #350

By The Staff
Posted on: 12/11/2011

Hunter funny, AGW worse, police nasty, corporations loud, clinic lies, cool toys and more!


Week ending December 11, 2011 (Vol 8, #38)

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:
Cornelius Hunter has lost it… - Sometimes it’s appropriate to point and laugh.

Game over? - An article referring a global warming report paints a bleak picture.

Heroic police protecting and serving - Serving bullets and protecting each other.

“We the People” not “We the Corporations” - Should corporations have political speech rights?

Editor’s Choice: The Burzynski Clinic - Keep spreading the word



Kil’s Evil Pick:
DVICE’s 11 cheap gifts guaranteed to impress science geeks — Gift-giving time is quickly approaching, and every year I make suggestions for sites that sell those special items that you will probably not find at the department store or whatever your favorite place is to shop for gifts. Of course, a lot has changed over the years and many of us now buy our gifts online. And online you can find damn near anything, including gifts that you couldn’t have imagined, and some that you even want for yourself. DVICE has a list of 11 cheap gifts guaranteed to impress science geeks that proves that!



EcoSphere

Of course, I’m making an assumption here. Being that SFN is a skeptic site, I am assuming that most of our readers are interested in science and would like to share that interest in some way. And like it or not, that also places many of us on the geek continuum. From a tad geeky to fully geeked out and proud of it!

Anyhow, I offer as our first stop, 11 cheap gifts as suggested by DVICE. But that’s only a first stop. They don’t actually sell anything. The 11 gifts on there list are sold elsewhere, and there are links to where the gifts can actually be bought. And the best part is, they won’t break you.



Gallium

I’m also going to suggest a list of sites where you can buy stuff. Science stuff. Geeky stuff. Some of the sites are linked to by DVICE but there is much more out there than the 11 suggestions they make, as cool as they are. I thought it a good idea to add them to my holiday shopping pick this week, because hey! What if you want more than 11 choices for science gifts? They are:I’m sure I have suggested Home Science Tools in past holiday suggestions for gift ideas, but I see no reason to not suggest it again. It’s there that you will find lots of age-appropriate science gifts for children. And lately, at least in my world, there seems to be a lot of them around. Kids I mean.


Oh! And while you are at DVICE looking at their 11 cheap gifts guaranteed to impress science geeks, check out their Holiday Gift Guide, 2011!



Good luck at finding this. I just threw it in.

Of course, you just might find that perfect something for the SFNer in your life at the SFN Store. Just sayin’.


Happy shopping!

SkeptiQuote:
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance — that principle is contempt prior to investigation.
— Herbert Spencer


Chat Highlights:
Wednesday the 31st: Distilled liquids lost in transport accident are still missing, seven weeks later. Accountability, that’s one of the things Occupy Wall Street wants, and they are not the only ones. The recession has hit hard, economy growth is a meager 2% and not many jobs are being created. Republicans flipped on income tax cuts issue, but not many seem to be the wiser. Everyone seemed to agree that the US Supreme Court sold out America wholesale to corporations when they granted them the right to contribute to political campaigning. The chat ended with military spending, and how lowering taxes (and borrowing instead) is not the way to finance it.

Wednesday the 7th: We started out discussing getting corporate money out of politics. Not everyone believed it was a viable solution considering the price for TV ads. Most were glad to see Cain leave the presidential race, but thought he would have been a good candidate against Obama, considering his background and ethnicity. Being good elitists, we blamed poor- and middle-class people for voting Republican against their better judgement. Then somehow IQ and IQ tests were brought up, but being stupid is underestimated anyway. Just look at George W. Bush, he got to be President, and Vox Day passed the Mensa test. The chat ended with discussion on the labels atheism and agnosticism, and referring to oneself as humanist to avoid the negative connotation that has been linked to atheism.

Come chat with us.


New Members This Week:
GodlessGoddess
thesummerqueen
addex

(Not a member? Become one today!)




Elsewhere in the World:
15 educational gifts for geeky kids

America can’t afford to lose its grip on science

Atheists as bad as rapists?

Biggest telescope starts observations

Cell Phones Cause Cancer?

Christopher Hitchens, Trial of the Will

Doubtful Newsblog

Emotions overrule rationality at CFI: Canada

Exposing PseudoAstronomy

Homeopathy: To sell or not to sell? Pharmacists weigh in

How not to market science to girls

Japan Nuclear Disaster Update # 41: Good News — it’s bad. Bad news — it’s worse than we think

Massive Black Hole Yields its Mysteries to Astronomers

A mathematical bug shows us why the 3D universe leads to Murphy’s Law

Muslim medical students boycotting lectures on evolution… because it ‘clashes with the Koran’

NASA Telescope Confirms Alien Planet in Habitable Zone

The Political Future of Atheism in America: Don’t Go It Alone

Politics and Nonbelief

Reality TV: A positive influence for girls?

Real science vs. fake science: How can you tell them apart?

Scott Gavura — Dispensing Skepticism

Skepticality #171 Astronomy by the Kilometer

This Week in Intelligent Design

A tooth, a myth — and creationist lies

Vaccine-Autism Cover-up Exposed!

What’s New by Bob Park

Woman ‘imprisoned’ on Scientology cruise ship

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



Book of the Week:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot.



“Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells — taken without her knowledge — became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first ‘immortal’ human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they’d weigh more than 50 million metric tons — as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.

Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.

Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the ‘colored’ ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta’s small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia — a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo — to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells…”

— Product Description




This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Mysterious finds off Cuba could be lost Atlantis
  2. Funny FAILS
  3. Dr. Jeffery Life and Cenegenics
  4. “We the People” not “We the Corporations”
  5. The Battle of Tehran
  6. avatar update
  7. Scattershots: gargoyles & grotesques
  8. The water cooler, part 3
  9. Cue the oh-so-persecuted delusionists
  10. Hojo Motor
Articles:
  1. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two
  3. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  4. Scientific Truth
  5. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  6. TAM5
  7. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down?
  8. How Do Vaccines Work?
  9. Miracle Thaw Tray
  10. More on the Polonium 218 Controversy
There were 7,048 daily visitors this week.
Last Month’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Dr. Jeffery Life and Cenegenics
  2. Funny FAILS
  3. Proof of cover-up of time-travel technology
  4. Skepticism about the Big Bang
  5. The Battle of Tehran
  6. Is spiritualism an aspect of reality?
  7. Moon-walker claims alien contact cover-up
  8. Of Serpents and Men
  9. Stan Lee’s superhumans
  10. Scattershots: gargoyles & grotesques
  11. Scientist: No knuckle-walkers in human ancestry
  12. Fif50ty FreAkieSt AnIMaLS
  13. Eleven years of skeptic complacency
  14. Bedini motor
  15. Nitrofill your car tires
  16. Religions and cults based on the Necronomicon
  17. Metal wires come from tummy
  18. Crabby Appleton
  19. Forbidden Archeology
  20. Jesus tempts Satan
Articles:
  1. Evolving a Venom or Two
  2. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  3. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  4. Scientific Truth
  5. Newton’s Third Law
  6. Preaching that Anti-Evolution Propaganda
  7. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down?
  8. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  9. What is a Skeptic and Why Bother Being One?
  10. TAM4
  11. Cold Reading
  12. Miracle Thaw Tray
  13. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony!
  14. More on the Polonium 218 Controversy
  15. The PQ Test
  16. Come & Receive your Miracle: A Sunday Afternoon at a Robert Tilton Crusade
  17. TAM5
  18. Questioning the Validity of False Memory Syndrome
  19. N. 25, June 2002: Ecology vs. ecophily — being reasonable about saving the environment
  20. The Legend of the Shrinking Sun
There were 28,898 daily visitors in November, 2011.


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 2011, all rights reserved.



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