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Skeptic Summary #378

By The Staff
Posted on: 12/23/2012

No explanations, no Christmas, no duh, no disabilities, no militias, no algebra, no time and more!

Week ending December 23, 2012 (Vol 9, #27)

Welcome to the Skeptic Summary, a quick, bi-weekly review of the Skeptic Friends Network and the rest of the skeptical world.

Forum Highlights:
Can’t explain this! - A geometric problem.

The Grinch Who Stole Charlie Brown’s Christmas - …had the Constitution on his side.

Ray Comfort and WND going after atheists - In retrospect, them teaming up makes sense.

Repugs shoot down UN disability bill - But none of their arguments make any sense.

Well-regulated militias - Could we reframe the Second Amendment?

Editor’s Choice: Our creator was a computer - JerryB returns, older but no wiser.

Kil’s Evil Pick:
Okay. It’s finally happened. Time being what it is, work being what it has been, and with a cold that I can’t seem to shake, plus family stuff that is taking up some time, I come to you empty handed.

Oh sure. I can suggest a few sites that I like. But I just don’t have the time it takes to do them justice in the style of my Evil Picks.

Which gets me to thinking… There are many bloggers out there who are able to not only write their blogs, but also provide links and photos to them almost every day. I don’t know how they do that. I wish I were nearly as prolific as they are. Even my weekly (and now every-other-weekly) efforts, are a chore and a half. Mostly it’s been fun. And I don’t know of any other regular skeptical blog promoting other websites to other skeptics in the way I do it. For both of my readers, I have eked out a niche for myself. At least I think I have. And that’s what keeps me going. I love to share!

Oh well. It could be worse. It’s not as though I’m abandoning our SFN summary. And I’m looking forward to highlighting those sites that make us happy as skeptics, whether it be great resources, geeky stuff or fun and games.

For this entry, however, I only have this left to say: have a very happy and healthy, and if the need arise, skeptical holiday. Have a good one! I’ll be back doing my regular thing, next Summary.


…[T]here is no shame in not knowing. The problem arises when irrational thought and attendant behavior fill the vacuum left by ignorance.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson

Chat Highlights:
Wednesday, December 12th: We started with the evolutionary advantages which favors leopards over other large cats in Africa. After that, the weather. Specifically, the Geminid Meteor Shower. Isn’t that where ‘meteorology’ comes from? Some time was spent on the different choices of music to sing to put children to bed. Trading Ramen recipes, and other cooking experiences. As the chat reached its conclusion we also hit on some meteor crater landmarks.

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
2012 Failed Psychic Predictions

2012’s Noteworthy Species

Amid Newtown Tragedy, Scam Artists Creep In

The Best Astronomy Images of 2012

Boo! Why ghost photographs don’t scare us anymore

The Death of “Near Death”: Even If Heaven Is Real, You Aren’t Seeing It

Do You make Assumptions?

Doubtful News

Louisiana $11 Million Creationism Give Away

The Most Fascinating Human Evolution Discoveries of 2012

New Orleans schools ban creationist curriculum, shun Texas revisionist textbooks

The Obamadon: Scientists name newly discovered dinosaur after President Obama

Science, schmience. It works for me!

Shifting Baselines And Dying Oceans

Shouldn’t Scientists Make Decisions About Science?

Skepticality #197 — The Budding Biologist

Stephen Hawking Calls for Alan Turing’s Pardon

The Sterility of Intelligent Design

Struck off MMR doctor handed award for ‘lifetime achievement in quackery’

Top Ten Weirdest Stories of 2012

Triclosan, A Chemical Used in Antibacterial Soaps, is Found to Impair Muscle Function

Underwear to melt your fat away. HAHAHAHA…

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:
Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries, by Jon Ronson.

“The New York Times–bestselling author of The Psychopath Test, Jon Ronson writes about the dark, uncanny sides of humanity with clarity and humor. Lost at Sea reveals how deep our collective craziness lies, even in the most mundane circumstances.

Ronson investigates the strange things we’re willing to believe in, from lifelike robots programmed with our loved ones&rssquo; personalities to indigo children to hypersuccessful spiritual healers to the Insane Clown Posse’s juggalo fans. He looks at ordinary lives that take on extraordinary perspectives, for instance a pop singer whose life’s greatest passion is the coming alien invasion, and the scientist designated to greet those aliens when they arrive. Ronson throws himself into the stories — in a tour de force piece, he splits himself into multiple Ronsons (Happy, Paul, and Titch, among others) to get to the bottom of credit card companies’ predatory tactics and the murky, fabulously wealthy companies behind those tactics. Amateur nuclear physicists, assisted-suicide practitioners, the town of North Pole, Alaska’s Christmas-induced high school mass-murder plot: Ronson explores all these tales with a sense of higher purpose and universality, and suddenly, mid-read, they are stories not about the fringe of society or about people far removed from our own experience, but about all of us.

Incisive and hilarious, poignant and maddening, revealing and disturbing — Ronson writes about our modern world, the foibles of contemporary culture, and the chaos that lies at the edge of our daily lives.”

— Book Description

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Our creator was a computer
  2. Dr. Jeffery Life and Cenegenics
  3. 21/12/12 email
  4. Well-regulated militias
  5. Stan Lee’s superhumans
  6. Scattershots: Cleaning out the pipes
  7. Nazi Christmas
  8. The Skeptic Summary
  9. Mayan Ac Tah
  10. origin of life
  1. Evolving a Venom or Two
  2. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  3. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  4. Evolution is a Lie, and you Skeptics KNOW it!
  5. Cold Reading
  6. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  7. Skeptic Summary #377
  8. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down?
  9. Spam Scams and Slams
  10. The Legend of the Shrinking Sun
There were 6,469 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 2012, all rights reserved.

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The mission of the Skeptic Friends Network is to promote skepticism, critical thinking, science and logic as the best methods for evaluating all claims of fact, and we invite active participation by our members to create a skeptical community with a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.

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