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Skeptic Summary #110

By The Staff
Posted on: 9/23/2006

Batteries, missionaries, needlers, psychics, queries, biases and more!

Week ending September 23, 2006 (Vol 3, #37)

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:
EEStor’s storage capacitor: breakthrough or baloney? - We seem to be leaning towards the latter.

Should we be concerned about the Global Mission? - Yeah, probably.

Study ‘shows’ acupuncture cures lower-back pain - Well, “cures” is an awfully strong word to describe the results.

Editor’s Choice: Official 2007 SFN Psychic Predictions Contest - Need more participants: don’t try to hedge your bets by posting near the end of December.

From the Archives: Need help understanding dark matter - Don’t we all?
Kil’s Evil Pick:
Social and judgmental biases that make inert treatments seem to work,” by Barry L. Beyerstein - This is a very good paper on why unproven therapies are so popular. Laetrile anyone?
Chat Highlights:
Sunday: First part of the Chat Log got lost in a computer crash. Near East history and Assyriology; Swedish election and politics; Commanders in Chief; training in moderation; Godless and Coulter analysis.

Wednesday: Computer talk: Dr. Mabuse’s computer is unstable and Ricky’s keyboard was still sticky from a spilt soda. TAM5 came up after a slight mention of Las Vegas. Chat ended out with videos of Christopher Walken and Bill Clinton. Everyone who attended had things to do, so we ended a bit early.

Come chat with us.
New Members This Week:

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
Bad Science

The Best Micro-Photographs on Earth

Stone Etchings Represent Earliest New World Writing

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:
Warped Passages: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Universe’s Hidden Dimensions, by Lisa Randall.

“Randall, a professor of physics at Harvard, offers a tour of current questions in particle physics, string theory, and cosmology, paying particular attention to the thesis that more physical dimensions exist than are usually acknowledged. Writing for a general audience, Randall is patient and kind: she encourages readers to skip around in the text, corrals mathematical equations in an appendix at the back, and starts off each chapter with an allegorical story, in a manner recalling the work of George Gamow. Although the subject itself is intractably difficult to follow, the exuberance of Randall’s narration is appealing. She’s honest about the limits of the known, and almost revels in the uncertainties that underlie her work — including the possibility that some day it may all be proved wrong.”

New Yorker

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Surface of the Sun (part 12) (843 views)
  2. Caesar’s Messiah (part 2) (675 views)
  3. Should we be concerned about the Global Mission? (364 views)
  4. Pope v. Islam (337 views)
  5. Atheist Heaven (282 views)
  6. The ten worst… (242 views)
  7. ABC’s ‘Path To 9/11’ (185 views)
  8. Democracy Now interview on 9/11 (181 views)
  9. Natural cures you don’t want to know about (178 views)
  10. Another great find in the human evolution story (176 views)
  1. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle (92 views)
  2. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony! (60 views)
  3. Cold Reading (58 views)
  4. Skeptic Summary #109 (45 views)
  5. Skeptic Summary #39 (44 views)
  6. Why Do Creationists Fear Evolution? (43 views)
  7. Miracle Thaw Tray (37 views)
  8. The Laundry Solution (26 views)
  9. The Bible Answer Man (25 views)
  10. Evidence Cited as Hard Proof of the Existence of Satanic Cults (24 views)
There were 4,051 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 2006, all rights reserved.

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