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Skeptic Summary #286

By The Staff
Posted on: 5/22/2010

Black and Beck, the first cell, facts about pot, draw Mohammad, science fair experiments and more!

Week ending May 22, 2010 (Vol 7, #21)

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:
Black: Glenn Beck has Nazi Tourettes - Didn’t read this thread? You’re Hitler!

First cell controlled by a synthetic genome - The awesomeness of this is not appreciated in some quarters.

The facts about marijuana - The gateway drug (to Communism)

Editor’s Choice: Let’s draw a picture of Mohammad! - What’s offensive is that there’s not a single good artist in the bunch.

Kil’s Evil Pick:
41 Hilarious Science Fair Experiments — This goes in the “just for fun” or “I’m phoning this one in” department. Some of the offerings are funnier than others. One of my favorites is “The Ideal Pancreas, Part 2”

Funny stuff!

Isn’t killing people in the name of God a pretty good definition of insanity?
— Arthur C. Clarke

Chat Highlights:
Wednesday: Chat started with news that Heroes (the TV show) has been cancelled, and on a more serious note of Dr. Paul Kurtz’ resignation. Talk focused on the history of CFI and Kurtz, and the events leading up to now. Kil also mentioned that CFI will be cosponsoring TAM this year. Chat started to fade as bad jokes took over (although Dave told a pretty good one, too long to repeat here) and we then moved into shop talk. Later on in the night, discussion started over credit card debt, for which SNL has a good plan. Alternatively podcat recommends the movie Maxed Out. The night ended with a discussion on Everybody Draw Mohamed Day. Suddenly everyone had to leave to go buy arts and craft supplies for no particular reason.

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:
Elmo the Clown

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
The 19th Century iPhone

Arizona to L.A.: Lights out!

‘Christian Land Governed by Christian Principles’

Claims police shooting suspects had extremist ‘anti-government’ links

Drug treatment policy needs a dose of evidence

Experts testify on grim ecological fallout from Gulf oil spill

Fighting bacteria with bacteria — common nose germ provides new weapon against superbugs

The incredible leaf-tailed geckos (gekkotans part V)

Isolation and Defamation: The Cost of Thinking Differently

Letter of Gratitude to Dr. Paul Kurtz and Support for Current CFI Board of Directors and Management

LifeLock CEO’s Identity Stolen 13 Times

Mount St. Helens, 30 years ago

New Study Finds Ocean Warmed Significantly Since 1993

Paul says Obama being too tough on BP

Priest in Brazil accused of having ‘erotic dungeon’

Psychic Doesn’t Foresee Her Fraud Arrest

The Refusers: Proving Orac’s corollary to Poe’s Law

Scientists and Religion

Scott to grads: Trust your brain

Skeptical about skepticism

Stuff Christians Like: Treating secular media like Satan’s newspaper

Texas congressman uses porn to kill science funding

Todd Wood talks sense

What’s New by Bob Park

WHO: Measles making ‘rapid comeback’

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

Book of the Week:
Rising Plague: The Global Threat from Deadly Bacteria and Our Dwindling Arsenal to Fight Them, by Brad Spellberg.

“Antibiotic-resistant microbes infect more than 2 million Americans and kill over 100,000 each year. They spread rapidly, even in such seemingly harmless places as high school locker rooms, where they infect young athletes. And throughout the world, many more people are dying from these infections. Astoundingly, at the same time that antibiotic resistant infections are skyrocketing in incidence creating a critical need for new antibiotics research and development of new antibiotics has ground to a screeching halt!

In Rising Plague, Dr. Brad Spellberg an infectious diseases specialist and member of a national task force charged with attacking antibiotic resistant infections tells the story of this potentially grave public health crisis. The author shares true and very moving patient stories to emphasize the terrible frustration he and his colleagues have experienced while attempting to treat untreatable infections, not to mention the heart-break and tragedy that many of these patients’ families had to endure…

This crucial and timely book is lucidly written in terms that everyone can understand. It issues a call to action, explaining how, through a strong and concerted effort, we can all help prevent this nightmare scenario from happening. By following this courageous doctor’s recommendations, we can assure that magic bullets will be there for our families and us in the future.”

— 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. DMV Senior Motorcyclist Handbook
  5. How cool is this?!
  6. The facts about marijuana
  7. Scattershots: gargoyles & grotesques
  8. Quantum-Optical CPU too good to be true?
  9. Praying at meal time
  10. Moon-walker claims alien contact cover-up
  1. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two
  3. Preaching that Anti-Evolution Propaganda
  4. Skeptic Summary #18
  5. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  6. TAM5
  7. Scientific Truth
  8. Skeptic Summary #285
  9. Miracle Thaw Tray
  10. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
There were 11,186 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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