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Skeptic Summary #336

By The Staff
Posted on: 7/3/2011

Venn diagrams, criticisms, ledges, museums and more!

Week ending July 02, 2011 (Vol 8, #24)

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:
The difference between skepticism and sciene? - A Venn diagram not drawn to scale.

Some skeptics and criticism of religion - Some are reluctant, others jump at the chance.

The Ledge, an atheist movie - Movies and series portraying atheists, favourably?

Kil’s Evil Pick:
The Museum of Online Museums — Want to waste some time? (I think I could have put that better.) How about this? How would you feel about being sucked into a vortex of information and cool exhibits from the largest collection of online museums and collections? This site is indeed a collection of collections put together by collectors. Or in similar words, the curators of the Museum of Online Museums are collectors of collectors collections. Whew!

It takes only a few clicks to discover that you have arrived at a very unique site. No no… This is not a science site. It’s more of an art thing, I think. But it appeals to that science side of me that’s naturally drawn to the odd, which can sometimes be a celebration of the mundane. Or not. There are some very real museum links here as well as some kitsch collections of this and that. For example, you might want to visit The National Postal Museum, which can be found under the heading, The Museum Campus, or check out The Collier Classification System for Very Small Objects found under the The Permanent Collection heading. If those aren’t for you, maybe you want to head down the very long list of links to Galleries, Exhibitions and Shows? It’s there that you will find the link to The Library of Awful Library Books, US Department of Energy Digital Photo Archive and Motel Morgue — A Postcard Gallery of Old Roadside Motels.

But before you do all that, I suggest you click on to the three-part film called The Curators, which is introduced this way:
For all these years we’ve been curating the Museum of Online Museums, one persistent question has been with us from the beginning: “Why?” It’s one thing to collect stamps or coins and have some association with a like-minded community. It’s something else entirely when you’re likely the only person on the planet scouring thrift shops for Fanta bottle caps. And it takes an extra special breed to then take their one-of-a-kind collection and building a dedicated online museum to share their odd passion with the world. We’ve been enjoying and collecting these collectors’ work for so many years, but it was high time we learned some origin stories. So we hit the road, camera in hand, landing in three cities and three states, seeing three collections up-close, interviewing each curator, and asking, well, “Why?”
And speaking of introductions:
[The] site is edited by COUDAL PARTNERS a design, advertising and interactive studio in Chicago, as an ongoing experiment in web publishing, design and commerce.

Thanks for visiting. If browsing around here while at work has had a negative effect on your productivity we’re sorry but imagine what it’s done to ours.

If things like The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh or maybe Vintage Tech Gallery of 70s Calculators are of any interest to you, and even if they’re not, there’s going to be something at the The Museum of Online Museums that is. How could it be otherwise? (And by the way. I only scratched the surface of the places you can get to from there. The site is truly a Link-O-Rama. There is also some very cool reading, right there on the homepage.)

Often, the less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it.
— Mark Twain

Chat Highlights:
Wednesday: Chat started out with some talk about the Ericsson company and the early telephone, then moved on to Nicolai Tesla, and how many outstanding scientists came from Eastern Europe. Then reports of how bad IKEA are treating employees in America sparked discussions about unions, and a comparison between unions in Sweden and USA. Besides, several chatters agreed that particle boards don’t work well in hot and humid climates. A few chatters also saw a movie which shows that Michael Moore has been playing fast-and-loose with the facts in order to produce entertaining pictures. The parallell was drawn with prominent creationists’ oral debating style: with written words, one can’t play around without getting caught. That’s why prominent creationists don’t do written debates. Duane Gish and Kent Hovind were mentioned as examples. Chat finished up with skeptical activism and chemicals in food.

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:
schroedingers Kitten

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
An attempted ambush interview turns into a lesson in patternicity and numerology

Climate sceptic Willie Soon received $1m from oil companies, papers show

Conspiracy Theorists Aren’t Crazy

The Ethical Obligations of Skepticism

Ethics Compels Skeptical Outreach

Irradiating organic food would save lives

It’s Science, but Not Necessarily Right

Laboratory yeast artificially evolve into multicellular organisms

“A Little Knowledge”: Why The Biggest Problem With Climate “Skeptics” May Be Their Confidence

A Living Dinosaur in the Congo? (Part 1)

A Living Dinosaur in the Congo? (Part 2)

My Life as MathGrrl

Need Advice? Ask An Expert

Saturn’s Moons: Spacecraft Finds Evidence of a Frozen Saltwater Ocean

Skepticality #157 — The Believing Brain

Sweat lodge victim’s family promotes self-help regulation

The true purpose of a drug trial is not always obvious

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:
Paranormality: Why We See What Isn’t There, by Richard Wiseman.

“‘People are emotionally drawn to the supernatural. They actively want weird, spooky things to be true … Wiseman shows us a higher joy as he deftly skewers the paranormal charlatans, blows away the psychic fog and lets in the clear light of reason.’ (Richard Dawkins, Professor). Richard Wiseman is clear about one thing: paranormal phenomena don’t exist. But in the same way that the science of space travel transforms our everyday lives, so research into telepathy, fortune-telling and out-of-body experiences produces remarkable insights into our brains, behaviour and beliefs. Paranormality embarks on a wild ghost chase into this new science of the supernatural and is packed with activities that allow you to experience the impossible. So throw away your crystals, ditch your lucky charms and cancel your subscription to ‘Reincarnation Weekly.’ It is time to discover the real secrets of the paranormal. Learn how to control your dreams — and leave your body behind. Convince complete strangers that you know all about them. Unleash the power of your unconscious mind.”

— Product Description

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Funny FAILS
  2. Dr. Jeffery Life and Cenegenics
  3. The Ledge, an atheist movie
  4. The Mythicist position
  5. Some skeptics and criticism of religion
  6. Moon-walker claims alien contact cover-up
  7. Super generator? Perpetual motion? Another grift?
  8. Scattershots: gargoyles & grotesques
  9. The Battle of Tehran
  10. Stan Lee’s superhumans
  1. Evolving a Venom or Two
  2. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  3. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  4. The Laundry Solution
  5. Skeptic Summary #335
  6. Evil Skeptic and a Visit to Awareness 2000
  7. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  8. Scientific Truth
  9. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down?
  10. What is a Skeptic and Why Bother Being One?
There were 6,357 daily visitors this week.
Last Month’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. The Mythicist position
  2. Funny FAILS
  3. Dr. Jeffery Life and Cenegenics
  4. Moon-walker claims alien contact cover-up
  5. Free will as a depletable resource
  6. The return of Jesus
  7. The Zeitgeist evidence
  8. The Battle of Tehran
  9. Stan Lee’s superhumans
  10. The Supper
  11. Quote Mine warning propaganda poster
  12. Scattershots: gargoyles & grotesques
  13. Luke 17 and the Rapture
  14. ‘Zion Oil’ getting into hot water?
  15. Fif50ty FreAkieSt AnIMaLS
  16. DMV Senior Motorcyclist Handbook
  17. Crabby Appleton
  18. Evidence For Zeitgeist’s claims?
  19. Unbelievable idiocy
  20. Super generator? Perpetual motion? Another grift?
  1. Evolving a Venom or Two
  2. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  3. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  4. What is a Skeptic and Why Bother Being One?
  5. Miracle Thaw Tray
  6. The PQ Test
  7. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  8. Evolution is a Lie
  9. TAM5
  10. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down?
  11. Scientific Truth
  12. The Myth of the Missing Moon Dust
  13. TAM4
  14. Cold Reading
  15. The Laundry Solution
  16. More on the Polonium 218 Controversy
  17. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony!
  18. Evil Skeptic and a Visit to Awareness 2000
  19. N. 25, June 2002: Ecology vs. ecophily — being reasonable about saving the environment
  20. Skeptic Summary #334
There were 29,463 daily visitors in June, 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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