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Skeptic Summary #393

By The Staff
Posted on: 11/3/2013

Hypothetical cross, hypothetical politics, hypothetical question, hypothetical slavery, not-so hypothetical worlds and more!

Week ending November 03, 2013 (Vol 10, #15)

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

Forum Highlights:
Biggest cross in the Western Hemisphere - The Tower of Babel didn’t teach these guys anything.

The future of the GOP and the Tea Party - The Magic 8-Ball says “prognosis is not good.”

Hypothetical question - Is peace on Earth and Good Will to All Mankind worth the price of a Ban on Abortion?

Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery! - In the feverish mind of the deluded.

Kil’s Evil Pick:
The Worlds of David Darling — Given that The Worlds of David Darling has been around since 1999 as an online encyclopedia of science, math, science news and all kinds of other goodies, and I have only just discovered it, perhaps I’m late to this party? What happened is that very interesting science-related photos and stories from the Facebook page of The Worlds of David Darling were turning up on my Facebook news feed, by way of Facebook friends. I liked the page and share whatever is of interest to me, from it. I do that with several pages that are science-oriented and promote science in general.

But who was this David Darling guy and where were these posts originating from? I had to click through to his webpage to find out. And oh-boy! For a science geek like me, his site was a find! As usual, I’m going to the site about page about now, but this time I’m going to include links. Pay special attention to the site map link because in my opinion, that’s the place to start when you enter David Darling’s world.

About this site:
The Worlds of David Darling is a large on-line collection of information on all aspects of science, technology, mathematics, philosophy, history, and science fiction. It has been developed, and is updated daily, by author and astronomer David Darling. It contains two major encyclopedias — the award-winning Encyclopedia of Science and the Encyclopedia of Alternative Energy and Sustainable Living. Material for these encyclopedia derives from the author’s numerous books, submitted contributions from third parties, and public domain sources.

Other components of the site include a home page with regularly updated news, a number of separate news sections on topics such as health, the living world, paleontology, archeology, robotics, and technology, an extensive collection of news archives, an encyclopedia of history, and a children’s encyclopedia of science.

The site first went online in 1999 and has now grown to more than 16,000 pages and approximately three million words.

See the site map for further details.

“See the site map for further details” indeed! It’s there that you learn that there are two more encyclopedias on the site. There’s the Encyclopedia of History and a really neat Children’s Encyclopedia of Science. Neat because its broken down into series that are based on Darling’s books for children, and includes descriptions, graphics and experiments.

But wait! There’s more! There is also a fairly comprehensive Encyclopedia of Modern Music almost hidden on the site. The Worlds of David Darling covers lots of worlds! In fact, in the Encyclopedia of Science I just found a Star Trek Encyclopedia! (Be still my heart.)

By the way, did you click on the David Darling link? His biography is worth the read. Darling is a busy guy! Besides creating a very cool science website, that he updates daily with news items and additions to the site, he also writes books and posts several times a day on Facebook. Whew! So if you haven’t yet, make your way over to The Worlds of David Darling. Tell him that I sent you. He’ll just stare back at you, but that’s okay.

He that will not reason is a bigot; he that cannot reason is a fool; he that dares not reason is a slave.
— William Drummond

Wednesday, October 24th: Dr. Mabuse is back on chat duty, which happens every third week unless something interferes. We started out discussing salaries at work, and once we were done comparing increases we turned to mobile phones. After lamenting the deaths of civilians by drone strikes in places like Yemen and Pakistan we got into the “civil war” in the USA: Republicans vs. the Affordable Care Act. The wins for ACA seems much under reported, but instances like the botched federal exchange website gets a lot. And it mostly affects people in Republican-controlled states, which is a Republican win. Before we closed down the chat for the evening, we explored the work market (unemployment is down below 8% according to Maddow). Kil reported housing market seems to be turning around, maybe he’ll get some good work, and Boron10 will be shipping out again. The link to keep from this chat is the “The Great Debate,” Zuckerman vs. Marshal, the video that the church didn’t want to release at first.

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
28 fallacies about the Fukushima nuclear disaster’s effect on the US West Coast

Almost Two-Thirds of 18-29 Year Olds Believe in “Demon Possession” What Is Happening to America?

Another Year of Blasphemy

Anti-vaccination activists should not be given a say in the media

Bad UFOs: Skepticism, UFOs, and The Universe

Bigfoot Files approaches cryptozoology the correct way

Chairman Mao Invented Traditional Chinese Medicine

Doubtful News

FDA Warns Homeopathy Manufacturer Hyland to Stop Mislabeling its Products

Ghost Meters: I Can Name that Ghost in 5 Milligauss

Golden Rice — A Touchstone

Infomercial king Kevin Trudeau tossed back in jail over hidden money

A Journey to Planet Sanity Theatrical Trailer 2

Pitchman Kevin Trudeau again ordered to jail

Power Balance Maker Admits Bands Are Worthless

‘Psychic’ Phone Network Gets Punked

Psychic scammers find fertile haunting ground in Internet age

The psychology of spiritualism: science and seances

Publishers to Texas creationists: Nope, your edits are dumb

Sharyn Ainscough dies tragically because she followed the example of her daughter, The Wellness Warrior

Skepticality #217 — A Creepy Neuro-Revolution!

Twenty Things Most Chiropractors Won’t Tell You

Where hyenas are used to treat mental illness

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

Book of the Week:
God Bless America: Strange and Unusual Religious Beliefs and Practices in the United States, by Karen Stollznow.

God Bless America lifts the veil on strange and unusual religious beliefs and practices in the modern-day United States. Do Satanists really sacrifice babies? Do exorcisms involve swearing and spinning heads? Are the Amish allowed to drive cars and use computers? Offering a close look at snake handling, new age spirituality, Santeria spells, and satanic rituals, this book offers more than mere armchair research. It takes you to an exorcism, a Charismatic church and a Fundamentalist Mormon polygamist compound. You will sit among the beards and bonnets in a Mennonite church, hear the sounds of silence at a Quaker meeting, and listen to L. Ron Hubbard’s sci-fi stories told as sermons during a Scientology service. From the Amish to Voodoo, the beliefs and practices explored in this book may be unorthodox, and often dangerous, but they are always fascinating. Some of them are dying out, while others are gaining popularity with a modern audience, but all offer insight into the past, present and future of religion in the United States.”

— Book Description

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery!
  2. Dr. Jeffery Life and Cenegenics
  3. Hahahahahaha!
  4. Squid-size bus washes up on beach
  5. James Randi: a shit idol?
  6. The Illuminati are actually a force for good
  7. Fif50ty FreAkieSt AnIMaLS
  8. LifeStrength: the vitamin you wear!
  9. Skeptic News
  10. Unbelievable
  1. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  2. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  3. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down?
  4. Skeptic Summary #372
  5. Evolving a Venom or Two
  6. Cold Reading
  7. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  8. Skeptic Summary #389
  9. Skeptic Summary #392
  10. The Legend of the Shrinking Sun
There were 9,347 daily visitors this week.
Last Month’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Dr. Jeffery Life and Cenegenics
  2. Religion versus vaccines — sound familiar?
  3. Q’s on atheism
  4. Evolution myths
  5. Hahahahahaha!
  6. Big Bang (Part 2)
  7. Anti-gay gays
  8. Where this is?
  9. ‘Debate’ between me and Stan
  10. James Randi: a shit idol?
  11. Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery!
  12. Questions for a Christian
  13. Caesar’s Messiah by Joseph Atwill
  14. The Skeptic Summary
  15. Stan Lee’s superhumans
  16. Interview — Chris Hedges — American Fascists
  17. Fif50ty FreAkieSt AnIMaLS
  18. Hypothetical question
  19. Sam Harris / Andrew Sullivan debate
  20. The Illuminati are actually a force for good
  1. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  2. Evolving a Venom or Two
  3. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  4. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down?
  5. Skeptic Summary #389
  6. Cold Reading
  7. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  8. Skeptic Summary #392
  9. Skeptic Summary #372
  10. Skeptic Summary #365
  11. Skeptic Summary #391
  12. Free the Glutens, or When a Cookie isn’t Just a Cookie
  13. Sports Fandom and Soccer
  14. TAM5
  15. Miracle Thaw Tray
  16. How Do Vaccines Work?
  17. Evolution is a Lie, and you Skeptics KNOW it! Part 4
  18. The Legend of the Shrinking Sun
  19. Kent Hovind is a Big Phony!
  20. What is a Skeptic and Why Bother Being One?
There were 42,100 daily visitors in October, 2013.

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 2013, all rights reserved.

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