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Skeptic Summary #394

By The Staff
Posted on: 12/1/2013

Christian love, con-man contempt, psychic failure, typhoon relief, streaming ideas and more!

Week ending December 01, 2013 (Vol 10, #16)

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

Forum Highlights:
How some christians tip - When actions speak louder than words.

Sleazebag Kevin Trudeau in jail - A snake-oil salesman where he belongs.

Sylvia Browne is dead - She missed her prediction by 10 years or so.

Typhoon Haiya relief - Because it’s important!

Kil’s Evil Pick:
I set aside some potential picks this week. I have a couple but upon visiting them again, I just don’t know. I didn’t like the navigation at one of the sites, and it’s also not necessarily of interest to skeptics, so I decided against that one. The is another pro-GMO (or anti-GMO misinformation site) that I like, but it covers much the same territory as some past picks I already chose to highlight. I have linked to both of them anyhow, above, in this very paragraph. Feel free to check them out. I like both sites and maybe you will too.

So now I have this space to fill. And with what? I don’t really know yet. These things generally have a way of working themselves out, however. Stream of consciousness writing has often come through for me. I’m waiting for it to kick in.

Eat your vegetables! As most of us have come to expect, it doesn’t matter whether they are cooked or eaten raw. Eating vegetables is better than not eating vegetables. Studies have been done! And hey. With the holidays upon us, whether you are a vegetarian or not, it’s nice to know that however you prepare your vegetables, your body will thank you, unless you only eat them once a year.

And speaking of that, Thanksgiving really is only once a year, so stop combing the Internet for the healthiest Thanksgiving meal ever. Indulging now and then really won’t kill you, but serving only raw vegetables at a feast, no matter how nicely you dress them up, is seriously lame. Gluten-free dressing will never be as good as the real deal. Use lots of butter wherever you can. That’s my advice. It’s one goddamned meal. Don’t bore your guests to death with how wholesome it is, unless they are nutballs too. You can go back to living forever after the leftovers are gone.

(Note: The above was written before Thanksgiving. Due to more important matters, the editing and publishing of this Summary was put on hold for a couple of weeks. So just go ahead and apply the above advice to Christmas dinner and next year’s Thanksgiving, and any other special occasion that will be ruined by a crappy meal. Thanks!)

And while I’m at it, I’ve been unfriended by most of the raw food people who happened to friend me on Facebook, originally because I’m a liberal, or a skeptic, or an atheist, or all three. Some vegetarians have too. Even meat eaters have let me go. You’ve seen them. They’re the crunchy kind of liberals who hate my position on GMOs. I get a much harder time from those people than I do from the anti-vaccination folks. (Of course, it could be the other way around. It could be that I’m giving them a hard time.) The bummer is that for the most part, we agree on pretty much everything. But get to GMOs and ideology kicks in. The difficult part is they believe their position is science-based. After all, they have the Union of Concerned Scientists backing them up. David Suzuki too. On the other side happens to be Monsanto. Evil incarnate! And oh, yeah. The scientific consensus.

I’ve talked about this subject before, but I bring it up again because I’m a liberal, goddamnit! And it really pains me to see evidence-based science just fly out the window because it doesn’t fit with a political agenda. We see it with climate change on the other side and we see it with GMOs from the liberal side of life. So here is my plea to those liberals who have drunk from that well. Knock it off! You’re embarrassing yourselves and tainting what it means to be a liberal for those of us who think a part of being progressive comes with the understanding that science trumps politics.

Okay. That should settle it. Right?

Stream of consciousness. See? It worked itself out again. Or so I would like to believe.

The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.
— Christopher Hitchens

Wednesday, November 14th: We started out with Kil cooking dinner and the_ignored reporting on an expected wine shortage. Dr. Mabuse learned that potstickers are ravioli made in China. Then we combined the subjects and discussed using alcohol in cooking and making candies. Dr. Mabuse showed off his wife’s HTML programming skills, and got very positive reviews. Boron10 reported on his Quest for World Domination as his robot project moves forward. We discussed social science and psychology as actual science, and some economy thrown into the mix. And then there was feminism, and the sexism controversy.

Come chat with us.

New Members This Week:

(Not a member? Become one today!)

Elsewhere in the World:
Alternative medicines are popular, but do any of them really work?

Be Happy If You Want To: How I Became a Raëlian (Part One)

Burzynski exposed in USA Today

Charles Darwin to receive apology from the Church of England for rejecting evolution

Chopra Shoots at Skepticism and Misses

Confronting the Worlds Great Unrecognized Crisis

A crunchy mom’s reversal on vaccinations

Doctor accused of selling false hope to families

Doubtful News

The Facts In The Case Of Dr. Andrew Wakefield

Faith Healing: Religious Freedom vs. Child Protection

Fishful Thinking: Five Reasons why Mermaids Cant Physically Exist

Herbal Supplements Are Often Not What They Seem

Junk Science and Junk Bonds

Journal retracts Séralini’s controversial “GMO causes cancer” article

Science and Pseudoscience in Law Enforcement

Skepticality #218 — Make a Connection

Skepticality #219 — Shout Science!

Sylvia Browne: A Post-Mortem

Tassie tiger expedition aims to prove science wrong. Silly way of phrasing. (UPDATE: No good evidence)

TV pitchman Kevin Trudeau found guilty of contempt, ordered held

Why the Critical in Critical Thinking

World-famous psychic Sylvia Browne dead at age 77

Yesterday’s debate between Dawkins and Chopra

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

Book of the Week:
The Rocket Man: And Other Extraordinary Characters in the History of Flight, by David Darling.

“The wonder of flight has long captured the human imagination. In this beguiling history — ranging from the first aircraft to astronauts and beyond — David Darling tells the stories of the colorful adventurers whose wonder has translated into bizarre contraptions, magnificent achievements and, sometimes, startling folly.

Discover outrageous attempts to fly like a bird and the secret military planes that never made it off the ground — including the flying pancake and the plane with thirty wings. Meet Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, before disappearing without trace over the Pacific Ocean; the real X-Men who flew the supersonic experimental X-planes for the US Air Force; stuntman Lincoln Beachey, looping-the-loop in a pinstripe suit; and, of course, The Rocket Man himself: Yves Rossy, who was the first person to cross the English Channel with the aid of a jet-pack.

Eccentric and imaginative, reckless and resourceful — Darlings daring cast of dreamers is guaranteed to entertain and inspire.”

— Book Description

This Week’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Dr. Jeffery Life and Cenegenics
  2. The "Taman Shud" Case: The Somerton Man
  3. Herpetologists of the world, UNITE!
  4. Stan Lee’s superhumans
  5. Did Jesus really exist? (old forum)
  6. ‘Debate’ between me and Stan
  7. The heavy thinker
  8. Dan Brown’s “Inferno”
  9. Unbelievable
  10. Squid-size bus washes up on beach
  1. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  2. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  3. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  4. Evolving a Venom or Two
  5. Skeptic Summary #372
  6. The Legend of the Shrinking Sun
  7. Skeptic Summary #365
  8. The Fred Flintstone Hoax
  9. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down?
  10. Cold Reading
There were 9,971 daily visitors this week.
Last Month’s Most-Viewed Pages:
Forum Topics:
  1. Dr. Jeffery Life and Cenegenics
  2. Obamacare is the worst thing since slavery!
  3. Unbelievable
  4. Stan Lee’s superhumans
  5. James Randi: a shit idol?
  6. Herpetologists of the world, UNITE!
  7. ‘Debate’ between me and Stan
  8. Hahahahahaha!
  9. Squid-size bus washes up on beach
  10. The Skeptic Summary
  11. The Illuminati are actually a force for good
  12. Did Jesus really exist? (old forum)
  13. Scattershots: gargoyles & grotesques
  14. The "Taman Shud" Case: The Somerton Man
  15. Man jailed for capturing rain
  16. Fif50ty FreAkieSt AnIMaLS
  17. Scientist: No knuckle-walkers in human ancestry
  18. Skeptic News
  19. Confessions of a Satanist
  20. HOWTO: make hyperlinked text, insert a URL-link
  1. Miracle Thaw — The Bogus Miracle
  2. Fundamentalists Hate Noah’s Ark
  3. Evolving a Venom or Two
  4. The Bible’s Bad Fruits
  5. TAM4
  6. Skeptic Summary #372
  7. Skeptic Summary #389
  8. Cold Reading
  9. Is the Speed of Light Slowing Down?
  10. Preaching that Anti-Evolution Propaganda
  11. Skeptic Summary #365
  12. Skeptic Summary #393
  13. The Legend of the Shrinking Sun
  14. Free the Glutens, or When a Cookie isn’t Just a Cookie
  15. Skeptic Summary #287
  16. Skeptic Summary #392
  17. How Do Vaccines Work?
  18. Miracle Thaw Tray
  19. Evolution is a Lie, and you Skeptics KNOW it! Part 4
  20. Skeptic Summary #371
There were 41,728 daily visitors in November, 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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