Archive for January, 2010

Question of The Week: What Nonsense Facts Can You Ascribe To A Skeptic?

Chuck Norris doesn’t read books: he stares them down till they give him the information he wants. Oh, and Rome? He did build that in a day. And you know what’s underneath that beard? Another FIST!

These are just a few of the nonsense ‘facts’ ascribed to martial-arts yeti Chuck Norris that fly about the internet. Fortunately for him, none of them touch on his acting ability. If you listened to our podcast, Skeptics With a K, yesterday, you will have heard Mike ‘The Health Ranger’ Adams’ completely un-ironic list of facts about Skeptics. You know the score:  Skeptics don’t believe in anything, we work for Big Pharma, kill babies, that kind of thing… So for this week’s Question of the Week, we thought he’d give a Chuck Norris inspired response to Adams’ drivel.

The Question of The Week is this: What kind of Chuck Norris style nonsense facts can you ascribe to Skeptics that Mike Adams missed?

The funniest answer won’t recieve anything except our undying admiration, but if that’s good enough for Chuck Norris then it’s good enough for us!

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Skeptics with a K: Episode #014

The Health Ranger vs the Shorty Awards; electrohypersensitivity revisited, dinosaur names and flying to the moon using only water.  Find out what the skeptics really believe in episode 14 of Skeptics with a K.

Play

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What Is It? #2

What Is It? #2

What Is It? #2 (Click to enlarge)

It’s that time again – time for us to ask you to get your thinking caps on, your imaginations fired-up and your brain in gear. Go on, do it!

Done that? Excellent – just in time for the good Prof. Dowling and his trusty electon microscope to send another in-depth snap your way. All you have to do is tell us: What Is It?

Leave your best guesses below, and answers next week.

Last week we showed you this photo and asked you what it was. The correct answer was – paper. Specifically, a piece of 60 gsm paper –  roughly 60% hardwood and 40 % softwood with some filler. Kudos goes to Gittins for the fastest correct answer.

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Quantum of Senseless

Returning to the MSS Blog, resident linguist Allan takes a look at Quantum Homeopathy…

Particles everywhere.  Quarks strangely up the continuum, where they can be postulated without arbitrary precision to flow among the hadronic mesons and baryons; Leptons down the scale of posited particulates, where electrons roll neutrally, defiled among the 105.7 MeV/c2 of muons and the apathetically gyrating tauons of a great (and probabilistically determined) Quanta.  Sleptons in the supersymmetric marshes, Higgsinos on the hypothetical heights.  Quarks creeping into the collider-beams; Gluons lying out on the fields, and hovering in the rigging of the august atom; Higgs bosons drooping on the W, Z bosons and the massless photons.  Higgs field like molasses in the eyes and throats of ancient university professors, wheezing lyrical over their lecterns at their wards; Protons and plumbons in the spoon and bowl of the afternoon muesli of the wrathful scientist, leucous in their locked labs;  Uncertainty principles cruelly pinching the lobes and hippocampus of their equivocating little ‘search babe in the back.  Chance people on the galleyways peeping over the parapets into a nether sky of particles, with particles all round them, as if they were up in a balloon, and hanging in the misty clouds.*

Oooh…  Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?  If you’d believe anything, and I don’t,  didn’t know anything, and I don’t, then you’d swear I knew of what I was on about, and I don’t.  Still, it is rather lovely, isn’t it? Me and Dickens… aside from 150 years and light years of ability in the sphere of stylistics, we’re like this: *crosses fingers*

So what is that?  That, my great and only friends, is a cacophony of sumptuous, semiotic manifestations that garners much to appearances, and less to substance. In other words, it’s word soup.  Bullshit.  Beautiful bullshit, perhaps a load that the bull in question felt a sudden, artistic need to shape and sculpt into transcendent forms, but, still, finally, when all is silkily said and finally done, and aside from the rose delicately balanced in its crescendo, it is still a steaming pile of moderately meaningless gibberish.

Beautiful, big words alone or juxtaposed do not a great point make. Read the rest of this entry »

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After The Earthquake, Then Came The Missionaries

As followers of international news will know, the small island of Haiti recently suffered a devastating earthquake, leaving thousands dead and destroying the homes and lives of many more.

As we’re increasingly seeing in the wake of these natural disasters, the internet has proven to be a great source of aid and fundraising, with appeals instantly springing up on Twitter and Facebook to raise funds for the distraught citizens and destroyed towns.

But aid from charities like Unicef, The Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières and the Disasters Emergency Committee (please donate to any one of those) isn’t the limit of the help offered to those suffering the effects of the disaster – instead, smelling the desperation and sensing a chance to convert, religious organisations and dangerous cults have descended upon the troubled isle to hoover up the hopeless into their organisations. Read the rest of this entry »

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New Competition: What Is It? #1

What Is It? #1

What Is It? #1 (Click to enlarge)

Bit of a change of pace for the blog this morning – rather than a large dollop of skepticism served with a side dollop of sarcasm, topped with a tiny dollop of seriousness (yes, I do consider all of our posts definable in terms of dollops. Dollop dollop dollop), we have something a little fun and light-hearted for you, from our good friend Prof. Dowling.

Below is an image captured by the good Prof. and his electron microscope. Your task, quite simply, is to tell us: What Is It?

Leave your answer below and we’ll announce the correct answer next week…

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