Archive for March, 2010

Dogs And Autism: Human Sanity Concerns Over ‘Canine Health Concern’

As friends, stalkers, regular readers or simply plain-old psychics might know, I’ve been out of the country for a week, throwing myself off the side of mountains in the name of adrenaline, enjoyment and over-priced middle-class adventure-holiday fun. Hence my shocking goggle-tan, slight working-class-guilt-pangs and radio silence here on the blog. Fortunately, I had a great time away… but I’ve got to say I’m a bit disappointed by how things were when I got back. People are still pretending to talk to the dead, homeopathy’s still on the NHS, and the Daily Mail is still pumping out batshit lunacy. Really, did you all do nothing while I was gone? Shocking.

Speaking of the Daily Mail and my own relative silence of late, here’s something uber-old-hat by now (news these days moves so fast) but I felt I had to write it up partly because a) it’s batshit insane, b) it’s a good example of how fallacious arguments are entirely interchangeably applicable to a whole range of topics and c) it gives me a chance to make some cheap gags:

Vaccines ‘are making our dogs sick as vets cash in’ Source: Daily Mail (obviously).

See what I mean? Replace ‘dogs’ for ‘babies’ and ‘vets’ for ‘doctors’, and you’ve got a textbook anti-vaccination statement, a la Miss McCarthy. And it doesn’t stop there:

“Vaccines given to dogs are making them ill, a pet charity claimed yesterday. Profit-hungry drug companies and vets are ‘frightening’ dog owners into inoculating their pets more often than necessary, according to Canine Health Concern.”

If this isn’t PR for the Canine Health Concern charity, I don’t know what is. And it doesn’t stop there, either Read the rest of this entry »

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InKredulous: Episode #002

With Iszi Lawrence, Michael Marshall, Martin Robbins and Rich Smith. Presented by Andy Wilson. Send feedback to inkredulous@merseysideskeptics.org.uk

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The Healing Powers of Ringtones

Japan has a reputation for originating new and pointless technological novelties, and its latest youth fad doesn’t disappoint.

The youth of Japan are apparently currently obsessed with a new selection of ringtones created by a company called the Japan Ringing Tone Laboratory. This isn’t another ‘Crazy Frog’ though.  If it was, I would have shot myself rather than write this post. No, it’s something altogether more interesting, although just as moronic. These ringtones are “therapeutic ringtones”. Yes, forget acupuncture, hypnotherapy or the pleasures of a good sit down: simply play the ringtone on your phone and all your cares and health troubles will float away down the winding river of easy cures, along with your wallet and your self respect. Only in Japan. Well, for now. Read the rest of this entry »

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What Is It? #8

What Is It? #8

What Is It? #8

It’s that time of the week again – time for our What Is It? competition, courtesy of Prof. Dowling. Or at least, this week, it’s more of a Who Is It? The rest of the rules are the same, so tell us who/what you think this photo is.

Last week we showed you this photo, and asked you what it is. The answer? Pure gold atoms (as if there were any other type!).  The spacing between the gold atoms is 2 Angstroms (or 0.2 nm). They are not gold coloured due to the image having been taken with an electron microscope. Find out more on NanoNews-Now.

Not many of you attempted an answer this week. It was a difficult one, sure enough, and no-one quite got there in the end. The closest to the correct answer were probably Tom and Jon D, with graphite and crystal joints in metal respectively. Sorry, Stu, it wasn’t a stipple pad for artexing the ceiling, nor was it cake decorations on a biscuit tin lid, which was Jon D’s alternative offering! Better luck next time.

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Question of The Week: What Foreign Woo Have You Found On Holiday?

Woo doesn’t recognise geographical boundaries, as we found out when the 10:23 campaign caught the imagination of skeptics not just in England, but in countries as far afield as Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The ability to believe utter bollocks is a shared human trait, and it is in full view all over the world. Whether it’s the widespread use of homeopathy in France, Aids denialism in Africa or the belief that 9/11 was an inside job in the USA, woo is in rude and lively health, and it’s clocking up the airmiles.

So the Question of The Week is this: What Foreign Woo Have You Found On Holiday?

Were you accosted by Italian Scientologists? Did a small Brazilian boy try to sell you a mystical crystal skull? Maybe you’ve come across something ridiculous in another country that you’ve never found anywhere else. Whatever it is, let us know. Satiate our desire for new and wonderful woo!

Please leave your answers below.

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Skeptics with a K: Episode #017

Homéopathes Français, Flat Earthers and the Old, Old, Very Old Man.  With testicles both large and sound, it is Skeptics with a K.

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