Archive for December, 2010

Caption Competition #18

Ahoy there, fellow skeptics! It’s been a while, due to scarcity of funny pictures and that life thing getting in the way. Hope you’ve all coped without your weekly diet of caption-hungry photographs?

The winner of our last competition is Wyn, who provided this caption:

Drug squad prepares for reclassification of meow meow.

Congratulations to Wyn. Your cheque for a million pounds is in the post.

As some or all of you may be aware, we recently streamed our latest episode of Skeptics With a K live, in conjunction with real-time interaction via twitter with our faithful fans. We not only streamed the audio but the visual, too, so you were able to see, thanks to the wonders of the internet, the complex technological juggernaut that is the recording of our popular podcast. It may have seemed like three blokes in a back bedroom talking cobblers, but that’s just because you all need glasses.

To celebrate that special episode of Skeptics With a K, we have two screengrabs of the recording itself, courtesy of Hayley Stevens of the British Anomalistic Research Society. Hayley is our Skeptics in The Pub speaker for tomorrow night at Liverpool Skeptics in The Pub, details of which can be found here. It will no doubt be a highly entertaining talk, which all of you should attend, especially if you entertain doubts about the way in which some paranormal investigators ‘investigate’…

You can leave your captions for either/or of the pictures, or both if you wish. The choice is yours. But leave them in the comments fields below if you can. It gets difficult to track entries that are left on Twitter.

So, you all know the score by now: what should be the caption for the picture(s) below?

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Skeptics with a K: listen live online with QED

This Monday will see a very special recording of our Skeptics with a K podcast. For the first, and perhaps only time in the show’s history, we will be streaming the recording session live over the Internet.

Skeptics with a K Live is being sponsored by the QED conference (get your tickets now) who will be providing technical support on the day.   Listeners will be able to hear the raw, uncut recording – as it happens – including all the grossly offensive off-colour humour which usually gets cut for reasons of taste and decency.

Not only that, you will be able to interact with the show via twitter. During the show we will be monitoring the #qedcon hashtag, so when Marsh says something outrageous about palladium you can put him right on the spot.

The show starts at 6:45pm on Monday, December 13 – at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/skeptics-with-a-k

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QED Vodka: Why Do Things By Halves…?

I’m sure you all saw our QED Vodka footage by now – where we made a batch of homeopathic vodka for the BBC, and then trialled it around the streets of Liverpool. What fun.

What you might not have seen is the full sales pitch, as (for reasons of time) we had to trim a lot of it down. Still, I had a lot of fun coming up with it, crafting a fine line of bullshit-benefits while never straying from what could be tenuoulsy claimed about a) water and b) the placebo effect. Because if you’re going to do something, why do it by halves?

So, to preserve the sheer bullshit I forced myself to come up with, I thought I’d post it all here (as well as giving you it as a PDF so you can see what was on the other side of that clipboard I’m clutching in the footage).

Enjoy! And get your QED ticket now to sample some QED vodka with us in person in February! Read the rest of this entry »

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Skeptics with a K: Episode #035

Power Balance, retroactive memory and owning the Sun. Also uppity flamingos, partying mushrooms, crushed sprouts and Richard Saunders. With the ability to correctly  locate porn 53.1% of the time, it’s Skeptics with a K.

Tickets for QED are available from: http://qedcon.org/xawC
More information about the 10:23 Challenge: http://www.1023.org.uk/

Play

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Homeopathic ‘Overdosers’ Announce Global Challenge

10:23 Campaign

The 10:23 Campaign

Consumer rights activists worldwide are being challenged to participate in a global ‘overdose’ on homeopathic pills, in order to raise public awareness that the remedies are in fact worthless.

The ’10:23 Challenge’, scheduled to culminate worldwide in February 2011, is a follow-up to the protest staged by the 10:23 Campaign in the UK, which saw almost 400 demonstrators take to the streets across UK to voice their concern at the sales of the pills in leading pharmacy ‘Boots’, and the support for such ‘remedies’ on the NHS.

Michael Marshall of the 10:23 Campaign explained the plans for 2011: “This year has been a great year in the UK for raising awareness of homeopathy – with doctors, pharmacists, politicians and – above all – members of the public speaking out against this discredit ‘treatment’.

“However, the case against homeopathy extends far beyond the UK – all around the world, people are being told that homeopathy is a valid form of treatment, and often with tragic consequences. It’s a global problem, and it requires global action.

“This is why we’re announcing the 10:23 Challenge for 2011 – we want to show global unity by gathering protesters from more than 10 countries, and more than 23 cities. Our aim is to have more than 1023 people publicly gathering over the weekend of 5th-6th February, to make a statement: Homeopathy – There’s Nothing In It.

“Of course, safety is our number one concern – not all homeopathy is prepared as honestly and cleanly as the manufacturers state, and can include real ingredients which could be potentially dangerous. With this in mind we urge anyone wishing to get involved to prepare their own homeopathic remedies, or contact the 10:23 Campaign for more information”.

QED: Question. Explore. Discover.

Get your QED ticket now!

While International participation is yet to be announced, the challenge will culminate in a demonstration in Manchester on February 6th, at the ‘QED: Question. Explore. Discover.’ event, with over 300 protesters participating the largest ever single demonstration against homeopathy.

The 10:23 Campaign is an international movement headed by the Merseyside Skeptics Society, which aims to raise awareness of homeopathy, a multi-million pound industry based on a long-discredited 18th century ritual, selling remedies to the public which have no scientific basis and no credible evidence for their efficacy beyond the placebo effect.

While dispensing sugar pills may seem harmless, in reality the endorsement of homeopathic potions by leading health providers can have grave consequences. In September 2010, a BBC investigation discovered registered homeopaths administering ineffective ‘alternatives’ to the MMR vaccine, and in 2002 9-month old infant Gloria Sam died from serious infections after her eczema – a condition commonly treated by homeopaths – was treated with homeopathic remedies.

Mr Marshall concluded: “Homeopathy has had more than two centuries to prove itself a useful remedy, but the results consistently come back negative. In the meantime, people are being fooled into believing these pills work, often causing genuine harm. This is unacceptable, and on February 5th, we’re going to demonstrate how strongly people feel about this issue.”

For more information about the 10:23 Challenge, visit www.1023.org.uk or contact contact@1023.org.uk.

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