Archive for January, 2011

Skeptics with a K: Episode #038

Welcome to 2011! Featuring menstruating chickens, Richard E Grant, the Quacking Christ and scaring spiders. Plus, America, Vitamin “Sea”, psychic predictions, assassinations and donuts.


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Skeptics in the Pub: Neil Gavin

Climate Scepticism in the Media: Gone But Not Forgotten

by Neil Gavin
When: Thu, Jan 20, 2011 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Head of Steam, 7 Lime Street, Liverpool


Climate scepticism is a complex beast with many facets. The talk will look at some of these facets (at strands of argument and claims-making), but will also focus on the political roots of the phenomenon. The talk will venture onto the ground of ‘climategate’ and what it tells us about climate science and climate politics, before engaging with just how salient contrarianism is in the media (from press, to television to the web).
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Science, Music and The Beauty Of Nature: Polar Live!

If you’re stuck for something to do this weekend, I strongly recommend you check out Polar Live, right here in Liverpool. It’s an awesome-looking project, where the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will be playing over a beautifully-shot documentary about life at the poles, which will be shown on a HUGE screen in HD. Essentially, it’s going to be unique, unusual and utterly beautiful, I think.

Don’t just take my word for it though – here’s a clip which gives you a taste of what it’ll be like:

I can’t wait to go myself, it looks really brilliant – something of a stirring, wonder-filled way of saying ‘this is the only planet we have, and we’d damn sure better look after it’.

The whole thing is being organised by a brilliant chap who goes along to the Greater Manchester Skeptics, who explained the show to me:

As Jacques Cousteau said, it’s easier to protect what we love. Polar is, first and foremost, a great night out. The rest is there for the audience to discover, if they so wish.

Tickets are still available if you move fast. I have mine already, and I really can’t wait.

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Bad News: If Only The Sun Knew What ‘Hypocrisy’ Meant…

Occasionally, my searches for Bad PR / Bad News (rebranding, here!) take me places I wouldn’t otherwise go. Like, for example, to The Sun website, where I was alerted by @cathyby and @DrPetra to this odious piece of PR bullshit:

You’re the affair-er sex, girls!

WOMEN are now more likely to cheat than men, a survey reveals.One in five said they would “definitely” have an affair if they fell for another bloke.

In contrast, just nine per cent of fellas were certain they would betray their partner.

The study of 3,000 people has for the first time exposed girls as the bigger love rats.

Wildly-misogynistic with an undercurrent designed to promote the kind of sexual mistrust which can really damage a relationship? I’m sure I read something similar in the not-too-distant past… oh, yes, that’s right, in The Sun:

One in 10 trick dads

One in ten mums TRICKED their fella into getting them pregnant, a survey revealed yesterday.

Top ruses were lying about being on the pill or just not mentioning contraception.

A quarter of those who duped their man said he ‘would have given in one day anyway’, the survey of 3000 mums found.

But half said they were not even bothered if the father stuck around.

Back then it was a poll by my favourite bullshit-mining marketing team OnePoll on behalf of misguided parenting club Bounty, and caused some genuine controversy, more of which you can read here. Although I’ve not seen anything which confirms this, I’d say the angle and the structure of the story strongly reeks of OnePoll again, but that is of course just conjecture. So, back to this latest worthless PR guff (because I’m going somewhere with this) Read the rest of this entry »

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Bad News Prediction: Connection Personal Trainer

So, it’s 2011 (Happy New Year, by the way). It is. I know, I know, 2010 has only just finished and now we’ve a whole other year to deal with, but that’s the way cyclical progression works I suppose.

Anyway, not a long article from me today, more of another attempt at a spot of PR predicting. If it comes off, I’ll tell you how I knew, but for now I’m going to be all Mystic Meg and cryptic. So here goes:

Within the next 2-3 weeks, I predict:

  • We’ll see articles in the Daily Mail (or Mail on Sunday) and a few other outlets all trumping up the wonder of a company called Connection Personal Trainer or, or both.
  • The article(s) will run with or refer to the point that many people are engaging in new diets as part of their New Year’s Resolutions, and weight loss is a concern to them.
  • The article(s) will potentially have a celebrity angle, around the topic of personal trainers, probably pushing the notion that they’re now not just for the rich but for the everyday man too.
  • The article(s) will potentially include a case study of someone who has lost weight with the programme, or someone who wants to lose weight and is starting it.

I think that’s enough to be going on for the moment. Now, let’s see if I’m right…

(Also, I’m toying with renaming my Bad PR stuff to Bad News, because it’s snappier. Just so you know).

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