Archive for July, 2011

Skeptics with a K: Episode #051

LSD, the end of suffering, balancing mediums and the Revelation to John.  Plus Michael McIntyre, the BBC, Jehovah’s Witnesses and lions. Probably taking the piss, it’s Skeptics with a K.

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Skeptics in the Pub: Richard Peppiatt

The Street Of Shame: Tales of Fleet Street

Rich Peppiatt: The Street Of Shame: Tales of Fleet Streetby Richard Peppiatt

When: Thursday, August 18th, 2011 8.00 – 11.00 PM
Where: The Head of Steam, 7 Lime Street, Liverpool

Rich Peppiatt is a former tabloid reporter who earlier this year quit the Daily Star in a sensational open letter to proprietor Richard Desmond.

His talk will lift the lid on what life is really like behind the doors of Britain’s red tops, what drives the journalists who work for them, and just what needs to be done to reform an industry which for too long has behaved with impunity.

In what promises to be a night packed with anecdotes from the jaw-dropping to the hilarious, Rich will take you on a tour through the pitfalls of Fleet Street.

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Skeptics with a K: Episode #050

The Whispering Witch, Bill Gates and Alien 3. Plus vaccination, Tetley Tea, pissing on the window and the Giant Book of Fantastic Facts Greatest Hits. Crossing the road to avoid you, it’s Skeptics with a K.

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QED Team Raise £5k for Charity

As the co-organisers of QED, along with the Greater Manchester Skeptics, it’s with great pleasure that we can share the following statement with you:

In February 2011, the first QED conference saw nearly 350 people come together for a weekend celebration of science and critical thinking, in what became a highly successful and entertaining event. Today, the QED team are delighted to announce that as a result of the event, £5,262 was raised – to be split between the charities Sense About Science and The National Autistic Society.

A spokeman for the event said, “It makes us all tremendously proud and thrilled to be able to donate to two great charities. It’s a testament to the popularity and success of the conference that so many people came and had a great time, and that we’ve been able to donate a respectable amount to two great causes is definitely the icing on the cake.

“We’d like to thank everyone who made the event the success it was – from the amazing roster of speakers who so kindly gave up their time to be a part of our event, to everybody who attended and made the weekend a success. From the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve had – and the many not-too-subtle demands to stage a follow-up event – it’s clear that QED was a great weekend for all involved, and we’re delighted to have been able to achieve this”.

Aswell as announcing the sums donated to charity, the team have confirmed that the next QED conference will take place on the weekend of March 10th-11th, 2012. While details of speakers are yet to be confirmed, the event will take place once more in the Ramada Jarvis Piccadilly Hotel, Manchester, and will once again be organised by North West Skeptical Events Ltd, comprising of members of the Merseyside Skeptics Society and Greater Manchester Skeptics.

To stay up to date with the latest information on the next QED and to be first to hear when tickets go on sale, subscribe to updates from the event team.

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The Daily Express and The Wife-Taming Wonder-Spray!

As a result of a little digging around the papers last week, as-ever on the trawl for nonsense, I stumbled across the following in the Daily Express:

HERBAL REMEDY’S NAGGING RELIEF TO THE HENPECKED

BATTLING couples could have found the cure for their marital bust-ups – a herbal remedy which claims it can tame the nastiest of nags.

A miracle cure you say? To get rid of nagging? With a slight hint of a putting-your-woman-in-place angle? Thanks very much, Diana-mourning, Maddie-sleuthing Daily Express. The article was written by Nathan Rao, who I feel is worth calling out because frankly I suspect he contributed barely a word to it, as you may well come to suspect too I’m sure. The article continues:

The world’s first anti-nagging medicine hit the shelves yesterday.

Two sentences in, and we’re suddenly claiming not only a world’s first, but that this herbal product is classifiable as medicine, and all that that entails. In short, if the Express, Nathan Rao or whoever wrote this piece wants to call this herbal remedy a medicine, that’s fine – so long as it’s a licensed product, licensed by the MHRA. If it’s not, then labelling it a ‘medicine’ is… well, let’s call it naughty. And complaint-worthy. And potentially pretty serious. So, a nice start then! Let’s continue Read the rest of this entry »

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Irresponsible headlines linked to alarmist media reports

This story first appeared in episode #049 of our podcast Skeptics with a K. Subscribe and download. You know it makes sense.

I was recently surprised to see the following headline on the BBC News website:

Common medicines linked to death

I’ll be honest, this struck me as scaremongering. And this wasn’t some obscure article tucked away in the health pages…  it was the lead story, on the homepage, for a whole morning. Read the rest of this entry »

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