Posts Tagged Daily Mail
Last week I had the pleasure of speaking to our lovely Skeptics in the Pub crowd, where I took about dissecting the media and generally picking out just how to spot PR bullshit in the press. For all of you who were sadly unable to make it, fret not! For we have the whole thing on video. Feel free to discuss in the comments below!
*Sorry for the random sound issues in the middle – apparently passing taxis were interfering with the radio mics. It was not – repeat NOT – any kind of nefarious hacking tactics from the tabloids…
This might well be a little bit of old news by now (given that I covered this story on our second anniversary Skeptics With A K show) but I can still confidently say that anyone who s watching the live stream within an internet explorer 6 browser is an idiot.
Now you might think that’s because there was a recent hoax survey which claimed that a psychometric testing company had analysed the IQ of users of different browsers, and had determined that users of internet explorer 6 are most likely to be flat-out dumb, but that’s not actually why I’m calling you idiots. It just a shit browser, massively outdated and an all-round piece of trash, and if you’re using it, you’re objectively an idiot.
That aside, there is something interesting about this hoax survey story. For those that haven’t heard of it, last month the media was all over this story, and not just the usual suspects. The short version is that AptiQuant Psychometric Consulting Company published a press release claiming that after surveying 101,326 people for their IQ and broswer of choice, and mapping this into a good solid graph, they were able to establish that internet explorer users had a ludicrously low IQ, around the 80 mark. Read the rest of this entry »
A few weeks ago I gave a BadNews talk at Ignite Liverpool, a cool evening where people from all manner of backgrounds give 5-minute talks on something that interests them. Here it is, for your viewing pleasure.
Psychics, pets, infertility, vodka, caramel slices and Bisphenol A. Plus Vesuvius, Red Rum, swastikas and the world’s best ampersand joke. Featuring guest hosts Al and Harris! QED.
Psychics, eh? Is there anything they can’t do? They can cure/heal/treat/help cancer, use their magic to confirm police reports and wear flat caps with their arses hanging out, and they can contact dead people who never actually existed. They’re a marvellous lot!
But that’s not the full extent of the psychic realm, it seems, as the BBC reported last week:
‘An Indian psychic is helping to search for cat which went missing from a Lincolnshire village. Oliver, a four-year-old tabby and white cat, went missing from Boothby Graffoe in October.
Owner Sue Machen, 56, has paid £1,000 for Hertfordshire-based company Animal Search UK to hunt for the animal.
It has employed psychic Sarita Gupta, who is based in Bangalore, to help in the search, a move which has been criticised by a sceptics’ society’. - Source: BBC
That’s right – we’re dealing psychic pet detectives! Which, to be clear, isn’t a detective who specialises in finding psychic pets (I can’t really see how one could make a full career out of that, really), but instead people who claim to use their psychic powers to detect and locate missing pets. Obviously.
So, what’s the story here? Well, it’s pretty simple - Oliver is a white and grey tabby cat. He has a white stomach and legs, and is tabby down his back and tail. He also has a distinctive black spot on the left side of his pink nose. And he’s missing. His owner Sue Machen, ‘distraught’ (according to the Fail) turned to Animal Search UK to locate him, and – as the newspapers report – they hired Indian mystic, magic woman and general all-round superhero Sarita Gupta to locate said missing moggy. Read the rest of this entry »