National Science Week

Posted August 8, 2008 by ambrielle
Categories: Cool science

Tags: , , , , , ,

A big event in the Australian science calendar is National Science Week, supported by Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (that’s its name this week anyway) and the CSIRO among others. This year, it’s held from the 16th to the 24th of August and features a multitude of events in each state.

Many scientists and educators give a lot of their time for this great event. I remember participating in one while I was working in a lab. I got to show possum sperm under the microscope to bunches of children and parents! It’s such a worthwhile event, really bringing science to the public and hopefully inspiring the next generation of research scientists.

Included in this years events are: lectures on astronomy, films of the underwater world, structured debates on the future of science, and a bit of CAM fun.

In addition there is a National Tour of a couple of speakers. One I would be especially interested in seeing is Dr. Michael Shermer, founding publisher of Skeptic Magazine (www.skeptic.com).  Bizarrely and annoyingly, this part of the NATIONAL tour does not visit South Australia.

Anyway, check out some of the events.

Expelled: can anyone spell hypocrisy?

Posted March 21, 2008 by ambrielle
Categories: Atheism, Creationism/ID, Evolution, Religion

Tags: , , , , , ,

thumbnailcafcpvqo.jpgJust a quick post for one of the funniest things I’ve seen for ages.

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is a creationist movie, written by Ben Stein. The official site makes for rather bizarre reading, with ‘No Intelligence Allowed’ plastered all over the site, apparently with no ironic intent. The movie is apparently about those brave put-upon martyrs who are frozen out by teh ebil evolutionist science overlords for expressing their creationist views.

Anyway, the great PZ Myers, creator of the Pharyngula blog and evolutionary biologist was to go to this movie since he appears in it, along with Richard Dawkins (their cooperation was gained under false pretenses, but that’s another story). He is also a well known atheist. Perhaps too well known, since PZ Myers was expelled from the theatre by security prior to to screening. I would have been incredulous and indignant, but PZ took his banishment with good grace. Probably because his guest for the screening and his family, who were all allowed in to the screening, was none other than Richard Dawkins himself!

Read all about it here: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/03/expelled.php

ETA, a conversation between PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins about the incident: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c39jYgsvUOY

Quote for the Day

Posted February 28, 2008 by ambrielle
Categories: Uncategorized

Something quick but timely, considering my current interest in woo.

I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being true.

Carl Sagan

Fun things

Posted February 22, 2008 by ambrielle
Categories: Uncategorized

I’ve used this pic quite a few times now in forums. I thought I would put it here so I know where to find it, but others may find it amusing too. Enjoy.

Quote for the day – with a LOLcat response

Posted February 22, 2008 by ambrielle
Categories: Creationism/ID, Quotes, Religion

From fstdt.com

“Ockhams Razor provides God as the simplest and thus the best explanation for the state of humanity.”
Revinius, bibleforums.net

David Tredinnick: Wow. I mean, woo.

Posted February 22, 2008 by ambrielle
Categories: Badscience, Uncategorized, Woo

You have to love British politics. At a quarter to two on the morning of the 20th of Feb, one David Tredinnick, MP, started a debate on complementary and alternative medicine, specifically homeopathy. Perhaps there was some convoluted procedural reason for starting a debate at that time of the morning, I don’t know, but to me it smacks of either embarassment or sneaky underhand goings-on. Anyway, his opening speech is available here, or more amusingly, in a post by Ben Goldacre on Badscience blog.

Tredinnick seems to be rather a champion for CAM; many of this parliamentary comments have been about alternative medicine in its various forms. One of his recent House of Commons debates is actually rather amusing, especially the response by Rob Marris.

However, Gimpy has to win an internet for this post on the subject! See also JQH here.

My next project is to find out whether Australian parliament has some equally deluded members. I often find parliamentary debates more like a bunch of kindergarteners yelling childish taunts at each other, no matter what the country. Britain has this lovely pompousness and formality with the ‘honourable Gentlemen and Ladies’. In Australian politics, it’s more likely to be ‘you mongrel’, ‘arselicker‘ or ‘mangy maggot‘. Still, as long as the political process works, right? So let’s hope David Tredinnick gets stomped on quick.

ETA: Well, well. David Tredinnick has struck again. Have a look at his idiotic support for a Dr. suspended by the GMC. The woman was clearly not acting in ‘her patients best interests’. Sounds like she’s a friend of his.

Mr Joseph Chikelue Obi vs. the Quackometer

Posted January 23, 2008 by ambrielle
Categories: Uncategorized

Tags: , , ,

Once again, the quacks are at it with the legal threats. This person in particular seems highly sensitive to criticism, despite the fact he draws a lot of it.

Magnificently blogged by No Nonsense! because the Quackometer‘s hosting company, Netcetera, is being rather spineless, and Le Canard Noir has been forced to take down the ‘offending’ pages, despite the fact no-one has explained what exactly is defamatory.

For other reading material on this character:

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-evening-chronicle/2004/09/15/shamed-doctor-quizzed-72703-14644539/

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-evening-chronicle/2004/08/21/shamed-doctor-probe-72703-14557214/

http://www.badscience.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4176

http://www.independent.ie/national-news/banned-doctor-claims-to-head-college-that-does-not-exist-266728.html

http://icteesside.icnetwork.co.uk/ic/sundaysun/tm_objectid=12504218%26method=full%26siteid=50081-name_page.html

I would encourage all bloggers with one iota of commonsense, a dislike of extortion and a liking for free speech to blog this issue.

Edit: other blogs with posts on this issue:

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/01/its_the_society_of_homoepathic_thugs_all.php

http://flammableflower.wordpress.com/2008/01/23/someone-else-tries-to-suppress-the-quackometer/

http://holfordwatch.info/2008/01/23/quackometer-blog-threatened-with-spurious-legal-action-again/

http://www.hyperactive-stage.co.uk/blog/blog_home.asp

http://thinking-is-dangerous.blogspot.com/2008/01/complimentary-and-alternative-medicine.html

http://soberish.wordpress.com/2008/01/23/ethical-quackery-the-monarchy-and-kate-moss/

http://shpalman.livejournal.com/8711.html

http://mugsandmoney.wordpress.com/2008/01/23/joseph-chikelue-obi/

On the lighter side:

LOLinator


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