Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blasphemy Day!!! and drinking!

Tomorrow is International Blasphemy Rights Day and the CSU Leaders in Free Thought will be hosting an event on the student center plaza so come check it out. Also, check out our facebook event!

Also a reminder that we are changing locations this week. We will meet at Woody's Pizza on saturday at 6pm. Hope to see everyone there!

Monday, September 27, 2010

News Website Article About a Scientific Paper

Not much need for a lot of context for this article by Martin Robbins of the Guardian, it perfectly sums up the state of science journalism today.

"This is a News Website Article About a Scientific Paper"

Via Pharyngula

If you aren't reading either of these gentlemen, you definitely should be.

Friday, September 24, 2010

CB and Potts-One more time

We are meeting at CB and Potts this Saturday at 6pm. Hope to see everyone there!
If the weather is nice- we will be outside, if the weather is not nice look for us somewhere inside the bar.

Also, again here are links to other skeptics in the community-if you want to be included on this list, just let me know!

Jeff's blog Untitled Vanity Project

Kai's Blog (he's on vacation for a bit, but should be posting again soon)

Brian's Podcast and Radio Show

And our college skeptics the CSU Leaders in Free Thought (LIFT)

Also, I have emailed info about our group to both
Drinking Skeptically
Skeptics in the Pub

So we will be listed on there sometime in the next few days.

Random Skeptical Quote of the Week:
"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact than a drunken man is happier than a sober one"

-George Bernard Shaw

Friday, September 17, 2010

CB and Potts Sat 6pm (Again)

September is CB & Potts month for skeptics in the pub, we decided to have one steady location for the first month or so of college to help encourage new members coming.  The Meet-up starts at 6 and we will be there till at least 8 (although often we are there much later) so feel free to come late should you be attacked by a rat.

Also, we will be setting up the schedule for the blog for the rest of the semester sometime in the next week or two, so if you would like to contribute email Amy or me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ahhh, College News

So today i was innocently reading the Collegian, CSU's daily news paper and came across an article that just made me sad for the world.

Group seeks truth on UFO activity-
First off- is this seriously newsworthy? Why are we even wasting time on nutcases? I guess the answer to this is that they managed to get a (and I quote) "ballot initiative that aims to create transparency in the government concerning all UFO related matters, as well as to form a committee to prepare for any future contact with extraterrestrial beings."

So, do i think that this may be newsworthy since we are now using government funds to deal with the crazy people? maybe...

Some of this groups major claims are that colorado is a hot spot for UFO activity and “There have been six to seven alien civilizations that have interacted with our planet throughout history,” Siblerud said. “They aren’t that much different than what we are; we share similar DNA. Some people can even communicate with them with their minds.”

Which would all be easily written off as just a typical conspiracy theory, but these people make the claim that they "are both followers of the new science movement, which aims to apply scientific practices to principles that mainstream academia would classify as the paranormal."

Seriously? I personally would like to see what kind of proof they have for these civilizations that have visited earth, but then of course, with statements like:

Both Peckman and Siblerud hear what naysayers have to say about their movements, but there is little that can be said that deters them or their beliefs.

I really don't feel like there is much actual science involved in their investigations.

Anyways, read the rest of the article, if you forget that they are talking about real people, its rather funny.

Somewhere Doug and Dave are Sharing a Laugh

Apparently Norwegian Skeptics are funny . . . who knew?  Here, they've taken a believer in "crop circle magic," out to see a fresh one for herself.

The crop circle is actually the logo for a British game show produced by Stephen Fry.

The footage is actually not part of a prank.  It is part of a credulous documentary about the psychic herself.  The psychic and her film crew decided (completely free from prompting) to come visit the crop circle which had been produced for Qi.

Thanks to PZ Myers for the original posting.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Happy Sunday Evening!
Last night, as an alternative to joining all of you at CB and Potts, I attended a BBQ at a friend's ranch. This was all fun and whatnot... until the bombardment began...

One of my fellow guests regaled me with stories of her terrible allergies, (anyone who knows me knows that i am two sneezes away from being John Travolta ). As the conversation was quickly turning into a metaphorical pissing contest she began explaining how she had heard that tapeworms (or some other variety of parasitic worms) are starting to be used for treatment of allergies. I guess the mechanism of action is somewhat based on the idea that allergies are an autoimmune response and that giving the immune system something to actually focus on, allergies will abate. She asked me if I would ever consider taking worms therapeutically, and my only response was that I would have to see the data before willfully infesting myself with parasites.

After a brief Googling on the topic I came upon a couple of websites that were leaning in the direction of Alt-Med and one even brought up Hulda Clark. So I searched Science Based Medicine ...nothing so I searched ScienceDaily and came up with a couple of articles...notably This one. please feel free to read it yourself but the basic conclusion is that there is data that was collected in Vietnam on children with hookworm infections and after being treated for the worms, they were found to have a higher likelyhood of allergies to dust mites. As a result there is a call to study the possible methods by which the worms suppress the inflammation reaction.

So we shall see if anything comes of it...until then I will make do with my cocktail of antihistamines and other medications.

Further several of the other guests began talking about massage therapy (my friend has had success for her chronic migranes) and the conversation began to deteriorate into "magical benefits of massage until one of them mentioned some reiki practitioner in town. Now I have to admit, I was taken a little off guard and was only vaguely familiar with reiki as being some Woo concept but no details. (Now here boys and girls, is what I should have said..."How do you suppose that works?" ) and then she went on to explain meridians and energy (Both words that should send up anyone's alarm bells). Now as my wife was in attendance, and I cherish NOT having to sleep on the couch, I decided that this was a convenient time for me to excuse myself and retire into the kitchen for a glass of water. I am inherantly not a very confrontational being so I know I should have gone and both taken the opportunity to learn what she thought about Reiki, as well as to encourage the thinking required to come to the conclusion "how DOES that work?" and "that doesn't seem too plausible". The best and most ironic point is that the vast majority of the guests have some background in the sciences (mostly Biology) and the Gal in question works in a necropsy (aka animal autopsy) lab determining cause of death for the division of wildlife. I would have found interesting to ask her if she had ever dissected a route of transit for these meridians that the Ki is supposed to travel through...

And to add insult to injury, the owners of the horse ranch are among the nicest people that I think I have met. And it pains me to see people like them get taken advantage of. I have been trying for months to figure out the best way to broach the subject of the Horse Psychic that they call at the slightest whim if any horse is acting odd in any way. Now does the psychic rush to the ranch to read the horse's mind...not a chance...She's so powerful that she can do it over the phone (probably from the bathtub or whatever). And does she divulge the information free of charge as a service to both humanity and equine kind...OF COURSE...NOT! So as I said... it pains me to see these people that are so nice, be taken for a ride.

Next week...See you at Potts for some enlightening conversation.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

CB and Potts Sat 6 pm!!!!!

Hey Skeptics- so we've been slacking off on the blog, but join us this week at CB and Potts (1415 West Elizabeth Street, Fort Collins). We will meet for food and drinks and good skeptical chat. It should be a lot of fun. We've got some new people joining us for drinking, so to keep it simple for people we are going to meet at CB and Potts for the rest of september. We meet on Saturday at 6pm. We will be somewhere in the bar area. Come join us anytime after 6 we usually hang out for a couple hours, at least till 8, so if 6 is too early for you, come by later.
Also, check out some blogs from our local skeptics:
First Kai has a blog (although updates are random at best)
The Metaskeptic
Jeff also has a blog
untitled vanity project
And, don't forget the CSU Leaders in Free Thought website

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Finally, the Story Behind Roswell Comes Out

Just came across this on Bad Astronomy and had to repost:

I can't decide if I like it or the moon landing one better: