Monthly Archives: January 2010

Iraq Army Magic Wand Manufacturer Busted

Remember this?

Divining sticks that consist essentially of an antenna not even attached to a radio (which might make it slihgtly useful for listening to music and stuff), and costing between 16 and 60 THOUSAND DOLLARS each, are being used as the main technology for detecting bombs at check points staffed by the Iraqi army. (source)

Well, now we have this …
Continue reading Iraq Army Magic Wand Manufacturer Busted

OMG, Cognitive Daily is No More!

Cognitive Daily, the blog, is one of the blogs that made science blogs (both in general and at a legitimate, valid enterprise instead of a bunch of random jackasses screwing around on the Internet. Like a nice hat on a man who could be part scoundrel or a great pair of shoes on a woman with ill intention, Cognitive Daily made the rest of us look … valid. Like we shouldn’t be taken off the air. Like we had a reason to call ourselves important.

But Cognitive Daily is now gone. Greta and Dave wrote their last post today, just a few minutes ago.

Crap. Now what are we going to do? And you think I’m joking but I’m not.

WTF. Go say good-bye.

Ethics and morality sans religion

You probably don’t know that I went to Harvard, because I rarely mention it, but I did, and when I was there I literally worked and studied around the Divinity school. The lab I worked in was on one side of the Div School, and the Peabody Museum (home of the Anthro Dept) was on the other side of the Div School, which was, in turn, half surrounded, like a morsel of food about to be eaten by a voracious amoeba, by the Biology Building.

And, I was amused to learn that the Harvard Div School was a hotbed of atheism. Or so I was told. But I did not pay much attention.

Continue reading Ethics and morality sans religion

You can help promote skeptical thinking

Last Fourth of July Weekend, I attended Skepchicon, which is a “track” at a “con” (where a con is a thing where everyone dresses up like Darth Vader or a Twilight character or whatever). I was on the panel for a couple of sessions and participated in others, and had a blast.

The most interesting thing that those of us involved noticed, on later reflection, is the sophistication of the audience. This is not a case of capturing the interest of a few hundred crazy woo-meisters and trying to talk them into science. Rather, the audience largely consisted of skeptical type people who wanted to advance their understanding of science and skepticism, and brainstorm about how to spread such heretical thinking more broadly.

I want to do this again, but there is a little problem with money. Here’s where you come in…

Continue reading You can help promote skeptical thinking