Article Archive for July 2008

The Disgusting Misrepresentation of British Muslims
By Martin
Posted in syndicated on 31 July 2008
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A headline in the Daily Mail the other day caught my eye: “One third of British Muslim students say it’s acceptable to kill for Islam.” The report breathlessly recounts the usual Islamophobic rhetoric, that Muslims think murder is great and want Sharia law across the world, attitudes I rarely see among my Muslim friends. The results were based on a YouGov poll that didn’t appear in any of the other news sources I regularly scan, nor even on YouGov’s website. Intrigued, I did a bit of digging, and what I found was quite disturbing.

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DOH Email On CAM
By jdc325
Posted in , syndicated on 31 July 2008
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Via Improbable Science, I was made aware of a piece in the Times where Alice Miles recommended writing to Ben Bradshaw regarding an NHS consultation:
The Government responded on Monday - with a three-month consultation. So join in. Write to the Health Minister Ben Bradshaw at Richmond House, 79 Whitehall, SW1A 2NS. Write, on behalf of the NHS: “What [...]

Skeptics’ Circle 92
By dvnutrix
Posted in syndicated on 31 July 2008
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Skeptics’ Circle 92 is up at The Lay Scientist.

The 92nd Skeptics’ Circle
By Martin
Posted in syndicated on 31 July 2008
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The crowded press-room at the rear of Team Skeptic’s state-of-the-art Olympic training facility hustles and bustles with the shifting movements of almost three journalists literally climbing over each other to get the clearest view of the buffet table. Nervously I shuffle my papers. This is it. This is what I’ve been training for. Is that air I can feel through my trouser-zip?

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The unjustified abuse of Paul Offit
By Mike
Posted in , , syndicated on 31 July 2008
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Dr Gordon is aggrieved
Over at Respectful Insolence, Science Blogger, Orac has been visited by Dr Jay Gordon in the comments section of his blog, Dr. Jay Gordon: No vaccines needed, just quit eating cheese and ice cream. Dr Gordon, you will remember, is a paediatrician to the children of the rich and famous, including Jenny McCarthy’s son [...]

Thank God they don’t use Piranhas
By valueaddedwater
Posted in , syndicated on 30 July 2008
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Saw this on news 24 which we have running in the corner in work.
I was whistling the theme tune to Red Dwarf for most of the morning after.
BBC news 24 Fish Pedicure
I’ve asked about getting a fish tank for the lab, but was told that my feet would probably kill the fish with food [...]

The Classification of Nutters at RationalWiki
By Martin
Posted in syndicated on 30 July 2008
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Try out RationalWiki’s new feature, “Article of the Weak. It’s an interesting new concept that aims to create a “taxonomy of the internet fringe”. As TMToulouse says:

“My goal, once we have enough articles and votes to make it worthwhile is to create a searchable index of articles based on the criteria that you guys define. Basically a taxonomy of the internet fringe. If we get a good sized article base and votes I think this could be fascinating. A user could list all the articles that have a high “authoritarian” and “hypocrisy” score, or whatever they wished. Lots of fun statistics can be run on the voting distributions as well.”

Credit crunch hits Cheshire
By Magic Darts
Posted in syndicated on 30 July 2008
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Ant Farm Update #3: Failure
By Frank the SciencePunk
Posted in syndicated on 30 July 2008
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Bill from Greece prompted me to let you all know how my ant farm was going: it’s not. I watched my ants desperately trying to escape for several weeks, and then they began dying for reasons unknown (I suspect that, upon failing to escape the Perspex prison, they instead trained their efforts on escaping [...]

FOIA reply: it’s a good job that Teesside University didn’t offer Holford a visiting professorship for financial reasons…
By jonhw
Posted in syndicated on 30 July 2008
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…because, if they did, they would be feeling pretty silly now.
We have recently received a response to a FOIA request to Teesside University, which included some interesting information about Visiting Professor Patrick Holford’s time at the University. Teesside’s Case for Patrick Holford as a Visiting Professor [PDF] referred to Food for the Brain funding [...]

Panorama of Dovestones
By Magic Darts
Posted in syndicated on 29 July 2008
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Barton is back
By Magic Darts
Posted in syndicated on 29 July 2008
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Qu-Chi Coup at the Telegraph
By Le Canard Noir
Posted in syndicated on 29 July 2008
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Homeopaths in Evidence-denial Shock.
By Dr* T
Posted in syndicated on 29 July 2008
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Atheists as bad as witches and paedophiles
By pj
Posted in syndicated on 29 July 2008
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Life sucks and then you die, says Ernst & Young
By Frank the SciencePunk
Posted in syndicated on 29 July 2008
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Ivy Ballicud at the fine Nerd News blog reports on a straw poll by Ernst & Young showing that 3/5 middle class Americans will outlive their pensions.  Doom and gloom indeed.  I for one find it entirely plausible this holds of the UK, for three reasons:
1) Life expectancy has been  steadily increasing for the last [...]

That’s It for Tunbridge Wells Homeopathic Hospital
By Le Canard Noir
Posted in syndicated on 29 July 2008
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What Kind of Liberal are You?
By Martin
Posted in syndicated on 29 July 2008
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Well I don’t really class myself as “a liberal” in the American sense, the term having subtly different meanings here in Britain (Liberal Democrats… eww), but here’s a cool little online quiz you can take. Apparently, and surprisingly accurately, it says that I am “a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-based thought reign supreme.” So, what kind of Liberal are you? (HT: Mike Dunford)

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Maryport Blues and Autism
By Mike
Posted in , , syndicated on 29 July 2008
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I have just spent a very pleasant weekend at the Maryport Blues Festival with my wife and my son, who has Asperger’s Syndrome. My daughter elected to go to Glastonbury instead. And a good time was had by all of us. There was even an autistic angle to our trip. Jools Holland, who was headlining [...]

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed
By Martin
Posted in , syndicated on 28 July 2008
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BPSDB The hit Creationist documentary “Expelled” is out on DVD! Go buy it now… or just slate it in the reviews. I’ve included some of the choicer reviews below.

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Whiny Sceptics
By jdc325
Posted in , , syndicated on 28 July 2008
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I’ve been blogging about bullshitters and mindfuckers since, ooh, last September. Recently, I claimed that woos are angry and I asked why. For balance, perhaps I should ask why sceptics are so whiny?
Sceptics and woos sometimes appear to be almost like adults and children. The kids are asking why they can’t use the Akashic field [...]

Healing the Wounds of Alternative Medicine
By Le Canard Noir
Posted in syndicated on 28 July 2008
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Secret Garden Party 2008 Roundup
By Frank the SciencePunk
Posted in syndicated on 28 July 2008
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After a hedonistic few days flitting around the Science tent at the fine Secret Garden Party I’ve arrived at home and had time to wash the sweat and mud off from my tired bones.  The sun blazed, music played, and most of all a tremendous amount of people showed up to the science tent, eager [...]

On David Bellamy’s Climate Myth, and the Tenacity of Memes
By Martin
Posted in , syndicated on 28 July 2008
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BPSDBI want to take you on a journey through time and space. Specifically, I want to take you along the long and convoluted trail of citations that leads from David Bellamy’s surprising 2005 assertion, in a letter to New Scientist, that the vast majority of glaciers under observation were in fact increasing in size; and the 1988 paper from which this “fact” was ultimately taken. It’s a fascinating story, that I think acts as a kind of exemplar for everything that can go wrong in using sources on the internet (HT: Deltoid).

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On David Bellamy’s Climate Myth, and the Tenacity of Memes
By Martin
Posted in , syndicated on 28 July 2008
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BPSDBI want to take you on a journey through time and space. Specifically, I want to take you along the long and convoluted trail of citations that leads from David Bellamy’s surprising 2005 assertion, in a letter to New Scientist, that the vast majority of glaciers under observation were in fact increasing in size; and the 1988 paper from which this “fact” was ultimately taken. It’s a fascinating story, that I think acts as a kind of exemplar for everything that can go wrong in using sources on the internet (HT: Deltoid).

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Is the Aluminium Content of Gardasil a Potential Peril? Unlikely
By dvnutrix
Posted in , syndicated on 28 July 2008
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Allison Gandy discusses adverse event reports associated with the vaccine for human papilloma virus (HPV) and the wider issues of whether or not HPV vaccination is a timely, affordable or appropriate public health investment. Unfortunately, the quality of the discussion is marred by alarmist reference to aluminium in the HPV vaccine as a ‘potential peril’ and recourse to germ theory dissent in the form of the alleged deathbed recantation of Pasteur.

I ate the baby Jesus too*
By pj
Posted in syndicated on 27 July 2008
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Haverthwaite
By Magic Darts
Posted in syndicated on 26 July 2008
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Patrick Holford and Other GMTV Pundits Should Be Glad That They Don’t Work for German TV
By dvnutrix
Posted in , syndicated on 26 July 2008
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Former Visiting Professor Patrick Holford is the Head of Science and Education at Biocare and some of his value to that company might lide in his ready access to the audience of GMTV. In the wake of the news that german TV channel ARD/WDR has sacked their health expert, Mr Health, Hademar Bankhofer, for the appearance of impropriety and the suspicion that the TV channel might look as if it is condoning the promotion of health products in which Bankhofer has a financial interest. Holford must be relieved that GMTV does not seem to have such standards or to value the trust of its audience as much as ARD/WDR do theirs.

Name the new “Carnival of Academic Life”!
By Carnival of Academic Life
Posted in syndicated on 26 July 2008
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So in response to some prompting by Coturnix at Blog Around the Clock, I’m starting a new monthly (maybe) blog carnival devoted to blogging about life as a scientist or academic, provisionally called “Carnival of Academic Life“.

The two big questions are what to call it, and how often to host it, so I’d like your input in the comments below please. I’ll be making the final decision on August 1st.

What would be a good name for the carnival?

Should it be held monthly, or at some other frequency?

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