Christchurch SitP Organisers

As many of you know I'm now in Wellington. I'm looking at making this a permanent move which means I'm going to want a new organiser (or organisers) for the Christchurch Skeptics in the Pub group.

Little Sugar Pills: Why Choose Homeopathy?

Kylie Sturgess runs a podcast called @tokenskeptic. Her podcast on homeopathy has been made into a video using kinetic typography. Love this stuff. :) The video is below the fold.

Kylie is currently in the UK presenting at QED where the 10:23 Campaign is kicking off this weekend. Here in Christchurch we'll be taking part in it on Monday due to Waitangi day celebrations.

Power Balance removed from Trade Me

So, in the last few days it was suggested that I should start listing the Placebo Bands on Trade Me with a more... honest description of what these things do. i.e. nothing.

As I started composing the listing I wondered where to list them and searched for them so where others had listed them. I want to say that I was surprised how many listings there were, but I wasn't. :/ Then I had another thought that wouldn't be as taxing on my wordology. (read: faster) I hunted out a few links (thanks to VicSkeptics for the great post), composed a message and started reporting the listings as "user intends to defraud". I hit the first couple of pages of results for a search on "power balance bands" and submitted about 30 reports all with the same explanation. I stuck to Power Balance as the report from the TGA was specific to that company.

Power Balance instructed to withdraw claims and advertising

Power Balance have been called out to withdraw their claims and advertising by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration(TGA).

There's a very good report on this by the Vic Skeptics.

Only in America...

Does tendering out rubbish collection and introducing kerb-side recycling turn into a leap into socialism. Obviously a mafia conspiracy to take over the rubbish collection is a tad boring, socialist rubbish collectors make much better press.

'Tea partyers' oppose changes to Fountain Hills trash collection

More facts about vaccines....

In order to carry on with the theme of

Vaccine Awareness Week,

this post intends to selectively address some of the "talking points" made by anti-vaccination groups, mainly addressing misinformation about the immune system. If you know of any more facts, add them in the comments with appropriate links.

"Natural immunity is far superior to artificial immunity."

Natural immunity

Near certainty vs absolute certainty

So I was recently reading about Kullback-Leibler divergence in the hopes of finding something to help me with the problem I'm working on (I have a feeling my next presentation will need the subtitle "My descent into statistics") when I found a passage on wikipedia that resonated quite well with me (appropriate links mostly added by me):

A Handy Alternative Therapy Flowchart

@Crispian_Jago has produced a fantastic flowchart to assist you with determining which Alt-Med option is best suited for you. Click through to see the full sized version on his blog.

Final nail in the coffin for the AVN?

Anti-vaccination group stripped of status

A CONTROVERSIAL NSW-based anti-vaccination group has been stripped of its charitable status after the state government found its appeals had not been conducted in good faith.

The Australian Vaccination Network (AVN) was ordered in July to publish a disclaimer on its website stating the group was anti-vaccination and its material shouldn't be read as medical advice.

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