Gold's blog

Charlies is so cool like...

Science is cool. It's a fact. Just accept it.

I just found this via Fraser Cain and have to say, if you've got kids you have to show them this. Also, if you believe that humanity has any special place in the 'verse you need to see this.

Click through for the video...

Planning activism

The goal of this meetup was to attract a group that was more interested in actually doing something more than socialising in a pub. I think this was achieved. Those that showed up had info and ideas to share. There were also others that expressed interest in attending but were unable to do so with it being on a Monday so I'm thinking of doing a similar schedule as the Christchurch meetups. These were held once a fortnight on alternating Mondays and Tuesdays. I'll poll the group about this.

Response to simillimum

The final post to the article at the Taranaki Daily News was one that required a bit more time to respond too. It's been about 2 weeks now since I posted the reply and in that time I've posted it twice. I'm not sure about their posting policy but it appears that they may get closed off, Big Homeo are suppressing the facts ;) or just plain ignored after a certain time period. Either way, right of reply is something that can't be taken away with todays tech.


Shooting fish

FishBarrel: The easy way to report misleading health claims online.

Simon Perry runs the Leicester Skeptics in the Pub, campaigns against pseudo-science and his current focus is to encourage more people to get active campaigning against dangerous medical misinformation. To this end he's written a wonderful extension for Chrome that makes the process of submitting an ASA complaint quick, simple and painless.

Vaccine Rejectionism Disorder

It's been a while since I've posted anything. To be honest I don't have the time to post anything now. I've got about a month of solid work ahead of me and until then blogging will need to take a third or forth place. Having said that I will repost the occasional thing that catches my eye. It doesn't take much to do that.

So, first up, a new disorder. Originally found at Autism News Beat, it offers a clinical definition of the Disorder that those that won't vaccinate suffer from.

God is not great

Religion isn't something I particularly touch on that often unless it strays into the realm of reality. i.e. testable claims. This time though I want to pose a question; How can God be as powerful as He is claimed to be when things like the Feb 22nd quake happen? The Dean of the ChristChurch Cathedral is on record saying;

The earthquake was not an act of God. The earthquake was the planet doing its thing the way the planet does.

To the Dean and any Christians out there;

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.

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