"A skeptic is one who prefers beliefs and conclusions that are reliable and valid to ones that are comforting or convenient, and therefore rigorously and openly applies the methods of science and reason to all empirical claims, especially their own. A skeptic provisionally proportions acceptance of any claim to valid logic and a fair and thorough assessment of available evidence, and studies the pitfalls of human reason and the mechanisms of deception so as to avoid being deceived by others or themselves. Skepticism values method over any particular conclusion." - Dr. Steven Novella of The New England Skeptics and The Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast.

Breaking up the monopoly in the legal profession in New Zealand

I am an enrolled Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand with a Juris Doctor degree. I believe that we need to set up an independent agency for issuance of practising certificates for lawyers and break up the New Zealand Law Society (monopoly in New Zealand). Hopefully, you will support me on this. Please see the following website:

https://sites.google.com/site/tatsuhikokoyama/new-zealand-law-society-1

Podcasts for listening pleasure ...

After a while away from podcasts due to lack of time, I'm collecting back issues and getting ready for some more.

It would be great if everyone here could chip in with a quick description of any good podcasts they know of; just adding to the list, we don't need a dozen mentions of The Cusp!

Here's a few that we should all know of ...

New Age terrorists develop homeopathic bomb

"The world has been placed on a heightened security alert following reports that New Age terrorists have harnessed the power of homeopathy for evil. ‘Homeopathic weapons represent a major threat to world peace,’ said President Barack Obama, ‘they might not cause any actual damage but the placebo effect could be quite devastating.’

‘Personhood’ movement seeks end to abortion

A group of anti-abortion activists has unrolled a new strategy: Stretch the legal definition of “person” in state constitutions to cover a freshly fertilized egg in a woman’s womb.

Scott Adams is one of us

Dilbert.com

Thanks to @KaiLoi for pointing this out to me. It's good to start the day in a good mood. :)

BCA drop case against Simon Singh. How would New Zealand stand?

April 1st, 2010 the Court of Appeal ruled that Simon's use of the word "bogus" was comment and not fact. Today the BCA dropped their case against Simon Singh.

This case has cost Simon 200,000 pounds(NZD$435,416) and took 2 years to reach this conclusion. It's unlikely that he'll be able to recover the costs of defending himself.

Tuesday Meetup

Announcing a new Meetup for Christchurch Skeptics in the Pub!

What: Tuesday Meetup

When: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 6:30 PM

Where:
The Twisted Hop
6 Poplar Street
Christchurch
+64339623688

No speaker for this meetup. Various things conspired against me getting it organised.

NZ follows suit on challenging Chiropractic

A few days ago there was an article in The Press on Stuff, Chiropractors' treatments questioned, which reports on the "baseless claims about treating conditions such as asthma, ear infections and colic". The research appears in the New Zealand Medical Journal and covers a review of 200 websites of chiropractors and the claims they make. The results were quite damning.

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