"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.

Earl Tupper July 28 or October 5

Earl Tupper July 28, 1907–October 5, 1983

A few general background notes after the questions.
Only 6 questions, but this seems to be about right for us.

Poisoning Pigeons in the Park / August 18

Poisoning Pigeons in the Park / August 18

An early attempt at a quiz; too long, but there were plenty of break-out points to discuss side topics.

The Inaugural Palmerston North Skeptics in the Pub

March 7th sees the addition of Palmerston North to list of cities hosting a Skeptics in the Pub. The first meeting will be happening at Rosie O'Grady's Irish Pub, 96 Fitzherbert Ave, Palmerston North.

These events are casual and typically without an agenda. An opportunity to get together with like minded people and plot to take over the world with rational thinking and the scientific method.

All welcome, no charge.

http://palmerston-north.skepticsinthepub.net.nz/events/16455752/

Body, Mind, Wallet

Anyone up for an outing to the Mind Body Wallet festival this time around? I caught the posters in time this year.

The event is on the last weekend in February and has a $10 entry.

I may or may not be here for it. I've put the word out in Wellington that I'm heading that way. If I get any takers on the backpacking thing then I'll be up there. So, I'm also looking for someone to step up and coordinate this should that happen.

Anyone interested in an outing to see what the other side believe in?

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.

Homeopathic 'Overdosers' Announce Global Challenge

Michael Marshall of the 10:23 Campaign explained the plans for 2011: "This year has been a great year in the UK for raising awareness of homeopathy – with doctors, pharmacists, politicians and – above all – members of the public speaking out against this discredit 'treatment'.

the American Revolution - Jan 1 2011

an example and warning of the fate of those who try to divide people....

http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/swift-blog/1176-serves-em-right.html

At least we're on the same page...

Serves Em Right, eh, Randi....

Just for you, little traitors…

WHAT IS *WRONG* WITH HENRY?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YgdmtkTwO8&feature=related

we're this far from nuking all of you....

the X-MAS vacuum cleaner for the atheists....

shermer, randi, myers, pz, dawkins, harris

DORE to open in Lower Hutt

Hey all,

Do we have anyone with a particular interest in education and/or those with learning difficulties?

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE1101/S00004/demand-sees-dore-open-centr...

DORE are in the process of opening a centre in Lower Hutt. For those that haven't heard about it, it's a "brain training" system with little credible research to back it up and what has been published has been criticized for it selective sampling of the "treatments" (there's around 400 of these that are picked from on a case by case basis), lack of data and lack of follow up. The only independent research DORE have presented was also found to be poorly designed and unreliable. DORE have also been caught out on a number of occasions making false and/or misleading claims in their advertising.

Denis Dutton memorial meetup

The first Skeptics in the Pub Meetup for Christchurch this year is, unfortunately, going to be something of a memorial service. As you may have heard, Denis Dutton passed away on the 28th of December 2010.

To celebrate the life of this individual I'd like to invite you to come and listen to those that knew him talk about his achievements and the founding of the New Zealand Skeptics Society.

PN SitP

So I'm back and trapped in Palmerston North for around a year. I'm keen on making skeptics in the pub happen, though I have no illusions about it being big.

I guess the first three things to determine would be interest, location and what night suits people. I think it would be wise to rule out Friday, Saturday and possibly Sunday. Initially I think the best periodicity would be monthly.

I've got no clue about what a good location might be.

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