Archive for March, 2011
Posted by mattusmaximus on March 30, 2011
A bit over a year ago, I blogged – in a post titled Skepticism Matters – Bomb Dowsing Pseudoscience in Iraq – about a scandal concerning the sale of fake bomb detectors to various governments (including in Iraq). As outlined at that post, these bogus detectors (based off of thoroughly debunked dowsing techniques) have resulted in the deaths of many people because – surprise! – they don’t work. Fortunately, some of the charlatans selling these fake bomb detectors are in big trouble, but unfortunately there is much more that can be done.
Well, now there is a movement afoot to take the investigation & prosecution of these pseudoscientific charlatans to the next level. I strongly encourage you to read the following petition, read the related links documenting this criminal activity, and sign & pass it on…
From the early 1990s to now, commencing with James Randi and the Quadro Tracker, and now comprising a huge Worldwide network, the fight has been on to try to eliminate the trade in fake detectors which claim to be able to find everything from explosives, to drugs, to people, to gold deposits, to almost anything.
The picture illustrates the end of the line of this disgusting trade in fraudulent hope. Further the terrible waste of money on what are effectively dowsing rods dressed up as fancy gadgets, with absolutely 0 possible working principle.
We know of a latest very reasonable estimate from various sources including credible news reports and public documents of $200 -250 million dollars of sales around the World.
Plus the many hundreds if not thousands of deaths caused by their inevitable failure, because every single one of these devices is totally useless, they are still on sale, including in the U.S. Germany, India, China, and many other locations around the World.
The campaign has made great progress in the last year, and we are hopeful of much more UK action soon. However, we want to see concerted Political action to at least shut down the International aspect of this scam.
If you want to research further please see blogs at:
Or the forum threads at randi.org:
We now need a final push to major Westen Governments to get an effective ban in place. What we want is more cross-border co-operation, especially to recover as much of the money as possible and put it to better use e.g. Schools and Hospitals!
We will petition;
U.S.A. for pursuit of Charles Chistensen and his H3Tec
Germany for pursuit of Unival, David Vollmar, Frank Trier and the HEDD1 (formerly Sniffex Europe/ SNiffex Plus)
Gary Bolton, Global Technical, UK GT200
John Wyatt, SDS Group UK, HEDD1
General Pierre Hadji Georgiou, ProSec. Lebanon, ADE651
Stelian Ilie, Mira Telecom Romania, ADE651,
Simon Sherrard, ComsTrac UK, Alpha6
Yuri Markov, Sniffex ‘inventor’ Bulgaria,
Horizon Group India, GT200
Malcolm Roe, Sniffex into Europe
Sam Tree, Sniffex/Mole/GT200 into Europe
Agents in Thailand, Mexico, and elsewhere who have facilitated this trade through bribery and corruption. Other sales have been to Kenya, Niger, Hong Kong etc.
We have documented evidence of sales in 30 countries and possibly 10+ more
This is a winnable one. We already have ADE651 principal under Police Bail in UK, General Al Jabiri arrested in Iraq for ADE651 corruption, Thailand have carried out proper testing on Alpha 6, GT200, and HEDD 1, with all failing (much pressure was required on Government to get past the bribe takers!), action by private companies to sever ties with participants, major media investigations by NYT, BBC Newsnight and many others across the World; Internet full of anti information on almost any relevant search possible; widespread network of blogs, sites and campaigners from small beginnings.
Embarassing and calling to account the perpetrators and the officials who were fooled and or bribed in this process.
We ask that you add your name to this worthy cause and we will deliver the petition to multiple sources including media at the end of June if we have a respectable number. How about one for every dollar spent! Or is that a bit much to ask? May be one for every life damaged. Perhaps 10,000+
Hope you agree a good cause and as many as possible please!!! Thanks so much!
Posted in ghosts & paranormal, skeptical community | Tagged: ADE651, ATSC Ltd, bogus, bomb, corruption, criminal, detection, detector, dowsing, dowsing rods, explosive, fake, FBI, fraud, Iraq, Iraqi, James Randi, James Randi Educational Foundation, Jim McCormick, JREF, military, petition, pseudoscience, Quadro, Quadro Tracker, Randi, scandal, security, terrorism, UK, United Kingdom | 5 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on March 27, 2011
In my time tracking & critiquing the creationist movement, I have spent much time and many electrons typing articles pointing out the flaws in their various arguments. I will continue to do so, but every now and then something seems to come along which puts it into perspective. For example, I recently saw the following headline about a pastor who was fired from his church for not teaching “the correct” view on the afterlife…
Sara D. Davis / AP file — Chad Holtz was fired from his position as pastor of a church in Henderson, N.C., after posting on his Facebook page a defense of a forthcoming book by megachurch pastor Rob Bell, in which Bell challenges millions of Christians’ understanding of the afterlife.
DURHAM, N.C. — When Chad Holtz lost his old belief in hell, he also lost his job.
The pastor of a rural United Methodist church in North Carolina wrote a note on his Facebook page supporting a new book by Rob Bell, a prominent young evangelical pastor and critic of the traditional view of hell as a place of eternal torment for billions of damned souls.
Two days later, Holtz was told complaints from church members prompted his dismissal from Marrow’s Chapel in Henderson.
“I think justice comes and judgment will happen, but I don’t think that means an eternity of torment,” Holtz said. “But I can understand why people in my church aren’t ready to leave that behind. It’s something I’m still grappling with myself.”
The debate over Bell’s new book “Love Wins” has quickly spread across the evangelical precincts of the Internet, in part because of an eye-catching promotional video posted on YouTube. …
So what? What if some church decides to can their pastor because they don’t like the religious message he’s sending? I normally might not care myself, except I’m going to guess that the reason why Mr. Holtz is now unemployed is because he was the pastor of a more traditional, conservative congregation which wasn’t receptive to his more moderate view on the afterlife.
In addition, couple this with the fact that many of the more conservative Christian churches in the United States also seem to be rather supportive of the teaching of creationism in public science classes. How many times have we been subjected to the “teach all views” or “teach the controversy” argument espoused by creationists as they try to wedge their non-scientific, purely religious ideas into the science curriculum?
And therein lies the problem. You see, the inherent hypocrisy of the creationist movement favored by these conservative, more fundamentalist Christian churches is laid bare when they attempt to make the “teach all views” argument. After all, look what has happened to Mr. Holtz and those like him who try to teach a different view of heaven & hell in church: they get fired. In another ironic example, think about how intelligent design proponent William Dembski got himself into trouble when he openly questioned his institution’s account of Noah’s Flood. Why? What’s wrong with “teaching all views” in church or at a religious institution?
Of course, I am being quite sarcastic, but I’m doing so to make a particular point. I don’t honestly care one way or the other if Mr. Holtz’s church or Dembski’s religious school threatens to fire them or actually fires them. It is the prerogative of those institutions to act in a manner in accordance with their particular religious faith. On the questions of religious faith, the nature of heaven & hell, and the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin, I am perfectly content to let the theologians in their various seminaries continually run in circles, threatening each other with eternal damnation because someone else believes something different than they do. In fact, I’m quite amused by the show they put on in the process
And while the theologians like to have their (in my view) useless arguments, in the real world it is the prerogative of the scientific community to dictate what is & isn’t science by virtue of the scientific process which has steadily evolved over the last 400 years or so. Thus, professional scientists rightly have the knowledge & power to dictate the proper and established science that should be taught in public school science classes. They also have the know-how to point at pseudoscientific notions such as creationism and label them as not suitable for the science curriculum.
So, the next time you hear a creationist say “we should teach all views in the science classroom”, accept their argument. But only so long as they’re willing to “teach all views” or “teach the controversy” in their church first.
Posted in creationism, religion | Tagged: afterlife, Bible, Chad Holtz, Christian, Christianity, church, creationism, Discovery Institute, dogma, evolution, fired, God, heaven, hell, ID, intelligent design, Noah's Flood, Old Earth, pastor, religion, science, seminary, teach all views, teach the controversy, The Flood, theology, William Dembski, Young Earth | 3 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on March 25, 2011
I’ve been sitting on this a bit, but I can’t take it anymore. Beyond the idiocy being bantered about much of the media concerning the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, there is an entire other layer of stupid superimposed atop that: it’s about what caused the earthquake in the first place and future effects (i.e. “mega”-quakes) resulting from the Japanese quake.
The first bit of pseudoscientific flummery comes from various physics cranks & astrological weirdos who seem to have been going on and on about something called the “Supermoon”. Here’s a great Bad Astronomy article (written March 11th, 2011) taking down why this Supermoon nonsense is Super-Stupid…
… The idea of the Moon affecting us on Earth isn’t total nonsense, but it cannot be behind this earthquake, and almost certainly won’t have any actual, measurable effect on us on March 19, when the full Moon is at its closest.
So, how can I be so sure?
The gravity of the situation
Here’s the deal. The Moon orbits the Earth in an ellipse, so sometimes it’s closer to us and sometimes farther away. At perigee (closest point) it can be as close as 354,000 km (220,000 miles). At apogee, it can be as far as 410,000 km (254,000 miles). Since the Moon orbits the Earth every month or so, it goes between these two extremes every two weeks. So if, say, it’s at apogee on the first of the month, it’ll be at perigee in the middle of the month, two weeks later.
The strength of gravity depends on distance, so the gravitational effects of the Moon on the Earth are strongest at perigee.
However, the Moon is nowhere near perigee right now! [Note: This article was written on March 11th, the same date as the Japanese earthquake]
The Moon was at apogee on March 6, and will be at perigee on March 19. When the earthquake in Japan hit last night, the Moon was about 400,000 km (240,000 miles) away. So not only was it not at its closest point, it was actually farther away than it usually is on average.
So again, this earthquake in Japan had nothing to do with the Moon…
The second bit of nonsense which is making the rounds on the Internet is an article published in Newsweek magazine stating that the Japanese earthquake makes it more likely there will be a super-duper “mega-quake” which will, among other things, flatten California & the west coast of the United States. Sadly, this is yet another example of media fail on a scientific topic, because had the writer (supposedly a “journalist”, but actually someone who doesn’t deserve that title) of the Newsweek article taken just a little time to check his facts, he would have seen that such an idea is nonsense. LiveScience.com has a great take down of this fiasco…
An unfounded scientific assertion by a nonscientist has swept across the Web like a tsunami over the past few days. In an article in Newsweek, writer Simon Winchester claimed that the 9.0-magnitude Japan earthquake, following close on the heels of recent quakes in New Zealand and Chile, has ratcheted up the chances of a catastrophic seismic event striking in California.
In his article, “The Scariest Earthquake Is Yet to Come,” Winchester pointed out that all three of those recent earthquakes occurred along faults on the edge of the Pacific Plate — the giant tectonic puzzle piece under the Pacific Ocean — and that this also butts up against the North American plate along the San Andreas Fault.
“[A] significant event on one side of a major tectonic plate is often … followed some weeks or months later by another on the plate’s far side,” he wrote. “Now there have been catastrophic events at three corners of the Pacific Plate — one in the northwest, on Friday; one in the southwest, last month; one in the southeast, last year. That leaves just one corner unaffected — the northeast. And the fault line in the northeast of the Pacific Plate is the San Andreas Fault, underpinning the city of San Francisco.” …
Of course, the actual journalists (not the hacks who seem to pump out useless bilge called “science reporting” at Newsweek) at LiveScience.com check with real scientists on the question, and here’s what they found:
… “There is no evidence for a connection between all of the Pacific Rim earthquakes,” Nathan Bangs, a geophysicist who studies tectonic processes at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, told Life’s Little Mysteries. “I don’t know what the basis is for the statements and implications in the Newsweek article, but there is no evidence that there is a link.”
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) earthquake geologist David Schwartz, who heads the San Francisco Bay Area Earthquake Hazards Project, concurred. “Simon Winchester is a popular science writer, not a scientist,” Schwartz said. “I’m not saying we won’t have an earthquake here in California at some point in the future, but there really is no physical connection between these earthquakes.” …
… Rich Briggs, a USGS geologist whose work focuses on how earthquakes happen, explained another way in which earthquakes can cascade. “The other way earthquakes affect their neighbors is that when a fault ruptures, it sends out seismic waves that in the case of large earthquakes can even circle the globe. In some cases, this ‘dynamic stress transfer’ increases seismicity,” Briggs told Life’s Little Mysteries. “But that only happens as waves go by, in the minutes that it takes the waves to travel out from the fault zone.” …
… So when will a major earthquake strike California? “Based on models taking into account the long-term rate of slip on the San Andreas fault and the amount of offset that occurred on the fault in 1906, the best guess is that 1906-type earthquakes occur at intervals of about 200 years,” Robert Williams, USGS seismologist, wrote in an email. “Because of the time needed to accumulate slip equal to a 20-foot offset, there is only a small chance (about 2 percent) that such an earthquake could occur in the next 30 years.” …
The Japanese earthquake, subsequent tsunami, and all the related pain, suffering, and death is a horrible tragedy that the world will no doubt be grappling with for many years to come. However, in order for us to deal with these inevitable & uncontrollable tragedies, we must use the best tools at our disposal. These tools include addressing things from a careful, rational, scientific, and fact-based view, not by appealing to our more primitive notions of superstition & fear-mongering. One works, the other doesn’t: take a guess which is which.
Posted in astrology, doomsday, media woo, physics denial/woo | Tagged: astrology, astronomy, danger, disaster, earthquake, gravity, hype, hysteria, internet, Japan, Japanese, map, mega-quake, megaquake, misinformation, Moon, nuclear, physics, plate tectonics, quake, radiation, radioactivity, science, sensationalism, super-quake, Supermoon, superquake, tidal force, tidal wave, tides, tsunami | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on March 21, 2011
I just wanted to let you all know that registration is now open for The Amaz!ng Meeting 9. This year’s theme is all things astronomy & space oriented, so the event is being called “TAM9 From Outer Space!” I’ll be attending again this year, and if you are make sure you find me. This promises to be one of the best TAMs ever! Check it out
Posted in skeptical community, space | Tagged: astronomy, conference, convention, Las Vegas, meeting, science, skeptic, skepticism, space, TAM, TAM9, TAM9 From Outer Space, The Amaz!ng Meeting, The Amazing Meeting | 2 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on March 19, 2011
Wow, sometimes someone comes along and really lays out the science so clearly that it just makes you go… wow. I’ve spent much time in recent posts (here and here) discussing why it is important that the media put some context onto reports of radiation, specifically regarding accidents like that at the Fukushima nuclear power plants in Japan. The fine folks at XKCD have done an incredible job of putting the numbers I’ve been talking about for a week into a wonderful graphic; I suggest you all take a look (and try to find the dosages relevant to Fukushima, while you’re at it )…
Posted in environmental hysteria, humor, internet, physics denial/woo | Tagged: anti-nuclear, Chernobyl, core, damage, danger, disaster, dosage, dose, earthquake, energy, engineering, environment, explosion, exposure, fallout, Fukushima, half life, health, hype, hysteria, internet, Japan, Japanese, meltdown, nuclear, nuke, nukes, physics, plant, power, quake, radiation, radioactivity, rads, reactor, science, tidal wave, tsunami, xkcd, xkcd.com | 1 Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on March 18, 2011
Folks, over the last few days I’ve spent much time and energy in trying to correct many misconceptions (and yes, some outright lies) concerning the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. Of course, while the Fukushima situation is serious, the level of severity due to the broader earthquake & tsunami damage is orders of magnitude worse; so, in the spirit of lighting candles in the darkness, I want to pass along this appeal from the Center For Inquiry’s SHARE (Skeptics and Humanists Aid and Relief Effort)…
As the grim news unfolds in Japan, the Center for Inquiry’s SHARE (Skeptics and Humanists Aid and Relief Effort) is stepping up to provide assistance to victims of the earthquake/tsunami disaster. Every dollar you give to SHARE will be sent directly to Doctors Without Borders, a wholly secular international organization.
Doctors Without Borders has sent medical teams to support the government-led earthquake and tsunami response in Japan. Their teams are operating mobile clinics and conducting needs assessments.
Friday’s double tragedy has caused unimaginable misery. In many areas there is no running water or power. As we write millions of people face a fourth night without water, food or heating in near-freezing temperatures throughout the coastal area devastated by Friday’s disasters. People are suppressing hunger while dealing with the loss of loved ones and homes. Ensuring that these victims can access the medical care they need is among the highest priorities.
We hope that you can give generously to the SHARE campaign to help the Japanese people who are in such great need. Thank you!
Posted in skeptical community | Tagged: assist, Center For Inquiry, CFI, charity, damage, danger, disaster, Doctors Without Borders, donate, earthquake, effort, food, Fukushima, help, Japan, Japanese, medicine, quake, relief, science, secular, SHARE, shelter, skeptics, Skeptics and Humanists Aid and Relief Effort, tidal wave, tsunami, water | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on March 15, 2011
[**Update (3-16-11): There also appears to be a fake text message warning people of "fallout" coming their way. Just an FYI, folks.]
You know, over the weekend when I was doing a bunch of research for my last blog post - Know Nukes: The Japanese Earthquake & Anti-Nuclear Hysteria – I briefly ran across an image about the supposed “fallout pattern” from the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. I thought, “What a bunch of bullshit” and then moved on; not until later did I think that we’d probably be seeing that image again in the context of a hysterical, ranting chain email. And I was right – here it is…
This is a completely, 100% bogus map, as is the email associated with it! As the fine researchers at Snopes.com have discovered, it has no association with the Australian Radiation Services, and any implication by the map that there will be nuclear fallout, a large release of radiation, or any kind of far-reaching health/environmental damage is nothing more than rank fear-mongering.
I don’t know what kind of asshole puts something like this image out there at a time like this, but I don’t find this funny in the least. Most especially at times such as these, what we really need is to slow down, act calmly & coolly, and think about things in as rational manner as possible. Freaking out, going hysterical, and blindly buying into & passing along garbage such as this “map” is only going to make a bad situation far, far worse.
[**Update (3-17-11): On the question of the Fukushima site and radiation, if you want to get more regular, reliable updates, I suggest using the World Nuclear News website - here’s more from that site in a recent update…
… peaking at 400 millisieverts per hour (40,000 mrem/hour) on the inland side of unit 3, and 100 millisieverts per hour (10,000 mrem/hour) on the inland side of unit 4. At the highest exposure rate, a nuclear worker or soldier could remain in the area for less than 40 minutes before leaving the site, unable to return. …
… Despite high levels of radiation close to the units, levels detected at the edge of the power plant site have been steadily decreasing.
17 March, 4.00pm -- 0.64 millisieverts per hour (64 mrem/hour)
17 March, 9.00am -- 1.47 millisieverts per hour (147 mrem/hour)
16 March, 7.00pm -- 1.93 millisieverts per hour (193 mrem/hour)
16 March, 12.30pm -- 3.39 millisieverts per hour (339 mrem/hour)
This means that if you are at the edge of the Fukushima site itself, then receiving about 60 mrem/hour is like getting 2 or 3 chest x-rays per hour, which is a very strong dose of radiation. However, the intensity of the radiation gets a lot weaker the further away you get from the source (I believe it follows an inverse square law). Thus, it should be noted that if the radiation levels are that low at the edge of the power plant site, then they are most likely well within acceptable levels by the time you get to the edge of the evacuation zone, 30+ km away. And there’s certainly no danger to people far beyond that point, including here in the United States and Canada. Thus, despite the fact that some radiation has been released on the Fukushima site itself, the notion that any kind of "fallout cloud" will spread far & wide beyond that site is utter nonsense.
In addition, a good reference on the levels of radiation exposure (and related health effects) can be found here - http://www.epa.gov/radiation/understand/health_effects.html#anyamount – note that those values are in rems, whereas most of the exposure I've been referencing in these reports is in milli-rems (mrems). Bottom line: the people who are going to be affected the most are the workers right there on site, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them are getting a potentially lethal dose; as for everyone else, I think the danger is practically non-existent.]
Posted in environmental hysteria, internet, physics denial/woo | Tagged: ANS, anti-nuclear, Australian Nuclear Services, bogus, Chernobyl, core, damage, danger, disaster, earthquake, email, energy, engineering, environment, explosion, exposure, fake, fallout, fraud, Fukushima, half life, health, hype, hysteria, internet, Japan, Japanese, map, meltdown, misinformation, nuclear, nuclear fallout map, nuke, nukes, physics, plant, power, quake, radiation, radioactivity, rads, reactor, science, sensationalism, Snopes, tidal wave, tsunami | 22 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on March 13, 2011
Okay, this has been one helluva weekend for science (specifically, physics) and skepticism because of the earthquake in Japan, subsequent tsunami, and the ongoing situation with the nuclear power plants in the region. In this post, I am going to focus on the nuclear power plant question, because that is where the most amount of misinformation is being spread. And, sadly, because much of this misinformation is being spread by a horribly irresponsible media, I will not be referring to any media articles in this post.
First of all, let me say that I’m pretty mad at the manner in which this whole situation is being framed: while there are likely many tens of thousands of dead & dying victims in the wreckage of the earthquake & tsunami, much of the media focus is on the supposed “danger” posed by the nuclear power plants. Folks, this “danger” – while not completely fictitious – is being way, way, WAY over-hyped. In fact, it is being so overly-hyped that many people turning to most of the media are getting the impression that this is about to occur in Japan…
[**Update: Speaking of misinformation, there is a bogus "Nuclear Fallout Image" going around the Internet. More on that load of crap here.]
Let me continue by listing some reputable, scientifically accurate sources of information & updates on the situation with the Japanese nuclear plants and radiation in general. I strongly suggest that you turn off the TV and go to these sources for your information on the question of all things nuclear power & radiation oriented:
The World Nuclear News website (an outlet put together by nuclear engineering professionals and science journalists to get accurate information out to the public)
Nuclear energy 101: Inside the “black box” of power plants (one of the few mainstream media outlets that gets it right – kudos to you, Boing Boing! )
A Conversation with My Dad, a Nuclear Engineer, about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Disaster in Japan (from Skepchick Evelyn Mervine, who did an excellent job of cutting right to the chase regarding the scientific & technical issues involved)
Calculate Your Radiation Dose (from the United States’ EPA, which takes into account the natural & artificial sources of radiation around you all the time)
Now, having listed some reputable sources on the topic, let me take some time to address some of the more misinformed & outlandish claims being tossed all over the Internet and media landscape regarding what’s happening…
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in environmental hysteria, media woo, physics denial/woo | Tagged: anti-nuclear, Chernobyl, core, damage, danger, disaster, earthquake, energy, engineering, environment, explosion, exposure, Fukushima, half life, health, hype, hysteria, Japan, Japanese, know nukes, media, meltdown, misinformation, news, no nukes, nuclear, nuke, nukes, physics, plant, power, quake, radiation, radioactivity, reactor, science, sensationalism, tidal wave, tsunami | 43 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on March 13, 2011
Last week the media was all abuzz about a story that a NASA scientist had discovered “definitive evidence” of alien life in a meteorite. In fact, they apparently even had photos of the little critters…
Here’s the headline:
Aliens exist, and we have proof.
That astonishingly awesome claim comes from Dr. Richard B. Hoover, an astrobiologist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, who says he has found conclusive evidence of alien life — fossils of bacteria found in an extremely rare class of meteorite called CI1 carbonaceous chondrites. (There are only nine such meteorites on planet Earth.) Hoover’s findings were published late Friday night in the Journal of Cosmology, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
“I interpret it as indicating that life is more broadly distributed than restricted strictly to the planet earth,” Hoover, who has spent more than 10 years studying meteorites around the world, told FoxNews.com in an interview. “This field of study has just barely been touched — because quite frankly, a great many scientist [sic] would say that this is impossible.” …
The “field of study” to which Dr. Hoover is referring is astrobiology, and it is a legitimate scientific endeavor that attempts to study the question of life beyond Earth. Unfortunately, Dr. Hoover is somewhat of a crank, and his claims are quite overblown, as evidenced by the ruthless criticism he and the “peer-reviewed” Journal of Cosmology received from the wider scientific community. Here are just a few samples of how these trumped up claims of “alien life” simply wither under scrutiny…
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in aliens & UFOs, scientific method, space | Tagged: alien, astrobiology, astronomy, bacteria, Bad Astronomy, biology, bug, debunked, Dr. Hoover, Dr. Richard B. Hoover, ET, extraterrestrial, Fox News, journal, Journal of Cosmology, life, meteor, meteorite, microbe, microorganism, NASA, panspermia, peer review, Pharyngula, pseudoscience, science, scientific method, skepticism, space, virus, Washington Post | 4 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on March 11, 2011
If you’ve been part of the skeptical community for some time, no doubt that by now you’ve heard about Drinking Skeptically, which is a nice way of saying “a bunch of skeptics get together in a bar and talk & drink”. Well, in case you didn’t know, there is an online version called Virtual Drinking Skeptically, which is hosted by Brian Gregory pretty much every Friday night. Brian often interviews prominent skeptics on his show, and the discussion is not always serious though it is always fun! This week’s guest is yours truly – check it out
Announcing “special guest”: Matt Lowry. He will be joining us on Friday, Feb 18th at 9pm ET for a few hours to answer your questions in ‘virtual’ person.
Matt Lowry is a high school & college physics professor who is dedicated to educating his students and the public about science, skepticism, and critical thinking. He blogs on these and other subjects at The Skeptical Teacher. In addition, he really likes to do wacky & dangerous physics demonstrations as a way of “sacrificing himself for science!” (Ask about him getting hammered & nailed – go on… ask)
You can take a look at a few of his crazy stunts here.
IMPORTANT: This will be an official “special guest” chat and will be run according to the these rules, so make sure to add it to your calendar, test your setup for tokbox video, and get ready for an interesting evening. Oh, and put this on your calendar NOW!
Posted in humor, skeptical community | Tagged: Brian Gregory, college, drinking, Drinking Skeptically, DS, education, fun, high school, humor, Matt Lowry, party, physics, science, skeptic, skeptical, skepticism, teacher, The Skeptical Teacher, VDS, Virtual Drinking Skeptically | 1 Comment »