Saturday, January 24, 2009

Among the Living: 09 first entries in

Here are the first entries:

1. Patrick Swayze 18/8/1952
2. Christina Applegate 25/11/1971
3. Michael Jackson 29/8/1958
4. Winona Ryder 29/10/1971
5. Steve Jobs 24/2/1955
6. Kent Hovind 15/1/1953
7. Dick Fosbury 6/3/1947
8. Herbert "Herb" Alpert 31/3/1935
9. Patrick G. Duffy 17/3/1949
10. Robert Culp 16/8/1930

ms dodo
1. Peter Falk 16/9/1927
2. Zsuzsanna (Zsa Zsa) Gabor 6/2/1917
3. Bernard Schwartz (Tony Curtis) 3/6/1925
4. Nicolas Sarkozy 28/1/1955
5. Patrick Swayze 18/8/1952
6. Hazel Hawke 20/7/1929
7. Steve Jobs 24/2/1955
8. Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) 17/1/1942
9. Ronnie Biggs 8/8/1929
10. Ted Kennedy 22/2/1932

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Death and needles

Deadpool '09
Entry: get it in before 31/1/09.
Remember: Choose 10 people who will not make it through the year. The younger the better.
Check here for points details.

News flash
Wow, knock me over with a feather! Studies continue to confirm that it doesn't matter where you stick needles into your body, traditional acupuncture spots or not, there is an anelgesic effect. This is most likely due to a strong placebo effect.

Now any rational person might begin questioning that maybe the underlying theory of traditional acupuncture maybe wrong. If it doesn't matter where the needles are, maybe there are no meridians in the human body. Of course, we have never found these, nor any signs of Qi, the magical life force. However, we get comments like the following from the above article -

"She said the success of "fake" acupuncture was due to a strong placebo response from sticking a needle in the body."

Let's see, the results from fake points are exactly the same as from real points, yet the effect from the fake points are a placebo response but the real points aren't. But you can't tell the difference. No meridians found, no Qi found, the same effect. Wouldn't you think it's all a placebo response? Occam slaps palm against forehead.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nut-job of the Week - No. 3

Breatharians believe that you don’t need to eat or drink water to remain alive. They claim that air, sunlight or some supernatural source is all that is required to survive. Jasmuheen (Born Ellen Greve) is an Australian who has repeatedly claimed to live on nothing but tea for months on end. Here is a video in which see outlines her theory. Warning: It’s 30 minutes long. (Or you can read this transcript in which she makes her claims.)

Do I really need to write anything here? This is a dangerous belief. There have been cases of people dying because of this.

She was challenged to demonstrate her claim for only one week by 60 Minutes which she accepted. They had to stop it after 4 days when she showed signs of becoming seriously ill. Of course she had an excuse. On the second day she said the air was polluted, so they moved her to a mountain retreat. Guess what? She continued to worsen hence they stopped it. Do you think this experience would make her rethink her beliefs? Don’t be stupid.

So, Jasmuheen, you are the Nut-job of the Week.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Nut-job of the Week - No. 2

Here is Dan Aykroyd promoting a brand of vodka.

This is not, I repeat, not a joke. It is not satire, even though it may appear to be. He actually believes this. This is why, in the main, actors should not be listened to. The make-believe they are a part of starts affecting their brain. Rationality seeps out and is replaced by woo woo.

Inspiring the last Indianna Jones film, these crystals were held to be made by Aztecs and ‘baffled’ scientists. Sorry boys, but these skulls have been shown to be products of the 19th century during which the trade in pre-Columbian artifacts was rife. Fakes were abundant.

What a convoluted and crazy way to sell booze at inflated prices. And to think people buy this shite.

So for this, Dan Aykroyd is my Nut-job of the Week.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Nut-job of the Week - No. 1

I’m going to try and post a bit more regularly and the only way I’m going to achieve this is to give myself a deadline. So I’m going to introduce a weekly post about the person who has done his or her bit to decrease the average intelligence on this planet. They will become my Nut-job of the Week.

The first Nut-job of the Week.

Just when you thought Riverdance was a nightmare you only had to experience only once, the man behind it is back. And he thinks he’s recovered from his ‘mystery virus’ thanks to the ‘Plexus System’. According to their website:

The existence of energy has always been accepted. As the Master of Science, Einstein concluded that everything is energy and beyond energy is a Supreme Intelligence. Within the Plexus System, we have begun to understand the powerful effectiveness of this intelligent life force.

First of all what do you mean by energy? And hang on, everything is energy and beyond energy is Supreme Intelligence. But if everything is energy, how can there be a beyond???????? WTF?

You know this stuff is complete shite when you have statements like these:

The Plexus System has, for many people, accentuated their vibrational frequency

What the hell are our vibrational frequencies and how come my doctor never checks if mine are OK?

The intelligent life energies take a number of forms and are normally in a state of continuous flow throughout the body. Similar to nervous impulses, they travel through a system of definite channels and in recent research these channels have been extensively mapped out by Scientists measuring variations in electrical skin resistance.

Give me your references for proof of these intelligent life energies and these so called channels in which it flows. Sure scientists have mapped skin resistance, but what the hell has that to do with intelligent life energies. Those maps give us an idea of how electricity may flow in the body. You know, electricity, the stuff which is used to power your computer on which you compose this trash. It ain't intelligent, we have to direct it and we can control it.

So for embracing this, Michael Flatley, you are the Nut-job of the Week.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

I’m listing. Better straighten up then.

December is usually the time everyone puts together their list of top 10, 50, 100, or googol of the year 2008. So what the hell I’m doing one as well but it’s in January. What a rebel. Anyway, this is my top 10 list of top 10 lists of 2008.

10. The top 10 scientific discoveries.
This scrapes in because it does highlight great science. However, this list should really be called “The top 10 scientific achievements”. For example, the LHC hasn’t discovered anything yet. Lift your game Time Magazine.

9. The top 10 Onion headlines.
The Onion never fails to disappoint. ‘Wealthy Teen Nearly Experiences Consequences’. So close to the truth…

8. The top 10 most popular searches in google.
Guess who was bigger than the Olympics this year? Did someone say Sarah Palin??

7. The top 10 strangest stories.
This makes it because it has the “Bigfoot found” hoax. Those guys were even interviewed on radio 774 Melbourne by Red Symons. People are so gullible. Some of the other stories are just plain weird.

6. The top 10 worst predictions.
There’s nothing like predictions by journo’s, pundits and those that think they know. Economists are the worst, like Donald ‘There will be no recession’ Luskin.

5. The top 10 athletes.
Because the Olympics were held in Beijing, I’ll let the Chinese newsagency pick these. Not a bad list. At least it isn’t USA centric. The lists produced by US papers always contain obscure names from sports like the NFL. Widen your view.

4. The top 10 astronomy pictures.
Simply out of this world.

3. The top 10 viral videos.
Shoes being thrown, crazy Christians, and how to use your fridge to score. Did I see Sarah Palin??

2. The top 10 jackasses of the year.
This list contains those whose faculties for reason and clear thought are either non-existent or have left them. Is that Sarah Palin again??

1. The top 10 skeptics who kicked ass.
To balance the nut-jobs in the previous list, here are the guys that did the most to promote sanity and that’s why it’s number one on my list. Hats off to The Guardian in conjunction with Ben Goldacre and Simon Singh.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Among the Living 08: The round up

Well, that's another year gone. How time flies. '08 brought many things. For some it was a sad time as we farewelled Jane McGrath, Charlton Heston, Arthur C. Clarke, and Suharto. But this list brought happiness to our winner, Minkey. Could you image the joy she must have felt when hearing that poor Jane has finally succumbed to cancer, knowing that she couldn't be beaten unless a miracle occurred.

However there were some we wished we would be saying goodbye to. ms dodo must be feeling extremely unlucky. She put Chemical Ali on her list. A wise choice one might have thought. He'd been given five death sentences and was due to be executed in February. The Iraqi has held out and has made it to 2009 and has been given another death sentence, which takes his tally to 6. Will someone choose him to cease existence in 2009????

Elizabeth Murdoch just keeps going on, and on, and on. She turns 1oo in February this year. I'll wish her a happy birthday because we all know she be kicking on.

Other popular names that disappointed us this year were Amy Winehouse, Ariel Sharon and Ben Cousins.
So here are the final points for all participants.

Does anyone wish to play again????