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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in The Association of LiveJournal Skeptics' LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011
12:36 am
We really should let TEPCO know about this. :-P

You see, they are injecting the water in all the wrong places! In order to "clean the radioactivity", all they need to do is shower the water 30cm outside of the reactor core, and 30 cm outside the spent fuel pools.

And instead of throwing away those spinach batches in which radioactive iodine was found, they should put them carefully next to a water fountain.

[cross-posted from my own journal]

Current Mood: amused
Thursday, November 4th, 2010
12:48 pm
Disenfranchising the Gullible
The recent election left me wondering, "Is there some way to reduce the political influence of people with no skeptical sense?" Then I saw this on Facebook:
I asked one of my friends who she voted for and she quickly answered "I voted for God" he's the only one who can get us out of this mess! I did vote but I now resind(sic) my vote!!!

My response was, The more write-in votes for "God", the better! :)

A write-in vote for "God" (or anything which is obviously not the name of an eligible candidate) would neutralize that person's vote, allowing the election results to be decided by people who are not quite so easily fooled. This is probably a good thing.

God for President! Vote for righteousness! Send a message which can't be ignored! Bust down that wall between church and state and show 'em who's boss! Buck the system and let your voice be heard! Cast your write-in vote for "God"!

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010
7:00 pm
Put it the Test Video
Thought I would share this with everyone because it has a really cute message.
Found it on Intertube Records. Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, August 21st, 2010
3:16 pm
The new Scooby Doo
 To anyone with kids, or anyone who watches kids, or just anyone who watches cartoons.

I remember the Scooby Doo of when I was a kid.  It was full of ghosts and ghouls, but at the end of every episode it turned out to be robots, and masks, and projectors.

There's a newer Scooby Doo series.  It's all the same characters, with virtually the same voices and the same designs.  The drawings look a little cleaner and more modern.  The main difference is the universe it takes place in.  Where the original Scooby Doo was in a universe full of pranksters and hoaksters, but no real ghosts.  In the new series, though, there are witches, aleins, ghosts, and anything else you can think of.  It's enough to make Velma hang up her glasses.

Thursday, August 12th, 2010
7:17 pm
Member introduction
Hello. My name is Cal Booker and I'm new to livejournal. If anyone could recommend other skeptical groups that I may join, or even "paranormal" groups, I'm interested in friends that I can agree with, as well as friends that I can disagree with. There's a link to my main blog, which is fairly new, in my profile if you're interested.
Sunday, January 10th, 2010
11:39 am
How to Silence a Woo-Pusher: Publicly Check Their Data
Recently in a Facebook comment thread there was a guy arguing that astrology is real. The guy kept posting stupid responses about tides, gravitation, etc. and obviously didn't know what he was talking about. Then he claimed to have data which proved that composers were mostly born under Sagittarius. I could hardly believe my luck when I found a copy of his data online.

Read the pwnage...Collapse )

After exposing the fact that his data didn't line up at all with his claims, he finally shut up.
Monday, January 4th, 2010
2:35 pm
I just got back from a talk given by Richard Wiseman, nominally to promote his new book 59 seconds but more generally just to talk about skepticism and psychology. It was an excellent talk and he's an excellent speaker - if you get a chance to see him I recommend you do so.
4:24 pm
Comment on Aaron C. Hanson Interview here...
For some odd reason the last post seemed to have comments disabled, so I figured I'd make a few important points of my own and let people place their own comments below.


Update: Ooooh, looks like this guy's been making the rounds. Someone else felt the need to call him out on [info]neurotheology. The exact same guy posted the exact same interview there. Once again, with comments disabled.

This is apparently an interview with a guy called Aaron Hanson, who I've never heard of. However, a name that has cropped up is Ed Dames, who apparently trained him. Ed Dames is one of the people found in Jon Ronson's book "The Men Who Stare At Goats" which was recently released as a comedy starring George Clooney.

Ed Dames pretty much ran all the psychic training outside of the military since he managed to successfully convince the target audience that any other ex-military psychics were inferior. As such, it became a widespread view that only Ed Dames, or those personally taught by Ed Dames, were worth taking lessons from. Ed Dames' projects were also probably more popular because while other military psychics were trying to remote view fairly run-of-the-mill locations, Dames was trying to remote view extra terrestrials and the Loch Ness monster.

Read more...Collapse )
10:19 am
An Unedited Rare Interview with Aaron C. Hanson

1) Hi Aaron. Most of the Coast audience knows you from your appearances on the show as Aaron Donahue. Can you tell us why you decided to change your name?

Apart from a welcome change, the name at hand presents the opportunity for repetition which is key for a minimal effort as per the passive observer in terms of memory. Furthermore, the words combined create an anagram that best conforms to an ideal for living that I and many of my readers strongly identify with. This being said, it is the association of similar sounding words that positively fit the image of strength and beauty.
Read more...Collapse )

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
1:00 am
The SWINE Flu is a DEADLY Plot
I found this poster on a bulletin board in the hallway of my university:

I took it down and looked up the url's. At first I thought it was a joke but it's not. It's legitimate anti-vaccination propaganda. I couldn't get stopthevax.com to load but theflucase.com sure did. I looked up the summary page and here's what it says:

There is evidence that shows that there presently exists an international corporate criminal syndicate that, in violation of the RICO Act (18 USC sec 1961-1969), is intent upon embarking upon a cascading event of genocide within the United States, in the UK, and in other countries around the world, most likely in Autumn 2009/Winter2010, using as their weapon an enforced program of toxic vaccines after a deliberate release of a virus to spark a pandemic could immensely profit vaccine companies.

The toxic vaccinations, classified as bioweapons by the US and EU governments’ own regulations.

On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations (UN) declared, without adequate scientific evidence, resulting in much criticism from experts, a worldwide ‘Level 6 Pandemic, ’ so triggering laws that allow control over troops, law enforcement and health services to be transferred to the WHO and UN.

According to the International Health Regulations of 2005, which has been incorporated into legislation also in The International Partnership on Avian Influenza of 2005 of the USA and other country's national pandemic plans, the WHO and the UN become the controlling agencies of the US in the event of a declared Level 6 Pandemic, and are entitled to control of this country under martial law, with obvious implications for all of the above under the pretext of fighting a pandemic emergency.

Refusing a WHO-mandated vaccination has been criminalized; police can therefore use deadly force against “criminal suspects” refusing these vaccines.

Immediately following the an announcement by the WHO in July order mass vaccinations, all 194 countries that have signed the International Health Regulations, including the US, are obliged to give mass vaccinations and prepare for other measures such as quarantines, as and when mandated by the WHO.

Governments have begung preparing for forced mass vaccinations and quarantine; the United States, the UK and other countries may then be controlled via various international agreements and executive orders by the United Nations (UN) /World Health Organization (WHO), now in turn controlled by the abovementioned international corporate criminal syndicate;

There is evidence from a WHO Memo dated from 1972 that WHO describes a method for using injections/vaccines to kill people in three steps: first, by weakening the immune system; second, by injecting a huge dose of virus into the body, which the weakened immune system cannot fight; and third, by injecting an adjuvant that triggrs a massive inflammatory reaction and a cytokine storm.

That is only a small portion of it. Eventually the article starts repeating itself, so I assuming a whole bunch of quotes got copy and pasted together in attempts to make the article look more convincing. There are many spelling and grammar errors, as well as no links or sources for their claimed "evidence". It doesn't even take a skeptic to point out the flaws in this article.

I really shouldn't be surprised but I can't help but be a bit baffled at the fact that I found it at my own university.
Wednesday, November 25th, 2009
12:21 pm
"Habbits that Lower your Immune System"
Found this article on Yahoo! Does the science here check out or is it just perpetuating a myth? Any comments?

H1N1 (Swine Flu)
How to Boost Your Immune System
The bad habits that can hinder immunity

We don't always take the best care of ourselves - skipping out on sleep, indulging in junk food, letting stress get the better of us. Still... even if we let healthy habits slide, our immune systems keep plugging away and working hard to save us from ourselves!

But over time, all of this work can wear down and weaken our body's immune response. And there are some bad habits that can really undermine our immunity:

* Smoking: Lighting up and puffing away on cigarettes and other tobacco products damages the blood vessels and decreases blood circulation. Wounds heal more slowly, and smokers tend to get sick more often than those who stay clear of smoke. Smoking also harms some of our body's natural barriers to infection, especially the tissues of the mouth and throat. When these barriers are compromised, agents of infection can get into our bodies more easily and make us sick.

* Drinking: Drink too much alcohol, and your immune system gets drunk right along with the rest of you. A bout of binge drinking slows down special immune cells called cytokines that usually act as messengers to tell the body when to mount a defence against an infection. Chronic abuse of alcohol wreaks its own havoc on immunity, putting alcoholics at heightened susceptibility to some cancers, bacterial infections such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, and other diseases.

* Overloading on sugar: As mentioned above, your cytokines can suffer a hangover. Turns out, other types of immune cells can experience sugar-shock. Neutrophils go right to the source of infection and illness to gobble up offending pathogens. But some research has shown that after you down a couple of sugary pops or juices, these immune cells quickly lose their power - and might not get back to work defending your body for another 5 hours. Keep this in mind next time you're tempted to indulge your sweet tooth - especially during cold and flu season!
Thursday, November 5th, 2009
11:34 am
Where's my tinfoil helmet?

I’ve started reading, in small doses and stunned disbelief, a fat paperback called The Secret History of the World, by Jonathan Black. The title was the hook – I’m interested in straight history of secret societies. This book is something else.  But I can’t say I wasn’t warned: the blurb bears the endorsement of Graham Hancock, who, in the sober light of day after magic mushroom tripping, still believes his visions of monsters were real, not hallucinatory.

 Jonathan Black lets his true colours shine through from the outset. His preface begins:

 THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE WORLD is a rude gesture in the face of know-it-alls who make up our intellectual elite, the control freaks who would decide what is acceptable for us all to think and believe.”

 A little later:

 “I try to show that there are perhaps deeper, richer patterns in history than the economic and narrowly political ones that conventional history allows, and that these patterns are supernatural in the sense that they just would not be happening if science explains everything there is.”

 Oh dear, the “science doesn’t know everything” caper.  But science doesn’t claim to know everything. Science is a method of inquiry, seeking truth through observation, and constantly refining its ideas in the light of accessible and reproducible experimental data. In setting science up as a know-it-all straw man, Black cues the spurious suggestion that, since science clearly doesn’t know it all, then peddlers of the paranormal somehow “win”.

 Sometimes they use precisely the opposite tactic. Creationists often observe debate and disagreement among evolutionary scientists. The Scripturalists then crow, “See, they’re not even sure themselves! We win - game over!” Thus science loses if it knows it all, and also loses if it doesn’t.

In concluding his preface, Black notes:

 “As far as genuine spiritual experience goes, some us [sic] have been born gifted. [I wonder if Black includes himself in that set...?]  As for the rest of us, some may have just enough imagination to realize that imagination itself is a way of seeing things that are real....”

 Uh no, the imagination is a way of seeing things that are unreal or potentially real (as in hypothesis, the “what if?” thoughts of the scientific experimenter). The trick is to distinguish fantasy from delusion, but I suspect Black isn’t going down that road. He does of course suggest that scientists and rationalists are narrow minded and unimaginative - another absurd canard, demolished by Richard Dawkins in his book, Unweaving the Rainbow.

In distancing himself from science, Black sheds any inconvenient obligation to provide the reader with evidence of his supernatural notions. I suspect none will be forthcoming, though he might well venture that, if you don't see it, it's not his fault you lack imagination.

 I highly recommend the Dawkins. As for Black’s effort, I haven’t yet decided whether to compost it or read on further for laughs…    


Current Mood: amused
Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
10:39 pm
Schwarzenegger sends Calif lawmaker who ridiculed him a veto letter with an in-your-face twist .
I found this very amusing.

"SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger typically attaches a message to bills he signs or vetoes telling lawmakers why he took the action.

A Democratic assemblyman who heckled the governor during a recent event in San Francisco actually received two messages: the veto letter itself and a not-so-subtle rebuke creatively hidden within it.

Like a find-the-word puzzle, the second message was visible by stringing together the first letter of each line down the left-hand margin. It consisted of a common four-letter vulgarity followed by the letters "y-o-u."
. Click here for article.

View the letter here and have yourself a good laugh.

Schwarzenegger's veto messages are sent to the lawmakers who authored the bills, and posted on the governor's Web site. McLear noted that the left-hand margin of past veto messages has spelled out words such as "poet" and "soap."
Wow, what a completely meaningless statement. I just love it when people pick out the weirdest trivial details.
Saturday, October 24th, 2009
9:21 pm
Koran verses appear on Miracle Baby in Russia
Apparently Koran verses appeared on a  baby in Russia, but of course no one got a photo.
Thursday, October 22nd, 2009
3:20 pm
Your annoying article for the day:

For Some Seeking Rebirth, Sweat Lodge Was End

You're probably already familiar with this story - one of the more well-known newage (rhymes with "sewage") gurus, James Arthur Ray, charges suckers an exhorbitant amount of money for a variety of bullshit services. Recently during a "native sweat lodge ceremony" two people died and a third went into a coma, and then later died.

James Arthur Ray cleared $9.4 million last year with his scumbag activities.

The second-last paragraph of the article was particularly rage-inducing.
Friday, August 21st, 2009
6:49 pm
Sunday, August 16th, 2009
6:47 pm
Operation Fax to Stop the Vax
Last night I saw a piece of anti-vaccination propaganda from Operation Fax to Stop the Vax. It appears to be the work of a very paranoid and confused woman who is convinced that the world's governments are trying to wipe out the human population. It's not clear to me exactly what she is going on, but she seems to believe that the novel H1N1 flu strain is a product of government labs, and that the vaccine against it is also deadly.

There's a whole lot of other nonsense on her site. For example she claims that ozone kills AIDS (by which I assume she means HIV), and that the government has killed people to keep them from revealing the health benefits of an alkalizing diet. It's a pretty amazing site.
Sunday, August 9th, 2009
2:15 pm
Abraham, Brahma?
Not well-versed in Hinduism or Judaism though I've read enough on this "Abraham-Brahma" link to think that it is very dubious. Yet many on certain boards claim it is the truth and go as far as to say that the Vedic religion spawned off virtually everything including influencing several different civilisations. If you could point me to rebuttals or if you have your own, that would be great. I've found only one so far: http://www.bad-language.com/sanskrit

Literature from actual scholars/scientists would be highly preferable as opposed to more crackpot theorists. Thanks.

Here is a link you can start from: http://www.viewzone.com/abraham.html

Also, cross-posted.
Thursday, August 6th, 2009
6:25 pm
British chiropractic libel case
Nature's podcast extra has a 30 minute interview with Simon Singh, the British science writer who is being sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association for an article he wrote in The Guardian in 2008. He summarizes the case to date and talks about the larger issue of the need for open discourse about science in the lay press. You can listen to it on the player embedded below or at the website

Saturday, July 25th, 2009
9:33 pm
Famous confessed hoaxes
Hi, everyone. I'm currently writing a piece on hoaxes that people have confessed to pulling off, but that many people still believe are real. So far, the list is:

The Loch Ness monster 'surgeon's photo'
The Priory of Sion
Crop circles
the Amityville haunting

I know there must be many more out there, but I'm having trouble thinking of any. Can anyone here help?
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