New TAM Offering: Dinner with the SGU Crew! PDF Print E-mail
Latest JREF News
Written by JREF   
Monday, 03 May 2010 14:48

sguIn a repeat performance of last year's sold out event, the folks from The Skeptics Guide to the Universe will be hosting an optional dinner on Friday, July 9th at 7:00PM during TAM. There is limited seating for this catered event, so register early to be sure you get a seat. Tickets are $75, and we expect it to sell out again.

For those of you who have already registered for TAM, be sure to choose the "Already Registered" option at the top of the registration page

In other news, this week's topics on the The Skeptics Guide to the Universe are:

  • Interview with Dr. Dean Edell
  • News Items: 20 Years of Hubble, Nanodots, Boobquake, Stephen Hawking on Aliens, Noah's Ark
  • Who's That Noisy
  • Your Questions and E-mails: Intelligence and Science
  • Science or Fiction

You can tune in at their website,

Your Next Iced Latte Could Come From The Abominable Snowman PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Friday, 30 April 2010 12:44

Watch the video.

Watch it!

Watched it? Good.

You're now one of hundreds of thousands of people who've seen the "Oriental Yeti" that was discovered in early April. If you Google "Oriental Yeti," you'll come across this article from the Telegraph UK, which tells the "whole story." And an article from Times UK claims that "Scientists Are Baffled." I wonder if there's a number to call to find an anonymous baffled scientist — they seem to turn up quite frequently in these tales.

I'm guessing that like me, you don't think the animal in the video looks very much like the Yeti or Abominable Snowman we came to know and love on Scooby Doo. There's a reason for that.

The article claims that the creature was sent to a lab in Shanghai for DNA identification. But a couple of skeptics posited, and a Chinese naturalists confirmed, that this creature is not actually a Yeti. It is, in fact, a coffee enhancer.

Dowsing for Divots PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeff Wagg   
Friday, 30 April 2010 09:17

Messerschmitt109I present to you a rather old but fascinating story. Two planes clash over France, 1944. One is victorious, and a defeated German fighter smashes into the field below. 50 years later, the pilot is still listed as "Missing In Action," and the field shows no sign of the conflict above.

Or does it?

According to this article, investigator Laurent d' Hondt used dowsing rods to find the plane. The field must have been giving off waves or rays or something that made the aluminum rods twitch. How would it have ever been found without this strange force? Let's take a closer look and I suspect we'll have an answer.

Last Day for The Amaz!ng Meeting Early Registration Discount! PDF Print E-mail
Latest JREF News
Written by JREF   
Thursday, 29 April 2010 14:33

Today is the last today to get the early registration discount for TAM. Prices will be going up at Midnight tomorrow, April 30. (That's Eastern time).

Don't miss out.... visit The Amaz!ng Meeting Registration page and register right now!

D.J. Grothe at NECSS, Plus Semi-Related Editorial PDF Print E-mail
Written by Brandon K. Thorp   
Wednesday, 28 April 2010 20:28

D.J. Grothe’s lecture from NECSS 2010 has made the leap to the interwebz, and you may view it below.

D.J.’s subject, “Skepticism Is a Humanism,” is an affirmation of a principle that some of us think goes without saying, and which the rest of us hardly think about. It raises some interesting questions.

The talk begins with definitions. D.J. asks: Is skepticism “saying no to nonsensical beliefs”? I don’t think so. The pejorative “nonsense” almost automatically implies a degree of solipsism; an unwarranted trust in one’s ability to distinguish nonsense from truth. Everybody, Tom Cruise to Fred Phelps, thinks s/he says “no” to nonsense. It doesn’t make them skeptical. (Though it does reveal an innate, unformed inclination toward skepticism, which makes me hopeful.) A meaningful definition of skepticism would have to encapsulate the process by which we identify nonsense, rather than note the mere fact that we disparage it.

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