Skepticism

Skepchick Quickies 7.3

Amanda

Amanda is a science grad student in Boston whose favorite pastimes are having friendly debates and running amok.

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  1. I’m going to create a skeptical aromatherapy treatment. My plan is to sell a bag of dog crap and a lighter to people for the insanely low price of $49.99.

    Once you are home, place the bag of crap on your kitchen table and light it.

    I can guarantee that you will be skeptical of aromatherapy treatments within minutes.

  2. I saw that squirrel item and immediately thought of Skepchick. Cute animals and cleavage. The only thing it needs to make it a perfect Skepchick story would be if had been Jenny McCarthy being questioned by the police.

  3. My take on the law of threes is that there must not be much going on in our lives if we have to keep track of how many celebrities die within breathing space of each other.

    In the past few weeks, I’ve tried to comfort a friend recovering from sexual assault, and two of my friends were involved in a major accident that landed one of them in ICU. Another couple of friends were expecting their first born, and we just found out yesterday that he was born on Tuesday. Another friend just informed us of a fairly serious medical condition that I won’t get into details. And a friend from a forum that I frequent is tending to her ailing mother and having a rough time of it.

    Stuff happens in 3s. It also happens in 4s and 5s, and 2s. It’s kindof like looking for the number 47 in Star Trek. After a while they started putting it in on purpose, but it was there all the time before. We just didn’t notice it until we went looking for it. And when we started noticing it, we started ignoring other numbers that come up.

    One thing I came to realize was not that things happened in 3s, but that there’s enough going on in my own life, and the lives of those around me that I don’t need to obsess over keeping score in the celebrity death watch. On the one hand, every man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind. On the other hand, there’s not much I can do about Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Mollie Sugden, or anyone else, except acknowledge their passing.

    What I can do is pay attention to my own life, and the lives of my own family and friends, and be there for them.

  4. Had this conversation with my mom after hearing about Karl Madlen, yesterday:

    Mom: “Yeah. (sigh) How many does this make?”

    Me: “I don’t know.” (did math in my head) “Five?”
    Mom: “Oh that’s what me and your brother thought! That’s one set of three, now two more… That means one more is due!”

    Me: (Trying not to either laugh or hit myself with the phone) “Mom? I’m pretty sure the Angel of Death doesn’t have a set quota…”

  5. Oh, and I apologize to all fly lovers out there for the insane man gluing them to balsa wood and rolling paper contractions.

    The Mid-Wife thinks that he also uses the rolling paper for more… uh, “recreational” purposes…

  6. Leave it to Billy Mays to throw in the fourth celebrity death for free. And, because we acted quickly, we got Fred Travelina, Mollie Sugden (Mrs Slokum from Are you Being Served), and Karl Malden thrown in. That’s Seven Celebrity Deaths! Now how much would you pay?

    Still not enough? Who do we gotta kill? How about Legendary Irish race horse trainer, Vincent O’Brien? Not famous enough for you? There’s more!

    If you act now, we might be able to throw in Patrick Swayze, Kirk Douglas, and Fidel Castro! (Steve Jobs no longer available)

  7. The fly-powered aircraft were cool but so far unconvincing. All he really proved is that the fly can…um…fly with the added mass of the paper and toothpick. Show me a wind tunnel experiment and high speed photography where it shows that his “airplane” maintains any aerodynamic properties while in flight and I’ll no longer be skeptical.

  8. @tiger kitty: Really? My cell phone fits quite comfortably on the side of a boob, snuggled in my bra, and I’ve found I’m not the only girl that does this (we’ve all got ample cleavage, though…), along with cash, id cards, etc…lol.

    I had to explain this to my boss, he got a kick out of it.

  9. I’m so glad that they mention Sky Saxon in the celebrities post. I think I confused a lot of people when I started my radio show on the 25th saying that I was going to play songs from a musical great who had passed away earlier that day, and then played several songs by the Seeds.

  10. I can prove to anyone’s satisfaction that the law of threes is real. Provide me a chronological list of all the things you consider to be major events, and I can group them into threes… except for the next one or two that are just about to happen.

    I do have one quibble with the article. There are more than three states of matter. There’s at least 4 counting plasma. Are Bose-Einstein condensates also considered a new state?

  11. You don’t even have to get into string theory. Model building has been known to have at least 5. And some problems can only be solved if you have as much as 11. And that’s just the last time I checked.

  12. Does Steve McNair merely confirm or REALLY REALLY confirm the threes thing? It would be awful if he were shot because some OCD Three-er thought Billy Mays counted as the beginning of a second group because David Carradine was too long before Ed McMahon.

    The bit at the bottom of that article was interesting about how celebrities die on the 25th of the month. I did some quick calculations and it appears it’s just slightly less than one out if every 30.5 celebs die then. And I just blew your minds.

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