Quickies

Skepchick Quickies, 11.4

Jen

Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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20 Comments

  1. Just goes to show how much of a CF Iraq is going to be after we leave. These guys are GIVING UP manual and dog searches in favor of a divining rod that doesn’t even work.

    I’m amazed but not surprised.

    And I’m sad.

  2. And I always thought it was the critical thinking that made me grumpy. I always figured that the more I saw the stupidity rampant in the world today, the more frustrated and thus the more grumpy I became. Now I find out that I had the cause and effect reversed! Who knew?

  3. Hooray for the European Court of Human Rights. A decision that truly and properly addresses human rights.

    And then, from the opposition, we get this:

    The Italian bishops’ conference denounced the court as “partial and ideological,” saying the crucifix “is not just a religious symbol but also a sign of cultural belonging.”

    Yes, it does foster a sense of cultural belonging – if you are an Italian Catholic Bishop. Idiots.

    But nothing beats this one:

    “The crucifix has always been a sign of God’s love, unity and hospitality to all humanity. It is unpleasant that it is considered a sign of division, exclusion or a restriction of freedom,” he said.

    Think about that. Translated:
    The torture device that we used to kill our own god has always been a sign of that god’s love for all humanity. (Even before we tortured him to death with it?)

    Right. Silly Catholics.

  4. The website for the bomb/drug detecting device is HILARIOUS! http://www.ade651.com/

    “the first remote portable substance detector to incorporate the long-range electrostatic attraction of highly charged ions for the effective identification of even the most difficult substances.”

    They claim an above ground detection range of “Up to 650 meters in ideal conditions”. If I was using one of these I’d wonder why the explosives in my sidearm ammunition weren’t setting it off all the time.

  5. HAAA!!!!
    “From my 5 yr old boy:
    Why do I have nipples if I’m not going to get boobies?
    Why has Daddy got an arm beard?
    Where’s Mummy’s willy? Did she lose it?”

    ole Art said it right, kids say the darndest things!

  6. “Those in a bad mood outperformed those who were jolly”
    “His earlier work shows the weather has a similar impact on us – wet, dreary days sharpened memory, while bright sunny spells make people forgetful. ”

    Sunny days make me grumpy. I think the next study to needs to assess the mood*weather interaction.

  7. Re: Bomb detector
    Even the US military – notorious for paying LARGE sums of money for ordinary tools you could get in a hardware store – calls this thing useless. That should be enough to dissuade even the most dyed in the wool woo believer to be a bit skeptical.

    From the article: “Whether it’s magic or scientific, what I care about is it detects bombs,” said Maj. Gen. Jehad al-Jabiri, head of the Ministry of the Interior’s General Directorate for Combating Explosives.

    But it doesn’t! Nice.

    I think I’m changing my handle to SkeptiGrump.

  8. You know, the title here and blurb on the NYT log-in page about the bomb-detecting wand article doesn’t do it justice. When described through those I thought the wands just contained out-dated sensors in a package like those metal detecting wands, and bomb sniffing dogs had been proven to trounce the them in sensitivity and reliability.

    But apparently instead the wands contain phoenix feathers to make them detect bombs (or do they use dragon heartstrings?)

  9. “the first remote portable substance detector to incorporate the long-range electrostatic attraction of highly charged ions for the effective identification of even the most difficult substances.”

    …All of the explosives I can think of are neutral compounds or Zwitterionic (containing positive and negative charges at different points on them with a net neutral charge). Not highly charged ions.

  10. @ojisan: On that site, they say that they can detect “Black Powder, Used Weapons, Fireworks, all types of Ammunition, Ammonium Nitrate (ANFO-ANNIE), Chinese Czech and Russian Semtex, Plastic (C4, C1, …), Dynamite, RDX, TNT, Nitroglycerine, Tetryl, Grenades, Mines, Amphetamine, Cocaine, Crack, Heroine, Marijuana, Cannabis, Morphine, Ivory, Human research, Bank notes”

    Surprised they don’t claim to detect swine flu too.

    And what does it mean to detect “Human research”?

  11. @DataJack:
    Hooray for the European Court of Human Rights. A decision that truly and properly addresses human rights.

    On the one hand, it’s a good thing. I just think it’s sad it happened now, and not, say, a year or two from now. Because the European union and its authority are not yet comparable to the United States. Anything controversial is only going to weaken their already heavily undermined position.
    It’s possible this will upset the Italian public enough that they reject the European union and the idea of a European government altogether, as other countries already did last year when the idea was first proposed. The first European president is soon to be chosen, but it seems to me like that position is going to be hardly more than ceremonial.

    In other words, don’t expect this ruling to have any other effect eccept being a guideline Italian schools can happily ignore as long as nobody raises any objections. Because as three different Italian court rulings have already shown, the Italian legal system doesn’t really want to enforce this, as they didn’t even see there was a problem to begin with …

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