Skepchick Quickies 11.30

I’ve been away from the internets for a few days which has both been a welcome reprieve and made me miss you guys. I had my first experience with fried turkey this Thanksgiving and I think I may start a new religion to worship the grand high crispy turkey deliciousness.

  • Is Jenny McCarthy a danger to the world? – Puppet ranting! I know how well skepchicks and puppets go together, so I had to post this, even though PZ and Orac were quicker on the draw.  Thanks, Brian, for sharing your creation.
  • Brain exercises are a waste of time – “An award-winning Scottish professor says measures such as breathing through the left nostril, drinking water to increase oxygen supply to the brain, drinking red wine to fend off dementia or listening to classical music to boost performance are little more than myths.” Thanks Emory.
  • Nova Scotian pariedolia – From Some Canadian Skeptic, some pariedolia and the accompanying local myth.
  • 10 incredibly dangerous doctors


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. How the fuck did that crap get defined as ‘brain exercise’? If you want to exercise your brain, you should dust off the old calculus (or appropriate to your level of knowledge and preferred subjects) textbook and go to work.

  2. llewelly,

    I’m with you on that one. Don’t throw out your college books. Ever! (Or your notes, I was really smart, a long time ago. It’s hard to imagine now, I know…)

    As for Jenny Mac, I’d say that measles outbreak, in San Diego, is proof enough that she’s a danger.

    As for her BF, do you remember that A-hole in grade school that would stand up and tell jokes whenever the teacher left the room? He wasn’t funny, everyone hated him, and he wouldn’t sit down unless you punched him down. You know the guy.

    Well, I think he’s all grow’d up now.

    I’m just sayin’,


  3. Re: Brain exercises. Those “brain age” type video games make me wonder if those “exercises” actually translate into functional gains. Sure, you’re better at sudoku and card memory, but can you handle change at the grocery counter, can you remember where you live?

  4. Re Brain Exercises. So does that mean I wasted hours of my life practising piano? Isn’t learning any new skill by practise, brain exercises/brain training?

    If you wanted to improve your mental arithmatic you’d surely go about it by practising mental arithmatic, i.e. Brain Training.

    The idea that over-25’s can’t learn new things or improve their mental abilities (i.e. getting better at something they could already do) seems spurious to me.

  5. From PZ:

    George Docherty, a pastor who claimed to have been responsible for convincing congress to stick “under god” into the pledge of allegiance, has died. In his honor, and a fitting honor it is, AOL is putting up a stupid poll: Should the phrase ‘under God’ be in the Pledge of Allegiance? Right now, the voting is 89% yes, 11% no. How about jazzing up his memorial with a rebuke?


    Note: If you toss your cookies you can vote again.

  6. @Knurl: Update: I blocked cookies for that site (copy paste the URL in the exclude cookies privacy option). Then it’s just a case of refresh, vote, refresh, vote.

  7. @russellsugden:

    The idea that over-25’s can’t learn new things or improve their mental abilities (i.e. getting better at something they could already do) seems spurious to me.

    I’m inclined to agree. I didn’t start college until I was 29 and I’m now halfway through a physics degree at 31. That required quite a bit of learning new things…

  8. @Detroitus: AND the best students are invariably mature students who know why they are there, do the reading and hand in work on time.

    It might be because for most people going to uni is their first time living away from home perminantley where they can do nothing but drink, party and get laid for three years.

    Whereas mature students have got all that out of their systems years earlier and whose primary interest is in learning the course material, rather than wearing a bedsheet and pretending to be a Roman.

    Oh, and that they grasp that success at anything requires a lot of work

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