Skepchick Quickies, 4.20


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

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  1. I have my own idea for a class designed to grant kids spiritual power. I would start by having them make cardboard “magic” swords (with glitter, if desired). The kids would then be instructed to hold these swords aloft and shout, “By the power of Greyskull!” The boys would then be transformed from scrawny little kids into He-Man, the most powerful man in the Universe! And the girls would of course become She-Ra, plus they would get a bitchin’ winged horse to ride on! Now, you might say that this all sounds really silly, but Kabbalah is way sillier. I don’t care what letter the kid’s first name begins with, brownies and macaroni and cheese are always welcome in my classroom.

  2. By my calculations, we’d need to import 5000 tonnes of lemons per year to eliminate highway fatalities. Any more than that and car accidents would start creating life.

  3. @Imrryr:

    Well at least they will get some of the “Kabbalah Magic Red String” to play with..uh..enhance their speshul powarz. And given the state of education funding these days red string is about all most schools could afford. :(

    Still it reminded me of an old Nutwatch about ‘Speshul Kid Powarz’ by Queen of Swords.

  4. I’ve always enjoyed Ebert’s reviews over the years and have found him to be an intelligent and thoughtful writer on other topics. This blog entry reinforces that opinion.

    The one line I hope Ebert’s readers take note of is, “Science is not “secular.” It is a process of honest investigation”.

  5. If I’m reading that first article correctly, I think he’s saying that Mexican lemons cause autism.

  6. Experts say reporting on brain research makes you immoral:

    the study finds that the brain bloodflow changes which are observed when a subject is experiencing compassion for social pain peak, and dissipate, at a slightly slower rate to those seen with compassion for physical pain. It does not mention Twitter. It does not mention Facebook. It does not mention social networking websites. It makes – and I’m being generous here – a single, momentary, passing reference to the rapid pace of information in “the digital age” in the discussion section, but that is all. These news stories were bullshit.

    Am I a lone, potty-mouthed pedant? I emailed Professor Antonio Damasio, the senior academic and “corresponding author” on the paper, and one of the “scientists” “warning” that Twitter and Facebook will make us immoral.

    “Thank you for your inquiry. As you can see if you read our study, we made no connection whatsoever with Twitter. Some writers did make that connection but it is not ours. There is no mention whatsoever of Twitter or of any social network in our study. We have nothing whatsoever to say about them.”

    Where did it come from, I asked? He dug. “I found the press release from USC where the writer made, on his own, a connection to social networks. We, the authors, certainly didn’t and don’t. The only connection that could be speculated upon has to do with fast presentation of a story without appropriate context. The connection to Twitter and other social networks, as far as I can see, makes no sense. I presume you will reach the same conclusion after reading our article.”

  7. @James Fox: I caught that one and agree with you. It’s a point I try to make almost daily to differing people.

    This is actually my first time reading one of his articles and I was particularly impressed.

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