Skepchick Quickies 10.8

  • Supreme Court takes up church and state, but just barely – “A lone cross built to honor the dead of World War I, bolted to a desert rock on public land, raises a host of complicated issues about which religious displays violate the Constitution’s ban on government establishment of religion and who may challenge them.” From Chasmosaur.
  • 30 dumb inventions – This slideshow from LIFE magazine is ridiculously funny. I think photo #4 is my favorite. From Middleman.
  • Genome-wide study of autism published in Nature – “In one of the first studies of its kind, an international team of researchers has uncovered a single-letter change in the genetic code that is associated with autism.” From Steve.
  • Dinosaur footprints found in France – “French fossil hunters have discovered huge dinosaur footprints, said to be among the biggest in the world.” From Skept-artist.


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

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  1. The autism article is VERY interesting. If nothing, at least it’s likely to provide solid proof that Autism is a genetic disorder, not a disease caused by vaccination.

  2. I don’t think that all of those 30 inventions are dumb. Some are silly, but how is a mini television and dumber than watching TV shows on a cell phone? Also, I think the authors completely missed the point of the “anti-bandit bag”. I guess if someone really wants a specific item in your briefcase, they’ll stay and search around on the floor to find it, but it would certainly be difficult for someone to get everything and make a quick getaway.

  3. @catgirl: The point of the anti bandit bag is to take the labels off them and sell them as normal briefcases, leading to several awesome instances of “I wonder what happens when I pull this…”

    @slxpluvs: A french boat.

  4. The dumb inventions list made me very sad. I’ve been looking forward to a rocket belt, a flying platform, or a birdman suit since I was 10 year old. Sure they don’t work and might kill you, but that doesn’t make them dumb, just inefficient.

    As for the illuminated tires, I would buy them today!

  5. The Laryngaphone isn’t so dumb. WWII pilots used a similar system to communicate, since microphones would pick up way too much ambient noise (of which I assume there’s a lot when the machine guns in a B17 are all being used).

  6. @exarch:

    The Laryngaphone isn’t so dumb.

    That seemed a bit out of place on the list to me too. These were also used in tanks in WWII – another very noisy environment. It may be a bit overkill for a public phone, however.

    I am a Hedge

  7. My personal favorite dumb invention was the Sea-Shoes, they seemed like a bad and deadly idea when Adam made them on mythbusters. The T.V. Glasses are acually a decent idea, I believe one of the video game systems had a headset that you could wear instead of using the TV, it never caught on but I thought it was a great idea.

  8. @durnett:
    Specially if they were using the curved barrel machine guns!

    The modern day equivalent is a holder with a hinge, in which you can place a standard 9mm pistol. I think it even has a built in camera.

    The idea behind the curve is that when you try to shoot a straight barreled machine gun around a corner, more of you has to peep around the corner too to line up the barrel, which the enemy can then shoot at.

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