Skepchick Quickies 7.2

  • Help send an adorable LGBT activist to DragonCon – I’m allowed to call him adorable because he’s 10 and he loves Star Trek.
  • Bombastic Mind – Fun atheist song from Cyn.
  • Study links bee decline to cell phones – “In a study at Panjab University in Chandigarh, northern India, researchers fitted cell phones to a hive and powered them up for two fifteen-minute periods each day. After three months, they found the bees stopped producing honey, egg production by the queen bee halved, and the size of the hive dramatically reduced.” From Zapski.
  • Food Fight – A graphic novel to teach your kids about how multinational corporations want to take over the world using genetically modified foods. From Tim.
  • Cute Animal Friday! Chelsea wants a pet AT-AT. This mama and baby tree kangaroo look like adorable fuzzballs.


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

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  1. Love the music video, but I don’t think we are alone in the universe. I think its likely there there is something out there. Its just not here. I just doubt if they have stopped by to visit us.

    And I definitely want an AT AT too.

  2. Thank you SO MUCH Amanda!!! We have already raised $400 in less than two days, and I know we will be able to meet out goal of $3,500.

    Any amount helps!!!

  3. @heidiho: Elyse sent me the link, perhaps knowing that I am a complete sucker for cute geeky kids.

    @marilove: Hehehe, I’m right there with you. I fear what I’ll be like when I actually am an aunt. :)

  4. “A graphic novel to teach your kids about how multinational corporations want to take over the world using genetically modified foods. ”

    How is this different from the standard ideological anti-corporation viewpoint masquerading as unbiased science?

  5. Re: Study links bee decline to cell phones

    Maybe it was the ringtone they were using? ;-)

  6. He looks like a tiny James Bond!

    Re: bees. That study would be much more convincing if it had a control group.

  7. @QuestionAuthority: Ooooh, it’s the annoying Geico ring tone! I hope someone else knows what I’m talking about. A friend of mine uses it himself. I’d youtube it, but I can’t at work. Anyway, I find it hialrious and whenever my friends’ phone rings, I lolz.

  8. @Glow-Orb: I’m not sure that they could have eliminated other reasons for the hive’s problems. Strapping a phone to a hive does not in any way prevent parasites, climate change, local pesticides, or any number of other factors that could cause a decline in population / honey production.

    Maybe we need to see more data.

  9. Wow! That AT-AT video was amazing! I still have one, complete with my name, written in crayon, on the top. I also still have that Jabba, which is covered with dried, green flour paste that I put on him to simulate slime.

  10. @Necrosynth:

    I agree, the comic sounds a bit dodgy…
    Maybe it’s more balanced then you would think from the description? Haven’t read it, so I can’t really judge.

    Either way I guess we have to accept horror stories in fiction and hope people can tell the difference.

    Just watched a trailer for the Movie “Splice” and it looks awsome, but I am kind of pissed off that they pretend like its serious social commentary. :/

  11. I remember a Saturday-morning cartoon episode of Pepper Ann that was basically propaganda against GM foods. The kids had a tomato-growing competition and the stereotypical smart kid inserted some pig genes so that the plant could grow without soil or light, but then it tasted like pork. That’s not how it works! And I knew that even at a young age.

    So the kid using GM wasn’t trying to take over the world, but still, this crap isn’t new.

  12. Sometimes I’ve envious of marsupials and wish that humans were marsupial. Am I completely alone in this?

  13. @Skulleigh:

    Oh, I just thought that it would keep many of the benefits of a long pregnancy, but with less of a physical burden during childbirth. And essentially, you could take a break from pregnancy by letting the little one out of the pouch for awhile.

    Also, marsupials are soooo cute!

  14. @Zapski: A control group doesn’t have to rule out every other possibility, it just has to potentially falsify the one they’re investigating.

    All they needed to do was have a blinded experiment in which some of the hives had other electronic devices attached to them to see if it was really “cell phones” or if the decrease was maybe attributable to having a bunch of little hot boxes attached to the hive.

  15. The bee study is here. Thus proving that I am better an journalism than CNN. There was a control group, actually two control groups, one bee hive with a dummy phone and one without anything.

    This study reeks of dodgyness, such small groups can’t give you any statistical power, you could only be looking for large changes yet they still do a small statistical analysis (there is no difference within error, I don’t understand how this was calculated with only two hives) and they commit a fatal sin when they cram the two control groups together to get greater statistical power (or perhaps to hide the fact that one control group also had a drop in bees?). The study is not blinded, they measure multiple outcomes some of which make no sense given the theories in the introduction.

    When you factor in that the study combines two issues that get media attention but have not been proved scientifically (mobile phone danger and bee population loss) it seems like the study has been engineered to get media attention. It violates all the rules of good science and seems engineered to get a result whether through chance, loose protocols or using those factors to hide actual fraud.

  16. From the GM foods comic:

    “When Dr. Chang gets blamed for accidents at the lab, the kids start investigating and discover that a multinational corporation that sponsors the research has plans to control the…”

    More than anything, this just made me miss LOST.

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