Skepchick Quickies, 8.9


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. That’s sadly fascinating about the judgments and agendas linked to oxytocin. I had no idea it had been politicized so much.

    I have my own goofy notions about oxytocin as a painkiller, based not on any studies but merely my own experience related to my disability. (And my husband.) :-)

  2. “Horses are the most gossipy,” says Lisa Greene, a pet psychic from Houston. “They’ll always tell me everything that’s going on in the barn. Snakes usually have a pretty bizarre sense of humor. And rodents like to spell for me.” Recently on the schedule: a reading for a whale.

    If you believe your pets capable of this degree of mentation, why do you consult a psychic? Why not just cut out the middleman and put your computer keyboard on the floor and ask them to type how they’re feeling?

  3. You Silly! Clearly you don’t get it. This is a “special” connection she has.
    And a really good scam. I am really thinking I need to get over this whole skeptic and honor thing. Its impeding my earning ability.

  4. @Non Believer: I’ve often thought the same thing, though generally with regard to Young-Earth Creationism. If I would “convert”, renounce my evil cosmologist ways, and start believing and proclaiming that the universe is only about 6,000 years old, I could ride the gravy train the rest of my life.

  5. Sigh…oh yeah, how many times have I been at a craft show across the aisle from someone selling “magical, magnetic” jewelry and bemoaned my ethics.

    It’s hard to compete with healing powers, even if they are entirely fictitious.

  6. @Pippi:

    I think it would make a really great AI to discuss how we would make tons of money by taking advantage of non-skeptics if we were that dishonest. Personally, I would bottle tap water and sell it for $39.99 per liter with a technically truthful sticker that says “Works with your kidneys to naturally detoxify your body!”

  7. I pretty much know what my pets are saying to me. It’s called “being observant.” And I don’t need to be psychic to do it.

  8. I didn’t understand the Edinburgh Fringe psychic medium article at all. I mean yeah, they mocked the psychic, which is cool, but who, what, when, where, why? What is a “Fringe”? Why would they have a psychic in the first place? Who was the audience? Do you have to be British to understand this article?

    As per oxytocin, some one in the comments beat me to my first observation, that according to the fundie interpretation of the research, women should totally fall for their rapists and then should be completely dismayed if it isn’t reciprocated. (Shudders and shakes head in disbelief. — is there an emoticon for this?)

    On the other hand, speaking from personal experience having recently had a crush on someone, neurotransmitters can be fun!

  9. “So I was expecting the sceptics at the Assembly launch night but I didn’t think it would be as bad as it was because anything people do should be respected.”

    So glad to hear Joe Power encourage everyone to be reasonable with their criticism. This is an important lesson we should all take to heart. I was supposed to do a bit at that gala but was unable to attend due to not having been placed on the list or actually invited. In my hypothetical act I was to take the psychic they booked for the gala and publicly sodomize him for five full minutes on stage while I loudly declared him a fraud and he lectured the audience on how “anything people do should be respected.”

  10. @Jen: thanks for being an enabler for my extreme laziness. I am forever in your debt. (But don’t expect payment any time soon.)

    The link explained it all (or at least enough of it.) I did run across a banner ad for Joe Power about two pages in… I guess he hasn’t given up yet.

  11. I totally have a psychic connection with my cat, Tycho Brahe. For instance right now he is thinking: “Hey, get your fat ass off the couch and feed me. Christ.” He always blasphemes. It upsets my neighbor’s dog who recently took holy communion.

  12. I think I already told the story of my patient “Whitey” the cat who disappeared one day. The pet psychic informed his heartbroken owner that Whitey was dead. He came back 2 days later. Weirdly, it did not shake the cat owner’s faith in the psychic. Oh but no, it was a “miracle!!!!”

  13. A co-worker once told me she was bringing her cats to a psychic. This psychic told her that the reason the cats were shitting outside the litter box was because they were disappointed that my co-worker wasn’t writing enough and they knew it was her dream to be a writer.

  14. @helenrizzo. Are you a vet, too? I always thought I should just join the dark side and bill myself as the psychic vet: “Fluffy says he is in so much pain and wants to have the surgery. He says to use the Mastercard.”

  15. Strictly speaking: If you say that rodents a: know how to spell and b: are eager to communicate, surely that’s a testable claim!

  16. @Glow-Orb. Yes I am a vet. The dark side…hmm. Could be a money maker. I’ve heard the mark up on those Chinese herbs is pretty impressive. Plus they never stop needing them, ever. And really, without Chinese herbs, how the heck are you supposed to treat all those dogs with “liver heat?”

    Have you ever seen an

  17. In regards to the oxytocin, article: I like Heather Corinna quite a bit. I think Scarleteen was one of the first places I really got a feel for thinking skeptically. In particular, her way of analyzing things appealed to me (not that I agreed with her all the time). Pretty neat stuff she put together for that article.. I have trouble reading through her articles sometimes though, because she can be really wordy and lengthy. But it did add to what I thought I knew about the subject.

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