Planning for the Skeptics Conference 2013 is progressing nicely, with a good line-up of speakers and some interesting new twists to this year's gathering.
The Conference runs from Friday 6-Sunday 8 September in Wellington. Book your travel now. Further information here:
* Psychic Strikes Out
In the wake of last month's discovery of the three missing young women in Ohio, it should be noted that self-proclaimed psychic Sylvia Brown had announced back in 2004 that one of them, Amanda Berry, was definitely not alive, suggesting that the then-16-year-old had drowned.
Amanda's mother broke down on the television show after that pronouncement, and later was said to have died of a "broken heart". This is just one example of Browne's many epic failures, including her insistence that one woman's husband had died of drowning -- he'd perished in the Twin Towers 9/11 collapse.
Some analysis here:
And it local coverage on Radio Live's Science Report:
* Press Council Shoots Foot
The NZ Press Council has upheld a complaint against North & South for not being journalistically equivocal enough regarding the lack of scientific evidence for homeopathic practices.
Apparently North & South should have noted that there *is* scientific evidence for the efficacy of homeopathic products, even though that evidence only tends to occur where the methodology is questionable, the testing practices are of low quality and the results are reported in pro-homeopathic publications.....Scientific fact, Jim, but knot as we know it....
Mediawatch looks at the Press Council's decision
Other comments on the issue:
Apparently journalistic practice trumps actual fact in informing the public. This is not uncommon -- Country Calendar, in being awarded a Bent Spoon for an item on the magical thinking behind biodynamics, responded that it was an entertainment programme and so not required to verify claims being made!
NZ Skeptics Inc
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