Sheldon Helms's blog

"Dr. Oz" Takes Heat for Episode on "Ex-Gay" Therapy...

Dr. Mehmet Oz's November 28th, 2012 episode is bringing him Dr. Mehmet OzDr. Mehmet Ozgrief due to its investigation of so-called "Ex-Gay" therapies, techniques designed to help someone change his or her sexual orientation from gay to straight.

November SkepTalk: Climate Change from the Biotic to the Exotic - Minda Berbeco, PhD

November’s SkepTalk provided the perfect opportunity to Minda Berbeco, PhDMinda Berbeco, PhDintroduce to the Bay Area Skeptics the newest member of the NCSE family, Dr. Minda Berbeco.

October SkepTalk: Liza Gross - "Writing About Vaccines When Evidence Doesn't Matter"

On Wednesday, October 10th, the Bay Area Skeptics hosted an entertaining and Liza GrossLiza Grossinformative one-hour talk by Liza Gross, a freelance writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Dr. Carol Tavris Delights at Ohlone College...

On the evening of Friday, October 12th, the Ohlone Psychology Dr. Carol TavrisDr. Carol TavrisClub Speaker Series continued its three-year tradition of providing top-name speakers in science and skepticism by hosting renowned social psychologist Dr. Carol Tavris.

Top 5 Lessons from Psychology for Critical Thinkers

Your Nervous System Can Fool You

I was recently asked to join the James Randi Educational Foundation's "Education Initiative," whose purpose is to promote JREF LogoJREF Logothe teaching of critical thinking and skepticism. As part of this effort, I will be writing articles geared toward teachers, offering them tips on how they can encourage reason and scientific literacy...

"Skeptics' Guide to the Universe" at Ohlone College!

On Monday, July 9th, all five hosts of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe (SGU) podcast attended a meet-and-greet cosponsored by the Bay Area SGU at Ohlone CollegeSGU at Ohlone CollegeSkeptics and the Psychology Department at Ohlone College. Many people have asked me how on earth we were able to pull this off, so I thought I'd share the story.

A Review of SkeptiCal 2012 by LaRae Meadows...

As many of you know, this year's SkeptiCal 2012 conference was a rousing photo by Heather Appleburyphoto by Heather Appleburysuccess!

November SkepTalk - End of the World Predictions - Dr. Patrick O'Reilly, UCSF

On Wednesday, November 9th, 2011, we were treated to an excellent talk entitled “End of the World Predictions” by Dr. Patrick O’Reilly, psychology professor from U.C. San Francisco.Patrick O'ReillyPatrick O'Reilly

Dr. O'Reilly delivered a detailed and interesting one-hour talk about the phenomenon of predicting the end of the world, some religiously motivated, some not. This talk was particularly timely, you'll note, since the popular media has become so interested lately in feeding us stories about such predictions.

October SkepTalk - A Unicorn in Your Tank: Magic Tablets That Won't Improve Gas Mileage - Yau-Man Chan

Yau-Man ChanYau-Man ChanMost of us have seen ads for questionable pills, liquids, and powders that promise to give our bodies an extra advantage. Whether it be weight loss, immune system boost, fuller, thicker hair, or younger looking skin, there’s a quick fix being sold for it. In today’s economy, youthfulness and good health are joined at the top of our panic list with a new concern: better gas mileage. But don’t worry! There’s a quick fix for that, too! Or is there?

Selling FlimFlam - Anthony Pratkanis at Ohlone College

Dr. Anthony Pratkanis, UC Santa Cruz psychology professor and social psychology researcher, held hundreds of students, employees, and community members in raptAnthony PratkanisAnthony Pratkanis attention last Friday at Ohlone College in Fremont, CA. Entitled “Selling FlimFlam,” Pratkanis' talk began with a loud admonition to “leave your conscience at the door.” It then delivered a powerful 1½ hour lesson that masqueraded as a guide to selling flimflam, but which was actually designed to teach us the signs that we’re being conned, duped, sold a bill of goods, and presented with empty promises.

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