Genie's blog

PowerBalance bands admitted to not work

Today a colleague of mine at work brought in a curious black elastic wrist band with two embedded holographic disks in it. A "Power Balance" wrist band, which he found on a path in a park. Such a device, according to testimonials, improves one's athletic performance (balance, stamina, strength, energy, etc) by "optimizing the body's natural energy flow" because it "resonates with and responds to the natural energy field of the body".PowerBalance braceletPowerBalance bracelet

More Numerology

A bay area minister has calculated the day of the rapture, and it's May 21 of this year. http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-01-01/bay-area/17466332_1_east-bay-bay-a...
As skeptics, we know that predictions of the end of the world and numerology both have very bad track records. For a wonderful summary of failed TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) predictions, scroll down at http://www.religioustolerance.org/end_wrld.htm.

Rev Harold Camping already has a bad track record,

Kudos to Reporter Steve Rubenstein

 A New Living Expo treatmentFrom sfgate.com: A New Living Expo treatment San Francisco Chronicle reporter Steve Rubenstein gets the tone perfectly right in his review of the New Living Expo taking place in San Francisco this week.

Berkeley High School Laboratory Story Generates Much Misinformation

Readers of stories about Berkeley Unified School District considering scrapping before and after school science laboratories should not misconstrue these deliberations as anti-science activities. As with almost everything else, we can't understand the present unless we understand the history.

Morrison's Column Reassures 2012 Disaster Worries

At the annual meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific this week, BAS member Dr. David Morrison, who writes the NASA "Ask an Astrobiologist" column, reported that the number of questions about the "killer planet" Niburu and "doomsday 2012" questions have expanded astronomically, so to speak. David read some of the emails he has received, and they indicate a portion of the public is being seriously alarmed by the hype about these alleged future disasters allegedly about to impact Earth.

New Skeptics' Resource

Skeptoid publisher Brian Dunning has instituted a new Youtube series of skeptical analyses of popular claims -- which are pseudoscientific. Check it out at http://www.youtube.com/user/volleybrian

The first three posts include an analysis of the health values of wheatgrass, a discussion of the Pacific garbage patch (serious, but lots of misinformation out there), and the "2021 apocolypse". Spread the word.

Edmund Scientific Blows Credibility

Edmund Scientific, a normally respected provider of science-related laboratory supplies widely used for teaching at all levels, just lost its crediblity bigtime by offering for sale a "3-in-1 Paranormal Research Instrument". Read about it here: http://scientificsonline.com/product.asp?pn=3151280&cmss=paranormal&bhcd...

"Designed exclusively for paranormal investigators, this incredible tool has everything you need to track and detect the presence of ghosts" Cost is $149.

What Do We Do Next?

WDIDNWDIDNDaniel Loxton of "Junior Skeptic" fame (http://www.skeptic.com/junior_skeptic/) with the assistance of 13 prominent skeptics, has prepared a document intended to encourage skeptics to become "skeptical activists", sharing their ideas about science, skepticism, evaluations of the paranormal, etc.

Wonderfest Videos Available

"Wonderfest" is an annual Bay Area science festival featuring talks and discussions about science. Held in the fall on adjacent days at Stanford University and the University of California-Berkeley, the 2008 Wonderfest was particularly well attended. For those of you who were unable to attend, you now can see three of the discussions online.

Go to www.wonderfest.org to see

Does Anything Happen at Random?
A discussion between Persi Diaconis, Prof. of Statistics & Mathematics, Stanford and Daniel Fisher, Prof. of Applied Physics, Stanford

BAS Member Publishes in Skeptical Briefs

BAS member and skeptical satirist, Paul DesOrmeaux, has published a new article, "The Evolution of Intelligent Design," in the Skeptical Briefs newsletter. He presents a concise, chronological, and arbitrary timeline that more or less accurately presents the history and ???facts??? behind the development of creationism, creation, science, intelligent design, and more importantly, scientific illiteracy. He claims that the article???s contents have been painstakingly researched, and for all intents and purposes, the information provided is ???hysterically??? correct. You be the judge.

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