Fakes in the making

Picking up on a suggestion from from one of our podcast listeners, I’ll be producing one convincing piece of evidence for something I don’t believe in every month. It’ll usually involve either a photograph, a video, or a piece of manipulated audio, or perhaps a mix of these.
I’ve got a few ideas to get started with. I’ve always wanted to fake a UFO video, so I’ll start there. If anyone knows of a piece of video or photography that’s been put forward as proof of something bogus, I’d like to have a go at figuring out how it was made, and perhaps re-creating the effect. If anyone has any fun ideas for fakery, please let me know in the comments.

Contributors wanted

We’re looking for between four and ten skeptics to commit to writing one article a month for skepticireland.com. The subjects of these articles are up to the author, so long as they encourage critical thinking in some way, and aren’t unduly offensive.

If you’re interested in writing for us, please email editor@skepticireland.com.

The Poetry of Science: Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson

I found this video very inspiring. Two leading scientist in their fields discuss the vast possibilities of science.

“Two of science’s luminaries converse on the beauty of science. Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist and host of NOVA and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins will explore the wonders of the Cosmos and of Life, its origins, its inspirations, and why science is not just an option, it is the only reality we possess.”

Love’s good for what ail’s you

The BBC recently reported how love can ease pain. Researchers caused fifteen students to experience small amounts of pain and observed the effect on their brain using an fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) scanner. The test was then repeated while patients looked at photos of their loved ones. The results showed that looking at the photos reduced the students’ perceptions of pain.

Dr Jarred Younger, one of the researchers, said that looking at a photograph of a loved one involved more primitive brain functions and had a similar effect to taking opioid painkillers. [pullquote]Looking at a photograph of a loved one involved more primitive brain functions and had a similar effect to taking opioid painkillers.[/pullquote]

Homeopathy – There’s Nothing In It

Homeopathy is the number one alternative health product in Europe. In the UK, homeopathic products are available under the NHS. Here in Ireland, despite the popularity of homeopathic products, those who wish to buy them must pay full price. In Ireland, medical hard holders are entitled to prescription drugs free of charge, and those without medical cards can avail of the drug payment scheme which means they will only pay a maximum of €42 per month for prescription drugs. Only drugs that have been shown to have an effect are eligible on the list, and according to the department ‘homeopathic products do not meet these criteria and accordingly, are not eligible for inclusion on the common list’.

Skeprechauns Special – Dr Darrel Ray talks to Irish Skeptics

[podcast]http://skepticireland.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Talk-1.mp3[/podcast]This is a recording of a talk given by Dr Darrel Ray on 15th July 2010 in the Science Gallery on Pearse Street. Dr Darrel Ray is the author of a book called The God Virus, looking at religion from the standpoint of organisational Psychology.

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