jeudi 31 mars 2016

Trump Supporters Linked with Having Small Penises

In case you don't know who the researcher is...

Dan Ariely (Hebrew: דן אריאלי‎; born April 29, 1967) is the James B. Duke professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics. He teaches at Duke University and is the founder of The Center for Advanced Hindsight[1] and also the co-founder of BEworks. Ariely's talks on TED have been watched over 7.8 million times.


The top 5 attributes men with small penises exhibited were:

voting for Donald Trump (-16.2)
being religious (-11.9)
more inclined to gossip (-9.54)
being good at math (-9.64)
and driving a large car (-8.36).

Republicans reported significantly larger ball sizes (11.5) than did Democrats (6.04). Do Republicans really have larger balls or do they only believe they do? This is an important question for future research.
Makes a lot of sense!

via International Skeptics Forum

Here are the Real Reasons Ted Cruz Should be the Next US President!

After giving this a tiny amount of thought, today I have decided to support Ted Cruz for President! Why would a "flaming liberal" like me DO such a thing?! Well, here are the basic reasons why:

* Defending The Constitution: He loves The Constitution very much, and won't change a thing about it! I love The Constitution, too, and all of its amendments! As Americans, we seem to have a few things in common!

* He Stands with Israel! And, he will stand with Israel until the very end of the world, itself!!

* Experience. Congress may hate him, but at least they know what they are getting, and he knows what he is getting. If anyone else wins, it will just take longer for everyone in Washington to figure out how they are going to hate each other.

* Simple Tax System: This means there would be far less paperwork for any of us to do. And, that translates to more time for jobs to get done, and thus: More jobs!!

* More Realistic Expectations: Anyone who knows me, already knows that would never support Donald Trump. It wouldn't work for this post.

We have now entered the second quarter of 2016. That means we have a mere 8 months for America to get its act together, and get the right person in charge! I hope tomorrow will be the day we start!

via International Skeptics Forum

Encouraging Public Outreach towards Skeptical Lectures

I made a thread a bit ago about a lecture I attended put up by the local college's astronomy club wherectus the speaker promoted Ancient Aliens in the course of his talk.
There is a local and pretty good Public Archaeology outreach group, and I reached out to them to see if they've ever tried or hosted a speaker who has addressed these sorts of claims.
I figure there are some of you who may have some experience with this sort of thing, and was wondering if anyone has reccomendation for how to encourage them to host a speaker, say like Ken Feder, to give a talk on how these sorts of conspiracy misrepresent science and archaeology.

via International Skeptics Forum

Do Any of Your Relatives Support Terrorists?

I was recently looking at Facebook and noticed that one of my relatives in Ireland is always posting pro-IRA propaganda.

Now, as every schoolboy knows, the centenary of the Easter Rising has just passed and there is a fair bit of agreement that those involved in the Easter Rising are quite different kinds of men and women to those who formed the Provisional Wing of the IRA. The former are seen as more legitimate revolutionaries put down by an imperialist power, and whose executions actually galvanized the Irish republican/independence movement.

While people like James Connolly have plenty of admirers, people like the Provos are usually considered to be criminals and thugs.

However, my relative sees no distinction and supports all members of the IRA and refers to them as "on active service" and "killed by British terrorists" (The British Army and SAS, he means). Also on a recent Facebook meme in which you give "things to tell your children" where there are some general platitudes and you can type your own one in to number 6, he sent this meme to his teenage son with number six filled in as "Up the Ra!"

Of course, much of this could be support for the IRA in a spectator sense. But who knows? Maybe he is a participant supporter of some kind.

It makes me think about the exhortations we often hear that the Muslim community needs to get tough with terrorist supporters in "their communities". Now, I don't think that IRA violence is on anything like the scale that Islamist violence is, and it is currently, supposedly dormant. And yet, maybe the authorities would be interested in this kind of thing.

I'm not going to shop my relative, however. Does that make me wrong? And should we start thinking of some guidelines by which passive support of terrorism should be given the benefit of the doubt?

via International Skeptics Forum

8 Member Supreme Court Ties; Union Wins

A controversial case before the Supreme Court -- now with an even number of members since the death of Antonin Scalia -- ended with a 4-4 deadlock. This was a win for the defendant, a labor union representing public school teachers. Essentially a group of teachers declined to join the teacher's union but had dues deducted from their paychecks.

The union argued that without compulsory dues the unions that represent public employees would wither and die. The teachers (and the libertarian group who helped fund the case, Center for Individual Rights) argued that forcing non-union teachers to pay for collective bargaining activities for the union was a free speech violation.

During the hearing in January Justice Antonin Scalia seemed especially hostile to the union and it was expected that the ten teachers and their libertarian sponsor would prevail by a 5-4 vote. Scalia's death changed that and Tuesday the Court deadlocked 4-4. That meant a lower court's ruling -- upholding the union -- remains in place. The union was wary but elated.

“We know the wealthy extremists who pushed this case want to limit the ability for workers to have a voice, curb voting rights and restrict opportunities for women and immigrants,” said Mary Kay Henry, the president of the Service Employees International Union. news link

The law that was under attack was a California law but similar laws exist in other places as well. The challenge against these laws has been funded by a number of conservative foundations and they are expected to keep at it:

Under California law, public employees who choose not to join unions must pay a “fair share service fee,” also known as an “agency fee,” typically equivalent to the dues members pay. The fees, the law says, are meant to pay for some of the costs of collective bargaining, including “the cost of lobbying activities.” More than 20 states have similar laws.

via International Skeptics Forum

Someone Hacked my Credit Card...

And made a $15 donation to Bernie's campaign. True story. They got a hold of a card with a $10k limit and that's all they did with it. I periodically check my card and two days ago, someone used it to donate $15 to ActBlue*Bernie.Sanders.

I had the card deactivated. But I didn't dispute the charge :)

via International Skeptics Forum

Anyone married/ partnered with a believer?

I am wondering if anyone here has been in love with a believer/woo? And if so, how did it effect the relationship?

It seems that both skeptics and believers are often judgemental of those with opposite views. My step-father was a hard-core skeptic, a fan of Randi's, a man of science, with little patience for those who didn't agree. Yet, he married my mother, who never hid her belief in everything from tarot cards, astrology, tea leaves, mediums, ghosts, UFO's and probably Bigfoot.

Though I recall a few spats, impatience, and a lot of eye-rolling, somehow it worked. I guess we just love who we love. Probably many people here recall my friend Robert - RSLancaster, who ran the StopSylvia site. He married Susan who is a devout Christian, and are still going strong many years later.

While I suspect these partnerships may be a minority, I may be wrong.

Any comments?

via International Skeptics Forum

Ronnie Corbett - "And it's goodnight from him" RIP


Meet him once.

I'm one of those people who don't suddenly think people were alright because they cark it, but he was one of the nicest geezer in the world

via International Skeptics Forum

Allison Rapp, Child Porn, what is good and what isn't.
Allison Rapp wrote an essay that points out that possession of Child Porn in of itself is not dangerous, but that the makers of child porn should be punished. Likewise she feared it would be a slippery slope as it was poited out that children in anything considered sexual, weather or not it is porn, would be censored. Because of that she is considered to be a child porn advocate.

For the record possession of an object doesn't mean that you made it (which I feel is the issue we should focus on)
Likewise she points out that research shows that there is no real correlation between possession of said porn and being a pedophile.

via International Skeptics Forum

Zaha Hadid dead

Zaha Hadid, the British architect, has died.

For a long time she was the sort of architect I really disliked, in that she went year after year winning competition after competition, getting all sorts of prizes, and yet never getting any buildings built. In fact, she actually hardly got anything built in Britain in her whole career, but she'll probably be best remembered here for the Aquatic Centre at the London Olympics. Later in life she did start, finally, getting buildings built, albeit mainly abroad,and they were certainly dramatic and different, being very sculptural.

She was only 65.

via International Skeptics Forum

Brave or stupid? "Selfie" with a hijacker

All over the media here, don't know if it's being covered worldwide though. In the recent hijack of a plane from Cairo to Cyprus one of the last remaining hostages posed for a 'selfie'* with the hijacker, and then tweeted the image.


A British man who posed smiling for a photo with a hijacker on board an EgyptAir flight has said he did it to take “a closer look” at the apparent explosives belt, adding: “I figured if his bomb was real I’d nothing to lose anyway.”

Ben Innes, 26, was one of three passengers and four crew held to the end of a hostage siege, after Seif Eldin Mustafa hijacked the EgyptAir flight bound for Cairo from Alexandria and forced it to be redirected to Cyprus.

* Yes, it's clearly not a selfie, as he didn't take it, but that's how it's being described.

via International Skeptics Forum

Question For any Cters present?

What would be my motivation, to redo old experiments, on sulfidication, thermite, Structure, and physics, to spend my money once again to debunk pure foolishness again, only to be attacked again, when Truthers are self debunking?
None that I can think of, the raving madness that is trutherism seems to need no current debunking.

Once I had a valid reason for experiments, now I can't think of one because my curious nature is satisfied.

via International Skeptics Forum

So, it's goodnight from me...

Entertainer Ronnie Corbett, best known for BBC comedy sketch show The Two Ronnies, has died aged 85.

I will light four candles.

via International Skeptics Forum

Divergent human evolution.

This is a speculative thread. I know I'm no geneticist, so consider any gaffes in that area to be good intentioned, please. :o

What would it take for humans to split into two distinct species, unable to interbreed with each other?

I understand the two groups would have to be rather isolated from each other. For this I was suggest we look at a world ~10,000 years ago, and throw up a barrier to travel, perhaps a series of volcanoes on the Isthmus of Panama that would make further travel south unattractive to new comers. The humans already on South America would, by some mechanism to be discovered, diverge from the rest of the humans. This could be a characteristic that was submerged in the general population but, in isolation, became dominant.

via International Skeptics Forum

Why would anyone oppose releasing the oral histories of the 9/11 first responders?

I just found out the the oral histories of 503 9/11 first responders were compiled by the New York Fire Department. I also found out that they were released to the public in 2005, after an appeals court ordered their release. The original request to have the records released was made by the New York Times, but that request was blocked by Mayor Bloomberg.

Here is my question. Why would anyone want to keep these records private?

The oral histories -

The article discussing the release, and why it took so long.

The official story is so simple: Planes crash into big buildings. Fire. Collapse. Duh. Another building nearby collapses. Fire. Duh.

If it's so simple, why is there so much secrecy everywhere you look, if you actually choose to look?

One more thing, the article says that most of the records were released. Why hasn't everything been released?

via International Skeptics Forum

mercredi 30 mars 2016

Digital Display Sundial

Mojoptix have built a sundial, that, rather than using the shadow of the gnomon to point to the time of day on a disc, it uses a 3D printed gnomon to project the time of day in digital format.
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.

Here is a rather quirky explanation of the development of the sundial, by the inventers, Mojoptix.

The 3D model is opensource - so print away.

via International Skeptics Forum

NLE systems - is Velocity still being upgraded?

I used the Velocity Non-Liner Video Editor in the past and it had a "LIVE" video feature that was very handy. It acted as a full graphics generator on a studio video feed. It was also a conventional video editing system.

That machine got old and the company replaced it with a Power MAC with Final Cut. That was better, more up to date for editing video but lacked the LIVE feature. Ended up using downstream keying on the studio switcher and using the Mac as an input on the switcher. Not as user friendly.

Now the Mac is getting old and I was wondering about Velocity. It was a Leitch product back in the day but they merged with Harris.

Anyone have any info?

via International Skeptics Forum

Samsung s7 and Optus in australia

my trusty s4 is on its last legs, so I decides to buy me a new gee whiz Samsung s7... I think the phone probably is great if I can ever use it.
my problem is for once I didn't have the cash there to buy the phone outright, as I have always done in the past.
so stupidly I decided to sign on to a plan online with what must be Australia's most incompetent telephone service provider, Optus.
well after ten days of fighting with them for two hours a day, lies and dealing with complete muppets online, I now have a great phone that I can't use and apparently doesn't exist in the system.
they don't reply to any complaints on Facebook, but can reply instantly to!
half of the problem is the fact that all the Indian call centre employees can not be described as Indias finest, although at least half of them can speak English in an intelligible manner. one actually asked me if I couldn't speak English, prior to hanging up on me...
given it our last shot, went into a physical store who can do nothing apparently, so now I have lost the phone number I have used for business and work for 5 years, so that's a lot of money and sales gone there already.
the guy I spoke to last night told me, for the first time the order has been canceled so if he, as expected, doesn't do any of the million things he has promised on his mothers grave to do ( as has happens countless times before)
I will have a cool expensive phone to unlock and use for free...
word of advice for Australia phone users, Optus apparently is having major issues.....

via International Skeptics Forum

Cats use "Zombie mind control" to catch rats.

Amazing a specific Toxoplasma Parasite in cat fesease (that rats will eat) makes rats LIKE the smell of cat urine ... and makes the rats therefore much easier to catch.

Downside is 30% of North American humans also have the parasite and it seems to be linked to schizophrenia.

More at the links

via International Skeptics Forum

creating too much diversity - US tv abroad

"Having a diverse cast creates another hurdle for U.S. series trying to break through; it would be foolish not to recognize that. We are telling our units that they need to be aware that by creating too much diversity in the leads in their show means … problems having their shows translating to the international market."

via International Skeptics Forum


There are 28.4 million barrels of crude sitting on VLCCs off Galveston and about 250,000 tons of Diesel sitting off Europe and the Med .This examples the Global picture apparently
Producers are not cutting production , despite alleged discussions between some of the big boys to do so .
Storage is close to capacity based on so many of the VLCCs simply not moving or slowly sailing round in circles .Floating tanks .
What happens next ?
And why ?
Saudi Arabia and the balance who make up OPEC are doing themselves no financial favours and their aim to reduce US fracking total production has not occurred. Many rigs are failing and Russia , Nigeria and Venezuela continue to be very hard hit .
Who is benefitting ?
I can understand moves against Russia as part of the wider sanctions programme but can it help any one or more of the major producers if the price moves down toward $20 again .
Is anything happening strategically or is it more about stubborn power heads refusing to be the first to blink ?

via International Skeptics Forum

How Christians View Themselves

I came across this today. I found it an interesting reflection on how at least some Christians view themselves.


via International Skeptics Forum

UK Steel Industry - Is there a future ?

The big news in South Wales is that Tata Industries is planning to divest itself of its UK steel business.

There are suggestions that, because the plant is modern and the downturn in the steel market is apparently short-term, the steel industry has a long term future in the UK but that the government could step in for the short to medium term (EU rules permitting).

My personal feelings are as follows:

If we believe that a steel industry is important to the UK's strategic interests then full or part government ownership can be justified (though whether Victorian heavy industry is important to the UK's strategic interests is IMO a subject for discussion).

State ownership would help to level the playing field against foreign competition which has the benefit of government ownership and/or subsidised energy.

The costs of providing short to medium term support for the industry could be significantly lower than the costs of unemployment and/or retraining (so long as there is actually an upturn down the line).

We baled out the banks when they faced a similar challenge.

OTOH this feels like the government has to bear the cost when things go wrong and then once the industry is viable again, it's passed to the private sector to make a healthy profit.

via International Skeptics Forum

mardi 29 mars 2016

What's up with thou, good ol' debunkers circa 2006-2009

Just came to visit here after a long hiatus. I was wondering what's up with the forum regulars from circa 2006-2009, the most active debunking years?

I actually have spent years without a thought of this activity from back then. Last year I visited GZ for the first time, and I remember thinking all the things I learned from here. Didn't give a thought to trutherism though, and needless to say didn't even see any sign of truthers.

Recently I have visited the Finnish forum I used to regular back in the days. And naturally there are few truthers left. But they all seem to be no-planers nowadays. Recycling the oldest claims from the earliest truthers from 2002-2005. Claims like pyroclastic flows, missile under AA11, nose of the plane coming thru, foreknowledge of WTC 7 etc. Seem that the "sanest" truther period was probably around 2010, and after that all that are left are the most extreme no-planers.

But are there any other active regulars still visiting from that busy era of debunking? How are you doing?

I see Brainster still visits. And gumboot and DGM and Beachnut. Is Ryan Mackey around? Gravy? TAM? JamesB? Architect, Newtons Bit, LashL, Orphia Nay, The Doc, Alt+F4?

And obviously the whole lot that I forgot to mention, post a response. If nobody responds I certainly understand. :D

via International Skeptics Forum

Chance of bloodshed at the Republican Convention

So, it seem the Proelling of some guy named Jim to allow guns at the Republican Convention as hit a stumbling block.

(Damn Secret Service! Why do they hate America?)

Anti-Trump rallies are happening in cities where he isn't giving a stump speech. People are being assaulted at Trump rallies.

One has to wonder what the atmosphere inside the (gun-free) arena is going to be like and, of greater concern, outside on the streets (guns abound!)

So, it is a simple question, what do you believe the chances of violence leading to blood being shed at the the convention this July?

via International Skeptics Forum

GOP Town Hall, March 28

Starting shortly...

Whoops - March 29th. Mod please fix title?

via International Skeptics Forum

Synchronicity surrounding schizoprenia/mystical/psychedelic/religious experiences.

I have considered myself a skeptic for a while, (not a very good one though.) Recently I found out about the phenomenon of "synchronicity," and so far I haven't found a rational explanation for it's occurrence. "Littlewood's law" and "the law of truly large numbers" do explain it pretty well for the most part.

Here's my problem: why do these events almost always surround a state of either a mystical/spiritual/religious experience, schizophrenic episode, psychedelic episode. There's got to be something to them occurring more frequently during, or surrounding a time when your brain was not working normally right? But these events do seem to happen objectively, and aren't merely a faulty memory or hallucination, since many anecdotes state others noticing the phenomenon too.

I realize that anecdotal evidence is the worst form of evidence, and that no one should believe anything based on anecdotes. But there are so many of those stories that I doubt they're all making stuff up.

via International Skeptics Forum

Grade School Music

We're just making our own decisions with music like everything else, but we monitor what the public school is doing, almost nothing, and download various grade level expectations from schools that publish them online.

Our school has a teacher that rotates in from time to time, no music teacher on staff. No budget for it, and we're entering a fiscal crisis so that is probably going to end altogether.

I read through all these grade level expectations and it has both the taste and feel of chewing cardboard. Talk about uninspiring, just the tone of it.

students will...
students will...
students will...

We figure just learn to play something. But start from day 1 with music theory. Piano is pretty good to start with because even with really small hands you can play the full-sized instrument.

So our school standard is to learn music theory and play an instrument. There isn't some level they have to perform at, just that you begin as if you were an adult. What I see is a lot of dumbing-down like calling "fast" notes a "ti" and slow notes a "ta". Just one example of many I see where the concept of whole note, half note, quarter note isn't taught from the beginning. Despite typical kindergartners being capable of it.

If kids can learn the alphabet, then they can learn the staff, clefs, notes, etc. Just another set of symbols. But start there, and just keep at it. No set of expectations by grade level, just do music.

via International Skeptics Forum

"That's a funny-looking word!"

You know that experience, when you read a familiar word, and you think "that's a really weird-looking word"? In my experience, it can happen with words of any length, with common or relatively unfamiliar ones, and usually it happens while writing, rather than just reading the word.

It's a ubiquitous and frequently commented on phenomenon, probably because there is so much spontaneous written communication these days, so I wonder if there is any research on the neuropsychological mechanisms behind this experience, or related ones?

My hypothesis is that it relates to some kind of temporary disconnect in the chain of the understanding of a word as such; its representation in a medium; the written characters it is composed of; the individual characters; the strokes and figures that make up a "character". And that somehow, this disconnect causes us to see a word differently.

FWIW, English is my second language, and I find it happening more often with English than with Swedish words. But I also write far more text in English than in Swedish.

Thoughts? Links?

via International Skeptics Forum

The MA. Governor stopped by today for a haircut

The company I work for started doing this 2 years ago:

Granite CEO Rob Hale donated $5,000 per haircut. He presented a check to Dana-Farber for $4.25 million at the event.

via International Skeptics Forum

Trying to connect Macbook Pro to a TV via HDMI Cable

I'm trying to connect my Laptop to my Digital TV using a cable that goes from Mini-Display to HDMI. I bought the cable today, but unfortunately it doesn't display anything. When I plug the cable, and select PC on the Tv Input list, it displays nothing. Yes, I've tried disconnecting and re-connecting the cable several times. I've even tried it con two Tv's: One Samsung and one Sony.

I've looked up online and apparently, I'm not alone on this. A LOT of people are having this issue. So at this point, I'm wondering if there's a better, more reliable way to connect the computer to the Tv (It cannot be through a VGA adapter, since I need it to also transmit the audio from the computer to the Tv)

In the meantime, if anyone has any ideas of what I can try to make this work with the Mini-Display-to-HDMI cable, please feel free to chime in.

My specs are:

- MacbookPro OS X Version 10.9.5
- Gigaware Mini Display Port to HDMI Adapter
- Sony and Samsung Tvs

via International Skeptics Forum

are dragons next? Unicorns existed more recently then thought

Well u got unicorns, next dragons, then giants, then we find out the world if 5000 years old. whats next?:mad:

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Mutated Aquatic Animals

I didn't know why I started thinking about this now. But a while ago I tried to growing Triops, small crustaceans dating back to pre-historic times.

While searching for tips and tricks on how to handle these peculiar creatues, I stumbled upon this interesting (Quite odd too) YouTube clip of a man genetically mutating a Triop (Well, it's up to you if you want to believe or not but I've become quite skeptic over this video in recent months):

So, if there is anyone out there, chemists, biologists or any other scientifically educated people who might give any sobering insight into, lol, Genetically Modified Organisms. I'll be happy if we could start a long discussion here.
What do you think, is it fake or legit? And would mutating Triops to this size be a possibiliy without using selective breeding?

via International Skeptics Forum

Most supporters of GOP front-runner are CT nutjobs, just like him.


When Donald Trump first rose last summer we found that most of his supporters were birthers who think President Obama is a Muslim and seven months later that dynamic has not changed. Only 26% of Trump voters think President Obama was born in the United States to 52% who think he was not, and just 9% think President Obama is a Christian to 62% who think he's a Muslim. The numbers aren't much better among Cruz supporters- just 32% of them think the President was born in the United States to 39% who think he was not and only 12% of them think he's a Christian to 56% that believe he's a Muslim. Only Kasich's supporters come out looking good on these questions- 58% think the President was born in the United States to 23% who think he was not, and 46% think he's a Christian to 31% who think he's a Muslim. But having the support of the reasonable segment of the GOP electorate isn't getting Kasich very far.
Feel good about your party, Republicans?

Eta, forgot link.

via International Skeptics Forum

Trump's campaign manager accused of ridiculous "battery" charge

How typical of the absurd circus this election has become. I'm no Trump fan to say the least, but are you kidding me? Watch the video. This guy barely touches her. If that's not thrown out of court, our courts are an even bigger joke than I thought, and wow that's saying something. If anything, she should be brought up on charges of false accusation. Once again the media repulses me beyond words.

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Another Incident At Roswell

UFO world suffers the loss of valuable evidence.

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Dear Youtube, my computer has a mute button too.

I reflexively mute commercials on TV. Now I find myself doing the same on Youtube. But I wonder, are they trying to drive users away or are they just being dicks because they can?

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Falklands now inside Argentinian waters (according to UN)

A UN commission has expanded the limits of Argentina's territorial waters, putting the Falklands inside them. No. 10 is not impressed...

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Do the Numbers: Candidate Eliminations by Delegate Count

For those who won't do the math or who can't read the writing on the wall, we are at the point where the actual numbers of delegates, particularly "delegates remaining" make forecasting a bit easier.

For purposes of this thread, I'm using the delegates apportioned according to the NYT. Also, for purposes of this thread ('tho you're entitled to say why/if you don't agree) the superdelegates are being counted. As superdelegates undeclare and shift allegiance, they'll be counted for the new party they're supporting.

As of the opening of this thread, the two leading candidates are within hailing distance, but not before a number of primaries take place, of copping the big prize. I'll be copying over the bolded part at the end and adjust it with every primary/caucus (or announcement of superdelegate(s) shifts).

I've posed the question before but get only nebulous responses. I posed it re Bernie stopping Hillary, but it applies equally to Cruz stopping Trump (or "The Man" stopping Trump).

Show the figures how you think either can/will be stopped.

Hillary needs 671 delegates. With Dems being a proportional split, this means a calculation of how Bernie will stop her from getting those delegates. That figure represents only 32.5% of the remaining (2079) delegates.

Trump needs 498. With the GOP's winner-take-all in some states, that might prove easier, but it still represents a much larger percentage of the remaining delegates. He needs to take nearly 60% of the remaining delegates.

There are multiple scenarios at play, but my thumbnail call is that we currently have a far better chance of seeing a brokered convention than we have of seeing Sanders' team stopping Hillary.

Delegates Needed
Hillary Clinton 671
Donald Trump 498

via International Skeptics Forum

lundi 28 mars 2016

9/11 Joke Gone Bad?

It seems a waitress trying to make a joke related to 9/11 didn't go over too well.

George W. Bush ripped on social media by waitress in tasteless 9/11 joke after he left generous tip for her


Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura were satisfied with their service at a restaurant last week — so much so the they took a photo with the waitress and left her a hearty $40 tip on the measly $21.47 bill.

But for some reason, their server, Leisa Smith, decided to pay them back by sharing the snap with a tasteless 9/11 caption directed at Bush on her Twitter page.

“Bush did 911 but he did me a solid and left me a hella tip #” Smith wrote in the now deleted tweet containing a photo of her, George W. and Laura at the restaurant, the location of which is unknown.
Read more here:

via International Skeptics Forum

Randi on Independent Lens Tonight on PBS

Not sure if this has been posted. Maybe it's a rerun, it's new to me and it's on tonight.

An Honest Liar

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I'mthinking Arduino for a sewing machine- Advise?

My sister has a quilting sewing machine. It has an optional system to keep the stitch lengths the same no matter the speed or direction that the quilter moves the fabric.

Input is via a wireless infrared mouse held to the fabric. The 'receiver' also gets some input from the foot pedal, then communicates to the computer on board the machine proper.

The card in the receiver has a couple of burned parts where the magic smoke was released. This high tech stuff doesn't run right when it gets low on smoke. Overall the card is mostly empty space, Arduinos look more complex.

Jacks are all like on the back of a PC- USB, PS1 like used to be on mice and keyboards, 9-pin that I think preceded the PS thing. 3 idiot lights/LEDs. And 12vdc jack for the wall wart.

No service for it anywhere, need to replace the whole kit. $800-1200. I'm thinking a $3.45, delivered, Arduino from Hing Kong sounds better.

Is it doable for a guy that can replace the caps in his monitor? Or would there be too much programming goobbledygook? I'm sure the program onboard the sewing machine is proprietary, or would it be understandable, C++ or such?

via International Skeptics Forum

Japanese satellite possible victim of space junk?



A new video shows Japan’s troubled Hitomi spacecraft tumbling in orbit. As the satellite crosses the screen (from right to left), it varies wildly in brightness—which means it’s shooting unstably through space. The space telescope lost consistent communication with Earth on Saturday.

JAXA lost consistent contact with the X-ray astronomy satellite on March 26, but it has heard an intermittent signal from the craft that is consistent with it tumbling through space. Troublingly, radar observations from the U.S. Joint Space Operations Center suggest Hitomi (or ASTRO-H) is in at least five pieces, and that it experienced a rapid change in orbit on the same day it went mostly quiet.
. . .
It’s unknown how big those pieces are (they could be small bits of insulation) or what exactly has happened to the spacecraft, with speculation ranging from an on-board error — such as a battery explosion or gas leak — to a collision with space debris or a micrometeorite. Regardless, the situation is clearly not good news for JAXA, which has already experienced two failures with X-ray observatories. In 2000, its ASTRO-E space telescope failed to reach orbit and likely crashed into the Pacific Ocean, and in 2005, a helium leak disabled the primary instrument on Suzaku, ASTRO-E’s successor. But late last year, JAXA did manage to place its Akatsuki spacecraft in orbit around Venus, five years after a valve malfunction caused the spacecraft to miss its first rendezvous with Earth’s shrouded sister world.
The fact that it's in pieces and had a rapid change in orbit makes me wonder about space junk. And now the dead satellite itself may just be more space junk, adding to the problem.

via International Skeptics Forum

If Danielscience were to decide science policy ...

If you don't already know what "Danielscience" is, please read any one of several threads, here in the SMMT section of ISF, in which ISF member Daniel has posted (I'll provide links if anyone asks).

I am wondering what would happen, here in the US, if the sole criterion for making (Federal) government science policy was strict alignment with Danielscience (various State and non-governmental policies too, but I'd like to focus on the Federal government).

As I understand it, such a policy would call for a complete demolition of many agencies, such as NASA, and NOAA. NSF funding for research on a wide range of fields would be cut (to zero), e.g. astronomy, climate science, archaeology, geology, ecology, to name but a few. Ditto any research in agriculture, medicine, forestry, animal husbandry (and much more) which even referred to "evolution".

Why? Because the only research acceptable in Danielscience is that based on experiments conducted 'in a lab'. Here on Earth. In Danielscience, evolution does not exist, much less is acceptable. (and a great many 'in the lab' experiments would also be ruled "not Danielscience"; see Daniel on "Independent" and "Dependent" Variables).

All government funded/sponsored work on managing and maintaining GPS would have to cease (GR, the basis of such systems, is not Danielscience, because "time cannot bend").

There's much more, of course.

What do you think?

via International Skeptics Forum

Homo Sapiens link to Denisovans confirmed

The Neanderthals, the Denisovans and Us

Recently published study in Nature shows not only multiple instances of Sapiens/Neanderthal crossover, but also a solid link to Denisovans. The link was found in Melanesian populations, a good distance away from the known Eurasian remains of Denisovan populations.

Not particularly new, but more confirmation of the interbreeding of modern humans and multiple co-existing offshoots. Very interesting stuff.

Study is linked in the article. From the abstract:

Although Neandertal sequences that persist in the genomes of modern humans have been identified in Eurasians, comparable studies in people whose ancestors hybridized with both Neandertals and Denisovans are lacking. We developed an approach to identify DNA inherited from multiple archaic hominin ancestors and applied it to whole-genome sequences from 1523 geographically diverse individuals, including 35 new Island Melanesian genomes. In aggregate, we recovered 1.34 Gb and 303 Mb of the Neandertal and Denisovan genome, respectively. We leverage these maps of archaic sequence to show that Neandertal admixture occurred multiple times in different non-African populations, characterize genomic regions that are significantly depleted of archaic sequence, and identify signatures of adaptive introgression.

via International Skeptics Forum

Which Christianity would you choose?

There are very many denominations and sects in Christianity, and I was sort-of raised in a rather unforgiving one. Actually my mom deliberately did not ram it down our throats and baptism in the Church of Christ was a choice. I did not get baptized, but my brother ended up being confirmed as an Episcopalian and we had to keep it secret from our grandmother. She described hell-fire quite convincingly and I'm pretty sure she thought Episcopalians were going to hell.

I know a little bit about many denominations and have some idea where I might fit in if I had to make a choice. Living in accordance to the supposed teachings of Jesus appeals to me but the doctrine that solidified centuries after his death does not, of course, confine itself to saying "emulate Jesus."

If for some reason I was required to join a Christian church I do have preferences and was curious if anyone else did. I reject a loving God that would condemn billions of people to eternal suffering. What then are my theological options?

Judaism, I think I'd be OK with. But what species of Christianity might also work?

via International Skeptics Forum

Remarkable resemblance coincidence

Since our friend Hans asked to see this, maybe others would also be interested.

Two or three different women resemble each other and they were interviewed by CNN for Boston Marathon and Sandy Hook attacks

The video maker claims it is the same woman, but there is no proof of that.


Just because the caption below is an accurate description doesnt mean she is an actress as they claim. If anything, it is different women in all three places who all fit the caption description. Just a coincidence they resemble each other this much. No big deal.

The yTube claims she is a crisis actor in all three appearances but that is impossible.

I watched again. Remarkable coincidence how those qualities mentioned in the caption are there in all three women. Hair, face, teeth, and speech.


Video Caption:

This woman appears three different times as three different people, notice the way she pronounces her ssss sound in every video, notice how her lower teeth stick out in every video...

Ytube account name: wethepeople947

video title:

Crisis actress appears 3 different times; 1. Sandy Hook 2. Boston Bombing 3. Police Chase

video url: .com/ watch?v=JeXG3uQu8ZU

This proves how common such coincidences really are.

via International Skeptics Forum

White House and Congress on Lockdown - Shots fired

via International Skeptics Forum

Screw Loose Change Video

Hello all,
I am trying to find the Screw Loose Change video, all I can find a twoofer 'rebuttal' movie that's as bad as the original Loose Change.
If anyone can provide me a working link to the actual
Screw Loose Change 'Not freakin again' edition, I would be very grateful.

via International Skeptics Forum

dimanche 27 mars 2016

Internet Banking and Banking Hours

Logging into my bank account recently, I get this message:


Easter Weekend

Please note Friday 25 March and Monday 28 March 2016 are public holidays. Ensure that your payments are submitted before or after these dates to avoid any potential delays.

This got me thinking. You can schedule a transfer or pay a bill any time online, but if you do it outside banking hours it doesn't go through until the next working day.

So now I'm puzzled, why don't transactions made by logging in to your account online go through outside banking hours?

It's not like they're shutting the computers down when the banks close their doors, you can still spend your money by EFTPOS at any time so clearly the banks are still capable of immediate financial transactions even when the banks are closed.

So why can't they do it immediately when you log-in to your account outside of banking hours?


via International Skeptics Forum

Press and Politicians Silent About Palmyra

Recently Palmyra was recaptured from ISIS by a combined effort of Syrian, Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah Forces. ISIS was routed and sent to the desert where they are being cut to pieces as they retreat. Definetly, this is the biggest victory over ISIS in two years, and yet the Western Press and Politicos are strangly silent.

Hell...not even the news really mentions all the facts. Here's an excerpt about the victory from the USA Today:

"Syrian government forces backed Sunday by Shia militias and unrelenting Russian airstrikes recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra from Islamic State militants..."

The "Shia Militias" that are referred to are, of course, Hezbollah and the Iranian Guards.'s such a bitter win, isn't it? The Butthurt must be epic!

Meanwhile, CIA-Armed Syrian Militias are shooting at Pentagon-Armed Syrian Militias: just can't make this up!

via International Skeptics Forum

At Least 9 Charged With Murder Of Demajhay Bell

Not Safe For Work (language, some violence)
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.

Two girls start to fight in a neighborhood street. Approximately 50 people are watching. A car tries to run people over several times, even to the point of driving on someone's front lawn so far that they may have hit the house, then backing out and hitting a parked car.

Meanwhile, several guys with baseball bats and metal pipes appear and at least one kid is struck in the shoulder or face (arm it turns out). Moments later, Bell runs into view of the camera with his neck or shoulder bleeding (the stabbing victim, 18 yrs old). He was apparently accidentally stabbed by someone attempting to stab someone else. He died two days later.


All suspects are named in the story and mug shots are shown. One woman is 35 years old. All of them are charged with the murder.


Eyvette Byrd, 39, of Hephzibah, told deputies about 30 to 50 people came to her home on Chaps Lane with baseball bats, pipes, knives and other weapons to fight her 15-year-old daughter. When the fight broke out, Byrd said she and her son, 21-year-old Demetrius Harris, were hit with bats. Bell was stabbed in his neck.

The sheriff said the brawl was so chaotic that Bell, a bystander who stayed inside through most of the fighting, got stabbed by a friend trying to lash out at a combatant who had broken his arm with bat.


"The brawl itself was a coordinated effort," Roundtree said. "The group in the neighborhood knew the other group was coming to fight."


Authorities have arrested nine people — men and women ranging in age from 18 to 39 — and charged each with aggravated assault and felony murder. Georgia law defines felony murder as a death caused during the commission of another felony. The charge does not require intent to kill and it carries an automatic life sentence.

Another article explained how all 9 were being charged with the murder, but I don't care to look it up. Long day.

I debated whether or not to post this for a day or so, but when I watch the video I'm overwhelmed by what I see. So here it is.

How does an argument (supposedly) over a boy and some photos turn into this? Dubya Tee Eff?

On a side note, this is one of many many large scale brawls that have been coordinated using Facebook. Facebook is constantly accused of censoring political, hate, and other types of speech. Could they write an algorithm to look for these kinds of things being planned? I know they could, I guess the question is should they?

The main story here though is the scary behavior in the video though. What the hell is this?

via International Skeptics Forum

Man, Apple frustrated me yesterday

I'm an Apple guy. iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2, iPhone 6. My friend not so much. He has a mini, the original. He told me yesterday he needed help with his. Said it stopped working after an update and he couldn't get past a verification screen.

I figured he was just entering his Apple ID or password wrong. I followed him home after golf, and as I figured, his Apple ID or password didn't work to get past a verification screen. So, after trying every strange string of characters he had written down on an old envelope, I used my iPad to go thru the forgotten password routine and successfully reset his password. The I went back to his iPad and entered the correct info........and it failed.

So, I did a search and it turns out that iOS 9.3 causes an error in older devices, including his. Apple had a couple of fixes online. I tried them all, none worked. Last suggestion, call Apple support.

After about a 40 minute wait, I got a live person. Here's how it went, paraphrased but accurate:

Him: you have to use the original Apple ID and password from the first time the iPad was set up.

Me: this is the only Apple ID he's ever used and he doesn't remember his first password. No one would. It was more than three years ago.

Him: nope. There was a previous Apple ID or this wouldn't have happened. There is no other possibility. And it's a good thing we caught this for him.

Me: are you really claiming that his iPad being locked as a result of your non-compatible upgrade is a good thing? Whatever, how do we fix it?

Him: three ways. He remembers the original information or he sends us the original packaging, or he sends us the original store receipt that includes this devices serial number printed by the register at the time of purchase.

Me: are you telling me that if he can't do one of those things, this iPad is forever trashed?

Him: yes

Apple has since stopped allowing the affected devices to update to the new iOS, but has no intention of fixing the problem for the group of owners for whom their online suggestions do not work.

via International Skeptics Forum

Bill To Make Texting While Walking Illegal

Should Big Brother protect us from ourselves in this way? My answer - no.



New Jersey.
A bill proposed this week by Assemblywoman Pamela R. Lampitt (D., Camden) would impose a fine of up to $50 and possibly 15 days in jail for pedestrians caught using their cellphones without hands-free devices while walking on public sidewalks and along roadways.
What about reading books, or having an intense conversation, or looking at a pretty shiny thing in a store window, or being distracted by all the advertisements covering every square foot of space downtown?


Since 2009, pedestrian fatalities have increased by 15 percent to 4,735 in 2013, the report said. Nearly two million pedestrian injuries were related to cellphone use, the report said.

The survey of more than 1,000 children between ages 13 and 18 found that 47 percent of those who said they were hit or almost hit were listening to music, 20 percent were talking on the phone, and 18 percent were texting, researchers said.
Why are they picking on texting when nearly 3 times as many cheeeeldren are getting hurt listening to music? Hmmmm?

I've always thought that being stupid should be illegal and that a "stupid" law would cover 99% of all current crimes.

About the bill being unlikely to go anywhere:

"If it builds awareness, that's OK," the lawmaker said. Similar bills have failed recently in New York state, Nevada, and Arkansas.
A TV commercial/PSA would be more effective then a failed bill that only we here at ISF even know about ;)


via International Skeptics Forum

Suicide bomber targeting Christians kills 65, mostly women and children, in Pakistan

Another day of mass murder, this time mostly women and children. There are some very sick individuals on this planet and it doesn't look they will be stopped anytime soon.

Suicide bomber targeting Christians kills 65, mostly women and children, in Pakistan park

via International Skeptics Forum

"VAXXED" film pulled from DeNiro's festival

Move along. Nothing to see here.

Besides, surely you can wait for better, carefully balanced honest coverage of this from the MSM, even though they get lotsa big money for carrying Big Pharma adverts.

I doubt you need reminding, but just in case, don't forget to shoot the messenger, Mike Adams.

VAXXED film pulled from Robert De Niro's Tribeca Film Festival

Deniro said:


Grace and I have a child with autism and we believe it is critical that all of the issues surrounding the causes of autism be openly discussed and examined. In the 15 years since the Tribeca Film Festival was founded, I have never asked for a film to be screened or gotten involved in the programming. However this is very personal to me and my family and I want there to be a discussion, which is why we will be screening VAXXED. I am not personally endorsing the film, nor am I anti-vaccination; I am only providing the opportunity for a conversation around the issue.

via International Skeptics Forum

It's About Time Satan Got A Cut

A cut of beef:

Sorry Vegans, this isn't your Seitan.

via International Skeptics Forum

Sparkling lights in Ceres

Setting aside the aliens have a base on Ceres theory could these sparkling changing lights be phosphorescent life forms similar to glow worms or whatever?

via International Skeptics Forum

Bullish on Bernie: The Bernie Sanders 2016 Thread II


Originally Posted by Ammonitida (Post 11198565)
So just let Bernie roll over Hillary in these caucus states with more 70-20 landslides, erasing her lead, while banking on California (50-50), New York, and PA to bail her out? That doesn't sound like a good strategy.

Just how many delegates do the rest of these caucus states have? Couldn't winning the rest of the caucus states by 70-20 wipe out any of Hillary's predicted wins in those three states?

Bernie could take 100% in the remaining caucus states, and if he doesn't do well in the big primary states, he'll still lose by 500.

Remaining Caucus States: Wyoming, Guam, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, North Dakota... Total 132 delegates if he takes 100%. He won't, but assume Alaska-like figures if you wish... 80% = 105 Sanders : 27 Hillary.
That's about the lunch-time allocation in New York. His requirement after today may have shifted slightly from needing 2/3 of the delegates remaining, but not by much. When the dust settles, the bottom line is that they need to flat out win, win, win. And WIN BIG in some states with a decent delegate count. So far, that's MI and WA. In fact, Bernie's got more delegates from the accumulated states he's lost in than he does in the winners.

Momentum? It will mean something going into WI. That's an important Dem state and he's been polling well. WY? Who cares? Truly... if I'm a Dem strategist and considering changing my support to Sanders, I don't give a rat's ass how much he swept Idaho and Montana and Oklahoma by. I care about that baker's dozen of states that the party needs to carry to retain the WH. He's won two of those (MI and WA); he's lost in FL, TX, VA, OH, IL, MA. "Yeah, but he was close!"

Close doesn't matter. Wins in red states don't matter. The Dems have about as much chance of taking Utah and Oklahoma as I have of winning Miss America. When the numbers are finalized at the end of today, Clinton's magic number is going to be around 650, I think. That's the number of delegates she needs to pick up of the remaining 2073, but we'll have to wait to see the final allocation of delegates from today. If it's 660 or 670, it's not much of a difference. It's a very small number.

Mod Info
Thread continued from here.

Please keep to the topic, thank you!
Posted By:zooterkin

via International Skeptics Forum

Vaxxed: Tribeca festival withdraws MMR film

New York's Tribeca Film Festival will not show Vaxxed, a controversial film about the MMR vaccine, its founder Robert De Niro says.


Robert De Niro, who has a child with autism, said he had hoped the film would provide the opportunity for discussion of the issue.

But after reviewing the film with festival organisers and scientists, he said: "We do not believe it contributes to or furthers the discussion I had hoped for."

"We have concerns with certain things in this film," said Mr De Niro.
Vaxxed was directed and co-written by Mr (formerly Dr) Wakefield, who described it as a "whistle-blower documentary".


In a statement issued following the Tribeca Film Festival's decision, he and the film's producer Del Bigtree said that "we have just witnessed yet another example of the power of corporate interests censoring free speech, art and truth".

via International Skeptics Forum

Homeopathy, hypocracy and vivisection

What do homeopaths like us to think about homeopathy - holistic, safe, trusted? Well, how about vivisection?

Even I didn’t consider laboratory animals would be used to test homeopathic remedies. Surely that would be anathema to a practice which preaches gentleness and holism. For years I believed the British Homeopathic Association (BHA) when they declared in their journal “Homeopathic medicines are NOT tested on animals and our Memorandum of Association clearly sets out that we may only ‘undertake and finance research into the problems of medicine WITHOUT vivisection’ 3(E)” [emphasis in the original].

Well, I was wrong – it appears their veterinary colleagues didn’t get the memo.

Have a look at the blog post for more -


via International Skeptics Forum

On Easter Sunday, Let Us Embrace The One True God

To start, we :

God is conceived of as the Supreme Being and principal object of faith[1]. The concept of God as described by theologians commonly includes the attributes of omniscience (infinite knowledge)[2], omnipotence (unlimited power)[3], omnipresence (present everywhere)[4], omnibenevolence (perfect goodness)[5], divine simplicity[6], and eternal and necessary existence[6].

There is actually something that fits that description: Mammon.

Point 2 is arguable, but the rest aren't.

Mammon can lengthen your life and make your dreams come true, unlike religion, which doesn't appreciably lengthen life, and makes no dreams come true.

Mammon is perfectly good. It is not His blame if man chooses to use His power unwisely, or for less than the good of all.

The christian god has this to say about Our Lord (PBUH) Mammon:

Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.

If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous Mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

God is right to fear Mammon. Did not one of Jesus' own disciples - who had obviously been witness to the miracles and sermons - accept that Mammon was stronger and sold J down the river? Or up a tree, as the case was. Judas knew which side his unleavened bread was buttered and took today's equivalent of $37,000 to betray the Abrahamic god's son.

What about Allah?

Mo also knew that his god was inferior to Mammon:

But if remission is made to one by his (aggrieved) brother, prosecution (for blood-money) should be according to usage, and payment to him in a good manner.

Murder of one of your own, but you get a free pass if you pay money. The power of Mammon over god.


They openly worship money as one of the chief aims of their bleeding life!

Case closed.

via International Skeptics Forum

samedi 26 mars 2016

Lucky Larry Just Can't STHU!

Looks like Larry winked at the free thinkers again. All but admitted to the whole thing!

Worst cover up ever.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.

via International Skeptics Forum

Thousands Petition To Allow Guns At Republican Convention For ‘Safety’


Thousands Petition To Allow Guns At Republican Convention For ‘Safety’ by Andy Campbell

The petition, which had more than 26,000 supporters as of Saturday evening, claims that the arena’s weapon ban makes those who attend the RNC in July “sitting ducks, utterly helpless against evil-doers and criminals.”

Uh... Feeling dizzy, need to lie down. :faint:

via International Skeptics Forum

Comfy is displeased. Very displeased.

The above pic is a grab from a Facebook Group I'm a member of.
It's a lovely Group that concentrates on old and new photographs of the Town I live in.

When I saw the video start I assumed it was going to a humerous thingy.
It's real. It's on my Town Hall Steps on Easter Saturday.
I live in a Jaunty Town in The Jaunty UK.
We don't do crap like this!

The original comments got deleted.
Everyone was being all nice and "Aww, how beautiful." !
I made a polite observation which led me to having an argument with a local Vicar. (Yay me, First Time).
I was busy typing a reply because I was going to cure her :)
But the discussion vanished.

In the new comments, mine is the bottom one you see.
It's in response to someone who commented that it was offensive to other religions. (Massive Muslim population here. It's a massive Town).

Mine reads:
"It's highly offensive to anyone who doesn't believe this claptrap.
A crowd of people, complete with impressionable kids, watching three adults in nappies pretending to be crucified on the Town Hall Steps in celebration of a fairytale... welcome back to The Dark Ages"

I had no idea such things happened in The U.K.
Certainly not on my lovely Town Hall Steps.
Big screens and everything.

I'd expect this kind of nonsense in Brazil or The States....
....but dammit man... We are British!

I'm waiting to see it reported in the local newspaper.
I predict a *********.

via International Skeptics Forum

One, finite, life

- I'd like to open a new thread, but one related to an old one -- "Immortality and Bayesian Statistics" (or, something like that). I would have continued the old one, but I haven't been able to find it -- and, this one does have a significantly different conclusion...

- The following is an introduction.

- I think that
1. I can virtually prove that the consensus scientific hypothesis about human mortality is incorrect.
2. That hypothesis is that we each have but one, finite life to live.
3. The likelihood of my current existence -- given that scientific hypothesis -- is about 7 billion over infinity, or essentially zero…
4. IOW, given the consensus scientific hypothesis, my current existence is extremely unlikely.
5. That premise has a mathematical implication re the probability that the consensus scientific hypothesis is correct -- or not.
6. This implication is indefinite, as there are three other variables in the appropriate equation.
7. P(H|E) = P(E|H)*P(H)/( P(E|H)*P(H)+P(E|~H)*P(~H)).
8. Including my estimated numbers, I get:
P(H|E) = 7,000,000,000/∞*.99/(7,000,000,000/∞*.99+ .00052*.01), or
9. P(H|E) = 0.
10. IOW, the posterior probability that we each have but one finite life to live is virtually zero.
11. All I need do now is support my estimates…

- I'll be back to do that.

via International Skeptics Forum

A letter to UFODATA

UFODATA is a newly formed body dedicated to the search for ET truth
Disclaimer, I do not support in any way UFODATA.
Below is a copy of my email to UFODATA

With hindsight, it's somewhat hard to believe that yet another remote sensing station, or even a multiplicity of such stations will add any significant scientific understanding to the study of UFOs. Despite 30 years of research, the Hessdalen team as yet to arrive at any conclusions.
As far as I can see from your website, the most part of your staff are already convinced of extraterrestrial visitation which beggars the question, are you really interested in natural phenomena, or do you have other interests at heart?
I do not consider MUFON, or the Allen J. Hynek institute to support serious science, reports from this website only convince me of the non science.
A number of your board members have also given me doubts as to the quality of science these members might bring to the enterprise, these are, David Akers, and although your site describes him as something of an electronic whizz kid who runs a high tech company,
“He is the owner of the Polyarts Company, an engineering consulting and electronics design firm based in Washington state, USA. Specialty areas include forensic investigations and problem solving for state and Federal agencies”.
I have tried to contact this company without success, where there is no telephone number on which I might contact Mr. Akers, and seems strange given that he supports Federal Agencies! He does however seem interested in “Earthlights”.
Robert Powell has been a director of the popular MUFON organization, however I find they have contributed little if anything to the study of extraterrestrials.
The same goes for Mark Rodeghier, who has contributed much to non science.
I have searched the European Space Agency for the qualifications of Mr Philippe Ailleris, without success.

There are those who would profit from ignorance.

via International Skeptics Forum

Truther Physics Debunked.

This can not happen because the car is steel and water is not a solid:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.

I saw this and had to post it. "Truthers" please explain what you just saw.

via International Skeptics Forum

Atheism Uses Less Brain Function

"This has to be embarrassing . . . if you’re an atheist. A new study performed at the University of York used targeted magnetism to shut down part of the brain. The result: belief in God disappeared among more than 30 percent of participants.

That in itself may not seem so embarrassing, but consider that the specific part of the brain they frazzled was the posterior medial frontal cortex—the part associated with detecting and solving problems, i.e., reasoning and logic."

I'm not a Christian but I do consider myself to be a spiritual person. I rarely find conflict with my spiritual beliefs and science which I equate as a method that uses logic and reasoning to draw real world conclusions. That said, I hate the way this person twisted the conclusions of this study. Neurology is more complicated than defining spiritual and logical thought as one area of the brain does this and another area of the brain does that kind of mindset. What's your opinion?

via International Skeptics Forum

Taxes under each candidate

According to this, you can determine how your personal taxes will be impacted by each presidential candidate. According to this, ours would be highest under Sanders and lowest under Cruz.

This assumes that lowering taxes is always preferable (I receive Social Security, which is paid for by taxes, so I am not in favor of eliminating the safety net or police etc... Though yes, efficient practices would keep the services and lower taxes, potentially).

My question is, how can I validate this information? Can we be sure this tool is giving accurate information, and if it is, how valuable is that information?

via International Skeptics Forum

U.S. Methane Emissions Massively Underestimated

"In February, Harvard researchers published an explosive paper in Geophysical Research Letters. Using satellite data and ground observations, they concluded that the nation as a whole is leaking methane in massive quantities. Between 2002 and 2014, the data showed that US methane emissions increased by more than 30 percent, accounting for 30 to 60 percent of an enormous spike in methane in the entire planet’s atmosphere."

But at least there's some hope:

"In other words, the relatively small percentage of the planet’s surface known as the United States accounts for much (if not most) of the spike in atmospheric methane around the world."

And by that I mean no hope at all:

"We’ve become the planet’s salesman for natural gas—and a key player in this scheme could become the next president of the United States. When Hillary Clinton took over the State Department, she set up a special arm, the Bureau of Energy Resources, after close consultation with oil and gas executives. This bureau, with 63 employees, was soon helping sponsor conferences around the world. And much more: Diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks show that the secretary of state was essentially acting as a broker for the shale-gas industry, twisting the arms of world leaders to make sure US firms got to frack at will."

So U.S. companies will keep making money off fracking and you all can enjoy the new mild winters in your area...

...while they last. Muhahahahaha.

via International Skeptics Forum

Who should people vote against, and why?

Face it, the "vote for" choices are not that encouraging. This leaves us with "damage control". Given that, who should we vote against, and why?

via International Skeptics Forum

When was the last time a 2nd place finisher got the nomination?

At the end of the primaries and caucuses, each candidate has a certain number of pledged delegates. In order to win, he needs a majority vote of the delegates.

When was the last time delegates, Republicans or Democrats, picked someone other than the guy who had the most delegates at the start of the convention? I can't recall such an event, and I looked up several close conventions (Democrats in 1968, Republicans in 1976, Republicans in 1948). In all cases, the guy who had the most delegates at the beginning of the convention ended up with a majority. In ever case since 1948, it was on the first ballot.

I think it's going to happen this year. I think Trump will have the most delegates, and he won't win. Now that the attention is on him for real, and people are taking him seriously, I think he'll self destruct. The "your wife is ugly" stuff of the last couple of days is just the beginning. By the time of the convention, most Republicans will have joined the #NeverTrump crowd, and they'll block his nomination.

Or maybe that's just wishful thinking.

But anyway, is there any precedent for this? When was the last time that the convention, Republicans or Democrats, refused to nominate the frontrunner?

via International Skeptics Forum

vendredi 25 mars 2016

Hypothetical Question,

OK here is the hypothetical question if Truthers do get a new investigation what happens what changes?

Will the world actually change?

Do Bush and every Shill get put in prison?

Does the Universe actually care, or would it just rather wipe out the earth with a gama ray blast?

What is the motivation behind Truthering ?

via International Skeptics Forum

What's the worst thing about your POTUS pick?

What distresses me most about this campaign is just how polarized it has become. In past elections, it was generally understood that you had to at least make some move toward the middle to be successful in the general election.
In this election, there seems to be a concentrated effort to be as extreme as possible. All the candidates claim they are the one to unite and bring people together, yet they've polarized the electorate like none before them.

So, as a challenge to skeptics, who ought to know that neither the world nor politics can be described in perfect terms of black and white, I'm asking you to state what it is about your particular top pick for President of the U.S. that you dislike, or like the least. It's an acknowledgment that none of us are perfect; that even the best have personal or philosophical flaws. That in order to bring people together, no one can cast the first stone when they are not without fault.

A variation of this question has been asked of all the candidates at the debate, but of course none of them answered honestly (go figure...) It should be easier for you to identify their weaknesses.

I'll start out. My pick for POTUS has been/is Bernie Sanders. He is the only one who I think correctly focuses on the problem of wealth disparity.
However, I am not convinced by the entirety of his socialist agenda. I do not think that throwing a lot of public money at a problem is the best way to solve it. Having worked in government positions for much of my life, I can personally attest to how inefficient government can be. When a massive bureaucracy takes control over any program, without competition or profit motive, innovation and improvement often take a back seat to bureaucrats securing their own political or financial future. In this respect, I sympathize with the conservative principle of cutting waste in government; streamlining rather than expanding. I think Sander's socialist label is clearly the biggest obstacle he has to securing a wide majority of votes needed for nomination.
Your turn!:)

via International Skeptics Forum

Mark de Jong

This could be interesting. He must be innocent if we start a thread here. :D

The coach of a top tennis player has been arrested on suspicion of murder in a story that is sending shockwaves through the sport.

Mark de Jong, the coach of Dutch tennis player Robin Haase, was put under arrest after they both landed in Amsterdam on Thursday morning.

The Telegraph described a sense of disbelief among players as news spread around the Miami tournament, which Haase and de Jong were at as recently as Wednesday.

The victim was millionaire Koen Everink, a staple around tennis tours, who was stabbed to death, then discovered by his daughter on March 4.

"Koen was very close to three Dutch players ...," former player and fellow Dutch coach Raemon Sluiter told The Telegraph. "I didn't know Koen that well myself, but I knew him to speak to, because, as players, we Dutchies spend a lot of time together when we are on the road."

De Jong previously told some around the sport that he had been at Everink's home on March 3, and was perhaps the last one to see him alive. But Thursday's news seemed to come as a complete shock.

via International Skeptics Forum

How intrinsically valuable is a medical study to a layperson simply for being peer re

Does a study in a peer reviewed journal that's not published by a reputable scientist and has not yet been replicated have any value to the layperson? Basically, does a study in a peer reviewed scientific journal have any value simply by the virtue of being a peer reviewed study? People doing reviews can only spot errors in study design but they can't, for example, tell whether the data being submitted is false and the layperson is even further from being able to determine a study's reliability.

Is it all down to just reputation and replication?

via International Skeptics Forum

Live Cell Therapy - Testimonials vs. science

There's a guy called Dr. Kuhnau who does a variation of "live cell therapy" involving injecting people with shark cartilage in the butt and that's supposed to heal whatever's wrong with the body. Dr. Velazquez is the guy who's currently taken over his practice. It operates in Mexico because he's not allowed to do it in the states due to the "oppression of Big Pharma".

That said, my parents are convinced of this guy's legitimacy (hell, they took me to see him when I was a little kid), most recently because they met a doctor who talked about someone with a ton of medical problems wrong with them (they couldn't list any, medical terms are hard), and was giving something like 6 months to live and now is all healed up. My parents' first argument is "You can't argue with results." Live cell therapy is supposed to heal damaged organs and the recoveries are not the kind that can be explained by the placebo said. It doesn't matter that the purported science makes no sense, because . . . "You can't argue with results". I can't really come up with an argument against it other than "maybe the doctors were wrong". My mom said she *could* read an article picking apart live cell therapy too my dad but it'd be meaningless because of the testimonials she's heard, the results that can't be argued against.

Because of this the conversation went into Big Pharma and medical science. My mom thinks he's being oppressed because that Big Pharma and the hospital industry suppresses anything that actually fixes problems because it's not profitable. I point out surgery and she said 90% of it is not about healing. Big Pharma can't put patents on live cell therapy because Dr. Kuhnau is already giving it out and passing it on to his protege.

The conversation came with the attitude that asking for peer review is the same as asking for the approval of a stuffy establishment. We talked about how many theories were rejected by science and built up evidence and my mom brought up a book he wrote full of case studies. I say results have to be replicated by multiple people and, of course there's the doctor's protege but getting any doctor to try it is hard.

The conversation went into a bunch of other stuff like how you can't know anything you don't test firsthand, especially for something as important as medicine and health.

Because you can't argue with results. And there's such a tangled web of arguments why anything else is unreliable.

via International Skeptics Forum

Why isn't their a Ted Cruz mistress thread yet?

Has this forum become too good for this kind of thing?

The tweets were great on this: Cuban Mistress Crisis is definitely going to catch on. And TED puns will be a meme for a few days. I liked this but in the end the guy dropped the ball:

Poor Ted's wife. She trusTED but then he cheaTED and now he's busTED and his campaign is Toast. Obviously should have been:

Poor Ted's wife. She trusTED but then he cheaTED and now he's busTED and his campaign is ToasTED.

A few of my favorite tweets:
If @tedcruz were elected president his wife would be the sixth lady.
The real scandal here is that 5 women slept with a wax statue
I don't believe there's a #CruzSexScandal. Between running for POTUS and being the Zodiac Killer, there's just no free time.

FWIW, I always have some guilt about this kind of thing. There was a couple that lived above us when we lived in NJ that fought all the time. We thought it was funny until we got to know them and then it was just sad. But I don't think I'm going to get to know Cruz and his wife so it's still pretty funny.

If you are too high brow and feel the need to eschew the humor, please feel free to opine on the effects of this in the primary and the general election. Does Trump profit because his opponent that looked like a genuine, Christian true believer turns out to be a hypocrite? Does Trump lose because this spotlights what a relentless anti-woman creep he is. One of many such articles:

Does Trump win because the electorate is looking for the biggest anti-woman creep and Cruz is still a piker on that compared to Trump?

via International Skeptics Forum

Antarctica, Obama, off-the-books gold, aliens, JFK, Princess Di, secret Chinese bases

YouTube suggested this video to me.

Between the quickness and the low-sound quality, I missed a lot. I'll try to put up a better summary tomorrow.

The Chinese have built a secret space base in Argentina.
Georgia Guidestones.
Aliens communicated with Native Americans
Monsanto and GMOs
The Pope is going to resign soon.
(Plus everything in the title)

I am worried that I might jinx it just by suggesting it, but it is possible we have found the elusive Grand Unifying Theory of Conspiracy Theories! GUT/CT

via International Skeptics Forum

Cliven Bundy, Ammon Bundy, Malheur NWR, Bunkerville, Recapture Canyon trials

Cliven Bundy, Ammon Bundy, Malheur NWR, Bunkerville, Recapture Canyon trials.

We have two threads regarding the exploits of the Bundy family and their supporters, many of whom are now on trial.

Militias ‘mobilizing’ to support embattled Clark County rancher in clash with federal

armed "not terrorists" storm government building in Oregon

No that they are on trial, the two threads get a bit confusing, as there are a group of people facing charges for their actions at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a second group facing charges for their actions at the Bunkerville standoff, and a core group facing charges for actions at both standoffs as well as the smaller and less well publicized armed protest at Recapture Canyon.

So I thought a thread dedicated to any and all of the trials might be in order. To start, here is a nice article about the always entertaining Michele Fiore.

Bundy Oregon Occupation To Ensnare Many More ‘Cowboys,’ In Nevada


The cascade of legal fallout from the occupation of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is rippling over to Nevada, where participants in the notorious 2014 Bunkerville armed standoff are now feeling the heat. Bunkerville leader Cliven Bundy is behind bars along with his son, Ammon, who spearheaded the Malheur episode.

In the latest development, last Friday Nevada State Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R-District 4) dropped word that many more arrests may be on the way, potentially targeting anyone who brought a weapon to the Bunkerville standoff — a figure that could climb into the hundreds.

via International Skeptics Forum