Steven Novella throws down the gauntlet on climate skepticism

In Skepticism on February 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Dr. Steven Novella, well known Skeptic, host of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe Podcast and blogger wrote a great article today on ‘Climate Skepticism’. He writes:

I may be wrong – if you think I am then let’s discuss the science. My challenge to those who consider themselves global warming skeptics is, if you wish to truly earn that mantle, is to focus on scientific arguments. My opinions can be changed on this topic, I really have no stake in the debate at all – except the one that every human on the planet has, which is only served by knowing the truth, whatever it is. I hope global warming is not happening, it is nothing but a major inconvenience and crimp in civilization. I would love to just continue burning fossil fuels and not have to worry about the consequences.

So if you disagree with me, show me some science. And spare me the name-calling and conspiracy theories.

link: Skepticblog » Climate Skepticism


My Top 10 Most Useful iPhone Apps

In iphone on June 20, 2009 at 1:22 pm

I know this isn’t skepticism related, but I just thought I would share my top ten apps I use on my iPhone.

10. SmugWallet :: Sync SmugMug Photos and Videos – As a photographer, I use smugmug.com to hold the photos that I do semi-professionally. Smugwallet syncs these photos from smugmug to my iPhone so I can show them off to people quickly and easily. As a bonus, it also syncs videos to the phone.

9. Mobile Fotos • Flickr Browser & Uploader – Sure you could use the regular flickr mobile interface, but this is nicer. A great way to look at your flickr photos and your friends.

8. NetNewsWire – This may not be the best RSS reader for the iPhone, but it does one awesome thing. If you use NetNewsWire on the mac, it will SYNC your feeds to your phone from your mac automagically.

7. Tuner Internet Radio – This is a great streaming radio app. It will stream any kind of shoutcast or streaming mp3 stream. I use it for listening to our local public radio station, and twitlive.tv

6. WordPress – If you use a blog running on wordpress, this is the perfect way to manage your posts and your comments while on the go. You can even post to your blog from this.

5. Tweetie – I’ve tried most of the Twitter apps for the iPhone, and I keep coming back to tweetie. It’s just really clean , fast and easy to use.

4. Facebook – Need I say anything else? The official facebook app is a pretty great way to access facebook on your iPhone

3. Fieldrunners – This game is addictive. It’s basically a tower defense game, you build towers of weapons in a field with the goal of keeping the enemies from reaching your gate on the other side.

2. Peggle – Peggle is the perfect game to have on your phone so you can play it while you are somewhere stuck waiting for something to happen.

1. BeejiveIM – Instant Messaging Anywhere – This app is expensive, but it is the KING of Instant Messaging on the iPhone. With Jabber, YAHOO, AIM, and even Facebook support, this can handle almost anything. And, if apple ever approves the 3.0 version of this app, we will get true push notifications of new IM messages. I’m pretty sure this would replace SMS for many people with iPhones.


Critical thinking is like washing your hands

In Uncategorized on June 6, 2009 at 5:11 am

This is a repost of a post I did back in 2007… I only bring it up because I got another one of these emails.. this time from my Dad… DOH!

My mom always used to tell me “Wash your hands before you eat”, or “Wash your hands WITH SOAP after you use the bathroom”. I’m sure your mom did too. This is of course good advice, washing your hands with soap and water reduces the chance that you will get a bacterial infection or catch a virus.

So I was surprised the other day to get this email from my Mom:

Subject: Fw: moons

Two moons on 27th August

27th Aug the Whole World is waiting for………….

Planet Mars will be the brightest in the night sky starting August.

It will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye. This will cultivate on Aug. 27 when Mars comes within 34.65M miles of earth. Be sure to watch the sky on Aug. 27 12:30 am. It will look like the earth has 2 moons. The next time Mars may come this close is in 2287.

Share this with your friends as NO ONE ALIVE TODAY will ever see it again .

This of course, is a viral email. A viral “meme” if you will. Anyone who knows anything about anything will read this, and if they think about it more than 2 seconds, they’ll realize it’s a load of hogwash. Mars is NEVER as big in the sky as the moon, it usually looks like a small red star it’s so far away.

But I suspect, my Mom didn’t even really read this email. Which means she fell right into it’s trap. She skimmed it, and sent it to me, because “He likes astronomy and stuff”. The virus had achieved it’s goal, it reproduced one more time.

However, when it got to me, I read it skeptically, like I do everything. I washed my hands, and it killed it. This virus wouldn’t spread past me.

Critical thinking is something you have to do always, and you have to practice it, because it doesn’t come natural. Just like washing your hands, it should become a habit.


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