Black holes, Homeopathy, and Robots… Stuff I’ve Missed

Last weekend I had lovely time at Women Thinking Free Foundation’s “Skeptics Under the Stars.” We had a meteor shower! And marshmallows! And comets! And the Yerkes Observatory! I took a few pictures of the observatory and the campsite and also around Chicago as Jamie, the skeptical ninja of WTFF, gave me a lovely tour. And let me crash at her place. (Thank you!)

I got to move the telescope! Picture by Jeff Wagg.

I got back home, and, let’s face it, I got overwhelmed. The usual… grad school, job search (#willastronomfornoms), etc. Nevertheless, here’s some of what I’ve been reading these past two weeks:

How can you “see” a black hole? Sarah Scoles explains. (Regular readers know that this is one of my favorite topics!)

There was actually an astronomy news story about reionization. And I missed it! Even though that’s part of my thesis project. What can I say… I’m radio biased! Actually, the new findings are interesting, if not surprising, and Bad Astronomer breaks it down nicely.

Boo homeopathy in pharmacies. Boo. Check out this petition via Skepchick to tell Target that we don’t approve. On a related note, I was in the “cold and allergy” section of my local CVS, again, not too long ago, and I noticed something new had been added to the shelf.

Too bad homeopathy doesn’t work.

Matt Lowry rightly points out that everybody got a gris-gris. Mine? Contracausal free will. And that my car loves me. And Ambien Turtle. (Also, I finally got to hang out with Matt on the camping trip, and he is awesome. And a physics teacher!)

Also on the JREF blog, Tim Farley encourages skeptics to gather evidence about their own online impacts.

A thoughtful article on downtime.

This stuff is far. It’s really far.

Here’s a topic I know all too well right now: time-to-degree for Ph.D. programs and its relation to hiring practices for new professors. Ouch.

Yet more answers to why the #occupy protestors are so angry.

I’d rather not leave on a sad note, so here is a robot riding a bicycle. (Thanks, @NotThatGreg!)

6 comments for “Black holes, Homeopathy, and Robots… Stuff I’ve Missed

  1. October 29, 2011 at 16:50

    Skeptics Under the Stars: apparently Jeff Wagg took on the mantle of explodey science in Matt’s place. We may need to build a mobile ring of hazard tape for Jeff to wear at future science demos. 😉

  2. mike
    October 31, 2011 at 10:21

    Homeopathics are on quackwatch…that is great. Only the modalities that prove to be a threat to the AMA show up on quackwatch. I love that site.

  3. mike
    October 31, 2011 at 10:43

    A good link regarding de-license of Stephen Barrett MD, the man who started and writes for quackwatch.

    It always important to know the back round of writers and the articles they publish. Give credit where credit is due.

    Best of health,

    • Nicole
      October 31, 2011 at 14:16

      Though you have piqued my interest and I will be looking in it further, one person’s writings do not change the fact that water doesn’t have memory.

  4. Nicole
    November 1, 2011 at 16:06

    Update, for my dear readers,

    A response to these allegations, by Stephen Barrett, M.D.

    Hoo boy.

  5. Brian Gregory
    November 1, 2011 at 16:18

    I always check the “back round” of people I follow … on the street, especially if they’re cute.

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