Wednesday 28 April 2010

Skeptic Trumps: Brian Dunning

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Richard Dawkins calls for arrest of Osama Bin Laden

RICHARD DAWKINS, the atheist campaigner, is planning a legal ambush to have Osama Bin Laden arrested during his next secret visit to Britain “for crimes against humanity”.

Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the atheist author, have asked human rights lawyers to produce a case for charging Bin Laden over his alleged western jihad.

However, advisors to Bin Laden are starting to regret the secret visit to Britain after an official memo suggested that during his visit Bin Laden may like to promote a new range of bikini’s and get a cartoon Allah tattoo.

The document was drawn up by the Foreign Office as part of a briefing pack and sent to officials across Whitehall.

It also suggested that Bin Laden could demonstrate a hard line on suicide bombings by “sacking dodgy Imams”.

A source told The Times that the issue was being dismissed by many as a joke that went wrong, but of more serious substance was that it could be written and disseminated at all. The source questioned what the consequences would be if such a document were written by a British government official about the head of the Catholic community.

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Skeptic Trumps: Dara Ó Briain

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Skeptic Trumps: James Randi

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Skeptics suspect the new version of Apple’s CEO left in a bar to be a PR stunt

The new improved version of Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, was lost on March 18th at a German themed pub in Redwood City, California. The new Steve was inadvertently left behind in the pub by one of Apple 27-year-old cybernetics engineers. “Steve was so engrossed in working out how to lock-down the beer glass he was drinking from in order to control the liquids that could be placed in it, that he failed to notice everyone else had left”, he later posted on his Facebook status when realising his mistake.

The new version of Steve Jobs was later discovered by an unscrupulous customer who sold the prototype CEO to Geezermodo for an alleged $5,000. Geezermodo then went on to publish exclusive pictures of the new Steve Jobs on their web site.

The new Steve Jobs retains many of the familiar features of the old model and is still instantly recognizable as Steve Jobs. However the new model is more chiselled, as the engineers have opted to lose some of the rounder edges. The top part of Steve retains the familiar black sweater used in the previous models but with more defined edges. Many pundits had anticipated a more formal bottom half, but the new version appears to still be in jeans for reasons of comfort.

Skeptics however claim that the accidental leak of the new Steve is all too convenient, and suspect Apple to be masterminding their own PR stunt in an attempt to hype up the much anticipated release of Apple’s updated CEO in the summer.

Friday 16 April 2010

Monty Python’s Life of Simon

[Simon approaches the British Chiropractic Association’s headquarters at night, and starts painting something on the wall. He does not, however, see a group of lawyers approaching from behind him, led by Mr Justice Eady who reads his writing.]

Eady: What's this then? 'The BCA happily promote bogus treatments.' Practitioners represented by the BCA knowingly promote ineffectual treatments?

Simon: It means the BCA blithely promote un-evidenced treatments.

Eady: No, it doesn’t. What’s the definition of ‘happily”? Come on …

Simon: Aaaah

Eady: Come on.

Simon: Ah, naively?

Eady: Knowingly?

Simon: Ah, no, no, unknowingly

Eady: so implying the BCA are simply misguided is?

Simon: Stupidly?

Eady: Stupidly.

[Eady crosses out ‘happily’ and writes in ‘stupidly’]

Eady: Bogus? What is bogus?

Simon: False?

Eady: Render the adjective into medical terminology.

Simon: Uh. Ineffectual – Uh.. Inefficacious, sham.

Eady: So Bogus is?

Simon: Ah, uh, Lacking in any reliable scientific evidence. Sham.

[Eady takes the brush again and crosses out ‘bogus’ and writes ‘sham’]

Eady: But ‘Science, Reason and Critical Thinking’ is a satirical blog so you must use?

Simon: The colloquial.

Eady: Which is?

Simon: Ahm. Oh, oh, um Spine Wizard, Spine Wizard.

Eady: How many Spine Wizards?

Simon: Ah. Plural, plural… Spine Wizards, Spine Wizards

Eady: Spine Wizards.

[He crosses out ‘BCA’ and writes ‘Spine Wizards’]

Eady: So the CAM practitioners promote sham treatments do they boy?

Simon: Happily.

[Eady takes out a writ and prepares to serve it to Simon]

Simon: Ahh! No, not happily, not happily promote, sir. Ah. Uh. Stupidly er peddle, stupidly peddle.

Eady: So Spine Wizards aren't liars they’re just…

Simon: Dipshits. Aagh! ah.

Eady: Dipshits. Understand?

Simon: Yes, sir.

Eady: Now get it linked on hundred other blogs.

Simon: Yes Sir. Thanks you, sir. Hail Palmer, sir.

Eady: Hail Palmer. And if it’s not done by sunrise, I’ll sue your balls off.

Simon: Oh, thank you, sir. Thank you, sir. Hail Palmer and everything, sir Oh!

[Eady walks off]

[Dawn and ‘Spine wizards stupidly peddle sham treatments’ is plastered all over the BCA’s headquarters in letters a hundred feet high]

Hat tip to Jack of Kent who suggested that there might be some mileage in this particular python sketch.

Thursday 15 April 2010

Skeptic Trumps: Jon Ronson

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The Ladybird Book of Chiropractic Treatment & English Libel Law

Now updated with 6 new pages of recent events

Even though the BCA have dropped their misconceived case against Simon, please continue to sign the campaign for libel reform to ensure that the politicians follow through with their promises of reform.