June 2010 Blog Posts

Keeping Two Chevrons Apart: Lord Hereford's Knob

I've had two or three requests for the chords to this in the last couple of weeks. On checking back against the blog, I realised, to my horror, that I'd never actually uploaded it or provided the chords. Which is a bit of an oversight. So below the fold, in glorious technicolor, is a slightly altered arrangement of Lord Hereford's Knob, by Half Man Half Biscuit, featuring me on guitar, me on bass, me on vocals, me on backing vocals, and my foot on drums.

So, apparently, 99.2% is the same as 0%

Well, it is if you're an antivaxxer like our old friend Meryl Dorey. Just so you don't think I'm putting words in Meryl's mouth, here's a little screenshot from the Australian Vaccination Network's blog.   What Meryl and Tom are discussing here is a paper entitled "Measles outbreak in a fully immunized secondary-school population". It seems Meryl didn't read much beyond the title, since the actual article examines the difference between seropositive children in a fully vaccinated population (that is, those which had active antibodies against measles), and seronegative children (who didn't). There were 74 seronegative students and 1732 seropositive students. That's about 4.3% seronegative. 14...

Promoting a damn good cause

Look, I'm not usually one to plug a commercial product. I have blogged in the past on Allienware Notebooks and iMate Smartphones, but they're more in the way of product reviews and I wasn't outright askking you to buy. Today I am. Vicks are running a promotion right now that, to leap on an obvious pun, will get right up Meryl Dorey's nose. The Road To Relief campaign offers to vaccinate one child for each Vicks' product purchased. I'm currently suffering with what I believe is a bastardised combination of Marburg, Ebola and West Nile disease, which Esther says is a mild cold,...

We need more than just reasoned debate

Over the last couple of days, an bit of a storm has been brewing in a thread on Facebook. Today I finally reached the end of my patience and posted what I expect to be something of an argument killer, which I'd like to share here with commentary. The background. Atheist L, name redacted, is active in confronting theists on Facebook. Atheist C appears to dislike Atheist L's style of engagement, finding it inferior to his own, and has made it amply clear on several occasions. He expressed the belief that he was the superior debater, and that L should just...

Monday Musical Madness: It's not monday, so here's some Smiths


TAM Australia: Unofficial Skeptics' Open Mic Night

Yes, in classic style I'm biting off more than I can chew and sponsoring/running/participating in a side event for TAM Australia. Yes, shortly before the Amazing Meeting (aka #tamoz) kicks off, I'll be hosting a skeptical open mic night at a venue somewhere in the city. It'll most likely be a pub, because let's face it, I'll need a drink. I'm hoping to attract some out-of-towners, and maybe some international guests. I'll be kicking things off myself with a five minute demonstration of how to speak 8bit binary using only beer glasses, coasters and a whiteboard marker. I have no idea how...

Prince Charles: The Idiot Spawn of Incestuous German Robber Barons

... or so he was described by Jeremy Hardy on a recent BBC 4 News Quiz. I must admit, I agree. A self-described "enemy of the enlightenment", Prince Charles is a seemingly bottomless well of fallacious nutbaggery, beginning with talking to plants and ending, most recently, with this choice quote: 'In short, when we hear talk of an "environmental crisis" or even of a "financial crisis," I would suggest that this is actually describing the outward consequences of a deep, inner crisis of the soul. It is a crisis in our relationship with - and our perception of - Nature, and it...

Meryl Dorey: Still lying on schedule

Yet again, a post about one of Meryl Dorey's regularly scheduled SocialOomph tweets. And guess what? Meryl is lying again. Oh, sure, she's probably just repeating something she's heard somewhere else. Sad thing is, though, she's been told she's wrong repeatedly and she's still carrying on, so it's crossed from merely repeating a rumour without checking into the territory of outright lie. She's repeating this on the "official" twitter channel of the Australian Vaccination Network, which claims to be an independent watchdog. It's not a watchdog. It's a half-blind junkyard mutt with three legs. So, are pharma companies the biggest buyers...

Monday Musical Madness on a Tuesday: Those Singing Tesla Coils again

  Now, while you're listening... The Australian Vacccination Network are running a seminar tonight in Perth, WA. It's causing a small shitstorm of controversy Please, if you're in the area, or if you're online and feel like helping out, please do. StopAVN on Facebook is active, #stopavn on Twitter is active, and a new blog has been established purely for the WA effort. Do it. I gave you Tesla Coils, now you give me some pro-science muscle.

Vaccination Saves Lives: Stop The Australian Vaccination Network
Say NO to the National School Chaplaincy Program