Archive for December, 2009

Jessica Simpson Uses An Ear Candle

Posted in woo on December 30th, 2009 by Phil Ferguson – 5 Comments

Jessica get a really cool (aka – stupid and dangerous) gift for Christmas.

It’s an ear candle.  What you do is take this hollow candle that is small enough on one end to stick in your ear.  Then you light it and it will help you get well.  It is total shit – but they still sell.  Now you can see one in action!

CUFREE January 2010 Meeting

Posted in local events on December 29th, 2009 by Phil Ferguson – 1 Comment

NOTE:  This information is about an event that is planned for Champaign Urbana Freethinkers in central Illinois.  The public is welcome, provided they can behave like an adult and not proselytize.

Next meeting for Champaign Urbana Freethinkers is January 24th 1:30PM to 4:30 PM at the Urbana Free Library in the Auditorium. (Next to children’s department).

Not only will have some funny videos but, we will have a very special guest speaker.

Adam Slagell, CISSP

He is a computer security researcher and analyst at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. He is the author of “Collaborative Computer Security and Trust Management” and the security architect of the world’s largest supercomputer for open science research. He is also developing the security program for GENI, the National Science Foundation’s test bed for the next generation of Internet technologies. His recent research has focused on privacy and anonymization to enable data sharing and collaboration.
Just 6 month ago he gave a presentation at TAM 7; you can see the paper here. (#2 on the list)
A revised version of this paper will be in the Mar/Apr issue of Skeptical Inquirer.  Adam is a local star in the Skeptical movement.

I will also give a presentation on Investment rip offs.

Mr. Slagell and I will also be presenting at

Skepchicamp
March 6th, 2010
12:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Galway Arms
2442 N. Clark ST
Chicago, IL 60614

Creationism: A Cautionary Tale

Posted in Creationism on December 29th, 2009 by Phil Ferguson – Comments Off

Pre Christmas Sales Up

Posted in Economy on December 28th, 2009 by Phil Ferguson – 1 Comment

NOTE:  This post is part of an ongoing education series.  This information is for educational purposes only.  This information does not constitute investment advice.  No rational person would make investment decisions based on a blog post.  Please consult with your financial advisor before taking any action.

According to data released by the National Retail Federation, retail sales from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24 2009 are up 3.6% as compared to the same period in 2008.  Sales for the same period in 2008 were down 2.3% when compared to 2007.

Retail makes up 70% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in the United States.  A very strong sign that the economy is growing.

Indiana Governor Daniels Is A Maroon

Posted in religion on December 28th, 2009 by Phil Ferguson – Comments Off

Recently the Governor of the fine state of Indiana sat down for an interview.  

(Special thanks to BlagHag)

 Mr Daniels starts off ok…

 I don’t talk about these things too openly for two reasons.One is [that] although faith is very central to me, I also take very seriously the responsibility to treat my public duties in a way that keeps separate church and state and respects alternative views.

Secondly, I’ve sometimes referred to it as a Matthew 6 Christian. If you read that chapter, it’s the one that talks about praying in private, not giving your alms in public, not being ostentatious about your faith. And I’ve always liked that notion and thought that was a pretty important instruction.

No problems for me there.   If that’s what you want or like – knock yourself out.  All I ask is that you leave me out of it.  Sadly, the interview went on….

To me, the core of the Christian faith is humility…

Really?  How humble is it to tell others that you have a direct line to a man with ultimate power and that you will go to a nice place and live forever.  Oh and if you don’t agree, you will burn in HELL forever.  Not my definition of humility!  Oh lord it’s hard to be humble, when you perfect in every way….

But wait there’s more.

Our country was founded -this is just an historic fact; some people today may resist this notion but it is absolutely true- it was founded by people of faith. It was founded on principles of faith. The whole idea of equality of men and women [and] of the races all springs from the notion that we’re all children of a just God. It is very important to at least my notion of what America’s about and should be about and I hope it’s reflected most of the time in the choices that we make personally.

I love when people say things like, “this is just an historic fact” then speak untruths.  Now it’s true that many of the founders were “people of faith”, however, many were not.  Most would fail the modern standard for Christian.  The idea that Christianity suggests that women are equal to men is a joke.  Take any bible and flip to almost any page and you can read that women are NOT equal to men.  Note:  This is not my view!  The founding fathers did not think women were equal and they sure did not think that all races were equal.  What a bizarre world Mr. Daniels must have in his head.

 

Homeopathy Is Evil

Posted in Homeopathy on December 26th, 2009 by Phil Ferguson – 2 Comments

I recently came a across a product in a local drug store. I won’t say the name because I don’t want to give them any free press and I don’t want to get sued. You can find it or things like it in almost any drug store. These products are called Homeopathic. They will often use phrases like, “pain relief”, “active formula”, “stimulate the body’s natural response”. They will often boast that their “homeopathic medications” are safe, effective, have no side effects and have no drug interactions. They can do this because all of those comments have no real value or are actually true. Let me explain the true part by explaining homeopathy…

Homeopathy is the dilution of a “natural’ compound to the extent that it may not even be in the product you buy. Therefore, it’s just water or some kind of harmless pill made of sugar or milk powder.  Also, the more dilute it is, the more power it has.  No one has ever explained how water can remember the good stuff but forgets all of the poo that has been in it.  Here is a video from the Amazing James Randi to explain it…

Well the product I found said, “Now available in a Children’s formula!”  What was it – ear drops.  If your child gets sick – don’t go to a doctor – put a few drops of this magic water in their ear.  The product contains things like….

Chamomilla 10x, Mercurius solubilis 15x, Sulphur 12x, Pulsatilla 12x

10x means there is 1 part in 10,000,000,000 parts of water.

15x means there is 1 part in 1,000,000,000,000,000 parts of water

As I’ve said before, if it’s just water – it won’t hurt.  However, there may be harm caused when the parents decide to not go to the doctor.  If it is a bad infection the child could lose their hearing.  So you’re not just out a few buck, you could cost your child their hearing.  Some products will also say things like, “patient may experience a temporary worsening of the symptoms”.  So if your child gets worse – it’s all good.  They also cover the ass with a small note like, “if symptoms persist consult your doctor”.

So… whatever you do, don’t buy homeopathic products.