Friday, May 28, 2010

Science Impotence, Archaeo-Alcohology, Acupuncture, Bird Feathers, Ball Lightning

From slashdot comes an article about "scientific impotence". It's an idea I've been exposed to, it seems that
regardless of whether the information presented confirmed or contradicted [the subjects'] existing beliefs, all of them came away from the reading with their beliefs strengthened.

Sequoia posted a link that talks about a group that resurrected an old alcohol recipe. Amongst other ingredients are cacao and chili. I feel I must try this.

From Scientific American's 60 second science comes a stort that details a possible mechanism behind acupuncture. I won't lie, this sent my skeptic sense a-tingling. Largely because after the discovery of a way of blinding acupunture trials it is increasingly to be found to be adequatly described by the placebo affect. Luckily for me a blog gives it a much less credulous coverage.

Finally from one of the more recent episodes of the Skeptics' Guide to the Universe come two interesting stories. The first was that early bird feather's were not made for flight.
and the second is a possible explanation for ball lightning. Although as Steven Novella points out in the podcast the conditions are so exacting that, if it is an explanation at all, it's not likely to be the only one.

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