2013, December 20
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Another exposé of no-touch knockout bullcrap has been doing the rounds. In this one, a wonderful group of skeptics attended an “open seminar” by a Finnish pseudo-martial artist named Jukka Lampila.
Those courageous skeptical fool-smokers really did a number on him, specifically by asking a set of very basic questions, by not flinging themselves in the direction of his pats, wafts, prods and pokes and generally not being willing accomplices to his cultish buffoonery.
I could spend the entirety of this post taunting his poor, misguided followers that leap into the air and fling themselves on the floor at the slightest provocation, and metaphorically shaking my head in disbelief that he’s probably still teaching the same nonsense back home, even after this very public experience. But this would not be the best use of anyone’s time, and I’ve already done it so often in the past relating to similar incidents, that it would be redundant.
Instead I’d like to take the opportunity to address two points. Read more of this post
2011, September 13
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Sidney’s in the press again. I wondered why he had been so quiet for so long. Apparently it was an enforced absence.
According to this “human interest” article published in a local London newspaper this very month, Mr Sofos recently had life-saving surgery to correct a heart problem. Some of the article consists of Sid thanking his cardiologist for saving the aforementioned life of Sid. (all credit for spotting this fantastic literary farce goes to one Mr Peter, who kindly commented on the original Sofos article on this blog) Read more of this post
2010, November 1
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And now, dear readers, we come to a topic of discussion which- while uncontentious in scientific circles- is still a hot potato amongst people at large. I refer to the question of “Chi”, the chinese word meaning “vital energy” (the Japanese word is “Ki”), though in early Chinese writings it translated directly as “breath”. (Note the similarity to “Spiritus”, a latin word technically meaning “breath”, but which is in Catholic services commonly used to refer to “spirit” or “ghost”.)
For me, the genesis and nature of this concept is fairly obvious and immediately apparent: In ancient times, the mechanisms by which life processes are generated was unclear. Ancient peoples only had vague folk-sciences to explain why breathing air keeps one alive, why eating food keeps one alive, and why diseases occur. The concept of “the soul” was created in order to try to explain each person’s individual character, memories and apparent continuity of personality. Read more of this post