Invest In Bigfoot
Jan24

Invest In Bigfoot

Investing in the stock market always carries a risk. Your investment might work out but it might not. You might lose everything. You know this, though. Everyone knows this. And that’s why shrewd investors will do a bit of homework before considering sinking money into a brand new scheme. Let’s take a look at one such investment opportunity and then do some homework. The investment opportunity From the Wall Street Journal: Mr. Biscardi and his partners hope to raise as much as $3 million by selling stock in Bigfoot Project Investments. They plan to spend the money making movies and selling DVDs, but are also budgeting $113,805 a year for expeditions to find the beast. Among the company’s goals, according to its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission: “capture the creature known as Bigfoot.” … Mr. Biscardi, who has trumpeted a number of Bigfoot sightings and captures that didn’t pan out, is a controversial figure among Bigfoot enthusiasts. In 2008, he held a news conference in Palo Alto, Calif., to detail his examination of what he said was the carcass of a male Bigfoot that checked in at 7 feet 7 inches tall and weighed more than 500 pounds. The Bigfoot, found by two men in Georgia, turned out to be a rubber gorilla costume stuffed with animal parts and outfitted with a set of teeth that may have been bovine in origin. That’s a hell of an opportunity. DVDs! And possible capture of the legendary creature that is Bigfoot! The homework In five years time DVDs may not exist. Bigfoot already doesn’t exist. Happy investing...

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Why Charlie Hebdo Was Attacked
Jan10

Why Charlie Hebdo Was Attacked

Charlie Hebdo was not a nice publication. But it had every right to be not a nice publication. People who don’t like not nice publications don’t have to read them, don’t have to pay attention to them. People who don’t like not nice publications have the right to petition to have them removed from circulation or persuade others not to buy them if they can’t avoid paying attention to them – this is what those of us who oppose dangerous garbage like What Doctors Don’t Tell You do – but there are some rights they don’t have and that obviously includes murder. The question is: were the murders really an Islamic terrorist response to supposed blasphemous images? Is it possible that they were instead opportunistic thuggery by cowards trying to fracture civilised people and boost terrorist recruitment? Juan Cole contends that without a declaration of the reason for the attack (and probably with one anyway because such disinformation is exactly what is desired) we should be sceptical of the motives and that it is the latter possibility in this article Sharpening Contradictions: Why al-Qaeda attacked Satirists in Paris: The problem for a terrorist group like al-Qaeda is that its recruitment pool is Muslims, but most Muslims are not interested in terrorism. Most Muslims are not even interested in politics, much less political Islam. France is a country of 66 million, of which about 5 million is of Muslim heritage. But in polling, only a third, less than 2 million, say that they are interested in religion. […] Al-Qaeda wants to mentally colonize French Muslims, but faces a wall of disinterest. But if it can get non-Muslim French to be beastly to ethnic Muslims on the grounds that they are Muslims, it can start creating a common political identity around grievance against discrimination. […] Most of France will also remain committed to French values of the Rights of Man, which they invented. But an insular and hateful minority will take advantage of this deliberately polarizing atrocity to push their own agenda. Europe’s future depends on whether the Marine LePens are allowed to become mainstream. Extremism thrives on other people’s extremism, and is inexorably defeated by tolerance. It’s not a long article and worth reading for the similar tactics carried out by Stalinists in the early 20th century as well as by al-Qaeda in Iraq which led to the sort of success that Daesh/ISIL/ISIS has achieved recently. If the article is right then the absolute worst thing that could be done is to further isolate Muslims or accuse their religion of not opposing terrorism; that to think in right-wing terms and...

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ColdZyme
Dec07

ColdZyme

I just saw an advert on television for Boots promoting ColdZyme, the spray that fights off the common cold. Somehow. When all other attempts to ward it off have failed for decades. My skeptisense tingled. I searched online… Pop along to Coldzyme: a result of real science being left out in the cold for a look at ColdZyme and its apparent ability to perform a feat no medicine can perform (not “no other medicine” because it claims not to be a medicine for probably legal reasons (remember kids, always treat your illnesses and afflictions with things worded to get around legalities to stick it to the man)). The article takes a look at the science behind ColdZyme (so it’s not a terribly long read, obviously) and finds its claims lacking, as I’m sure you’ve already surmised, you not being a moron and all that. What is this breakthrough, miracle product that will powerfully break down viruses? Well, an enzyme called trypsin. An enzyme that merrily and plentifully kicks about in your digestive system, breaking down proteins. An enzyme which, for the purposes of this product, is inexplicabl[y] being derived from cod (which has meant that I have had to resist the urge to refer to it as somewhat fishy.) An enzyme which should be stored at temperatures of between -20 and -80 degrees Celsius, to prevent autolysis. Now, I’ve seen some fancy medicine packaging in my time, but never a simple mouth spray bottle that can manage such storage feats. So, if trypsin really is present in this product, then it seems fairly likely that it’s going to be inactive, unless the manufacturers have found a way of warping room temperature. Okay. The “fishy” pun has been taken but I think I can still use the word “codswallop” to feast upon a free boost of the smugness hormone in my body, right? Take that cold virus! Tissue box photo courtesy of David...

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Christadelphians
Nov16

Christadelphians

Through the letterbox popped something from Portsmouth Christadelphians… Scepticism about the Bible? I was intrigued. Could this be a local group with a rational outlook when it comes to religious matters? I took a look at their website The Evidence – You Decide. The answer to my question was no. I’ll explain. The website starts with a challenge: The Bible is either a great hoax or a message of great relevance and help. Immediately, they’re removing other options so that they perform a little trick: if they can subsequently remove one of the two choices you’ll be more likely to fall for the message that whatever remains must be the truth. This is a con. Over the rest of the website all they need to do is produce enough weak or anecdotal evidence to support eliminating the hoax option and that will leave them with the “message of great relevance and help” and, by extension, reinforcing the “it must all be true” mantra. Where are the other options? That it’s just a bunch of stories told by superstitious shepherds that morphed into a religion? That it’s a collection of appropriations from other religious tales and in no way the word of a sky pixie? That it’s a means to control people used throughout history by whoever is in charge? That it undergoes changes in interpretation over the centuries to fit the facts of the time? The next section is “accurate predictions” and included are a handful of different types of predictions: vague ones that can mean anything, obvious ones that anyone could see would happen, and potentially specific ones. The problem is that the predictions almost universally come from the portion of the Bible that was passed down by word of mouth and not written until long after the events. Further, the accurate predictions all refer to things that already happened absolutely ages ago, conveniently enough. Where’s the prediction about Islamic State? Where’s the prediction about Americans and Russians almost starting nuclear war? Where’s the prediction about what’s going to happen in the next hundred years? This is not evidence of anything other than the gullibility of humans. Many of the techniques used in these sorts of predictions are used these days too by the scam artists who go around calling themselves psychics and mediums (people that the Catholic church itself says are charlatans because a) it’s true and b) they don’t want anyone else muscling in on their territory). Moreover, this section is a great example of cherry picking data. Why doesn’t the site present the “predictions” that didn’t come true? Skipping over to the “Science & The...

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Witchcraft In Tanzania
Oct18

Witchcraft In Tanzania

Yet again we’ve got poor education and superstitions (or convenient excuses) leading to the brutal deaths of mostly women, this time occurring in Tanzania. Horribly, there are two examples within a few weeks of one another. Firstly, from Seven Suspected of Witchcraft Burned to Death: Seven people accused of witchcraft have been burned alive in Tanzania, police said Friday, adding they have arrested 23 people in connection with the crimes. “They were attacked and burnt to death by a mob of villagers who accused them of engaging in witchcraft,” the police chief for the western Kigoma region which borders Burundi, Jafari Mohamed, told AFP. “Five of those killed were aged over 60, while the other two were aged over 40,” he added. Elderly women are the highest risk group and the brutal attacks are usually justified as responses to bad luck, infertility, accidents, etc. The logic of assuming that the elderly woman must be responsible is completely nonexistent as surely the “witch” would have cast her spells of misfortune earlier in her life but logic doesn’t get much room in the irrational brain. A possible factor in the late-in-life blaming of women is offered up in that article as some women start to get red eyes, a side effect of the cooking style employed. Differences are scary. In a similar vein albinos are often the targets of attacks in this and other parts of Africa. The second article, Two Women Accused of Witchcraft Hacked To Death, has this to say: Two Tanzanian women were hacked to death by men who accused them of casting spells that made them sexually impotent, police said on Friday, in the latest killings of alleged “witches”. The women, one aged in her 80s and her 45-year old daughter, were killed in the village of Ihugi in Tanzania’s northern Shinyanga province late on Tuesday. Three men slit their throats and then chopped their bodies up, local police chief Justus Kamugisha said, adding that their neighbour was suspected of carrying out the attack after he believed they had made him unable to have sex. Burned alive or a slit throat? Either way, until there’s reduced poverty and better education – which would ideally include a reduction in strong beliefs in any superstitious crap (including religion) – and a shift away from very dominant male-driven societal groups these sorts of gruesome murders will continue. So that’s Tanzania off the visit list...

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A Photograph Of A Ghost Girl
Aug28

A Photograph Of A Ghost Girl

Via the Metro website we learn that Thomas Beavis may have taken a photograph of a ghost of a girl in an apparently “notorious haunted mansion in Ireland.” I can see what the photographer of the “ghost” and the “reporter” Ollie McAteer are getting at because that picture of a person against glass certainly looks quite ethereal. You know what else is ethereal? A reflection. It’s glass, there are people outside, it’s brighter out than in, and there’s a woman immediately to the left of the one in pink the same height as the spectre, wearing apparently similar clothing to the spirit, and angled in a mirror image way to the apparition. Is this a picture of a ghost girl? Don’t be so bloody...

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