Episode 108: Cryptozoology & Mythical Creatures

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem hunts cryptids with Laura, Ashlyn, and Lauren. Also on this episode: dubious advice, bad jokes, worse segues, and one very annoying pronunciation of the word “cryptozoology”!

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism that is produced by the Winnipeg Skeptics.

Links: Cryptozoology (Wikipedia) | List of cryptids (Wikipedia) | Modern Folklore, by Robert B. Durham (Google Books) | Thylacine (Wikipedia) | Maltese tiger (Wikipedia) | Mutant Big Cats | Loch Ness Monster (Wikipedia) | The Surgeon’s Photo | Second Loch Ness monster video swimming in the Thames (Daily Mail Online) | Patterson–Gimlin film (Wikipedia) | Mange (Wikipedia) | Tom Biscardi (Wikipedia) | “Finding Bigfoot” a Howler (Center for Inquiry) | Kting voar (Wikipedia) | Cambodia’s Mystery, the Horns That Never Were (NYTimes.com) | Pseudonovibos spiralis (Artiodactyla: Bovidae): new information on this enigmatic South-east Asian ox (Wiley Online Library) | Debate on the authenticity of Pseudonovibos spiralis as a new species of wild bovid from Vietnam and Cambodia (Wiley Online Library) | Rod (optics) (Wikipedia) | Man-eating tree (Wikipedia) | Manchineel (Wikipedia) | Raskovnik (Wikipedia) | Silphium (Wikipedia) | Vegetable Lamb of Tartary (Wikipedia) | Barnacle goose (Wikipedia) | Jackalope (Wikipedia) | Wolpertinger (Wikipedia) | Skvader (Wikipedia) | The world’s scariest rabbit lurks within the Smithsonian’s collection (Smithsonian Insider) | Shope papilloma virus (Wikipedia) | Tourist dies on search for Pope Lick monster

Correction: In this episode Gem mentioned that some crytpozoology enthusiasts claim that Lake Manitoba is home to the Winnipogo Monster. While it’s true that some believe that a monster swims the depths of Lake Manitoba, cryptozoologists actually claim that there are (at least) two separate lake monsters in Manitoba (although some sources treat them interchangeably). Lake Manitoba’s monster is of course the Manipogo, with the Winnipogo Monster apparently confined to Lake Winnipegosis.

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Episode 101: “Trace Amounts”

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn subjects Gem, Laura, Ian, and Dave to a viewing of “Trace Amounts”, a prominent anti-vaccine “documentary”. It is… not good.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism that is produced by the Winnipeg Skeptics.

Note: After we recorded this episode, news broke that prominent anti-vaccine group “SafeMinds” funded a $250,000 study in an attempt to demonstrate that thimerosal causes autism. The study was published at the end of September, and actually found no evidence that the thimerosal in vaccines has any link to autism or autism-like changes in the brain. And they killed 79 macaques to do it. Links discussing the study are provided below.

Links: Review of Trace Amounts (Skeptical Raptor) | Do vaccines contain toxic ingredients? (Public Health Agency of Canada) | The Alleged Autism Epidemic (Science-Based Medicine) | Chelation therapy (Wikipedia) | The CDC Whistleblower William Thompson Appears to Have Gone Full Antivaccine (Respectful Insolence) | Antivaxxers Still Flogging Thimerosal (NeuroLogica) | Has the Government Conceded Vaccines Cause Autism? (NeuroLogica) | Autism Court Ruling: Vaccines Didn’t Cause Autism (NeuroLogica) | Legal Courts and Science (NeuroLogica) | Spurious Correlations | Anti-Vaxxer Group Pays $250,000 for Study Showing That Vaccines Don’t Cause Autism (Raw Story) | Killing Monkeys to Prove Vaccines STILL Don’t Cause Autism (Rebecca Watson) | TRC #370: Antibacterial Soap + Maple Water + Anti-Vaxxers Funding Fail + Top CO2 Emitters (The Reality Check) | PilesOfEvidence.com

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SkeptiCamp Winnipeg: Humanist Giving and Philanthropy

Until now, several of the talks presented at SkeptiCamp Winnipeg 2013 have been missing from our SkeptiCamp archives. This omission has now been remedied.

Embedded below is Ashlyn Noble’s talk from SkeptiCamp Winnipeg 2013. In addition to heading up the Winnipeg Skeptics and a host of other volunteering responsibilities, in 2013 Ashlyn Noble was interning with the Foundation Beyond Belief. In her spare time, she sings with the Rainbow Harmony Project and spends too much time on the internet.

SkeptiCamp Winnipeg is a conference for the sharing of ideas. It is free and open to the public: anyone can attend and participate! Presentations and discussions focus on science and free inquiry, and the audience is encouraged to challenge presenters to defend their ideas. You can visit our SkeptiCamp page for information about upcoming events and links to past SkeptiCamp talks.

SkeptiCamp Winnipeg: WiFi and Cell Phones: Should You Really Be Worried?

Until now, several of the talks presented at SkeptiCamp Winnipeg 2013 have been missing from our SkeptiCamp archives. Audio of Ashlyn Noble’s talk from 2013 will be available on Friday.

Embedded below is Gem Newman’s talk from SkeptiCamp Winnipeg 2013. Gem Newman is a member of the steering committee (and now the board of directors) of Bad Science Watch, a Canadian non-profit science advocacy organization. He is also the founder and former organiser of the Winnipeg Skeptics, one of the producers of the Life, the Universe & Everything Else podcast, and the lead developer at Invenia Technical Computing. Gem writes occasionally for Skeptic North.

A transcript of this talk, including references, links, and some helpful illustrations, is available here.

SkeptiCamp Winnipeg is a conference for the sharing of ideas. It is free and open to the public: anyone can attend and participate! Presentations and discussions focus on science and free inquiry, and the audience is encouraged to challenge presenters to defend their ideas. You can visit our SkeptiCamp page for information about upcoming events and links to past SkeptiCamp talks.

Episode 90: “Resonance: Beings of Frequency”

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Gem, Ashlyn, Ian, and Laura discuss some terrible films (and one that’s pretty good), including “Resonance: Beings of Frequency”, a YouTube film that rivals “Thrive” in the contest for most misleading documentary.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism that is produced by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

Links: Resonance: Beings of Frequency | Schumann resonances (Wikipedia) | Alpha wave (Wikipedia) | Electroencephalography (Wikipedia) | Electromagnetic fields and public health (WHO) | WiFi and Cell Phones: Should You Really Be Worried? (The Winnipeg Skeptics) | Investigation of Anti-WiFi Activism in Canada (Bad Science Watch) | Bees, CCD, and Cell phones: Still no Link. (Bug Girl’s Blog) | Guest Post: Honey bees, CCD, and the Elephant in the Room (Bug Girl’s Blog) | The Coming Beepocalypse (Bug Girl’s Blog) | SkeptiCamp Winnipeg: Self-Proclaimed Diet Gurus and the Shams They Peddle (The Winnipeg Skeptics) | An Honest Liar (2014) (IMDb) | Hungry for Change (2012) (IMDb) | Left Behind (2014) (IMDb)

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SkeptiCamp Winnipeg: Species and Speciation

Lamprey image by Drow Male via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Lamprey image by Drow Male via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Embedded below is Erin Spice’s talk from SkeptiCamp Winnipeg 2014. Erin works at the University of Manitoba, where she divides her time between teaching undergrads how to dissect things and doing research in a fish genetics lab. She has been a skeptic since her late teens, when she discovered the awesomeness of science.

SkeptiCamp Winnipeg is a conference for the sharing of ideas. It is free and open to the public: anyone can attend and participate! Presentations and discussions focus on science and free inquiry, and the audience is encouraged to challenge presenters to defend their ideas. You can visit our SkeptiCamp page for information about upcoming events and links to past SkeptiCamp talks.

Episode 82: What Have You Changed Your Mind About?

In this episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else, Ashlyn Noble, Gem Newman, and Ian James discuss several of the things that, as skeptics, they’ve changed their minds out.

Life, the Universe & Everything Else is a program promoting secular humanism and scientific skepticism presented by the Winnipeg Skeptics and the Humanists, Atheists & Agnostics of Manitoba.

Links: Reasonable Doubts Episode 43: Stewards of This Earth | PETA Embraces Autism Pseudoscience | Gem’s Favourite Recipes | Insite Supervised Injection Site | Harm Reduction in Public Health | Ramtha/J.Z. Knight at the Skeptic’s Dictionary | Your Friday Dose of Woo: H2Ooooooommmm | Masaru Emoto’s Wonderful World of Water | A Grain of Truth: Recreating Dr. Emoto’s Rice Experiment | Can Thinking Change Reality? | Geocentrism – Seriously? | Donate to Habitat for Humanity’s Muddy Waters Ride (Gem) | Donate to Habitat for Humanity’s Muddy Waters Ride (Laura) | HAAM’s Atheist Bible Study

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