Saturday, 2 January 2010

...and they're off!

Well then!

I've decided to start a new blog because the old one was a bit confused (it wasn't me that was confused, it was the blog.) This one isn't going to be as formal as my old blog and wont contain any research articles because I felt that it was a bit weird to go from a rational, researched and heavy article to a blog post about a snowman I just built in my garden. I'm sure you can see where I'm coming from with that.

I'll still be writing articles and stuff as part of the Righteous Indignation team and will probably post them on the RI website should I be allowed.

So, how to kick off my first blog post? I suppose it's only right to mention xmas. I got a new copy of Hitchhikers guide to the universe from my mum. WOOHOO!
Actually, I got mostly books from everyone which says a lot about me. Ha.

From my mum I was given Hitchhikers, The Time Travellers Wife and The Wintersmith (3rd book in the Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett.)
My dad gave me 'This house is haunted' by Guy Lyon Playfair which covers the Enfield poltergeist case - the investigation of which I find fascinating. This book is out of publication and so for my dad to buy me a copy was amazing.
My brother gave me Unseen Academicals - the new Terry Pratchett discworld novel and 'and another thing' by Eion Colfer, written as a fifth part of the Hitchhikers collection which was, of course, written by Douglas Adams.

Suffice to say I was pretty chuffed with the books I got, and the diary and jewellery box I got from my aunt and uncle too. Xmas day itself was a quiet, relaxed affair and it was bloody wonderful!

Then comes the new year, I can't really say much about it at the moment because we're not even a week into the new year!

All I know is that things are very busy on the skeptical front with the 10:23 campaign which has now moved into it's second stage. It is something I would ask you all to support and would love if you visited their site by clicking here and signed the open letter to Boots that asks them to withdraw the sale of homeopathic remedies that they openly admitted at the Commons Science and Technology Committee in 2009 don't work but sell and so that's why Boots - a brand many trust - sell homeopathic remedies that do sod all. Shame on them.

Many people have asked what the harm is, and, if people think homeopathy helps them with their health they are entitled to take the remedies which is true. However, we all know that having a shower after sexual intercourse with somebody who is HIV positive doesn't stop you from getting HIV like some people in South Africa preech, believe and practice.

We know that for people to believe such a thing, and even worse, to then practice such a thing is dangerous in the extreme and yet it happens because some people believe it helps. Surely if we are to say that people should be free to use homeopathy and provide homeopathy because some people believe it works then we should also be saying that it is okay to promote the idea, and even practice having after sex showers as a way to protect yourself from HIV because some people believe it works.

As Marsh often says on the Righteous Indignation podcast - THAT is where the harm is. It's fine to have the freedom to believe and do what you want, but there is a line that gets crossed as I personally feel Boots have crossed by selling homeopathy that they agree doesn't work but sells well and is in demand. What a compromise to make!

Ahem, so yeah - go support the cause if you, like me, think it's the right thing to do.

Also worth a mention is the 2009 review episode of Righteous Indignation where we recently handed out awards to people for categories such as 'Woo organisation of 2009', 'skeptic of 2009', 'most harmful demonstration of woo in 2009' and many others. It makes for compelling listening as Trystan, Marsh and I talk about the ups and downs of the past year.

Oh, and a thumbs up to the first person who can spot my hitchhikers guide to the galaxy reference in the 2009 review, I was so proud of myself even though Marsh and Trystan didn't get it.

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