Monthly Archives: October 2012

Say “Tata” to Unwanted Wrinkles and Slap the Years Right Off Your Face!

Are you willing to pay $350 in the name of beauty? Do you have no sense of scientific literacy and want to get a quick fix? Do believe that anything coming from the “mythical land of the East” is magical? Then welcome to Tata Massage, where trained specialists are waiting to literally slap the wrinkles away! These Thai specialists are waiting to smack some sense into you, and some wrinkles out of you. So come on down to the new store in San Francisco, California, where Tata Massage celebrated their grand opening on October 23rd! Or, you know… don’t.

Posted in Biographical, Culture, Medicine & Health, Psychology, Science, Skepticism | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Weapon of Comedy – Why Humour Gets the Point Across

ResearchBlogging.org
The skilled assassin appears before the onlooker’s eyes – everyone knows why he’s here, so they are ready for an onslaught. If one weapon doesn’t work, another might, and the assassin came equipped. In a flash, he’s out of sight – but he appears again with full force, defeating the enemies before they can do anything to stop him. But if you thought this assassin was thirsty for blood, think again. He’s not a master of swords, but a master of words; and the only thing he’s going to be killing is resistance. That’s because, while he’s famous for his skill, he’s known for the word on his business card: Comedian.

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The Death of Film Culture?

“Film culture, at least in the sense people once used that phrase, is dead or dying,” says Andrew O’Hehir, writing for Salon. “There’s no point in pretending that movies play the same dominant role in our culture that they once did or that art-house movies of the sort the NYFF [New York Film Festival] so lovingly curates have any impact at all on the American cultural mainstream.” As a movie-loving New Yorker, O’Hehir raises some interesting points when he talks about the death of film culture, arguing that TV has taken film over as the primary means to developing our popular culture. But is he right? Is film culture dead?

Posted in Culture | 2 Comments

Is “Outing” an Internet Troll Going Too Far?

If you don’t know the word “troll,” you probably haven’t been on the internet enough. An “internet troll” is like a cyber-bully, except they usually don’t have a specific target. They essentially say things to get a reaction, probably because they feel that that’s enough to momentarily alleviate their feelings of insignificance in a world where they don’t get enough attention. The anonymity of the internet makes it possible to get away with saying hurtful things, so there is a whole sad subculture of individuals who have far too much free time, trolling away as if to say “someone acknowledge me!” But with all the freedom of speech and censorship issues in the news recently, it’s important to consider: Is it ever ethical to out an internet troll?

Posted in Biographical, Culture, Legal Issues, Media | 4 Comments

Top 5 Quotes of Stupid America’s War on Smart People

The American war on smart people is incredible. For some reason, there has been a growing disdain for intellect and distrust for education in the “Greatest Country in the World,” and this year’s presidential election has never ceased to amaze me at every turn. The idea that people should not be educated, think critically, or be honest is ridiculous, foolish, and dangerous. Obviously not all education is equal (i.e,. unaccredited universities are garbage) and not all smart people are educated (nor are all educated people smart). But in general, no one should dismiss or denigrate education. So here is a list of the five most egregious quotes that demonstrate the growing animosity towards intelligence and education in America.

Posted in Aggregators/lists/rankings, Biology & Evolution, Culture, Featured, Legal Issues, Media, Psychology, Science, Skepticism | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Shinya Yamanaka, stem cells, and the Next Generation of Medicine

Japanese researcher Shinya Yamanaka has been a big name in science for years, but now his research has finally been validated by the Nobel committee. He and British researcher John Gurdon and Yamanaka have just been awarded the Nobel prize in medicine “for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent.” Because of their discoveries, the science of cellular biology has evolved, textbooks have been rewritten, and new fields of study have been invented. After more specific research, doctors will be able to heal things that we never thought could be fixed, and change the way medicine is practiced.

Posted in Biographical, Biology & Evolution, Japan, Medicine & Health, Science | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

If dating an 18 year old at 30 is okay, is dating a 12 year old okay at 24?

Meet Miki Akama, the twelve year-old model from Canada. While she was eight, 20-year-old amateur music instructor and Chinese pop star Zhang Muyi was hired to be her coach. What happened within four years is more of a mystery to us onlookers; but whatever happened, the two have since publicly exchanged mutual declarations of love.

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Skeptikai Notices (October 6) – Not-so-United States of America

The last few weeks have been considerably disconcerting from the United State of America. They may as well start calling it the States of America, because the political climate in the country seems to be polarizing that “unity” is now practically a foreign word. The excerpts that follow are from stories that were in the news over the last few weeks; stories that may be as shocking as they are dumbfounding. But then again, this is America we’re talking about – the land of the free and the home of the brave. After all, it takes a brave man to yell at people from a street corner. And he’ll be damned if you take away his right to do so.

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Top 50 Universities of 2012-2013 (World, Continent, and Subject Rankings)

The new ranking of best universities in the world for 2012-2013 has just been released, showing that – once again – America has the highest amount of prestigious schools in the world. The top ranking school was the California Institute of Technology, which was also #1 last year, and #2 the year prior. But which universities faired the best on their respective continents? And which countries had the highest rankings for specific areas of study? And does it even matter anyways?

Posted in Aggregators/lists/rankings, Japan | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Japan Introduces New Environment Tax

The Japanese government has introduced an carbon tax on Monday, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This tax comes on top of an already existing one for businesses paying for crude oil and coal imports. The government will raise the tax every two years until 2016.

Companies are likely to raise prices in order to cover higher fuel bills, which will obviously affect consumers. Gasoline and utility costs are expected to rise as well. The money gained will be used to boost clean energy and power-saving projects, but many people are arguing that this tax will have only a small effect.

Posted in Japan, Legal Issues | Tagged | 1 Comment