Category Archives: Media

Pseudoscientists interview

It’s been a while since I’ve posted but rest assured the club is still going strong. An incredibly hectic school term plus a new baby in my life has limited my blogging time.

About two weeks ago, on the last day of term, Ted Janet came to McKinnon to conduct an interview with Liz Riaikkenen and me. Liz had just spoken for the Vic Skeptics and Ted was keen to spend a little more time listening to what she had to say.

The interview is available on the Young Australian Skeptics website but here is the direct link:

Interview with Ted Janet

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SkepticZone interview

Of course you all know about The Skeptic Zone, The Podcast from Australia for Science and Reason. It’s hosted by Richard Saunders plus several regular guests including Dr. Rachie and Maynard. It focuses on scepticism in Australia but also has a lot of international guests including most recently, the great Ben Radford.

At the end of this latest episode Richard interviewed me briefly about our recent staring experiment. It was a fun little chat only occasionally interrupted by overhead planes.

It’s free to download and well worth subscribing too. It beats listening to breakfast radio on the way to work.

Download here (I’m at 47:20)

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The Skeptic – It’s Behind You!

In the latest issue of The Skeptic a two-page spread was devoted to our staring experiment from several weeks ago. They have kindly made it their feature article which means you can download a PDF of it for free.

Even better though would be to subscribe! It’s very cheap, very worthwhile and goes towards a very good cause.

Do it. You’ll feel good about it tomorrow.

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SkeptiCamp 2011

SkeptiCamps are day long events where anybody interested can put their name on a list and give a short talk, around 20 minutes or so.  Last year I introduced my group to an audience which while small did contain certain sceptical luminaries such as Dr. Rachie and Lawrence Leung.

Below is a video of the talk I gave for you to either enjoy, or fast forward through to the end.

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“The Skeptic” magazine article and public appearances

Hello, world.

I’m about to recommend a wonderful magazine to you for two reasons. One is altruistic and the other is shameless attention seeking.

The Skeptic is a quarterly published magazine produced by the Australian Skeptics Inc. It’s over 30 years old and features some incredibly diverse articles on all matters sceptical. Being produced by Australians means that it focuses on issues affecting us specifically, but there is plenty of international news and opinion in there to cater the most well-travelled sceptic.

I highly recommend that you subscribe to this magazine not just for your own sake, but also to support the Australian Skeptics who do an amazing job at promoting science and scepticism and tirelessly fighting against woo. At $44 a year it’s a complete steal.

Also, the latest issue has a feature article written by yours truly titled School of Thought which details some of my experiences and some advice for anybody thinking of following suit. I fully expect my Mum to subscribe for this reason alone.

Additionally, I’ll be giving some public talks throughout the year. They will (obviously) be about the sceptical society and what I’ve learnt from the experience. The dates are:

24th of May, 7:30pm- Humanist Society of Victoria (Balwyn Library, 336 Whitehorse Rd, Balwyn)

5th June, 7:30pm – Mordialloc Skeptics (Mordialloc Sporting Club, 528 Main St, Mordialloc

20th August, 8pm (dinner from 6pm) – Vic Skeptics (La Notte Restaurant, 140 Lygon St, Carlton)

I’d love to see people come along to have a listen and a chat. The more the merrier!

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Interviewed by Richard Saunders on the Skeptic Zone!

Just coming off my whirlwind tour of the channel Ten studios, Richard Saunders grabbed me for a quick Skype interview for his wonderful podcast, The Skeptic Zone.

Richard is a very special member of the McKinnon Secondary Sceptical Society, being both the initial inspiration for the group and our first guest speaker. The students had such a wonderful time with him and can’t wait to have him back. It was really fantastic being interviewed by him, despite him still suffering from a flu. Get well soon, Richard!

Please check out his podcast, it’s very entertaining and a really wonderful resource for sceptics, particularly Australian ones.

Episode #173 – 11.2.12

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McKinnon sceptics in the media

School holidays have just finished and a couple of very cool things have happened so far. The first of which was a fantastic Age article written by Jewel Topsfield about the sceptical society. With the interesting title of “Sceptical group brave enough to tackle the big issues, like the Stallone rump reading” the article talks about why I started the group and what sorts of things we cover. The title was a reference to Jacqueline Stallone’s business of “rumpology“.

With the exception of a couple of bizarre emails the feedback from the article has been overwhelmingly positive. Many people have commented on their appreciation of children being taught how to avoid falling for cons and getting sucked into the potentially dangerous world of pseudoscience.

The best result from the article was getting contacted by a producer of channel Ten’s The Circle asking me to come and have a quick chat on the show. I immediately agreed and spend the next few weeks nervously planning what I would say. This turned out to be a waste of time because I had no idea what I was going to be asked, but I think I winged it ok. It was a really amazing experience and everybody there was fantastically friendly, from the producer to the backstage crew to the hosts.

Fingers crossed that I will be asked back, I’m pretty sure I’d be more comfortable a second time 🙂

If you liked my appearance and want to see more scepticism on Australian television, please contact the show via thecircle@networkten.com.au or Twitter. I think there are a lot of people out there who would like to see something countering the numerous psychics that they have on their show.

Hopefully this isn’t the end of our media appearances, I assume a movie deal is just around the corner.

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