This blog post is a follow-up to my blog post from March, “Back on yer bike”.
I purchased my current bike in 2006. At the time I was living in Chatswood and intended to get fit enough to ride to work in North Sydney. That went well for a few months, unfortunately a month after buying the bike my company purchased another company, and decided to merge & move to the city. Riding to North Sydney was already enough of a challenge for a very unfit me who hadn’t exercised since leaving school 10 years earlier. That extra distance was a bit too far a bit too soon for me (especially the climb from Milsons Point station to the top of Miller St for the trip home in the evenings), and so the towel was thrown in and the bike had its first extended stint in the garage. 3 months and unknown km’s traveled, but if I recall correctly it was less than 200km. Read more…
I enjoy cycling, I’m just not very good at it. I used to think I was good at it, until I discovered what as a kid I thought were “epic distances” were distances most people in the cycling community wouldn’t even consider a warm-up.
The problem is, because I’m not very good at it I usually get in to cycling every year or two, it lasts anywhere from a week to three months, then the bike doesn’t get touched again for another year or two.
Right now I’m in another of those resurgences, and the world as I know it is completely different. Read more…
The ACL (Australian Christian Lobby) has recently started a campaign to get their followers and supporters to get Margaret Court nominated and voted in as a National Living Treasure by the National Trust of Australia. Women’s Day, one of the most popular gossip mags here in Australia, has a website with a short-list of 100 nominees where you can vote.
In an attempt to counter this, we’d like to try to get as many people as possible to vote instead for Professor Ian Frazer (#32 in the list), the inventor of the Gardasil vaccine. Reasons why you should support him are given below the jump. Read more…
EDIT: BREAKING NEWS! It appears StopAVN have done something fantastic and unexpected at Woodford Folk Festival! Please scroll down to the next bolded “EDIT:” and ensure even if you don’t read most of this, you at least read that!!!
Who are the Australian Vaccination Network?
The Australian Vaccination Network (AVN), despite all claims to the contrary, are an anti-vaccination group. They are headed up by Meryl Dorey and claim they’re not, they claim they just support informed choice and provide a counter to the governments provides. However, the information the AVN provide is wrong on almost all counts which means it’s not really an informed choice they’re providing but a misinformed one, and if the governments provides is pro-vaccine, then any stance counter to that surely must be anti?
Their preferred sources of information are not scientific studies, but rather conspiracy theorist sites such as whale.to (a site that collects any and all articles and claims no matter how crazy and unsubstantiated they are), conspiracy theorists such as David Icke (who promotes world leaders and the royal family being lizard people), and people with revoked medical licenses such as the disgraced Andrew Wakefield.
They’ve had their charity license revoked. In the last two years, only two issues of their 6/year magazine “Living Wisdom” has been released (and despite being so far behind in issues owed, they’re still actively pushing subscriptions). They regularly cry oppression, censorship and demand free speech, despite blocking/banning anyone who dares counter their supposed-not president Meryl Dorey with information that is nothing more than factual. They have also been caught filing numerous false DMCA requests to hide public and factual information they don’t like. The Australian Vaccination Network about as hypocritical as one can get. Read more…
The weekend of February 5th and 6th will showcase the second year of the #Ten23 campaign across the world. It is a campaign with similar goals to World Homeopathy Awareness Week. WHAW seeks to educate the public about what homeopathy is and how it works, and tell people it does work. 10:23 seeks to educate the public about what homeopathy actually is, how it actually works, and its actual efficacy.
The events in Australia are being centrally co-ordinated by Kylie Sturgess at the website for her podcast, The Token Skeptic, with (currently) more cities in Australia being involved than any other country. For more information on what’s happening near you, just keep an eye on that page for updates.
Those overseas, there’s no better site than the official 10:23 website.
As per my previous post, the Shorty Awards are now OPEN for nominations! Time to get voting!
What you need to do:
There’s a few things you need to keep in mind so I’d like to spell them out nice and early if I could.
- Your twitter account MUST be an active one. Any accounts with zero tweets will not be counted, and if too many such accounts are seen voting for someone, that person could end up being disqualified so do NOT create dummy or bot accounts.
- Your nomination/vote MUST have a reason included. Any nominations or votes without a reason will not be counted.
- Create a twitter account and post a few tweets on it. If you’re not sure how to use twitter then following Lucas Randall’s #TAMOz list may be a good place to start.
- Get involved, reply to people, have a conversation.
- Post some nomination tweets in the format of “I nominate (person) for a Shorty Award in (#category) because (reason)” or a shorter version of “#shortyawards (person) #category (reason)”.
- And of course, spread the word on twitter, facebook, blogs, and any other method available to you (even real life!).
You can keep an eye on how things are going here.
Some of my suggestions are:
“I nominate @DrRachie for a Shorty Award in #health because she does such standup work against quacks.”
“I nominate @BastardSheep for a Shorty Award in #NoPants because #NoPants is life!”
“I nominate @BadAstronomer for a Shorty Award in #science because he always brings us such interesting and amazing info.”
“I nominate @GeorgeHrab for a Shorty Award in #entertainment because of his awesome podcast, music and comedy stylings.”
“I nominate @PZMyers for a Shorty Award in #Religion because of his push to use reason instead of it.”
“I nominate @jref for a Shorty Award in #Education because of their promotion of reason in schooling.”
“I nominate @RSPCA for a Shorty Award in #charity because of the awesome work they do for animals.”
“I nominate @nocompulsoryvac for a Shorty Award in #Quacks because of her tireless effort to spread lies about vaccines.”
Of course, you should feel free to nominate who ever you’d like, and remember you actually CAN nominate multiple people in one category.
Those of you who were around 12 months ago may remember the fun and games that happened during the Shorty Awards. Those of you who weren’t around or don’t remember, I’ll cover that below.
The Shorty’s are only a few weeks away from opening up for nominations, and I’d like to get a jump on that quacks this year so lets start spreading the message already. If you’re interested in helping out Science and Skepticism defeat the quacks, willingly ignorant and blatantly deceptive then please create a Twitter account (if you don’t have one already), get at least a few tweets out there and watch this space ready for the nominations and voting to commence. Read more…