#TAMOz – Pricing, Website, Ticket Availability.

#TAMOz (The Amazing Meeting: Australia)’s website is now LIVE! Check it out now for all the official information on TAM Australia including confirmed speakers, venue details, accommodation, and most importantly … ticket pricing and availability!

For up to the moment information the three best ways to keep yourself in the loop are all via social networking methods.

I could repeat some of the details here to try and drum up support, but personally I think it’s easier if you just go to the official website.  I for one cannot wait.  Such big names from overseas I would not have had any way to see or meet beforehand, coming to my fair little town.  To quote The Cat from Red Dwarf “I’m so excited, all six of my nipples are tingling!”.

AVN talk at the State Library of WA is going ahead as we speak, and that’s good.

I should have spoken up earlier.  It’s currently 6pm in Western Australia, Meryl Dorey is setting up for her talk at the State Library of WA.  As a believer in science and reality based medicine, I am disappointed this is going ahead.  I am also glad.

When Meryl first announced her talk in Perth at the Uniting Church in The City, many people from the StopAVN group contacted them to let them know the reality behind the Australian Vaccination Network, what they really stood for and would really be talking about.  UCiTC were shocked, and decided in the end to cancel the booking.

The Australian Vaccination Network then looked around and lined up a new venue, the State Library of Western Australia.  They told Meryl they often have controversial groups talk, so would not cancel.  True to their word, once contacted by StopAVN members they responded in a similar way and allowed the talk to continue.  Continue reading

New website launched to counter AVN.

Australia’s Anti Vaccination group, the Australian Vaccination Network are doing a seminar tomorrow in Perth.  They like to claim they give parents both sides of the vaccination “debate” to “let them decide”, a statement I covered in yesterday’s post.  However, I am yet to see them give any positive information on vaccines.  As a matter of fact, the only information I have seen from them on vaccines has been completely wrong.  This is quite disturbing for a group who claims to be the “vaccination watchdog”, and run by someone who claims to be “the leading expert in Australia on vaccines”.

Also as I said yesterday, you cannot give information and misinformation on equal platters and ask people to decide for themselves.  That’s just unproductive and dangerous as it gives people the false impression that the misinformation is justified and supported.  So, to counter the misinformation and blatant lies by the AVN in tomorrow’s seminar, a website has been launched specifically to correct the AVN’s incorrect claims. Continue reading

Wowzers trying to stop science again.

Earlier today I tweeted about a breakthrough by some Australian scientists after they created the first ever artificial life.  It’s the world’s first fully synthetic cell, controlled by man-made DNA.  But that’s not what this post is about.  No.  It only took a few hours, but the wowzers are already out in force trying to put a premature end to this breakthrough and once again slow down science.

The reasons they’re using to try and stop it are their completely unfounded fears, and completely fictitious invisible friends.  Continue reading

Cult of Scientology under (deserved) attack again.

The Cult of Scientology has been under deserved attack by Australia’s media again.  This time it was three TV shows on three separate networks, all with the same story.  ABC’s Lateline on the 18th of May broke the story, this was followed up by Seven’s Today Tonight and Nine’s A Current Affair simultaneously airing their own versions of the same story on the 19th of May.

The basic premise behind the story is the daughter of the President of the Cult here in Australia was born in to the cult, spent all her childhood inside it, but has now escaped.  She gives an expose as to what it was like being brought up.  Children overcrowded in small houses, untrained “babysitters” looking after 30+ very young children for days at a time with no assistance.  If the authorities did come in to take a look, most of the kids were taken out on an excursion with CoS crews sent in to dismantle the incriminating furniture (cots etc).

It’s a horrible story of basic child abuse.  There may have been no direct physical abuse but the mental, the lack of care for the children, it’s deplorable.  Rather than bore you, I’ll let you watch all three pieces for yourself.

Edit: Last night on Lateline they had a follow-up, this time reports of actual sexual abuse of children which the Cult of Scientology covered up in ways scarily similar to how the Catholic Church is doing it.  My only wishes are that people leaving the Catholic Church would secretly take incriminating documents out with them as is happening to the Cult.  Two new videos added below, the report on the abuse and coverup as well as an interview with Amy Scobee. Continue reading

I survived Mind Body Spirit, and all I got was a lousy anxiety attack.

Just got home from the Mind Body Wallet Spirit Festival in Sydney.  This is a bi-annular (twice a year) festival that happens in most major cities across Australia promoting woo of all kinds.  It’s the biggest woo-fest in Australia.

Met up with some friends out the front (Richard shown here doing what he does best, nomming the sign that was made to get our group’s attention), and in we went.  Unlike my recent visit to Newton’s Pharmacy (a “pharmacy” that deals 100% in homeopathy and other woo, no legitimate medicine to be found), my nasal senses weren’t violently assaulted upon entering which was good.  I didn’t last as long as the people I went with, and it wasn’t from the woo.  More on that later.

There were numerous stalls I wanted to look at to see what the woo was they were offering as a quick glance didn’t make it overly clear, however more often than not if I wanted a closer look there was already a large group of non-moving people in front of the stall not allowing me to get close enough without actively engaging a stall holder.  I’m not exactly good at confrontations and taking people on, so this is something I don’t quite feel comfortable doing as yet. Continue reading

We only like you because you’re good in blog.

It’s April 22nd here in Australia which means according to the SheThought.com blog (which incidentally I suggest you read), it’s time for me and all other self professed skeptics around the world to blog about blogging.

The topic I’ve decided to cover on blogging is comments, or more specifically spam.  Comments in themselves are a huge thing that most first time bloggers don’t usually realise will become such a drama, but it is something worth thinking about.  What kind of moderation will you put in place?  What automated systems?  How will you handle abusive comments?  Trolls (people who post purely to upset others)?  Fights?  Threats?

These are all things to think about, and on this blog here I have yet to actually decide on a policy myself despite this blog being well over a year old already.  I have full moderation turned on, meaning I have to approve every single comment.  I want it this way until I decide on a policy as I don’t want to be pulling comments that have already appeared.  I am also yet to refuse a comment submission with one exception.  That exception being, if it looked like spam. Continue reading

Cult of Scientology – Premiere night for their new DVD.

I have just arrived home from a premiere screening put on by the Cult of Scientology.  One of their many arms to be precise, known as the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.  The CCHR is the arm of the Cult that attacks Psychiatry, spreading misinformation and blatant lies about the profession in an attempt to lower peoples connections to reality and soften them up for when the Cult of Scientology comes along with their Dianetics books, though they do not pimp the books directly themselves.

Tonight the CCHR were having a premiere screening of a new DVD they were releasing titled “The Marketing of Madness”.  They had posted an invitation to an email distribution group concentrating on health, and from this location a friend who subscribes to this list forwarded it on to me.  I tried to get some others to join me, but they were smarter than I was and never showed up. 🙂 Continue reading

Catchup #4: Autism Awareness Month.

Finally in my catchup is another thing people may not be aware of, this month is Autism Awareness Month.  It’s a good time to remind the anti-vaxxers that vaccines and autism have no relation what so ever.  We don’t need crackpots running around spoiling things for everyone, what we need to help beat autism is good science, understanding by the general public, and methods that work such as early intervention.

You can check out the Autism Spectrum Australia website for a bunch of events happening this month to promote what is going on, including Autism Hour at 9am on April 30.

Take part and help out, please.

Catchup #3: World Homeopathy Awareness Week.

This week just gone has been World Homeopathy Awareness Week.  I would not be surprised if you didn’t.  For an event that is supposed to promote Homeopathy, they are sure doing their best to keep it quiet.

A week ago I decided to try to help them out a little.  I jumped on their facebook page and started posting useful information in regards to homeopathy.  Websites that have been used in the last year already to promote homeopathy and its efficacy, such as 1023.org.uk and What’s The Harm’s pages on Homeopathy.  Surprisingly, I was booted from their fan page and have been rejoining twice at day at the very least ever since.  Continue reading