Purely a figment of your imagination

What amuses, annoys, concerns or otherwise interests me – Noodlemaz


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‘Biodynamic farming’ bullshit

This was always going to be nonsense. The first time I clocked “Biodynamic” produce was as advertised by a stand selling waffles with an added egg option at the (wonderful – you should go) Maltby Street Market in London (UK).

What the fuck is a biodynamic egg?!

I exclaimed quietly to myself, assuming it was some quirk specific to this company or a small group of hipster cafés. Sadly not.

On a call with a friend recently, he asked “Guess what the latest woo nonsense I came across is?!” and told me what biodynamic farming is actually about. Friends, we’ll get to that.

In between those two times, we took a trip to Sonoma county, CA USA, with some friends – a wine weekend! Let’s tour or do a tasting at one of these cute vineyards, we thought.

Then, the first one we arrive at has “Learn all about our unique Biodynamic Farming practices!” plastered on its signs. Ohhh, nooo. We shan’t be going here. (Sometimes the skepticism thing doesn’t earn you friend points). Where we ended up was lovely though!

So, what the hell is biodynamic farming?

In summary, it’s homeopathy magic for your fertiliser, with a bit of astrology and alchemy thrown in, based on the idea that a farm is a special cosmic entity whose “energy” you can manipulate to help your crops grow better.

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Whataboutery

The same people
Who say “Stop whining, women have it worse elsewhere”
Are the same people
Who say “HOW DARE YOU
Call me
privileged?
I have struggled.”

Not like millions have.
We are privileged
We can improve
These are not mutually exclusive things.

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Can we swap Noel Edmonds off TV?

Replace him with something preferably silent. This is doing the rounds:

  1. You should, because it isn’t
  2. He has apologised (not that it helps as it’s just another push for his quack-machine)
  3. The target of his remarks asks people not to hound Edmonds about it.

Noel is perhaps not an entirely well man, so it would be nice if people stopped interviewing him.

Why would someone even say this in the first place, and does it have any merit at all?

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QEDcon 2017

Rhys boyo and me! Ah, old now.

My 7th QED in a row came around in October 2017. The usual mess of train snacks and a bit of celebratory boozing on the train up, a different (bizarre) hotel – thanks, The Britannia! – and straight into catching up with old friends.

Volunteering last year was enjoyable, but there is always a great team managed by organiser Nicola so I felt OK giving someone else a go this time around.

Another brilliant event with lovely people and if I don’t make it in 2018 (due to being on another continent – more on that later!) – have a great 8th!

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QEDcon 2016

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Part of this year’s goodie bag – a QED sticker to adorn whatever you fancy

After about 13 hours of sleep post-QED, I started to write some words about it!

6 years in a row. A strange feeling walking back into a hotel room like one I stayed in 3 years ago, but quickly settling into familiarity, largely because of all the friendly faces to see and hugs to give/receive.

I haven’t been to many conventions in my time, but of those few, this skeptical event has to be the best by a long way.

Not just because the organisers are very talented and kind people I’m proud to call friends, or the consistently excellent, approachable and affable speakers, or because fellow attendees are a joy to be around (in all states of sobriety and so far from it). All of that and more.

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QEDcon 2015

As ever, the opening video didn’t disappoint – congratulations to all whose hard work made this tweaked Left Behind trailer funny and so technically impressive:

QED is my Christmas; or, what I imagine Christmas to be like for people who actually enjoy it. My family now is smaller than it was, and we do things our own way, so it’s better – but I’ve never been much of a fan. QEDcon is where I spend time with my chosen family, or most of them at least!

Topping 550 people in its 5th year, it had the same friendly, warm, welcoming and highly intoxicated atmosphere it always has. Continue reading


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London Skeptics: Truth and Lies In Advertising

A talk by Richard Burdett on the changing face of advertising during his career, and what kind of untruths we should actually be concerned about.

Given today I’ve been wound up by Brands jumping on the current advertising Bandwagon of ’50 Shades’ (because it glorifies abuse and could be doing some real damage – I wish brands would place their profits a bit lower in importance but that’s a pipedream) – here’s some stuff from last night’s skeptics meeting on Advertising.

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