This weekend was a nexus for all things geek in Calgary, with reported appearances of Adam West and the reunited cast of Star Trek The Next Generation at the Comic Expo. Organizers were expecting about 45,000 nerds (writes the guy with the Star Trek science officer insignia tattooed on his chest) but had to close the doors when they realized they forgot to carry the 2 in their calculations. The expo also attracted our good friend Nathan Hinman from Edmonton. He’s a recovering Mormon – the technical term for which we learned is ‘Formon’ – and he tells us about his journey from faith to faithlessness in another of our now infamous gang interviews.
We talk with Iain Martel from CFI Canada’s Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism and their scientific adivosory capacity in a recently launched class action suit against Shoppers Drug Mart for false claims listed on a homeopathic remedy for flu (the infamous oscillococcum). Plus Twylla gives us some insights into how this suit will move forward. Q-ray – are you next? (Interestingly, eHow talks about the side effects of oscillococcinum. Seriously. Why are you laughing?)
We have two stories to bring to you this week. The first is another Saskatoon item. Apparently, the Catholic Church there thinks they have need for a professional exorcist. Makes your head spin, don’t it? Okay, enough of the Linda Blair jokes. The second item is an example of how offense can be taken no matter how innocuous things are, at least in Kamloops. A picture of a woman in a niqab holding up a bra was so abhorrent that it was removed from where it was being displayed. Is this really an appropriate response to being offended? We don’t think so….
In 14, we discuss the offending merits of the photo of a woman in a niqab holding up a bra. Seriously, some find this offensive, at least in Kamloops. Also, we talk about demons on Saskatoon. Again, seriously. But it’s hard to keep a straight face.
In 15, we have an interview with Iain Martel, co-chair of CFI Canada’s Committee for the Advancement of Scientific Skepticism and their scientific adivosory capacity in a recently launched class action suit against Shoppers Drug Mart for false claims listed on a homeopathic remedy for flu (the infamous oscillococcum).
Tomorrow I shall unleash hell!!!!
The last number of years has seen the atheist, skeptic and secular humanist movements getting involved in political discourse. This might seem weird at first, but that’s only because we have constrained ourselves to issues like the stealth introduction of creationism into science class and the like. But we’ve seen a growing trend towards raising our voices in politics. Why not? Religion has been doing it for centuries. It’s time for reasonable voices to take the lead. While some forays have been eyebrow raising (think Michael Shermer and his view that skepticism demands libertarianism be the correct sociopolitical viewpoint), some has been great, like the strong support for the LGBT community. I think it’s now time to broaden the scope. We need to start directly tackling political policy. That doesn’t necessarily mean joining any political party or forming our own (though that second option is inviting when none of the other parties are at all interesting), but we do need to be loud and proud when we see a train wreck coming.
And I hear the train’s horn blowing in warning.
Continue reading “Skepticism, Atheism and the Alberta Provincial Election” »
It’s been a flurry of activity recently with three podcast releases in the last week. In episode 13, I talk with Calgary’s own Nate Phelps on the Reason Rally, Rock Beyond Belief and the NY Jets. We did this interview over Skype and while Skype cooperated for the most part, at a couple of points the sound quality degraded for which I apologize in advance. Despite this, it’s well worth the listen.
We continue with our second of two items from Saskatoon. The conspiracy theorist Richard Gage (we missed him coming through Calgary) gave a lecture on how 9/11 was an inside job. Saskatoon Skeptic Dale Boan attended the four-hour (yes, FOUR) talk and gives us his impression. Hats off to Dale. I know all too well how much of an ordeal that can be.
The April 1 weekend saw two events in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan that caught the eye of The Legion: the “Mercury Jamboree”, organized by federal Green Party candidate Sandra Finley and two members of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, and a lecture given by 9/11 Truther Richard Gage (Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth). In the first of two parts, Twylla, Kris and I drill for the tooth about health risks – if any – of amalgam fillings.