Vale Steve Walker — magician and skeptic

14 December, 2014

(original article )

Australian Skeptics is greatly saddened to hear of the death of one of our staunchest supporters, Steve Walker, who died suddenly and far too early on Thursday, December 11.

Past Australian Skeptics president, Barry Williams, writes: “Steve was not only a talented magician, he was also one of those rare people who brightened up the lives of all those who came into contact with him. His use of humour was unsurpassed in making his performances a delight to all who witnessed them.

“The Skeptics owe him an incalculable debt, not only for the innumerable gigs he put on free of charge and which drew record crowds at our dinner functions – he performed at our very first convention in 1985 — but for all his many impromptu performances anywhere a few Skeptics were gathered together.

“Steve’s unfailing good humour did much to convince those who knew him that, despite the perception that some might have that Skeptics are a humourless crowd of despoilers of other peoples illusions, much enjoyment and fun can be gleaned from belonging to Australian Skeptics.

“We may never see Steve Walker’s like again, and we are much the poorer for his passing.”

Steve will also be missed in Victoria. He both presented and performed at the 2002 Melbourne Convention and was MC at the 2006 Melbourne Convention Dinner.

Photos from Auskeptcon14

7 December, 2014

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Recommended – see these photos full screen mode on Flickr.

The photos in the above slide show are from the recent Australian Skeptics National Convention 2014, held in Sydney. A huge thanks to the Sydney based organisers with ASI, they did a fantastic job. The convention featured the likes of, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, Dick Smith, George Hrab, Peter Fitzsimons, Michael Marshall, Dr Rachael Dunlop, Peter Hadfield, Dr Amanda Bauer, the entire Skeptics Guide to the Universe crew and most of the team from ABC’s consumer protection program, The Checkout. A full list of speakers can be found here. Heck – even James Randi dropped in for a cameo!

The convention was held at an excellent venue in The Concourse, Chatswood where everything ran perfectly.  Well done to all involved for an entertaining and inspiring convention.  We look forward to Brisbane next year.


December Puzzles

30 November, 2014

New Picture Puzzles and “Mixed Bag” Questions are in their usual spot at the top of the PUZZLES PAGE
The December 2014 SKEPTICAL CROSSWORD PUZZLE has Famous Skeptics as its theme; and there are ten new LOGIC & MATHS PUZZLES

The Vaccination Chronicles – If Only

14 November, 2014

DVD_Cover frontThis 27 minute video shares stories of people who saw firsthand the effects of vaccine preventable diseases.


Produced by Richard Saunders

- You are welcome to download and/or screen this video in public.

An Atheist in the Army

14 November, 2014

by Roy Arnott

Roy Arnott is the Treasurer of Australian Skeptics Victorian Branch.(Vic)

Roy enlisted in the CMF (later the Australian Army Reserve) in 1959 retiring as a Warrant Officer Class 2 in 1996.

His civilian career was in the Australian Public Service, mainly in Defence related departments. In the latter years Roy transferred from Defence and his terminal posting with the APS was a six year term with the Australian National Audit Office.

No Religion

badgeIt started on Day 1. When I enlisted back in 1959, we got to the question on the form about religion. I said that I did not have any. The Attestation Officer said, “You have to be something, I will put down Church of England”. Later, when I knew a bit more about things than the average recruit, I had my file corrected to read “No Religion”.
The Army personnel system does not have a classification of “Atheist”.
I think the descriptor “No Religion” is fair enough. We do not need to coin a word for other non believers – in, for example, fairies, ghosts, or Easter Bunnies Read the rest of this entry »

Happenings – October/November 2014

9 November, 2014

1. The Genesis II Church advertised a seminar at Clayton Community Centre from 14th to 16th of November at $500 per participant. The Church’s leader, Jim Humble promotes MMS (Miracle Mineral Solution) as a cure for diseases such as Malaria, HIV, autism and Ebola. MMS contains bleaching agents – including sodium chlorite, chlorine dioxide and calcium hypochlorite.


These are seriously dangerous chemicals. A spokesperson for the Victorian Poisons Information Centre said a total of 10 people – with four needing further treatment at the hospital – had reported feeling ill after administering MMS with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea.

The Genesis II Church’s practices have already been the subject of joint FDA and ACCC investigations and legal action. Read the rest of this entry »

November Puzzles

31 October, 2014


"What's 4 Across?"

“What’s 4 Across?”


NOVEMBER 2014 SKEPTICAL CROSSWORD, with the emphasis on Frauds and Scams can be solved using either the standard or the cryptic clues provided.

Breaking News! The FSM has revealed that occasional access to Google and/or the Dictionary (UK rather than US edition) by His Cruciverbal Faithful will not incur His noodly wrath.

A new set of NOVEMBER 2014 LOGIC & MATHS PUZZLES is available.

New Picture Puzzles and “Mixed Bag” Questions have been posted at the top of the PUZZLES PAGE






PUZZLES ARCHIVE 4 (December 2012 to June 2013)

PUZZLES ARCHIVE 5 (July 2013 to September 2014)


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