Australian Skeptics Awards 2017

19 November, 2017

The Bent Spoon, the Thornett Award and the Skeptic of the Year

The Whack – a – Mole Project and the TGA.

8 November, 2017

by Ken Greatorex



Whack-a-Mole was a popular 1970s arcade game which consisted of repeatedly hitting cartoon moles on the head with a cartoon hammer. Moles nevertheless kept cropping up with undiminished energy more or less at random; so the term Whack-a-mole came to signify “a repetitious and futile task.

Problems with Regulation of Therapeutic Goods

The situation regarding the regulation of therapeutic goods in Australia is unsatisfactory. The complaints process is frustrating, exhausting and often ineffectual. Complaints to the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) must be made against one product or service at a time. Because such complaints are almost invariably made by volunteers, and there is no financial incentive to complain, only a relatively tiny number of questionable products ever get put under the microscope.

An astonishing 87 % of such complaints have historically been upheld. Yet the offending companies rarely receive more than “a slap on the wrists”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Puzzles for November 2017

31 October, 2017

November’s puzzles include:

– seven new Picture Puzzles

– twenty Mixed Bag trivia / general knowledge questions

– a Skeptical Crossword about General Skeptical Issues

– set 64 of our Logic & Maths Puzzles.

For the first time, the Mixed Bag Questions, the Crossword and the Logic & Maths Puzzles are all supplied as .pdf files for easy access

All monthly puzzles are accessible from the Puzzles Page.

A Skeptic’s Guide to the Pyramids

5 October, 2017
This is a repost of an article which first appeared here in November 2011.
There are links to two “Pyramids” classroom activities at the end; a motivational and interactive practical exercise and a crossword.  
There’s a PDF version (text only).

By Peter Barrett (Canberra Skeptics)

Think of Egypt and you think of pyramids. These impressive objects have fascinated people for centuries; they were even tourist destinations for the ancient Greeks and Romans. What amazes people today is their massive size combined with the precision of their construction. There are people today who believe that this size and precision is evidence that the ancient Egyptians couldn’t have built the pyramids unaided, and that they instead were assisted by aliens or people from Atlantis. Read the rest of this entry »

Puzzles for October 2017

30 September, 2017

This months puzzles include

  • seven new Picture Puzzles
  • twenty “Mixed Bag” trivia / general knowledge questions
  • a Skeptical Crossword about Cults and Sects
  • set 63 of our Logic & Maths Puzzles.

The Crossword and the Logic & Maths Puzzles are available in both HTML and .pdf form.

All monthly puzzles are accessible from the Puzzles Page.

PUZZLES ARCHIVE 1  (August 2010 to April 2011)

PUZZLES ARCHIVE 2 (May 2011 to September 2011)

PUZZLES ARCHIVE 3 (October 2011 to November 2012)

PUZZLES ARCHIVE 4 (December 2012 to June 2013)

PUZZLES ARCHIVE 5 (July 2013 to September 2014)

PUZZLES ARCHIVE 6 (October 2014 to December 2015)

Puzzles for September 2017

31 August, 2017

This months batch of puzzles includes:

  • Seven new Picture Puzzles and twenty “Mixed Bag” questions at the top of the Puzzles Page

SPECIAL EVENT: Artificial Intelligence / Human Possibilities

3 August, 2017

Thursday 17 August 2017: 

Assessing emerging risks and opportunities in machine cognition.

Ben Goertzel, Marcus Hutter, Peter Cheeseman and Joscha Bach – experts in the field of artificial intelligence – will discuss the human impact of artificial intelligence.

Doors open at 6:15pm for a 7:00pm start; Tentative end time is 10:00pm.
Ibis Melbourne Hotel, 15-21 Therry Street, Melbourne.

Book for the event through either Meetup or TryBooking.

CONTACT DETAILS: 1800 666 996

This is a free public session of the 10th Artificial General Intelligence Conference sponsored by the Australian Skeptics Victorian Branch.