For this month’s skeptical crossword puzzle, we return to a favourite theme of Greek & Roman Mythology, together with the usual Picture Puzzles, Mixed Bag Questions and Logic & Maths Puzzles. They’re all at the top of the PUZZLES PAGE. Scroll down for earlier recent monthly puzzles, or use the ARCHIVE links at the bottom of the page to access puzzles going back to 2010.
June’s Puzzles are at the top of the PUZZLES PAGE, where you’ll find seven new rebus-type Picture Puzzles, followed by links to twenty Mixed Bag (Triva / General Knowledge); a Crossword puzzle, based on Frauds and Scams.; and a set of ten Logic & Maths Puzzles, with worked solutions provided.
Skeptics, Rationalists, Humanists and other like-minded people world-wide have gravitated towards February 12 as an annual opportunity to celebrate the things that unite us. This year, that date marks Charles Darwin’s 213th birthday.
We invite you to visit Darwin-related material already on this website:
Bronze statue of Charles Darwin as a 22-year-old undergraduate. Christ’s College, Cambridge. Artist: Anthony Smith
As a former teacher of evolutionary biology and subsequent enthusiastic promoter of Darwin Day, it is perhaps surprising that actually readingOn the Origin of Species only recently made my bucket list. Read the rest of this entry »
We kick off the new year with the usual mix of Picture Puzzles, Mixed Bag questions, Logic& Maths questions and a Skeptical Crossword with Astrology as its theme. They’re at the top of the PUZZLES PAGE.
Lower down the puzzles page you’ll find all 2001 puzzles from May. Earlier puzzles going back to 2010 are available from the archives links at the bottom of the Puzzles page.
Belgian authors, Patrick Vermeren (56) and Bart Van de Ven (37) have won an action in the Appeals Court in Belgium. “Business Coach” Carl Van de Velde had previously unsuccessfully sued them for defamation in the Court of First Instance, but chose to appeal. At that stage the two author’s legal costs already stood at about A$85,000.
The Belgium-based Skeptical society SKEPP stepped in to support the authors and to seek international support for their on-going legal battles.
Patrick and Bart had written an article for SKEPP’s magazine about two highly successful companies that used dubious theories such as NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) and characterization of people based on their skull (phrenology) and physiognomy (interpretation of outward appearance, in this case of face and hair). One of the companies was the Carl Van de Velde Training Institute. The authors had criticized the content of its pseudo-scientific master classes as well as the marketing strategies it used to attract participants.
Paul De Belder, President of SKEPP writes: “It has taken quite some time but today the Appeals Court in Belgium judged that free speech and well-founded criticism are more important than the perceived wrongs of the commercial organization being criticized.”
Although additional legal defence costs of over A$100,000 have been generated by the Appeal process, SKEPP considers that its own “war chest” together with awarded costs and international support of over A$70,000 should enable it to cover its costs.
Vic Skeptics is proud to have contributed and to have publicised the issue locally. Apparently much of the money raised internationally by SKEPP’s fundraiser came anonymously via PayPal and bank transfer from small organisations and individuals in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The last word goes to Paul De Belder:
“Thank you so much for your support. If ever one of your organizations gets in trouble, we will stand by you.”
Sad news from Australian Skeptics Inc. Martin was a good friend to, and helpful supporter of Australian Skeptics (Victorian Branch).
“It is our sad duty to report the death of Martin Hadley, former president of Australian Skeptics and a stalwart of the skeptical movement.
Martin was a barrister, dealing mainly in commercial disputes. He joined the committee of Australian Skeptics Inc in NSW in 2000, and was president from 2005-2008, after which he became treasurer, a position he held until his death.
He made himself available to offer legal advice on skeptical issues to both ASI and other state committees, as well as on matters impacting on members of the broader skeptical community. As treasurer, he was instrumental in maintaining the funds held by the Australian Skeptics Science and Education Foundation, which was established in the mid-90s following a sizable bequest and which offers financial support and grants to worthy causes.
His approach ranged from stern advice to sly humour, mixed with an interest in languages, religion, wine, and sailing (in particular, the restoration of the 19th century tall ship, the James Craig).
He died of a heart attack on October 18. Funeral arrangements will be announced soon.
It has been decided to run Skepticon 2021 as an exclusively on-line event. Skepticon will continue to be a collaboration between Australian Skeptics Inc, operating from Sydney, and NZ Skeptics in Wellington.
Each $40 ticket buys you access for the weekend via one device.
Skeptics use the word “quack” to define a particular kind of person:
“a fraudulent or ignorant pretender to medical skill” or “a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to have skill, knowledge, qualification or credentials they do not possess; a charlatan or snake oil salesman” – Dictionary.com
Every third Monday of the month the Victorian Branch of the Australian Skeptics hosts a talk or event:
Skeptics Café recommenced in April 2020 via Zoom. Next: Monday July 18 2022: See Events page for details.
Include Vic Skeptics in Your Will
The Australian Skeptics (Victorian Branch) Inc. [Vic Skeptics]. promotes critical thinking, scientific literacy and encourages a rational, sceptical approach to the paranormal and pseudoscience.
We are a volunteer non-profit organization and have limited financial resources.
We need money to achieve our aims and bequests help enormously.