16 April, 2019
By Ken Greatorex
Vic Skeptics recently moved Skeptics Café to the new venue of The Dan O’Connell Hotel (a.k.a. “The Dan”) in Carlton. We’ve been fortunate in the past with long tenures at good venues.
I arrived chez Dan with a few misgivings:
Could I park within a comfortable distance of the venue?
Would the venue suit us?
Would enough people turn up?
Would the topic be sufficiently relevant and interesting for such a “landmark” Skeptics event? Read the rest of this entry »
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”.
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20 December, 2016
Twelve years of Vic Skeptics’ tradition came to an end this week when La Notté Restaurant closed indefinitely.
Next January’s Skeptics Café (Monday January 16) will go ahead at The Clyde Hotel, corner of Cardigan and Elgin Streets in Carlton. Some of our readers will already be familiar with The Clyde as the site of our recent Convention Trivia Night.
We’ll be in The Lounge. You enter through the beer garden in Cardigan Street. After an optional meal from 6pm with food and drinks at quite reasonable pub prices, Tim Harding will speak on Scientific Skepticism vs Philosophical Skepticism at 8 pm. Those staying on for the talk will be asked to contribute $4.
Street parking can be tight in that area, but tends to open up after six pm. The Eastern Precinct Car Park is very convenient, being next door to the venue in Cardigan Street with a standard $5 fee after 5 pm.
It’s very accessible by public transport: Tram 1 or 8 every 6 minutes stops in Elgin Street at Stop 112.
11 November, 2013
Before his appearance as keynote speaker at the Australian Skeptics National Convention in Canberra, Professor Chris French will speak:
– at Vic Skeptics Café, 140 Lygon Street Carlton on Monday 18th November from 6 pm;
– at Mordi Skeptics, Mordialloc Sporting Club 528 Main St, Mordialloc, Tuesday 19th November 7.30 pm (after a meal from about 6.30). Please RSVP on-line at http://www.meetup.com/Mordi-Skeptics-in-the-Pub/
– and at Borderline Skeptics at Wodonga in The Carrier Arms Hotel, Corner of South and Church street, in “The Courtyard” dining/stone grill section from 6:30 pm, Wednesday 20th November.
Title: Weird Science: An Introduction to Anomalistic Psychology
Summary: Ever since records began, in every known society, a substantial proportion of the population has reported unusual experiences many of which we would today label as “paranormal”.
Opinion polls show that the majority of the general public accepts that paranormal phenomena do occur. Such widespread experience of and belief in the paranormal can only mean one of two things. Either the paranormal is real, in which case this should be accepted by the wider scientific community which currently rejects such claims; or else belief in and experience of ostensibly paranormal phenomena can be fully explained in terms of psychological factors.
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