Saturday, December 23, 2006

Commercial Skepticism

Getting new people into skepticism is one of the hardest problems we face. Skepticism isn't magical, it doesn't seem to let you in on secret knowledge (though in some cases, we are the very few sane ones), and it doesn't offer miracles. All we really offer is reality, and that isn't enough for many people. So, we need a hook, and here's what I've come up with:

Skepticism will save you money.

Skepticism will prevent you from spending your money on useless products and services. Intrigued yet? Hopefully with this tact, people will be more likely to give it a shot, find that it works, and then start applying it to other things.

(Note to medical skeptics: Yes, I know it can also save your life, but the problem is that woo will also claim to be able to save your life, so we don't come out ahead here in the view of the layman.)

So, I'm going to do a post today on an advertisement I found dumped in the backseat of my mother's car, presumably found plastered to her windshield. Conveniently, it's for a psychic. Here's basically what it looked like (sans graphics, some formatting, and contact information):

World Renowned Master Psychic

I will tell you enough of your past to convince you of your future without you speaking a single word. One does not live without problems such as: love, marriage, health, business, etc., yet why endure them when a gifted PSYCHIC can and will help you with WHATEVER THE PROBLEMS MAY BE.
  • Ora Analysis
  • Aroma Therapy
  • Past Life Readings
  • Dream Interpretations
  • Tarot Cards
  • Crystal Readings
You May Have Seen Her
On TV or Read About Her! Now You
Can See a "True" Psychic For Positive Results

[Phone number and pricing cut]

Normally, I typically go after spelling, grammar, and formatting first. However, this is an advertisement, so note that a lot of my guidelines for formatting don't apply here. Spelling and grammar still do, of course. So, let's get nit-picky!

  • "World Renowned" should be "World-Renowned." Multiple-word adjectives should be hyphenated, just like "multiple-word" in this sentence.
  • "Ora" is most likely a horrible misspelling of "aura." This one's really amateurish.
  • Again, "Past Life" should be "Past-Life."
  • For the last block of text, don't switch overall formatting in the middle of a sentence. Particularly in advertisement, where periods aren't always required, people are going to mistake this as being a break between sentences at first glance.
  • Keep consistent with your capitalization scheme. You can capitalize every word, or you could do every word except "small" words (articles, conjunctions, and prepositions of 4-letters or less), but don't switch around.
  • The viewpoint changes throughout the advertisement. Sometimes it's the psychic talking in first-person, sometimes it's third-person.
And now, one formatting quirk that's not so nit-picky: The quotation marks in "Now You Can See A 'True' Psychic For Positive Results!" Here, "True" has quotation marks around it. Is this for emphasis? My formatting rule against this still applies; quotation marks should never be used for emphasis. The problem is that the quotation marks could also imply the word doesn't mean its typical definition, and in the case of "true," that's a big problem. It could be that she isn't a "true psychic" at all, and they're just using this to cover their asses so that they can claim some other bogus definition of "true" when she's challenged.

Now, we go on to three tasks you should always perform when dissecting an advertisement. The first of these is to look for loaded terms. These are terms that carry emotional weight, but may not mean anything in the real world (you can't falsify a claim that uses them). A brief look through the advertisement gets the following:

  • "World Renowned" - Makes it sound like she's known all over the world. But could you bring a court case against her with this term? Nope, she could just claim she has a cousin in Italy or whatever, so she's known by someone over there. This term is essentially meaningless.
  • "Master" - This generally means one of two things. In trade skills, it means you've taken on apprentices. In other cases, it means you're perfect at your profession. People are going to assume the latter, but again this is unfalsifiable. She could simply claim that being a psychic by nature has uncertainties, so even someone who's mastered the art will sometimes be wrong. She could also claim she was using the first definition, and she has an apprentice.
  • "Gifted" - Someone with an ability beyond most other people is called "gifted," but ask yourself this: How many people are there in the world who don't excel in some area enough to be considered "gifted" in it? Very few. It might be quantum physics they're gifted in, or it might be trivia about The Beatles, but claiming you're gifted is almost always safe. In this case, I'm guessing she thinks she's gifted at fraud - though I don't think this is a particularly good attempt at it.
  • "You May Have Seen Her On TV or Read About Her!" - Was she on TV as a psychic, or was she on TV because Penn and Teller were debunking her on Bullshit!? Was she in a book about famous psychics, or was she mentioned in The Demon-Haunted World? It makes a difference, but the advert never says.
Now, the second task: Look for cop-outs. These are weakening phrases or disclaimers put in to cover their asses from false-advertisement suits. This ad is pretty clear of them, and the only one is "may have" in "You May Have Seen Her On TV or Read About Her!" This normally means that you might not have seen her simply because you weren't watching or reading the right things. It could also mean, however, that she actually wasn't on TV on in print at any time.

And finally, the third task: Look for what isn't said. Often, advertisements will leave out information that seems like it would be important. That they left it out can be really telling. This case is no exception. Go up and see if you can spot it for yourself.

Found it? The big ingredient that's missing is the name of the psychic. She's world-renowned, we may have seen her on TV or read about her, but you won't tell us who she is!? Now that's suspicious. My guess is that they're doing this as they don't have just one psychic at this agency, so they can get away with multiple people giving readings without the customers knowing, much like the Miss Cleo scam.

Now, there's something else I'd like to point out in this particular advert:

I will tell you enough of your past to convince you of your future without you speaking a single word. One does not live without problems such as: love, marriage, health, business, etc....

Is it just me, or is she completely giving away the scam here? She'll tell you things about your past that happen to everyone on earth, and use this to convince you that she's also right about your future. Also, I doubt that the "without you speaking a single word" part is true. Psychics often engage in Cold Reading to draw information out of their victim subject, and this relies on their responses. But maybe this one is too lame to even do that.

Proceed with your information binge...

Thursday, December 21, 2006


With a flicker, the lights come back on. Infophile is still standing behind the podium, alive and well, and he continues his presentation.

Again, I must sincerely apologize for the difficulty, but with no further delay, on with the skepticism!


Looking back through history, it seems that every age has its own "plagues." As soon as one is cured, people start living a bit longer and run into other plagues at older ages. In North American society, we rarely see deaths from the bubonic plague or tuberculosis thanks to improvements in hygiene and the development of vaccines. Instead, people end up dying from heart disease or the plague of our modern era: Cancer.

We've made immense progress in the battle against cancer, but we haven't beaten all forms of it quite yet. This latter fact has led some people to be dissatisfied with the state of cancer research, and they try to find people to blame for it. In his post, Bloviations and pontifications on the state of cancer research, part 2 (of 2), Orac replies to one such critic. He explains that things really aren't as bad as the critics would have you believe. Most of the time, they're just cherry-picking the evidence that makes progress in the fight against cancer look bad, while ignoring evidence of progress.

From, we learn of another organization making this same mistake: The Family Research Council, or FRC. As part of their attack on the morning-after pill, they pointed out the datum that women who received the pill ahead of time were just as likely to conceive as those who relied on going out to purchase it when needed, and somehow stretched this into saying it doesn't work at all. The fact that women who actually use it tend to conceive much less than those who do apparently slipped their minds.

One much more minor "plague" that humans have faced throughout all of their history is allergies. In a few cases, allergies can lead to death, but in most cases they're simply an inconvenience. Given the vast number of people who have some sort of allergies, however (and I count myself in this number), a cure for allergies would be quite a boon. One person who's tried to find such a cure is Patrick Holford, his particular cure being nutritional supplements. You can also see the paltry evidence for another of his claims - that "[t]he evidence for IgG antibody reactions as a basis for food intolerances continues to grow" - at Holford Watch.

Junkfood Science discusses two other health issues that worry many in modern society. The first is obesity, in a discussion of a claim that's been circulating the media recently that apparently overweight people cost their employers more money (as an altie might claim, it's just one symptom of overall poor "wellness," but I digress). The original research paper on the subject shows that reality is much more complicated. Rather than explain it all here, I'll just recommend you go and read it yourself.

The other issue highlighted here is that of autism, a developmental disorder that seems to be afflicting more and more people (or just more and more people getting diagnosed because of increasing awareness). We don't know what actually causes autism, but one small but vocal sect claims that it's exposure to mercury in vaccines at an early age which is to blame. To remedy this, they recommend using EDTA chelation therapy, a very risky proceedure which has shown no signs of benefiting anyone with autism. Whenever some altie asks you "What's the harm?" in buying into their claims, you might want to point them to all the deaths chelation therapy for autism has caused.

No skeptical discussion of medicine would be complete without some reference to "Traditional Chinese Medicine," a big buzz word among many alties. This time however, I don't bring you a reference to it, but rather an entire history of it brought to you by Wandering Primate. Of course, given the lengthy history of it, it's been split up into two parts for ease of digestion: Part 1, Part 2. You might also note that many people who currently follow TCM ignore much that it actually said, such as recommending you imbibe "cinnabar and gold."

Myths and Hoaxes

Myths arise in every culture. A few strange sights get connected together, a hoaxer makes a giant footprint, some blurry film, and all of a sudden you have millions of people believing in a giant ape-like creature living in the Pacific Northwest. One man, Mike Lake, is now trying to get this mythical creature officially recognized as being endagered. After all, he argues, its hold on existence itself in tenuous.

One other hoax that has been fooling many amateur scholars is the Kensington Runestone. The stone was a 19th century hoax which attempted to make it look like a 16th century artifact. Recently, the stone underwent scientific analysis in Sweden in an attempt to add further evidence to its actual date. Sadly, however, nothing much of use was obtained beyond what was already known.

Another famous stone hoax was the "Ica Stones" discovered in Peru. The stones show humans interacting with almost every type of dinosaur imaginable, and have been touted by creationists as evidence that humans lived alongside dinosaurs. Unfortunately, the stones were later revealed to have been carved by the very people who claimed to have found them. And yet, creationists still try to use them as evidence...

If the above hoaxes seem a bit tame to you, how about a woman giving birth to rabbits? Providentia brings us the story of this hoax, and I won't spoil it any further here.


Not everything worthy can be easily pigeonholed, so my last section details the best of the rest. First up is an anecdote about anecdotes from Cospiracy factory, which serves to illustrate the problems with anecdotes in determining physical causes, and how people often assume more from them than is warranted.

News from Hawkhill Acres brings us a story about a man who claimed to have temporarily died and spent some time in heaven. His evidence? Oh look, it's another anecdote. Nothing to say the vision of heaven he saw wasn't just a fevered hallucination created by his admittedly injured mind.

Blake Stacey of Science after Sunset brings us three posts discussing recent publications. He takes on a Newsweek article on sexual education, Michael Behe's new book, The Edge of Evolution, and Time's poor choice of an author for Richard Dawkin's profile.

Matt the Pooflinger shows us how some really far-out people can actually be quite humorous. Case in point, LDS splinter cult leader Art Bulla, who saw something supernatural in 1969 (rearrange the letters of LDS for my guess as to what it might have been).

I managed to sneak in a couple of links to his posts earlier, but Bronze Dog's contributions this week do deserve their own note. In addition to the Doggerel linked previously (Wellness and "What's the harm?"), he also brings you the popular altie doggerel of Vibration, the popular creationist (and others) doggerel of "[Evil Guy] believed in [Theory]," and a debate of fundamental reasoning in Why versus Why.

Critical thinking skills are important to a skeptic, but if you don't use them they'll rot. To counter this, Bob from Hot Dogs, Pretzels, and Perplexing Questions brings us the Paradox of the Question to challenge your mental faculties. Ponder this for yourself: If you could ask any question whatsoever and get a truthful answer to it, what would be the best question to ask?

Whatever question you come up with there, be careful you don't get too certain it's the right one. As Steven Novella cautions us, "The certainty that one is correct is the most reliable predictor of error, for knowledge stems from scientific methodology and certainty is anathema to such inquiry." Read his entire post on the subject of certainty at I'm Certain You're Going to Love This One.

And that's it for the Skeptic's Circle! It's certainly been some night, hasn't it? The next edition of the circle with be on May 24th, hosted by Memoirs of a Skepchick. You can send your submissions in to skepchick [at] skepchick [dot] org. Hope to see you there!

Proceed with your information binge...

The Sagan Circle

A very Carl Sagan edition of the Skeptic's Circle is now up over at Humbug Online. Go check it out, and be sure to get any of your demons exorcized!

Proceed with your information binge...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Extraordinary Ignorance

I'd already gotten an idea for a post formed up for the Carl Sagan Blogathon, but another great subject just fell into my lap, so I'm going with this one first. You see, I have an interesting ability to be completely ignorable when I don't go out of my way to draw attention. Sometimes it's a blessing, often it's a curse. Today, it led to a couple of guys on the elevator having an extremely bigoted exchange, completely oblivious to my presence.

The target of their bigotry? Atheists. In America, there's a ton of hate directed towards atheists, and many say that they're the only group it's still alright to hate. But this was Canada, which is supposed to be better. Not only that, this was at the University of Waterloo, Canada's answer to MIT. One would hope such a bastion of intellect would also lead to increased tolerance, but such is apparently not the case.

I kept my mouth shut during the conversation (well, it was more a rant on the part of one of them), as I figured it would be more interesting to see where it would lead than to interfere. Here's a paraphrase of the conversation, with my thoughts italicized:

It started when one of the boys (not men, boys) noticed a "Bad Religion" button worn by the other. "Bad Religion, you mean like atheism?"

"Nah, just Bad Religion. Atheism sucks."


No, not really.

"Yeah, it's like a cop-out."

I think you're thinking of agnosticism there. That's where you just say you don't know. Atheism is where you say you believe that there is no supernatural god or gods. Even so, I wouldn't call agnosticism a cop-out. We can't know, so admitting it isn't a cop-out.

The first guy commented, "My friend, Ben, is an atheist." I considered mentioning that I was as well, but decided against it.

The second guy continued with his rant, "Well, it's just stupid. Religion's good and all, who are they to go against it?"

So many problems in so few words. As for it being stupid, is there some obvious evidence for religion we're all missing? No? Then how is it stupid not to believe any of it? And Religion good? Do I even have to go into all the atrocities committed by religion? There were crusades, inquisitions, the burning of the Library of Alexandria, putting us 1,000 years back, the Church's stranglehold on medieval Europe preventing any progress, and that's just Christianity.

"And when I ask atheists why they don't believe in religion, they're like, 'Well, science has proved religion so it's not true.' And why is there nothing then? 'Well, I don't know, there's just not.'" When mimicking atheists there, he used an overblown "stupid" voice.

And now he's mixing scientism up into it. He's also implying the old mantra of "Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence." The problem there is that sometimes it is - when evidence would be expected if the proposition were true. In the case of religion, if it were true, we'd expect to see some evidence for it. The fact that we haven't is evidence against it. The second statement is even worse; just a strawman built up to mock them. Might work when no atheists are around, but this wasn't to be the case.

This was the end of the elevator ride, so I didn't hear if he continued his rant. What I did hear was enough to sadden me with the current state of affairs. Not just in the hate for atheists, but the reasoning for it. The criticism of the scientific approach is what really struck me.

And this is where we get to the Carl Sagan connection, in his famous quote:

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

Religion is one of the most extraordinary claims made by humans. To back it up, we should have equally extraordinary evidence. Except we have next to none. But for some reason, people accept it anyways. The comments this guy made made it clear that this was at least partly out of ignorance for what atheists actually said. Maybe I should have tried to explain it to him, but the elevator ride was too short. Perhaps, with this is mind, another line should be added to Sagan's line:

"Though for many, extraordinary ignorance suffices."

Proceed with your information binge...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Paul Barnes: Haggard II

This just in from Reuters, Paul Barnes, evangelical church leader, has resigned after an accusation (and his admission) of him having homosexual sex. Sound familiar? He wasn't quite as outspoken against homosexuality as Ted Haggard, but this is yet one more nail in the coffin of the Christian myth the homosexuality is a choice or can be cured.

And you know what's really cool? I've caught this story before any other blog I read regularly. That's worth celebrating.

Proceed with your information binge...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Quantum Post Tunneling

Well, I'd written up a post all about how woos misuse the term "Quantum," but apparently it's tunneled accross the internet to a more appropriate location at Rockstar's Ramblings. If you want to read it, you can find it at Doggerel 17.1: "Quantum" (Take Two),

Proceed with your information binge...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Stop the Squid!

What is even more tenctacle-y than an octopus, yet not as smart?

What animal does C'thulu most resemble?

For that matter, what does Bel'Shamharoth resemble?

That's right, the squid! And the squid is winning. Will you lay back and let the Sender of Eight, the Soul Eater, the Soul Render, Pharyngula take over?

I thought not. So, here's what you have to do: At this point, there's only one man who has a chance of taking down the squid: Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer (the Rincewind of our story, if you will). Now, go out and cast your vote for Bad Astronomy. Vote every day from now until Friday. There are other blogs there that may tempt you, but that's just The Sender of Eight and his eight minions, so ignore them.

And if the Soul Eater decides to come after you in revenge, just remember: Running away may get you into more trouble, but you can run away from that as well.

Proceed with your information binge...

Monday, December 11, 2006

We apologize for the inconvenience

Well, the spammers are hitting full-force. In order to save myself the headaches of deleting every spam that comes by, I'm going to temporarily (I hope) enable word-verification for comments. Don't blame me; they're the ones forcing this.

Proceed with your information binge...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A note to spammers

Telling me that your spam is not spam will not work. Take the following spam I recently received:

Wazzzup. You site is realy cool!
Its'not a spam [Links removed. I'm not going to help their business.]

It's hard to imagine what could be going through someone's mind when they think that simply saying it's not spam will fool us. Especially after they've just linked to viagra twice, which is in contention with penis enlargement for the most-often spammed product.

This isn't, however, the strangest spam I've ever received. In response to my post, Quantum Mechanics for Dummies: Wave Nature of Matter, I received the a very long-winded e-mail trying to prove a claim that an electron is a heavy photon.

Very pleased 82 years young research scientist very plwased with your arcticle and its insights on the wave character of matter ---you wrote " Then things got stranger. We tried firing things that we were pretty sure were particles through a double-slit experiment, such as electrons. They, too, showed a diffraction pattern. We went bigger and shot atoms through it. Same deal. Our record so far has been shooting Bucky Balls (spherical molecules of 60 carbon atoms) through it, and even they act like waves.

Now that you have cleverly mastered problematic math, try catching up with where Einstein left off with mechanical visualization of matter and its energy transport using event local determinism at the individual freqency pulse level.. As Maxwell knew by gut feel only --all measure is by molecular size electron quantum. You are bright and young enough, figure out how to prove in a deterministic way that an electron is a helical string of 1/h-squared Higgs particles and a tandem linked 1/h quantum waves---literally a maximum density extrusion that can tandem link as a continuous pulse series of electrons, across open space--- to span the distance from the surface of a bright moon to your romantic eyeballs --to touch your very soul in real time--per E = Mc-squared! I offer you my latest short theory paper as just posted --- pasted below

So, you're 82 years young, yet don't have the courtesy to use proper grammar, and you haven't figured out how your backspace key works (judging by "posted --- pasted")? Somehow I doubt that. Seems a bit more likely you're a failed up-and-comer who failed because he wasn't smart enough to properly understand quantum mechanics or particle physics, and then crossed over to the dark side. Now, fast-forwarding to the end of the e-mail:

1. The quantum wave is one helical world line turn around R of 1/h G-size Higgs particles that pulse- move from one R to another R next door in one of just 6 directions. When 1/h such quantum one turns around R build a wavy line around a single line of R's as a ray of radiation propagating through DM space, you have one electron segment of the wave string of radiation. When a ray of radiation of whatever frequency, including the light range thereof, extends from the moon, say, to one's retina, the radiating surface of the moon has touched our eye! In well recorded fact, the ray of moon radiation has literally touched our very soul in terms of a measurable sequence of extruded electrons that travel to us per E = Mc 2! Deny this in any way and you destroy the commonly held foundation of physics as we best know it today!

2. It takes 1/h electrons in helical strong Higgs particle tandem to equal a unit of mass and DM granulates so that E = Mc2 is always numerically equal to nhf, where n is the count of electrons in parallel and/or series, and f is the number of such electrons pulsing per second through the measurement aperture. We do not now nor did we ever have the ability to measurement parse series versus parallel electron passage and do not even bother to understand fully what is meant here by "aperture". How could we be so Wheeler-announced stupid for so long --and still have prediction? By the h-symmetry that lets h be both quantum energy in ergs and quantum mass in grams. Any systematic approach could get there like a dumb "Piece of cake"!

I really have no idea what he's talking about, but I'm guessing he doesn't either. Take the following quote for example:

Maxwell knew that molecular sized electrons were ubiquitous in our measure of physical reality...

Yeah... no such thing as "molecular sized electrons." All electrons are the same size (well, size is hard to define at that scale), and that's much much less than the size of an atom. Now, there are other leptons that are similar to electrons but much more massive, such as muons and taus, but that's not what we're talking about here.

So anyways, here's a quick list of reasons an electron is not simply a heavy photon:

1. Electrons have charge (classical electrons have negative, but there are also positrons with a positive charge), photons don't.
2. Electrons have a spin of 1/2, photons have a spin of 1. It follows that electrons are fermions while photons are bosons.
3. Photons have polarization, electrons don't.

So a quick word to the wise: Spamming bloggers is not a good way to get a scientific theory accepted. Submit it to a scientific journal like everyone else. Also, please make sure your theory doesn't have obvious holes like this one does.

Proceed with your information binge...

Houdini rises from the grave... prove that such nonsense as "Rising from the grave" is impossible. Go see what I'm talking about at the 49th Skeptic circle courtesy of Autism Street.

And, if I may be granted a moment to grumble: He forgot Mythbusters. Come on, they're skeptical, and they blow stuff up! What's not to love?

Proceed with your information binge...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Alright, I admit it...

Your 'Do You Want the Terrorists to Win' Score: 98%

You are a terrorist-loving, Bush-bashing, "blame America first"-crowd traitor. You are in league with evil-doers who hate our freedoms. By all counts you are a liberal, and as such cleary desire the terrorists to succeed and impose their harsh theocratic restrictions on us all. You are fit to be hung for treason! Luckily George Bush is tapping your internet connection and is now aware of your thought-crime. Have a nice day.... in Guantanamo!

Do You Want the Terrorists to Win?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

FYI, the only reason I didn't come out as 100% is because I didn't vote in the 2004 election, which was because I legally couldn't (not an American citizen). If I had, I would have voted for Kerry, so I think I've earned a 100%, at least in spirit.

Proceed with your information binge...

Friday, December 01, 2006

Excuse me while I spasm uncontrollably

Well, the campus newspaper has done it again. The highlighted piece of woo this week: Global Orgasm Day. In the Science section of the paper no less. Granted, it was a "Community Editorial" (which is what they call very long letters to the editor), but they still did make the decision to print it, and what section to put it in.

Now, it isn't posted online yet, so I can't give quotes (without typing the whole thing up myself, which I am not looking forward to doing) or link to it just yet. When it is, expect to see that here.

Edit: You can see the entire article here.

The article justifies the possible effects of GOD (no, not God, GOD) by bringing up Princeton's Global Consciousness Project. This was inspired by work done in PEAR (The Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research), which is about to be shut down because it's a collosal waste of money and effort. Good thing to appeal to there.

About half of the article is spent just explaining how things work over there, when it could be summed up in one sentence: They watch random numbers and see if they deviate from expected patterns during big events. Yeah, well I've got a newsflash for you: Deviations are to be expected in small time frames. The laws of probability demand it.

When the article finally gets around to an actual claim, it says:

During times such as natural disasters, wars, 9/11 or mass meditation and prayer, the numbers generated deviated from the pattern.

So, around the times of these events, the numbers didn't have a perfectly chance distribution. Maybe that would mean something, if there weren't a few huge problems with how they work:

1. There's no set time-frame for when the deviation has to be found, so it's judged subjectively. For instance, the deviation associated with the World Trade Center attacks occured a couple hours before the attacks. Opening it up like this increases the likelihood of them finding some period where the numbers deviate a little.

2. There's no set criterion for how much the numbers deviate for it to be considered significant. Again, this is all done subjectively, allowing for very weak deviations to be counted as significant.

Using guidelines as loose as these, I betcha I can find a deviation to match any given event. In fact, I'll predict right now that there'll be some slight deviation right at the time I'm typing this post.

The article goes on to claim that this is because "information, or the perception thereof, will exert an effect on the quantum energy and will change the way the numbers are produced." Odd, in my quantum mechanics classes, we never talked about how macroscopic information could effect whatever he means by "quantum energy." And the closest we ever got to talking about the effects of sex on quantum mechanics was the "Bra" in "Bra-Ket."

In fact, you know the thing about Quantum Mechanics that rules stuff like this out? Quantum Mechanics may have very weird results on small scales and with individual particles, but once you blow it up to macroscopic scale, they all get averaged out. It's only very precise experiments on very small numbers of particles that show any quantum effects. Just wait, I'm sure that one of these days "Appeal to Quantum Mechanics" is going to become a recognized logical fallacy or pseudo-fallacy. It's getting more and more popular by the day.

With this in mind, I've currently finished two of my three sample articles for getting my own column (which is apparently desperately needed). If anyone's available to look over them and comment on them, please drop me an e-mail (address in my profile) or comment here.

Proceed with your information binge...