Skepticon

Amber Teething Beads: A Few Points to Consider

Darcy Cowan Feb 21, 2011

Being a new parent and a sceptic I have been on guard regarding dubious advice and practices. Parents, especially new parents like myself, are a vulnerable group. We tend to be full of anxiety that we are doing the “right thing” by our children. Where-ever you find a vulnerable group like this you also tend [...] … Read More

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How Narcissistic are You?

Darcy Cowan Feb 17, 2011

Haven’t posted anything for a while, I’m wrapped up in the warm embrace of procrastination. Thought this was interesting though and an easy post. Take the online Narcissism test. Despite all evidence to the contrary I only scored a 4. If you score greater than 20 you probably have a mirror in your pocket right [...] … Read More

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fMRI Foundations Get a Little More Secure

Darcy Cowan Nov 26, 2010

“it’s all about getting to the truth” – Karl Deisseroth. May 20th Nature Podcast fMRI, it’s everywhere. From studies looking at how we separate fantasy from reality to identifying psychopaths. The technique offers a very powerful way analyse that most elusive of domains, the contents of another person’s brain. Even so the technology is not [...] … Read More

’Mantrol’ and the Psychology of Destructive Behaviour

Darcy Cowan Nov 18, 2010

Recently the NZ Transport Authority and the Police introduced a new campaign for reducing driver speeding. The “Mantrol” concept attempts to link the safe driving with “manliness” and in this way induce those who might speed out of machismo to take a second look at what constitutes that ever mercurial definition of “real man”. Looking [...] … Read More

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Vaccination Awareness Week Round-Up

Darcy Cowan Nov 05, 2010

There’s still officially one more day of Anti-Vaccine Awareness Week (two really, as it’s an American idea) but here’s a round up of the posts anyway. While I know there are lots of great in-depth posts around the blogosphere on this the following list has been restricted to NZ posts to keep the local flavour. [...] … Read More

A Side Benefit of the ‘Flu Vaccine — Reduction in Heart Attacks

Darcy Cowan Nov 03, 2010

It’s a bold claim, that being vaccinated for Influenza will protect you against having a heart attack or Myocardial Infarction (MI). Well according to a study published last month in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that could well be the case. The study, “Influenza vaccination, pneumococcal vaccination and risk of acute myocardial infarction: matched case–control [...] … Read More

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Anti-Vaccination In NZ

Darcy Cowan Nov 01, 2010

As promised here’s my first entry for “Vaccine Awareness Week”, I thought I would take a little look at Anti-vaccination in New Zealand. In particular the  Immunisation Awareness Society. This organisation has set itself up as pro-choice on the subject of vaccination but this is essentially a thin smokescreen for their anti-vaccination views. Here, rather [...] … Read More

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Vaccine Awareness Week

Darcy Cowan Oct 27, 2010

Thanks to the incomparable Orac over at Respectful Insolence we here at Sciblogs have been made aware of an effort by Anti-Vax proponents to have their own consciousness raising week. The haven of anti science that is Mercola.com is promoting November 1st-6th as “Vaccine Awareness Week”. Like the “World Homeopathy Awareness Week” earlier this year [...] … Read More

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Gamblers Rewarded by Near Misses

Darcy Cowan Oct 22, 2010

Earlier this year a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience looked at the brains of compulsive gamblers and concluded that when the the gamblers suffered “near-miss” losses their brains reacted as if they had won. Another study published slightly later in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour also looked at the brains [...] … Read More

A Skeptic’s Perspective — Repost

Darcy Cowan Oct 18, 2010

After Friday’s unabashed rant on things magical and absurd I felt it would be good to post a more level headed and rational piece. This post from a couple of years ago caught my eye at the right time and given the popularity of reposting I decided it was worth another outing: A less formal [...] … Read More

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