Living with woo – my sister just bought an acupressure mat.
Acupressure is an alternative medicine technique developed in Tibet before the development of Acupuncture. In acupressure physical pressure is applied to trigger points by the hand, elbow, or with various devices. (wikipedia.org)
Or, as acupressure.com puts it:
Acupressure is an ancient healing art using the fingers to gradually press key healing points, which stimulate the body’s natural self-curative abilities. Acupressure was developed in Asia over 5,000 years ago.
And this is an acupressure mat:
Yesterday I picked up a copy of Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry and began to read it. Less than 24 hours have passed since that moment of opening up the front cover, turning to page 1, and reading those first few words, and well, I’m now finished it.
I must say it was a really enjoyable book to read as I quite like Ronson’s writing style. It’s an interesting and serious topic, but Ronson has a lot of humour to add to it. As the blurb on the back of the book says, “it’s entertaining and honest.”
Though called The Psychopath Test, the book isn’t solely focused on psychopaths. It starts with Ronson being asked to solve a mystery surrounding a manuscript being sent to academics around the world and due to events, as well as a thought that psychopaths might have a bigger influence over our lives than you might think, this leads him to question the topic of madness. He begins by looking at psychopaths – meeting a few and learning to identify them – but then moves onto other areas of madness in society such as the way it’s diagnosed and the entertainment factor of madness.
Now I like the people who I work with, but sometimes conversations can be a little difficult to get through. Occasionally topics steer in the directions of woo and while I would very much like to call people out on false arguments and explain that thinking positive is good but Deepak Chopra is crap, well I have to be careful with what I say so that I don’t seem like douche. I’ve still got two months left in my work placement, so I‘d rather not seem like a douche.
When I can, I try to throw some science and skeptical thinking into the mix though. Today’s topic of conversation started off with star signs and such and I was able to mention Barnum statements. [The Barnum effect is the name given to a type of subjective validation in which a person finds personal meaning in statements that could apply to many people. Skeptdic.com] Bar one of the girls saying that sometimes you do meet people who fit their star signs perfectly, things were fine. I made some jokes about how star signs are always positive and that I’d love to see one saying something like ‘as a scorpion, you are psychopathic’ or ‘like gemini’s all over the world, you have no sense of humour whatsoever’. I’m just saying, that would be a much more interesting horoscope to read.
Ah, but then the topic moved to psychics… Continue reading
So this is the first proper post from me as I try to get the blog back into action. I should warn you before you read any further: this post is a semi-rant about an episode of a TV program that I watched at two in the morning and this written piece quickly followed the annoyance gained from that episode.
To begin with, the show I was watching was Numbers (actually the show is called Numb3rs, but I can’t bring myself to type that). I quite like the show; it’s a handy thing to pop on my Netflix when I just want something on in the background or when I exercise. It’s just another one of those American crime shows with the crime committed and solved in a handy 42-minute slot. If you’re unfamiliar with it, this one features a genius mathematician who is able to help his FBI brother solve cases by conveniently being able to come up with complex maths equations every episode that can be used to predict when and where a crime will or did happen, who the suspects are…basically any information needed to advance the plot. Continue reading
I really have been neglecting this blog. I can see that the last time I wrote something was…August. That is quite a while ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if no one even reads this. Still, I’ll try write some more, and maybe a few people will find their way to these words!
See, it seems that once I got back to college and had to start studying again, well, the blog took a back seat. I’m working now, five days a week, which takes up a lot of time but I’m determined to try keep this blog going; for a little while longer at least.
Yesterday, the latest issue of The Skeptic arrived, with the face of Patrick Moore on the cover, and last week I got my copy of Wonders of Life (which I am very much looking forward to reading over my Easter break). As well, about two weeks ago I signed up for Netflix and I’m currently enjoying my month’s free trial. I’ve got about 195 episodes of Mythbusters to get through and discovered that Netflix has a bunch of TED Talks as well.
The point of all this? Well, hopefully with all this content, I’ll find something to write about and get some cool ideas. I’m not making promises though, just stating possibilities.