It’s not often I spend a weekend with people happily clapping and speaking in awed tones about a venerable dude. But I overcame my fears of group thinking and circle jerking to go to the Australian Skeptics National Convention, featuring James ’The Amazing’ Randi.

Some friends of mine were pretty sceptical about the skeptics. Why, they wondered, would people be so overly eager to run around and interfere with other people’s lives and beliefs?

They have a point. There is such a thing as skepticfreude, the glee of ruining the fun of others, of punching holes in their treasured rituals and treatments. We (oh, OK, I) can be just a tad righteous.

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  • acotrel says:

    07:00pm | 04/12/12

    @Alex I am not interested in religion except that I strongly oppose authoritarianism. Does that mean I am an ‘atheist’ ? Read more »

  • acotrel says:

    06:55pm | 04/12/12

    @R T Choice’ ’ wonder why an ‘expat’ if indeed he/she really is an expat would be having a problem with the carbon tax,’ Always the same answer to that one. -  It depends on which political team you barrack for. Read more »


Welcome to this week’s I Call Bullshit. It’s a weird one. An email arrived in my inbox yesterday spruiking “Australian best-selling author Margaret Stuart”, whose gift lets her “see into the bodies and minds of people suffering from different illnesses and help them to remove the thoughts and fears that are literally making them ill”.

Bullshit bingo! I took a look at the website, chuckled that the ‘qualifications’ section included kinesiology, Thought Field Therapy, and advanced scaffolding and forklift driving, pulled the old ranty-pants out of the cupboard, lined up an interview, and was good to go.

Then a strange thing happened. Margaret Stuart seemed like a nice, genuine woman who just happened to have some beliefs I reckon are a bit kooky. She may think she can cure diseases with mind power, but she doesn’t tell people to stop seeing their doctors and she doesn’t seem to be making a fortune from it. The ranty pants chafed.

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  • Cars says:

    05:08pm | 13/05/12

    @Dave. Sea sickness tablets aren’t placebos. Medicine has to go through blind trials where the placebo effect is ruled out. Read more »

  • JImBO says:

    01:05pm | 11/05/12

    Acupuncture is quackery - sure is Read more »


Scooby-Doo and the crime-fighting gang are some of the most beloved children’s TV characters of all time.

Far out! Too many Scooby snacks this time, for sure!

The original series Scooby Doo, Where Are You! debuted in 1969 and the show ran for 17 years. Its latest syndication of films and straight-to-DVD movies makes Scooby-Doo the longest lived TV cartoon character.

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  • Temerarious says:

    08:14am | 01/03/11

    A beautiful summation of the show, Claire. My 4 year old and her little friends adore it and can’t get enough of it. Funnily enough, the networks are obviously onto this because recently I have seen the show in various incarnations on up to 3 different channels at once. The… Read more »

  • DarkFoxFire says:

    11:32pm | 28/02/11

    @Sheedy’s Left Foot :  Dude…. calm down. I think you forget that kids are highly influential and in your own words “aimed at kids” also means influencing kids.  First, personally, I do believe in the existence of God, and in the supernatural.  But I still found the article an interesting… Read more »


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