Archive for the Useful Sites Category

Some “bad sites” that are rather good

Posted in Useful Sites on September 10, 2007 by moonflake

I’ve added three sites to the Useful Sites category on the side bar, and they are indeed rather good, despite their titles:

  • Bad Astronomy – Astronomer Phil Plait gives us the skinny on the moon hoax, faces on mars, astrology, common astronomy misconceptions, and horrible portrayals of astronomy in the movies. A must read for anyone who has ever wondered if we really went to the moon. Also, own the Bad Astronomy book. I do.
  • Bad Science – Dr. Ben Goldacre writes the Bad Science column in the Guardian, and has plenty to say about bad science in general, and bad medicine in particular. Patrick Holford gets his own entire category on this site. The Bad Science book is out in January 2008, and I will certainly be buying it.
  • Bad Archaeology – a new edition to the Bad Sites neighbourhood. Ordinary archaeologists Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews and James Doeser have had enough of the ancient aliens, ley lines and forgotten civilizations and are making a stand for good science. No book mentioned yet, but I’d love to see one so I can wave it in front of all those Erich von Daniken followers.

Bookmark these sites, for they are Good.


WikiScanner – the Wikipedia Whodunnit

Posted in Humour, Useful Sites on August 16, 2007 by moonflake

It had to happen eventually. Virgil Griffith, a computer science student in the US, has created a scanner that allows you to check for wikipedia edits by public institution or IP range. I think there’s a reason Jimmy Wales loves the idea (“It is fabulous and I strongly support it”) – there is now a very easy, very public, very free way to track who’s been snipping out unflattering criticism, editing rival entries and generally spitting in the face of the wikipedia ethos. This is probably the best weapon ever developed in the arsenal against POV edits – public shame.

The scanner is already being used to compile lists of suspicious, embarrassing and silly edits. Microsoft have been caught editing failure rates from the Xbox 360, their PR firm have edited their MSN Search article to refer to it as a major competitor to Google, someone from MySpace censored the entry on censorship, Discovery Communications deleted the reference to their reputation for guerrilla marketing, FOX News are caught spinning so much they have to be dizzy by now, and Scientology spreads enough whitewash to paint a small town. And much, much more.

You can submit your finds to Wired here. Happy hunting!


Posted in Stupidity, Time Waste, Useful Sites on June 26, 2007 by moonflake

So there’s this doodad floating around where you can rate your blog. I ran mine through it and this is what came up:
Online Dating

And, okay, I can dig it, that’s kinda cool. But here’s the bit that really didn’t make any sense to me – my blog was given a PG-13 rating because of the presence of the following words:

  • hurt (x2)
  • gays (x1)

Use of the word ‘gays’ warrants an age restriction? WTF, seriously? In what kind of screwy world is it not okay for someone under the age of 13 to read the word ‘gays’? Is some censor somewhere afraid that ‘the gay’ is catching if you read the word?
Man, I hope this guy made the rating system up, and didn’t base it on any real world rating system. Because that would just be horribly depressing.


Posted in Useful Sites on April 23, 2007 by moonflake

i’m trying it out. Seems like a good place to drop things that I don’t necessarily have time to work up into a good post. Yet.

Sack Manto!

Posted in HIV/AIDS, South Africa, Useful Sites on October 20, 2006 by moonflake

Finally, a website devoted to nothing else but the sacking of South African Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang! Capetonian property developer Anton de Waal and his wife Brigitte decided that they had to take action after the Toronto debacle, and set up the site in their private capacity. The site also has the support of cartoonist Zapiro, who has kindly allowed his cartoons featuring Manto to be shown for free on the site.

Go forth and sign the petition!


Richard Dawkins online

Posted in Evolution, Religion, Skepticism, Useful Sites on September 26, 2006 by moonflake

Hoorah! Richard Dawkins, that paragon of clear thinking on the subjects of evolution, religion and skepticism, has followed in the footsteps of the Amazing Randi. You may find the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Science and Reason online here. Go, little atheists, go and revel in this clear-thinking oasis in the desert of divinity.

Good for a laugh

Posted in Evolution, Humour, Religion, Time Waste, Useful Sites on October 12, 2005 by moonflake

A few days ago i posted about the Kitzmiller vs. Dover court case where 11 parents are taking a Pennsylvania school district to court for trying to get their kids to learn Intelligent Design. There was a statement that was read out to the students.

In Highest School, a very good parody site about a balanced view in education, the author applies the same statement to the Scientific Method. It’s funny, and illustrates just how stupid the statement really is.

The same guy has another parody site about atheism. Check it out.