Why so green and lonely? Everything's going to be alright, just you wait and see.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Shermer @ TED2006

If you've got 17 minutes to kill, check out this talk by Michael Shermer about both pseudo-scientific beliefs and our powers of observation. The bits on religious and alien sightings was good:
Religious iconography, discovered by a Tennessee baker in 1996. He charged $5 a head to come and see the Nun Bun, until he got a cease-and-desist order from Mother Theresa's lawyer.
The Virgin Mary in Clearwater, Florida. We actually went to see this one. A lot of the faithful had come to be there, in wheelchairs and crutches and so on. We went down to investigate. All these candles, so many thousands of candles people had lit in tribute to this. So we walked around to the backside and turns out that, anywhere there was a sprinkler head and a palm tree, you get a Virgin Mary. Here's a Virgin Mary on the backside (which they started to wipe off).
The details of the "Quadro2000 Dowser Rod" are also hilarious. But the most interesting segment was where he challenges your powers of observation (I was way off on my count with the basketballs, and the Stairway to Heaven bit is hilarious).


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