Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The devil on my shoulder

Me, trying to find a topic for today's Skeptophilia post:  Hmm.  Let's see, what do we have in the news today.  *sips coffee*  Science news, political news, religious news...

Diabolical voice from on my left shoulder:  How about Alex Jones?

Me:  No, everyone knows that Alex Jones is a certifiable wingnut.  Why would I want to...

Diabolical voice:  No, really.  You need to check out what Alex Jones just said.

Me (scowling angrily):  Why?  Everything that comes out of the man's mouth is either complete lunacy, or a desperate plea for attention, or both.  It's total clickbait.  I don't want to...

Diabolical voice:  C'mon.  You know you want to.

Me:  I'm sure there are much better things for me to be reading, not to mention writing about.

Diabolical voice (alluringly):  Alexxxx Jonnnessss...

Me:  Well, I don't know, it seems like a waste of time, but maybe...

Diabolical voice (in a whisper):  Take the bait, little mouse... take the bait...

Me:  Oh, fine, I guess one quick look won't hurt me.

Alex Jones:  Atrazine does have the same effects in mammals as it has in frogs.  And it changes areas of the brain associated with the olfactory nerve.  That's the nose, my friend.  That's the part of your brain that hooks to your nose.  And everything else that make men feel attracted to other men...  The Pentagon developed a Atrazine-type spray that they would spray.  They tested it actually in Iraq.  That's classified but it was -- it got leaked.  You can pull it up.  Gay bomb!  They always take like a clip of me going gay bomb, baby!  And then I show BBC, but they cut the BBC, and it's basically a chemical cocktail, not just of Atrazine.  They add some other chemicals.  It's classified.  But the word is, it's like, what's ecstasy's compound?  I forgot.  MDMA!  They mix that with Atrazine and stuff.  And then they spray that on you and you'll start having sex with a fire hydrant...  I mean, the point is, is that sex is all based not even on visual, men it's mainly -- but it's smells with women particularly.  But they can flip that on.  It's like perfume.  You know, everybody knows about that?  Well, they've got weaponized perfumes, basically that will make men attracted to other men and they want you to do that so you don't have kids.


Me (eyes spinning):  Yes... gay bombs... weaponized sex perfumes... mixed with atrazine and stuff...  "olfactory" means "nose," my friend...  guys humping fire hydrants...  It all makes so much sense, now!

Diabolical voice:  See, isn't this better than some silly story about new advancements in science?

Me:  ... thank heaven for Alex Jones, for having figured all this out!  Otherwise I might have inhaled some atrazine mixed with MDMA, and suddenly gotten the hots for that guy who lives down the street, which would make my life all higgledy-piggledy!  And if he turned me down, I'd have to look for a fire hydrant!

Diabolical voice:  Lucky you have me around, isn't it?

Me:  Really lucky.

Diabolical voice:  Next up: Rudy Giuliani explains how being loudly booed at Yankee Stadium means everyone loves him.

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This week's book recommendation is the biography of one of the most inspirational figures in science; the geneticist Barbara McClintock.  A Feeling for the Organism by Evelyn Fox Keller not only explains to the reader McClintock's groundbreaking research into how transposable elements ("jumping genes") work, but is a deft portrait of a researcher who refused to accept no for an answer.  McClintock did her work at a time when few women were scientists, and even fewer were mavericks who stood their ground and went against the conventional paradigm of how things are.  McClintock was one -- and eventually found the recognition she deserved for her pioneering work with a Nobel Prize.





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