Dr Karl is famous for his boundless enthusiasm for all things science.
But the details of his own incredible life are less familiar - before he became a medical doctor, Dr Karl worked as a mechanic, a roadie (for people like Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry), a steel worker and a filmmaker.
In 1995 he took up the position of the Julius Sumner Miller Fellow at Sydney University, spreading the good word about science and its benefits.
Among his many accolades, one of his favourites is being named Australia's Father of the Year in 2003.
Physicists clock, on average, 23,000 air miles per year flying around the world to observatories, conferences and meetings, and generally use 130 KWh more energy per day than the average United States citizen….
I was walking my Mum’s dog in a nearby cemetery* and one aspect struck me. Maybe it is because I don’t have a religion? It seems strange that those who do are/were** catered for by segregated burial areas.
If your religion means you cant mix after death, what hope is there on Earth?
* Dog walking is allowed, with some limitations I’m happy to observe.
** Some of these are historical but the current rules still observe some cultural and religious division.
UPDATE 2011-08-30: I guess Atheists go into Public, Ash or Eco?
During an idle moment, waiting for something, a noise drew my gaze toward the sky. It came through the solid cloud cover and I strained to identify the source. I had a good idea but wondered how you’d explain it to someone who didn’t, who knew nothing of our modern world?
Of these alternatives I doubt they would pick the correct one:
Angry Sky Gods?
Thunder, from lightening I couldn’t see?
Several hundred people (and hundreds of tonnes of metal, fuel, luggage) high above the cloud watching movies and, possibly, about to tuck into a late lunch while doing about 900 km/h as they head to the over side of the world.
The man with his bag of secrets far above the clouds
I can’t prove it wasn’t 1, it is perhaps the simplest answer and some might say with faith it is all you need. 2 makes noise in the sky but this was different, longer lasting and far less dramatic.
If you didn’t know about modern aviation then 3 would be absurd. However visit to an airport would provide enough evidence to suggest it was not only possible, but also the most likely.
4: Far Above the Clouds
It also reminded me of this:
And the man in the rain picked up his bag of secrets, and journeyed up the mountainside, far above the clouds, and nothing was ever heard from him again, except for the sound of Tubular Bells
It was an aircraft up where the sun or moon always shine. I never saw it but from the engine noise I suspect a 747-400 as was louder than I’d expect an A380 to be. The simplest solution is not always the correct one, faith is not the answer but evidence provides one.
It was great to meet the Skepticbros, Tom and Nick, at the TAMOZ fringe Bloggers Breakfast (seen below being interviewed for Token Skeptic #42 Podcast by Kylie "Podblack Cat" Sturgess). Inspired, more accurately appalled, by dubious claims & massive profit margins made by plastic hologram bands they did something about it and made their own.
The Placebo Band
Placebo Bands are a stretchy silicon band with a hologram & embossed text. They don’t claim to rely on mystical qualities as any effect is entirely from the mind of the wearer (as described in this quote from the Placebo Band site):
No more popping pills, painful needles or smelly ointments. Simply pop Placebo Band on your wrist and you’re good to go.
Placebo Band features two eye catching holograms that not only attract and impress others but also remind you that you’re wearing Placebo Band long after the sensation on the wrist has subsided.
Placebo Band uses two powerful, scientifically proven effects, the placebo effect (Placebo) and confirmation bias (Confirmation Bias), that, combined with a subtle alteration in your own activities, help to strengthen your own personal desired outcomes and even desired outcomes in others!”
They are $2 (about 1/20 – 1/40th the cost of similar products) and profits, yes at that price they make a small profit, are being donated to charity. Already Placebo Bands have helped the fight Polio with a donation to a Rotary End Polio campaign.
I have felt much better since wearing a Placebo Band, at least I think I have!