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TED: Ideas Worth Spreading April 1, 2010

Posted by huymix in Electronics, Internet Site, Science, Television.
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The TED Conferences are generally held in the UK, but have been branching out to other countries (India in particular) and have been talking about specific fields (in particular, medical otherwise known as TED MED).The organization is a non-profit and most of the material is available online. You should keep your eye on TED regularly because:

  • The guests they have are generally pretty interesting. They talk about things that range from eye care in India to wireless electricity.
  • The site has new videos everyday. If you ever said, “I want to learn 1 new thing everyday”, then the TED site is perfect for you to do exactly that.
  • Admission to the site is free, to attend it is way too expensive. So, these videos is a way to gain access to discussion that would not normally be allowed even 10 years ago due to technical achievements.

As long as you’re interested in new ideas and thought provoking discussion, I can thoroughly recommend watching and keeping tabs on the TED site.

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Skeptic North February 16, 2010

Posted by huymix in Science.
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Skeptic North Blog

The Skeptic North Blog is the first “Canada-wide” blog for skeptics. Let’s say you are either a skeptic (self-identifying or not) or not a skeptic, my reasons for you to skip the Skeptic North Blog will probably apply. If you follow some skeptical media, than you might have more of an appreciation for my reasons but either way the end result is a pass on this blog. Why do I say this even though I am Canadian and a self-identified skeptic?

  • The information is not so different that what is already out there. On understanding statistics 1 and 2, the writing is neither in depth enough for people who want to know more nor is it accessible enough for those with a passing interest. It’s a waste of time for these writers to retread the same ground more effectively covered by others. The whole left panel with Skeptics/Science Links is almost a litany of sites that cover the same topics.
  • The blog is hard to read. If you haven’t clicked to the site, the whole format is a 3 columns of words, words and more words format. The problem is that for the reader, it all gets a little too jumbled and with the length of some of these posts, and the 3-column formatĀ  it feels like reading through an invisible straw.
  • The writing is dry. Science and skepticism isn’t always sexy, but that doesn’t matter since on the internet there are so many options and views are at a premium. Plus, there are science blogs that manage to write without being very dry. Honestly, I wanted to be actively reading and responding to the site but after a couple of weeks of dry post after dry post I just couldn’t bother clicking on the site anymore.

Skeptic North is new and maybe they need some time to find their voice and focus on what will draw an audience and provide value for your time spent. Right now, the only value the site has is to aggregate other very good skeptical/science blogs. Make no mistake, I want there to be a successful Skeptic North Blog, I just want it to be a worthwhile Skeptic North and not what is there right now.