I hope you all had a good Christmas, and that if you had a break that it was an enjoyable one. I was lucky enough to be greeted by the following passive aggressive email on Christmas Eve by a Catholic man who emails me occasionally to challenge my lack of belief in the Christian god: Subject_: Merry Christmas Mark. Hi Mark. I wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas. May The one & only Truth bless you with the peace and joy that comes from wisely and humbly submitting oneself to Him. All the best for a Happy New year 😊 Peace be with you._ Needless to say I will not be submitting to his idea of a god, at least not until he can provide good evidence that a) his god exists, b) his god wants me to submit myself to him and c) there's a good reason for me to submit. Failing that, I'm going to continue to be a happy, fulfilled atheist. In lighter and funnier news, Bronwyn messaged me recently to let me know that a picture of me subjecting Craig Shearer to a Scientology Auditing session with an e-meter has found its way to the Scientology in New Zealand Wikipedia page: Craig and I were at the new Scientology “Ideal Org” building on its open day, hoping to catch a glimpse of David Miscavige, and while we were there we wandered around the building and got to see such sights as L Ron Hubbard's office (from what I understand there's one reserved for his “return” in every Ideal Org building), the Purification Rundown spa room, and the documents room holding notes from every Scientology member's auditing sessions. Fellow skeptic Robin took the picture, but he's not sure how it ended up on Wikipedia. However it happened, it tickled me to see it there! In this week's newsletter, we have a correction from Barry Lennox regarding my article before Christmas about boiling batteries to recharge them. Barry wrote to me saying that he was skeptical of my claim that you can't recharge a disposable battery. Although he agrees that boiling definitely won't work, he points out that technically you can recharge disposable batteries with the right equipment, and with some severe limitations. He also warns that "terms and conditions apply", by which I presume he means he doesn't endorse anyone trying this at home as it may be dangerous. In other news, I've had a play with the new ChatGPT AI and ponder whether we're seeing the start of something big, or if this new AI is all talk and no trousers. Alexander has been thinking about the No True Scotsman fallacy, and wondering whether skeptics can have it both ways. And finally Bronwyn investigates a local eBook seller who can make you rich, but who seems to have a patchy history with her own business ventures.

Recommended Posts