Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

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Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Just found old draft blogpost: My day of woo

Tidying out a few old blog posts and came across this. It made me smile so am posting it.

Originally not posted on 10 June 2010.


I once picked up a brochure for the Mind Body Spirit Festival which made me laugh so much I genuinely regret throwing it away. It had something about dolphin mysteries and also a workshop on spoon bending which included the instructions 'bring two teaspoons'.

Quite a few years ago I went along to the festival on what turned out to be a massive day of woo. I'd only intended for it to be a half day of woo with a morning of genetics being discussed, as a non-woo contrast. Unfortunately I failed to notice that the genetics discussion I'd signed up for was at Rudolf Steiner house...

The details are hazy but I went along imagining something like a Royal Institution lecture, perhaps even being recorded for radio, and realised my mistake as soon as I walked into a room with a small horse shoe of about 15 chairs. I was of a mind to make a dash for it but stuck it out.

There was a chap (Dean from Reading, hi if you're reading) sitting opposite me who was a fellow skeptic and whose eye I avoided for the entire event in case he set me off giggling.

All I can really remember was trying to rearrange my face not to appear too mocking when one of our small group raised the serious issue of creating a cloned human as whichever died first would get into heaven leaving the soul of the cloned human in real trouble.

At the tea break one woman who'd sat silently next to me for the event till that point announced she was leaving - not because she was made of tougher stuff than me and decided the woo was enough, but because she was extremely socially anxious and worried constantly that she'd just said something inappropriate. I felt a bit sorry for her in what's obviously a miserable plight but it really was a pretty odd morning.

Then I trotted along to the MBS Festival - the best and most sensible bit has to be the 'gong therapy'. I'm no idea if it's remotely therapeutic but the bowls and gongs do make a fantastic sound. More recently I enjoyed them, in an ostensibly non-therapeutic setting, at Longplayer in Camden. Here's a brief video I took, at TwitVid and an audioboo.

Edit: I'll have to try and find the audioboo now...

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