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Mini-Science Q & A – Science and the paranormal

Mini-Science logo At the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evening’s presenter, who answers as many as possible on the spot. Three of the unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. Here are questions from Dr. Joe Schwarcz’s lecture “Science and the paranormal” (April 7, 2010).
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The best psychic reader in the world?

Mini-Science logo Guest columnist Joe Schwarcz is the Director of McGill’s Office for Science and Society.  His talk “Science and the Paranormal”  opens the 2010 series of Mini-Science, “Pseudoscience: From Quirks to Quacks.”  Mini-Science starts April 7, so register for the series now!

She’s rich.  She’s famous.  And she’s heartless.  Who, but an unfeeling person, would tell the parents of a missing child, without any evidence, that their son is dead?  Sylvia Browne, that’s who.  “The best psychic reader in the world,” as she bills herself.  Well, maybe not quite the best. (more…)

Homeopathy: Illusion, Delusion or Solution?

Mini-Science logo Guest columnist Joe Schwarcz, Director of McGill’s Office for Science and Society, puts the sense back into common sense. On April 7, his talk “Science and the Paranormal”  opens the 2010 series of Mini-Science, “Pseudoscience: From Quirks to Quacks.” Space is limited; register now for Mini-Science 2010.

Living in New York City can undoubtedly be stressful.  So it is not too surprising that in many a pharmacy you’ll find “New York Stress Tabs.”  The label describes the product as a “homeopathic lozenge designed to manage daily stresses related to sleep, work, relationships, travel, hangover, over-indulgence and pre-menstrual syndrome.”  The instructions suggest that a lozenge be dissolved in the mouth and that the process be repeated hourly as needed.  New York must indeed be a very stressful place.

What magical ingredients can accomplish these wonderful stress-relieving feats?  The label reveals the presence of aconite and strychnine, two classic poisons!  (more…)

Bending Spoons and Bending Minds

Mini-Science logoGuest columnist Joe Schwarcz, Director of McGill’s Office for Science and Society, puts the sense back into common sense. On April 7, his talk “Science and the Paranormal”  opens the 2010 series of Mini-Science, “Pseudoscience: From Quirks to Quacks.”  Mini-Science registration opens March 1.

Everyone should go to a magic convention at least once in their lives.  You’ll be fooled and entertained as coins vanish, selected cards rise out of decks and ten dollar bills float in mid-air in front of your eyes.  But most important, you’ll never look at the world the same way again.  Frankly, I can’t think of a better way to foster critical thinking than to be fooled by the honest charlatans at a magic convention. (more…)

Q & A – Mars on Earth

Mini-Science logo At the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evening’s presenter, who answers as many as possible on the spot. Three of the unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. Here are questions from Prof. Wayne Pollard’s lecture “Exploring Mars on Earth: The Arctic as an Analogue for Mars” (May 13, 2009).
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Quiz: Exploring Inner and Outer Space

Mini-Science logo
Here are the highlights of questions and answers from Dr. Dave Williams’ lecture, Up or Down: The Body’s Plasticity in Exploring Inner and Outer Space, from the May 6 edition of Mini-Science .

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Q & A – Measuring the Universe

Mini-Science logo At the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evening’s presenter, who answers as many as possible on the spot. Three of the unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. In addition, a quiz is held each week based on material from the lecture. Here are questions and the quiz from Prof. Robert Rutledge’s lecture ‘‘…in a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Measuring the Size of the Universe’ (April 29, 2009).

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Q & A – Exoplanets

Mini-Science logo At the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evening’s presenter, who answers as many as possible on the spot. Three of the unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. In addition, a quiz is held each week based on material from the lecture. Here are questions and the quiz from Prof. Andrew Cumming’s lecture ‘In Search of New Worlds: The Discovery and Characterization of Exoplanets’ (April 22, 2009).
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Q & A – Island Universes

Mini-Science logo At the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evening’s presenter, who answers as many as possible on the spot. Three of the unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. In addition, a quiz is held each week based on material from the lecture. Here are questions and the quiz from Prof. Tracy Webb’s lecture ‘Island Universes: The Nature and Origin of Galaxies’ (April 15, 2009).
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Q & A – An Astronomer’s Window

minisciencelogo-300pxAt the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evening’s presenter, who answers as many as possible on the spot. Three of the unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. In addition, a quiz is held each week based on material from the lecture. Here are questions and the quiz from Prof. Matt Dobbs’ lecture ‘An Astronomer’s Window on the Birth of the Universe’ (April 8, 2009).
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Q & A – Neutron Stars

minisciencelogo-300pxAt the conclusion of each Mini-Science lecture, audience members submit their questions to the evening’s presenter, who answers as many as possible on the spot. Three of the unanswered questions are sent to the presenter for posting here. In addition, a quiz is held each week based on material from the lecture. Here are questions and the quiz from Prof. Victoria Kaspi’s lecture ‘Neutron Stars: Lighthouses of the Cosmos’ (April 1, 2009).
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