Monthly Archives: September 2012

Episode 155 – 28th September 2012

We speak to Ben Goldacre about his new book, Bad Pharma, find out what we can do now anti-choice activists are protesting again, hear what Dawkins had to say at the NSS conference, and discover the vaccine for whooping cough.



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Please Donate & Support the Pod Delusion
Go on, it’s like buying us two drinks a month!

Due to hosting changes from this episode on we’re going to be shouldering the bandwidth costs for hosting the podcasts directly – so please donate and help us keep the Pod Delusion online and free to download!

Ben Goldacre Interview (2:10) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Ben Goldacre!)
40 Days For Life Are Back (21:30) by James O’Malley (ft Lucy Porter & Kerry J)
Dawkins at the NSS Conference (26:12) by James O’Malley (ft Richard Dawkins)
Nature Deficit Disorder (34:13) by Martin Saban-Smith
Whooping Cough Vaccine (42:26) by Peter English
Rbutr (53:08) by Kylie Sturgess (ft Shane Greenup)

Follow-Up Links:

National Secular Society 2012 Conference Podcasts

Recorded on the 22nd September 2012, these were the speeches given at the 2012 National Secular Society conference in London. We’re still waiting for permission to broadcast from a couple of speakers but most are there!

Professor Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins is a world famous Atheist, having authored several books and popularising Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. He studies ethology which is the study of animal behaviour and evolutionary biology. Dawkins was the Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1995 till 2008 at Oxford University. After retiring from this position, he now travels internationally giving lectures and making documentaries to increase Atheism awareness.


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Nia Griffith MP
Nia Griffith is Member of Parliament for Llanelli, Shadow Minister for Wales and a campaigner for Lords reform. She is a firm believer in the need for the separation of church and state.


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Nick Cohen
Nick Cohen is a journalist, author, political commentator and eloquent supporter of secularism. He is a critic of the increasing role of religion in state education and of the Left’s tendency to pander to religious fundamentalists. His latest work,You Can’t Read This Book, is on freedom of expression.


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Pragna Patel
Pragna Patel is a secular campaigner, founding member of Southall Black Sisters and co-founder of Women Against Fundamentalism. In 2010 Pragna received the Irwin Prize for Secularist of the Year on behalf of Southall Black Sisters.


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Peter Tatchell
Peter Tatchell has been campaigning for human rights, democracy, LGBT freedom and global justice since 1967. Through the Peter Tatchell Foundation, he campaigns for human rights in Britain and internationally. In 2012 Peter was awarded the Irwin Prize for Secularist of the Year.


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Maryam Namazie
Maryam Namazie is a secular campaigner and commentator, spokesperson for the One Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. In 2005 she was awarded the Irwin Prize for Secularist of the Year.


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Professor Ted Cantle CBE
Ted Cantle is Professor at the Institute of Community Cohesion. His report into the northern riots of 2001 drew attention to the “segregated” ethnic and religious communities living ‘parallel’ lives. His new book confronts the failures of multiculturalism head on and establishes a new concept — interculturalism — for managing community relations in a world defined by globalization and super-diversity.


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Episode 154 – 21st September 2012

What happened at the Secular Europe Rally, is the EU silencing the BNP, what’s the deal with payday lenders and getting up close and personal with the binomial distribution. And more!



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Please Donate & Support the Pod Delusion
Go on, it’s like buying us two drinks a month!

Due to hosting changes from this episode on we’re going to be shouldering the bandwidth costs for hosting the podcasts directly – so please donate and help us keep the Pod Delusion online and free to download!

Secular Europe Rally (2:41) by Sean Ellis (ft Peter Tatchell, Pavan Dhaliwal, Terry Sanderson & Robin Ince)
Peterson Toscano (13:13) by Adam Knowles
Ada Lovelace Day (23:25) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Suw Charman-Anderson)
Silencing the BNP (32:21) by Eon
Loansharks (43:48) by Carl Packman
Merseyside Video (53:13) by Drew Rae (Performed by Elizabeth Donnelly)
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

Follow-Up Links:

Thanks are not enough

Wow.

There are no words to express how absolutely thrilled we are that everyone had such a great time last night.  When the idea of putting on the Pod Delusion’s birthday party all on our own (without the safety net that is London Skeptics in the Pub where we’ve had our previous two birthday shenanigans) we were rather nervous.  It all came together within about three months!  Three months to get speakers, get volunteers, sort out running a big event (which neither of us had done before) plan, write scripts and PANIC!  The day we picked also was in the middle of family being over from Canada for two weeks.

But it worked!  I’m making this assumption based on the wonderful tweets before, during and after the show and the amount of people we had in the Enterprise post-gig.

We totally couldn’t have done it alone.  Just like the podcast itself – this only works when lots of people get involved. I hope I won’t forget thanking everyone!

First – all our wonderful speakers!  It still amazes us every week the reports we get sent in by people who have been with the Pod Delusion from the beginning and brand new people alike.  At the end of the night I just sat there in awe – it was a true to form Pod Delusion line up.  Topics so varied and different that on paper would make you wonder how it would all come together – but for some reason, for us, it works.

So a hearty thank you to Drew Rae (who! may I add, did not give James a bag of bad luck charms but an awesome book on cycling!) for giving us a risk assessment of the apocalypse.   It made it such a great night to have people on that stage that have been an integral part of the Pod Delusion an who have been contributing for so long.

Martin Robbins, who led the rousing chorus of ‘Fuck you, Daily Mail’ which, I think, was almost therapeutic for everyone in the room.  He’s an amazing blogger and it’s lovely that despite how busy people are, they seem to always have a bit of time for the podcast.

Peter Buckley Hill! Who led the audience to sing a re-invented ‘Why do birds suddenly appear?’ We feel rather honoured to have the man who runs the free fringe descend upon our show.

Claire Benson! Who brought fire!  May have slightly worried some people at the fine Conway Hall (including a highly sceptical care taker) but other than a few non-lighting matches, it went off without a hitch.  For those of you who like risk assessments:

The second half kicked off with the Skeptic Magazine’s Deborah Hyde talking about the malign supernatural.  Deborah has been a long time friend to the Pod Delusion and I don’t think the skeptic scene would be the same without her.

Kate Russell (as James would say – from the telly!)  We were so chuffed that Kate agreed to come and talk at our show after being flyered outside TAM 2010.  Aside from being super lovely, she has informed us now of the menace of INFOGRAPHICS!  It always amazes us the diversity and sheer amount of  people who listen to our show.  We’re glad that James’ flyering actually works!

The night was magical enough but after seen Alom Shaha at Winchester Science Festival (which we really hope will return again next year) doing magic and science – James didn’t want Alom to talk about his brilliant book – but instead do us some magic.  Possibly getting the most laughs of the night with his lovely assistant, Martin Robbins, it made the party a real party.

We had a final, last minute addition to the line up with Helen Arney from SO MANY THINGS – fame.  Her own brilliant shows Voice of an Angle and Festival of the Spoken Nerd are both touring to A TOWN NEAR YOU! So if you like geeky comedy, you should support one of the hardest working comedians in the business as they say.

And also VOLUNTEERS!

Man, none of this night would have been possible without all the lovely people who helped out at the gig.

Our excellent bar posse, Tessa Kendall, Carmen D’Cruz and Billy Abbott.  You guys had the busiest job of the night and we so appreciate you taking on the job.  Gosh.  You are just all so lovely, I don’t know what to say.  If you ever need someone to help you move house, I’m totally there.

Amy Crosthwaite and Blakeley Nixon who everyone would have met, checking your names at the door.  They didn’t have to do the mic wrangling in the end as we started running behind from the beginning (so no James’ Holiday Photo powerpoint).  They were brilliant as we weren’t even set up yet when people started coming to Conway Hall.

Jenny Bartle, former president of the AHS who was helping all the speakers out when arriving and generally being helpful and calm when James and I were getting increasingly manic.  Also, looking rather the part in her Pod Delusion t-shirt!  We’ve had many a conversation via Skype for AHS duties or at other humanist and secular events during her tenure as president.

We had an impromptu people-wranger in Mike Fielding – who helped guide people to the appropriate room as we were sharing Conway Hall with the Iraqi Association that night.  I think people going to either event were slightly confused at some point.  Mike is also one of the nicest people I know and so if you ever see him, you should totally give him a hug.  He’ll totally appreciate it.

And our Media Team (we had a media team?)

Dave Lee and Trent Burton who filmed the whole evening (so we’ll put it up at some point on YouTube) and Dave Hughes one of the people who bring you the excellent Winchester Skeptics.  All three of these guys are super busy, talented and wonderful and we’re just so chuffed that you wanted to help record our wee event!

Thanks to Sid RodgriguesJim Walsh and all the staff from Conway Hall who thought we could pull this off even before we thought we could.  Sid  helped us really bring the birthday party atmosphere.  Also Sid is also a contender for the nicest man in the UK/World Award.  Sid, Carmen and Tessa also of course keep us entertained on a monthly basis by organising London Skeptics in the Pub.  Andy our amazing soundman!  Who got us set up before (and during the show!) and gave me the best look ever when I asked for the fire extinguisher.

Newham books for tempting us all with shiny, shiny books.  The Skeptic Magazine for having their stall and for being a pillar in the skeptical community.  And of course the British Humanist Association our longstanding partners but also our very good friends.  Blakeley Nixon, Sara Passmore, Richy Thompson, Andrew West, Bob Churchill (though now part of the IHEU) and the force of nature that is Andrew Copson.

And of course, thanks to all those who bought tickets and came along!  Contributors, regular listeners, friends and people dragged along by friends.  It was such a brilliant night for us and we hoped you enjoyed it as much as we did.

We’ve worked with so many groups and met so many lovely people over the last three years, we could go on thanking people for several days.

I guess here’s to year four?

Podcast will be up next week, normal time.

Episode 153 – 14th September 2012

What happened when BPAS held a debate with Christian Concern? Why does Christian Wolmar want to be Mayor of London? Can celebrities be Twitter bullies? And what’s the deal with the EU’s silly cookie laws… and more!



[Direct MP3 Link] [Podcast Feed] [Add to iTunes]

Please Donate & Support the Pod Delusion
Go on, it’s like buying us two drinks a month!

Due to hosting changes from this episode on we’re going to be shouldering the bandwidth costs for hosting the podcasts directly – so please donate and help us keep the Pod Delusion online and free to download!

BIG EVENT on SATURDAY

Find out more and BUY TICKETS to our BIG EVENT HERE

BPAS Free Speech Debate (3:04) by James O’Malley (ft Ann Furedi)
Ultrasound and Abortion (7:24) by Trish Hann
Vote for Christian! (15:06) by James O’Malley (ft Christian Wolmar)
Apologies (23:20) by Alex Fitch (with thanks to Ben Cusack)
Cookie Warning Protest (35:21) by Salim Fadhley
Twitter Bullies #1 (44:53) by Tom Williamson (ft Neil Kennedy)
Twitter Bullies #2 (54:02) by Mat Greenfield
Dennett on Religion (61:28) by Deborah Hyde (ft Dan Dennett!)
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy and Brian Two

Follow-Up Links:

Episode 152 – 7th September 2012

We speak to newly elected Green Party leader Natalie Bennett about her plans – and her views on some controversial subjects (GM, nuclear and homeopathy to name but three). We also speak to Simon Singh and Johnnie Shannon about their new ‘Good Thinking’ Society, figure out why the government bothers with reshuffles, discover why IQ tests are actually a rather scientific business, and figure out how students are cheating on their exams.



[Direct MP3 Link] [Podcast Feed] [Add to iTunes]

Please Donate & Support the Pod Delusion
Go on, it’s like buying us two drinks a month!

Due to hosting changes from this episode on we’re going to be shouldering the bandwidth costs for hosting the podcasts directly – so please donate and help us keep the Pod Delusion online and free to download!

BIG EVENT in September

Find out more and BUY TICKETS to our BIG EVENT HERE

Natalie Bennett Interview (3:08) by James O’Malley (ft new Green Party leader Natalie Bennett!)
Reshuffles (26:25) by Cory Hazlehurst
Good Thinking Society (34:14) by James O’Malley (ft Simon Singh and Johnnie Shannon)
Cheating on Exams (41:12) by Drew Rae
New Abortion Research (48:29) by Andrew Holding (ft Professor Siladitya Bhattacharya)
IQ Tests (54:48) by Stuart Ritchie
Who Made Your Pants? (61:38) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft BeckyPants)
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy and Brian Two

Follow-Up Links:

Cory’s Reshuffle Links:

Notes for Stuart’s IQ Piece: