#QEDCon – Random Notes and Pictures from Saturday

QED___24th-26th_April_2015___Manchester__UK___Question__Explore__DiscoverOn the way in we got a goodie bag that contained … well here you go …


Audience gathers …


Our MC is the amazing Matt Parker …

img_3255w-matt… and of course no QED would be incomplete without some religious folks outside …


… but we now begin to understand why …

Opening Video

The introduction video was yet again amazing as it is each and every year. I managed to bag a seat in the front row and then found that Susan Blackmore had sat down beside me, so I proceeded to have a fanboy moment. After she watched the opening clip, she asked, “Is it always like this”. When I told her it was, it clearly left her feeling that she should have come to QED in previous years.

Captain Disillusion

img_3254w-cptnThe official description was this …

Alan Melikdjanian, better known as his superhero alter-ego Captain Disillusion, is an independent filmmaker who examines viral videos and paranormal reports to identify and expose signs of hoaxes and special effects. With over 100,000 YouTube subscribers and over 8,000,000 cumulative views, Captain Disillusion has debunked some of the most widely spread hoax viral videos, demonstrating precisely the techniques involved in producing each hoax.

… and that I suggest is a huge understatement, because this is a guy who not only has something important to say, but also combined that with a highly effective communication strategy. I can only perhaps say that you just had to be there.

The rather immediate and obvious go-to for many will be to subscribe to his YouTube channel, so with that thought in mind, here it is.

Petra Boynton “advice columns”

Next up was Dr Petra ready to advise us on giving advice

img_3256w-adviceSusan Blackmore has a question during the Q&A …


ex-naturopath Britt Hermes

This was the primary talk and got a well-deserved standing ovation …




You can find her blog here – https://www.naturopathicdiaries.com

13:00 Mark Stevenson – Talks about the future

img_3259wIt was indeed a rapid flow of amazing new ideas and concepts every 3 seconds from @Optimistontour


14:00 – Timandra Harkness – Big Data

img_3260w-th@TimandraHarknes tells us what data is and what makes it big?

15:00 – Susan Blackmore – Out of Body Experiences

img_3261w-susanblackmoreSusan personally experienced an OBE while a student at Oxford and that then motivated her to become a parapsychologist and investigate it all. It led her on a long journey that eventually led to the conclusion that there was nothing paranormal going on.

She designed tests. Would put out random objects and had people try to do an out of body from somewhere remote to come see, but nobody ever managed to do it.

The Tunnel Experience – happens on edge of sleep, during NDEs, and with hallucinogens such as LSD.

Narcolepsy – David Howard falls asleep, is often abducted by aliens and taken to a far planet. When they got his medication to work, it all stopped, and he was very disappointed.

Olaf Blanke in 2002 managed to stimulate exactly right spot in brain and triggered an OOBE (Nature, 2002, 41§9, 269-270). The Temporoparietal junction TPJ

She then talks about The Rubber Hand Illusion and illustrates it with a few volunteers to show how you can induce OBE like experiences.

It is not an uncommon experience.

16:00 Dr Karl – Great Moments in Science

img_3262w-drkarlIs telling us about his life in science, opens with clip he got during antarctic trip.

Explains grandmother death rates for students increases as the student’s grades decrease. Solution is to only enrol only orphans.

Makes the case that Autism causes vaccines (Hint for those not here … it is satire)

He then moves on to a hilarious satire of climate change denial.

Oh heck, this is a work of art and is jam packed with gems, but I just can’t keep up. You will just have to watch the video when it is up on YouTube.

Now having a serious go (quite rightly) at the anti-vaccine crowd. ChickenPox causes strokes in kids. there is a 1/60,000 death rate.

The Flynn Effect. Each of you in 9 IQ points smarter than your teachers.

We now live in the most peaceful time that there has ever been in human history.

If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties. – Sir Francis Bacon

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