Sunday, April 01, 2012

Erratic Boulder 2011

Sisyfos [Sisyphus], the Czech scientific skeptics' club, has distributed the annual "Erratic Boulder" awards for 2011. The prize acknowledges unusual contributions to the muddy thinking in the society.

Astrophysicist Dr Jiří Grygar, a leading face of Sisyfos, holds the hammer against astrologers in his hand. He gave a lecture and congratulated the winners in the Strouhal Lecture Hall (Karlov F1), a room of my Alma Mater that I know very intimately. Too bad I didn't go there, it could have been fun.

As the pseudoscientific thinking spreads all over the society and gets increasingly sophisticated, the number of nominees goes up, too. More than 100 candidates were nominated in this year.

Ivan Bertl received his prize for his patient promotion of graphology into the standardized education and curricula. One may look at your writing and see everything about you.

Quantum Medical Institute was appreciated for its device that is able to diagnose everything about the human health in a minute.

Mr Andrej Dragomirecký managed to transform magic, exorcism, and spiritism into a form of psychotherapy.

Bioinstitute o.p.s. was appreciated for its support of irrational web pages about "environmentally friendly agriculture".

Ms Karolina Loskotová, also known as Aluška, has been promoting a miraculous cure for your eyes and a method to unblock your brain. The groundbreaking treatment she recommends to you involves looking into the Sun with your naked eyes. That's very clever, indeed. She has already thanked Sisyfos for a great advertisement for her new book and I am afraid she has a point.

Mr Adam Bartoš – a journalist who often writes anti-Semitic texts – deserved his honor for his server and a neverending stream of conspiracy theories and especially for his successful unmasking of the HAARP system. ;-) He has already said that the antiprize is also an insult to President Klaus, something that Sisyfos would probably not be afraid of if needed (but Havel – a sponsor of homeopathy and lots of other "sciences" – has always been much closer to winning an erratic boulder than Klaus). ;-)

Bartoš actually gave a pretty good speech when he picked the award. Not everyone does. He pointed out that he was a skeptic as well, a Euroskeptic and a climate skeptic, and he's right.

Congratulations to all these great minds!

Previous winners of the antiprize include the super famous Czech singer Mr Karel Gott, astrologers Antonín Baudyš (both Jr and Sr, Sr was a defense minister), Czech American psychiatrist Stanislav Grof, Swiss writer Erich von Däniken, and biotronician Tomáš Pfeiffer, among many others.

See Erratic Boulder 2007 (TRF) and some report in the Czech media

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