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Newsletter 37: Application to Appeal (again) on Wednesday

1. Application to Appeal

2. Twitter

3. TAM London

4. Spanish Castle Illusion

5. Out and About

6. Old Competition Winner

7. New Competition Puzzle

1. Application to Appeal
I am back at the High Court on Wednesday 14 October. I will renew my application to appeal the ruling on meaning in my libel case against the British Chiropractic Association. Hopefully there will be news on the result by the end of the week. Jack of Kent’s recent blog gives an excellent summary of the current situation.

http://jackofkent.blogspot.com/2009/10/simon-singh-background-to-next-hearing.html
The campaign for libel reform is moving up a gear. Richard Dawkins spoke at the Liberal Democrat party conference – there was a huge show of support from and the delegates and libel reform will be part of the Lib Dem manifesto. I spoke to the science group at the Tory party conference this past week and raised the issue of libel reform. Over the next three months there will be a major push on the issue of libel reform, so please keep an eye out for news. And, of course, wherever you are in the world, please sign up to the statement of support. We need to turn 20,000 names into 100,000 names!

http://www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/index.php/site/project/333/

2. Twitter
I have joined the legions of Twitterers as “SLSingh” – follow me for various updates on everything from lectures to the libel case (as well as maths, crypto and cosmology).

3. TAM London
The Amazing Meeting came to London courtesy of the James Randi Foundation. It was a brilliant weekend. In particular, it was great to see and hear Randi via the video link, which enabled the audience to ask him lots of questions. I was reminded of Randi’s remarkable involvement with Project Alpha – find out more at:

4. Spanish Castle Illusion
In case you have not seen it, here is one the most extraordinary optical illusions on the web:

5. Out and About
I will be giving various talks around the UK this autumn. They are all listed on my website – please keep an eye out for the two fundraisers for Bletchley Park, the two events on libel happening this coming week in London, and lots of shows with Robin Ince’s Book Club in Cambridge, Bath, Brighton and Folkstone.

http://www.simonsingh.net/Simon_Lectures.php

I have not listed this winter’s “Godless” shows as they have all sold out. However, if you don’t have a ticket then visit the New Humanist website at the end of the week for some good news.

http://blog.newhumanist.org.uk/2009/10/nine-lessons-and-carols-for-godless.html

(Before I receive a fresh batch of emails – similar to those I received last year – I should clarify something. As far as I am concerned, the “Godless” shows are not anti-religious, but rather pro-rationalist. They will be celebration of the universe. We may even have some carols.)

6. Old Competition Winner
Noel Potter from Cleveland suggested 6^(2+1)=216‏ as a solution to A^(B+C)=BCA, so he receives a copy of “Why Does E=mc^2?: (and Why Should We Care?)” by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw. Other possible solutions include 5^(1+2)=125 and 2^(8-1)=128.

7. New Puzzle Competition
Lisa Wadley from the University of Glamorgan is working on a student project and asked me if I knew the longest word that could be Caesar-shifted to form another word. For example, COLD turns into FROG if each letter is replaced by the letter 3 places further down the alphabet. Or DOLLS turns into WHEEL if each letter is Caesar shifted by 19 places. But can you help Lisa and find a word that is longer than 5 letters long?
Please send your answer to competition@simonsingh.net – put your answer in the subject header and your address in the body of the email. The closing date for entries is October 14 – Lisa’s project deadline is approaching fast. The winner (whoever comes up with the longest pair of English words) will receive a copy of “Isaac Newton” by James Gleick.

Cheerio,
Simon.