Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People

1. Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People
2. Chiropractors and libel case
3. Odd Christmas Presents
4. Trick or Treatment? in Sweden & Italy
5. Competition Winner
6. Puzzle Competition

1. Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People

The main reason for this newsletter is to let you know about an extraordinary show being organised by Robin Ince in London. Even if you can’t make it to the show, you might be interested to hear that it brings together comedians, musicians and scientists (including me) to celebrate the life, the universe and everything The first two shows sold out at the Bloomsbury Theatre even before tickets were advertised, so an extra show has been added at the Apollo Hammersmith, which holds 3,500 people. The show is on December 21 and you can find out more at http://skeptic.org.uk/news/tag/godless and you can book tickets via http://www.londononline.co.uk/events/1470/

As you will see on the website, the show will include Richard Dawkins and Ben Goldacre, and the secret extra special guests will include Tim Minchin, Ricky Gervais and Dara O’Briain. There will be an advert in Saturday’s Guardian so I would recommend getting in quick if you want to come along.

2. Chiropractors and libel case

Unfortunately I am still not in a position to talk about the libel case, but there has been a fair amount of blogging on the subject so you can get up to speed by googling various words such as Simon Singh chiropractors libel sued etc.

3. Odd Christmas Presents

If you are already thinking about Christmas presents then how about naming a symmetrical mathematical object after a loved one. The very clever and kind-hearted mathematician, writer and broadcaster Marcus Du Sautoy has offered to find an appropriate object in return for a minimum donation of $10. You can find out more at http://www.firstgiving.com/findingmoonshine

4. Trick or Treatment? in Sweden & Italy

After publication in Britain and America, Trick or Treatment? has just been translated and published in Sweden and Italy. I spent a couple of days in Stockholm with my co-author Edzard Ernst – we lectured to doctors and skeptics and conducted half a dozen major interviews, which led to the book being catapulted into the bestsellers list. To celebrate the launch in Italy, I am giving away ten Italian editions of Fermat’s Last Theorem and The Code Book. If you would like a copy then please email me at simoncontact@hotmail.com – put “Codici & Segreti” or “L’ultimo Teorema di Fermat” in the subject header along with your address in the body of the email. I expect a flurry of interest for the ten books available, so please do not bother emailing after midday on Friday as they will go very quickly.

5. Competition Winner

In the last newsletter, I asked: “What was the first in-flight movie?” Jack Flynn from California wins a copy of “Hot Topic – how to tackle global warming and still keep the lights on” signed by the authors Gabrielle Walker and Sir David King. Jack – perhaps you could lend your copy to Sarah Palin once you have finished reading it.

Jack agreed with me that the answer to the competition was “Inherit the Wind”, a brilliant film based on the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial and starring Spencer Tracy. It is now available on DVD and worth watching as a reminder of how we have moved backwards in terms of creationist thinking in high places. It is certainly something that Sarah Palin ought to watch after she has read “Hot Topic”. However, I received lots of other suggestions for the first in-flight movie and I suspect that they are also correct depending on how the terms of the question are defined. Hence, I am also sending a copy of Fermat’s Last Theorem to Anna Johnston in London who (like many others) suggested “The Lost World” as an answer.

6. Puzzle Competition

I am hoping that this competition has only one answer, but I am happy to be corrected. Which American entertainer with a mathematical and scientific slant to much of his work (and whose surname contains twice as many letters as his first name) was supposedly introduced to the UK thanks to the patronage of Princess Margaret?

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 26. One of the correct entries will win a copy of On Space and Time edited by Shahn Majid and with chapters by Roger Penrose, John Polkingforne and others speculating on the nature of the universe.

And, finally… thanks for all the emails of support regarding the chiropractic libel case. I am sorry if I have not had time to reply, but the emails are all much appreciated.

Cheerio,

Simon.

Ps. If you need to email me, then please do not reply to this address, as your email will not reach me. Please go via the website https://www.simonsingh.net and click the contact button. It takes me ages to answer emails, as I am struggling to keep up with my correspondence, so please be patient.

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