Monthly Archives: October 2012

Leftover Links for October 31, 2012

Hungry for more? Check out these tasty tidbits… No doubt they are valuable in searches but are they reliable? Sniffer dogs on trial. Are Dogs ‘Scientific Devices’? This is a very credulous and completely clueless reporter that has never heard of orbs showing up in photos. But the commenters knew. Mystery ‘orb’ memories haunt The…

Predator panic on Halloween is unwarranted fear mongering

Quick warning: BEWARE OF PREDATORS! PANIC!!! Halloween Warning: Beware of Predators | FOX8.com – Cleveland news & weather from WJW Television FOX 8. It’s time for trick-or-treating, but going door-to-door can put your family at risk if you stop at the wrong house. “As a community, we have to stick together because that’s the only…

No bunches of drowned rats expected

Rodent of Unusual Size (fiction)

Did the rats survive the New York City flooding? What happened to them? Will we be overrun with giant mutant rats? These questions and more are answered by Scientific American. Did NYC rats survive hurricane Sandy? The complicated question, how many drowned and how many survived, is probably impossible to answer. But we can speculate…

Nope, no ghosts to see here. Move along.

chickamauga_ghost

For a change of pace from those ENDLESS and silly tales of local ghost tales and “serious” paranormal investigtors who research them (who are extraordinarily busy this time of year), we have a reality check. All sites are NOT haunted and those silly stories are NOT welcome everywhere. Halloween hauntings a headache for some Chattanooga…

Sandy reveals skeletal surprise

Photo credit: Thomas MacMillan / New Haven Independent

Skeletal remains found in uprooted tree. A century-old tree in New Haven was uprooted Monday afternoon by Sandy’s winds, exposing skeletal remains of unknown origin, as reported by the New Haven Independent. The woman, Katie Carbo, made the discovery around 3:15 p.m. near the corner of College and Chapel streets. Visible among the roots of…

Soul theory: Oh, they used the Q word

Scientists offer quantum theory of soul’s existence. American Dr Stuart Hameroff and British physicist Sir Roger Penrose developed a quantum theory of consciousness asserting that our souls are contained inside structures called microtubules which live within our brain cells. Their idea stems from the notion of the brain as a biological computer, “with 100 billion…

Twitter troll added to panic during Hurricane Sandy

smugtweet

As we referenced, there was SO much doubtful news on the internet on Monday night as New York was slammed by Sandy. The person at the origin of many false rumors has been called on the carpet for his actions. Spreader of False Storm Rumors Gets Outed, Shamed by Internet A good deal of the…

Lama wearing trousers is fake, but still a meteorite

ironman-buddha

OK, that’s a weird headline, read on. Remember this story? Ironman Buddhist King from Space Well, not all is as appears. Nazi buddha from space might be fake. The narrative was, perhaps, just a little too good to be true. When news broke last month of the so-called “buddha from space” – a swastika-emblazoned statue,…

Closed-minded: the non-ability to accept results. Psychics fail test.

In a followup to this story, the results are in: A scientific experiment has found that two mediums were unable to demonstrate that they had special psychic powers. BBC News – Psychic pair fail scientific test. The test by researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London, tried to establish whether mediums could use psychic abilities to…

Leftover Links for October 30, 2012

Still hungry for news today? Wow, you got some addiction there. Here are some leftovers that didn’t make it to our front page.   A very good piece about how we call storms “monsters” and look for a scapegoat (global warming, immorality) to blame. But really? We pretty much survived OK. Blaming Hurricane Sandy on…

Leo Igwe partners with JREF to respond to witchcraft problem in Africa

Leo Igwe, JREF Fellow

Leo Igwe Appointed as New JREF Research Fellow. The James Randi Educational Foundation today announces the appointment of Leo Igwe as a research fellow. The appointment will support his work advancing skepticism throughout Africa and around the world. Mr. Igwe is a skeptical activist from Nigeria and a former representative of the International Humanist and…

Not so simple: Oprah responsible for the growing belief in miracles?

Spot the few unwarranted correlations in this piece… Belief in miracles climbs in the age of Oprah | Ahead of the Trend. But even as more people appear to be turning away from organized religion, a new study finds that the number of Americans who definitely believe in religious miracles increased 22 percent in the…

Research suggests paranormal believers are more prone to pareidolia

BPS Research Digest: Paranormal believers and religious people are more prone to seeing faces that aren’t really there. Tapani Riekki and his team collected dozens of photos that judges in pilot work agreed did or did not have the appearance of faces in them (this included pictures of furniture, places, and natural scenes, such as…

Allegations of Colombian “demon baby” surface. We cringe.

‘Cackling’ Columbian baby possessed by the devil? Unlikely, say authorities  – NY Daily News. Ana Feria Santos gave birth to her son last month, but says her joy quickly turned to fear when she noticed that he had ‘several abnormalities’ – leading to fears he is the devil in disguise. She says the boy can…

Homeopathic product may fool parents into non-action for child’s serious illness

Nature med

Kids Smart’s dumb ads: consumers complain of misleading claims. Pharmacare Laboratories is facing a new complaint about its Kids Smart homeopathic medicines amid concerns parents who use the products may delay seeking medical treatment. The complaint – lodged by a group of oranisations including CHOICE to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) – alleges…

Slate slides downhill

Dr. Harriet Hall tells us about Slate.com rejecting an article that is critical of Dr. Andrew Weil. Science-Based Medicine » Andrew Weil/AAFP Article Rejected by Slate I was asked to write an article for Slate, the on-line magazine, about Andrew Weil’s selection as the keynote speaker for the 2012 AAFP annual scientific assembly. The science and…

Can the Salter Sink device practically prevent hurricanes?

Former Microsoft executive has a way to prevent hurricanes. Bellevue inventors say there is a way to either reduce the strength of hurricanes or prevent them completely. Microsoft’s former chief technology officer, Nathan Myhrvold, says people look at him in a strange way when he tells them his company has a way to stop hurricanes.…

Polish Catholic Church down on ‘Satanic’ Halloween

evil pumpkin face

Party poopers! BBC News – Polish Catholic Church in Halloween warning. Poland’s Catholic Church has warned that modern Halloween rituals risk promoting the occult. In a statement on its website, the Church said that celebrating Halloween could contradict Church teachings and Christianity. One archbishop said the 31 October celebrations were promoting paganism to young people.…

Sandy spun to suit any agenda

Who knew gays had such power over nature?

Hurricane Sandy Spawns Right-Wing Theodicy | Religion Dispatches. As Hurricane Sandy heads ashore on the east coast of the U.S., far right-wing religious zealots are already calling it a sign from God for everything from U.S. policy on Israel to, of course, the gays. The conspiratorial World Net Daily says Sandy is a sign that…

You keep using that word, “Skepticism”…

I do not think it means what you think it means. Conspiracy Theory Experts: Skepticism Is Part Of Our National Identity : It’s All Politics : NPR. Conspiracy theory experts say that the tendency toward distrust of power is neither uniquely partisan nor entirely detrimental. In fact, they say, it’s par for the course for…

Bike path won’t disturb elf home in Iceland. Whew! What a relief.

Icelandic elf cave

Oh, you Icelanders and your elves again. Bike Path to Avoid Elf Home. Construction of the new walking and cycling path along Vesturlandsvegur, part of the Ring Road leading through Reykjavík to West Iceland, will be made to avoid a large boulder believed to be home to elves. Known as Grásteinn, the cleft boulder is…

Leftover Links for October 29, 2012

Some interesting bits and pieces left over from today you may want to chew on.   Press for Skepticamp New Hampshire Keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out – NashuaTelegraph.com. In a followup to the Icke at Wembley story: We’re all holograms ruled by reptiles (and the Queen’s fuelled…

Promoting homeopathy in Haiti: Maddening

The only thing NOT wrong with this story is the good intent of the people. Sadly, their silliness is harmful and could cause people to die. So…it’s maddening. Mass. woman helps promote homeopathy in Haiti – Boston.com. The first time nurse practitioner/homeopath Lauren Fox of West County Physicians went to Haiti was six months after…