The Strange remains the same for 15 May 2014

“It’s a wonder they can sit down at all, and when they walk, nothing touches their legs under the billowing skirts, except their shifts and stockings. They are like swans, drifting along on unseen feet; or else like the jellyfish in the waters of the rocky harbour near our house, when I was little, before I ever made the long sad journey across the ocean. They were bell-shaped and ruffled, gracefully waving and lovely under the sea; but if they washed up on the beach and dried out in the sun there was nothing left of them. And that is what the ladies are like: mostly water.”
― Margaret Atwood, Alias Grace

The Reykjavik Confessions.

Raw milk outbreaks on the rise, CDC warns.

Witchcraft Accusation and the Court System in Northern Ghana | Foundation Beyond Belief.

Fantastically Wrong: The Disturbing Reality That Spawned the Mythical Jackalope | Science | WIRED.

Paranormal pubs: Finding a ghost on your premises could be good for business | Mancunian Matters.

The beautiful new jellyfish identified in the Gulf of Venice.

jelly

Pope Francis says he would baptise aliens: ‘Who are we to close doors?’ – Europe – World – The Independent.

‘Vampire’ Skeleton Unearthed in Poland : Discovery News.

BU to Award Doctor of Humane Letters to Big Bang Theory Star | BU Today | Boston University.

Statins are safe as research claiming adverse side effects proved wrong – Telegraph.

Are ‘Lucky Streaks’ Real? Science Says Yes | Popular Science.

 

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Editor and owner of Doubtful News. Writer, specializing in science and society, science policy and education.

 

  3 comments for “The Strange remains the same for 15 May 2014

  1. Blargh
    May 16, 2014 at 5:14 AM

    To those, like me, who wondered what “a broom or fowl ritual test” was in “Witchcraft Accusation and the Court System in Northern Ghana”, I found the answer in another article by the same author, “Witchcraft Accusations And Freethought In Africa“:

    “In one ritual the local priest holds two brooms across the neck of the accused person, and then drags the person. If the two brooms stick together holding the neck of the accused then it means the gods have confirmed the person guilty but if the brooms separate and couldn’t hold the neck, it means the person is innocent.

    And in another ritual, the accused takes an oath and the priest slaughters the chicken, if the chicken falls facing the sky, it means the accused is innocent but if it falls facing the ground it means that it is guilty. Through these rituals, people believe the gods speak and expose the person who is a witch or wizard.”

    Yikes.

  2. Indrid Cole
    May 16, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    “Archaeologists in Poland say they have discovered a skeleton with a brick stuck into the mouth — evidence that the subject was believed to be a vampire.”

    Or he was just a regular dude who’s house fell on him, or he was the loser of a brick throwing fight.
    I wonder if anyone has ever compiled a book of things that past scientists determined to be true and now are known to be false?

  3. Blargh
    May 16, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    Or he was just a regular dude who’s house fell on him, or he was the loser of a brick throwing fight.

    In which cases he wouldn’t have been taken away and then ceremonially buried somewhere else with said brick still in his mouth. Archeologists aren’t stupid, and they don’t just get to make up whatever narrative they want. Like in any other field of science (yes, it is a science) their hypotheses have to be supported by the evidence at hand.

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