Green “alien eggs” on Sydney beach are not extra-terrestrial

Photo credit: Baerbel Koribalski

Submarine but not extraterrestrial. UFO Alert: Scientists Puzzled by Green ‘Alien Eggs’ Found on Sydney Dee Why Beach. Surfers and beachgoers at a northern Sydney suburb, Dee Why’s beach, were left stunned at the sight of a number of green, sponge-like spheres, which washed ashore. While locals in Dee Why explored extra-terrestrial origins, scientists clarify…

DN content on the JREF: First post – Critical thinking about a panther sighting

Black leopard

As I announced back in July, Doubtful News content would be coming to a bigger audience. Today was the first post on the reboot of the James Randi Educational Foundation website (JREF). Doubtful News: Was it a black panther? – JREF. Today, we examine a piece that appeared in Harborough Mail in the U.K.: Another…

State Farm is there – dropping anti-vax spokesperson Schneider

rob schneider

An insurance company should not support nonsensical medical claims. State Farm drops ad starring Rob Schneider over anti-vaccine views | PR Week. State Farm has pulled an ad featuring anti-vaccine activist Rob Schneider after a social media campaign urged the insurance company to end its affiliation with the actor. Social media pages Food Hunk, Science…

The Strange remains the same for 19 September 2014

zombie lohan

What was fake on the Internet this week: sidewalks for texters, the ‘antichrist,’ and charging your phone by microwave – The Washington Post. Discovery Channel’s Fake Documentaries – Business Insider. Paranormal orb sparks ghost night at Morley Market – Morley Observer and Advertiser. BBC News – Slippery banana study wins Ig Nobel. Anomalous Events That…

Herbalife as “a force of mass deception in America”

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The North American Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, has a very involved and interesting piece on Herbalife corporation and why the multi-level marketing scheme is still going strong today – denialism. People have found it unimaginable that this is a fraudulent business plan. Unthinkable, Unimaginable And Unspeakable: Why Wall Street Clings To The Herbalife Myth – NASDAQ.com.…

Vampire sighting “study” – Where’s the data? (UPDATE: Nowhere)

vampire

Three UK papers ran this same sloppy story which appears to have come from some press release. None of them included info about this “study”, who did it, the details, or where the data came from. So, it’s useless to gain any meaningful information – we are left with a teaser that people will only misinterpret…

The Strange remains the same for 17 Sept 2014

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Oopsie, I forgot to post this on time. Food Babe’s Starbucks Attacks Draw ‘Quackmail’ Backlash. BBC – Earth – Mystery fairy circles defy explanation. Some area stores selling Slenderman costume | Local News – WISN Home. Who’s counting? How innumeracy aids fear-mongers. Faith healing makes a killing – Times LIVE. Archeologists In Leicester Have Found…

Indian lawyers convinced their local court house is haunted

Ghost

If it’s such a haunted place, why do we have the same low-quality evidence that is only convincing to believers? This is another example of believing is seeing. Lawyers, staff in Delhi’s Karkardooma court complex convinced that it’s haunted. The usual cacophony of lawyers, petitioners and visitors at the Karkardooma Court Complex has of late…

Vaccine sabotage suspected in childrens’ deaths in Syria (UPDATE: Not Sabotage)

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A devastating setback to the fight against the measles epidemic in Syria. At least 34 Syrian children die from contaminated measles vaccine |  The Guardian. At least 34 children have died in rebel-held Syria after being injected with contaminated measles vaccines, the rebel government said on Tuesday, warning that the deaths might be caused by…

Suicide via crocodile

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Wow. What a way to go. Thailand woman dead after jumping into crocodile pit. A 65-year-old woman from Bangkok has killed herself by jumping into a pit of crocodiles at a reptile farm near the capital, police say. Witnesses saw Wanpen Inyai jumping into a pond at Samut Prakarn Crocodile Farm and Zoo on Friday,…

UK man fined for selling colloidal silver as cancer cure

Quackery

Guy Chapman reports from the U.K. : A West Mersea man was fined £750 and £1,500 costs after pleading guilty to promoting colloidal silver as a cancer cure. He follows Stephen Ferguson and Errol Denton, live blood practitioners and acolytes of Robert O. Young, who is currently on trial for practising medicine without a license. Man…

Spinosaurus appears to have been toothy and semi-aquatic; but don’t call it a crocoduck

Ibrahim (left) and Sereno with Spinosaurus

Previously-known Spinosaurus was a dinosaur that blew my mind. I couldn’t figure out the deal with the sail and the ultra-long snout. Turns out it had more surprises in store. Scientists report first semiaquatic dinosaur, Spinosaurus: Massive predator was more than 9 feet longer than largest T. rex — ScienceDaily. Scientists today unveiled what appears…

Homeopaths get professional accreditation in UK – PSA gets a FAIL

Homeopathic medication

In other words, the foxes guard the henhouse. This is a terrible and stupid idea that opens the door to tacitly endorsed quackery. Independent quality mark for homeopaths. The Society of Homeopaths’ voluntary register has been accredited under a new scheme set up by the Department of Health and administered by an independent body, the…

Chinese pharmacies take significant step to end bear bile farming

M. Silverberg/TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Associated Press

Excellent news as the tide is really turning on supplying bear bile products that cause terrible harm to wild bears. Thousands of Chinese pharmacies reject bear bile products. Animals Asia has announced that over 1,900 Chinese pharmacies have joined its Healing Without Harm programme – pledging to turn their backs on bear bile products. The…

Pseudoscience techniques rampant in schools because they sound like quick fixes

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A skeptical parapsychologists tells it like it is at an education conference – teachers embrace nonsense learning ideas because quick fixes are appealing. Long-term meaningful changes are hard. ‘Pseudoscience has nested in schools’ – news – TES. When Nick Rose worked as a parapsychologist, his job was to investigate why people believed they had been…

Real life pop rocks

Exfoliating rock face

Imagine you are just walking around the solid rock under your feet starts to crackle and then POP as pieces fly apart. This doesn’t normally happen. A big chunk of the Sierra Nevada caught fracturing on video | Ars Technica. One interesting way that rocks weather and crumble apart is called “exfoliation.” Like the skin-scrubbing…

Bownessie reemerges as a funny dig at Scottish independence

Photo: Elle Williams

Sometimes, don’t you feel that the media just insults our intelligence? It’s a funny joke that a Scottish monster supposedly visits England during the independence referendum. Scottish independence: now Nessie defects – Telegraph. It seems that it is not just high-street banks, or hardcore unionists, who are looking for the exit door in Scotland should…

Kevin Trudeau Appeals Conviction: Says the government messed up the case

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As expected, Kevin Trudeau appealed his conviction on contempt of court charges that sent him to prison for 10 years. This article also give us some insight into why we still see his dubious books for sale and his ridiculous infomercials on TV. Infomercial Scammer Kevin Trudeau Appeals Conviction – Consumerist. The appeal contends that…

The Strange remains the same for 08 September 2014

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More lobsters. Because lobsters are freaky in all colors. Why Do People Believe in Ghosts? – The Atlantic. Tennessee woman uses faith healing as defense in teenager’s death – The Portland Press Herald. “The Springer” Leaps From WW2 Urban Legend To Anti-Fascist Superhero. New Series “Angels Among Us” | Ghost TV Blogs. Bigfoot’s local devotees…

Hitchin’ a ride: Wild cats are such opportunists

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The researchers at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in South Africa got a huge laugh out of not one but multiple unexpected snapshots of genets riding on the backs of cape buffalo and white rhino. Why? Who knows. Surprising Pictures: Wild “Cat” Rides on Rhino – News Watch. As cameras, social media, and technology advance, more and more…