Victor J. Stenger dies at 79

Vic Stenger

A physicist, author and renowned skeptic has passed away. Dr. Victor J. Stenger was an advocate against psychics, pseudoscience and religion. Stenger, a retired elementary particle physicist and author of thirteen books, was a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Center for Inquiry. He served as President of the Colorado Citizens for…

Earthquake lights reported along with Sunday’s Napa event

Glow photographed from a seismic event in Kyoto, Japan

One of my favorite mysterious natural phenomena has been reported in conjunction with the recent California earthquake. Some Bay Area Residents Report Mysterious Flashes In The Sky During Napa Quake « CBS San Francisco. Several people called the KPIX 5 newsroom after Sunday morning’s magnitude 6.0 earthquake in Napa, reporting mysterious flashes of light in…

Photon photos exhibit quantum weirdness: Not ‘ghosts’

Quantum cats. Photo credit: Gabriela Barreto Lemos

Don’t get me started on quantum weirdness. No, really, don’t. Cause I can’t wrap my brain around it. “Spooky” Quantum Entanglement Reveals Invisible Objects. Like twins separated at birth who are later reunited, two laser beams revealed invisible objects in a display of their weird quantum connection, researchers reported on Wednesday. The images, of tiny…

The Strange remains the same for 28 August 2014

5H 5-MILK CAN corrected_after

Success is hateful, especially to those whom it overthrows. It is rare that the eaten adore the eaters.  ~Victor Hugo, The Man Who Laughs Texas court rules against homeschoolers who expected rapture and stopped teaching kids. A Skeptic Meets a Psychic – Pacific Standard: The Science of Society. Strange Walking African Fish Reveals How Our…

Ohio lawmakers lack science education, want to be sure everyone else does too

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Once again, nonscientists are dictating how to do science. They are mistaken. And they have an agenda. Ohio lawmakers want to limit the teaching of the scientific process. The bill, currently under consideration by the Ohio Assembly, is intended to revoke a previous approval of the Common Core educational standards, which target math and literacy.…

Colombia town reports mystery illness in 200 girls but psychogenic illness suspected

fainting

This is what looks to be a textbook case of mass psychogenic illness (crudely known as “mass hysteria”). It is extremely common in schools, the symptoms are vague and non-life threatening and can be psychogenic. The cause is always suspected to be an environmental or medical factor. In this case, the fear of the moment is…

Virginia town divided over magical beliefs

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One town in Virginia had a ban on fortune tellers and tarot card readers. Noticing that the rest of the country has plenty of psychic-based businesses around, the council decided to revisit the law. A good idea, for all the wrong reasons. Front Royal town council repeals decades-old law that banned ‘magic arts’. In Front…

Mystery of moving rocks of Racetrack Playa solved by science

GPS-instrumented rock with its rock trail.

Mystery of mysterious moving rocks is solved. Actually, it was solved a while ago. It’s just finally published. The research is public access and it is WONDERFUL. This is a fantastic piece everyone should read to note how methodically, carefully and thororoughly experiments must be planned and executed to get reliable, convincing results. There was…

O Canada… true sorcery practice in all thy sons command

shesawitch

Did you know Canada has a law against “pretending to practice witchcraft”? What if you AREN’T pretending. And how can they tell? Fake medium faces sorcery charge… in Canada. An occultist known as Professor Alfoseny, accused of falsely claiming to be a medium, has been charged under an obscure anti-sorcery provision in the Criminal Code…

A “real” monster is in the eye of the municipal council – Iceland worm exists

icelandworm

Ah, I smell tourism, don’t you? This reward is a small price to pay for Loch Ness-sized advertising. Truth Commission: Lake Monster Does Exist. Lagarfljótsormurinn, the giant serpent rumored to inhabit the lake Lagarfljót near Egilsstaðir in East Iceland truly exists, as announced on Saturday by the majority of a 13-person truth commission established in…

Scientists busy squashing silly rumors instead of sciencing at Yellowstone

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Volcanologists at the Yellowstone volcano observatory have been spending a lot of time putting out fires, internet rumor fires, that is, as people are afraid of a supervolcanic eruptions. Earlier this year, we told you about the unsubstantiated rumor that animals were “fleeing” the area and the speculation that something was going to happen. It…

The Strange remains the same for 26 August 2014

atomic-shark

Lots of fun stuff today. Scientology-related Narconon rehab center may have violated law | Tampa Bay Times. Frankenstein exhibition: how the monster changed shape – Telegraph. The Many Voices of Frank’s Box. snopes.com: Fraud at the CDC Uncovered?. Could Bigfoot be in Vicksburg? Nope, almost certainly not. Cracked: 5 Successful People Who Everyone Forgets Are Exposed…

Rare blue lobster found in Maine

Photo credit: Meghan LaPlante

Continuing our long-running theme of weird lobsters… Blue lobster caught in Maine spared the dinner table, will head to aquarium. A lobsterman says one of his traps caught a one-in-two-million crustacean: a blue lobster. WCSH-TV reports Jay LaPlante of the Miss Meghan Lobster Catch company caught the curious creature in Scarborough around 10:45 a.m. Saturday.…

Not a ghost, but real, live, and 3 meters long

Burmese Python from Wikimedia Commons

Things in the house fell over, off shelves, off the wall. Furniture was moved. The family wonder what the heck was going on in the house. It’s no ghost, but an unwelcome intruder nonetheless. ‘You couldn’t pay me to go back inside’: Ontario family finds three-metre snake draped across couch in living room. For a week,…

Doctor claims to have a homeopathic, electronic treatment for Ebola

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There was a good bit of justifiable outrage on social media this week as a medical doctor claimed that his homeopathic nonsense was a way to supplement cure and prevention of Ebola. American doctor proffers technology cure for Ebola. American doctor, Dr. Bill Gray MD claims he has technological remedy to help people infected with…

It’s a spectre but not a ghost over Hungary

Photo credit: Ladanyi Tamas

This photograph was featured on the NASA Astronomy picture of the Day. It’s quite an impressive effect called a Brocken specter. Photographer shoots “ghost” over Hungarian city. The spectral apparition was shot by Hungarian photographer Ladanyi Tamas, on the morning of August 11. Tamas went to the top of a 20-storey building to shoot the…

Remains of the weekend 23-24 August 2014

Picture: @alivmckay on Twitter. Used with permission.

Child welfare advocates join fight against abuse law provision – News Sentinel Story. Sea plankton have been found on the International Space Station – but how did they get there? | Science | theguardian.com. 1-in-2M find: 14-year-old, dad nab blue lobster. California drought: Water witches in demand as wells run dry – SFGate. Zimbabwe urges…

Huge surface fracture in Mexico worries locals and surprises scientists

hermosillo crack

A nearly one kilometer long gash has appeared in a remote farm area of Hermosillo Mexico leaving locals concerned and the rest of us amazed at the footage. Giant crack in Mexico seen by drone raises earthquake fears | News.com.au. The eight-metre deep trench opened up last week and severed Highway 26 between Hermosillo and…

Will the church argue that this is REALLY the body of Christ?

holy bread

We don’t typically get into religious arguments here but this lawsuit has a physically questionable claim they are attempting to make. Lawsuit pits Catholic archbishop against satanist group over sacred item purported to be used for ‘black Mass’ | News OK. Oklahoma City’s Catholic archbishop filed a lawsuit against a satanist group Wednesday, alleging it…

Healer’s belief may have killed hundreds in Sierra Leone

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Herbalist began inviting clients across the border with promises of salvation. Sierra Leone’s 365 Ebola deaths traced back to traditional healer – Times LIVE. The outbreak need never have spread from Guinea, health officials revealed to AFP, except for a herbalist in the remote eastern border village of Sokoma. “She was claiming to have powers…

Light-headed: Partial albino crocodile killed man, then was killed itself

The part-albino crocodile called Michael Jackson. Photo credit: Adelaide River Queen Jumping Crocodile Cruises

A distinctively colored crocodile was top predator in his neck of the river. But once again, man will be the ultimate arbiter. Part-albino crocodile shot after fatal attack was ’1-in-100-million rarity’. An albino-headed crocodile that killed a man fishing on a Territory river has been described by an expert as a one-in-100-million rarity. The distinctive…

Suspected man-eating tiger killed in India

tiger

Tigers and humans vying for the same space is NOT a good combination. The tigers lose. ‘Man-eating’ tiger shot dead in India’s Maharashtra. Forest workers say they have shot dead a tiger blamed for killing seven people in the past six months in western India. The tiger, described as a “man-eater” by authorities, killed the…

Mind control victims advocacy group is denied tax exemption

mind control

A group claiming that the government is secretly conducting mind control experiments and damaging citizens has been denied a tax-exempt status by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service IRS Denies Tax Exemption to Mind Control Group. The Internal Revenue Service has denied tax-exempt status to a group that claimed it was dedicated to protecting the human…

Leave my GOBLIN alone!

Goblin

I can’t help it, I really can’t. Your Zimbabwe goblin story for today… Woman said her goblin is NOT the problem here. Bulawayo24 NEWS | Woman threatens to kill tsikamutanda over ‘her’ goblin. A 40-year-old Gokwe woman left villagers’ in shock when she used a machete to scare away a traditional healer popularly known as…