idoubtit

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

The Strange remains the same for 28 January 2015

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To Protect His Son, A Father Asks School To Bar Unvaccinated Children : Shots – Health News : NPR. The world’s oldest known snake fossils: Rolling back the clock by nearly 70 million years — ScienceDaily. Explosion in Wellington’s eastern suburbs Rare megamouth shark washes up in the Philippines The Wildest and Wooliest IPO in…

Tenpenny’s anti-vax Australia trip scuttled

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In an update to this story earlier this month about an anti-vaccination informational tour, Anti-vaccination ​campaigner Sherri Tenpenny cancels Australian tour The Guardian. Eight venues had cancelled because of opposition, mainly by parents, to a message that did not support children’s health. However, the Tenpenny party said something much different and highly questionable. The controversial US anti-vaccination…

Doctor prescribes religion; the devil is in the details (UPDATED)

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There is an update to this story from 2013. The doctor, Thomas O’Brien has been struck off the register. Stoke-on-Trent GP struck off for ‘deplorable’ conduct. The chairman of the panel, Prof Tim Hendra, said Dr O’Brien demonstrated “harmful, deep-seated personality or attitudinal problems” and “repeatedly breached professional boundaries”. Prof Hendra said: “Dr O’Brien shows…

James Randi retires from foundation at age 86

Photo credit: Bruce F. Press photography. brucefpressphotography.com

James “The Amazing” Randi, world-renowned magician and advocate for science-based skepticism, is stepping down from the Board of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). In statements released today on the JREF website, Randi announced his retirement from the JREF, and the Board regretfully accepted it. But, Mr. Randi noted, he’s got a few tricks left…

The Strange remains the same for 27 January 2015

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Jenny McCarthy: anti-vaxxer, public menace – LA Times. Mars Rover Photo Shows ‘Human Shadow,’ Or Maybe It Doesn’t. Pakistan cricketer Haris Sohail stumped by ghost in hotel room. Critics Slam Mississippi Bill That Equates Pit Bulls And ‘Dangerous Dogs’ (UPDATED). New All-Female ‘Ghostbusters’ Cast Chosen This is the Slenderman “picture” currently touted by the UK…

Giant salamander served as dinner at police banquet in China

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I guess I just have one question…. Was this really worth it? Chinese police alleged to have eaten endangered giant salamander at banquet. Chinese officials feasting on critically endangered giant salamander turned violent when journalists photographed the luxury banquet, according to media reports. The 28 diners included senior police officials from the southern city of…

The main problem with confession – it could be completely manufactured

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Think memory is like a videotape? Wrongity wrong wrong. It can be rather easily manipulated and is reconstructed without our awareness every day. Of special interest to criminal confession cases, it’s not really too hard to convince someone that they committed a crime. People Can Be Convinced They Committed a Crime That Never Happened –…

The Strange remains the same for 22 January 2015

Deep Sea Fauna with googly eyes: http://deepseafauna.tumblr.com/

‘Three suns’ appear over Mongolia in rare anthelion phenomenon The Devil Makes Them Do It The boy who didn’t come back from heaven: inside a bestseller’s ‘deception’ What does Facebook’s new tool for fighting fake news mean for real publishers? ‘Long Island Medium’ Theresa Caputo A Fake? Psychic Cancels Tour Amid Fraud Claims: Did Andy…

There’s DNA in food?! That’s disgusting!

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This story is going around: Mandatory labels on foods containing DNA? 80% of Americans support that. According to a recent survey by the Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics, over 80% of Americans said they would support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA,” roughly the same number that support the mandatory labeling of GMO foods…

Amazingly spectacular, perfectly natural: Frilled shark caught

Specimen captured in Australia recently.

Stupid media click-bait headlines piss me off. It’s not ‘horrific’, grotesque, something from “Alien” or even a silly “living fossil”. It’s a cool animal. Learn about the real world, it’s amazing. A rare specimen of a frilled shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus) was brought up by a fisherman in Australia. Trawler skipper David Guillot caught the 1.5 meter specimen while…

The Strange remains the same for 21 January 2014

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Christian GP performs ‘exorcism’ on patient because ‘God is your surgeon’, tribunal hears – Telegraph. Wi-Fi Exposure Isn’t Killing Your Kids. Spirit ‘sceptic’ embarks on a night of ghost hunting. Will he connect with the dead? No, he won’t. Where’s Skurka? Presenting Theory on the Shroud of Turin. (Spontaneous human combustion, of course!) The Psychology and…