idoubtit

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

Psychic netted $700K with evil spirits threat

psychic

Quite the charlatan. Psychic fraud buster Bob Nygaard was called in. He’d seen not only this type of scam before, but also this same woman. Psychic cheats heartbroken man out of $700K after girlfriend dies | New York Post A “psychic” swindler preyed on a lovelorn Brooklyn man for nearly two years, using his girlfriend’s…

Some guy named Frank says “Earthquake”. People panic. Don’t.

panic face

When even the “Esoteric Metaphysical Spiritual Database” says an earthquake prediction is nonsense, then you KNOW you should not panic. Planetary Alignment To Cause 9.8 Earthquake Prediction for California On May 28th, 2015? : In5D Esoteric, Metaphysical, and Spiritual Database By now, many of you have heard about the 9.8 Magnitude earthquake prediction for May…

The Strange remains the same for 26 May 2015

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Two of B.B. King’s daughters are alleging that the blues legend was poisoned to death by two of his closest associates. Source: B.B. King’s daughters: Dad was ‘poisoned’ – CNN.com   What’s the matter? Bugs are organic! Last week, we shared the mildly disturbing news that four different people in three states had found a…

What happened to the dinosaurs? They are used to indoctrinate children

Dinosaurs

DN Reader David O’Hare passed along a tip to me yesterday to try googling: “What happened to the dinosaurs”. Here is the surprising and highly misguided result: The top result is from Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham‘s fundamentalist, anti-science, Christian group who believes that dinosaurs existed with humans and they are really a means to fool…

How low can you go: Potentially dangerous cancer cures promoted in “secret” presentation

miracle cure

Black salve and Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) are touted as fantastic cancer treatments “they” don’t want you to know about. Pushers of these items must avoid the law that prohibits them from saying these are “cures” but they can’t avoid the media. The Good Thinking Society in the UK went to a conference held on…

Remains of the Weekend 23-24 May 2015

John Nash, world renowned mathematician, dead at 86

A recall has been issued by Loblaws and Strang’s Produce after three people found metal objects in potatoes in Nova Scotia and P.E.I. this month in possible food-tampering cases. Source: Loblaws issues recall after metal objects found in Atlantic Canada potatoes – CBC News   Omanawa resident and EOL CEO Terry Coles heard what sounded…

Indian “institutes” teaching people “ghost hunting”

Ghost_Hunters_logo

Ghost chasing is becoming a more popular hobby in India. People are paying to take courses from “institutes” to learn how to operate the equipment. It seems like India may be about 10 years behind the US in the popularity of fall for such stuff. An increasing number of urban Indian professionals are signing up…

The Strange remains the same for 22 May 2015

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Illinois State University plays a key (and tough-to-spot) role in the remake of “Poltergeist” that opens Friday, May 22. Source: Poltergeist remake features Illinois State University cameo (Note: There is no Department of Paranormal Research at this uni or any other. It’s not a valid scientific field.)   Must have missed this from earlier. Maybe…

Siren sound sparks speculation in Cheyenne

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Here is a more interesting “strange noise” story – a siren sound was reported by about 100 people in Cheyenne Wyoming. No emergency sirens were reported. Many people in Cheyenne reported hearing a siren like sound with unknown origins on Saturday night Source: Mystery Noise In Cheyenne “I was called by the dispatch center with…

Mass animal deaths reported; fringe sites panic over headlines

Masses of dead vellella on the beach. It happens.

Mass animal deaths can be caused by a myriad of things – disease, natural toxins, algal blooms and other oxygen-depleting situations, human hunting and dumping, accidents, warmer waters, lack of food, etc. The mystery mongering sites will lump all the mass mortality events under one scary banner – DEAD ANIMALS! PANIC! They do a serious…

The Strange remains the same for 20 May 2015

blurry mist

East African discoveries suggest stone-tool making started at least 3.3 million years ago. Source: Earliest known stone tools unearthed in Kenya | Science N   Scotland Yard kept a secret dossier on Star Trek and the X-Files in the run up to the millennium amid security concerns Source: Secret files reveal police feared that Trekkies…

Support free speech in the public interest: Anti-SLAPP act proposed

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It’s a shame that outspoken bloggers have to have lawyers at their disposal because of threats to take down pieces critical of some charlatan. This week, there is a new push to support anti-SLAPP lawsuits. Lawsplainer: The Proposed Federal Anti-SLAPP Act: What It Would Do, Why It’s Important | Popehat Last week, two members of…

Another “video games are dangerous” story – this time, misleading about Alzheimer’s

call of duty

As one commenter put it, “don’t use your brain, because you may get Alzheimers” is a pretty fair summary of this article that suggests that “boys” playing “action video games” may have increased risk of Alzheimers. Yes, the jump to that is quite a big one. Call of Duty increases risk of Alzheimer’s disease –…

The Strange remains the same for 19 May 2015

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Those who choose to celebrate birthdays, graduations or whatever other occasions with metallic balloons should make sure that they are properly weighted down so as to not knock out power for thousands of people, the spokesman said. Source: Power restored for thousands in San Francisco after two hour blackout – SFGate   Scientists are increasingly turning…

Bleach promoted as “cure” for autism is despicable – no two ways about it

magic water default

Cheers for NBC Chicago which presented a balanced piece on a bleach treatment for autism. That is, it’s clearly dangerous nonsense. There is no two ways about it. A so-called “miracle treatment” for autism, which includes the chemical chlorine dioxide, promoted by a Chicago native is stirring controversy among the medical community as doctors call it…

Apocalyptic sounds 2015: The world is a noisy place

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The “trumpets of the Apocalypse” story is going around again. A two year old video that collected a series of clips (some are admitted hoaxes, others are dubious) is recirculating via email and social media with a purpose that seems to be simply to make gullible people nervous. Snopes debunks it. snopes.com: People Hearing Apocalyptic Sounds…