Media

Facepalming article suggests Darwin may fall via epigenetic findings

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One Australian reporter (so far) gets the headline and story WRONG WRONG WRONG. Darwin’s theory of evolution challenged by University of Adelaide genetic memory research, published in journal Science. Adelaide research showing that sperm and eggs appear to carry genetic memories of events well before conception, may force a rethink of the evolutionary theories of…

NASA Propellant-less Propulsion Story Gains More Momentum than it Should

Virtual pairs near electron by RJ Hall (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Several news stories have made the rounds this week regarding an apparent microwave space propulsion system with no on-board propellant. NASA validates “impossible” space drive (Wired): Nasa is a major player in space science, so when a team from the agency this week presents evidence that “impossible” microwave thrusters seem to work, something strange is…

Ghost with axe photo and story lacks all credibility

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A strange photograph has people online jumping to paranormal conclusions. Are there more obvious explanations? Perhaps the better question to start with is how do we know this even happened? Ghostly image causes online stir – Yahoo!7. A photo showing a ghostly figure, apparently wielding an axe, has spread viral goosebumps across the internet and…

Mike Adams insinuates some scientists should be killed, then looks like a bigger idiot (UPDATE: legal trouble?)

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Is Adams under observation by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)? See update below. Mike Adams, the Health (Ranger) Danger of the arguably worst site on the internet, Natural News, wrote an insane rant that went a bit farther than usual, where he equated Monsanto and its collaborators to Nazis. A list of journalists,…

Beware of scams regarding the victims of flight MH17

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This excellent consumer warnings website out of Australia warns of fraudulent activity online surrounding information on the MH17 tragedy – dubious ads, malware and fake charities. Beware of scammers taking advantage of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 tragedy. Scammers have set up false Facebook profiles for Australian victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 tragedy…

A rare case of Munchausen By Proxy does not mean the syndrome is increasing

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Last month, we posted the shocking story of a mother who apparently poisoned her own child in order to gain sympathy and attention. She now faces court. The case will likely be studied by psychologists to gain more insight into Munchausen By Proxy syndrome. Experts: Lacey Spears Case May Shed Light On Munchausen By Proxy…

Did officials cover up an anaconda on the loose in NJ? (UPDATE: No evidence of snake)

Green anaconda - suspected to be the type on the loose in New Jersey

It looks like they did. Not helpful. But see update below. Reptile Expert: Snake On Loose In NJ Actually An Anaconda « CBS New York. A reptile specialist leading the search for a snake on the loose in Lake Hopatcong now says it is a green anaconda, not a boa constrictor, as officials had maintained.…

Discovery Channel: Jumped the shark long ago, now just despicable (Update: More despicableness)

Fake shark used in Discovery media hoax in Lake Ontario

Once again, Discovery Channel shows they are not science-based and will even pull unethical stunts to get ratings. Epic. Fail. We posted the link in the leftovers of 16-July to the story in Canada’s National Post about a video that purportedly showed a bull shark spotted in Lake Ontario. The best answer at the time…

The Warrens: Sorting the truth from the Hollywood myth

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People with any passing interest in the paranormal will be aware of the names Ed and Lorraine Warren, their activities, and their “museum of the occult” which is located in the basement of their home in Connecticut. The Warrens are the focus of a lot of media attention currently, as a result of the film…

New skeptical society in New Zealand succeeds in advertising complaint

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A New Zealand skeptical activism group succeeds at getting a faith healing claim chastised and the advertisement removed. It may not be the most dramatic way to do activism but the law is the law, these claims were seen to be misleading. Your belief that God heals has no evidence to back it up, so…

The “great” and “doctorful” Oz admits he doesn’t have miracle solutions

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No kidding! This truly is great. I wish I’d seen it. But Consumerist has an excellent summary that sounds like when Dr. Oz went to Congress he got more trouble than he bargained for. McCaskill deserves applause. Dr. Oz Grilled By Senator Over “Miracle” Weight-Loss Claims – Consumerist. Since he started appearing on pal Oprah…

2.5 million views of two minutes and eighteen seconds of stupid

911 conspiracy photo

What? More conspiracy nonsense making the rounds? I’m shocked! No I’m not. I’m tired of this s**t and that’s exactly what it is. It’s making people paranoid and STUPID. Conspiracy videos of 9/11 on Facebook: People should be responsible for what they share on social media. It’s 2:18 long, and it makes basically one claim:…

Another Slenderman-connected attack. Another girl. More parental reaction.

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Another attack is connected to Slenderman, this time in Ohio. This one sounds less connected, more complicated, and like an overreaction to a scapegoat cause. We can’t tell if it is a copycat case or the Mother seeing a post hoc connection. Hamilton Co. mom: Daughter’s knife attack influenced by Slender Man | Local News…

AL the Anomallama finds this shark story alarming. Here’s why he shouldn’t. (Hint: STUPID TV)

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What a bunch of baseless assumptions, speculation and fear mongering! Sploid has posted this story without ANY critical thought whatsoever because MONSTERS! And now it’s getting a ton of attention from people who are not thinking about it whatsoever, just passing it on. It’s making the rounds on mystery mongering sites where the commentators have…

Slenderman myth connected to attempted murder (UPDATE: Cult? Censorship?)

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This may be a first. Slenderman has gotten out of hand – attempted murder connected to the mythological monster. Two young girls are charged adults with first-degree attempted homicide of another girl. 12-Year-Old Wisconsin Girls Charged in Stabbing – ABC News. Prosecutors say two 12-year-old southeastern Wisconsin girls stabbed their 12-year-old friend nearly to death…

Cranktastic: Media gives attention to nonsense earthquake prediction

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Color me very irritated that mainstream media are giving this story ANY attention whatsoever. It’s not new, it’s not news, and it has zero basis in reality but may create a panic. Good going media for passing on unethical nonsense as sciencey-looking news, once again. ANY crank can say “earthquakes are predictable”. Words are cheap and…

Dyatlov Pass and Mass Murdering Yeti? A DN Exclusive

The tent found destroyed.

Doubtful News is pleased to present this EXCLUSIVE piece by author and researcher, Benjamin Radford, on the Discovery Channel’s presentation airing TONIGHT! [Warning: Spoilers] Dyatlov Pass and Mass Murdering Yeti? A Closer Look at Russian Yeti: The Killer Lives A new two-hour Discovery Channel “documentary,” Russian Yeti: The Killer Lives, revisits the curious case of…

Animal Planet and Discovery channels make MONSTROUS missteps for Monster Week

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Last week was Monster Week on Animal Planet. This weekend is Monster Weekend on Discovery Channel. (The two channels are affiliated under the Discovery Network). I came across a series of stories today that relate to these Discovery Channel/Animal Planet offerings. I decided to put them all together. From the past offerings of a dubious…

Gamma-ray Burst False Alarm: Self-Correcting Science and Public Scientific Enthusiasm

Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are powerful flashes of energetic gamma-rays lasting from less than a second to several minutes. They release a tremendous amount of energy in this short time making them the most powerful events in the Universe. They are thought to be mostly associated with the explosion of stars that collapse into black holes. In the explosion, two jets of very fast-moving material are ejected, as depicted in this artist’s illustration. If a jet happens to be aimed at Earth, we see a brief but powerful gamma-ray burst. (By ESO/A. Roquette at Wikimedia Commons CC BY 3.0)

It’s been a tumultuous week in astronomy-related false alarms. See also Citizen journalism asteroid hoax should be a lesson to CNN (Doubtful News). This week, social media buzzed rather excitedly about a “possible gamma ray burst detected in Andromeda.” But despite the excitement and speculation as to whether the detected emission was a gamma-ray burst (GRB)…