Media

Scotsman runs total garbage about fossil “Nessie”

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This ranks up there with the worst news piece about a fossil I have ever seen. Loch Ness Monster’s ‘great granny’ is discovered – The Scotsman. NO! And it’s not just the headline that is wrong. NESSIE hunters have been searching for decades for evidence that she exists and that her relatives populated the Highlands…

Project Alpha movie on the way!

Steve Shaw, Michael Edwards, James Randi of Project Alpha

Whoa! This is news to me. Barry Sonnenfeld to Direct Film About Famous Hoax – Hollywood Reporter. Barry Sonnenfeld has signed on to direct a film based on James “The Amazing” Randi’s Project Alpha, a real-life hoax that is explored in the documentary feature An Honest Liar. Project Alpha was a hoax orchestrated by Randi…

Paleo diet book labeled dangerous for babies

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Publishers of a fad diet book have postponed release of a book that suggests you can feed your baby a mixture of liver and bone broth as an alternative to breast milk. At least someone was paying attention to the nonsense. Why did the editors not notice this earlier? Pete Evans Paleo diet book for…

Icke sued, settles libel action against popular book

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Some interesting news regarding conspiracy promoter and the prince of looney ideas, David Icke. A lawyer, dogging him for years, has received a settlement claiming Icke’s book Children of the Matrix was defamatory to Jewish people. David Icke settles libel action via the website of Richard Warman, Canadian human rights attorney. British conspiracy writer David…

Psychic who was no help in solving murder now claims she “saw” killer’s face

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Fascinating how psychic stories miraculously improve over time… “Spiritual medium” Lisa Lanno is best known for appearing weekly on a Hartford, CT, Fox TV morning “news” show called “Medium Monday.” In December 2012, Lanno appeared on PBS station WGBY’s nightly public affairs program “Connecting Point” to discuss communication with the dead. She was joined by the mother…

Toronto Star in backpedaling mode after major screw up about Gardasil shot (UPDATE: Retraction)

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UPDATE (24-Feb-2015) This story has been retracted by the Toronto Star. Good. A rare event: Toronto Star retracts fear-mongering vaccine story Fifteen days after publishing a widely-criticized article linking anecdotal health problems to the HPV vaccine Gardasil, the Toronto Star has issued a retraction. As Retraction Watch notes, a newspaper retraction is rare. But something…

Commentary: Online news and damn lies

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The main goal of digital news websites is not actually to report news in a responsible manner, but to attract eyeballs and web traffic. Over the past decade, there has been a shift to prioritizing speed and clickable content as the Internet has become a main source of news and information. A new report by…

Ancestry.com now labeled evil due to copyright claim cheap shot

Many reports will not contain enough information to determine the cause. But unexplained DOES NOT mean unexplainable.

In a strange update to this story, government files obtained through FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) have been claimed to be copyrighted. Jason Colavito notes it in this piece: the Black Vault database of Project Blue Book was taken down after Ancestry.com asserted that it owns the copyright (!) to the Air Force’s UFO files,…

A British pub ghost debunked… by the Daily Mail?

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The Daily Mirror reports today on some “ghostly” goings-on in Birmingham pub “The Old Crown”. The incident amounts to little more than a bottle tipping and rolling to the floor, seemingly without interference. Here’s the video on youtube. Details of the incident are sketchy in the Mirror, but ironically, The Daily Mail carries much more information…

Anonymous commenters undermining science have negative impact. We knew this.

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This is further justification why we do not allow anti-science commenters on this site. It’s not a debate but the reader often does not know that. Healthcare websites are attempting to educate about health risks but a new study shows, surprisingly, that readers may be influenced more by online comments than by credible public service announcements.…

Be on the lookout for a poltergeist invasion

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Watch for poltergeists (noisy ghosts) to be the next big thing. Once the media cranks up the interest in such things, we likely will see an increase in reports of people who are experiencing paranormal occurrences. Poltergeist reboot updates 1980s horror for 2015. How do you make a Poltergeist remake in 2015? The original is…

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…

Getting garbage news out of the Facebook feed

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Apparently people are getting fed up with fake news stories in their Facebook feeds. My question is, what will be left if the fake stories disappear? I kid. This is a great idea. I hope they still with it. But I suspect that “fake news” is a bit more complicated than they suggest. News Feed…

You can trust NOTHING on YouTube – not even a meteor sighting

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Absolutely nothing on YouTube or reddit or television can be trusted as “real” when it is so darn easy and commonplace to hoax anything. Fake promotional stunts are now a viable explanation for any “extraordinary” claim. How to Fool the World With a Fake Meteor and Promote Your Class on Digital Effects | Adweek. The…

Nessie as clickbait: New fossil finds overshadowed by dumb headlines

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This idiotic headline makes me so irked that I won’t link to the original but to a proxy because it does not deserve your clicks. Bones of ‘Nessie’s cousin’ found on Isle of Skye – The Scotsman. (Through DoNotLink) My hypothesis: It’s not possible for any fossil reptile found in Scotland to NOT be linked…

Will TV be less worse from now on? We are skeptically optimistic!

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We’re seeing a trend. First, Cosmos does well. Then, SyFy announces that they will cut development on “reality” paranormal shows. Now there is news that Neil DeGrasse Tyson is getting his OWN TV TALK SHOW and the new Discovery Channel president is saying some very interesting and positive things. This may be something… As we linked…

Antiscience film, The Principle, to be in a few theaters soon

Sunburst over Earth by NASA at Wikimedia Commons

Bait and switch? Check. Pseudoscience? Check. Slicky packaged propaganda? Check. Overhyped idiocy? CHECK! This film has it ALL! In an update to our story last April where several well known personalities were finagled into participation in a film about a long discarded theory of the universe, the film is set to be released later this…

Discovery News gives Earhart researcher kudos for unverified claims

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How completely ridiculous! Why give this guy any accolades at all? He’s found nothing verifiable. This seems par for the course for the news coverage of the Earhart mystery. Earhart-Searcher Ric Gillespie: DNews Person of the Year : Discovery News. Aviation researcher Richard Gillespie has spent decades investigating one of the 20th century’s most enduring mysteries:…

Water divining in Australia: A fictional portrayal does not make for fact

Dowsing has been tested for centuries. It's never been proven to work better than chance.

A mainstream Australian media outlet publishes a ridiculous, unsupported bunch of hooey suggesting water diviners have some special physical powers to detect water. There’s a claim chock full of holes – like a leaky bucket, all the truth eventually streams out and nothing is left. Water diviners, dowsers, may have special sensitivity to electromagnetism. [M]y…

Web pages, including ours, deemed “critical” of Universal Medicine removed from Google Search results

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Well, well, well, looks like a certain alternative and controversial “esoteric healing” group was busy for a year or more trying to scrub their image on the internet. Doubtful News is one of many pro-consumer blogs that have reported information about Serge Benhayon’s questionable health treatments resulting in complaints to Google initiated by Universal Medicine (UM) and…

Simpson and Krabappel study highlights laughable science journals

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No, this is NOT the plot for a Simpsons episode, but was a prank by Alex Smolyanitsky to raise awareness regarding science journals that spam scientists for contributions to their journals. For a fee, of course. A study by Maggie Simpson and Edna Krabappel has been accepted by two scientific journals. A fictional paper authored…