Perception

Are people really this dumb to be scared of solar panels? (Update)

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So, the top story shared on my social media today is a point-and-LOL chortle-fest at a North Carolina town who has rejected a solar panel farm project. There are DOZENS of stories that make fun of the people who provided public comment against the rezoning decision in Woodland, NC because of their apparent ignorance of…

Inquest in UK teen suicide over wi-fi allergy claim

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Jenny, aged 15, committed suicide last summer. She had a history of health issues. Her mother attributed her problems to electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Mother claims wifi allergy killed her daughter and accuses school of failing to safeguard children – Telegraph Mrs Fry told Oxfordshire Coroners’ Court that Jenny had started showing signs of EHS in November…

“Shark attack saved my life” story exaggerated

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There are so many unknowns and “ifs” in this story that it’s hard to know why it was news at all. Regardless, it is a case of coincidence in that he was prompted by a surprise incident to discover cancer very early. Good for him. But it’s not very accurate to bring sharks or outside…

Did teacher “alter the brains” of teens so that they ended up dead? No.

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A tragic case has been settled in Florida regarding the deaths of three high school students who were said to have been “hypnotised” by a former school official. The families of three students from North Port High School will receive $200,000 each from the Sarasota County School District under a settlement agreement. Because of this…

Man does not understand chance – wins lottery

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The California lottery is promoting psychics now: Psychic Messages Lead to $1 Million Powerball® Win! That headline is a bit misleading. Kevin Millard of West Hollywood used to buy lottery tickets regularly. Then he cut back except for the “big” pots. (A common thing for people who feel they don’t want to miss out on double-digit millions…

Big ol’ sea wolf caught in Pacific (UPDATE: Don’t be ignorant!)

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NEAT! (Originally published 16-Sept 2015) Remember, kids. Learn about nature so you can correct people who say this is some sort of “mutant monster” in your Facebook feed. An enourmous sea monster was caught by baffled Japanese fishermen off the island of Hokkaido. A ferocious looking fish with a gigantic head and sharp, protruding teeth has been found swimming in…

Sunburn is all natural. Is sunscreen?

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Jessica Alba’s Honest Company has been sued by a customer who claims the company is making false claims in its marketing and labeling. The lawsuit alleges the Honest Company falsely says its products are “natural.” It further says that Honest’s sunscreen isn’t “effective.” Source: Jessica Alba’s Honest Company sued for alleged false labeling The Honest…

Workers in Cambodia suffer mass faintings due to poor conditions

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Last week, nearly 400 workers fainted in four factories across Cambodia. On July 2 alone, 38 workers lost consciousness working at the Quint Major International factory in Phnom Penh. Source: 400 Cambodian Garment Workers Experience Unexplained Mass Faintings Within One Week WWD* reported that in 2014, the Ministry of Labor recorded that more than 1,800…

The Putin Murmuration

putin murmuration

Not anything weird, just murmuration. It turns out Vladimir Putin was seen invading the skies of New York City last week. Source: Putin’s face bird video: Did Putin’s face appear in bird swarm in NYC? Yes, you can visualize a face in this flock of birds but it’s just pareidolia – the human habit of…

Mad gassers burgle Button, or not

SLEEPING GAS

When I saw this story, a veritable cacophony of buzzers and warning sirens went off in my head. Readers may not be aware of how old this legend of gassing is and how LITTLE evidence there exists that supports any of it being true. But, here we go again… Anaesthetic gas may have been used…

Hawaiians protest telescope at meeting of International Astronomical Union

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The story of the protests over construction of a telescope in Hawaii continues. The demonstration occurred at the meeting of the International Astronomical Union in Honolulu. Demonstration over Thirty Meter Telescope comes after arrests near Mauna Kea construction site. Demonstrators carrying Hawaiian flags — some upside-down, as a sign of distress — held a press conference outside…

Crab cave on Mars

Photo: NASA

Made you look! A NASA image of Mars being passed around on social media over the weekend has imaginations running wild. The photo shows a stone formation in front of what may be a kind of cave. Source: What The Heck Is This Thing On Mars? Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer and Director of the Center for SETI Research, said he…

Beware of big cat buildup in Beloit

Sign posted in Big Hill Park

The hype is spreading. Pretty soon EVERYONE will be seeing big cats because they been scared by the all the media coverage that something really is out there. The city of Beloit is cautioning the public after two city employees spotted a cougar in Big Hill Park earlier this week. Source: Beloit warns of possible…

Ghost in the window photo busted

Ghost

A ghost photo from the U.K. is going viral this week but in this case psychology—not the paranormal—provides the best explanation. Ben Radford takes a closer peek at a “ghost” photo that was taken five years ago but got new attention this past week. As with any ghost photo, it’s terrible evidence. It’s even WORSE…

Bad science Writing Example A: Linking plesiosaurs to the Loch Ness Monster

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An obviously inexperienced science journalist latches on to the mistaken and downright nonsensical idea that plesiosaurs = Loch Ness Monster. Then, media outlets propagate the silliness. The fossil remains of a giant marine reptile have just been discovered by a team of researchers from the University Of Alaska Museum Of The North. The remains were…

Holy Mother’s mouth

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Maronite Catholics in Sydney have filmed a painting of the Virgin Mary moving its lips in prayer, believing a miracle is occurring in their church. Source: Virgin Mary painting filmed praying in Sydney church Parishioners at Saint Charbel’s Maronite Catholic Church in Punchbowl in Sydney’s southwest have recorded a painting of the Madonna apparently praying…

Will we have another “Summer of the Shark”?

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Could we be looking at another “summer of shark” hype this year? Sadly, it seems that way. In the second weekend of June two teens in North Carolina suffer shark attack injuries just miles away from each other on the beach, both in shallow water near shore. This was 30 miles from where a 13-year-old girl was…

Toy tiger joyride scares a witness

He looks comfy

Who knew that stuffed big cats could cause such trouble! Here is another case of people totally misinterpreting what they see. It happens ALL the time. Source: Washington 911 Caller Was Convinced Stuffed Tiger Was Real – Yahoo The caller seemed so matter-of-fact, but what he told a dispatcher on a newly released 911 call…

Church to say something official about Medjugorje visions

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The Pope says, “soon”. The Vatican is close to making a ruling on the alleged apparitions of the Madonna in the Bosnian town of Medjugorje, one of the most controversial cases in the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis said on Saturday. Six children first reported visions of the Virgin Mary in the once obscure town…

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…

Enfield poltergeist set plagued by… fickle camera – OOOHH scary

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Let’s make a bit more publicity for this showing, shall we? Enfeld poltergeist filming hyped with haunts. TV stars left terrified after a ghost wreaks havoc with the set of a new poltergeist drama – Daily Record. Sounds scary! But it’s not. This article contains pretty much ZERO evidence of anything “wreaking havoc”. This is a…

A meteor sighting on the Road to Damascus?

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Did Saul perceive a meteor event as a religious experience that caused him to convert to Christianity? It’s possible but doubtful we will every know for sure. Falling meteor may have changed the course of Christianity – space – 22 April 2015 – New Scientist. NEARLY two thousand years ago, a man named Saul had…