Perception

Igloolik mystery sound sounds mysterious, but the story leaves us cold

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Stories about strange sounds are always suspicious. This recent news about a very northern mystery noise is no exception. In this piece from CBC news (Canada) – Mysterious ‘ping’ sound from sea floor baffles Igloolik – I found a number of assumptions, guesses, and no good data to support the allegations that there is a strange…

Chena River “monster” is no mystery: Video shows icy objects moving in the current

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Remember the Lagarfljótsormurinn – the Icelandic “wurm” or serpent that was a viral story from 2012? Another example of the same phenomenon has appeared in an Alaskan river. Here is the Iceland worm to jog your memory. Note that the object does not move through the river – it stays in the same place. The…

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…

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…

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

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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…

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…

Florida cops become cult “experts” regarding triple homicide (UPDATE: Wicca conflation)

If the moon ever REALLY looks like this, we're DOOMED.

Allegations of a witchcraft sacrifice during a full moon? This story is FULL of doubtful “facts” that propagate harmful myths. A triple homicide in Florida is suspected to be a “Wiccan ritual killing” related to the “blue” moon, police said Tuesday. The three victims, all from the same family, were found after a welfare check…

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…

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…

New research prompts call to reconsider mental health of those who hallucinate

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An international study led by The University of Queensland and Harvard Medical School found that hearing voices and seeing things others cannot impacts about 5 percent of the general population at some point in their lives. Source: Hallucinations and delusions more common than thought | EurekAlert! Science News “We used to think that only people…