Leftover Links for October 31, 2012

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Hungry for more? Check out these tasty tidbits… No doubt they are valuable in searches but are they reliable? Sniffer dogs on trial. Are Dogs ‘Scientific Devices’? This is a very credulous and completely clueless reporter that has never heard of orbs showing up in photos. But the commenters knew. Mystery ‘orb’ memories haunt The…

Nope, no ghosts to see here. Move along.

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For a change of pace from those ENDLESS and silly tales of local ghost tales and “serious” paranormal investigtors who research them (who are extraordinarily busy this time of year), we have a reality check. All sites are NOT haunted and those silly stories are NOT welcome everywhere. Halloween hauntings a headache for some Chattanooga…

Sandy reveals skeletal surprise

Photo credit: Thomas MacMillan / New Haven Independent

Skeletal remains found in uprooted tree. A century-old tree in New Haven was uprooted Monday afternoon by Sandy’s winds, exposing skeletal remains of unknown origin, as reported by the New Haven Independent. The woman, Katie Carbo, made the discovery around 3:15 p.m. near the corner of College and Chapel streets. Visible among the roots of…

Soul theory: Oh, they used the Q word

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Scientists offer quantum theory of soul’s existence. American Dr Stuart Hameroff and British physicist Sir Roger Penrose developed a quantum theory of consciousness asserting that our souls are contained inside structures called microtubules which live within our brain cells. Their idea stems from the notion of the brain as a biological computer, “with 100 billion…

Leftover Links for October 30, 2012

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Still hungry for news today? Wow, you got some addiction there. Here are some leftovers that didn’t make it to our front page.   A very good piece about how we call storms “monsters” and look for a scapegoat (global warming, immorality) to blame. But really? We pretty much survived OK. Blaming Hurricane Sandy on…

Leo Igwe partners with JREF to respond to witchcraft problem in Africa

Leo Igwe, JREF Fellow

Leo Igwe Appointed as New JREF Research Fellow. The James Randi Educational Foundation today announces the appointment of Leo Igwe as a research fellow. The appointment will support his work advancing skepticism throughout Africa and around the world. Mr. Igwe is a skeptical activist from Nigeria and a former representative of the International Humanist and…

Homeopathic product may fool parents into non-action for child’s serious illness

Nature med

Kids Smart’s dumb ads: consumers complain of misleading claims. Pharmacare Laboratories is facing a new complaint about its Kids Smart homeopathic medicines amid concerns parents who use the products may delay seeking medical treatment. The complaint – lodged by a group of oranisations including CHOICE to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) – alleges…

Slate slides downhill

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Dr. Harriet Hall tells us about Slate.com rejecting an article that is critical of Dr. Andrew Weil. Science-Based Medicine » Andrew Weil/AAFP Article Rejected by Slate I was asked to write an article for Slate, the on-line magazine, about Andrew Weil’s selection as the keynote speaker for the 2012 AAFP annual scientific assembly. The science and…

Polish Catholic Church down on ‘Satanic’ Halloween

evil pumpkin face

Party poopers! BBC News – Polish Catholic Church in Halloween warning. Poland’s Catholic Church has warned that modern Halloween rituals risk promoting the occult. In a statement on its website, the Church said that celebrating Halloween could contradict Church teachings and Christianity. One archbishop said the 31 October celebrations were promoting paganism to young people.…

You keep using that word, “Skepticism”…

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I do not think it means what you think it means. Conspiracy Theory Experts: Skepticism Is Part Of Our National Identity : It’s All Politics : NPR. Conspiracy theory experts say that the tendency toward distrust of power is neither uniquely partisan nor entirely detrimental. In fact, they say, it’s par for the course for…

Leftover Links for October 29, 2012

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Some interesting bits and pieces left over from today you may want to chew on.   Press for Skepticamp New Hampshire Keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out – NashuaTelegraph.com. In a followup to the Icke at Wembley story: We’re all holograms ruled by reptiles (and the Queen’s fuelled…

The disadvantages of unscientific, superstitious medical beliefs

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Jehovah’s Witness who needed bloodless transplant dies – KansasCity.com. A western Kansas woman who forced the state to honor her religion and agree to provide a Medicaid-funded bloodless liver transplant has died. Mary Stinemetz, 66, passed away Sunday at the University of Colorado Hospital, roughly three years after she first learned she needed a liver…

Obama: Accused of being a real life Storm from X-Men

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Conspiracy Theorists Say Obama Engineered Hurricane Sandy. As Hurricane Sandy blasts the eastern seaboard just over a week before Election Day, a number of conspiracy theorists have decided President Barack Obama engineered the mega-storm to secure his re-election. HAARP, a research program managed by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy, studies and conducts experiments…

Professor Green is NOT a scientist

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A U.K. survey reveals that U.K. students don’t know a real scientist from a rapper? Almost one million school children think Professor Green is a scientist, says study –  The Independent Almost one million school children aged five to 16 think rapper Professor Green is a scientist, according to research. Children are more familiar with…

Hoax Hurricane Sandy photo

Fake photo said to be Hurricane Sandy

Dangerous Minds is reporting that this fake photo is circulating around facebook as a real image of Hurricane Sandy approaching New York City. This photo is NOT real but a manipulation. About.com Urban Legends has this explanation: It was created by combining a fairly standard image of New York Harbor with a 2004 photo of…

Watch out for mail scams promising magic and cures

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Warning of scam in Western Australia, but it happens everywhere. Thousands targeted in psychic and lotto win scams. Consumer Protection have intercepted almost 30,000 scam letters bound for West Australian letterboxes. Scammers are targeting WA residents with letters promising natural health cures, offers of magic trinkets, psychic advice and notifications of lotto wins. The collection…

Arsenic is natural, natural is good! Health Canada issues recall for allergy treatment.

Pollen Allergy product packaging

“Pollen Allergy” Recalled Due to High Arsenic Levels – Health Canada Information. The natural health product “Pollen Allergy” (NPN 80035736), now sold as “Tongqiao Biyan Pian,” is being recalled from the Canadian market after testing conducted by Health Canada identified levels of arsenic that exceed Departmental allowable limits. It also contains low levels of chlorpheniramine…

Leftover Links for October 28, 2012

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Just a few bits and pieces left… Co-founder of the Australian Skeptics has died. James Gerrand – another Skeptic pioneer dies | Australian Skeptics Inc. The Huffington Post looks at the Michigan Dogman legend. Hint: It’s impressive in story, not evidence. Michigan Dogman, Mysterious Upright Canine Creature, Haunts State’s Backwoods.

Author claims psychic helped identify a spy. So he says.

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Spy was identified through psychic, author says. A US intelligence officer is writing a book about how a psychic was used to track bumbling Canberra spy Jean-Philippe Wispelaere during a secretive operation more than a decade ago. Scott Carmichael, an author and senior security and counter-intelligence investigator at the US Defence Intelligence Agency, worked on…

Leftover Links for October 27, 2012

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A few tidbits that you might want to check out. This myth always bothered me. Parents should be more worried about their kids getting hit by cars, not getting poisoned candy. Poisoned Halloween Candy and the Social Construction of Social Problems » Sociological Images. A new urban legend: Justin Bieber has cancer and fans are…

Prince Charles: A holistically silly man

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Prince Charles, wife in Bangalore for holistic healing – The Times of India. Endorsing Bangalore’s credentials as a major global healthcare hub, British royal couple Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive here Saturday for a week-long holistic healing session. They’ll check into Dr Issac Mathai’ s Soukya Holistic Health Centre in…

New Age, pagan network to launch on Halloween

Pagan pentacle

NEW YORK: Worldwide Illuminati Network Supporting Witchcraft and Pagan Lifestyles To Debut on Halloween. A new worldwide network that will support new age, witchcraft, spiritual, pagan and other alternative lifestyles and feature a 24-hour online television and radio network plus Internet on demand services will debut October 31, said co-founders Steve McManus and Elizabeth Sturino.…

Leftover Links for October 26, 2012

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Here are some leftover bits and pieces lying around. A potpourri of strange news. The 21st floor has a piece from a U.K. perspective on a British entertainment personality (now deceased) and the allegations of abuse leveled against him. The 21st Floor » Blog Archive » Saville, Satanic panic and why Skeptics should be wary….…

McCormick pleads not guilty to fraud charges over dowser-like bomb detectors

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Somerset businessman Jim McCormick denies fraud charges over bomb detectors | This is Somerset. A South Somerset businessman accused of selling apparently useless bomb detectors to security forces on patrol in Iraq and Afghanistan has denied fraud at the Old Bailey. Jim McCormick, 56, of Park Farm, Hambridge, allegedly raked in £50 million by trading…