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…

German pseudoscientist arrested for fraud scheme

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BBC News – Brazil arrests German conman over pseudo-science fraud. Brazilian police have arrested a German conman who claimed to have developed a scheme which he said allowed him to predict lottery numbers, transmit data and improve online banking security. Hartmut Muller, who had been convicted of a multi-million-dollar fraud in Germany, persuaded people to…

Mascara ad banned in U.K. for misleading claims

extreme lashes

Agency Bans Dior Mascara Ad Featuring Natalie Portman | ABC News Blogs – Yahoo!. A Christian Dior mascara ad featuring actress Natalie Portman has been banned in England after rival makeup company L’Oreal complained that the magazine ad was misleading and exaggerated. L’Oreal complained to Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority, the independent agency that regulates advertising…

Not sexy: Study citing link between women’s hormones and voting preferences gets pulled

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Psychological Science in the news again: CNN retracts story on hormone-voting link « Retraction Watch. As Politico and Poynter — and probably others — have reported, CNN has retracted a story about a yet-to-be-published study in Psychological Science claiming to find a link between estrogen and elections. Specifically, the researchers reported that the well-documented preference…

Leftover Links for October 25, 2012

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Found a bag of leftover goodies for you to sift through today… A THIRD lawsuit for the Arrowhead Oklahoma Narconon clinic. That’s one for each death. Scientology-linked Narconon of Oklahoma facing further litigation amid recent rehab deaths. The latest “Bigfoot” photo shows what looks like a cone-shaped head. It is HIGHLY unconvincing. A wildlife official…

Pop Sci features Rossi and his cold fusion ‘pie in the sky’

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Here is a feature from Popular Science about Rossi’s free energy claims. Can Andrea Rossi’s Infinite-Energy Black Box Power The World–Or Just Scam It? | Popular Science. On January 14, 2011, a 61-year-old Italian inventor named Andrea Rossi staged a spectacular demonstration. In a warehouse in Bologna, he switched on a strange contraption that looked…

Mayan descendants say, “Shut up already!”

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AFP: Maya demand an end to doomsday myth. Guatemala’s Mayan people accused the government and tour groups on Wednesday of perpetuating the myth that their calendar foresees the imminent end of the world for monetary gain. “We are speaking out against deceit, lies and twisting of the truth, and turning us into folklore-for-profit. They are…

New study reveals paranormal investigators winning at being “scientifical”

Gadgets are goofy, not scientific.

Study examines influence of media messages on perceptions of paranormal investigators’ credibility. The omnipresence of paranormal entertainment piqued the interest of Paul Brewer, professor of communication at the University of Delaware, who wondered what makes viewers believe — or disbelieve — what they see on the screen. His resulting study, recently published in the journal…

Swiper, NO SWIPING! Oh, maaaan…

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Foxy thief snatches bag – then returns it to owner (From The Argus). Jeremy Clark, 38, told The Argus how he was at home in Maple Drive, Burgess Hill, when he spotted a fox making off with his wife’s handbag – then return it to her. “Next thing I knew he had my wife’s handbag…

Psychics say they could have helped solved murder sooner

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Psychics claim their tips would have solved a murder before police but police didn’t listen. The police say otherwise. Psychics say they solved Sheddy murder | The Daily Times | delmarvanow.com. Suzanne Vincent said at first investigators dismissed their findings and instead pursued a scenario where Sheddy had simply run away. “If the police would…

Land shark: Found on golf course

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The Capistrano Dispatch – Fish Out of the Water Live Shark Found at San Juan Hills Golf Course. The shark was discovered around 4 p.m. by an on-duty course marshal, who immediately called the clubhouse to report the displaced fish. “It was just wriggling around,” Director of Club Operations Melissa McCormack said. “Honestly, this is…

Leftover Links for October 24, 2012

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Here are some stories that you might be interested in. Enjoy, or not. The practice of pica might be very common, not just in women. Guess Who’s Eating Dirt: Surprising Number of Men Found Practicing Pica. Why Some People See Sound | Flash Illusions | LiveScience. Almond Oil in Pregnancy Linked to Premature Birth |…

Channeler of Ramtha, J.Z. Knight donates $50,000 to political campaign

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Ramtha channels $50K to WA Dems | kgw.com Portland. Washington State Republicans called Yelm spiritual leader JZ Knight “an intolerant bigot” Tuesday, after video of her surfaced online making a variety of insensitive remarks about Catholics, Jews and homosexuals. Knight, who claimes she channels the 35,000-year-old Ramtha at her School of Enlightenment, has stepped into…

Raw food is not going to cut it

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Raw Food Not Enough to Feed Big Brains. Eating a raw food diet is a recipe for disaster if you’re trying to boost your species’ brainpower. That’s because humans would have to spend more than 9 hours a day eating to get enough energy from unprocessed raw food alone to support our large brains, according…

Narconon giving presentations in Oklahoma schools

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Narconon Arrowhead gives presentation at local school Narconon Arrowhead representatives gave a Red Ribbon Week presentation to students Canadian High School on Monday and are hoping to give a presentation at the McAlester Boys and Girls Club this week, according John Bitinas, public relations spokesman for Narconon Arrowhead. The Narconon program was founded by William…

Ionospheric phenomena exciting new direction for earthquake prediction

Glow photographed from a seismic event in Kyoto, Japan

This is a very exciting story about earthquake precursors. Japan Quake May Have Struck Atmosphere First The devastating earthquake that struck Japan this year may have rattled the highest layer of the atmosphere even before it shook the Earth, a discovery that one day could be used to provide warnings of giant quakes, scientists find.…