A problematic problem with a science journal. Oops.

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Math paper retracted because it “contains no scientific content” According to a retraction notice for “Computer application in mathematics,” published in Computers & Mathematics with Applications: “This article has been retracted at the request of the Publisher, as the article contains no scientific content and was accepted because of an administrative error. Apologies are offered…

Teller sues to protect his magical work of art

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Teller of ‘Penn and Teller’ fame suing alleged magic-trick thief Raymond Joseph Teller filed a federal complaint against a Dutch entertainer, Gerard Dogge, who has allegedly misappropriated Teller’s “Shadows” routine, according to Courthouse News Service. Dogge has been offering to sell the secret of Teller’s “Shadows” performance to the highest bidder. According to Teller’s complaint,…

When dating sites “sound sciencey,” what does that really mean?

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UCLA Professors Say eHarmony Is Unscientific and its Customers Are ‘Duped.’ Here’s Why. “If you’re gonna make scientific claims, act like a scientist. Or don’t make scientific claims,” UCLA social psychology professor Benjamin Karney says, leaning forward in his chair in his office at UCLA’s Franz Hall, his voice rising an octave. “Don’t pretend!” Commissioned…

Why we buy into conspiracy theories

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Conspiracy theories ‘give illusion of control’ – Scotsman.com. IT’S what they want you to believe. Swallowing conspiracy theories can actually make you feel safer and help make sense of the world, according to new research. The research, conducted by Goldsmiths, University of London, examined a number of famous conspiracy theories, including those surrounding the assassination…

Minnie: Minneapolis’ own tourist-attracting lake monster

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Finding Minnesota: Minneapolis’ Own Lake Monster « CBS Minnesota. The first sighting was at Lake Harriet three years ago. Then people around Lake of the Isles, Brownie Lake, Lake Nokomis and Powderhorn Lake started seeing the creature, too. Mary DeLaittre of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation helps take care of the creature affectionately known as Minne.…

The improbable life and science of cadborosaurus

Claimed "Cadborosaurus willsi" carcass from October, 1937

Paleozoologist Dr. Darren Naish exposes the bad science the created and sustains Cadborosaurus. Discussions with cryptozoologists is a frustrating business. The Cadborosaurus Wars Michael Woodley, Cameron McCormick and myself recently argued that an alleged ‘baby Cadborosaurus’ was very likely no baby sea-serpent at all [via Bousfield and LeBlond], but rather a mangled and half-remembered description…

Here Pinky! Strawberry-coat leopard photographed on game reserve

Photograph courtesy Deon De Villiers

“Strawberry” Leopard Discovered—A First A leopard can’t change its spots, but apparently it can change its color. African leopards normally have tawny coats with black spots. But a male leopard with a strawberry-colored coat has been spotted in South Africa’s Madikwe Game Reserve, conservationists announced this week. Tourists in the reserve had occasionally seen the…

Culture Shifters group in Australia attracts young to be miracle healers

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Teen God squad Culture Shifters’ miracle cure claims | News.com.au. The Pentecostal group Culture Shifters says it has healed people suffering from cancer and multiple sclerosis and is developing a large youth following. Children from the group have been approaching people at random on the street, prompting alarm from parents and warnings from doctors for…

Cryptozoology expedition to Congo is on Kickstarter (Updated: no scientists)

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Kickstarter is a site designed to help people fund their projects. You can donate to things you feel are worthwhile. One young explorer is looking for $26,700 for an expedition to located undiscovered animals. Documentary Expedition to Congo- KILLER REWARDS! by Stephen McCullah — Kickstarter. Our first expedition will be dubbed The Newmac Expedition. It…

Big chain stores correlates with rise in hate groups?

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Do Big-Box Stores Help Create Hate Groups? Study Says Yes. While big-box retailers might offer the lowest prices, they also may be altering a community’s social and economic fabric enough to promote the creation of hate groups, new research shows. According to the study by professors at Penn State University, New Mexico State University and…

Saskatoon church looks for exorcism expert after possible ‘possession’

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Exorcist Expertise Sought After Saskatoon ‘Possession’. According to church officials, a priest was called to a Saskatoon home by a woman who said her uncle showed signs of being possessed by the devil. The woman believed a priest’s blessing could help the distraught man. At the home, the priest encountered a shirtless middle-aged man, slouched…

Little dog lost. Psychic no help.

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A sad story about loose dogs, one still not found: Psychic helps man in search for missing dog – Rutland and Stamford Mercury. A pet owner has contacted a psychic to help trace his dog which has been missing for two weeks. Peter Smurthwaite’s two border terriers, Cyril and Floyd, escaped from his garden in…

No, Twitter is not being anti-atheist.

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There is no #AntiAtheistCampaign on Twitter. It’s just a crackdown on spam. « Skeptical Software Tools. I happened to stumble across a few Tweets yesterday that contained the hashtag #AntiAtheistCampaign. Hashtags are often used to organize on Twitter. This appeared to be some people organizing against some sort of oppression against certain Twitter accounts. Was…

Green falling object causes publicity surge about UFO in Connecticut (UPDATED: Silly and serious)

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Originally published April 13, 2012 10:18 A mystery in the hills: Bantam Lake sighting lures nationwide attention About 2 a.m. Tuesday, two separate reports, one from a state trooper, were called into Litchfield County Dispatch: a green object the size of a whale dropped from the sky. The trooper, who was in Warren, estimated it…

Why is it always Siberia?

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Siberia: the land of strange animal sightings and odd objects in the sky that land and are quickly whisked away…. UFO mystery: Latest sighting in Siberia An unidentified glowing object is said to have crashed down from the skies in Russia’s Siberia, causing a powerful explosion. A search for the mysterious item is underway amid…

Beware of traditional Chinese meds: Tests reveal nasty stuff in them

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Another HUGE black eye for herbal meds. A widely distributed news story about how TCM products contain potentially harmful and banned substances: Traditional Chinese medicines under scrutiny DNA analysis can identify illegal or unsafe ingredients in traditional Chinese medicines, according to new research. An Australian-led group of scientists found traces of endangered species, as well…

Levitating girl caught on Russian video (UPDATE: Old and hoax)

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Is This Russian Flying Girl Real or a Hoax? At a time when “shocking amateur footage”-inspired movies like ‘Paranormal Activity’ are all the norm, here’s a video from Russia that has been raising suspicions about its authenticity. A new report (in Russian) shows footage recorded by an individual in a forest with his dog, who…

Indian skeptic charged with blasphemy for revealing a miracle hoax

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Indian skeptic charged with “blasphemy” for revealing secret behind “miracle” of weeping cross. Sanal Edamaruku, an Indian skeptic, went to Mumbai and revealed that a “miraculous” weeping cross was really just a bit of statuary located near a leaky drain whose liquid reached it by way of capillary action. The local Catholic Church demanded that…

Denialists don the authority of NASA. Fail.

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Former spaceflight issues upset with NASA’s climate stance Four dozen former NASA astronauts, engineers and scientists have written a letter to the space agency decrying its advocacy of “catastrophic” climate change. “As former NASA employees, we feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of…

Wild west weather: Four feet of hail!

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Hail ravages US 287, shuts down highway Three to four feet of hail was reported near the Canadian River. Watch the video above from Storm Search 7 Storm Chaser Doug Blach. It was shot at Lahey Creek. Storm Search 7 Chief Meteorologist Steve Kersh said the intense hail was something he had never before witnessed.…