Psychic sued for fraud, allegedly bilked man out of $30K

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Man sues Auburn psychic, claims fraud. An Auburn psychic is facing a lawsuit from a dissatisfied customer who claims she bilked him out of more than $30,000 while claiming to pray for his relatives. Abraham Char contends a woman identified in court documents only as “Mama Tanya” tricked him into providing her with thousands of…

Mother Mary! Virgin birth in wild serpents.

Copperhead with progeny Photo credit: C. Smith and P. Eskridge

Virgin births discovered in wild snakes. Researchers in the US caught pregnant females from two snake species and genetically analysed the litters. That proved the North American pit vipers reproduced without a male, a phenomenon called facultative parthenogenesis that has previously been found only in captive species. Scientists say the findings could change our understanding…

Scientologist offering free ‘Detox’ treatment for Agent Orange victims in Vietnam

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Agent Orange Victims Get Scientology ‘Detox’ Treatment. The Vietnamese government is turning to a “detoxification” method developed by the founder of the Church of Scientology to treat victims of Agent Orange, a toxic defoliant the U.S. military used during the Vietnam War. According to local media reports, 24 patients from the central city of Da…

Exorcism: It’s hot in Poland

devil-winning

Exorcism boom in Poland sees magazine launch. With exorcism booming in Poland, Roman Catholic priests here have joined forces with a publisher to launch what they claim is the world’s first monthly magazine focused exclusively on chasing out the devil. “The rise in the number or exorcists from four to more than 120 over the…

A sharp difference: Study of sham vs real acupuncture appear good or bad depending on how you view it

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One research paper, two rather significantly different media reports. What’s the deal with acupuncture? The Guardian puts it this way: Data indicates treatment is more than a placebo, but differences between true and sham acupuncture are modest. USA Today puts it this way: Acupuncture gets a thumbs-up for helping relieve pain from chronic headaches, backaches…

Placebo, nocebo and subliminal all in one study

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This is intriguing. This study not only examines the placebo and nocebo effects but also subliminal information. Subconscious cues can trigger the placebo effect, say researchers | Science | guardian.co.uk. The finding that there are subliminal influences on the placebo effect has implications for how healthcare is delivered. Subliminal information can trigger the placebo effect…

The Titanic Experience: Hauntingly silly

Orb, upper right.

This case of paranormal tourism is pathetic. Titanic The Experience discovers paranormal activity?. It seems like the victims of the Titanic tragedy are still attached to items they once used and touched. At least that’s what Titanic The Experience wants to prove. So, staffers put together a paranormal investigation. They claim to have found conclusive…

Even more evidence that Traditional Chinese Medicine is yucky stuff

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Yet ANOTHER reason not to buy Traditional Chinese Medicine preparations… not only are questionable for efficacy but they are commonly found to be full of crap you don’t want to ingest. Factories busted for fake medicine|Society|chinadaily.com.cn. The drugs watchdog in Anhui province has swooped down on companies suspected of making fake traditional Chinese medicine. The…

Celebrity “theorizing”: Sheryl Crow speculates on the cause of her brain tumor

Sheryl Crow from IMDB site

Sheryl Crow Brain Tumor: Singer Thinks It Was Caused By Her Cell Phone : People.com. Sheryl Crow suspects that the benign brain tumor she has may have been caused by her cell phone. “There are no doctors that will confirm that,” Crow, 50, said Monday while appearing on the premiere of Katie, the new syndicated…

TruthMarket crowd-sources fact checking of political and commercial claims

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A new skeptic tool! Launching the First Marketplace for Truth-Telling™, TruthMarket™ Offers the Public Tools and Incentives to Take Action Against False Political and Commercial Claims. TruthMarket, a division of Truth Seal Corp., today announced it plans to play an aggressive role in improving the state of political and commercial communications by launching its Marketplace…

UFO research group concludes hovering blue mystery object was a quadcopter

quadcopter

Mystery over blue UFOs now ‘solved’ | This is Leicestershire. The mystery of blue flying objects reported hovering over Hinckley may have been solved. Dozens of people said they saw the objects on August 23. Their reports reached the town branch of the Leicestershire UFO Research Society which immediately carried out investigations. The society, which…

Oh the amazing things you can do with makeup: Behold Fukkacumi, the Anime girl

Closeup from TV where you can see the artist's touch on Anastasia Shpagina

Anastasiya Shpagina (Fukkacumi) – Ukraine’s Real-Life Anime Girl | Oddity Central It’s official, this real-life anime trend has gotten completely out of hand. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t stumble upon some photos of girls going to any lengths in order to look like real live anime characters. Today’s example, Anastasiya Shpagina, an…

It’s a shame psychic crime fighting doesn’t work

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Psychic crime fighter joins search for woman missing two decades — Aroostook — Bangor Daily News. Cindy Owens has worn out two pairs of shoes searching the woods of northern Maine since her friend Virginia Sue Pictou-Noyes went missing two decades ago after leaving a Bangor hospital. On Saturday the search was joined by a…

Earthquake Warning in California: Don’t give credence to nonsense prediction schemes

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A reader alerted us to an earthquake prediction for today (I guess, there’s no date) from a site that relies on some very dubious means of prediction. Earthquake Prediction California, San Francisco, Los Angeles, recent, earthquake, San Diego, Eureka, San Bernardino. California Earthquake Risk: EARTHQUAKE WARNING 5.6 earthquake is likely to hit San Francisco /…

Private school students more likely to not be vaccinated

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Private school vaccine opt-outs rise. Parents who send their children to private schools in California are much more likely to opt out of immunizations than their public school counterparts, an Associated Press analysis has found, and not even the recent re-emergence of whooping cough has halted the downward trajectory of vaccinations among these students. More…

Ayurvedic skin care product blamed for lead poisoning

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8 ill after using toxic skin product: Health24: Skin & Hair: News. City authorities in Durban have issued a warning to customers who bought an over-the-counter skincare product after eight people were hospitalised. The Daily News reported that officials were now looking for other customers of the ayurvedic product Skintocare, which is imported from India…

Major pharma company dives into Traditional Chinese Medicine research

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GSK to develop traditional Chinese medicine |Companies |chinadaily.com.cn. Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline will open a new research unit in China to look at traditional Chinese medicine. According to the company, Innovative TCM will be one of GSK’s R&D programs in China, aiming to transform TCM from an experience-based practice to evidence-based medicines through innovation and differentiation.…

Conspiracists of a feather flock together

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This study is controversial and not without its problems, topmost being it was self-selected and not randomized but it does reveal some characteristics scientists should ponder. Why people reject science (Science Alert) Researchers from The University of Western Australia have examined what motivates people who are greatly involved in the climate debate to reject scientific…

Yangtze River Runs Red

Photo credit: ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

Yangtze River Turns Red and Turns Up a Mystery | ABC News Blogs – Yahoo!. For a river known as the “golden watercourse,” red is a strange color to see. Yet that’s the shade turning up in the Yangtze River and officials have no idea why. The red began appearing in the Yangtze, the longest…

Another paper disputes Bem’s psi findings but also serves as excellent instruction

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In 2011, Daryl Bem conducted series of 9 experiments in which he claimed evidence for a precognition. The studies were widely reported in the press but strongly questioned by the scientific community. Soon after, attempts were made to reproduce them as methodological flaws were found. These attempts failed to show the same effect. Out of…

Those psychic Marks just won’t go away

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Fort Lauderdale fortune teller charged with fraud wants to work for online psychic service. When a Fort Lauderdale family of fortune tellers was charged with operating a multi-million dollar fraud last year, a judge banned them from working as spiritual guides or psychics — for the foreseeable future or until the case goes to trial.…

Two-faced cat is not a fake

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‘Two-faced’ chimera cat Venus is an overnight internet sensation. The cat’s symmetrically divided black and ginger facial fur has been likened to a much cuter version of fictional comic book character, Batman’s infamous adversary Two-Face. Venus may look like she comes from another planet but her striking appearance and opposing coloured eyes have a far…

Faked fossils are a real problem for researchers

Beringer's hoax stones

The Archaeology News Network: Counterfeit fossils undermine research projects. Fake fossils are duping scientists and museums, a senior paleontologist has warned, after a scholar was forced to retract a controversial essay that stated the cheetah originated in China. According to Li Chun, associate researcher at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology under the Chinese…

Congratulations to ‘MonsterTalk’ Parsec Podcast Award winner

Monster Talk

‘MonsterTalk’ Wins Parsec Podcast Award » Benjamin Radford. MonsterTalk, a podcast co-hosted by myself, Blake Smith and Karen Stollznow, won a Parsec, a national podcasting award. The Parsecs are annual awards created to recognize excellence in science fiction podcasts and podcast novels. MonsterTalk won in the “Best Fact Behind the Fiction” category, for podcasts that…

Nail salon in Pennsylvania a cover for selling illegal animal parts for Asian black market

M. Silverberg/TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Associated Press

Four Charged with Selling Bear Parts Two Cumberland County couples have been charged by the Pennsylvania Game Commission with illegally selling bear gall bladders, bear paws and a porcupine to an undercover wildlife conservation officer during a several-monthlong sting operation. Rich Palmer, director of the bureau of wildlife protection for the game commission, said gall…

Psychic phone scammer caught in U.K.

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Leeds fraudster jailed for ‘call a psychic’ phone scam – Top Stories – Yorkshire Evening Post. A fraudster has been jailed for his part in a phone scam which saw him paid thousands of pounds commission for calls made on premium rate numbers to five psychics who turned out to be completely bogus. Paul James…

Norway documentary series questions alternative medicine

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NRK, the Norwegian State broadcaster airs a documentary series, called Folkeopplysningen (translates into Public Education) questioning the alternative medicine business. Folkeopplysningen* Norwegians spend over 1.5 billion kroner [approx. $256,000,000] annually on alternative medicine and services but do they work? Physicist Andreas Wahl takes a look at the alternative industry.