Family Guy creator helped in public acquisition of Carl Sagan’s papers

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Library of Congress obtains astronomer Carl Sagan’s personal papers – The Washington Post. The life of Carl Sagan now fills the tabletops of two vast rooms in the Madison Building of the Library of Congress. The life arrived in recent weeks at the building’s loading dock on 41 pallets containing 798 boxes. The material documents…

Nat Geo go low with nonsense poll about UFOs

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Publicity machine running full bore for the Nat Geo Chasing UFOs show. Now, it includes press for a nonsensical public poll designed to get the answer they want to push their new show. A third of Earthlings believe in UFOs, would befriend aliens. Aliens often compete with superheroes, vampires and zombies to top hit movie…

Household device prompts UFO report

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The evidence is clear. EVERYTHING can be a UFO even if it’s not unidentified and not flying. UFO lands in East Malvern? | 3AW Radio. A story in the Stonnington Leader today details the mysterious case of an alleged UFO (Unidentified flying object) landing on the nature strip of East Malvern man, Ron Budge’s property.…

Xocai is not okay! Legal threat against skeptical critic in Norway (Update: Xocai tries to cover their tracks)

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Bloggers were threatened with million dollar lawsuit for blogging about “healthy chocolate”* Two bloggers feel they have been threatened and harassed by the company Sjokoservice Norway after having written critical blog posts about Xocai chocolate which advertises a range of health benefits if you eat the chocolate. The advertisement claimed among other things, that the…

UK homeopaths flustered over law that may signal their demise

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This story is being played out in blogs and within the communication circles of parties involved. People in the U.S. may not be aware of what’s happening. But, what eventually happens may have ripples everywhere. Could homeopathy be declared illegal in the U.K. This is from Homeopathy Action Trust: Campaign Update – threat to homeopathic…

New study questions whether autism is an epidemic or just defined that way

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Utah study: Expanded definition finds more disabled kids with autism | The Salt Lake Tribune. University of Utah researchers applied today’s criteria for autism-spectrum disorders to children who were considered challenged in the 1980s and who participated in an autism study at that time. The new study found a majority of those kids would now…

Tweeting occupants of interplanetary craft

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Nat Geo’s pulls a publicity stunt to promote their new UFO show. Possible alien message to get reply from humanity | Fox News. If there’s something you’d like to say to aliens, now’s your chance. The Wow! signal, a mysterious radio transmission detected in 1977 that may or may not have come from extraterrestrials, is…

Alternative therapies promoted to veterans in North Carolina

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Asheville’s Helios Warriors offers alternative therapies to veterans | The Asheville Citizen-Times. Many veterans suffer from chronic emotional and physical pain that drugs and Western medicine alone are ineffective in relieving. Gayle Sovinee saw this need and decided to do something about it. Sovinee co-founded and leads Helios Warriors, a nonprofit dedicated to providing veterans…

Russian police use psychic to help find child killer

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Police Use Psychic in Hunt for Child Killer RIA Novosti. Police are using a psychic to find the killer of a five-year-old boy, the lifenews.ru portal reported on Tuesday. The boy, named Bogdan, was snatched last Tuesday by an unidentified man near a village in the Petushki district some 150 kilometers east of Moscow. His…

‘Memory Man’ skilled in facial recognition spots criminals at large for police

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A cool story about a man with unique skills put to good use. Award for police ‘Memory Man’ with knack for spotting suspects – Press Release – West Midlands Police. A community officer dubbed West Midlands Police’s ‘Memory Man’ is to be honoured for his “astonishing” record of spotting criminals on Birmingham’s streets. PCSO Andy…

TCM pushed on schoolkids in China

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Here is a potentially frightening development: Beijing primary schools to launch TCM classes Primary schools in Beijing will introduce traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) cultural classes next semester, a Beijing Times news reported Monday. A textbook on TCM has been published by the Beijing TCM Administration and Beijing Municipal Commission of Education to boost TCM culture…

Are UFOs a hazard to national security? (UPDATE: additional info)

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Noted Researcher Urges New Scientific Study of UFOs UFO researcher Robert Hastings recently addressed The Society for Scientific Exploration’s 31st Annual Conference here. His presentation, “Unexplained Aerial Incursions at Nuclear Weapons Sites Demand a Renewed Scientific Interest in the UFO Phenomenon,” examined declassified U.S. government documents confirming ongoing UFO activity at American nukes-related facilities since…

Psychics’ prediction about murder case proves predictably wrong

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TV psychics ‘exploited’ Furlong. Claims about the Jane Furlong case made by psychics on the television show Sensing Murder have been called into question by the New Zealand Skeptics. The two psychics featured on the 2007 broadcast – Deb Webber and Kelvin Cruickshank – had already made differing claims about Ms Furlong’s alleged killer. Mr…

Oregon school district spends $172,000 fighting Wi-fi pseudoscience lawsuit

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Wireless Waste: Portland schools have had to spend $172,000 fighting a parent’s lawsuit over Wi-Fi. One year ago, the parent of a Portland Public Schools student sued the district with claims a new Wi-Fi network in his daughter’s middle school was poisoning her and potentially harming other students. As WW reported, there’s no scientific evidence…

What do living dinosaurs, the Loch Ness monster and the Ku Klux Klan have in common?

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Related to this story we posted about Louisiana’s controversial new school voucher program, here is a peek into what kids might be taught as part of a fundamentalist school “science” program: How American fundamentalist schools are using Nessie to disprove evolution | Herald Scotland. Thousands of children in the southern state will receive publicly-funded vouchers…

Fishing for supporting evidence for the Lake Iliamna shark explanation

Lake Iliamna is not as directly connected to the sea.

In a followup to this story: Lake monsters are sharks? Not likely, we have an new discovery just announced by the same source as the original monster story. Fresh evidence that Alaska’s Iliamna Lake monster is a Pacific sleeper shark? A summer solstice revelation from King Cove Lagoon corroborates the Pacific sleeper shark theory. Wednesday…

Was Stonehenge built as monument symbolizing the unification of farming communities?

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Research finds Stonehenge was monument marking unification of Britain | e! Science News. After 10 years of archaeological investigations, researchers have concluded that Stonehenge was built as a monument to unify the peoples of Britain, after a long period of conflict and regional difference between eastern and western Britain. Its stones are thought to have…

Maybe coming soon to TV: Beer-swillin’ redneck ghost hunters

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Here is another story of ghost hunters behaving badly. Remember the story a while back of Twisted Dixie, the seemingly careless, beer drinking, religious-based, fee-charging paranormal investigators? Well, the Country Music Television (CMT) is interested in putting them on TV. IVA, S.C.: Group of 6 Southern ghost hunters stop by Iva | Regional | Rock…

How do you make a Ponzi scheme even more dubious? Base investments on astrology.

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Ponzi Man Was an Astrologer, SEC Says An Orlando broker took $1 million in a Ponzi scheme, and stole $415,000 of it, through his appropriately named “White Elephant Trading Company,” and didn’t tell his victims that “his trading strategies were based on lunar cycles and the gravitational pull between Earth and the moon,” the SEC…

Huge scary fish caught in Texas

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Texas fisherman prevails in epic battle with enormous alligator gar. Whether Brent Crawford has captured the world’s largest alligator gar will never be known — his scale bottomed out emphatically at 300 pounds and he filleted the prehistoric-looking fish after attempting to obtain its weight. But this much is clear: The gar Crawford landed while…

Penn and Teller get a star

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Las Vegas magicians and skeptical advocates Penn & Teller are getting a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame: 2013 Walk of Fame honorees named. Penn and Teller, showmen and television personalities, are longtime supporters of the James Randi Educational Foundation and will be appearing at this year’s Amazing Meeting as keynote speakers.

CSIcon 2012 in Nashville

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Join me and many great presenters at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry’s conference, CSIcon this October 25–28, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee The Conference Dedicated to Science and Skeptical Inquiry. Science and reason are taking quite a beating lately. Popular culture, academia, and even the halls of government seem swarmed with alternative medicine hucksters, extraterrestrial conspiracies,…

You really can die laughing

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Man who died laughing at Goodies had Long QT syndrome. The bricklayer from King’s Lynn, Norfolk was said to have guffawed so hard at the BBC sketch show that his heart gave out. Decades on, doctors have established that he really did die laughing. Cardiologists believe Mr Mitchell suffered from a rare heart rhythm disorder,…

Orange you going to ask about this lobster?

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Extremely Rare Orange Lobsters Turn Up in Mass. Restaurant. While unpacking a 20-crate shipment of lobsters, the retail manager at a Mansfield, Mass., seafood restaurant noticed something odd: Five of the lobsters appeared to have been cooked already. It must have been a joke, he thought at first, until he saw them move. The bright-orange…

Lands believed to host supernatural animals are more likely to be conserved

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Traditional belief in mythical beasts help protect forests Cultural practices including beliefs in mythical beasts and animals that dance have helped maintain forests in the West African country of the Gambia and Malaysian Borneo, said a researcher from Oxford University speaking at the annual meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation in Bonito,…

Heads up! Meteor causes bit of overreaction in Colorado

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Meteor reports ground Colo. firefighting planes Authorities grounded firefighting aircraft battling an out-of-control blaze scorching central Colorado on Wednesday, reacting with caution to witness reports of meteor sightings. The temporary move came amid several reported sky sightings near the fire burning 1,100 acres, or nearly 2 square miles, west of Colorado Springs. Chaffee County Sheriff…