A royal UFO flap

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Prince Philip’s UFO Interest Inspires New Biography Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband to the queen of England, is also a fervent UFO aficionado. His UFO interests are not only included in a new biography, author Philip Eade writes in his forward that the idea for the biography came about when he was…

Measles outbreak in UK

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Measles sweeps through Brighton and Hove (From The Argus). Health bosses are battling a measles outbreak. Nine children at two Hove schools have been diagnosed with the potentially fatal infectious disease in the past couple of weeks – more than the entire number of cases in the whole of Sussex last year. In some cases…

Police deluged with tips from psychics to find missing child (updated)

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Psychics volunteering with police to find missing boy Tips are pouring into Bellevue Police regarding the last known whereabouts of missing 2-year-old baby Sky. Tips are also coming in on his current whereabouts, from those that “see.” Yes, tips from psychics. On high profile missing people cases, it’s common that at least a thousand psychics…

Unknown source of Iodine-131 radiation detected across Europe

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Low levels of radioactive particles in Europe: IAEA Very low levels of radioactive iodine-131 have been detected in Europe but the particles are not believed to pose a public health risk, the U.N. nuclear agency said Friday, saying it was seeking to find the source. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Vienna-based U.N. watchdog,…

Generous gift to McGill Univ to continue fight against snake oil salesmen

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Dr. Joe serves notice to quacks. Charlatans and quacks beware – Joe Schwarcz has an extra $5.5 million to help put you out of business. And, mark his words – the man behind McGill University’s renowned Office for Science and Society won’t rest until every bottle of Goji juice, every ounce of mistletoe extract and…

Inquest coroner disputes spontaneous human combustion explanation

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A followup to a December story regarding a coroner who claimed an Irish woman died of spontaneous human combustion… Spontaneous combustion a myth, says coroner A Donegal Coroner has described spontaneous human combustion as “probably an urban myth” at the inquest into the death of a 50-year-old woman in Carndonagh on 31 December, 2010. Coroner…

FTC will tell Skechers to exercise some responsibility about shaping shoe claims

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AdAge – Skechers waits for other shoe to drop as FTC considers toning footware ads. Skechers is bracing for a potential multi-million dollar settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, regarding advertising of its Shape-Ups toning footwear. In its quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the footwear company acknowledged that the toning category, including…

BBC drops Frozen Planet’s climate change episode to foreign countries (updated: it will air)

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BBC drops Frozen Planet’s climate change episode to sell show better abroad. British viewers will see seven episodes, the last of which deals with global warming and the threat to the natural world posed by man. However, viewers in other countries, including the United States, will only see six episodes. Campaigners said the decision not…

Competition to dowse for artifacts. Over a map. (updated)

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Dowsing competition pits diehard believers against sceptics. A website dedicated to prehistoric archaeology called the Megalithic Portal is now launching a competition to try and resolve the question [of dowsing], with would-be psychics and scoffers invited to join a hunt for archaeological remains from the comfort of their own armchairs. Andy Burnham, founder of the…

Scientific question of magnetically aligned cows still unanswered

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The mystery of the magnetic cows I know this is of utmost importance – do cows align themselves with the magnetic field? Actually, it’s a good question that can tell us about potentially other magento-sensitive animals. In 2008, the world’s media was captivated by a study apparently showing that cows like to align themselves with…

Jesus rocks. New example of pareidolia

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Jesus Cliff: Woman Says She Photographed Christ On Irish Rocks Tourist Sandra Clifford’s picture has got a lot of people excited. Clifford, a pilot fron San Francisco, spotted the figure recently while visiting the famous Cliffs of Moher in County Clare… “I definitely felt a divine presence,” Clifford told HuffPost Weird News. “To me, it…

Fox news biased on climate change. Shocker!

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Study Confirms: Fox News Creates Alternate Reality On Climate Science A new study confirms that Fox News systematically paints a distorted picture of climate change, with the effect of worsening political polarization. Published by The International Journal Of Press/Politics, the study examined primetime cable news broadcasts from 2007 and 2008, and found that Fox “discussed…

The stage is set for Big Bigfoot news. Now produce it.

Erickson Project's sleeping Bigfoot

Bigfoot proponents have said in the past that if only organized efforts to find evidence were undertaken, proof of the creatures’ existence could be secured. Apparently, several of these projects became a reality and sources have claimed big Bigfoot news is on the way. Yet, one project has mysteriously disappeared recently. Other video evidence has…

Unidentified structures in China’s Gobi desert found on Google Earth

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China: Google Earth spots huge, unidentified structures in Gobi desert – Telegraph. In two images, available on Google Earth, reflective rectangles up to a mile long can be seen, a tangle of bright white intersecting lines that are clearly visible from space. Other pictures show enormous concentric circles radiating on the ground, with three jets…

A Nepalese family suffers from allegations of “black magic”

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It’s not just Africa that has “witchcraft” crimes. This story highlights why worldwide attention is needed. Woman beaten up on charge of witchcraft A woman of Mahadeva-3 in Saptari district has been beaten by locals 13 times since past four years accusing her of practicing witchcraft, but the administration has not taken action against any…

Calling attention to witchcraft atrocities in Africa

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A Conference On Witchcraft Branding, Spirit Possession And Safeguarding African Children Leo Igwe, a skeptical activist in Nigeria, reports on a conference he attended that frankly addressed the horrific problem of witchcraft accusations in Africa. I just returned from a two-day conference on Witchcraft Branding, Spirit Possession and Safeguarding African Children. The conference was organised…

Spanish study says public lacks critical reasoning of multimedia messages

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Informed Citizens? Spaniards’ Capacity for Analyzing Audiovisual Messages Is Very Low, Study Suggests The purpose of the study was to be able to infer whether or not citizens have sufficient knowledge and capacity to manage, analyze, participate in and evaluate different aspects related to the multimediated context in which they live. This is especially relevant,…

Wakefield’s coauthors, and academic institutions in general, called out by BMJ editorial

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An editorial in the British Medical Journal calls Wakefield’s coauthors into the limelight. It’s not over yet… Institutional research misconduct | BMJ. Now we can report that it is not only Wakefield and UCL’s administrators who have a case to answer. This week we publish new information that puts the spotlight on Wakefield’s coauthors. Among…

The JREF awards grants to two educators to address popular pseudoscientific beliefs

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Recipients of 2011 JREF Grants for Educators. The James Randi Educational Foundation is pleased to announce the latest recipients of funding through our Grants for Educators Program. The JREF is proud to provide support for two exciting projects this year, out of many worthwhile applicants. The awards went to: Brian Barnes of the University of Louisville is developing…

Devices and cures for concussion unsupported

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More Sports – The Globe and Mail. Parents who rushed out to buy football helmets this year on claims that the head gear could prevent concussions were buying promises that couldn’t be kept, says Toronto neurosurgeon Charles Tator. “Thank God the manufacturers had to withdraw that claim. I’ve talked with a lot of very talented…

Numerology believers wanted births on 11.11.11

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Hospitals see rush for caesarean section deliveries on 11.11.11 – Hindustan Times. Many women awaiting deliveries rushed to various hospitals in the city on Friday to undergo caesarean section to make sure their babies are born on the auspicious date — 11.11.11. Though astrologers and numerologists declared the date as auspicious for newborns, they cautioned…

Conspiracy theories run amok. Without critical thinking, we get dangerously ridiculous.

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One of the main goals of the Doubtful News website is to demonstrate that critical thinking is necessary to navigate online news and make sense of what is happening in the world without being duped. This article is a fantastic report on exactly how the internet and our lack of rational thought has lead us…

Must see new Bigfoot video by Larry Surface (who doesn’t engage critics – video is now gone) UPDATED

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Larry Surface of the Bigfoot-Evidence blog claims to have captured Bigfoot on a hidden video camera. It’s a biggie! Bigfoot-Evidence: Bigfoot Video. The subject passed in front of the camera and apparently peered around the corner where the cats are fed, either looking for cat food or a cat, then turned and went back the…

Nonscientists count on science and technology for paranormal breakthrough

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Bringing science and technology into the world of the paranormal | DL-Online | Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. With the popularity of paranormal research reaching an all-time high, there are an abundance of theories, guesses and ideas of what motors one of man’s final frontiers. Everything from “it’s all the devil’s work” to quantum physical theories have…

Egypt shuts down Great Pyramid temporarily over “Satanic” rituals on 11-11-11

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Egypt shuts down Great Pyramid over fears that groups are trying to hold bizarre rituals at sacred site  – NY Daily News. Egypt’s antiquities authority closed the largest of the Giza pyramids Friday following rumors that groups would try to hold spiritual ceremonies on the site at 11:11 A.M. on Nov. 11, 2011. The authority’s head…

Teens acting like a pack of wolves

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Teen Wolves of Texas | Mysterious Universe. Rob Morphy has written a truly bizarre report on the teen gangs in Texas that claim to be actual werewolves. [...]in suburban San Antonio, Texas, there is a group of high school kids who are taking this craze to an altogether darker and more dangerous place. These teenagers…

JREF announces Kyle Hill appointed as new Research Fellow

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Kyle Hill Appointed as JREF Research Fellow. As a fellow, Kyle Hill will conduct research on they ways people process science information they discover online, with the goal of applying his findings to the JREF’s mission of promoting skepticism and critical thinking. Hill will also blog at Randi.org, pilot a “Science and Skepticism 101” educational workshop…

Eating placenta (pills) for postpartum depression. Other animals do it.

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The Body Odd – Placenta pills for postpartum blues: Gross or drug-free treatment?. Some new moms are popping pills made from their dried, ground-up placenta as a way to ease postpartum depression, reports NBC’s Renee Chenault-Fattah. Some placenta fans believe it also helps with breast milk production and regulates hormones. But while there may be…

Canary Islands undersea eruptions release dangerous gas and “boil” the sea surface

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Video: Underwater volcano toxic gas closes coast in Canary Islands – Telegraph. Spain’s Civil Protection for Volcanic Risk has closed two beaches on the island of El Hierro in the Canary Islands because of potentially toxic gasses emanating from an underwater volcano off the island’s shore. The island has experienced hundreds of low intensity earthquakes…

Autism diagnosis not consistent between clinics

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Diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorders Vary Widely Across Clinics The researchers found that diagnoses of specific categories of autism spectrum disorder varied dramatically from site to site across the country. Clinicians across centers varied in how they weighed different factors and in the thresholds they set to make diagnoses. Although verbal IQ strongly influenced diagnoses…