Steven Spielberg, dino hunter

Wait, WAAAAAAT? A Whole Bunch Of People On Facebook Thought Steven Spielberg Killed A Real Dinosaur. Internet humourist Jay Branscomb posted it on Facebook with the caption: “Disgraceful photo of…

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Paging national medical orgs: Dr. Oz needs a response

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This is a pretty good target for some skeptical activism. However, it’s going to take a large-scale effort to do something about Dr. Oz, the nation’s doctor, sad as that is. But, I think the clouds are forming over his head ever since his disgraceful display before a congressional hearing. Meet the medical student who…

Discovered four-winged dinosaur was largest flier of its type at more than quadruple usual weight

Microraptor from Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0)

This is rather exciting news for feathered dinosaur fans (who could probably use a win lately). A new species of feathered dinosaur has been discovered, and it is the largest four-winged flier yet known. Changyuraptor, Large Species of Flying Dinosaur, Is Discovered (New York Times): The new species, Changyuraptor, found in northeastern China, was four feet…

The giant Siberian hole: Yep, media does a crap job reporting (Update)

Closer look at the pockmarked surface of Yamal peninsula, Siberia

Oh man, I really hate to start the day with such an awful excuse for a headline. ‘Bottomless’ pit baffles scientists | New York Post. A huge, mysterious crater spotted in remote Siberia has scientists scrambling for answers: Was it a meteor? Was it a weapon? Or was it an explosive sign of global warming?…

Michigan: Another Pacu Panic?

Pacu from Wikimedia Commons (CC0)

Another specimen of the South American piranha relative has been caught, this time in Michigan. Doubtful News has previously covered pacu stories from Denmark, Paris and New Jersey, as well as the panic associated with unsourced “testical eating” claims about the species. Fortunately, some of the coverage has been less credulous this time around, though…

Steven Spielberg, dino hunter

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Wait, WAAAAAAT? A Whole Bunch Of People On Facebook Thought Steven Spielberg Killed A Real Dinosaur. Internet humourist Jay Branscomb posted it on Facebook with the caption: “Disgraceful photo of recreational hunter happily posing next to a triceratops he just slaughtered. Please share so the world can name and shame this despicable man.” Steven Spielberg…

Skeptics in Vegas: The Amazing Meeting 2014 brought cheers, smiles and a call for education

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The premier gathering for advocates of evidence-based skepticism and critical thinking, THE AMAZING MEETING (TAM), the annual conference run by the James Randi Education Foundation, took place from July 10-13 in Las Vegas. James (The Amazing) Randi, aged 85, one of the world’s greatest living magicians and conjurers, was very accessible throughout the several days, taking photos…

Texas Medical Board files detailed complaint against Burzynski

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The screws continue to be tightened on “Houston Cancer Quack” Stanislaw Burzynski. Burzynski’s clinic has been the focus of very many serious allegations of violations from the state, FDA, and from diligent skeptics who know snake oil when they see it. Burzynski advocates a treatment, antineoplastons, which has not been demonstrated to work even after the…

God: I prefer his earlier work

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It seems the devil doesn’t just have the best music, God is deficient in lines of communication from the afterlife too. Various spirits are using social media such as Facebook, and “selfies” on cell-phones to communicate with the living, the creator of the universe apparently favours a more abstract, low-tech approach.  This includes communicating via…

The Strange remains the same for 08 July 2014

Clouds in Oregon, US this week.

Really neat stuff I found before I lost internet access today. Posts may be a little clipped for the next week. Brain study switches a woman’s consciousness on and off – CBS News. #MassiveTeaching mystery captivates, confuses @insidehighered. When Beliefs and Facts Collide – NYTimes.com. Annabelle Opening in October – Dread Central. Mars ‘UFO’ Controversy…

The Remains of the weekend 5-6 July 2014

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Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it. ~Henry David Thoreau Another free energy claim gains 36K fundraising. 662 gullible people out there. Bring Quantum Generators to the World! by Hope Moore – GoFundMe. Wiltshire’s crop circles not just work of mankind, Devizes exhibition claims (From This Is Wiltshire). Coywolves, coyote-wolf hybrids, are…

Coffey brushes off those annoying skeptics and concentrates on his fan$

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You know what? I’ve always thought Chip Coffey was yucky. No change now. He’s also a coward to continually dodge calls for him to show actual evidence for the ridiculous claims he makes. Why should he? He’ll just continue to enjoy the 300K people on his Facebook fan page and the many guest appearances he makes. Skeptics don’t…

Ketchum wants you to help fund her study on human origins

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Melba Ketchum, veterinarian, is asking for $9000 to study elongated “human” skulls. It must be because she did so well with the Sasquatch genome study. She is spearheading a GoFundMe campaign to raise money. Ancient Human Origins, N American Giants by Melba Ketchum – GoFundMe. We have been doing genetic studies on the origin of…

For real! A monster salamander in Kyoto

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I thought this was a hoax. It’s not. There really are giant salamanders. This isn’t even the biggest. Found this on Twitter courtesy of @Matt_Alt via @TomHoltzPaleo     WOW! Look at that bugger! Japanese giant salamanders (Andrias japonicus) also known as the Ōsanshōuo, can get up 5 feet long (1.5m) and live a long time. This…

Romanian woman receives the “selfie from hell”

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Chain rattling is so yesterday! Tales of warnings from the dead are nothing new, but its always interesting when an alleged spirit is familiar with modern technology. Take this story from Romania in today’s Daily Mirror, a deceased relative leaving a terrifying “selfie” on her grand-daughter’s mobile phone. Grand-daughter, Gina Mihai, 34, explains: ‘When I switched…

Exorcism death by water

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There is not much information on this one but another example of a mistaken assumption of posession and the dangers of being in the hands of the superstitious. It’s not just Roman Catholics that practice exorcisms. Japan woman dies at hands of professional exorcist – Yahoo!7. Japanese police probing the death of a woman who…

The Warrens: Sorting the truth from the Hollywood myth

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People with any passing interest in the paranormal will be aware of the names Ed and Lorraine Warren, their activities, and their “museum of the occult” which is located in the basement of their home in Connecticut. The Warrens are the focus of a lot of media attention currently, as a result of the film…

A stark and timely reminder of dangers of archaic superstition

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As the Catholic church recognises the International Association of Exorcists, seemingly adding credence to the concept of demonic possession and exorcism, a stark reminder of the possible consequences of such beliefs has emerged from  Pakistan. The Independent reports: Police in Pakistan have launched a murder inquiry after a young woman was reportedly beaten to death…

Vatican legitimizes process of exorcism

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This is ridiculous. It raises serious questions about the involvement of religious officials and medical professionals in mental health care. Vatican recognizes International Association of Exorcists – UPI.com. The International Association of Exorcists has been formally recognized by the Vatican’s Holy See, an indication the Catholic Church approves of the controversial practice of exorcism. The…

The Strange remains the same for 2 July 2014

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You can’t be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet. ~Hal Borland ‘Slender Man’ stabbing suspect mentally incompetent, doctor says – Nation – The Boston Globe. Why Some Urban Legends Go Viral. In ‘Deliver Us From Evil,’ Fighting Crime With Exorcism –…

U.K. woo-woo mag slams skeptics causing them trouble. Hilarity ensues.

Photo credit: garwboy (Dean Burnett) on Yfrog

The notoriously bad rag What Doctor’s Don’t Tell You has gone bonkers on their Facebook page. Nothing unusual there. Guy Chapman gives us an update of the nonsense going on as they decry skeptical activists who are making a difference (and causing WDDTY heartburn). WDDTY goes “the full Errol” @ Guy Chapman’s Blahg. The fake health…

Nature pulls two papers on stem cells after investigation shows serious problems

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Nature publishes retractions of two high-profile papers that claimed a major advance in the field of stem cells. Science journal retracts paper on stem cell discovery. The scientific journal Nature Wednesday retracted two stem cell papers that received national attention when they were published in January. The paper by researchers from Harvard University and Japan’s…