Oso landslide was an anomaly

An article in Science magazine describes how geology and heavy rains contributed to the huge Oso landslide that flowed much farther than other slides of similar size. Even for Slide-Prone…

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Spiders prefer Mazdas

yellow sac spider

Mazda discovers: ”A certain type of spider may weave a web in the evaporative canister vent line, potentially causing a restriction in the line.” BBC News – Spider invasion prompts Mazda software fix. Petrol-sniffing spiders have forced Mazda to issue a voluntary recall notice so it can apply a software fix to its cars. The yellow…

Let’s go have a drink at Chili’s! CHEERS

drink

When informed consumers go at your company, it’s advisable to pay attention. Is this latest skirmish between anti-vax promoters and a major restaurant chain a turning point in vaccination awareness? We covered this story in leftovers yesterday but it has hit the mainstream press today. I think that’s a VERY good thing. The autism org…

Remains of the weekend 5-6 April 2014

graceful-flare

The last person executed by guillotine was September 10th 1977 in France. ( And yes, that was actually AFTER Star Wars came out [in pop culture milestones]). From Mental Floss. Bizarre! 9-month old arrested for attempted murder in Pakistan | khou.com Houston. Woman dies after trip to [naturopathic] clinic | Ottawa Sun. Political push for…

Bryan College’s absurd clarification is causing low morale, staff resignations

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In an update to a story last month, Bryan College is having a bit of an issue with their ridiculously silly “statement of belief”. IT’S A COLLEGE, NOT A *#$*&!@+ CHURCH! Bryan College faculty prepare to leave over evolution controversy Faculty members say that a recent clarification to the school’s statement of belief that embraced…

Royal Society of Canada OK with Wi-fi

wifi

Another evaluation says wi-fi networks show no evidence of harm. Now from Canada. Royal Society of Canada says Wi-Fi appears safe, exposure limits fine Canada’s Royal Society (equivalent to the US’ National Academies of Science) has just completed an evaluation of the county’s safety standards for wireless devices like Wi-Fi and cellphones. The review, done…

Uganda’s most wanted – man eating crocs

Crocodile Uganda

In the country where Idi Amin, a horrific dictator, fed his victims to crocodiles in the Nile, the crocs are continuing to stoke their fearsome reputation terrorizing villagers and fishermen on Lake Victoria. Is Uganda’s notorious crocodile the world’s largest?. A killer crocodile which is said to have eaten four people in Jinja and Mayuge…

Australian court rules against anti-vax Mom in favor of pro-health Dad

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Another case of the courts considering childrens’ rights to health over one parent’s scientifically baseless and harmful claims. Court grants father right to vaccinate his children A western Sydney father has won the right to vaccinate his children after a drawn-out legal battle with their mother, who is strongly opposed to immunisation. The Family Court…

UK police get calls for cats

Black leopard

17 reports in three counties in 3 years in an area that does not have [officially] large non-native cats. Calls to police reveal North East big cat epidemic…if you believe them – Chronicle Live. Freedom of Information requests showed officers have looked into 17 reports of big cats in Cleveland, Northumbria and County Durham since…

The bleeding road of Leek

Ashbourne-road_red-stain

Locals have noticed a red discoloration in a roadway that makes it appear as if the road is bleeding. However, there is a logical, chemical explanation. Red stain on A523 road into Leek explained by Staffordshire County Council The presence of iron from a water seepage could be the reason for a road turning red…

Some mystery booms are small shallow earthquakes, like Moodus noises

From Maryland Geological Survey

Doubtful News covers all kinds of weird noises that are reported. Many can’t be readily explained. But that doesn’t mean they are unexplainable. This piece on the Moodus noises in Connecticut is excellent and entertaining. This is fairly well-known as an area of shallow, very weak seismic activity. The shallow rock stresses and releases produce…

Exhibition of “real” fairy photos

Photo credit: John Hyatt

Well they are very pretty… bugs. Fairies John Hyatt Rossendale Valley: University professor says he has photographed mystery winged creatures [...]Manchester Metropolitan University lecturer John Hyatt claims he now has proof the creatures are real and are residing in the Rossendale Valley. John Hyatt, Director of Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and…

Harvard human-skin books? One claim sheepishly busted.

Image from Harvard Law School Library

I saw this story about book bound in human flesh make the rounds on social media earlier this week. I sat quietly and observed. Today, it’s slightly less interesting. Myth About Harvard Book Made of Human Skin Debunked. For one reason or another—perhaps it was the flashy headline, or the gruesome mysterious details—a nearly decade-old…

Even Presidents get curious about UFOs

Seal of the President of the United States by United States federal government

And why wouldn’t they? The idea of extraterrestrial life isn’t far-fetched as we continue to find more planets, as Former President Bill Clinton stated in an appearance with Jimmy Kimmel. Bill Clinton “Wouldn’t Be Surprised” If Aliens Existed (TIME): “If we were visited someday, I wouldn’t be surprised, I just hope it’s not like Independence…

The Strange remains the same for 3 April 2014

python monster

The name of the Twitter bird is “Larry.” Obviously. Syfy Gives 12-Episode Order to a Weekly Comedy Show Starring Wil Wheaton | Splitsider. Maryland legislature passes naturopathic licensing bill, but with damage control « Science-Based Medicine. So many stories of conspiracies, demons, witchcraft are related to mental illness. It’s a problem that absolutely needs to…

Observations on Annihilation, and other Dark Matter(s)

Uncovering a gamma ray excess at the galactic center - Photo credit: NASA

While dark matter has provided fertile ground for misuse and sciencey speculation (Doubtful News), there have been a fair number of experiments intended to detect dark matter, a potentially promising result was published this February, and is making its rounds in astronomy-related news this week, indicating that we may have observed a dark matter annihilation…

Exorcists are getting younger all the time

Photo credit: Ben Skipper

Exorcism, one would think, is a task for strong adult. Not so. You can exploit an 8 yr old to do it. It’s more impressive that way. Meet Alani Santos the Eight-Year-Old Exorcist ‘Saving Brazilian Slums’ In the slums of San Gonzalo, people flock to a small church where Alani Santos claims to exorcise demons…

The Strange remains the same for 2 Apr 2014

palmist

You can play as the ducks in the NES classic Duck Hunt.  - Now you know. FTC Warns Consumers: Beware of Washington Mudslide Charity Scams | Federal Trade Commission. Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor Sues Glenn Beck for Defamation | Mediaite. Device exploded in bomber’s face after he ‘forgot about clocks changing’ – Telegraph. Skeptic Activists…

Doubtful News’ “Beyond Doubtful” list of no-go-to sources

Default DN logo

The purpose of Doubtful News is to expose questionable claims in stories you find on the internet. Mostly we deal with major news outlets because those are the stories that people will search on to find additional information. We get those searchers who then can see some science-based, rational takes on paranormal, anomalies and alternative…

Pennsylvania Chainsaw Miracle

Valentine's x-ray shows the chain and blade embedded in his shoulder.

In a mix of luck, fast-acting helpers and medical attention, what would have been a gruesome accident turned out WAY better than you could have imagined. James Valentine, 21, survived a work accident that sent a chainsaw blade deep into his neck and shoulder very narrowly missing the vital artery to the brain. Cutting it…

The Strange remains the same for 31 March 2014

wurtthefurk

The national animal of Scotland is the unicorn. ~Mental Floss Bizarre whale treatment for rheumatism revealed. “Giant” big cat spotted roaming in Sevenoaks | Sevenoaks Chronicle. The House of Representatives Committee on Science is turning into a national embarrassment | The Curious Wavefunction, Scientific American Blog Network. Daughter of woman in Novena exorcism case sentenced…

Another Holy Grail, in Spain

SPAIN-RELIGION-GRAIL

Oh, really? Has one of the most prized Christian relics been discovered. Crowds flock to Spanish church after holy grail claim | World news | theguardian.com. Curators were forced to remove a precious cup from display in a Spanish church when crowds swarmed there after historians claimed it was the holy grail, staff said. Visitors…