The Strange Remains the Same for 04 Sept 2014

dreadnoughtus

Well, this socks: Great Dane eats 43. Earth-shaking dinosaur discovered : Nature News & Comment. Brian Cox: scientists giving false sense of debate on climate change | Environment | theguardian.com. Selling Pseudoscience: A Rent in the Fabric of American Medicine – CSI. Skepticblog » A creationist mole and a sorry mess. Sir Paul Nurse criticises…

Uninvited wasps make really nasty houseguests

Asian giant hornet

This is a bit like a horror movie. Firefighters rescue couple after hornets nest fell through ceiling. A couple were forced to escape through their bedroom window after a nest of giant hornets crashed through their ceiling. The householders barricaded themselves behind a makeshift shelter as the angry swarm of yellow-and-black striped hornets invaded their…

Interceptor network for spying, hacking, or a marketing ploy?

ESD's map over the mysterious cell towers they have discovered up to now. Photo credit: ESD America

Well, this story is all over, making people paranoid. Les Goldsmith, the CEO of ESD America, who makes the $3500 Cryptophone tells Popular Science that the device, running a customized, higher security version of Android has detected phony cell towers called “interceptors” across the country that have turned off encryption. Mysterious Phony Cell Towers Could…

Newly described animals do not fit into known phylum

Dried Dendrogramma gen. nov., all 15 paratypes of D. enigmatica and (with *) D. discoides. From doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102976.g001

A new kind of animal, Dendrogramma, looks like a mushroom but does not fit into either the jellyfish or comb jelly family. It resembles fossils of some very ancient fauna. Their discovery could change the way scientists currently think organisms evolved. New Deep-Sea Animal Species Look Like Mushrooms but Defy Classification. The tiny animals, less…

The Strange Remains the Same for 03 September 2014

jesus-moth

It’s all random noise… NBC Developing Exorcism Drama (Exclusive) – Hollywood Reporter. EWWww. Fatberg strikes Shepherd’s Bush – Thames Water. New Series “Alaska Monsters” | Ghost TV Blogs. Does Bigfoot hang out at abandoned playground?. Paranormal festival will be out of this world. Albino Cobra On the Loose in Thousand Oaks. BBC News – Turkey: Farmer…

Ukpabio sues British Humanists for criticism of her anti-witchcraft methods

Helen Ukpabio

Skeptics know very well what it’s like to be targeted litigiously by those who want to stop bad press. Helen Ukpabio, whom we’ve written about multiple times, is trying to silence criticism of her methods against witch children. Libel tourist and Nigerian ‘witch hunter’ (the self styled) ‘Lady Apostle’ Helen Ukpabio attempts to stifle critics by…

Young, female audience tunes in to Ghost Adventures

Hey, Zak... I'm FREE!

What demographic does Ghost Adventures appeal to? What’s YOUR guess? Travel Channel Tells Ghost Stories to Young, Female Audience. Time shifting has helped Travel Channel grow the audience for Ghost Adventures, with the series’ most recent season clocking in as one of its most watched ever in total viewers. In its ninth season, Ghost Adventures—which…

The Strange remains the same for 01 September 2014

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Keep calm and carry on. Los Angeles Office Closed: James Randi Educational Foundation. 6 Tricks I Learned as a Faith Healer (for Scamming You). Archaeologists Confirm That Stonehenge Was Once A Complete Circle. Bulawayo24 NEWS | Witch-hunters descend on Zimbabwean growth point. Is ‘Long Island Medium’ Star Theresa Caputo A Fake? Woman Interviewed For Show…

Drowning deaths investigated for paranormal cause

Ghost Behind the Glass

Let me understand this… there have been 10 river drownings in 17 years, all alcohol related, and there is a proposal that the deaths are “paranormal”? Am I missing something here? An emotionally-invested belief in the paranormal, it seems. Movie explores local river drownings. Ten young men have drown in La Crosse rivers since 1997.…

Melbourne UFO likely a remote-controlled device

quadcopter

As we have seen several examples of this surface, a deliberate hoax using a quadcopter MUST be a primary consideration for UFOs or “unidentified aerial phenomena”. UFO sighting: Flashing lights more adolescent than alien, expert says. A mysterious object with flashing lights spotted hovering over Melbourne’s south-east last night was probably more adolescent than alien…

The Remains of the weekend 30-31 August 2014

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Long weekend here in the U.S. And I forgot the Friday night leftovers so here is a nice batch for your Monday AM. Journal takes down autism-vaccine paper pending investigation | Retraction Watch. Everything You Need to Know About Ghost Sex — The Cut. {Doubtful} Report: Woman Who Stabbed Children in ‘Exorcism’ Not Criminally Responsible…

Universal Medicine group gets more bad press and parliamentary hearing

Quackery

Woman files a complaint after overspending for questionable treatments in Australia. Doctor sent woman for two years of new age healing in a galaxy far, far away for a cough — costing her $35,000 | dailytelegraph.com.au. When a doctor referred Ira McClure for further treatment she had no idea the health facility was supportive of…

Shipton’s iconic 1951 Yeti footprint photos up for auction

Questionable "yeti" print. Shipton.

Christie’s auction house is running their “Out of the Ordinary” online auction, featuring “an eclectic selection of art and ephemera celebrating the joy of the unconventional” through September 3. One of the items up for bids are Eric Shipton’s original photos of “Yeti” footprints. Strange Traces of Mythic Beasts  In the years before Sir Edmund Hillary…

Victor J. Stenger dies at 79

Vic Stenger

A physicist, author and renowned skeptic has passed away. Dr. Victor J. Stenger was an advocate against psychics, pseudoscience and religion. Stenger, a retired elementary particle physicist and author of thirteen books, was a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Center for Inquiry. He served as President of the Colorado Citizens for…

Earthquake lights reported along with Sunday’s Napa event (Update video)

Glow photographed from a seismic event in Kyoto, Japan

One of my favorite mysterious natural phenomena has been reported in conjunction with the recent California earthquake. Some Bay Area Residents Report Mysterious Flashes In The Sky During Napa Quake « CBS San Francisco. Several people called the KPIX 5 newsroom after Sunday morning’s magnitude 6.0 earthquake in Napa, reporting mysterious flashes of light in…

Photon photos exhibit quantum weirdness: Not ‘ghosts’

Quantum cats. Photo credit: Gabriela Barreto Lemos

Don’t get me started on quantum weirdness. No, really, don’t. Cause I can’t wrap my brain around it. “Spooky” Quantum Entanglement Reveals Invisible Objects. Like twins separated at birth who are later reunited, two laser beams revealed invisible objects in a display of their weird quantum connection, researchers reported on Wednesday. The images, of tiny…

The Strange remains the same for 28 August 2014

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Success is hateful, especially to those whom it overthrows. It is rare that the eaten adore the eaters.  ~Victor Hugo, The Man Who Laughs Texas court rules against homeschoolers who expected rapture and stopped teaching kids. A Skeptic Meets a Psychic – Pacific Standard: The Science of Society. Strange Walking African Fish Reveals How Our…

Ohio lawmakers lack science education, want to be sure everyone else does too

default einstein-duh

Once again, nonscientists are dictating how to do science. They are mistaken. And they have an agenda. Ohio lawmakers want to limit the teaching of the scientific process. The bill, currently under consideration by the Ohio Assembly, is intended to revoke a previous approval of the Common Core educational standards, which target math and literacy.…

Colombia town reports mystery illness in 200 girls but psychogenic illness suspected

fainting

This is what looks to be a textbook case of mass psychogenic illness (crudely known as “mass hysteria”). It is extremely common in schools, the symptoms are vague and non-life threatening and can be psychogenic. The cause is always suspected to be an environmental or medical factor. In this case, the fear of the moment is…

Virginia town divided over magical beliefs

psychic-crystal

One town in Virginia had a ban on fortune tellers and tarot card readers. Noticing that the rest of the country has plenty of psychic-based businesses around, the council decided to revisit the law. A good idea, for all the wrong reasons. Front Royal town council repeals decades-old law that banned ‘magic arts’. In Front…

Mystery of moving rocks of Racetrack Playa solved by science

GPS-instrumented rock with its rock trail.

Mystery of mysterious moving rocks is solved. Actually, it was solved a while ago. It’s just finally published. The research is public access and it is WONDERFUL. This is a fantastic piece everyone should read to note how methodically, carefully and thororoughly experiments must be planned and executed to get reliable, convincing results. There was…

O Canada… true sorcery practice in all thy sons command

shesawitch

Did you know Canada has a law against “pretending to practice witchcraft”? What if you AREN’T pretending. And how can they tell? Fake medium faces sorcery charge… in Canada. An occultist known as Professor Alfoseny, accused of falsely claiming to be a medium, has been charged under an obscure anti-sorcery provision in the Criminal Code…

A “real” monster is in the eye of the municipal council – Iceland worm exists

icelandworm

Ah, I smell tourism, don’t you? This reward is a small price to pay for Loch Ness-sized advertising. Truth Commission: Lake Monster Does Exist. Lagarfljótsormurinn, the giant serpent rumored to inhabit the lake Lagarfljót near Egilsstaðir in East Iceland truly exists, as announced on Saturday by the majority of a 13-person truth commission established in…

Scientists busy squashing silly rumors instead of sciencing at Yellowstone

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 3.10.35 PM

Volcanologists at the Yellowstone volcano observatory have been spending a lot of time putting out fires, internet rumor fires, that is, as people are afraid of a supervolcanic eruptions. Earlier this year, we told you about the unsubstantiated rumor that animals were “fleeing” the area and the speculation that something was going to happen. It…

The Strange remains the same for 26 August 2014

atomic-shark

Lots of fun stuff today. Scientology-related Narconon rehab center may have violated law | Tampa Bay Times. Frankenstein exhibition: how the monster changed shape – Telegraph. The Many Voices of Frank’s Box. snopes.com: Fraud at the CDC Uncovered?. Could Bigfoot be in Vicksburg? Nope, almost certainly not. Cracked: 5 Successful People Who Everyone Forgets Are Exposed…

Rare blue lobster found in Maine

Photo credit: Meghan LaPlante

Continuing our long-running theme of weird lobsters… Blue lobster caught in Maine spared the dinner table, will head to aquarium. A lobsterman says one of his traps caught a one-in-two-million crustacean: a blue lobster. WCSH-TV reports Jay LaPlante of the Miss Meghan Lobster Catch company caught the curious creature in Scarborough around 10:45 a.m. Saturday.…

Not a ghost, but real, live, and 3 meters long

Burmese Python from Wikimedia Commons

Things in the house fell over, off shelves, off the wall. Furniture was moved. The family wonder what the heck was going on in the house. It’s no ghost, but an unwelcome intruder nonetheless. ‘You couldn’t pay me to go back inside': Ontario family finds three-metre snake draped across couch in living room. For a week,…