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The Strange remains the same for 18 July 2014

Jackalope, Nelson NV

Both your DN editors are back in their respective headquarters in the US and Europe. We managed to spot both a “chupacabra” and a jackalope. We now return you to your regular leftover links. ‘Persecuted’ Focuses on a TV Evangelist – NYTimes.com. Seaplane almost lands on whale – CNN.com. Pop star’s ‘haunted’ Sussex house up…

Backwards evolution busted: People walking on all fours do not have “apelike” gait but have adapted

quadrupeds

A new study shows that a group of humans made famous by a 2006 BBC documentary called The Family That Walks on All Fours are not exhibiting backward evolution to that of our ape ancestors, but have just adapted to this strange means of locomotion due to their brain conditions. The family from remote Turkey,…

Discovery Channel: Jumped the shark long ago, now just despicable

Fake shark used in Discovery media hoax in Lake Ontario

Once again, Discovery Channel shows they are not science-based and will even pull unethical stunts to get ratings. Epic. Fail. We posted the link in the leftovers of 16-July to the story in Canada’s National Post about a video that purportedly showed a bull shark spotted in Lake Ontario. The best answer at the time…

A case of mystery meat, all over the road

What the Fort? (WTF) by Ethan Kocak

Talk about a bloody mess. This one is a rather “Fortean” incident. Mysterious Chunks of Rotting Meat Close New York Highway. A highway in upstate New York was shut down after being covered with chunks of rotting meat earlier this week, creating quite a stink for drivers. The strangest part? Officials aren’t quite sure where the…

Human-like depictions in Indian cave art? Nope, aliens.

India alien paintings

I need a shortcut name for these ridiculous evidence-devoid stories that make you scratch your head as to WHY it would be printed in any media outlet except as a joke. In this story, the depictions must be aliens because… because… it makes for a snappy headline. Who needs evidence? 10,000-year-old rock paintings depicting aliens…

Ryan Buell cancels paranormal tour, claims health problems

paranormal-state

After public exposure of trouble with his paranormal lecture tour and events, Ryan Buell, formerly of the Paranormal State TV show and the Paranormal Research Society, has stated he has cancelled his tour. Buell announced on his facebook page that health problems among other issues have scuttled the schedule. Ryan D. Buell – Dear Friends, I…

Anti-vaxxers in Australia get their info into hospitals and hire new prez

stoptheavnbadge

Australia’s anti-vax network continues their underhanded deeds by sneaking their propaganda into info packs given to mothers of newborns. Low? No, not really, par for the course for this propaganda group. Queensland Health pulls Australian Vaccination-Skeptics leaflet from pregnancy pack | Gold Coast Bulletin. A LEAFLET promoting the Australian Vaccination-Sceptics Network (AVN) has been pulled…

Paging national medical orgs: Dr. Oz needs a response

celebrity_doctor

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

steven-spielbergv2

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

scott_Tam

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

burzynski

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

eggplant_god

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

faith cat

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$

chip coffey

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…