The legacy of Sai Baba continues to do damage: Ashrafi convicted

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UPDATE (19-Feb 2015): Leicester faith healer conman convicted. Ashrafi was sentenced to 9 years in prison for fraud. Originally published 26-Jan 2015 Alleged fraudster used conjuring tricks to get people to give him money. ‘Con artist masqueraded as a faith healer to dupe vulnerable victims out of £650,000 in a series of scams’, court told |…

Triple sunrise

three suns

Ice crystals cause ‘triple sunrise’ in Russian city – in pictures. Chelyabinsk, the city made famous by a meteorite that exploded over its skies two years ago, was witness to another rare phenomenon on Tuesday: a triple sunrise over the morning sky. The combination of low temperatures, estimated to be –25C, and clear skies enabled…

Tattoo me skeptical!

This woman would save a fortune using Falkenham's revolutionary tattoo removal cream.

Tattoo removal as simple as rubbing lotion on it? This new $6 cream promises to painlessly fade your tattoos away. A Canadian uni student has invented a new tattoo removal cream that makes the ink fade away forever by replacing the ink-filled cells with new, clean cells. So Alec Falkenham, a PhD student in the…

Dowsing useless in finding missing girl

PENDULUM

The “Find Me” crew is back in the news. And, again, not really helping. Private Investigator believes he knows who the suspects are in the Celis kidnapping The private investigator the family contacted said, “Whoever did this knows the family 100 percent guaranteed, and my suspect has a key to the house.” Retired federal agent…

Remains of the weekend 14-15 February 2015

No this is not real, but it's pretty darn neat.

There hasn’t been a whole lot of news worth talking about here over the past week. I have to admit I’m getting very jaded of the tabloid parade of sensational idiocy and people linking to stories from click bait sites and calling it “news”. Also, if it’s a strictly medical or science topic, I don’t…

Sheldrake collaborating on children’s book about psychic dogs

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Sheldrake’s idea that dogs know when there owner is coming home is unconfirmed and falls on the highly dubious side. But let’s tell kids about it! Boy’s Best Friend | Kate Banks, Rupert Sheldrake Kate Banks and world-renowned biologist Rupert Sheldrake collaborate on this novel about two boys who set out to prove that their dogs…

The Strange remains the same for 12 February 2015

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In Thailand, the Ghost Business Thrives – NYTimes.com. Suspicious banana in tree not a bomb Mystery surrounds Faringdon toilet block fire death. Obese 100-year-old crocodile dies from overeating after worshippers keep throwing it chickens and goats for good luck NeuroLogica Blog » Scott Adams on Science and Nutrition. New Jersey judge rules conversion therapy group…

The growing trend of confusing astrology with science

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Astrology is the fatally-flawed idea that the location and movement of stars and planets influence our lives here on earth. It’s the epitome of a NON-scientific idea that has been discarded centuries ago. No scientist studies it. However, a recent survey shows almost all population segments, especially young people, mistakingly think this field is considered…

The Strange remains the same for 11 February 2015

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The Health “Danger” Ranger Mike Adams gets the “Pants on Fire” rating about vaccines. No real news there. He’s always spouting nonsense. Anti-vaccine claim rooted in bad science, confusion | PolitiFact Georgia. California officials warn against ‘measles parties’ – The Washington Post. 83% Say Measles Vaccine Is Safe for Healthy Children | Pew Research Center for…

The Food Babe spends more time trying to piss off critics than doing research?

FBhari

Vani Hari, “The Food Babe” (*gag*), has been repeated raked over the critical coals for her often terrible information that she passes to the public. She’s attacked beer, airplane air and Subway bread. Though she often makes egregious mistakes and is great at fear mongering and getting media attention, she’s is TRULY annoyed with any…

Ancestry.com now labeled evil due to copyright claim cheap shot

Many reports will not contain enough information to determine the cause. But unexplained DOES NOT mean unexplainable.

In a strange update to this story, government files obtained through FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) have been claimed to be copyrighted. Jason Colavito notes it in this piece: the Black Vault database of Project Blue Book was taken down after Ancestry.com asserted that it owns the copyright (!) to the Air Force’s UFO files,…

‘Charles Manson in a box’ sideshow plan falls apart

manson and star

Shall we have a pity party for either one of these darlings? Charles Manson wedding off after it emerges that fiancee Afton Elaine Burton ‘just wanted his corpse for display’ Serial killer Charles Manson’s supposed budding romance with a woman 53 years his junior has been allegedly exposed as a money-making scheme. According to journalist…

Remains of the weekend 07-08 February 2015

Psychotria elata

Defeating the devil: why exorcism in Australia is on the rise. The Politics of Fraudulent Dietary Supplements – NYTimes.com. BBC News – Woman’s stool transplant leads to ‘tremendous weight gain’. Anti-Vaccine Movement Spreading to Pet Owners — NYMag. When Mercury’s in retrograde, madness rules. Or so the astrologers say. – The Washington Post. SAN ANTONIO…

Northwest US experiences dusty rain (UPDATE: yep, dust)

Fine particles in the rain remain after the water evaporates.

This rain cleaned the air but made everything else dirty. Mystery milky rain falls on Washington, Oregon. Rainfall described as milky-colored, dusty or dirty fell across parts of Washington, Oregon and Idaho, with its origin is unclear. Suspects include volcanic ash from worldwide volcanoes that mixed with the moisture. Such rain is very common near…

The Strange remains the same for 06 February 2015

This woman would save a fortune using Falkenham's revolutionary tattoo removal cream.

Neil Young’s PonoPlayer: The Emperor Has No Clothes. An Underwater Volcano Just Created A New Island. More Cities Should Make Mythbusting Maps Like This – CityLab. (I’ve been on this D.C. tour!) Police arrest pet store owner in boys’ snake deaths. (Still no clear answers, though.) Is there an award for “Stupid parents?” He’s scarred…

Bullseye: Lars Andersen’s extreme archery is Skeptically Pwnd

Anna Maltese

When this video by Danish archer Lars Andersen first came out, a DN reader asked about it. Was it real? He seems legitimate with his skills, but what about the history? We didn’t have the info to address it then, but now our friends Anna (an archery instructor) and John (video producer) made a kick-ass skeptical response…

Bad spirits raised after health care home calls in an exorcist

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Seriously, NOT a good move. Norway care home hired psychic for exorcism. A municipal care home in Norway has been slammed for “poor judgement” after managers hired a clairvoyant to drive out evil spirits because staff were spooked by random flickering lights. Lasse Svenstrup Andersen, an official from the local Agder County governor’s office, ruled…

Owl dive bombs people with hats

Photo credit: Corbis

It actually seems rather common that people make owls nervous and they announce their presence in such a way. Owl attacks joggers and steals their hats – The Guardian. Oregon officials are warning early morning joggers and park visitors in the state capital, Salem, to watch out for an owl that steals hats after at…

A British pub ghost debunked… by the Daily Mail?

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The Daily Mirror reports today on some “ghostly” goings-on in Birmingham pub “The Old Crown”. The incident amounts to little more than a bottle tipping and rolling to the floor, seemingly without interference. Here’s the video on youtube. Details of the incident are sketchy in the Mirror, but ironically, The Daily Mail carries much more information…

Assault case is damaging the reputation of exorcisms, says professor. Oh is that it?

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A pastor is accused of sexually assaulting a woman during an exorcism. A local church official says that’s not what exorcism is about. I fail to see his point, though. Toronto sex assault case unfairly demonizes exorcisms: Expert. A pastor accused of sexually assaulting a woman during an exorcism is giving a bad name to a…

Wisconsin budget cites hefty sum to study a nonexistent hazard

Photo credit: Danny Lawson/PA

A Wisconsin-sized waste of money. Scott Walker’s Budget Includes $250,000 To Study ‘Wind Energy System-Related Health Issues’. The two-year, $68 billion budget proposal Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker unveiled Tuesday includes a request for $250,000 to study the health impacts of wind turbines. Page 449 of the budget proposal includes a recommendation from the governor “directing…