Scamming the Public by Direct Mail
A Deal with the Devil. By Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken. Atria Books, 2018. ISBN 9-781501-163845-53600. 290 pp. Hardcover, $26. Most people, when they think of psychic scams, think of the street-corner psychic who takes the casual passerby for a few hundred dollars and who may occasionally score big and take a repeat “customer” for …
When Athletes Fall for Bogus Gimmicks
Good to Go. By Christie Aschwanden. New York: W.W. Norton. 2019. ISBN 978-0-393-25433-4. 302 pp. Hardcover, $27.95. The more desperate people are to achieve some goal, the more likely they are to fall prey to quack and pseudoscientific treatments or aids. Thus, the seriously ill are often easy targets …
An Early ‘Monster’ with an Older History
In cryptozoological terms, the Jersey Devil doesn’t have the cachet of the Loch Ness monster, Bigfoot, or even the chupacabra.
Are Racist Beliefs Pseudoscientific, and What Do We Do About Them?
What might work? Certainly being violent back won’t help — it will just egg the racists on.
The Interplay of Science Fiction and Pseudoscience
Pseudoscience and Science Fiction. By Andrew May. Springer, New York, 2017. ISBN 978-3-319-42604-4. 181 pp. Softcover, $19.99. Although I don’t know of any specific data on the point, I suspect that there is some overlap between the science fiction fan community and the skeptical movement, at least to the extent that science fiction readers and …
Houdini’s Remarkable Female Detective
Houdini’s ‘Girl Detective’: The Real-Life Ghost-Busting Adventures of Rose Mackenburg. Compiled and introduced by Tony Wolf. 2016. ISBN: 9-781537-143965. 93 pp. Paperback, $8.00; Kindle edition, $6.00. Rose Mackenberg was a female private detective in the 1920s, an unusual occupation for a woman even today. She worked very closely with Harry Houdini in exposing mediums and …
Why We Often Get Risks Wrong
Geoffrey Kabat debunks elusive health risks in his new book.
The Return of Facilitated Communication
Review of The Horse That Won’t Go Away: Clever Hans, Facilitated Communication, and the Need for Clear Thinking by Thomas E. Heinzen, Scott O. Lilienfeld, and Susan A. Nolan
The Lake Monster That Predates Nessie
A review of The Untold Story of Champ: A Social History of America’s Loch Ness Monster, by Robert E. Bartholomew.
Flawed Look at Monsters
The intent of Medusa’s Gaze and Vampire’s Bite is to provide scientific explanations for various monsters found in historical legend and literature up through the monsters of today as seen, mostly, in film. Had Kaplan succeeded in this task, he would have produced an exciting and interesting book.