I’ve been hearing that attendance numbers for CSICon 2019 are ahead of last year’s pace, and each year more people attend than the previous year. I’m sure conference organizer Barry Karr does not believe in jinxes, so of course he will be fine with my confidence that we should put out a primer for those …
So, You Want to Speak at CSICon?
The call for papers has gone out for the CSICon 2019 Sunday Papers session. Here’s what it takes to secure a spot at that coveted podium.
Activism for the Rest of Us
Normally I’m not one to expound on a peer’s article, especially when that peer is Steven Novella, skeptic communicator extraordinaire. But I’m about to do so now. Novella wrote an article that focused on a Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) editorial about medical misinformation (“JAMA on Medical Misinformation,” published April 24, 2019) and …
Fringe Theory on Portuguese Wikipedia
Since nearly the beginning of the Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW) project, I have been preaching to anyone that will listen that if we are going to educate the world about pseudoscience, we will have to recognize that not everyone reads in English. This is why our team edits in many languages. We write and …
That Time a Raping Demon Appeared on Cartoon Network: The Popobawa
Cover Image Courtesy of Villains Wiki Be forewarned should you ever travel to the east African island of Zanzibar. There’s a monstrous, “bat-wing” demon there, itching to rape male skeptics. That’s the literal translation of popobawa, from the original Swahili, describing a fearsome creature that roams the countryside. Or not. The only time it’s …
In Praise of the Crutch-Makers
Cover Image Caption: X-ray of the author’s left foot taken a day after the accident. When I broke a bone in my foot, one of my first thoughts was of a cat I used to know. I was teaching at a small college, and I sometimes saw him lounging in the grass outside my …
Measles Was Gone, but It Came Back
Measles was eliminated from the United States in 2000. It could have stayed gone, but it didn’t. As of April 19, 626 cases had been reported to the CDC so far in 2019 in multiple states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, …
El Dr. Oz Vende Chatarra
Con su entusiasta autobombo y sus embustes al aire, el Dr. Oz siempre me asombró por sonar más a un vendedor de automóviles usados que a un respetado cirujano cardiotorácico. Un vendedor de automóviles usados le dirá a usted que el automóvil está en condiciones impecables, que siempre estuvo guardado en un garaje climatizado, y …
‘Groundbreaking’ Ghost Experiment Breaks No Ground
Over the years I’ve come across a plethora of both so-called “ghost hunting equipment” and “methods” that boldly claim to detect, communicate with, or capture spirits. If a device or method catches the interest of a para-celebrity (a well-known individual within the paranormal community, usually with a TV or internet show), such things usually become …
Creencia en videntes: ¿Cuál es el peligro y a quién hay que culpar?
Unos pocos meses atrás, inesperadamente, recibí un e-mail de una mujer a quien llamaré Ann. Ella fue víctima de una “vidente”, y el texto del asunto decía: “Fraude psíquico u$s 42.000+”. El texto del email, y la copia adjunta del papeleo administrativo que Ana había presentado en la Corte Superior de Connecticut, era alarmante. En …
Alice Howarth: Skeptical with a K with International Reputation
Dr. Alice Howarth is a medical researcher based in Liverpool. She is also known for being the cohost of the Skeptics with a K podcast. With the Merseyside Skeptics Society she battles pseudoscientific medicine, cancer research, and other woo.
Tratamiento Facial “Vampiro”
Artículo traducido por Alejandro Borgo, Director del CFI/Argentina. Hay una nueva moda para las celebridades: los tratamientos faciales vampiro. ¿Ha visto usted la foto de Kim Kardashian West luego de su tratamiento-vampiro, mostrando su rostro salpicado con sangre y cubierto con pequeñas heridas? Si no la ha visto, haga clic en el link y mírela …
Belief in Psychics: What’s the Harm and Who’s to Blame?
Your friendly neighborhood psychic is offering free readings to new clients! What’s the harm in checking her out?
Lou Gehrig’s Disease Was Named for the Baseball Player—but Was He Misdiagnosed?
Lou Gehrig, the famous New York Yankees first baseman, was known as the “Iron Horse” for his batting skills and stamina. Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and voted the greatest first baseman of all time, he set records that stood for over fifty years. In 1939, on his thirty-sixth birthday, he was diagnosed …
Pseudoscience Trends in the Pet World
Not all dog and cat owners call themselves “pet parents,” but I became a dog mom to the now twelve-year-old Luna back in 2007, a few years before I had kids. Our family really wanted to add another furry member to our family, so I finally acquiesced in September of last year, even though I’m …
Talking with Jo Thornley about Cults and Their Zealots
Why would anyone join a cult? Perhaps they just want to give themselves the chance to have sex with aliens.
Michigan Nanny Cam ‘Ghost’ Most Likely Mom or Dad
After seeing surveillance footage from their nanny cam a few weeks ago, they now believe that it is haunted.
Celebrity Ghost Hunts at Historical Locations
I had the opportunity to tour the USS North Carolina twice and wasn’t familiar with any ghost stories, so I decided to take a closer look.
Beber sangre de murciélagos es una mala (y loca) idea
En la medicina tradicional china (MTC), uso médico generalizado de productos animales tales como bilis de oso, cuernos de rinoceronte, huesos de tigre y escamas de pangolín ha devenido en la práctica de la crueldad animal y ha amenazado a varias especies respecto de su extinción.
Who Are More Biased: Liberals or Conservatives?
Conservatives who, like the President, believe the mainstream media (MSM) have a liberal bias have been supported by evidence that journalists are more likely to identify as Democrats than Republicans.
Pixie Turner: A Wellness Lady Turned Nutritionist
Pixie Turner is a UK-based nutritionist, who was following the wellness trend before she started her research. She now works as an author, science communicator, and nutritionist and also spoke at 2018’s QED in Manchester.
The European Skeptics Congress—Having Fun While Learning about Intereuropean Skepticism
The European Skeptics Congress (ESC), which happens every two years (August 29th to September 1st), is a place to meet skeptics from around Europe and beyond. The series of congresses started in 1989. Paul De Belder is organizing the next ESC in Ghent, Belgium. He invites us to a sneak peek into what’s coming up.
Mark Edward’s Psychic Blues
Mentalist Mark Edward discusses the release of his updated book, now in audio format: Psychic Blues: Confessions of a Conflicted Medium and gives his thoughts on the public menace posed by psychic medium con artists and their promoters.
Dr. Oz Sells Lemons
I was not at all surprised to learn that Dr. Oz is selling the other kind of lemon, the kind that grows on trees.
The ‘Momo Challenge’ and the ‘Blue Whale Game’: Online Suicide Game Conspiracies
Kids and their parents around the world apparently have a new deadly online danger to fear: a mysterious and terrifying online figure known as “Momo,”
Undercover at a Psychic Group Reading
I attended a psychic gallery reading at the Valley Forge Casino Resort in Pennsylvania to see just how gifted the psychic host was.
Buckle Up – Seatbelt Psychic
CSI Fellow, Susan Gerbic investigates Lifetime’s “Seat Belt Psychic”. Thomas John (The Manhattan Medium) drives around Los Angeles picking up “unsuspecting” riders, along the way he speaks to their dead family members and pets. Very accurate and specific readings. There is no way he could know these things … unless.
Operation Pizza Roll – Thomas John
Susanna and Mark Wilson got a psychic reading from the Manhattan Medium, Thomas John’s March 2017 psychic event. Thomas John was accurate and detailed with his readings. One problem though, Susanna and Mark Wilson don’t exist. But their Facebook pages do.
¿Eso es ciencia?
La ciencia es persuasiva, y debería serlo; la ciencia es el gran detector de la realidad.
Un exceso de tonterías
El mundo se está volviendo más loco? Parece que sí, pero quizá es que yo estoy más consciente de la estupidez. He aquí solo unas pocas cosas estrafalarias con las que me he cruzado recientemente.
A Conversation with Skeptics’ Guide Rogue Jay Novella (Part 3)
In the final part of this interview, Jay discusses the growth of the SGU podcast, gender considerations at the NECSS conference, his parenting philosophy regarding science, and his close relative who is … wait for it … a flat earther.
La Sociedad Nacional del Síndrome de Down promueve la pseudociencia de la comunicación
El 10 de enero de 2019, la Sociedad Nacional del Síndrome de Down estadounidense (NDSS) puso a disposición un seminario web gratuito y público sobre comunicación facilitada (CF), un método de comunicación totalmente desacreditado que mayormente se utiliza con personas autistas.
The Provenance of Captain Smith’s ‘Haunted’ Mirror
A super exciting, new haunted item from the Titanic
Brazil Launches Its First Institute for the Promotion of Skepticism
On November 22, 2018, Institute Question of Science (IQC), the first Brazilian institute for skepticism and rational thinking, was officially launched.
A Surfeit of Silliness
Is the world getting crazier?
Were the ‘Sonic Attacks’ on American Diplomats Just Sci-Fi?
Mass psychogenic illness expert Robert Bartholomew shares his latest thoughts on the (supposed) “sonic weapon” attacks on the U.S. embassy staff in Cuba and China.
Revolviendo el contenedor de basura del VAERS La realidad es la mejor medicina
Sin duda, las vacunas son uno de los más grandes triunfos de la medicina moderna.
Squaring the Skeptic with Celestia Ward (Part 2)
In part 2 of this interview, we discuss the History Channel’s Amelia Earhart debacle, mommy-woo, the Blue Whale Game, the influence of science fiction on skeptics, and chiropractic pseudoscience even a ten-year-old skeptic could see right through.
Natalie Grams: Medical Homeopath to Professional Skeptic
Natalie Grams was once a practicing homeopathic doctor. She decided to write a book defending homeopathy, but what she learned changed her own views instead.
National Down Syndrome Society Promotes Communication Pseudoscience
As readers of this column will recall, FC is based on the theory that many people with profound language deficits suffer from a physical problem—an inability to produce the sounds for speech or the movements required for writing or typing—but are not cognitively impaired.