A Festival Feeling in Augsburg: SkepKon 2019 Includes Myths about Pet Diets, Homeopathy, and Perpetual Motion Machines
Cover Image: Pseudoscience can be nerve-racking, so skeptics sometimes can’t help but throw up their hands in despair! “How can SkepKon be described?” one might ask. “It’s a time to network and a great time to catch up with friends,” replies Dr. Holm Hümmler, a physicist and skeptic from Frankfurt. SkepKon is the annual conference …
I’m Speechless! Thomas John reads KJBK Fox2 Derek Kevrea
Cover Image: Facebook Post by Derek Kevrea — “I’m speechless. Thomas John: Celebrity Medium communicated with my Grandpa. Said ‘He’s proud of you’. It’s a miracle I held it together.” If you have been following the career of Thomas John “Seatbelt Psychic” Flanagan also known as The Manhattan Medium through my various investigations, then …
Behind the Scenes at Wikipedia with the GSoW
I would like to introduce you to the most prolific editor for Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia (GSoW), Leon Korteweg. Leon is unusual in many good ways, but as far as our Wikipedia editing team goes, he was already a prolific editor when he joined us. The majority of our (so far) 150-member team are first-time …
The Overblown Breast is Best Mantra
“As a new mom in 2011, parenting unfolded before me like an obstacle course, an uphill battle of picking the right choices from an ocean of wrong ones. In the complex quest for credible parenting information, one choice seemed clear, backed by seemingly incontrovertible data: When it comes to feeding your baby, breast is best.” …
Q&A with John de Lancie
Actor John de Lancie, Star Trek’s Q, will be speaking at CSICon 2019. If you are scratching your head wondering why, read on and you will wonder no more!
Devil’s Chair Blamed for Exhibit Shutdown
A new exhibit at Zak Bagans’s (Not) Haunted Museum apparently had to be shut down after some alleged paranormal activity got a bit too overwhelming for the TV star. The focus of the new exhibit, a rocking chair that is said to have played a part in “The Devil in Connecticut” demon possession case, was …
Today Is Your Lucky Day! An Interview with Bailey Harris
Susan Gerbic: Hello, Bailey! So nice to meet you, if only over email. I’m really looking forward to meeting you in person at CSICon this year. You will be speaking on Saturday, October 19, in the 11:00 am timeslot. I think this is your first skeptic conference and hope it won’t be your last. Please …
Clínicas Ambulatorias para Inyectarse Intravenosas – Una Mala Idea
Solo tiene que entrar. No podría ser mejor. No se necesita turno ni orden médica — simplemente ingrese a clínica ambulatoria y aplíquese la infusión de nutrientes vía intravenosa (IV) a elección. Es una moda pasajera. Hay salones IV, bares de goteo, negocios de boutiques de vitaminas, puestos de rejuvenecimiento, incluso servicios IV móviles que …
Legal Case against Homeopathy Critic Natalie Grams—No Effect beyond the Placebo Effect
A German company selling homeopathic remedies is taking Natalie Grams to court. I spoke with Udo Endruscheit of Information Network Homeopathy to find out what is happening and why the legal actions against Natalie Grams are so important.
Thomas John Revisited
On February 26, 2019, the New York Times published an article by journalist Jack Hitt, featuring the two-year investigation I and my team had conducted on mediums Thomas John and Matt Fraser. These operations were named Operation Pizza Roll and Operation Peach Pit. Also included in the NYT article was a mention of research I …
Walk-In Clinics for IVs—a Bad Idea
Just walk in. It couldn’t be more convenient. No appointment needed, no order from a doctor—you just walk into a storefront clinic and get the IV nutrient infusion of your choice. It’s a popular fad. There are IV lounges, drip bars, boutique vitamin drip shops, rejuvenation stations, even mobile IV services that come to you. …
Cuidado y Nutrición de la Vagina
Según lo visto en Skeptical Inquirer Volumen 42, Número 5. En nuestra sociedad, el estatus de las mujeres continúa mejorando. Como dice la publicidad de cigarrillos, “Has recorrido un largo camino, muchacha”. Ciertamente, parece que ahora tenemos Igual Oportunidad de Charlatanismo. El sexo vende. Siempre fue un objetivo popular para el charlatanismo, pero éste solía …
Investigating a Spirit Communication Device—A Cat Toy
Ghost hunters love their gadgets. From EMF meters and REM pods to motion sensors and SLS cameras, if it beeps, lights up, or gives an alternate view of the world, they seem to be all over it. One such device recently being marketed to ghost hunters turned out to be a rebranded cat toy. Rebranding …
Siete Grandes Confusiones Sobre la Herencia
Según lo visto en Skeptical Inquirer Volumen 43, Número 3. Si alguien dice “Creo que está en mi ADN”, usted nunca va a escuchar que la gente diga “¿AD—qué?” Todos sabemos lo que es el ADN, o al menos creemos que sabemos. Pasaron siete décadas desde que los científicos demostraron que el ADN es la …
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.