No, Asteroid 2003 QQ47 Is NOT Going to Hit the Earth Next Week
Well, it took three months, but we have our first notpocalypse of 2014!
Twitter, Facebook, and other social media are spreading a story that a large asteroid named 2003 QQ47 might impact the Earth next week, specifically on March 21, 2014.
Let me be very clear right away: Nope. It won’t. This story is totally wrong! Well, the asteroid does exist, but it won’t hit us next week, and in fact can’t hit the Earth for at least a century. The truth is the asteroid will safely pass us on March 26 of this year, never getting closer than 19 million kilometers (nearly 12 million miles)—about 50 times farther away than the Moon!
I’m pretty sure what’s happening here is that a very old story has been recycled and is getting spread around without anyone doing any fact-checking. It’s all over Twitter and got picked up credulously by some bigger venues like the Daily Mail, which posted it with the typically understated title of “Asteroid hurtles toward Earth.” What follows after that is a breathless and almost entirely incorrect article about 2003 QQ47 that seems to simply rehash information from more than a decade ago. Seriously.*
For example, the Mail article says the asteroid is “newly discovered,” but in fact was first detected in 2003, 11 years ago! Hence its name, 2003 QQ47. It was found to be a near-Earth asteroid, or NEA, one that does sometimes get close to us. For a while after it was discovered it was thought to have a small chance of hitting Earth, with an impact probability in August 2014 of about 1 in 250,000. But by September 2003 new observations allowed a better trajectory to be calculated, and an impact in 2014 was ruled out. This happens quite often, where a new asteroid will have only a rough orbit calculated, and an impact has long but non-zero odds of hitting us. As more observations come in the chances of impact can actually increase briefly before dropping to zero.
This is what happened with QQ47 back in 2003. Got that? An impact in 2014, this year, was shown to be out of the question more than a decade ago and was even taken off JPL’s Sentry Risk page at that time, when it was found to have no potential Earth impacts for at least 100 years. We’re quite safe from this particular asteroid.
Last week, the British newspaper, “The Daily Mail,” acquiesced in the face of a lawsuit filed by Sally Morgan, aka “Psychic Sally,” a talk-to-the dead medium and self-styled professional psychic. The paper agreed to pay £125,000 in libel damages and issued a full apology for running a story written by the British magician, Paul Zenon, which alleged that Ms. Morgan had relied upon concealed electronics in order to gain information used in a public performance of psychic readings and mediumship.
Obviously this is a tremendous disappointment to skeptics everywhere, because many in the general public will take the judgment as some kind of evidence that Morgan is genuinely psychic. Of course there is no basis in the judgment for such an interpretation because the case was purely about whether the paper could prove that Morgan had used the alleged radio devices and hidden earpieces to gain information about her subjects. The case began when two women who were at the show in question later called into a local radio talk show and claimed they heard Morgan repeating information that they overheard in transmissions from the production crew’s headsets. Morgan immediately denied the charges and the venue eventually announced that the crew in question was a local house crew that was not on Morgan’s payroll.
Given what we know of the British libel system, albeit very recently reformed and legally improved, we might speculate that the paper decided that it was less costly to settle now rather than pursue the case in the courts, with an uncertain outcome. Then again, with the theater confirming that the crew in question was not in Morgan’s employ, it does seem quite conceivable that the assumptions made by the women callers were in error. It is simply sad to see someone who makes their living on the dubious claims of Ms. Morgan ends up being further rewarded beyond the already grotesque sums she makes portraying herself as a communicator with the dead relatives of grieving supplicants.
But I think there are also lessons to be had for skeptics in these events, beyond thoughts about the British libel system.
Skeptics – even skeptical magicians – can and have often been misled by their own complex theories about how phony psychics ply their trade. When Uri Geller first came on the scene, the noted magician and author Milbourne Christopher theorized that Geller was using corrosive chemicals on his hands in order to achieve his “psychic” spoon-bending. Christopher was an expert magician and a skeptic, but he was fooled by Geller, and concocted an elaborate but completely mistaken theory in order to fill the gap in his knowledge and understanding.
Similarly, the two women who thought that Sally Morgan was getting inside information relayed by her crew were doubtless sincere in their theorizing, perhaps because they did not believe that Morgan was psychic, but could not explain how she was achieving success with her readings.
- Psychic Sally Damages (In More Ways Than One) (randi.org)
- Sally Morgan Libel Suit (theness.com)
- British Psychic TV Channels Fined For Not Telling Viewers It’s All B.S. (illuminutti.com)
A bizarre emergency call was made to the Fremont County Emergency Dispatch Center last week by several occupants of a residence, reporting that the 31-year-old woman was possessed by a “poltergeist” and that a “biting demon” had been terrorizing their home, The Daily Mail reported.
Those performing the exorcism told police a demon had broken windows and dishes and bitten people inside the home for two days, but the deputy found nothing to indicate criminal (or supernatural) activity.
The woman was taken to a nearby hospital and was in stable condition the next day, KTAK radio reported.
Attempted exorcisms are not so rare in the United States. Earlier this month, a Virginia man was sentenced to more than 20 years after he told police that an evil spirit entered his body while he was trying to exorcise his 2-year-old daughter, and it forced him to murder her in cold blood, the Associated Press reported.
This is a slightly dated story going back to Alex Jones’ completely humiliating appearance on the Piers Morgan show. Still, i can’t help posting anything that criticizes my favorite moron with such humor. Enjoy! :)
ALEX Jones is the result of an intense conversation between Adolf Hitler and the angry midget prospector, Yosemite Sam, psychiatrists have confirmed.
Brain experts leapt into action after millions of people saw Jones being interviewed by Piers Morgan and immediately asked what on earth was wrong with him.
Dr Martin Bishop said: “Like Hitler, the International Jewish Banking and/or Communist Conspiracy is the foundation stone of his meandering, psychotic paranoia.
“But it is mingled with the indomitable wild west spirit of the greatest outlaw philosopher north, south, east and west of the Pecos.
“I suspect that if we peer inside Alex Jones’s head when he is being quiet we would see either Hitler writing Mein Kampf in Landsberg prison, or Yosemite Sam being lifted into the air by firing his guns directly into the ground.
“I would not be surprised if Jones is writing a 3,000-page book about rabbits.”
Jones left Morgan almost speechless with his theory on how ‘international bankers’ want to take his guns and his gold, before advising the CNN presenter to ‘say his prayers’.
Bishop added: “Like Sam, Jones will never surrender his weapons despite being blown-up repeatedly by his own dynamite.
“But most importantly he will never admit defeat to a no-good, low-down, varmint. Who is also from New York. Like Woody Allen.”
- With Absolutely No Evidence, Alex Jones Calls Boston Marathon Explosions a ‘False Flag’ Operation Conducted by the Gov’t (illuminutti.com)
- Was The FBI Responsible For The Attack At The Boston Marathon? Alex Jones Seems To Think So (addictinginfo.org)
- Alex Jones, Un-patriot, the first to spout off about “false flag” conspiracy (doubtfulnews.com)
- Alex Jones on CNN: ‘1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms’ (bobusnr.wordpress.com)
If you know me, you know i love optical illusions. Try to find the “invisible artist” – Liu Bolin – in his photos. Enjoy :)
via The Huffington Post.
Liu Bolin is the “Where’s Waldo” of the art world. But instead of a red skull cap and sweater, the Chinese artist dons his own painted artworks — ready-made disguises that allow the sly chameleon to hide in plain site.
Bolin has been blending into his surroundings for some time now, disappearing amidst chaotic toy store shelves, grocery produce sections and graffiti walls around the world. This year, the internationally regarded “invisible man” is bringing his photographic illusions to New York City in a solo exhibition at the Eli Klein Fine Art Gallery.
Titled “Lost in Art,” the show will highlight Bolin’s newest photographs, capturing the artist and other cooperative assistants hidden in labyrinths of canned goods and barren rural landscapes. To create the images, the artist spends up to 10 hours on each of his detailed body paintings, obsessing over every crack and crevice of the scenes before snapping a photograph.
What’s the allure of being an invisible man, you ask? “Each one chooses his or her path to come in contact with the external world,” Bolin stated to The Daily Mail. “I chose to merge with the environment.”
Click on any image below to begin viewing the slideshow.
- Car shoot with Jeff Ludes and Liu Bolin (oxfordschoolofphotography.wordpress.com)
- 5 More Amazing Images of Liu Bolin, the Invisible Man (techeblog.com)
- Liu Bolin’s latest artwork: The Invisible Man (catinwater.com)
- Liu Bolin: The Invisible Man (urbantimes.co)
- Invisible Man Liu Bolin’s “Hiding in the City” Project Continues at Galerie Paris-Beijing (complex.com)
- Return of the Invisible Man – New Stunning Camouflage Works by Liu Bolin (odditycentral.com)
- Liu Bolin: ‘Invisible man’ artist creates more images of himself camouflaged with his background (thisismoney.co.uk)
- Liu Bolin: ‘Invisible man’ artist creates more images of himself camouflaged with his background (dailymail.co.uk)
- Invisible man Liu Bolin at galerie Paris-Beijing (dailypictur.es)
- The Invisible Man is back, but where? (news.com.au)
If conspiracists truly believe in their cause(s), why is it they must lie about, or distort, the truth?
This image depicts a large group of airline pilots marching in full uniform at an unidentified street protest. Each pilot in the picture is holding a placard that features a photograph apparently meant to illustrate “chemtrails” in the sky. The scene depicted in the image implies that the pilots are protesting against these supposed “chemtrails”.
The picture shows a real protest along with real marching pilots. However, they are certainly not protesting “chemtrails” nor in any way endorsing the absurd conspiracy theories surrounding the supposed existence and causes of such chemtrails. In fact, as the following source image illustrates, the pilots were protesting much more down-to-earth issues such as pilot pay and working conditions.
A September 29, 2011 Forbes article about the protest notes:
Hundreds of uniformed pilots, standing in stark contrast to the youthful Occupy Wall Street protesters, staged their own protest outside of Wall Street over the past couple of days, holding signs with the picture of the Hudson river crash asking “What’s a Pilot Worth” and others declaring “Management is Destroying Our Airline.” This comes after pilots at United asked a federal judge to halt the merger with Continental, arguing that the whole thing is proceeding too quickly.
The original picture can be seen in a 28 September 2011 Daily Mail article along with following caption
United: Over 700 Continental and United pilots, joined by additional pilots from other Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) carriers, demonstrate in front of Wall Street on Tuesday
The altered picture apparently originated from image website Dees Illustration Studio, which features a Political Satire section that hosts a number of similarly altered images, including other chemtrail pictures. It is unclear how or by who’s hand the image escaped from this original context and began circulating online.
Some readers might be wondering what the supposed “chemtrails” shown on the fake placards actually are. According to various paranoid conspiracy theorists, chemtrails are visible evidence that governments or big companies are secretly and deliberately dumping poisons into the earth’s atmosphere for their own nefarious purposes. Some theorists claim the poisons are dumped to make sure that citizens are chronically ill and therefore more easily controlled by governments or more likely to have need of expensive pharmaceutical products. Other suggest that the chem dumping is a clandestine operation to delay global warming. Several other, equally wacky, conspiracy theories have been suggested as possible causes of the trails.
In reality, the supposed chemtrails are just contrails. Contrails are condensation trails that form behind jet aircraft when they burn fuel in the upper troposphere. An in depth discussion about chemtrail conspiracy theories is available on the Skeptic’s Dictionary website.
Read More: Faux Image – Pilots Protesting Chemtrails
Debunked: ChemTrails and ChemClouds
A very high quality copy of this video and a link to the 1905 book “Cloud Studies” is available at: http://tinyurl.com/7ezxt5n. Feel free to download the video and re-post on video sharing websites.
- How to Debunk Chemtrails (illuminutti.com)
- Geoengineering “Chemtrails” Over the Pacific? (illuminutti.com)
- ECT Follow-up: Chemtrails and Vinegar (illuminutti.com)
- The 12 Most Popular Economic Conspiracy Theories (illuminutti.com)
- Conspirators’ hot air on cool trails (stuff.co.nz)
- Whose hand? (illuminutti.com)
The chemtrail conspiracy theory seems to frequently misidentify ordinary contrails as “chemtrails” – some kind of secret spraying program. This theory comes in many flavors, and there’s a large number of things people bring up as “evidence” to support this theory. I’ve tried to gather all the debunks of this evidence in one place here, for easy reference. This is a work in progress, and will remain on the front page here as I expand and refine it.
While the title of this post is “How to Debunk Chemtrails”, the actual debunking depends on what version of the theory needs debunking. There’s a variety of common claims, and variations on those themes. The best approach is to debunk the individual claim (such as: contrails only last a few seconds), rather than trying to debunk the entire theory.
I’ve tried to arrange each section in the order of most useful links first.
- The claims of Francis Mangels
- The claims of Dane Wigington
- Shasta Snow and Water Aluminum Tests
- Normal levels of barium in soil and water
- How did barium get into chemtrails?
- The Claims of Michael J. Murphy- A Factual Examination
- A Conversation with Dr. Lenny Thyme of WITWATS (What In The World Are They Spraying)
- Debunked- What In The World Are They Spraying
- ECT Follow-up: Chemtrails and Vinegar (illuminutti.com)
- I’m easily entertained (illuminutti.com)
- Passing thoughts on the issue of ChemTrails (illuminutti.com)
- 5 Reasons why People keep Believing in Debunked Conspiracy Theories (illuminutti.com)
- Chemtrails Toxic Air Pollutants Geoengineering (illuminutti.com)
- ChemTrail Believers Unite! (illuminutti.com)