Monthly Archives: February, 2013

8 Examples of Precognition in Literature

by FlameHorse via Listverse

Precognition involves the theory that people are able to think of an event before it happens. It is still considered supernatural—a form of clairvoyance—and not generally accepted as possible. The most famous literary example is Morgan Robertson’s Futility: or the Wreck of the Titan, to which Listverse has already drawn attention. Here are eight other examples to stretch your belief in coincidence.

• 8 – Game of Death and the Death of Brandon Lee

bruce-lee-game-of-death_300pxGame of Death was Bruce Lee’s final film, and he died before he could finish it. The film is about villains kidnapping his character’s girlfriend, and forcing him to fight them one on one. In an early scene, his character, who plays a martial arts action star, is rehearsing for a scene and is supposed to be shot at with blanks. One of the villains loads his gun with a real bullet and shoots Lee’s character in the face.

Twenty years later, Bruce Lee’s son, Brandon, was filming The Crow, which is about an ordinary man who is killed by a gang of thugs who rape and kill his fiancee as well. Lee’s character comes back from the dead and exacts revenge. With the film almost completed, one of the scenes required Lee to walk on set and be shot by FunBoy, played by Michael Massee.

The weapon is a .44 magnum revolver, and a few days earlier, a scene required a close-up view of the weapon loaded with what appears to be live ammunition. These are dummy rounds: a bullet, a casing, and a primer if the primers are required to be shown, but no gunpowder. If the primers are not shown, they are either spent primers, or the casings are unprimed. This particular gun did not require live primers, and had spent ones in its ammunition.

One of the handlers tested the weapon by dry-firing it to be sure it was safe, and heard a loud pop. Upon inspection, nothing seemed out of the ordinary, and the weapon was set aside. What had happened was one of the dummy rounds had a live primer, which it should not have had. In the absence of powder, the bullet was pushed out of the casing, but not out of the barrel.

In the fatal scene, Massee had no idea the gun had a bullet in it, and fired what he thought was a blank. The full charge of powder propelled the the bullet out of the barrel and into Lee’s abdomen just as if a live round had been used. He was shot point-blank with a .44 magnum. The bullet perforated his intestine and lodged in his spine. He bled to death about six hours later despite surgery.

• 7 – The Lone Gunmen Pilot and 9/11

the_lone_gunmen_wtc_300pxThe Lone Gunmen was a spin-off from The X-Files, and featured the three titular characters experiencing adventures surrounding conspiracy theories, government cover-ups, and computer hacking. The pilot episode premiered on March 4, 2001, and proved very popular. It depicted the trio uncovering a United States government plot to have a commercial airline hijacked and flown into one of the World Trade Center towers in New York City. The government’s intent is shown to be a desire to sell more weapons to American civilians, and militaries around the world in the ensuing global fear of terrorism.

Six months and one week later, both World Trade Center towers were in fact destroyed by commercial airliners hijacked by Islamic terrorists. The Lone Gunmen episode aided immeasurably in fueling paranoia about a US government conspiracy and cover-up. The conspicuous height of the WTC towers always provided fear that a plane could strike them. It was no secret that they were the most obvious targets in the entire city, much wider at their tops than the Empire State Building, which tapers. But the similarity with the pilot episode is no less uncanny.

The Lone Gunmen Pilot

• 6 – Platform and the 2002 Bali Bombings

bali-bombing_300pxPlatform is a 2001 novel by French author Michel Houellebecq, in which the main character, Michel Renault, travels to Phuket, Thailand, a popular international tourist spot, for various purposes, among them sex with cheap prostitutes. While there, he is an eyewitness to a terrorist bombing of a night club that kills two hundred people. Houellebecq stated later that one number was as good as another, and he chose two hundred arbitrarily. The terrorists are depicted driving a minivan loaded with fertilizer explosives into the building.

On 12 October 2002, in Bali, Indonesia, Jemaah Islamiya terrorists detonated minivans filled with potassium chloride, sulfur, and aluminum powder, wrapped in PETN detonation cord in the street between Paddy’s Pub and Sari’s Club. A suicide bomber had first killed himself by detonating his backpack inside Paddy’s, forcing the patrons into the street where the car bomb exploded. Two hundred and two people were killed, and another two hundred and nine wounded.

The two locations are 1,134 miles (1825km) apart, but this seems to be trumped by the similarities in attack methods and numbers of dead.

• 5 – The Illuminati Card Game and 9/11

illuminati cards_300pxThis trading card game has been marketed by Steve Jackson Games since 1982 and is still popular. Expansions, in the way of cards, are frequently added to the game, and in 1995, new conspiracy theories were propagated for the game revolving around the Illuminati effecting a “fire sacrifice to Satan” by nuking the World Trade Center in New York City. At the same time, they nuked the Pentagon.

Cards were sold depicting precisely this, and the card for blowing up the WTC is now legendary across the Internet. Though it predated the actual terrorist bombings by six years, the fiery explosion appears to occur in the South Tower, at almost the very spot where the plane struck, about the 80th floor. The tower is drawn on the card as toppling over, exactly as it did in reality, not pancaking straight down as the North Tower did.

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Ten characteristics of conspiracy theorists


A look into the mind of conspiraloons, nutjobs and tin foil hatters

1. Arrogance. They are always fact-seekers, questioners, people who are trying to discover the truth: sceptics are always “sheep”, patsies for Messrs Bush and Blair etc.

tin foil hat_250px2. Relentlessness. They will always go on and on about a conspiracy no matter how little evidence they have to go on or how much of what they have is simply discredited. (Moreover, as per 1. above, even if you listen to them ninety-eight times, the ninety-ninth time, when you say “no thanks”, you’ll be called a “sheep” again.) Additionally, they have no capacity for precis whatsoever. They go on and on at enormous length.

3. Inability to answer questions. For people who loudly advertise their determination to the principle of questioning everything, they’re pretty poor at answering direct questions from sceptics about the claims that they make.

4. Fondness for certain stock phrases. These include Cicero’scui bono?” (of which it can be said that Cicero understood the importance of having evidence to back it up) and Conan Doyle‘s “once we have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however unlikely, must be the truth”. What these phrases have in common is that they are attempts to absolve themselves from any responsibility to produce positive, hard evidence themselves: you simply “eliminate the impossible” (i.e. say the official account can’t stand scrutiny) which means that the wild allegation of your choice, based on “cui bono?” (which is always the government) is therefore the truth.

5. Inability to employ or understand Occam’s Razor. Aided by the principle in 4. above, conspiracy theorists never notice that the small inconsistencies in the accounts which they reject are dwarfed by the enormous, gaping holes in logic, likelihood and evidence in any alternative account.

AlexJonesMoron_200px6. Inability to tell good evidence from bad. Conspiracy theorists have no place for peer-review, for scientific knowledge, for the respectability of sources. The fact that a claim has been made by anybody, anywhere, is enough for them to reproduce it and demand that the questions it raises be answered, as if intellectual enquiry were a matter of responding to every rumour. While they do this, of course, they will claim to have “open minds” and abuse the sceptics for apparently lacking same.

7. Inability to withdraw. It’s a rare day indeed when a conspiracy theorist admits that a claim they have made has turned out to be without foundation, whether it be the overall claim itself or any of the evidence produced to support it. Moreover they have a liking (see 3. above) for the technique of avoiding discussion of their claims by “swamping” – piling on a whole lot more material rather than respond to the objections sceptics make to the previous lot.

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Men in Black

A look at the mysterious government agents said to intimidate those who witness flying saucers.

via Skeptoid
Podcast transcript (below) – or – Listen

Gray Barker Photo credit: Gray Barker Collection, Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library

Gray Barker
Photo credit: Gray Barker Collection, Clarksburg-Harrison Public Library

They inspired a Hollywood blockbuster starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. They inspired recurring characters on The X-Files. They inspired a comic book series. They fly in black helicopters and patrol in unmarked black sedans. They’re said to have harassed and threatened innocent citizens since the 1950s, and some believe they’re driving around your neighborhood right now. If you speak out about a UFO experience, some say you can expect a terrifying visit from these strange, black-clad men who may or may not work for the government. They are the Men in Black.

Strange visits from government agents have long been a part of UFO folklore; many stories feature alleged military men poking around the locale where a UFO was spotted, or even cautioning witnesses to remain quiet. But that’s only half of the Men in Black story. Those who appear at the front door of UFO witnesses late at night, and who intimidate, interrogate, and threaten them, are often described as having characteristics just a little bit outside the range of norm. Sometimes their skin is dark, sometimes unnaturally pale; sometimes their eyes are improbably colored, or their bodies devoid of hair; often their clothes and vehicles are reported as brand new and unused. Paranormal writer Robert Goerman has collected a number of such stories in his article Menace in Black:

Shearer managed a closer look at the face. There was no eyebrows or eyelashes, no signs of stubble. men_in_black_Vector_03BThe caller acknowledged Shearer by name, and specified that they wanted to discuss his UFO sighting, giving exact date and time. Shearer was perplexed as to how they had gotten this information, but refused to let him in. Shearer asked to see some identification, but the visitor ignored him and repeatedly asked to come in. It was almost as if this character could only utter a limited selection of set phrases.

Two men in their twenties visited Richardson and questioned him briefly. They never identified themselves, and Richardson, to his own subsequent surprise, did not ask who they were. He noted that they left in a black 1953 Cadillac. The license number, when checked, had not yet been issued.

At 5:30 PM, there was a knock at the door. A representative of the “Missing Heirs Bureau” said that he was looking for an Edward Christiansen who had inherited a great deal of money. This investigator dressed in black and stood at least six-foot-six with an enormous frame, with thyroid eyes, dead white skin, and pipe-stem limbs. His shoes featured unusually thick rubber soles. Despite his size, the visitor spoke in a high “tinny” voice that issued in an emotionless monotone, in clipped phrases, “like a computer.”

The inquisitor’s too-short trousers had ridden up his skinny leg and… a thick green wire… came out of his sock and disappeared under his pants. The wire seemed to be indented into his leg at one point and was covered by a large brown spot… When the visitor left the house and reached the road, he gave a hand signal and a 1963 black Cadillac pulled alongside with its headlights out. The stranger climbed into the car and it drove off, its headlights still off.

Men in Black stories, though often told and retold, appear only as stories. Although many of the witnesses seem sincere enough, no Men in Black have ever been photographed, not even by remote security cameras, and none of the mysterious license plate numbers has ever been recorded. Of course, if they are as omniscient as the reports indicate, such beings would likely have the foreknowledge to avoid having their presence be documented. This makes the Men in Black phenomenon interesting, but it also puts the whole subject into the category of special pleading: By its very nature, no evidence can exist to support it. This leaves a skeptical investigation little to go on if we want to establish its validity.

But here at Skeptoid, we are not entirely without resources. By studying the secondary literature — basically, books that cite original accounts — Men_in_black_200pxwe find that the first time the phrase “Men in Black” was used was in a 1956 nonfiction book called They Knew Too Much about Flying Saucers, by UFO writer Gray Barker (1925-1984). The book purports to tell the true, dramatic story of a UFOlogist who had been threatened by government agents telling him to stop researching and writing about UFOs. It’s a startling book, and tells quite a gripping tale. Barker’s book became the seminal source for the Men in Black corner of UFO mythology. Since its publication, it’s been referenced by virtually every UFO author since who has discussed the subject. Moreover, to give a sense of Gray Barker’s influence among UFOlogists, he’s cited more than a dozen times in the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research‘s 1969 publication, UFOs and Related Subjects: An Annotated Bibliography.

Unfortunately, Barker was — if not an outright con artist — a wholesale fabricator.

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5 Things I’ve noticed about… The New Age Movement

via The Soap Box

I’ve made some observations about people in the New Age Movement, and that there are certain things that tend to be a common trend amongst New Agers.

Here are five things that I’ve noticed about the New Age Movement:

5. They love energy.

Poder-de-la-mente_250px_200pxNew Agers tend to believe that energy (in one form or another) is all around them, and that somehow they can somehow control this energy, and that they can somehow convert it and use it for their own personal means (such as healing, or some type of food source), or that they can use it to gain knowledge, rather than gaining knowledge the old fashion way, by reading.

Some New Agers even believe that you don’t even need food, that all you need is to absorb sun light, or breathing clean air.

It should noted that last one is very dangerous and has resulted in the deaths of several people.

4. They’re obsessed with crystals.

NEW AGE_200pxMost New Agers seriously believe that crystals are more then just pretty objects that make for nice coffee table or mantle decorations. Apparently they believe that crystals can be used for dowsing (which has not been proven to work), healing, and warding off negative energy, which apparently a small crystal being in your pocket, or hanging around your neck, is suppose to protect your entire body from all sides from negative energy that’s suppose to be bombarding you from everywhere…

3. They believe they don’t have to do much to alter their lives.

Apparently New Agers believe that if you just do a few good things, or if you rearrange the furniture in your house in a certain way, or you carry around some good luck charms, or if you put some plants in your house, or even if you have just positive thoughts, that you can dramatically alter your life for the better, rather than actually working hard and putting some real effort into changing their lives, which has been proven to be much more effective.

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Keeping Up the Pressure

Written by Dr. Steven Novella via

Click image for larger view.

Click image for larger view.

Homeopathy is the second most used medical system in the world, after real medicine. It is legal, and in fact enjoys privileged status in the US and many other industrialized nations. Most people, however, do not really understand what it is, or the fact that years of research and hundreds of studies show conclusively that it does not work – for anything.

Homeopathy is an example of 100% pure unadulterated pseudoscience. Its underlying principles are not only unscientific, they are as close to impossible as you can get in science, meaning that vast amounts of physics, chemistry, and biology would have to be rewritten if homeopathy were true.

Proponents abuse the scientific evidence, and propose one absurd pseudoexplanation after another to desperately justify their magic potions.

This is all likely very familiar to most skeptics, prompting some to criticize the apparent obsession of some segments of the skeptical community with homeopathy. This misses a very important point, however. The purpose of the skeptical literature is not just to educate and entertain the already skeptical, but to influence the broader culture.

warning-homeopathy-not-medicineFor this purpose we need to keep up the pressure, we need to keep countering homeopaths whenever they emerge to offer a new distortion of science and evidence. This is part of what we do as activists – it is only scientific skeptics who are pushing back against this dangerous nonsense.

I can tell you from personal experience that mainstream physicians and scientists largely do not know and do not care about homeopathy. At best they are “shruggies” who think it is harmless, and at worst they are confused enough to actually support it (Dr. Oz comes to mind, but perhaps he is not the best example).

Science journalists are mixed, some get it, and some don’t. I was recently involved with a documentary on homeopathy by an honest documentarian who was just trying to understand homeopathy (in other words, not a propaganda piece by proponents). Unfortunately she simply came to the exact wrong conclusion about homoepathy, convinced by anecdotal evidence. She was not prepared to understand how so many people could be wrong, how easy it is for people to be fooled, and how difficult it is to get reliable and unbiased results from scientific study. In other words – she was not a skeptic (not sufficiently skilled in critical thinking and understanding the difference between science and pseudoscience). The film is not out yet, so I have yet to see the final result, but I know it’s not going to be good.

There is a bright side, however – skeptics constantly pushing back against the nonsense, and we are making some headway. The more the public understands about homeopathy, the more it is marginalized.

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Why the Human Brain Is Designed to Distrust

Conspiracy theories come naturally.

By Douglas T. Kenrick, Ph.D. via Psychology Today

paranoia 737_267pxWhat kind of person would have so little trust in his fellow man to believe that the U.S. president and the CIA conspired to fake the death of Osama Bin Laden, or that the news media is tightly controlled by a powerful cadre of wealthy extremists? If you peruse the psychological literature on belief in conspiracy theories, or read political commentaries on the topic, you’ll hear a lot of talk about paranoia, alienation, and anomie. You’ll learn that people who believe in one bizarre conspiracy theory are also likely to believe in others (it’s all connected to illuminati and the Kennedy assassinations, after all). You’ll find out that conspiracy beliefs have been linked to being poor, being a member of a downtrodden minority, having a general sense that one’s life is controlled by external factors, and other unfortunate circumstances.

But there’s another perspective that stems from thinking about the evolutionary background of our species: The human brain was designed for conspiracy theories. On this view, we’re all conspiracy theorists–you, me, and your aunt Ginger in Iowa.

Let’s put aside the particulars of the wacky conspiracy theory du jour, and consider this: Some alleged conspiracies have turned out to be quite real–Al Qaeda, the CIA, the KGB, and the Mafia have all involved real people getting together to plot real nefarious deeds.  Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. As evolutionary theorists such as Robert Trivers and Bill von Hippel have observed: a serious down side of communication is that it opens the doors for deception (Is that a tasty worm or an angler fish’s trap? Is the killdeer really injured or faking it?). Human beings are especially talented communicators, and pretty good deceivers as well. Researchers who study the psychology of lying find not only that the average person lies about something every day, but that we can’t do that much better than chance at distinguishing a prevarification from a truthful statement. 

False Flag Caveman_400pxOur ancestors had to worry about plots by members of their own group as well as plots by members of other groups (who had even less to lose and more to gain from doing them harm). Evolutionary psychologists such as Pascal Boyer and Ara Norenzayan have noted that the human brain has powerful mechanisms for searching out complex and hidden causes. The popularity of Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, and Harry Potter owed much to their authors’ talents for exercising those causal mechanisms in readers.

And as evolutionary psychologists Randy Nesse and Martie Haselton have argued, the mind is designed like a smoke detector, set to go on red alert at any possible sign of threat in the environment (rather than waiting till the evidence is so overwhelming that it is too late to put out the fire). Once we have accepted a belief, we have a host of cognitive mechanisms designed to bias us against rejecting it. One of my favorite such studies was done at Stanford psychologists Charlie Lord, Lee Ross, and Mark Lepper. They presented their very bright students with a careful balance of scientific evidence for and against the benefits of capital punishment. After hearing that balanced evidence, the students who initially favored the death penalty were even more convinced they were right, whereas the antis became even more convinced in the opposite direction. What happened was that students selectively remembered weaknesses in the other side’s argument, and strengths of the evidence favoring their own side.  Sound familiar?  (and remember, these were Stanford students, not members of an extremist group holed up outside Two Dot, Montana).

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What is Déjà vu? What is Déjà vu? (Geek Alert!)

More Geek Stuff!!!! 🙂

What is Déjà vu? – YouTube.

Stereotypes Conspiracy Theorists have against Skeptics

via The Soap Box

Skeptic_160pxThere are a lot of stereotypes that conspiracy theorists believe about skeptics, and for the most part they’re just not true. Most of the time these beliefs are either the result of manipulation, or just misunderstandings.

Here are some of the most common claims that conspiracy theorists have against skeptic, and why these claims are not true:

• All skeptics work for the government.

conspiracies02One of the most common claims by conspiracy theorists about skeptics is that skeptics work for, or at least are being paid by the government, or to a lesser extent, private companies, to run debunking websites (they’re usually referred to by conspiracy theorists as “dis-information agents”). Usually these accusations are followed up with a joke by a skeptic, usually something like, “I’m still waiting for my check.”

The reality is that most skeptics don’t work for the government, and most likely never would. Those that do work for the government are not being paid by the government to run these skeptic websites, and they are doing what they do on their own free will.

• Skeptics believe whatever the government or media says.

No they don’t. In fact skeptics are highly critical of both the government and the media.

Skeptics know that the government lies to the public all the time to try to make itself not look as bad, and that the media tends to report things way to early, or sensationalizes stuff, so bad information gets to the public, rather then correct information.

• Skeptics don’t believe in conspiracies.

conspiracies05Skeptics actually do believe in conspiracies. The difference is between skeptics and conspiracy theorists is that the conspiracies that skeptics believe in either have been proven to be true, or has enough evidence (real evidence, not made up evidence) to prove the conspiracy to be true, or at least likely to be true.

• All skeptics are alike.

One of the biggest misconceptions about skeptics in general is that we are all alike, and that we have similar beliefs and education, and that we all see things exactly the same, but in reality this is not true at all.

We all debunk things differently, and we sometimes come to different conclusions on things, and there are fights within the skeptics community.

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Cattle Mutilation

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary

cattleMut613_250pxThe term “mutilation” is used to describe animal corpses with “unusual” or “inexplicable” features by UFO devotees and those who think our countryside is plagued by Satanic cults in search of animals for rituals. What counts as “unusual” or “inexplicable” is just about any cut, mark, wound, excision, incision, swelling, distention, abrasion, contusion, scrape, bruise, or organ or blood absence. These “mutilations,” we are told, are being done by bad aliens or bad devil worshippers. No one has shown either that there are thousands of inexplicable animal deaths around the globe or that, if there are, they are related, much less that they are the result of alien experimentation or satanic cult activity. These facts, however, are no deterrent to those who are sure we are not alone and that Satan is everywhere. To these true believers, Satanists or visitors from other worlds are not only responsible for the deaths and mutilations of thousands of cattle, horses, cats, and other domestic animals around the globe, they are also responsible for numerous human abductions for the purpose of sacrifice (by the Satanists) or experimental and reproductive surgery (by the aliens). Furthermore, some of these aliens are destroying crops around the globe in an effort to impress us with their artistic abilities or to communicate to us in strange symbols just how much they like our planet’s cattle.

cattleMutilation602_300px_300pxThe belief that aliens or Satanists have been killing and mutilating thousands of animals is supported by little more than an argument to ignorance: Since there is a lack of evidence that they aren’t responsible for the deaths or the post mortem conditions of the animals, it follows that the aliens and Satanists are responsible. Defenders of this view reject the notion that there could be an earthly and naturalistic explanation. They are convinced that aliens need cow blood and organs for their experiments and that Satanists need bodies or body parts for their rituals. What seems most convincing to the true believers is that “wounds” or missing organs—such as the tongue and the genitalia—seem completely inexplicable to them in any but mysterious terms, i.e., alien or Satanic surgeons. Naturalistic explanations in terms of diseases and predators (skunks, buzzards, weasels, etc.), insects (such as blowflies and maggots), or birds are to no avail, even though the most thorough examination of so-called cattle mutilations concluded there was nothing mysterious that needed explaining (Rommel 1980).

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How Big is the Universe? (Geek Alert!)

Geek-o-rama!!! Enjoy!!! 🙂

How Big is the Universe? – YouTube.

The Straight Dope: Do tinfoil helmets provide adequate protection against mind control rays?

By Cecil Adams via The Straight Dope

Dear Cecil:

Some people believe that wearing a tinfoil helmet will protect them from mind control rays (or other forms of secret coercion). But if their intent is to create a “Faraday cage” to protect the brain from intrusive electromagnetic rays, wouldn’t it be more effective to use something a little more solid — say, an infantry helmet? And even then, wouldn’t it have to be grounded to work? Admittedly, looking for logical consistency in a conspiracy theory isn’t the wisest thing in the world, but usually they have a semblance of internal coherence.

tin-foil-hat03_200pxA lot of people probably think helmets to ward off mind control rays were invented by some smart-ass having a little fun with the feebs. Uh-uh. Check out the detailed instructions for creating your own helmet (using metal window-screen mesh) at (Archived here – PDF).

“What I did was make a hood like you see on a hooded sweatshirt,” inventor Leia Jessira Starfire writes, “and to make this thing look ‘natural’ you can actually attach this hood to a sweatshirt so that you don’t stand out like a sore thumb and look like a dork. The more odd we look the easier it is for others to justify their claims that we are just a bunch of loonies making this all up. Even if we do have miles of evidence and X-ray proof.  I also put a drawstring under this as well to cinch the back down because this is the important area where most transmitter/receivers seem to be.” One more thing: “Duct tape — very important.

ALEXJONESFOIL_250pxMs. Starfire says the shield works. “For me this has been such a relief. As for the telepaths, I have learned to recognize them and ignore them and without their transmitters to force me to acknowledge them and force me to open up to them I can keep all the voices out because of the [radio frequency] shield hood!!!”

See, scoffers? It works. Every bit as effective as homeopathic pills. Still, you have to wonder whether this is truly a cost-effective solution. As Straight Dope Science Advisory Board stalwart Jill notes, “I just ignore the telepaths. The worst thing you can do is block them and piss them off. When it gets to be too much, I put my fingers in my ears and sing, ‘FLINTSTONES, MEET THE FLINTSTONES.'”

Moreover, from an engineering standpoint, the Starfire shield frankly bites. What these people need is professional help.

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Another Alleged Spontaneous Human Combustion Case

by via NeuroLogica Blog

spontaneous human combustion 1122News reports of a recent death by fire in Tulsa, OK read, “Sheriff: Oklahoma Man Died of Spontaneous Human Combustion,” and “Sheriff Rules Out Homicide, But Not Spontaneous Combustion After Autopsy.”

It’s actually not difficult to rule out spontaneous human combustion (SHC) – you can rule it out because SHC does not exist. The notion of SHC is that some process occurs in the body that causes it to heat to the point of spontaneous ignition, without an external ignition source. There simply is no known process by which this could occur.

This is not a trivial objection. While it is, of course, impossible to completely rule out the unknown, the laws of physics can make something so improbable that we can comfortably treat it as if it were impossible. At the very least the burden of proof should be extremely high – not so high that if the phenomenon were genuine we could not demonstrate it, but high enough to rule out other, even unlikely, causes.

spontaneous human combustion 1123_250pxThe lack of a possible mechanism has inspired some SHC proponents to hypothesize new elementary particles as an explanation. Larry Arnold, in his book, Ablaze, posits the existence of the pyroton to explain the energy source that leads to SHC. He is not a theoretical physicist and is therefore probably not aware that you can’t just make up new particles and insert them into the standard model just to explain your alleged phenomenon. This is a rather extreme example of special pleading.

It is also curious that there are no pre or partial SHC phenomena. No one has heated up to near combustion. We also don’t see alleged cases of SHC in animals – why isn’t there spontaneous pig combustion?

Plausibility aside – what does the empirical evidence say? Are there any compelling cases of SHC, as Sheriff Lockhart seems to believe, saying:

“I think there’s only about 200 cases worldwide, and I’m not saying this happened. I’m just saying that we haven’t ruled it out.”

The hallmark of the SHC claim is that ignition occurs without an external source. It is curious, then, that one fairly consistent feature of alleged SHC cases is the presence of an external ignition source. The typical profile of a victim is an elderly or infirmed individual, or someone taking sedating medication or a heavy alcohol drinker, who lives alone and is also a smoker. Being overweight also is a common feature.

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spontaneous human combustion

Illusion: How to see the past

via New Scientist TV

Think you’re living in the moment? You could actually be experiencing another time.

A brain trick called the flash-lag illusion shows how we don’t always perceive the present. This version, created by Eiji Watanabe from the National Institute for Basic Biology in Okazaki, Japan, presents a moving cube occasionally accompanied by a flashing twin. When the second box appears, it’s really lined up with the moving cube yet it seems to lag behind. A second example uses a gear animation to show how a flashing piston looks out of sync with another that’s shifting up and down.

The illusion was thought to be caused by our brain extrapolating into the future: it can accurately anticipate the position of the moving cube because it follows a predictable path, but it falls short when assessing where the flashing cube is due to the time it takes to process a stimulus.

Recently David Eagleman of the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California, and colleagues found that our brain is reaching back into the past instead. It waits to see what happens right after the flash before determining the cube’s position: changing the trajectory of the moving object after the blinking can influence where it’s perceived.

The effect is interesting because it gives insight into our notion of self and whether we exist in the here and now. To find out more, check out our feature, “The self: You think you live in the present?“.

If you enjoyed this post, see how to move a dot with your mind or how to affect an object’s motion by changing your gaze.

Also See: New Scientist Videos (YouTube)

‘Psychic Nikki’ backs away from JREF’s Million Dollar Challenge

via James Randi Education Foundation – JREF

Toronto-based ‘psychic’ breaks her promise to contact JREF; now says she’s “not available” to have her abilities tested

james-randi-69LOS ANGELES—’Psychic Nikki,’ the Toronto-based psychic who claimed she’d be willing have her abilities tested for the Million Dollar Challenge offered by the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), now says she’s “not available” to be tested.

“It’s not surprising that Nikki isn’t willing to have her abilities tested under fair conditions,” said JREF President D.J. Grothe.

"Psychic Nikki" isn't willing to have her abilities tested

“Psychic Nikki” isn’t willing to have her abilities tested

“Of the hundreds of so-called psychics and other paranormalists who have accepted our challenge and agreed that our tests were fair, not a single one was able to demonstrate any special ability whatsoever. These professional ‘psychics’ are either deluding their clients or deluding themselves.”

Nikki first said she’d be willing to take the JREF’s Million Dollar Challenge in a CBC News story on Aug. 30.1

The JREF called Nikki on Sept. 2, requesting an email address to send her information about the Million Dollar Challenge. After CBC News published a followup story2 on Tuesday, Sept. 6, Nikki returned the JREF’s call, leaving a message in which she promised “I will try to contact you in the next couple of days for sure.” The JREF called her back within an hour, again offering to send information about the Challenge and answer her questions.

Why don't you remember this headline?

Why don’t you remember this headline?

A full week after Nikki promised to call the JREF “in the next couple of days,” she still had not responded.

Instead, she seemed to be backing away from the Million Dollar Challenge on Friday, when she said on CFNY-FM in Toronto, “I didn’t tell CBC I would do the test for sure, I said [I would] if I was available… I’m not available.”3 She went on to say, “I don’t have to take [the JREF’s] stupid test … I don’t want a million dollars.”4

These are the reasons Nikki gave for avoiding the JREF’s Million Dollar Challenge, and the JREF’s response to each:

• “I have no time [from] now until next year.”5

This is an obvious dodge, as Nikki was unable when asked to describe the plans that prevented her from taking the test, even over the next few days.

• “[Randi] doesn’t have the million dollars.”6

The JREF’s Million Dollar Challenge account is held with the investment firm Evercore in New York, and the bank statement is available on the JREF web site. ABC News recently verified the status of the account for an episode of Primetime Nightline in which the prize money was offered. ‘Psychic Nikki’ never raised this concern to the JREF, nor responded to the JREF’s repeated attempts to reach her and answer her questions.

MORE . . .


  1. CBC News,
  2. CBC News,
  3. CFNY-FM, Dean Blundell Show, Sept. 9, 2011, timecode 49:42 in the file available at
  4. CFNY-FM, Dean Blundell Show, Sept. 9, 2011, timecode 59:20 in the file available at
  5. CFNY-FM, Dean Blundell Show, Sept. 9, 2011, timecode 50:20 in the file available at
  6. CFNY-FM, Dean Blundell Show, Sept. 9, 2011, timecode 53:25 (repeated at 56:50) in the file available at

Can you figure this photo out?

If you know me, you know i love things that toy with the brain. Time for some toying with the brain 🙂

via Richard Wiseman

Can you figure out what is going on?


Click the image to enlarge

$100,000 Reward for Proof of a UFO (EXCLUSIVE)

Alejandro Rojas: James Fox to Announce $100,000
UFO Reward for Proof of an ET Spacecraft (EXCLUSIVE)

via The Huffington Post

Nearly every day, videos, photos and eyewitness accounts of UFOs pop up on the Internet.

Some are hoaxes. Some are quirks in the weather. Some sightings are never explained and forevermore remain UFOs.

The photo above, taken by Hannah McRoberts on Vancouver Island in British Columbia in 1981, is considered one of the most credible UFO pictures.

Still, never has there been widely accepted positive proof of an extraterrestrial spacecraft, though there are those who believe various government agencies around the world have conspired to hide the truth.

ufo3Now, however, if someone can prove otherwise, they will be $100,000 richer.

Filmmaker James Fox will make this announcement as part of the promotion for his upcoming movie The 701, inspired by the Air Force’s two-decade UFO study, Project Blue Book.

The massive study into 12,618 UFO sightings, which ended in 1969, was able to explain away all but 701 of these sightings.

Fox, who previously directed Out of the Blue (2002) and I Know What I Saw (2009), will reveal the $100K challenge at the 22nd International UFO Congress (IUFOC), which begins Feb. 27, in Fountain Hills, Ariz.

“One of the aspects that sets our film apart is the producers’ commitment to bringing forth never-before-seen evidence. As part of this effort, we’re offering a $100,000 reward for the best proof that some UFOs are alien spacecraft,” Fox told The Huffington Post exclusively.

“This material can be in the form of a photograph, video or film footage or debris from an alleged crash site. But it must be able to withstand scientific scrutiny by our chosen panel.

Seth Shostak: The UFO Bestiary“Our intent is not to create another television UFO documentary, but to produce a feature film for worldwide theatrical release — ‘The 701’ — the most compelling film ever produced on UFOs,” Fox said.

“701 is the number the government doesn’t want you to know about. The U.S. Air Force had a serious problem, starting in the late 1940s. Technological devices were invading our airspace with total impunity. Glinting, metallic discs, which could accelerate and maneuver in ways hard to imagine, were being seen in incredible numbers by reliable witnesses. Many of them were pilots.”

Fox, one of the co-stars of National Geographic’s Chasing UFOs, will be sharing the IUFOC podium over the five-day event with former nuclear physicist Stanton Friedman; ex-FBI Special Agent (and host of the Syfy Channel’s Fact, or Faked) Ben Hansen; skeptical research scientist Ben McGee; former UK Ministry of Defense officer Nick Pope; and regression therapist Barbara Lamb, among others, presenting a compelling variety of topics, including:

  • Ancient Astronauts and Technologies
  • Physics of Space Travel
  • A New Look At The Cosmos
  • ET/Human Hybrids
  • Close Encounters of The 4th Kind: ET Contact

Watch IUFOC’s Jason McClellan and Syfy Channel’s Ben Hansen talk about a planned night vision skywatch at the upcoming International UFO Congress:

MORE . . . .

Is that a FEMA Camp? – February 16, 2013 Edition

Is that a FEMA Camp? is a blog dedicated to investigating claims of FEMA camp locations. Below is some of their findings. Enjoy 🙂

February 16, 2013 Edition

FEMAD_300pxWilderness areas, Idaho

The claim: Possible location. No data.

What it really is: Due to the sheer fact that there is no data about this, nor is there a general location (just says it is in a wilderness area, which there is a lot of in Idaho) this claim appears to just be made up.

Clearwater National Forest, Idaho

The claim: Near Lolo Pass – Just miles from the Montana state line near Moose Creek, this unmanned
facility is reported to have a nearby airfield.

What it really is: Using Google maps in satellite view I can find no airfields in the general area, nor does it appear that an airfield could be put there to begin with due to the terrain.

There is also very little in the way of structures in the area, nor are any of the structures large enough to house a prison camp.

This claim is bogus.

Alex Jones believes in FEMA camps.

If Alex Jones believes in FEMA
camps they must be real.

Minidoka/Jerome Counties, Idaho

The claim: WWII Japanese-American internment facility possibly under renovation.

What it really is: The Japanese internment camp that is being refereed to is called the Minidoka National Historic Site, and is formerly known as the Minidoka War Relocation Center.

The site itself was very large, and held over 9,000 people there during World War Two. In 1979 the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 2001 it was listed as a National Park, which means that it is open to the public.

In 2006 money was granted by the government to restore the site for historical purposes.

Fort Stewart, Georgia

The claim: Savannah area – FEMA designated detention facility

What it really is: Fort Stewart is a large US Army post, and also trains members of the National Guard there as well. The base also families living there, whom live in military housing units that are typical for bases of such size.

I’ve also taken an satellite view of the base via Google maps, and none of the buildings there actually look like it something from a prison camp. Everything there looks like what you would typically find on a normal military base.

Click here for the latest findings at “Is that a FEMA Camp?”

Quick Bigfoot DNA Update

by Daniel Loxton, Feb 14 2013 via Skepticblog

bigfoot-2The internet was buzzing [on February 13, 2013] with the long-anticipated1 release of a paper purporting to present DNA evidence that “conclusively proves that the Sasquatch exist as an extant hominin and are a direct maternal descendent of modern humans.”2 With DNA sourced, according to the paper, from among “One hundred eleven samples of blood, tissue, hair, and other types of specimens,” this is the most prominent Sasquatch DNA case to date.

Full expert review of the team’s data and methods should emerge in the coming days. In the meantime, science writers identified several serious red flags within hours of the paper’s release.

To begin with, it seems that the paper was roundly rejected by mainstream science journals. “We were even mocked by one reviewer in his peer review,” complained lead author Melba Ketchum.3 So how did the paper get published? Although Ketchum insists that this fact did not influence the editorial process, it seems she bought the publication.4 In fact, her paper is the only paper included in the inaugural “Special Issue” of the DeNovo Scientific Journal. Benjamin Radford notes that no libraries or universities subscribe to the newly minted DeNovo, “and the journal and its website apparently did not exist three weeks ago. There’s no indication that the study was peer-reviewed by other knowledgeable scientists to assure quality. It is not an existing, known, or respected journal in any sense of the word.”5 Invertebrate neuroethologist Zen Faulkes notes further that DeNovo lists no editor, no editorial board, no physical address—not even a phone number. “This whole thing looks completely dodgy,” he writes, “with the lack of any identifiable names being the one screaming warning to stay away from this journal. Far, far away.”6

Beyond these irregularities, there are also signs of serious problems with the paper’s data, methods, and conclusions.

MORE . . .
Also see: Bigfoot Witnessed in Texas (

2 Psychics Arrested, 3rd Sought

via CBS Denver

psychic_300pxDENVER (CBS4) – One Denver psychic has been convicted of theft, a second was arrested this month in California and Denver prosecutors are still seeking to arrest a third psychic accused of convincing clients she was a “witch doctor.”

Ralph Stevenson, an investigator with the Denver District Attorney’s Economic Crimes Unit, said victims have described the psychics as being akin to “witch doctors,” making grapefruits bleed, tomatoes taste like salt and cracking eggs open and producing gooey black yolks.

“In these cases, where after they’ve paid money for services rendered, they take additional money, I believe through theft and deception, through magic and things like that and then don’t give money back to the victims … that’s when we get involved,” said Stevenson.

Denver psychic Cathy Ann Russo is currently on probation after being pleading guilty last August to felony theft and misdemeanor theft. Over the course of five years, beginning in 2007, Russo conned a Hispanic man out of $35,250. according to court records.

She told him his money had “evil spirits” and that she needed to pray on his money to rid the cash of its evil spirits. She promised the man she would return the money to him as soon as his cash was cleansed. At one point, she told the man she had buried his money in a graveyard.

MORE . . .


The Wisdom of Not Understanding

By Ben Radford via The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry – CSI

WhatThe_400pxAbout two years ago during a conversation, a friend of mine mentioned a movie she thought I’d really like. In fact it was a documentary, and as a fan of docs, I was eager to hear more about it. “You’d find it interesting,” she said. “It’s kind of about stuff you investigate. It’s called What the Bleep Do We Know!? Have you heard of it?”

I had indeed heard of the film, a New Agey jumble of pseudoscience and mysticism about supposed links between consciousness and quantum physics, produced by followers of J.Z. Knight, a woman who claims to dispense in­formation from a 35,000-year-old ghost. In fact, I had done my best to keep it from misinforming the public when it was first released, writing a few short skeptical pieces about it.

Not wanting to get into an argument with my friend, I just let the conversation trail off. But before I did, she made an interesting comment: “To be honest I didn’t really understand a lot of it. . . . But you’re really smart—you would get it.”

She assumed that the reason she didn’t understand the film’s information was be­cause she had no background in science. I, on the other hand, did not understand the film precisely because I do have a strong background in science. When people don’t understand something they are told, there are three possibilities or root causes.

Most commonly, the person assumes, as my friend did, that the problem lies with the listener. Her (quite reasonable) assumption was that the film was comprehensible and that if she didn’t understand it, it was due to her limitations or lack of knowledge. This was a mainstream, feature-length documentary film with some famous people in it—in­cluding physicists. Surely these people would not appear on camera discussing self-evidently nonsensical ideas such as that thoughts can control reality.

einstein evidence_400pxLess often, the problem lies with the speaker’s inability to effectively communicate—perhaps he or she does not share the same native language as the listener, is disorganized, or has a speech impediment for example. In this case the information and message may be correct and clear, but communication does not occur because of a problem with the source.

Sometimes the problem lies neither with the listener nor with the speaker, but instead in the content. In this case, the reason that the listener doesn’t understand what is being said is that what is being said makes little or no sense by any objective measure. This is in­sidious and difficult to detect because people do not like to challenge authority on a topic they are presumably trying to become educated about—especially in public. The speaker is not talking gibberish; quite the opposite: he or she may be very eloquent. Furthermore, identifying nonsense often requires some basic understanding of the subject.

MORE . . .

Creating Your Own Pseudoscience

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary –

How to create your own pseudoscience:

pulver2_300px1. Appeal to something that most people fear or desire, things like suffering and death, or sex and longevity.

2. Make big promises about having scientific proof that you can relieve any physical illness or emotional pain, or that you can deliver “fantastic” sex or “help” people live for hundreds of years.

3. Use a lot of jargon and weasel words. Throw in words like “quantum” and “energy field” frequently. Make your product sound enormously complex, but couch all your promises with vague expressions like “may help.”

4. To ward off critics who might actually know something about science, lace your promotions with references to government and business conspiracies that are keeping the truth from the general public. Make sure you remind everybody that “science doesn’t know everything” and “science has been wrong before.”

5. Don’t be afraid to make stuff up and lie like a government leader. Even if you are prosecuted for fraud, you’ll just get a lot of valuable publicity for free. The odds of you being made to suffer by a big fine or jail term are near zero. If you do have to pay a fine, change the name of your product and start over again with a few tweaks here and there in your language. You can keep doing this forever, given the kinds of things our law enforcement agencies focus on. And don’t worry about the media investigating you and exposing you for a fraud. They won’t bother you until you’ve been arrested. Even then, they’ll just report that you’ve been charged with an “alleged” crime, which you will deny and turn in your favor by playing the persecution card.

6. Don’t be cheap. Charge an exorbitant amount of money for your product. The more you charge, the more likely people, especially government procurement officers, are going to think that your product is genuine.

quack-doctor7. The ideal pseudoscientific product should be a hand-held device that promises eternal life, perfect health (it should detect and cure all diseases), astounding sex (by enhancing your immune system and your personal energy flow), and can also detect bombs or golf balls with the flip of a switch.

8. Make sure you claim that you have discovered a “secret” that every other scientist in the history of the world has missed. If you’re feeling especially daring, claim to have discovered a new law of nature that has scared the scientific community into trying to silence you.

9. Lace your commercials with testimonials from athletes, washed-up celebrities, and psychics. If you can get Sylvia Browne on board, do so. She has written over twenty books that have made it to The New York Times bestseller list. She’ll be expensive, though, so if you can find someone who looks and sounds like her and will work for scale, do it.

10. Never forget that most people trust celebrities more than they trust scientists, physicians, or government agencies. Use this knowledge to your advantage.

11. Claim that the reason your work has not been published in peer-reviewed journals is because of a conspiracy to keep you silent or that the development of your product has taken all your time and money, so you haven’t had the time or been able to get the funding (because of the conspiracy) to do the studies.

MORE . . .

Eneregy Healing: Looking in all the Wrong Places

By Robert Todd Carroll via The Skeptic’s Dictionary –

(This article was written in response to “The energy to heal” by Jenny Hontz, Los Angeles Times, July 5, 2004.)

reiki-hand_200pxHow is it possible to get relief from swelling, pain, nausea, headaches, anxiety, and an assortment of other ailments without the use of medicine or surgery? It happens all the time and has been going on for centuries. It’s called by many names but these days it’s mostly called “energy healing.” Whatever name it goes by, ultimately it amounts to faith healing. The amazing thing about it is that the healer need not even touch the patient. In fact, the healer need not even be in the presence of the patient. Powerful medicine, no? Yes, very powerful and not completely understood, though there are many theories being offered, the most common ones these days being couched in terms of chi or prana, meridians, auras, and chakras. Is there any evidence that there is a metaphysical life force (call it “energy” or “chi” or whatever you want) that determines health depending on whether it is blocked or flowing? If there is, I’d like to see evidence for it that’s not just post hoc reasoning and begging the question.

In the eighteenth century, Franz Anton Mesmer had the ladies of Paris convinced he could heal them. He convinced himself he had tapped into a new force. He called it “animal magnetism.” There’s about as much evidence for animal magnetism as there is for chi. Most scholars now believe that Mesmer stumbled upon hypnotism. He eventually figured out that he didn’t need the magnets he was using. Just waving his hands did the trick. Modern day nurses practicing what they call “therapeutic touch” seem to have hit upon the same formula. Aura healers and chakra healers have been practicing their craft under different names for centuries. In Japan the practice of energy healing is known as reiki. Psychometry636They just wave their hands over the patient and “feel” the energy moving. The patient feels it, too. Great stuff but what’s really going on? How did so many different people independently discover energy healing? It must be because there really is energy that can be manipulated to bring about healing, right? Not necessarily.

Nine-year old Emily Rosa tested 21 therapeutic touch (TT) practitioners to see if they could feel her life energy when they could not see its source. The test was very simple and seems to clearly indicate that the subjects could not detect the life energy of the little girl’s hands when placed near theirs. They had a 50% chance of being right in each test, yet they correctly located Emily’s hand only 44% of the time in 280 trials. If they can’t detect the energy, how can they manipulate or transfer it? What are they detecting? Dr. Dolores Krieger, one of the creators of TT, has been offered $1,000,000 by James Randi to demonstrate that she, or anyone else for that matter, can detect the human energy field. So far, Dr. Krieger has not been tested.

MORE . . .


Calling all diviners (Australian Skeptics Inc)

via Australian Skeptics Inc

Australian Skeptics are again organising a major test of water divining, repeating an exercise last undertaken 11 years ago at the Mighty Mitta Muster in Mitta Mitta, northern Victoria.

Organised by the Borderline Skeptics with input from Australian Skeptics Inc and the Victorian Skeptics, diviners putting themselves up for the test will, depending on their results, be in the running for the Skeptics $100,000 challenge. (In fact, the amount for the Mitta event has been boosted by a further $10,000 from Borderliner Russell Kelly.)

The Mighty Mitta Muster is an annual event, held on the Victorian Labour Day weekend, featuring the usual range of events at rural shows – woodchopping, tent

2002 Test

pegging, stunt riding and egg throwing – but it hasn’t had a water divining test since the last time the Skeptics rolled up in 2002. (A previous trial was run in 2001, and a third was planned for a year later but was cancelled – as was the entire Muster — due to bushfires.)

At the 2002 event, 30 diviners put their skills to the test, but out of 20 bottles containing either water or sand (a 50/50 chance of being correct), the highest score was only 13, which is well within the realms of chance alone.

The excuses used post-trial to explain away the failures were many and varied. A video report on the event by Richard Saunders can be seen on YouTube.

MORE . . .

Crystal Skulls: Legend, Vodka & Indiana Jones

via LiveScience


Crystal skulls are wonders to behold, but their only power may be to fascinate.
CREDIT: Victor Habbick | Shutterstock

Crystal skulls are among the strangest and most mysterious artifacts in the world. They have been displayed in the finest museums; they have inspired books, films, legends and liquor. According to some they even have supernatural power.

Skulls are, of course, made of minerals; bone is mostly calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate. Skulls are at once both mundane and macabre, symbolic reminders of both healing medicine and death. Of all the materials that a skull might be made of, crystal is perhaps the most intriguing. Crystals are central to New Age beliefs, and New Agers have constructed an intricate belief system around them involving auras, reincarnation, chakras, healing, vibrations, and so on.

There are many skulls in the world carved out of quartz, of varying sizes and designs (New Age shops around the world are well-stocked), though not all of them are steeped in myth and romance. There are only a handful of the largest, life-size skulls in existence, and they have inspired awe for generations. They are said to be hundreds or thousands of years old, and possibly of Mayan, Aztec, or even Atlantean origin. The skulls are indeed a sight to behold. skull death_200pxBeyond the artistry of carved crystal, many believe the skulls have special abilities, such as aiding psychic abilities, healing the sick, and even having power over death.

Crystal skulls have captured the imagination of countless New Agers, curiosity seekers, and others; screenwriter George Lucas was so intrigued by crystal skulls he wrote a script about them: the 2008 film “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls.” A Canadian company called Crystal Head Vodka (co-founded by actor and paranormal buff Dan Aykroyd) launched in 2008, bottling its crystal-filtered libation in novelty glass skulls.

The Skull of Doom

The most famous crystal skull is the so-called Skull of Doom, a human-like skull composed of two pieces and made from clear crystal quartz.

MORE . . .

What Is The Universe? (Geek Alert!)

Geek alert!! 🙂

What Is The Universe? – YouTube.

Can you spot what is odd about these pictures?

Via Richard Wiseman

Here are some great Colgate ads – can you see what is wrong with them?




To put you out of your misery…
In the first one the woman has one finger too many in her hand.
In the second one a phantom arm is floating there.
In the third one the man has only one ear.

Did you spot them?

The vaccine debate

via Duck Duck Gray Duck

There are a lot of parents out there who refuse to vaccinate their kids. Jenny McCarthy and others are claiming with no proof that many of the childhood vaccines we usually give our kids are causing autism or other medical problems. It’s too bad, because these kids are getting sick. Some are dying.

Here is an infographic that shows the rate of incidence of a disease appearing with and without a vaccine. Here is the source of the data.


Is that a FEMA Camp? – February 13, 2013 Edition

Via RationalWikiFEMA concentration camps exist in the mind of a particularly loopy bunch of conspiracy theorists, who believe that mass internment facilities have been built across the continental United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in preparation for a future declaration of martial law.

Is that a FEMA Camp? is a blog dedicated to investigating claims of FEMA camp locations. Below is some of their findings. Enjoy 🙂

February 13, 2013 Edition

Camp+Fema+Roadkill_300pxFort Gillem, Georgia

The claim: South side of Atlanta – FEMA designated detention facility.

What it really is: The base houses many different supply and support units including the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory and the 3rd MP Group (CID), both units of the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command, and employs 456 active duty Army personnel, 1,663 Army reservist, and 1,667 civilians.

The base itself houses many large buildings there that appear to be warehouses, some of which are right across the street from civilian houses. The base itself is surrounded by the city of Forest Park. It seems unlikely that a FEMA camp could be hidden here.

McRae, Telfair County, Georgia

The claim: 1.5 miles west of McRae on Hwy 134 (8th St). Facility is on Irwinton Avenue off 8th St., manned & staffed – no prisoners.

What it really is: The only things there that I believe would be mistaken for a FEMA camp is the Telfair State Prison, that was opened in 1992 and holds over 1100 inmates.

The facility is run by the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Abbeville, Georgia

dees-fema-camp-billboard2_300pxThe claim: South of Hawkinsville on US route 129; south of town off route 280 near Ocmulgee River. FEMA facility is staffed but without prisoners.

What it really is: It is the Wilcox State Prison. It is a medium security prison that was opened in 1994, and can hold 1,700 prisoners. The prison is run by the Georgia Department of Correction, and not FEMA.

Hawkinsville, Wilcox County, Georgia

The claim: Five miles east of town, fully manned and staffed but no prisoners. Located on fire road 100/Upper River Road

What it really is: Most likely the facility that is being mistaken for a FEMA camp is the Pulaski State Prison, a medium security prison that was opened in 1994, and houses over 1,200 female inmates.

This prison is run by the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Camilla, Georgia

The claim: Mitchell County, south of Albany. This FEMA facility is located on Mt. Zion Rd approximately 5.7 miles south of Camilla. Unmanned – no prisoners, no staff.

What it really is: First, Mt. Zion Rd is not south of Camilla, it’s east of it.

The only buildings around that area that might even come close to being mistaken for a FEMA camp are some long warehouses in a wooded area behind a house that look like they are being used for some storage areas for a farm (as there is a lot of farm land there).

Morgan, Calhoun County, Georgia

The claim: FEMA facility is fully manned & staffed – no prisoners.

What it really is: There is a facility there that is pretty darn big, and even had me confused for a while, but eventually I found out what it was. It is the Calhoun State Prison. It is a medium security prison that was opened in 1994, can hold over 1500 prisoners, and is run by the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Oglethorpe, Macon County, Georgia

The claim: facility is located five miles from Montezuma, three miles from Oglethorpe. This FEMA prison has no staff and no prisoners.

What it really is: After reviewing the area on Google maps in satellite mode I’ve determined that the location that is most likely being mistaken for a FEMA camp are multiple long animal warehouses at a poultry farm owned by Tyson Foods (I.E. giant chicken coups).

Click here for the latest findings at Is that a FEMA Camp?.

FEMA Map_600px

FEMA Camp locations!

5 things I’ve noticed about… Alex Jones

via The Soap Box

AlexJonesMoron_240pxWhile there are a lot things I could say about radio host/conspiracy theorists Alex Jones (and it would be a lot) I noticed a few things he seems to do quite a bit.

So here are five things I’ve noticed about Alex Jones:

• 5 – His sites have a lot of advertisements on them.

If you go to either of his two main websites (Infowars and Prisonplanet) there are a lot of advertisements on the right side of those websites. Not only are there ads for other people’s products, but also for his own products as well (mainly his videos).

And his websites have their their own shop pages where you can buy more of his videos and other merchandise.

• 4 – He always tells people he is not crazy.

Alex always seems to need to remind people that he is not crazy (in his view). I don’t know why he feels the needs to do this. I don’t know why people would believe he is crazy in the first place…

Maybe it’s because he does stuff like this:

Author’s note: go two minutes in. That’s when the best stuff starts.

• 3 – He’s against fascism and totalitarianism… unless it’s in another country.

While Alex Jones is a notorious outspoken critic of anything that he perceives as fascism and totalitarianism in this country, he apparently has no problem with it in other countries (especially countries that the US has very poor diplomatic relations with).

A good example of this would be . . . MORE . . .

What’s Next for Doomsday?

Space Rock or Last Pope?
End of World Predictions

via LiveScience

Is the next Pope the last before the apocalypse? Some writings, though discredited, would suggest yes. Regardless of validity, doomsday predictions abound, including end-of-world dates set for 2020, 2040, 2060 and 2080.

Is the next Pope the last before the apocalypse? Some writings, though discredited, would suggest yes. Regardless of validity, doomsday predictions abound, including end-of-world dates set for 2020, 2040, 2060 and 2080.
CREDIT: sdecoret | Shutterstock

Y2K? A bust. Judgment Day 2011? As quiet as a mouse. The Mayan apocalypse? Certainly not now.

As they have throughout history, failed doomsday predictions come and go. But with the Pope resigning, an asteroid whizzing near the planet Friday (Feb. 15) and a completely unrelated space rock exploding over Russia, it seems a good time to ask: What’s next?

Plenty, as it turns out. Previous failures have in no way shut down doomsday predictors, and dates are set for possible apocalypses in 2020, 2040, 2060 and 2080 (zeros have an appeal, apparently). One of these doomsdays was even predicted by Sir Isaac Newton himself.

“It’s clear that these kinds of scenarios return over and over and over again,” said John Hoopes, an archaeologist at the University of Kansas who has studied doomsday predictions.

The end is nigh

Doomsday prophecies date back thousands of years. The ancient Persians kicked off the hobby of apocalypse predicting in the Western world, Saint Joseph’s University professor Allen Kerkeslager told LiveScience in December 2012. Apocalypse_100_300pxWhen the Zoroastrian Persians conquered the ancient Jews, they passed their end-of-the-world beliefs into Jewish culture, which subsequently handed them to Christianity. Now, everyone from Protestant preachers like Harold Camping, who predicted Armageddon in 2011, to UFO cultists and New Age mystics occasionally jump on the doomsday train.

The most recent apocalypse prediction was tied to the Mayan calendar, even though actual Mayans and scholars who study ancient Maya culture pointed out repeatedly that the calendar was never meant to predict the end of the world. The appointed day (Dec. 21, 2012) came and went without fire and brimstone.

But failures haven’t stopped aspiring doomsday prophets in the past. In one of the most notorious apocalypse failures ever, American Baptist preacher William Miller predicted the return of Jesus Christ on March 21, 1844. Nothing happened, so Miller and his followers revised the prediction to Oct. 22. When that day, too, passed without incident, it was dubbed the Great Disappointment. [Oops! 11 Failed Doomsday Predictions]

Likewise, Camping predicted the Rapture three times in 1994 before his 2011 predictions.

The Pope’s doomsday

So it should come as no surprise that doomsday believers have plenty of dates to fixate on in the future. Friday’s ultimately harmless asteroid flyby may trigger more anxiety about world-ending asteroid impacts in the near future, Hoopes told LiveScience. A Friday morning meteor explosion that shattered windows and injured more than 1,000 in Russia is likely to do the same.

The surprise announcement of the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI last week has also triggered doomsday chatter.

MORE . . . .

Conspiracy Theories by Christopher Dorner Truthers Abound as Saga Ends

By Alexandra Ward via News Max

chrisDAs the Christopher Dorner saga winds down, #TeamDorner truthers have taken to social media to push their conspiracy theories about the circumstances surrounding the alleged cop killer’s supposed death on Tuesday.

A body believed to be that of Dorner, the 33-year-old ex-LAPD officer whose purported killing spree terrorized the Southern California area for more than a week, was found in a charred cabin in Big Bear onTuesday. The body had not been positively identified, but authorities said they assumed it was Dorner, who is suspected of four killings during a revenge-fueled spree that was predicted in his online manifesto.

conspiracies05San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon said in a press conference on Tuesday that the manhunt for Dorner was called off after the fire that followed the running gun battles resulting in Dorner being cornered in the cabin.

Dorner reportedly retreated into the mountainside cabin Tuesday in the middle of one fierce gunfight with police in which a sheriff’s deputy was killed. During another shootout, the house caught fire and police reportedly heard a single gunshot as the flames spread.

Fans have painted Dorner as a vigilante “Dark Knight” character out to bring justice against a racist LAPD.

These #TeamDorner truthers are ranting now about the discrepancies, and possible conspiracies, involving the way Dorner was brought down.

Here are the latest debates and conspiracy theories in the Christopher Dorner case:

The Wallet

conspiracies02The truthers have jumped on conflicting media reports about Dorner’s wallet. There are three different stories being told.

The Log, a San Diego boating and fishing publication, reported that Dorner’s wallet and ID were discovered near San Diego International Airport on Feb. 7.

Fox News’ report is conflicting. Its story, attributed to the Los Angeles Times, says Dorner’s wallet was at the San Ysidro Point of Entry at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Investigators say Dorner attempted to steal a boat in San Diego and drive it to Mexico. Dorner’s wallet, including his identification cards, was also found at the San Ysidro Point of Entry near the U.S.-Mexico border, the Los Angeles Times reported.”

Finally, the Huffington Post cited The Associated Press when it reported that the wallet containing Dorner’s driver’s license was recovered from the charred rubble of the Big Bear cabin.

Redditors aren’t buying the Huffington Post’s claims. The license would have melted if it were in the cabin fire, they say. And why would someone taking every precaution not to get caught be carrying any identifying information?

The Fire

How exactly the cabin fire started is a main #TeamDorner hanging point. They claim police intentionally started the fire and purposely let Dorner burn alive.

MORE . . . .

Also See: Debunked: Christopher Jordan Dorner Conspiracy Theories – (MetaBunk)

Medium Channels The Spirits Of Old Acquaintances For Awkward Small Talk

Psychic Kenneth Quinn connects Today Now! studio guests with former landlords and friends of work friends who have died for stilted conversations from beyond.

via Medium Channels The Spirits Of Old Acquaintances For Awkward Small Talk | The Onion – America’s Finest News Source.

Optical illusion hallucination

This video has been carefully designed to create a strong, natural hallucination.

Use full screen for better results!!

via Eye – Optical illusion – YouTube.

BBC South West on the evils of homeopathic “vaccines”

via The BadPsychics Blog

homeopathySam Smith presents an investigation of homeopathic “vaccines” (14th January 2013, BBC South West, Inside Out). The pills contain nothing whatsoever, but are promoted for serious infections like whooping cough and even meningitis. Of course they don’t work, and if a child dies because if their use, that should constitute manslaughter.

As far back as 2006, homeopaths were caught out recommending their sugar pills for prevention of malaria.
Even Peter Fisher, the Queen’s homeopathic physician (that isn’t a joke) said that the practice made him “very angry”

The MHRA (Medicines and Health regulatory Authority) has been warned about this for many years by bloggers, and even by a BBC Newsnight programme, but it has done nothing. Neither has the General Pharmaceutical Council. These expensive bodies have failed shamefully in their duties.

The Department of Health has done nothing either. On the contrary, they have hindered efforts to ensure honesty.

Video description:

Via BBC South West on the evils of homeopathic “vaccines” – YouTube:

Sam Smith presents an investigation of homeopathic “vaccines” (14th January 2013, BBC South West, Inside Out). The pills contain nothing whatsoever, but are promoted for serious infections like whooping cough and even meningitis. Of course they don’t work, and if a child dies because if their use, that should constitute manslaughter.

As far back as 2006, homeopaths were caught out recommending their sugar pills for prevention of malaria.…
Even Peter Fisher, the Queen’s homeopathic physician (that isn’t a joke) said that the practice made him “very angry”

The MHRA (Medicines and Health regulatory Authority) has been warned about this for many years by bloggers, and even by a BBC Newsnight programme, but it has done nothing. Neither has the General Pharmaceutical Council. These expensive bodies have failed shamefully in their duties.

The Department of Health has done nothing either. On the contrary, they have hindered efforts to ensure honesty.

Debunked: The DHS Ordered 21.6 Million Rounds Of Ammo

A little over a week ago our favorite moron, Alex Jones, posted an article at (Dis)InfoWars claiming the DHS was purchasing 21.6 rounds of ammo (archived here at iLLumiNuTTi – PDF).

From (Dis)InfoWars, 2/7/13:

«The Department of Homeland Security is set to purchase a further 21.6 million rounds of ammunition to add to the 1.6 billion bullets it has already obtained over the course of the last 10 months alone, figures which have stoked concerns that the federal agency is preparing for civil unrest.


«The [order] asks for 10 million pistol cartridge .40 caliber 165 Grain, jacketed Hollow point bullets (100 quantities of 100,000 rounds) and 10 million 9mm 115 grain jacketed hollow point bullets (100 quantities of 100,000 rounds).

«The document also lists a requirement for 1.6 million pistol cartridge 9mm ball bullets (40 quantities of 40,000 rounds).»

FedBid is the site providing a copy of the bid. I have located FedBid’s copy of the bid and archived a copy here at iLLumiNuTTi (PDF).

The FedBid copy is a general overview of the bid. But to get at the meat of this order and see what is really going on, we’ll need to examine the original SF (Standard Form) 1449, (SOLICITATION/CONTRACT/ORDER FOR COMMERCIAL ITEMS) as it was filled out by the Department of Homeland Security archived here at iLLumiNuTTi (PDF).

Let’s take a look at the pertinent portions of the original DHS bid. Here in Box 20 of the order form it says the following:


As you can see, the highlighted text says, “Ammo should be packaged in 50 round boxes in a case of 1000 or 500 rounds.” Please make special note of the “cases of 1000 or 500 rounds” portion, it’s important for what follows.

I’ll use the .40 caliber ammunition order as the first of three examples to demonstrate the genius of Alex Jones:


This is a standard looking government form. I’d like you to look along the top at columns 21 and 22. Column 21 lists the Quantity as “100” and column 22 lists the Unit (Unit of Issue) as “MX.” If we multiply columns 21 (100) and 22 (MX) we can determine the total number of .40 caliber rounds the DHS has ordered.

The question is, what does “MX” mean?

As with all government forms, there are well understood instructions for filling them out. Let’s see what the designator “MX” means in column 22.


Well looky here. “MX” is the designator for 1,000!

Now we can go back to the order request for the .40 caliber ammunition and we can multiply columns 21 (100) and 22 (1,000) to get the total number of .40 caliber rounds:


So the Department of Homeland Security ordered 100,000 .40 caliber rounds. Wait. But the brilliant, omniscient Alex Jones said DHS ordered 10 MILLION .40 caliber rounds! How can this be? Do you feel what i feel? A disturbance in the force, Luke. Well, here’s more disturbances in the force . . .

Now that we know “MX” means 1,000, how many 9mm 115 grain rounds did DHS actually order?


Multiplying columns 21 and 22 (100 x 1,000) we can see DHS ordered 100,000 9mm 115 grain rounds, not the 10 MILLION rounds claimed by conspiracists.

Last, but not least, the mighty propagandist Jones claims DHS ordered “1.6 million pistol cartridge 9mm ball bullets.” Here is the truth:

9mm Ball

Columns 21 and 22 show DHS order 40,000 9mm ball rounds, not the 1.6 MILLION claimed by conspiracists.

How did Alex Jones screw up all these calculations? Using the 9mm ball rounds directly above as an example, apparently Jones multiplied the “40,000 ROUNDS” in column 20 against the number 40 in column 21 (40,000 x 40 = 1,600,000).

BullShitHow could he get it so wrong? Or should i say WHY would he get it so wrong? The words “40,000 ROUNDS PRICE PER 1000 ROUNDS” simply means “A total of 40,000 rounds, priced by the case (of 1,000 rounds).” This is akin to saying, “I want 240 beers, priced per case (24 beers).”

I honestly don’t know how people like Jones can make such an error. How did his whole staff miss this error? It looks so egregious as to seem intentional.

To wrap things up, instead of the ridiculous claim of “21.6 MILLION rounds of ammunition” being ordered by the Department of Homeland Security, the actual total is 240 THOUSAND rounds (100k + 100k + 40k).

What can i say? Time and again, clowns like Alex Jones are proven wrong with just a cursory examination of the facts. Why do so many people buy his bull-shtick hook, line and sinker?

Mason I. Bilderberg (MIB)

World Trade Center – Role of floor loss and buckling

A key aspect of why the towers and WTC7 fell is the loss of strength in the columns as they lost the lateral support from the floors

World Trade Center – Role of floor loss and buckling – YouTube.

Also see: 9/11: Were Explosives Used?

Five Stupid Things About Chemtrails

Entertaining stuff, but be advised … there is some salty language. Enjoy    🙂

What do the New World Order, HAARP, UFOs, and a bunch of other paranoid conspiracy crap have in common? They’re all connected. And what are the lines connecting those dots? I’ll give you a hint: they’re fluffy, and white, and right over your heads.

. . . No? Okay, I’ll just tell you, then. It’s chemtrails.

Five Stupid Things About Chemtrails – YouTube.

Meteorite Fall in Russia Hurts More than 500 People

via LiveScience

Hundreds of people are reportedly injured, and hundreds of buildings damaged, after a meteorite streaked across the sky above Russia’s Ural Mountains Friday morning (Feb. 15) and exploded in a massive blast.

The meteor explosion was centered around the Chelyabinsk region, which is about 930 miles (1,500 kilometers) east of Moscow.

Meteor_300pxMost of the hundreds injured were reportedly hurt by falling glass in the blast, 112 of whom have been hospitalized, due to cuts from the shattered glass resulting from the blast. In addition, an estimated 297 buildings were damaged, including six hospitals and 12 schools, according to translations of updates by the Russian Emergency Ministry.

Scientists think a meteoroid entered the atmosphere above Russia’s southern Chelyabinsk region, where it exploded and broke up into meteorites scattered across three regions of Russia and Kazakhstan, according to news reports. [Photos of Russia’s Meteor Fireball Blast]

“I would think that this is likely an exploding fireball (or bolide) event caused by the atmospheric impact of a small asteroid,” Don Yeomans, head of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program, told “If the reports of ground damage can be verified, it might suggest an object whose original size was several meters in extent before entering the atmosphere, fragmenting and exploding due to the unequal pressure on the leading side vs. the trailing side.”

Basically, Yeomans added, the meteor “pancaked and exploded.”

(A bolide is an extraterrestrial body ranging in size from 0.6 to 6 miles, or 1-10 km across that hits Earth at velocities faster than a speeding bullet, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.)

“This bolide event probably had nothing to do with the upcoming close Earth approach of asteroid 2012 DA14, which is due to pass closely (and safely) past the Earth at 19:24 GMT today,” or 2:24 p.m. ET, Yeomans wrote, adding that the Russian bolide trail did not travel south to north as the asteroid will.

“And the separation in time between the fireball and 2012 DA14 close approach is significant,” Yeomans said.

A large chunk of the space rock has reportedly been discovered in a lake in the Chelyabinsk region, CNN reports.

A report by the Russian television news agency Russia Today showed video of the meteor, which included what appears to be a fireball streaking across the sky from several vantage points. At times the object is so bright it casts shadows.

MORE . . . (includes more video)

Master Speed Painter D. Westry Shocking Performance on Anderson!!!!!!!!!

Some things are just too cool to NOT post. Enjoy 🙂

D. Westry (The Master Speed Painter) wowed audience on “Anderson” with an Iconic performance by completing an amazing speed painting in only 1minute and 22 seconds. This is a write up link from New York about what happened on the show!

via Master Speed Painter D. Westry Shocking Performance on Anderson!!!!!!!!! – YouTube.

Organic (food and farming)

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary

“People got in their head, well, if it’s man-made somehow it’s potentially dangerous, but if it’s natural, it isn’t. That doesn’t really fit with anything we know about toxicology. When we understand how animals are resistant to chemicals, the mechanisms are all independent of whether it’s natural or synthetic. And in fact, when you look at natural chemicals, half of those tested came out positive [for toxicity in humans].” –Bruce Ames

“I’m going to live to be 100 unless I’m run down by a sugar-crazed taxi driver.” —J. I. Rodale, a father of the organic movement who died of a heart attack at age 72 while taping an episode of “The Dick Cavett Show” shortly after announcing “I’ve decided to live to be a hundred” and “I never felt better in my life!” The show never aired. [For those who think this is a cheap shot: this kind of wishful thinking is common among the defenders of all things organic.]

Key myths and beliefs

organicOrganic food is food produced by organic farming, a set of techniques based on anti-scientific beliefs, myths, and superstition.

A key belief of groups like the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the Soil Association, which oppose conventional farming in favor of organic farming, is that pesticides and fertilizers are so harmful that they should be avoided unless they are “natural.” This belief is contradicted by the vast majority of scientific studies that have been done on these subjects (Morris and Bate 1999; Taverne 2006; NCPA study). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has put in place a set of national standards that food labeled “organic” must meet, whether it is grown in the United States or imported from other countries. “USDA makes no claims that organically produced food is safer or more nutritious than conventionally produced food. Organic food differs from conventionally produced food in the way it is grown, handled, and processed.”*

Harm from bacterial contamination is a much greater possibility from natural fertilizers (Stossel 2005: 194). (For those of you who hate John Stossel, read the newspaper. The most dangerous bacteria in America’s food supply is E. coli, which is found in abundance in cattle manure, a favorite “natural” fertilizer of organic farming.)

The residues from pesticides on food, natural or synthetic, are not likely to cause harm to consumers because they occur in minute quantities.* (This fact does not make either kind of pesticide safe for those who work with them and are exposed to large quantities on a regular basis. I refer to residues on foods you and I are likely to find on fruits and vegetable we buy at the store or market.) Using natural biological controls rather than synthetic pesticides is more dangerous to the environment (Morris and Bate 1999). The amounts of pesticide residue produced by plants themselves or introduced by organic farmers are significantly greater than the amounts of synthetic pesticide residues. Almost all of the pesticides we ingest in food are naturally produced by plants to defend themselves against insects, fungi, and animal predators (Ames and Gold 1997). The bottom line is that fresh fruits and vegetables are good for you and it doesn’t matter whether they’re organic.

Over 30 separate investigations of about 500,000 people have shown that farmers, millers, pesticide-users, and foresters, occupationally exposed to much higher levels of pesticide than the general public, have much lower rates of cancer overall (Taverne 2006: 73.)

Groups like IFOAM refer to synthetic pesticides as “toxic,” even though the amount of pesticides people are likely to ingest through food are always in non-toxic amounts. Many toxic substances occur naturally in foods, e.g.,arsenic in meat, poultry, dairy products, cereals, fish, and shellfish, but usually in doses so small as not to be worthy of concern. On the IFOAM website you will find the following message:

Although IFOAM has no official position on the quality of organic food, it’s easy to conclude that the overall nutritional and health-promoting value of food is compromised by farming methods that utilize synthetic fertilizers and toxic pesticides.

It’s easy to conclude—as long as you ignore the bulk of the scientific evidence that is available.

The myth of organic superiority

The evidence for the superiority of organic food is mostly anecdotal and based more on irrational assumptions and wishful thinking than on hard scientific evidence.

Continue Reading or skip ahead in this article to read about:

Are You a Psychopath? Take the Test.

Psychologist Kevin Dutton presents the classic psychological test known as “the trolley problem” with a variation. Take the test and measure your response on the psychopathic spectrum.

Are You a Psychopath? Take the Test. – YouTube.

The Cult of Nikola Tesla

via Skeptoid

Podcast transcript (below) | Listen | Subscribe

Nikola Tesla, aged 37, 1893

Nikola Tesla, aged 37, 1893

No personality in the history of science has been pushed further into the realm of mythology than the Serbian-American electrical engineer Nikola Tesla. He is, without a doubt, one of the true giants in the history of electromagnetic theory. As an inventor he was as prolific as they come, with approximately 300 patents having been discovered in at least 26 countries, but many more inventions as well that stayed within his lab and were never patented. As remarkable as were his talents was his personality: private, eccentric, possessed of extraordinary memory and bizarre habits, and with a headlong descent into mental illness during his later years. Tesla’s unparalleled combination of genius and aberrance have turned him into one of the seminal cult figures of the day. As such, at least as much fiction as fact have swirled around popular accounts of his life, and devotees of conspiracy theories and alternative science hypotheses have hijacked his name more than that of any other figure. Today we’re going to try and separate that fiction from the fact.

First, a very brief outline of his life; but in order to put it in the proper perspective, we have to first clear up a popular misconception. Tesla did not invent alternating current, which is what he’s best remembered for. AC had been around for a quarter century before he was born, which was in 1856 in what’s now Croatia. While Tesla was a young man working as a telephone engineer, other men around Europe were already developing AC transformers and setting up experimental power transmission grids to send alternating current over long distances. Tesla’s greatest early development was in his mind: a rotary magnetic field, which would make possible an electric induction motor that could run directly from AC, unlike all existing electric motors, which were DC. At the time, AC had to be converted to DC to run a motor, at a loss of efficiency. Induction motors had been conceived before his birth, but none had ever been built. Tesla built a working prototype, but only two years after another inventor, Galileo Ferraris, had also independently conceived the rotary magnetic field and built his own working prototype. Rightfully fearing that his own obscurity as a telephone engineer was hampering his efforts as an inventor, Tesla arranged to move to the United States. He did so in 1884, getting his famously ill-fated and short-lived job in Thomas Edison’s laboratory.

The tycoon George Westinghouse, who understood the potential of AC and induction motors and was actively seeking them, gratefully purchased some of Tesla’s patents as soon as he learned about them. Royalties from Westinghouse fattened Tesla’s wallet, and a number of highly public projects on which they collaborated made him a celebrity, including the 1893 illumination of the World’s Fair with alternating current, and the subsequent creation of the Niagara Falls power plant. It was as a result of this windfall that Tesla set up his own laboratories and created his most intriguing inventions. Let’s run through a list of some of the seemingly magical feats attributed to Tesla, beginning with . . .

MORE . . .

Related: Tesla Debunked: Debunking the Tesla Myth

Emergency Alert System Issues Zombie Warning For Michigan

via Discovery News

lawn_zombie2The zombie drama “The Walking Dead” normally airs on the American cable-television channel AMC on Sunday evening.

But on Monday, residents of two small American cities got treated to a zombie apocalypse over the air, courtesy of pranksters who apparently hacked into the Emergency Alert System at three broadcast stations.

“Civil authorities in your area have reported that the bodies of the dead are rising from their graves and attacking the living,” said an ominous voiceover that interrupted programming yesterday afternoon on KRTV-TV, a CBS affiliate in Great Falls, Mont., and on a KRTV subchannel that carries a CW network feed.

“Do not attempt to approach or apprehend these bodies as they are considered extremely dangerous,” the voice also said as listings of affected counties scrolled across the top of the screen.

Around the same time, WNMU-TV, the PBS affiliate in Marquette, Mich., on the state’s Upper Peninsula, was similarly pranked, according to local reports.

Later that evening, WBUP-TV, the ABC affiliate in Marquette, was hit by a “zombie alert” that scrolled across the bottom of the screen during the broadcast of “The Bachelor,” according to the station’s website.

According to the website of Radio magazine, there were reports that “zombie” hacks of the Emergency Alert System were attempted yesterday at TV stations in Salt Lake City.

MORE . . .

10 more amazing bets you will always win

Via Richard Wiseman

10 more amazing bets you will always win – YouTube.

Is that a FEMA Camp? – February 8, 2013 Edition

Via RationalWikiFEMA concentration camps exist in the mind of a particularly loopy bunch of conspiracy theorists, who believe that mass internment facilities have been built across the continental United States by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in preparation for a future declaration of martial law.

Is that a FEMA Camp? is a blog dedicated to investigating claims of FEMA camp locations. Below is some of their findings. Enjoy 🙂

February 8, 2013 Edition

FEMA-camp-razor-wired_250pxFt. Carson, Colorado

The claim: Along route 115 near Canon City

What it really is: After doing some investigation using Google maps I have found the building in the general location that I believe is the one being mistaken for a FEMA camp. The building is called the Cross Roads Arena and Event Center.

Granada, Prowers County, Colorado

The claim: WWII Japanese internment camp

What it really is: Yes, there was a Japanese internment camp there. All but one of the original buildings there were torn down or removed, and the site itself is now described as a desolate and lonely place.

In 2006 the site was named a National Historic Landmark. Also in 2006 President George W. Bush signed into law H.R. 1492 granting $38,000,000 to preserve and restore the site and nine other Japanese internment camps for historical and educational purposes.

Trinidad, Colorado

The claim: WWII German/Italian camp being renovated.

What it really is: Yes, there was a World War Two German/Italian POW camp there. The claim about the camp renovated is false. It’s now pretty much an open field there, and what structures there that are left are dilapidated and crumbling apart.

fema-camps_250pxHonolulu, Hawaii

The claim: Detention transfer facility at the Honolulu airport similar in construction to the one in.Oklahoma (pentagon-shaped building where airplanes can taxi up to).

What it really is: Using Google Maps satellite view of the airport, and I can not find any pentagon shaped building there at all, neither on the public part, nor the military controlled part.

This claim is bogus.

Barbers Point NAS, Hawaii

The claim: There are several military areas that could be equipped for detention / deportation.

What it really is: The navy and marine air station, the Naval Air Station Barbers Point, was closed in the 1990’s, and the only military presence there today is a few planes and helicopters there that are operated by the US Coast Guard. It should also be noted that it is the only Coast Guard Air Station within the 14th United States Coast Guard District.

The site itself is now called the Kalaeloa Airport, and is open to the public. Other then the Coast Guard, there is no military presence there.

Halawa Heights area, Hawaii

The claim: Crematory facility located in hills above city. Area is marked as a state department of health laboratory.

What it really is: This location is a laboratory run by the state department of health. In 2005 the laboratory began upgrading to Biosafety level-3 (which is the second highest Biosafety level). Because of this having an onsite crematorium for the facility makes perfectly logical sense as you don’t have to take hazardous biological material off site and run the risk of it accidentally being released into the population, and just destroy it right then and there. In fact most onsite laboratories such as this usually do have their own onsite crematoriums for such this reason.

Click here for the latest findings at Is that a FEMA Camp?.


Claimed “FEMA Camp” locations

Squatchdetective's Blog

There are times when I write something with a heavy heart, and this is one such occasion.


In February 2011, I was the team leader for the Nat Geo special, The Truth Behind the Loch Ness Monster.


Briefing the dive team, Feb. 2011 at Loch Ness.

Our boat, (The Nessie Hunter) skipper was George Edwards, a life long tour boat guide on the Loch, who claimed to have two sighting, at the time to seeing the famed Nessie.


George Edwards (Steve Kulls Photo)

In March 2012 George released what was purported to be the best picture of Nessie yet…



Here’s the close up…


Tonight while doing a radio show, someone asked if I had seen the photos of George Edwards. I did not, but then I was suddenly surprised as I remembered our weathered Scottish captain.

When I saw the pictures, my heart sank as I recognized it immediately.

View original post 459 more words

Was Alex Jones an alarmist 13 years ago or is he an alarmist today?

Feb 11, 2013

Recently i was sent an email by a conspiracist type asking me how some military exercises conducted during the spring and summer of 2012 weren’t undeniably clear indications of a coming declaration of martial law.

I decided to investigate. To get you up to speed, here are two examples of what he was talking about.

Miami, Florida (April 2012):

As we would expect, this exercise over Miami prompted the loons over at Alex Jones’ InfoWars to write knee-jerk, alarmist headlines like:

«Coming Martial Law? U.S. military conducts ‘realistic urban training’ exercise in Miami»

• Minneapolis, Minnesota (August 2012):

In response to the Minneapolis exercise, again like Pavlov’s dog, Alex Jones’ InfoWars set off the alarm bells:

«Black Hawk military helicopters are flying low over Minneapolis this week as part of an exercise being overseen by the U.S. Special Operations Command, increasing concerns that Americans are being prepared for a state of martial law.


«As we have previously highlighted, unannounced urban warfare operations of this kind are being used to condition the public into accepting a future declaration of martial law

Now to answer my conspiracist’s question, i decided to take a different tact than he expected. He expected me to tackle every example of a military exercise he can throw at me. In conspiratorial circles, trying to overwhelm naysayers with a flood of questions and data is a common tactic called proof by verbosity:

«Proof by verbosity, sometimes colloquially referred to as argumentum verbosum – a rhetorical technique that tries to persuade by overwhelming those considering an argument with such a volume of material that the argument sounds plausible, superficially appears to be well-researched, and it is so laborious to untangle and check supporting facts that the argument might be allowed to slide by unchallenged.»

So if you want to become a conspiracist, be sure to master the art of cut-and-paste. You’ll win every time.

To the conspiracists’ mind, if you can’t answer every one of their million questions or if you just can’t be bothered responding to every anomaly they’ve found in a Bugs Bunny cartoon, your lack of response validates their delusions. This is called argument from ignorance:

«Argument from ignorance, also known as argumentum ad ignorantiam or “appeal to ignorance” (where “ignorance” stands for: “lack of evidence to the contrary”), is a fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false, it is “generally accepted” (or vice versa).»

In other words, if you don’t know the sum of “2 + 2”, the conspiracist believes he is free to declare the correct answer is “666”! Illuminati!!!!

I decided the best way to tackle his question was to turn the tables on him. I have found one of the best ways to combat a conspiracy theory is to pit it against a competing conspiracy theory. This forces the conspiracy theorist to explain to ME why their theory is more valid than the competing theory.

AlexJonesLunaticAs an example, in my video “9/11: Were Explosives Used?” i show buildings collapsing in identical fashion as the World Trade Centers on 9/11, except the buildings in my video are collapsed without using explosives. This puts the 9/11 truthers in the awkward position of defending their belief that explosives were used on 9/11 in lieu of the method used in my video. Awwwwwwwkward.

When a truther wants to discuss the aircraft used on 9/11, point out the other two, competing theories: no planes were used on 9/11 and drones were used on 9/11. Then ask him why these other competing theores are invalid. Sit back with a bucket of popcorn and watch the brain freeze.

Back to the military exercises during the spring and summer of 2012 …

The first thing i asked myself is, has this ever happend before? The conspiracists played up the significance of these exercises as unique, unusual and shocking and therefore evidence of something panic worthy. So i figured i’d research the history of such exercises. As it turns out, these exercises in April and August weren’t the first exercises of this nature:

• In February – World Net Daily – Kingsville, Texas:

«Some residents said they were terrified when helicopters swooped into town from the Army Special Operations Command, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, last Monday night.
«At least eight helicopters are reported to have participated in an assault exercise using live ammunition and explosives very close to innocent bystanders who were not warned of the planned action.
«The Army Special Operations Command at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, has acknowledged that the event was the kick-off of a series of similar training operations going on in Kingsville, Corpus Christi and Fort Sam Houston, but would not confirm that the group was the Knight Stalkers. Additional training events have been confirmed in the area. »

• In March – The Anniston Star – Oxford, Alabama:

«Friday evening the Williams family sat down in their Oxford living room and popped a movie into the VCR. Then the power went off — a total blackout in all the neighborhoods surrounding the Anniston Municipal Airport in Oxford — and what sounded like a war began outside.
«Residents near the airport heard what sounded like machine gun fire, saw the fiery-red flash of explosions, and saw silhouettes of what looked like paratroopers dropping out of the darkened skies.
«The “invasion” was part of a special training operation conducted in Anniston, at Fort McClellan and at the airport in Oxford from Tuesday until the wee hours of Saturday morning.
«She said the Army does exercises like this “to give the rangers, Air Force special operations and the 160th opportunities to experience training in new and different environments. It adds to the realism of the exercise as real-world missions are in environments unfamiliar to our soldiers.” »

• In May – Richmond, Virginia TIMES-DISPATCH:

«A planned Marine Corps training exercise in Richmond has some Virginians worried about secretive encroachments on civil liberties, accident hazards, and misguided use of the American military. The urban maneuvers, these worried citizens say, may mask preparations for a Year 2000 computer meltdown so great that governments are afraid to discuss it, or plans to confiscate firearms, or the groundwork for a presidential power grab.
«The Marines and governments that have worked with the service on other exercises say the Marines are just getting ready to deal with crises that take them into increasingly dangerous urban areas overseas. . . .
«The bottom line, the Marines’ White said, “is we’re doing this training to save lives, the lives of our Marines. “The allegation that we’re doing anything other than that couldn’t be farther from the truth.”»

See? These kinds of military operations have happened before. But wait! There’s a catch! These three additional military operations – ALL OCCURRED IN 1999!!![a][b][c]

Let The 1999 Alarmism Begin!!!

Just like today, the conspiracists’ reaction to these 1999 military exercises was the same old, tired, over-hyped, alarmist rhetoric from the usual crazies at InfoWars:

Banner from infowars - 2000

Banner from infowars – 1999


Original source URL: (Expired)
Archive URL: (
PDF File

1999 alarmism continues: (Click any image to begin viewing)

Photo References: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5]

References [1] thru [5] (directly above) in zipped PDF format: [1-5] Archive

And of course the panicked alarmism by the loons rolled right into the the year 2000. Here are just a few screen shots from InfoWars in 2000. Click any image to begin viewing:

Photo references (
[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9]

References [1] thru [9] (directly above) in zipped PDF format: [1-9] Archive

You see, martial law has been coming for over 13 years now!!!! A herd of turtles could invade a country quicker.

Getting back to my tactic of pitting one conspiracy theory against another, i ask my conspiratorial friend this question:

Was Alex Jones an alarmist 13 years
ago or is he an alarmist today?

I’ll be eating my popcorn awaiting your answer.


References [a] thru [c] (directly above) in zipped PDF format: [a-c] Archive

Also See: Black Hawks Conducting Urban Training Exercise (MetaBunk)

Posted in: Alex Jones, Apocalypse, Conspiracy, Doomsday, False Flag, FEMA Camps, Government, New World Order, Paranoid, Secret Societies. Tagged: 9/11 Truth movement, Alex Jones, conspiracy theory, Fort Bragg, Miami, Minneapolis, Sandy Hook, United States.

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