Monthly Archives: July, 2013

Is that a FEMA Camp? – July 21, 2013 Edition

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

July 21, 2013 Edition

Lowry AFB, Colorado

The claim: Denver, ?

Lowry_CO_hangarWhat it really is: Lowry Air Force Base was closed in 1994. The land is now being used for commercial and residential development.

Aurora AFB (formerly Buckley ANGB), Colorado

The claim: Aurora, 3,832

What it really is: The base is actually called Buckley Air Force Base, and is an Air Force Space Command base that serves more than 92,000 active duty, National Guard, Reserve and retired personnel throughout the Front Range community.

Since 2000 the base has been going through a large amount of new construction and modernization, including new enlisted airmen’s dormitories, a commissary, a base exchange, a fitness center, and family housing units.

Travis AFB, California

The claim: Fairfield, 6,258

Travis_GateWhat it really is: Travis Air Force Base is a major Air Force base located next to Fairfield, and is Nicknamed the “Gateway to the Pacific” due to it handling more cargo and passenger traffic than any other military air terminal in the US.

The base also includes 7,260 active USAF military personnel, 4,250 Air Force Reserve personnel and 3,770 civilians.

The base also hosts the Jimmy Doolittle Air & Space Museum.

Sierra Army Depot, California

The claim: Herlong, ?

What it really is: The Sierra Army Depot is an Army supply depot that has been scaling back operation since the 1990’s. By 2001 the depot on had eight ammo storage facilities, about half as many as it did in 1990.

Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station, California

FriendsLogoHiRes_250pxThe claim: Seal Beach, ?

What it really is: Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach is a weapons and munitions storage, maintenance, and loading facility for the US Navy.

Also located on the site is a World War Two submarine memorial, the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge, and several public roads.

Sandia National Laboratories, California

The claim: Livermore, 413

What it really is: Sandia National Laboratories is a nuclear sciences and national security research facility that works for the US Department of Energy and is owned by Lockheed Martin.

Point Loma Naval Weapons Station, California

The claim: San Diego, ?

What it really is: It’s actual name is Navel Base Point Loma, and has a base population of over 22,000 military and civilian personnel. The base itself has also been downsized since 1995.

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

A map of non-existent FEMA camps.

A map of non-existent FEMA camps.

The Price Of The Autism-Measles Panic, 15 Years Later

By Emily Willingham via Forbes

Guess which child was vaccinated.

Guess which child was vaccinated.

Several news outlets today are reviewing the measles outbreak in Wales, citing public health experts who lay the blame for the burst in cases squarely at the feet of Andrew Wakefield’s bogus MMR vaccine scare in 1998 and the subsequent media coverage. The Wall Street Journal has a particularly in-depth story [hits paywall if you click the link here, but clicking from Google News seems to give full access], “Fifteen Years After Autism Panic, a Plague of Measles Erupts,” that digs into the roles of both in the Wales outbreak, that left 1219 people infected with measles and one in ten hospitalized. Most were hospitalized with pneumonia or dehydration, and most fell into the age range of children who should have been vaccinated around the time of the Wakefield scare.

One of the most common refrains people repeat in arguing against vaccinating their children is that diseases like measles simply aren’t their problem. That virus, they say, is a “third world” or “developing world” problem, something to worry about in places where water isn’t clean and nutrition is poor. Of course, that kind of insouciance about being a fortunate first-worlder is in itself misplaced; children in developed nations have died from measles. But the Wall Street Journal story makes an important point–one that yes, has been made ad nauseam but bears repeating: In this global society, there are no “first” and “third” worlds. A well-fed child with measles can take that infection anywhere, including to more resource-poor parts of the world where children live unprotected by vaccines. As Jeanne Whalen and Betsy McKay write in their WSJ piece:

The outbreak matters to the rest of the world because measles can quickly cross oceans, setting back progress elsewhere in stopping it. By 2000, the U.S. had effectively eliminated new home-grown cases of measles, though small outbreaks persist as travelers bring the virus into the country. New York City health officials this spring traced a Brooklyn outbreak to someone they believe was infected in London.

Life before vaccination

Life before vaccination

From London to Brooklyn or Wales to … anywhere. Terrible that unwarranted anxiety–flogged into a froth of vaccine resistance by the news media and opportunists looking for a buck–leads some parents to leave their children unvaccinated. Even worse if the result is an outbreak in places where children might not be lucky enough to access hospitals to treat their measles-related pneumonia or where they join the 1 in 1000 who die from measles infection.

As the WSJ article points out and many others have frequently noted, measles is an extremely contagious respiratory illness spread by coughing and sneezing. Most people do recover from it, but it can cause deafness and pneumonia, and it can be fatal.

MORE . . .

Spike TV show features nine teams of Bigfoot hunters

Via UPI.com

finding-bigfoot_250pxLOS ANGELES, July 24 (UPI) — Nine teams will compete for $10 million in an effort to determine if Bigfoot actually exists in the United States, Spike TV announced Wednesday.

The show, “10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty,” premieres in January, TV Guide reported. The show will be hosted by Dean Cain, star of “Lois & Clark,” who is described as “team leader.”

Bigfoot or sasquatch is a so-far mythical, ape-like animal said to live somewhere in the woods of North America. While the Pacific Northwest is the most fertile area for sasquatch sightings, there have been tales from other parts of the country, including Pennsylvania.

Photos and film of the creature have mostly proved to be hoaxes or wishful thinking.

Spike said the show will feature different Bigfoot “hot spots” every week. The prize is being underwritten by Lloyd’s of London.

[END]

via UPI.com

Prove Your Supernatural Power and Get Rich

If you can demonstrate a power unknown to science, there are people looking to write you a check.

By Brian Dunning via skeptoid
Read transcript below or listen here.

ccc

Houdini’s psychic challenge letter
Photo: Chris Perley
(Click image for larger view)

It can sometimes be quite mind-boggling to hear a friend or family member reveal that they have some kind of supernatural ability. Often they feel an empathetic connection to others, sometimes the ability to perform minor healings, or to predict future events. Many times, these are abilities for which “supernatural” seems too strong a word; they are more spiritual or metaphysical, or based on some sensing of an energy. It’s more than likely that you yourself believe you have such an ability, or perhaps did at one time. Nearly all of us have. But whether the ability is energetic or spiritual, supernatural truly is the best word that applies. A supernatural ability could almost be seen as a superpower, something a fictional superhero might be able to do. And we all want superpowers. We all want your supernatural ability to be proven true. And we want it so much that a large number of groups around the world will pay you to prove it.

Such prizes have been available at least since Houdini, who had a standing $10,000 offer for anyone who could create a paranormal manifestation that he could not duplicate. The granddaddy of today’s challenges is the James Randi Educational Foundation‘s Million Dollar Challenge, which will pay anyone who can prove an ability unknown to science one million dollars, and Chinese journalist Sima Nan will kick in a million Yuan (about $150,000) on top of it. It’s not the only big prize out there: the Belgian group SKEPP offers the Sisyphus Prize for one million Euros, which at current exchange rates, is about a quarter million dollars more than the Million Dollar Challenge. The Independent Investigation Group, with affiliates throughout the United States, offers a $100,000 prize. Puzzling World in New Zealand has long offered the $100,000 Pyschic Challenge, and just across the pond, the Australian Skeptics offer a $100,000 prize. The Science and Rationalists’ Association of India offers a INπ 2 million Miracle Challenge, worth about $50,000. These are most of the largest prizes, but many, many smaller prizes are offered all around the world. If you have a supernatural ability of any kind, you owe it to yourself – or at least to your favorite charity – to prove it and use the reward however you see fit.

It’s easy to dismiss the groups who run these challenges as cynics who just want to gloat over someone’s failure, and for sure, such people are found in those groups. But many members of the groups joined because they, too, have always dreamed of having a superpower. Should you win the money and prove that a supernatural ability is possible, you’ll not only turn the world on its head, you’ll be handed money by people who have never been happier to sign a check.

I truly do encourage you to go for it. Here are three big pieces of advice, based on the experiences of the many previous claimants:

1. Be able to succinctly describe a testable ability.

telekinesis_fullpic_1149_300pxThe biggest headache for the people who offer these prizes is that the claimant can almost never provide a simple, clear description of their ability. For example, if you believe you have the power to influence a cat telepathically, you have to give a specific and testable example. Most claimants usually write in with a great lengthy email, telling about the many examples they’ve experienced of a cat doing whatever they wanted it to do; or perhaps with long rambling experiences of sharing the cat’s feelings or of their history of owning cats with whom they felt empathetic.

The challengers have no use for a long letter. You truly must be able to describe one specific ability in a single sentence. If you have many, then pick exactly one, one that you are most confident you can consistently prove.

Nobody is going to give you a cash prize for the length of your letter, or for the number of cats you’ve felt empathetic toward. You must be able to provide a clear, testable ability. If your ability is broad-reaching and vague, it will not be possible to construct a test protocol, and you will not be able to prove it. You must be able to select, within the scope of your broad-reaching abilities, something specific that’s testable and repeatable. For example, “I can make my cat jump onto its perch, within five seconds of giving it a mental command, when the cat neither see me nor hear me, and I can do it 8 out of 10 times.”

ted_250px

Ted Serios claimed he could make images appear on Polaroid film just by thinking of an image.
(See: Thoughtography)

It has to be something concise, specific, and unmistakable. If you feel that your ability is too broad to be fairly represented by such a precise example, then you are unlikely to convince anyone, and will certainly be unable to prove your ability to the satisfaction of whatever criteria are agreed upon.

Many claimants report that they feel it’s unfair to try and represent their ability with a single demonstration that’s so much more specific than what they generally do. If you feel the same way and can’t agree to a simple test protocol, then you’re likely to leave the impression that your abilities are really just your own misinterpretation of ordinary coincidences. It’s something the psychologists call confirmation bias – you happen to notice when your cat jumps onto his perch while you were thinking of him, but you failed to weigh it against the far larger number of times your cat jumped onto the perch when you weren’t around and had nothing to do with it.

2. Be aware of why previous claimants failed.

Many people have taken such tests, and so far, all have failed. However, they’ve almost always cited an excuse or some external reason out of their control that the test failed. You must be aware of why previous claimants have failed, and be prepared not to suffer their same fate. This means preparation and anticipation of the problems.

Claimants are generally required to . . .

Mediums, Psychics – Snakeoil Salesmen

Skeptic's Guide to Life

Recently Silvia Brown, a Medium/Psychic was ousted as a fraud and attacked through social media, mainly due to the fact that she had ‘read’ that one of the women found locked in a Cleveland basement several months ago was in fact dead. Claims when psychics get it wrong range widely, it is due to weather, uncommunicative or malevolent spirits, or a simple mistake and trick of the ‘between worlds.’ The strangest thing to me is that when something like this happens, the psychic in question will even have a right of reply, will be given a chance to explain why they got it wrong, and the reputation and the several thousand dollar phone consultations continue as though this isn’t a person benefiting from the deaths and suffering of others. Why is it that she has a right of reply when what she is peddling is unsubstantiated tripe?
–>

Recently Silvia…

View original post 804 more words

Here to Hereafter: Can Psychics Really Talk to the Dead?

By Benjamin Radford  via LiveScience (October 2010)

psychic 920_250pxIn the … Clint Eastwood film “Hereafter,” Matt Damon stars as George, a man who has the ability to communicate with ghosts. George, who retired from the contacting-the-dead business (calling it a curse instead of a blessing) is reluctantly drawn back into doing  readings for people who have recently lost loved ones.

People in nearly every culture have long believed that communication with the dead is possible, and throughout the ages many people have claimed to be able to speak with the dearly departed. Ghosts and spirit communication often show up in classic literature, including mythology, the Bible and Shakespeare’s plays.

In Victorian England, it was fashionable in many circles to conduct séances; Ouija boards, three-legged tables, candles and other accoutrements were used to try to contact the dead. ouija-board-gifIn the U.S., belief in communication with the dead rose dramatically in the 1800s along with the rise of Spiritualism, a religion founded on hoaxed spirit communication by two young sisters in Hydesville, N.Y. Despite the fact that the sisters later admitted they had only been pretending to get messages from the dead, the religion they helped start flourished, claiming more than 8 million adherents by 1900.

For well over a century, many mediums have been caught faking spirit communication. Harry Houdini exposed many psychics as frauds who used trickery to make vulnerable people believe in the reality of spirit messages. (For more on this, see Massimo Polidoro‘s book “Final Séance,” Prometheus Books, 2001).

ghost-1_200pxWhether real or faked, the messages supposedly conveyed from the great beyond have changed dramatically over time. A century ago, mediums “in touch with the spirit” during séances would write pages and pages of “automatic writing,” the psychic’s hands allegedly guided by ghosts to convey lengthy handwritten messages.

Curiously, ghosts seem to have lost their will (or ability) to write since that time — or even communicate effectively. These days the spirits (as channeled through mediums) seem to prefer a guessing game and instead offer only ambiguous, vague information: “I’m getting a presence with the letter M, or J in the name? A father, or father figure perhaps? Did he give you something special to remember him by, something small?”

If spirit communication is real, one might think . . .

MORE . . .

Is that a FEMA Camp? – July 14, 2013 Edition

Is that a FEMA Camp? is a blog dedicated to investigating claims of FEMA camp locations.
transparent
Below is some of their findings. Enjoy 🙂
fema_camps_full_200px

July 14, 2013 Edition
Onizuka Air Force Station

Onizuka Air Force Station

Onizuka AFS, California

The claim: Sunnyvale, 20

What it really is: Onizuka Air Force Station was operated by the 21st Space Operations Squadron, until the base was shut down in 2010.

Point Mugu (Pacific Missile Test Center), California

The claim: Oxnard, 63,031

What it really is: Point Mugu (better known as Naval Base Ventura County) has a base population of over 19,000 personnel and over 100 tenant commands. Because of the sheer amount of people there, the base itself contains multiple buildings necessary for base operations and support.

NAS North Island, California

The claim: Coronado, 2,500

What it really is: Naval Air Station North Island is a near 100 year old Navy base located right next to the city of Coronado, and is surrounded by the city of San Diego, California.

The base hosts 23 aviation squadrons, and 80 additional tenant commands and activities. Because of this it is necessary for the base to have a large amount of support buildings located on it, and due to it’s age it is also sometimes necessary to tear down and rebuild old buildings that are no longer functional for the needs of the base.

NAS Moffett Field, California

The claim: Mountain View, 13

What it really is: Moffett Federal Airfield (which is it’s actually name) is a joint civil/military airfield and is owned and operated by the NASA Ames Research Center. The only military presence left at the airfield is the California Air National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve.

Mare Island Naval Shipyard, California

The claim: Vallejo, 4,400

What it really is: Mare Island Naval Shipyard was one of the oldest Navy ship yards in the country and was declared a National Historical Landmark in 1975.

The shipyard was closed in 1996.

March-AFB_250pxMarch ARB, Califonia

The claim: Riverside, 6,486

What it really is: March Air Reserve Base is an Air Force Reserve base (I.E. not the main Air Force), but also contains units from the Army, Navy, and Marine Reserves as wall as the California Air National Guard.

There is also an air show there that is held every two years in March, and there have been several proposals in recent years to make the base a joint military/civilian airport.

Los Angeles Air Force Base, California

The claim: Los Angeles, 239

What it really is: Los Angeles Air Force Base is the headquarters for the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center and is used for the research and development of military space systems.

Air Force photograph by Joe Juarez

Air Force photograph by Joe Juarez

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

The Benefits Of Vaccines

Two Charts That Should Make Anti-Vaccine People Ashamed

By Dina Spector via Business Insider

whooping cough_200pxThe announcement that actress Jenny McCarthy will join “The View” has already been met with criticism because of her dangerous views on vaccines.

McCarthy is a prominent anti-vaxxer — a growing segment of individuals who believe that autism is caused by vaccinations. McCarthy’s son was diagnosed with autism in 2005.

This is a risky stance. Vaccines are incredibly effective at controlling and eliminating infectious diseases. Because the viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable diseases are still out there, stopping vaccinations would make people extremely susceptible to infections that can kill or severely disable them.

“If vaccinations were stopped, each year about 2.7 million measles deaths worldwide could be expected,” according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

There are 14 diseases that can be prevented with routine childhood vaccination, the CDC says. This includes the flu, whooping cough, measles, and mumps.

The chart below gives some examples of how disease levels have declined since vaccinations began. Check out the right column for the incredible drop in annual morbidity for each pre- and post-vaccine.

01_600px

Because of the anti-vaccine movement, including McCarthy’s outspoken anti-vax stance, there has been an increase in vaccine exemptions over the last several years.

This has led to an upsurge in the rate of vaccine-preventable diseases, especially whooping cough (known as pertussis to doctors). A study published in the journal Pediatrics in 2013 found that in New York State “counties with high exemptions had overall higher rates of reported pertussis.”

Here’s the chart:

02_600px

[END]

Via Business Insider


Click Image For More Information

Click Image For More Information

Debunked: CIA studying Geoengineering, Climate Engineering, Weather Warfare

quick note
The conspiracists are once again screaming about the government controlling the weather.

For a little perspective i refer you to one of my favorite discussion forums: Debunked: CIA studying Geoengineering, Climate Engineering, Weather Warfare | Metabunk.

metabunk_LOGO

What Is Deja vu? What Is Deja vu?

By Marc Lallanilla, Assistant Editor LiveScience

deja-vu_250pxMost people have experienced it at one point or another: déjà vu, the haunting sense that you’ve experienced something before.

French for “already seen,” déjà vu has been under investigation for years by scientists, who have yet to offer a complete explanation for the phenomenon, though it’s reportedly experienced by more than 70 percent of people at some point.

Recent research, however, has yielded some clues into what causes déjà vu. It seems to occur equally among men and women and across races, according to a 2003 study from the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, but déjà vu happens more often in people ages 15 to 25.

neurotransmitters_150pxThat fact has led some experts to believe déjà vu may be linked to neurotransmitters like dopamine, which are found in higher levels in teenagers and young adults — a hypothesis that gained traction after the peculiar case of a healthy 39-year-old man came to light.

The man — a doctor by profession — was fighting the flu by taking amantadine and phenylpropanolamine, two drugs known to increase dopamine activity in the brain. Within 24 hours of starting the drugs, he reported intense, recurrent episodes of déjà vu.

This case study, published in 2001 in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, reported that once the doctor stopped taking the drugs, his déjà vu also disappeared.

Déjà vu and epilepsy

Another insight into the causes of déjà vu comes from studies of epilepsy. There is a strong and consistent link between déjà vu and the seizures that occur in people with medial temporal lobe epilepsy, a type of epilepsy that affects the brain’s hippocampus.

The hippocampus plays a key role in . . .

MORE . . .

Quantum Quackery

quantum-physics-lecture_600pxQuantum physics is claimed to support the mystical notion that the mind creates reality. However, an objective reality, with no special role for consciousness, human or cosmic, is consistent with all observations.

By Victor Stenger (1997) via Committee for Skeptical Inquiry – CSI

quantum_physicsCertain interpretations of quantum mechanics, the revolutionary theory developed early in the century to account for the anomalous behavior of light and atoms, are being misconstrued so as to imply that only thoughts are real and that the physical universe is the product of a cosmic mind to which the human mind is linked throughout space and time. This interpretation has provided an ostensibly scientific basis for various mind-over-matter claims, from ESP to alternative medicine. “Quantum mysticism” also forms part of the intellectual backdrop for the postmodern assertion that science has no claim on objective reality.

The word “quantum” appears frequently in New Age and modern mystical literature. For example, physician Deepak Chopra (1989) has successfully promoted a notion he calls quantum healing, which suggests we can cure all our ills by the application of sufficient mental power.

Photo courtesy Daniel Johansson

Photo courtesy Daniel Johansson

According to Chopra, this profound conclusion can be drawn from quantum physics, which he says has demonstrated that “the physical world, including our bodies, is a response of the observer. We create our bodies as we create the experience of our world” (Chopra 1993, 5). Chopra also asserts that “beliefs, thoughts, and emotions create the chemical reactions that uphold life in every cell,” and “the world you live in, including the experience of your body, is completely dictated by how you learn to perceive it” (Chopra 1993, 6). Thus illness and aging are an illusion and we can achieve what Chopra calls “ageless body, timeless mind” by the sheer force of consciousness.1

Amit Goswami, in The Self-Aware Universe: How Consciousness Creates the Material World, argues that the existence of paranormal phenomena is supported by quantum mechanics:

. . . psychic phenomena, such as distant viewing and out-of-body experiences, are examples of the nonlocal operation of consciousness . . . . Quantum mechanics undergirds such a theory by providing crucial support for the case of nonlocality of consciousness.

(Goswami 1993, 136)

Since no convincing, reproducible evidence for psychic phenomena has been found, despite 150 years of effort, this is a flimsy basis indeed for quantum consciousness.

MORE . . .

Conspiracy theorists’ sane: government dupes crazy, hostile.

A flawed article about conspiracy theorists and skeptics

Via The Soap Box

agent smith 928_250pxA few days ago I came across an article that had been published on PressTV (which is owned by the government of Iran) that was titled “New studies: ‘Conspiracy theorists’ sane; government dupes crazy, hostile“.

The title alone made it quite clear that the article was one sided, and that it is also quite clear what the writer of the article thinks about skeptics and debunkers… and anyone else who believes the reality that the U.S. government did not stage the worst terrorist attack in history.

Let me share with you the first couple of paragraphs of this article:

  • The most recent study was published on July 8th by psychologists Michael J. Wood and Karen M. Douglas of the University of Kent (UK). Entitled “What about Building 7? A social psychological study of online discussion of 9/11 conspiracy theories,” the study compared “conspiracist” (pro-conspiracy theory) and “conventionalist” (anti-conspiracy) comments at news websites.The authors were surprised to discover that it is now more conventional to leave so-called conspiracist comments than conventionalist ones: “Of the 2174 comments collected, 1459 were coded as conspiracist and 715 as conventionalist.” In other words, among people who comment on news articles, those who disbelieve government accounts of such events as 9/11 and the JFK assassination outnumber believers by more than two to one. That means it is the pro-conspiracy commenters who are expressing what is now the conventional wisdom, while the anti-conspiracy commenters are becoming a small, beleaguered minority.

I can tell just by reading this that what this article is claiming is very flawed.

Conspiracies Trivialized by Skeptics 2_200px_200pxFor one thing it’s assuming that the majority of people making comments on an internet news article reflects the views of the majority of the people. Even on non-conspiracy theory subjects where the majority of people posting comments may seem like the overall majority, in reality they are just being the more vocal of the two groups.

The seconded problem is this “coded comments” thing. What exactly does this mean? Does it mean that the people who did this study read comments individually and were able to establish their content and context? Because of the way it was worded it doesn’t sound like it to me. It makes it sound like the people who did the study actually let a computer search for certain words and phrases that are commonly used among conspiracy theorists and skeptics, which is a highly flawed way to research something like this because computers can’t understand context like humans can.

This of course isn’t the only thing this article claims. It also claims . . .

MORE . . .

• 7/21/13 UPDATE – Also see: Setting the record straight on Wood & Douglas, 2013 | The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories

ABC’s ‘The View’ gives Jenny McCarthy a platform for crackpot autism theories

Editorial via The Boston Globe

whooping cough_200pxLike it or not, people care what celebrities think. So ABC’s decision to hire MTV-star-turned-medical-conspiracy-theorist Jenny McCarthy as a host of “The View” poses a certain risk. McCarthy backs a fringe theory that purports to link vaccines to autism, and the network is giving her a prominent platform that she could use to spread a harmful superstition.

The idea of a vaccine-autism link emerged in the 1990s, and has been thoroughly debunked. There’s just as much evidence connecting autism with vaccines as there is linking the condition to leprechauns and rainbows — that is to say, none. Yet McCarthy, who has an autistic child, has gone to great lengths to keep the theory alive, which has convinced some parents to withhold important vaccinations from their kids.

Guess which child was vaccinated.

Guess which child was vaccinated.

And that does have an impact: Statistics show that vaccination rates have declined in many states since the 1990s. Not surprisingly, dangerous diseases like mumps, measles, and whooping cough have seen a resurgence.

Autism is an emotional issue for many parents — and it’s also the kind of issue that could come up in discussions on “The View.” ABC should make it clear to McCarthy that she’s been hired as a talk-show personality, not a scientific expert, and the network shouldn’t let her use the show as a platform for her theories. Giving them even a moment’s airtime would be a disservice to the public.

[END]

via The Boston Globe

Five Stupid Things About Moon Landing Conspiracy Theories

I must issue a mild language warning – PG rating 🙂


By Steve Shives via YouTube.

Is there a group of conspiracy theorists more deluded and irritating and offensively irrational than the 9/11 Truthers? I think so. Their name? Well . . . I don’t know all their names, there’s too many of them — collectively, let’s call them the Moon Landing Hoaxers. And they believe some pretty stupid things.

Extensive film and video footage of the Apollo Moon landings is available from NASA at:

http://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/frame.html

‘Evil Spirit’ Scam Plagues Asian Immigrants In NYC

By COLLEEN LONG via The Huffington Post

psychic_scam_362pxNEW YORK — One woman was told by a fortune teller that her son was possessed by demons. Another was approached on a Chinatown street by a stranger who eerily claimed her daughter would die in two days. A third was informed that her dead husband was communicating from the grave, telling her to hand over thousands in cash.

“Your son will die in a car accident – he is cursed,” a 65-year-old was told.

In each instance, the women bundled up cash and jewelry in a bag and gave it to strangers they’d just met – self-proclaimed spiritual healers. They were told the contents would be blessed in an effort to ward off evil spirits, bring good luck to the family or heal a sick child – they just have to wait a period of time to re-open it.

When they do, they find water bottles, cough drops and beans. But no valuables.

ScamAlertDetectives say there has been a rash in New York of what’s known as an evil spirit or blessing scam, where older immigrant women, mostly Chinese, are swindled out of their valuables by clever scammers arriving from China who prey on superstition and fear. In the past six months, two dozen victims have reported valuables stolen – in some cases more than $10,000 in cash and $13,000 in jewelry, according to police reports. A total of more than $1.8 million has been stolen.

“They know the culture, they know how to talk to these victims to get them to listen,” chief New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said of the grifts. “One person’s spirituality is another’s superstition, and they prey on that distinction.”

The scam itself has many permutations, but the basic principle is the same: A woman, usually in her 50s or older, is approached by a stranger, usually a younger woman, who asks the woman if she knows where to find a particular healer or fortune teller. Another seeming stranger joins the conversation, says she knows where the healer is located, and convinces the older woman to come along. The healer convinces the victim that in order to ward off some evil, she must hand over valuables in a bag to be blessed. And then they switch the bag.

Similar scams occur in other places in the U.S. with large Asian communities, such as . . .

MORE . . .

This undated image provided by the New York City Police Department shows a poster that has been displayed in Chinatown in Manhattan and in Asian neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens warning of blessing scams. Detectives say there has been a rash this year in New York of what’s known as an evil spirit or blessing scam, where older immigrant women, mostly Chinese, are swindled out of their valuables by clever scammers who prey on their superstition and fear. (AP Photo/NYPD)

This undated image provided by the New York City Police Department shows a poster that has been displayed in Chinatown in Manhattan and in Asian neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens warning of blessing scams. Detectives say there has been a rash this year in New York of what’s known as an evil spirit or blessing scam, where older immigrant women, mostly Chinese, are swindled out of their valuables by clever scammers who prey on their superstition and fear. (AP Photo/NYPD)

Fake chemtrail letter hits DWK (Canada)

by Wayne Moore – Kelowna via West Kelowna News – Castanet.net

The District of West Kelowna is the latest municipality to come forward saying it has been the subject of a fraudulent letter concerning chemtrails.

letter_p1997453

In a news release issued late Wednesday, the municipality states:

Business owners and residents are advised to disregard a letter using the name District of West Kelowna and bearing a logo resembling the District’s that is being circulated in the community. This letter claims to be from the District’s Environment Department, signed by Susan Smith and involves chemtrails. The District of West Kelowna does not have an Environment Department, nor an employee named Susan Smith and is not distributing letters regarding chemtrails.

West Kelowna RCMP has been advised that these false letters are being distributed in this community. The District of West Kelowna welcomes any information regarding who is responsible for the distribution of these false letters. Information can be provided by calling 778-797-1000.

West Kelowna is the third Okanagan municipality to confirm such a letter using the municipal logo.

On Tuesday both Penticton and Kelowna confirmed letters using their logo was also being distributed.

[END]

via West Kelowna News – Castanet.net

Failure to Replicate Results of Bem Parapsychology Experiments Published by Same Journal

By Kendrick Frazier via the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal

xx

Psychologist Daryl Bem

Two years ago the prepublication re­lease of a research paper by psychologist Daryl Bem claiming experimental evidence for precognition created a worldwide media stir and intense controversy within the scientific and skeptical communities.

Bem, of Cornell University, claimed that through nine experiments he had demonstrated the existence of precognition, specifically the existence of “conscious cognitive awareness . . . of a future event that could not otherwise be anticipated through any known inferential process.” Essentially, he had claimed to have produced evidence that psychic abilities not only exist but can transcend time and allow the future to reach backward to change the past.

Informed critics of parapsychology were almost uniformly incredulous. Although Bem is a respected psychologist, they found so many flaws in the research protocols and methods that in their view the conclusions had no validity. One of the most stinging re­bukes came in the form of an ex­tended, in-depth critique of all nine experiments by York University psychologist and CSI Executive Council member James Alcock in the Skeptical Inquirer (“Back from the Future: Parapsy­chology and the Bem Affair,” SI, March/April 2011; see also editorial “Why the Bem Experiments are Not Parapsychology’s Next Big Thing” in the same issue).

Alcock also concluded that the journal that published Bem’s study, the Journal of Personality and Social Psy­chology (JPSP), had done everyone a disservice by publishing this “badly flawed research article.” Parapsy­chology and the journal’s own reputation, he wrote, had been damaged, and the article’s publication disserved the public as well, “for it only adds to [public] confusion about the existence of psi.”

Why don't you remember this headline?

Why don’t you remember this headline?

Experiments attempting to replicate Bem’s results were quickly conducted at various universities, but none were accepted for publication by JPSP. In fact, it said it would not consider publishing replication failures. This fact raised more controversy and concern.

Now the journal has had an apparent change of heart. It has finally published a set of experiments that attempted (and failed) to replicate Bem’s results. Seven experiments conducted by Jeff Galek of Carnegie Mellon University, Robyn A. LeBoeuf of the University of Florida, Leif D. Nelson of the Uni­versity of California at Berkeley, and Joseph P. Simmons of the University of Pennsylvania have been published in JPSP’s final issue of 2012 (Vol. 103, No. 6) under the title “Correcting the Past: Failures to Replicate Psi.”

The article is lengthy, but the central conclusion is succinctly stated:

“Across seven experiments (N= 3,289), we replicate the procedure of Experiments 8 and 9 from Bem (2011), which had originally demonstrated retroactive facilitation of recall. We failed to replicate that finding.” They further conducted a meta-analysis of all replication attempts of the Bem experiments “and find that the average effect size (d=0.04) is not different from 0.”

To put it even more directly (from the beginning of their conclusions section): “We conducted seven experiments testing for precognition and found no evidence supporting its existence.”

MORE . . .

5 Things I’ve noticed about… False Flag Conspiracy Theorists

Via The Soap Box

False Flag Caveman_300pxFalse flag conspiracy theorists are conspiracy theorist who believe that almost anytime there is some type of large attack in this country then it is most likely done by the government.

While there are a lot of things that these types of conspiracy theorists tend to do, I narrowed it down to five things.

So here are five things I’ve noticed about false flag conspiracy theorists:

5. They have no idea what a false flag attack really is.

Most conspiracy theorists believe that false flag attack is when a government agent disguises themselves as an enemy, and commits an attack against the public. Technically speaking this is not a false flag attack.

A false flag attack is actually a navel term for when you put up your enemy’s flag on your ship in order to sneak behind them and attack them. That is what a false flag attack really is. You’re not posing as your enemy in order to attack your own people, but to attack your enemy.

4. They think everything is a false flag attack.

False flag 1015_300pxIt doesn’t matter how obvious it is that an attack was done by some whack job, it doesn’t matter how many people died in the attack, or even if it was someone whom killed their self and their self only, according to a conspiracy theorist, it was a false flag attack.

In fact it doesn’t even matter if it was a random act of nature, or an industrial accident, or a plane crash, as long as people got killed (or even if people didn’t die) according to many conspiracy theorists, they were most likely false flag attacks.

3. They think that other alleged false flag attacks prove their claims.

If you ever ask a conspiracy theorist what proof do they have that what they are claiming to be a false flag really is a false flag attack, they will usually give you a long list of other attacks that they believe to be false flag attacks.

There are two problems with this: the first one is that these other alleged false flag attacks have themselves almost always have never been proven to be false flag attack, and two, even if they could prove that any of those attacks really were false flag attacks, it’s still not evidence that what they are claiming to be a false flag attack is a false flag attack.

MORE . . .

When All of Us Are Nostradamus

By Kyle Hill via the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal

psychic_fraudYou open up the morning paper to check the obituaries. With a shaking hand, you read what you’ve been dreading all along—your own name. Your number is up; your fate is sealed. Sometime in the next month you are going to die. Everyone knows it. And you know it, too. At least you have time to choose your own epitaph. You’re psychic; everyone is, or at least has the potential to be.

Peeking at the hand fate dealt you is commonplace in a world where psychics actually exist. For them, the future is as clear as the past, though abilities would range from Spidey sense to Oracle at Delphi. The most powerful seers—the Nostradamuses, if you will—among them wouldn’t be relegated to pricey phones lines. Such powers almost demand public service. A Minority Report-style pre-cognition division would surely spring up in every police department that could afford one. Seismologists and volcanologists could no longer be persecuted for inadequate predictions—the onus would be on the psychics to alert the public of impending natural disasters. Predicting better than even our best computer models, tune in for the psychic weather forecast on the nightly news.

psychicFair_210pxIf people had psychic future-sight every phone number would be for a Miss Cleo. Casinos around the world would close. Gambling isn’t a matter of luck anymore; can you predict the snake eyes or not? And the lottery hardly seems fair when any real psychic could pluck the numbers from the tealeaves. Insurance plans would diversify and skyrocket. When a psychic insurance agent could predict a cancer diagnosis, future-existing conditions are what they will deny. Forget about the heat of competition. Every sports team is a group of players on a stage going through the determined script until the last whistle blows.

Raising children in a world full of actual psychics would involve going through another stage of development: existential turmoil. If a psychic taps into the loom of fate to see where a string weaves, children would quickly learn that they live in a determined world. Perhaps they will learn about free will like psychology students learn about behaviorism—a clever idea that eventually fell by the wayside in the light of how the world really is. Is anyone really responsible for his or her actions? Should we punish criminals if they are beholden to fate and not sadistic whim? Parents in a world full of real psychics wouldn’t look forward to fielding such questions. The “birds and the bees” talk is much easier to handle.

Real psychics wouldn’t just grasp the future. They would be able to sense beyond what an eye or ear can tell them—a “sixth sense” for objects and feelings. Marriage disputes over where the hell the remote is are no more. Car keys, if not in the pocket, are never lost. Neither are children or loved ones. Real psychics wouldn’t be the laughing stocks of detectives anymore; they would be their saviors. Resolving a manhunt or Amber Alert would be a simple matter of having the psychic manpower (and psychic children would find hide and seek pretty boring). Every cold case would be hot again.

MORE . . .

psychic-john-edward-2012-events_02

Dynamic target tracking camera system keeps its eye on the ball #DigInfo – YouTube

This is just plain cool! Check it out 🙂


High speed dynamic target tracking camera system keeps its eye on the ball.

via Dynamic target tracking camera system keeps its eye on the ball #DigInfo – YouTube.

inFact: Vaccine Ingredients

Brian DunningBy Brian Dunning via inFact video

Antivaccine activists claim that vaccines contain all sorts of terrifying poisons. Is this true? http://infactvideo.com/

Vaccine Ingredients

Antivaccine activists claim that vaccines contain all sorts of terrifying poisons. Is this true?

Antivax conspiracy theorists tell us that vaccines are deadly and contain some extraordinary toxins. Let’s examine a few of these ingredients, starting with:

FORMALDEHYDE: Absolutely true. Formaldehyde is used to sterilize some vaccines. We use formaldehyde for this because it’s found naturally in the human body, as it’s a normal byproduct of metabolism and digestion.

ANTIFREEZE: False. However some vaccines are sterilized with something called 2-phenoxyethanol, which is also used as a topical antibacterial for wounds. This and antifreeze come from the same family of hydrocarbons, but they are not the same thing.

MERCURY: Sort of true. Some vaccines are sterilized with thimerosal, also used in contact lens fluid and many other products. However, it contains mercury bound as an ethyl — the version of mercury that can be dangerous has to be bound as a methyl, which is different.

MORE . . .

HAARP Facility Shuts Down

Who or what will the conspiracists blame NOW for our weather and contrail patterns? 🙂

MIB


via the American Radio Relay League (ARRL)

The HAARP antenna array. Photo: WIRED/João Canziani

The HAARP antenna array.
Photo: WIRED/João Canziani

The High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP) — a subject of fascination for many hams and the target of conspiracy theorists and anti-government activists — has closed down. HAARP’s program manager, Dr James Keeney at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, told ARRL that the sprawling 35-acre ionospheric research facility in remote Gakona, Alaska, has been shuttered since early May.

“Currently the site is abandoned,” he said. “It comes down to money. We don’t have any.” Keeney said no one is on site, access roads are blocked, buildings are chained and the power turned off. HAARP’s website through the University of Alaska no longer is available; Keeney said the program can’t afford to pay for the service. “Everything is in secure mode,” he said, adding that it will stay that way at least for another 4 to 6 weeks. In the meantime a new prime contractor will be coming on board to run the government owned-contractor operated (GOCO) facility.

HAARP put the world on notice two years ago that it would be shutting down and did not submit a budget request for FY 15, Keeney said, “but no one paid any attention.” Now, he says, they’re complaining. “People came unglued,” Keeney said, noting that he’s already had inquiries from Congress. Universities that depended upon HAARP research grants also are upset, he said.

The only bright spot on HAARP’s horizon right now is that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is expected on site as a client to finish up some research this fall and winter. DARPA has nearly $8.8 million in its FY 14 budget plan to research “physical aspects of natural phenomena such as magnetospheric sub-storms, fire, lightning and geo-physical phenomena.”

The proximate cause of HAARP’s early May shutdown was less fiscal than environmental, Keeney said. As he explained it, the diesel generators on site no longer pass Clean Air Act muster. Repairing them to meet EPA standards will run $800,000. Beyond that, he said, it costs $300,000 a month just to keep the facility open and $500,000 to run it at full capacity for 10 days.

Jointly funded by the US Air Force Research Laboratory and the US Naval Research Laboratory, HAARP is an ionospheric research facility. Its best-known apparatus is its 3.6 MW HF (approximately 3 to 10 MHz) ionospheric research instrument (IRI), feeding an extensive system of 180 antenna elements and used to “excite” sections of the ionosphere. Other onsite equipment is used to evaluate the effects.

MORE . . .

The government's mind control machine called HAARP! If you don't believe this is

The government’s mind control machine called HAARP!
If you don’t believe HAARP can control your mind that’s because the government is using
HAARP to control your mind – so you won’t believe HAARP can control your mind. Seriously.

Immortality: Henrietta Lacks

via Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know

For thousands of years, humans have tried — and failed — to achieve physical immortality. At least, most of us. Rumors of immortals have abounded throughout history, but did anyone actually achieve eternal life? Tune in to learn more about modern medicine and the bizarre story of Henrietta Lacks.

Immortality: Henrietta Lacks – YouTube.

Pam Ragland, Terry Smith: No, psychics can’t help murder victims.

By Justin Peters via Pam Ragland, Terry Smith: No, psychics can’t help murder victims.

Why don't you remember this headline?

Why don’t you remember this headline?

Last Wednesday, Riverside County, Calif., authorities discovered a body they believe to be that of an 11-year-old named Terry Smith. The boy had gone missing the previous Saturday or Sunday, and authorities now believe he was killed by his half brother and then buried in a shallow grave behind the family’s house. It’s a terrible, disturbing story—and, for me, it was made worse by the baffling amount of attention that’s been given to a local psychic who claimed that her “visions” led police to Smith’s body.

Pam Ragland, who specializes in what she calls “Quantum Thought Shifting” and self-identifies as an “intuitive,” says she had visions about Terry Smith’s whereabouts—and, after calling the police and offering to help in their search, she led them right to his body. Rather than treating her claims with skepticism, or ignoring them entirely, several reporters put Ragland front and center in their coverage. The Associated Press cites a Riverside County detective named John Powers who says Ragland was indeed the one who found the body. “Powers says Ragland called a tip line about her vision, and was invited to join the search,” the story continues. “He says Ragland and her children came to the house without knowing it was the boy’s, walked on to the property and right to the partially buried body.”

The AP piece was a model of journalistic restraint compared with an online story from nbclosangeles.com, which devoted more than 20 paragraphs to Ragland and her alleged visions:

psychic-transparentShe said authorities asked her to come down to the scene; Ragland arrived with her two children on Tuesday evening. During the drive, Ragland said she had another vision—of “city lights” and the word “no.” When she arrived at the search area, she saw the view she had seen in a vision.

“It’s literally like a vision in your head, like you’re looking at something,” she said.

A searcher said the city lights represented the area they planned to explore. Ragland said, “No, he’s not there.”

Yet another example of the mystical properties of the universe? No, but it’s certainly another example of . . .

MORE . . .

Snowden uncovers shocking truth behind Chemtrails!!!!

Pure face palm gold

In a recent article titled “Fool’s Gold” i introduced you to a website called The Internet Chronicle that writes satirical stories a la The Onion. Their stories look to be mostly conspiratorial in nature and the loon websites continue to report these satirical conspiracy stories as fact.

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 9.12.11 PMHere is another story from The Internet Chronicle titled Snowden uncovers shocking truth behind Chemtrails. Besides the pure entertainment value of the article itself, i’m thoroughly enjoying all the conspiracists getting suckered by another of these stories.


matrix-sucker_600px
Keeping in mind The Internet Chronicle makes no secret that their stories are completely fake, here is a few samples of the comments left by conspiracists in reaction to the Snowden uncovers shocking truth behind Chemtrails story AT THE INTERNET CHRONICLE WEBSITE:

(Click any image to begin viewing)

For your enjoyment i am posting the story Snowden uncovers shocking truth behind Chemtrails from Internet Chronicle. You might want to head over there and read some of the other stories and the comments.

Pure face palm gold.

Mason I. Bilderberg (MIB)


By Kilgoar via The Internet Chronicle

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 8.27.12 PMMOSCOW, Russia – Edward Snowden, the hacker who gained access to every secret corner of the Internet during his tenure at the NSA, has come forward with details of a classified project to alter the world’s climate. The shocking truth, as he says, is that chemtrails are part of a benevolent program aimed at countering global warming. By cooperating in secret with jet fuel manufacturers, government agents have carefully kept the massive chemtrail efforts completely under wraps. Snowden added, “I am only revealing this program because there is no oversight in the scientific community, no public discussion, and little concern for the side-effects which are well known only to a few privileged people interested in continuing the decades-long chemtrail program in secret.”

Because climate change is a threat to U.S. agriculture, it has been labeled a national security issue. With the influence and cooperation of Monsanto, a secret Geoengineering lab dubbed Muad’Dib has been operating since the late 1960s, and the chemtrail program is often referred to by insiders as its “crown jewel.” Muad’Dib has aimed to protect North America’s climate at all costs – even if that means accelerating desertification in Sub-Saharan Africa or spreading trace amounts of carcinogens over lightly populated areas. Other side effects, which scientists at the secret Muad’Dib Geoengineering Lab have predicted, include droughts in the Amazon and powerful windstorms along the East Coast.

Snowden shared decisive documents with The Internet Chronicle, but out of concern for national security, only his testimonial can be published. These documents contain references to scientists who would surely be targeted by foreign counterintelligence, and their knowledge is vital to short-term survival of the United States.

Snowden said, “If this program were to stop, the scientists behind it strongly believe that within just one year the North American climate would spiral out of control, and crop failures would lead to a series of devastating famines that would quickly depopulate urban centers.”

MORE . . .

Update: Cloud Anomaly Explained | Ghost Theory

Watch the video below to see the strangest cloud phenomenon you will ever see! Guaranteed.

Then click the link below the video for the explanation from the good people over at Ghost Theory. Cool stuff.

➤➤➤ Cloud Anomaly Explained | Ghost Theory.

10 Famous Photos Of The Paranormal That Aren’t Paranormal

via Listverse

We all have that friend. You know the one. He believes in cities on the dark side of the moon, angels, and insane conspiracy theories. Occasionally, he’ll come across a picture of the “supernatural” he found on a website and self-righteously point to it as proof that the universe runs on crazy. Well, next time he tries that, go ahead and mention these cases of the paranormal that are anything but.

10 • The Surgeon’s Photo

surgeon-e1373421903825_250pxThe surgeon’s photo is the most famous picture of the Loch Ness monster, and it almost single-handedly started the Loch Ness craze. Whenever anyone thinks of Nessie, it’s undoubtedly this image they picture. It was allegedly taken by a gynecologist and his wife who were on holiday, driving along the banks of Loch Ness. Unfortunately for all the “scientists” who’ve wasted decades investigating Nessie, the photo was 100 percent fake.

The monster in the picture is simply a toy submarine. The plot to create the fake photo was revenge for a slight by the Daily Mail. The newspaper had ridiculed a man named Wetherall after investigating what he claimed were Nessie’s footprints on the bank but turned out to be those of a hippopotamus. Wetherall and his accomplice aimed to humiliate the paper with another fake, but they kept quiet when the image captured the public imagination.

9 • Patterson’s Photo

bigfoot-e1373422378661_250pxThe Patterson photo was taken by Roger Patterson and his friend Robert Grimlin. It’s probably the most famous picture of Bigfoot that exists and has been mentioned by everything from The Simpsons to Will Ferrel’s Elf. The two were on horseback in Six Rivers National Forest, where they were shooting a documentary. According to them, they just happened to see Bigfoot—while filming a documentary about Bigfoot. Unfortunately, several people have come forward to admit their complicity in the hoax. They include the man in the suit (come on, like you actually thought that was anything other than a guy in a gorilla suit), a special effects artist who created the suit, and one of the producers of the film.

8 • The Cottingley Fairies Photos

faries-e1373422668314_250pxIn 1917, two little girls captured the public imagination with the claim that they found fairies in their garden. Usually people wouldn’t believe such a claim from two little girls, but they had pictures to prove it. Even famous skeptic Arthur Conan Doyle, the writer of Sherlock Holmes, was fascinated by the photos. He wrote about them in his persoal magazine, claiming that they were definitely real—except they weren’t. The girls admitted (70 years later) that they used cardboard cut-outs and posed them in front of the camera. Did we mention that Arthur Conan Doyle wrote Sherlock Holmes?

7 • Mulmer’s Ghost Photos

ghost-1_200pxMulmer was a jewelry engraver with a hobby in photography. Oh, and he also took photos of people with their dead relatives hovering in the background. That photo above? That just happens to be Abraham Lincoln’s widow. No prizes for guessing who the tall, bearded man behind her is. However, not everybody was convinced that Mulmer was photographing real dead people. A court case pointed out that the effect was easily achieved by double exposing film, and most of the ghostly figures were still alive and had recently sat for photos with Mulmer themselves.


6 • The Venusian Scoutcraft

adamski_250px_250pxThe Venusian scout ship was photographed by George Adamski, who claimed he was contacted by Venusians on multiple occasions. Despite Adamski’s claims sounding like the sort of science fiction that would be rejected by the SYFY channel, Adamski wrote books and conducted lectures about the multiple contacts with the deep-space Aryans and even gained an audience with the Queen of the Netherlands. Except, of course, it was all a lie. The interstellar Venusian spaceship is just a lampshade with ping-pong balls attached to it.

MORE . . .

5 Things I’ve noticed about… Crop Circles

crop circle alien mow
via The Soap Box

Crop circles. For decades now they’ve been appearing in crop fields around the world. Sometimes they’re small, simple circles. Sometimes they are enormous and complex, and contain multiple different shapes. While there are many things I’ve noticed about crop circles, I have narrowed it down to five things.

So here are things I’ve noticed about crop circles.

5. They’re a poor way to communicate.

crop circle homer simpson_300pxIf aliens really are making these geometric shapes in fields of barley and wheat as a means to communicate with humans (as what many people who still believe that crop circles are made by aliens claim) then it really has to be the worst way to communicate with another intelligent species.

Beside the fact that whomever makes these things would require the people that they are intended for to be able to fly somehow (which is of course easy for us now) it would also require those people to have an understanding of what those shapes mean. That is of course if those shapes have any meaning to them at all…

To simply put, it would be far easier and less confusing for aliens to land in a public area and start talking to people than it would to putting shapes in a field of crops.

4. It’s vandalism.

crop-circles_250pxRegardless of whether or not it’s bored human who want to create a giant piece of art, or aliens from a distant planet trying to communicate with up in the worst possible way, it’s still vandalism, and it’s not only damaging a part of a person’s property, it’s also destroying a part of a person’s livelihood, and it’s destroying food.

I would think that any beings that were advanced enough to build space ships that could cross hundreds, if not thousands of light years, would at the very least know it’s not nice to destroy another species food even if it was to send a message (that no one can figure out).

I would say that I would like to know what kind of species makes these crop circles, but I already know which species makes these crop circles, because…

3. We make them.

Yes, despite what many people believe, crop circles are in fact made by humans. It doesn’t matter how large or complex they are, human beings (sometimes many human beings at once) are the ones who are making these things.

Not only is it known that humans make them, it’s been known for over 20 years that humans make them (and it was greatly suspected even when crop circles first started appearing in the 70’s that they were made by humans). There’s even videos on Youtube showing how to make crop circles:

MORE . . .

Are We Ready For Aliens? (Geek Alert!)

Some really good and geeky stuff! 🙂 Get your pocket protector and enjoy!

Are We Ready For Aliens? – YouTube.

Fool’s Gold

youtube graduate_250pxI like to tweak conspiracists for their lack of research. Many conspiracists subjugate any form of critical thinking to their overhwleming desire to believe nonsense. If they see something they want to believe, they just believe it without lifting a finger to investigate the truth.

Here is an example from the last few days: Go to google and do a search for Snowden HAARP (or just click the link).

As of right now (Saturday, July 13, 2013 @ 10:29 PM EST) i come up with over 279,000 results! That’s a lot of results for a story that was originally written only 3 days ago by the originating website. News like this spreads very quickly across the loon sites.

So what does this story purport? Well, from the conspiratorial website Secrets of the Fed comes this quote from the story:

(NOTE: If this story from Secrets of the Fed happens to disappear from their website you can download an archived copy here in PDF format.)

haarp-sky_250pxMOSCOW, Russia – Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower and fugitive, released documents Tuesday to Internet Chronicle reporters proving that the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, or HAARP, is definitively engaged in a program of assassination and mind control.

While the military prison industrial complex has routinely insisted that the Alaskan-based HAARP is only meant to study natural phenomena in earth’s ionosphere, Snowden has managed to blow open a brutally massive charade.

“The HAARP research station,” he said, “strategically based away from prying eyes near Gakona, Alaska, is actually used to terminate or manipulate would-be dissidents of global capitalism on the scale of millions of people.”

Added Snowden, using finger quotes, “With these terrestrial antennas, NATO [the North Atlantic Treaty Organization] is able to, on a global scale, remotely silence ‘perpetrators’ of ‘deviant or subversive’ strains of thought.”

Unbeknownst to victims or their loved ones, HAARP projects ultra-high-powered radio waves. Those waves operate at the same electronic frequency as the truncus encephali, or brain stem, selectively inducing deaths seemingly by natural causes – including by some appearing to coroners as innocuous as strokes or heart attacks.

“When and if the intelligence community doesn’t view outright assassination as an optimal effect,” said Snowden, “‘they’ can simply make a ‘target’ act in an insane fashion, in order to discredit them. When we were in transit between Hong Kong and Moscow, WikiLeaks staff and I had to fend off the constant threat of radio-generated homicidal delusions.”

This is super crazy stuff isn’t it?

But there is ONE BIG CATCH to this story!
Are you ready for the truth?
THE. STORY. IS. FAKE!

fake copyYou read correctly. The story is a fake! It originated at a site called Internet Chronicle – where their stories are satirical in nature a la The Onion!!!

This gets back to my original point: Many conspiracists are blinded to logic and critical thinking because their desire to believe their delusions simply overwhelms their ability to think.

What really has me scratching my head is, the story was repeated across the web with the original source (Internet Chronicle) contained in the retelling of the story. For example this is how the story was retold at Secrets of the Fed:

HAARP01

HAARP02

Screen Shot 2013-07-13 at 11.46.10 PM_250pxAnother face-palm clue was the caption used below a picture of Snowden (to the right) in the original story at the Internet Chronicle. “Snowden speaking from a Custom Faraday Cage in Sheremetyevo Airport’s Hotel Novotel.” A custom Faraday cage? LOL! Okay, this is a double-face-palm clue.

Bottom line is, it would have taken all of two seconds for any of those 279,000 sites found in the Google results to check this story. Chalk up at least 279,000 fails for conspiracists.

The power of confirmation bias. And conspiracists wonder why they don’t have any credibility.

Have a good weekend and be sure to do your research.

Mason I. Bilderbeg (MIB)

P.S. Want to see another bogus story making its rounds across crazyland? It’s a story called Snowden uncovers shocking truth behind Chemtrails that was posted just 3 days ago at the Internet Chronicle. This is another fake story. But …

I just went to GOOGLE and did a search for Snowden uncovers shocking truth behind Chemtrails and there are almost 29,000 hits!!!!!

What do they say? The “hits” just keep on coming? 😉

Five Stupid Things About Alternative Medicine

It’s time for alternative medicine to take its medicine! (See what I did there?)

(I’m sorry.)

via Five Stupid Things About Alternative Medicine – YouTube.

Five Stupid Things About the Anti-Vax Movement

I must issue a mild language warning 🙂

Vaccines aren’t dangerous. Stupid is dangerous.

via Five Stupid Things About the Anti-Vax Movement – YouTube.

Five Stupid Things About the Illuminati

Five Stupid Things About the Illuminati

via Five Stupid Things About the Illuminati – YouTube.

What Are the Marfa Lights | Marfa Texas

By Marc Lallanilla via LiveScience

marfa lights 947The Marfa Lights, mysterious glowing orbs that appear in the desert outside the West Texas town of Marfa, have mystified people for generations.

According to eyewitnesses, the Marfa Lights appear to be roughly the size of basketballs and are varyingly described as white, blue, yellow, red or other colors.

Reportedly, the Marfa Lights hover, merge, twinkle, split into two, flicker, float up into the air or dart quickly across Mitchell Flat (the area east of Marfa where they’re most commonly reported).

There seems to be no way to predict when the lights will appear; they’re seen in various weather conditions, but only a dozen or so nights a year. And nobody knows for sure what they are — or if they really even exist at all.

A closeup of the Marfa Lights

A closeup of the Marfa Lights

The Native Americans of the area thought the Marfa Lights were fallen stars, the Houston Chronicle reports.

The first mention of the lights comes from 1883, when cowhand Robert Reed Ellison claimed to have seen flickering lights one evening while driving a herd of cattle near Mitchell Flat. He assumed the lights were from Apache campfires.

Ellison was told by area settlers that they often saw the lights, too, but upon investigation, they found no ashes or other evidence of a campfire, according to the Texas State Historical Association.

During World War II, pilots from nearby Midland Army Air Field tried to locate the source of the mysterious lights, but were unable to discover anything.

A superior mirage

Lovers of the paranormal have attributed the Marfa Lights to everything from space aliens to the wandering ghosts of Spanish conquistadors.

marfa1_250pxAcademics, too, have tried to offer a scientific explanation for the enigmatic lights. A group of physics students from the University of Texas at Dallas concluded that headlights from vehicles on nearby U.S. Highway 67 could explain at least some of the reported sightings of the Marfa Lights.

Another possible explanation is the refraction of light caused by layers of air at different temperatures. This optical illusion, sometimes called a superior mirage or a “Fata Morgana,” according to Skeptoid.com, occurs when a layer of calm, warm air rests above a layer of cooler air.

A Fata Morgana is sometimes seen in the ocean, causing a ship to appear to float above the horizon. The temperature gradients needed to produce this optical effect are common in the West Texas desert.

Glowing gases

Still others speculate the Marfa Lights may be caused by . . .

MORE . . .

North Hollywood Woman Sues Psychic Over Love Curse

by Arin Mikailian via North Hollywood-Toluca Lake, CA Patch

psychic_250pxA woman sued her former psychic reader Wednesday, alleging the soothsayer conned her out of nearly $11,000 with false promises that she could lift a curse on the plaintiff’s love life.

Klarissa Castro of North Hollywood filed her suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against Jennifer Williams and her company, Psychic Readings By Yana, located at 2201 S. Bundy Drive in Los Angeles.

Williams could not be immediately reached for comment on the complaint, which alleges fraud and both intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

According to the suit, Castro first met with Williams in August 2010.

Why don't you remember this headline?

Why don’t you remember this headline?

“Upon the initial consultation, Williams informed (Castro) that there was a curse placed on her,” the suit states. “However, Williams assured her that she was able to lift the curse, but that she would require plaintiff to start a series of psychic sessions with Williams.”

Castro says she was “emotionally vulnerable” at the time and Williams convinced her that “without lifting this curse, (she) would be unable to have true, meaningful, loving relationships in her life.”

The initial consultation cost Castro $500, according to her complaint.

Castro says she saw Williams during the next two years, spending $4,025 for the psychic’s services. Williams also told Castro to buy special candles blessed by the psychic, to write special love letters and perform other acts in order to have the curse removed, the suit says.

MORE . . .

MSG and gluten intolerance: Is the nocebo effect to blame?

Gluten and MSG intolerance may be only in your head.
That’s nothing to be ashamed of.

By via Slate Magazine

msg noWhile living in China from 2003 to 2005, I often served as the designated translator for fellow expatriates. Whenever we ate out, this involved asking our server which menu items contained MSG. Invariably I was told that almost everything is made with weijing (“flavor essence”), including, on one occasion, the roast peanut appetizer my MSG-sensitive friends were snacking on as I made my inquiry.

After observing that no one reacted to the peanuts, I was inspired to conduct a simple (and admittedly unethical) experiment. One evening, instead of translating honestly, I told my companions at a large banquet that the kitchen had promised to avoid using MSG. Everyone thanked me and happily ate their meal, dish after poisoned dish.

An hour later? Two hours later? The next day? Nothing.

I repeated this experiment on multiple occasions, always with the same result. And yet foreigners living in China routinely complained of reactions to their food that included headaches, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Was there something about my presence that conferred temporary resistance to MSG? Or could it be that MSG sensitivity was only in their heads?

In April 1968, the New England Journal of Medicine published a letter by Robert Ho Man Kwok that described a strange set of symptoms: “Numbness at the back of the neck, gradually radiating to both arms and the back, general weakness and palpitation.” Stranger still was the fact that Dr. Kwok, himself a Chinese immigrant, typically noted the onset of these symptoms 20 minutes after eating at restaurants serving “Northern Chinese food.”

An editor at NEJM titled Kwok’s letter “Chinese-restaurant syndrome,” and thus began a minor epidemic. For countless sufferers, a mystery had been finally solved. “NO MSG” signs sprang up across the United States, and, eventually, the world. Study upon study confirmed the syndrome’s existence and speculated about the science underlying it.

But after reading some of these studies, even a layperson will start to get suspicious. Take the editorial note that precedes Russell S. Asnes’ article “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome in an Infant”:

“The evidence that this infant had the Chinese Restaurant syndrome may be only circumstantial. However, the description of the symptom is accurate as attested to by the Editor’s wife who suffers from the same malady. Incidentally, she remains a devotee of Chinese cuisine.”

Science, that sworn enemy of circumstantial evidence, marched on, and slowly but surely physiological explanations of Chinese restaurant syndrome began to lose credibility. Double-blinded studies failed to turn up evidence of a clinical condition. MSG, many people noted, appears in everything from sushi to Doritos. gluten-intolerantJournalists performed experiments similar to mine, their results echoing the consensus of professional scientists: In the overwhelming majority of cases, MSG sensitivity is a psychological phenomenon.

Despite this thorough debunking, a surprisingly large number of people—generally those who lived through the epidemic—still insist they are sensitive to MSG. Google around and you’ll turn up scores of alarmist websites, which tend to combine outdated research with anecdotal, indignant rebuttals of the current scientific wisdom: “How dare you suggest my MSG sensitivity is only in my head? Why, just the other day I went out for Chinese and forgot to ask about MSG. After 45 minutes I couldn’t breathe and my heart was racing.”

Occasionally, as with vaccines and climate change denial, alarmism veers into paranoia, yielding accusations that a shadowy East Asian cabal is paying off scientists and journalists to regurgitate their propaganda.

MORE . . .

Alex Jones is phoning it in

This article concerns the Boston Bombing and slightly dated (April 2013) but still a good read.

Enjoy! 🙂

Mason I. Bilderberg


Alex, your latest theory is terrible — we expect more from you

By ALEX SEITZ-WALD via Salon.com

US radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones

US radio host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones

Alex Jones must be either getting lazy or think his readers are really dumb, because his grand theory about the Boston Marathon bombings is the sloppiest concocted narrative we’ve seen since that dog ate your homework.

Of course, Jones and his comrades at InfoWars thinks the brothers suspected in the bombing are innocent, citing such reliable sources as Twitter user “Trippin No L’ 4/20.”

But if the brothers Tsarnaev didn’t do it, who did? Jones laid out his unified theory of the event yesterday in a video promising “PROOF!” that the event was “staged” and an accompanying blog post.

The basic outline is the same as all of his projects: A globalist cabal working through the U.S. government staged a “false flag” operation that will be blamed on terrorists as pretext to take away guns and civil liberties and eventually tyranny. Eventually, they willdepopulate the entire planet through massive genocides.

alexjones_animated_1In the video, Jones calls the bombings “the biggest event” of his 18 years of broadcasting, so you would think he would bring his A game, but he really let us down with this one. There’s something you have to respect about a good conspiracy theory — Hollywoodcertainly does — and Jones is generally a master, but his latest work is so full of holes, internal inconsistencies and outrageous leaps in logic that only die-hard fans willing to suspend all disbelief will appreciate it. It’s really the Phantom Menace of the InfoWars franchise.

Here are just a few of the things a good continuity supervisor would catch:

  • Jones says Navy SEALs were on the scene and involved in carrying out the attack. He knows this because there were “guys in uniforms” wearing “Navy SEAL caps” all over the finish line. This is his primary piece of evidence, appearing in numerous blog posts and videos across his site. But if you’re executing a secret conspiracy, don’t you think you’d leave the uniform and baseball cap identifying yourself as a member of said conspiracy at home? Why not just wear a name tag that says, “Hello, my name is conspirator #4, Gorge Soros sent me?” The devil is in the fabricated details, Alex, you know that.
  • ALEXJONESFOIL_250pxThe mask slips, Jones says, when the “whole script got screwed up” after CNN reported, and then retracted, that a suspect had been arrested (thanks, John King!). The reason for the change, Jones says, is that the conspirators didn’t anticipate that people would have access to public images of the bombing. Really? The omnipotent globalist regime didn’t think, gee, “I wonder if there will be any cameras at this very high-profile event. You know, the one where thousands of people come with iPhones and dozens of media outlets set up hundreds of camera along the route?” How are we supposed to take the globalist threat seriously when they can’t even get this right.
  • In the space of few hundred words, InfoWars can’t decide if the media is merely useful idiots or direct co-conspirators. First, the site says the bomb threat at the courthouse after the attack was a pretext to “distract the media,” but states that the “government … ordered the corporate media to ignore the Plan A.” But if you can simply order the media to do anything you want, why create a distraction? Why bother with any of this, really? Just order the media to make the whole thing up, catch the fall guy right away, then kick up your feet with a hot cup of global enslavement and wash it down with some mind-controlling fluoridated water. It’s these kind of internal consistencies that really take the reader out the story.

Beyond this, let’s just step back for a moment and take a look at the overall concept. For a compelling narrative, you need a capable and scary villain, but these guys sound like thewet bandits of megalomaniacal cabals. They have the most powerful people in the world — including the media — in their camp, and they can’t even come up with a compelling coverup, let alone remember to take their baseball caps off?

MORE . . .

False Flag Alex Jones

Lunar Anomalies (Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know)

Most people have already heard the most popular lunar conspiracy theory — that no one actually landed on the moon — but what about the rest? Tune in to learn more about other moon-based conspiracy theories, including lunar structures and UFO sightings.

MORE . . . Lunar Anomalies – CLASSIC – YouTube.

Is that a FEMA Camp? – July 6, 2013 Edition

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

July 6, 2013 Edition

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California

The claim: Livermore, 7,321

LLNL_200pxWhat it really is: The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a Federally funded research and development center and is primarily funded by the Department of Energy. The facility itself is run by the University of California, Bechtel, Babcock & Wilcox, URS, and Battelle Memorial Institute in affiliation with the Texas A&M University System.

Fort Ord, California

The claim: Seaside, ?

What it really is: Fort Ord closed in 1994 and is now under redevelopment. A state park and a college is now located there. Some of the site is also used for paintball competitions.

Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center

New_fleet_200px

The claim: Monterey, ?

What it really is: The Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center is a Navy facility with the job of providing the Navy with worldwide meteorological and oceanographic support. The facility is operated by both military and civilian personnel.

Energy Technology Engineering Center, California

The claim: Santa Susana, 2,700

What it really is: The Energy Technology Engineering Center was closed in 1998 and is undergoing build removal and environmental remediation by the Department of Energy.

Edwards AFB, California

The claim: Edwards, 301,000

What it really is: Edwards Air Force Base is the home of the Air Force’s Flight Test Center and has been the test site for multiple famous military aircraft.

Because this base is a testing facility, and such a large one at that, the base would require multiple large buildings for supporting the aircraft located and tested here. Most of these buildings are located around the runways as well, and not away from them.

The base also has on base housing for families of personnel that are stationed there.

Concord Naval Weapons Station, California

concord-image2_200px

The claim: Concord, 12,000

What it really is: Concord Naval Weapons Station is a former armament storage depot built during World War Two. Much of the base in now closed and is now under consideration by the Navy for local land reuse by the city of Concord.

China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division

The claim: Ridgecrest, 1,122,177

What it really is: Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake is the Navy’s largest single largest landholding, and is the Navy’s primary research and testing facility.

The base itself only has 620 military personal there. Most of the people who work there are either civilian employees or contractors, combined which makes up a total of 5,900 civilian personal. This combined with the fact that it is in the middle of a desert makes it very unlikely that a FEMA camp could be hidden here.

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

The Disclosure Project (Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know)

Does the US government really possess top-secret proof of alien life? The members of the Disclosure Project think so. Tune in to learn more about the Disclosure Project’s quest in this episode.

MORE . . . The Disclosure Project – CLASSIC – YouTube.

Is this moving?

Richard Wiseman

I really like movement illusions, and the other day @lIIusions posted one of the best ones I have ever seen….

moving
Does it work for you?

View original post

Student Questions: Magic Wristbands, Laser Danger, and ManBearPig

Skeptoid answers another round of questions sent in by students all around the world.

Brian DunningBy Brian Dunning via Skeptoid

Read transcript below or listen here

Once again we’re taking a week to answer questions sent in by students all around the world. Any question is welcome from any student. Today we’re going to explore the question of whether Stanley Kubrick made The Shining as a confession that he was behind the alleged moon landing hoax; whether acupressure wristbands are a way to cure nausea or just a placebo; whether you should use hydrogen peroxide as a bactericide on minor wounds; the song Gloomy Sunday and if it has indeed been connected with an increased number of suicides; the true nature of whatever danger can be expected from common laser pointers; and whether we need to worry about hoards of human-animal hybrids swarming down from the mountains. Let’s get started at a creepy old lodge hidden away up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado:

Stanley Kubrick Faked the Moon Landings

Hello, Brian. I am a sophomore going to Mira Costa college in Oceanside, California. I recently heard about a conspiracy theory which states that Stanley Kubrick’s film, The Shining, is actually a big allusion to the fact that he helped NASA cover up the moon landings. This particular conspiracy was recently featured in the documentary, Room 237, and I was wondering if there is any truth in this. Thank you for your help.

Moon-Landing-Hoax_200pxRoom 237 was a 2012 documentary film that features five people, each of whom has a different obsessive interpretation of Kubrick’s 1980 movie The Shining. One believes it was was really about the Holocaust; another believes it was about the plight of native Americans. One of the five was conspiracy theorist Jay Weidner, who believes that Kubrick made the movie to confess that he had faked the moon landing films. There are hardly any bizarre conspiracy theories Weidner has not promoted, including the 2012 apocalypse, the claim that Denver International Airport is a headquarters for the Illuminati, and that the Georgia Guidestones monument is actually some sort of Rosicrucian shrine.

The_Shining_2345798bWeidner’s evidence that The Shining was Kubrick’s moon hoax confession leaves one wanting, to put it mildly. The kid in the film wears a sweater with an Apollo rocket on it… and that’s about all. The other points he raises are wrong; that 237 was chosen because the moon is 237,000 miles away (it’s not), and that a pattern in the hotel’s carpet looks like the Apollo launchpad (it doesn’t remotely). The Shining was based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel; Kubrick didn’t even write it himself. Room 237 is not about The Shining, it’s about five bizarre theories and the people who come up with them. Don’t miss the point and assume that the theories were being seriously presented.

Acupressure Wristbands

Hi Brian, my name is Rachel Bloom. The other day, I was watching ABC’s Shark Tank and a woman came on touting her own brand of anti-nausea acupressure wristbands. She said they were “FDA Approved.” I have a lot of friends who use these wristbands, and, after doing a little bit of internet research, it looks like there have actually been studies where the acupressure wristbands were more effective than placebos in combating motion sickness and/or nausea. So, my question is: what’s the deal with these wristbands? Thanks.

wrist band_200pxYou bring up two points. First, FDA approval. This does not necessarily mean that the FDA has tested the device and found that it works. In this case, the applicants merely have to show that similar devices (which may or may not have been tested) are already for sale. This is all that’s needed for the FDA to grant clearance for a company to market something. In the case of Sea Band, one of the more popular wristbands, such clearance based on the existence of similar products is all they ever received from the FDA. Obviously, Sea Band trumpets the fact as if it constitutes an endorsement, which it’s not.

Second, whether they work. You are correct that tests have shown them to be effective, however all such tests that I was able to find were uncontrolled and unblinded. Randomized controlled trials of the wristbands, however, have had very different results. The Institute of Naval Medicine did such a test in 1990 and found that Sea Bands performed no better than placebo, and both were outperformed by scopolamine. Even in post-surgical nausea, controlled tests have found no improvement through the use of wristbands.

Acupressure Wristband_200pxAn interesting warning sign to be aware of is that research that tends to find a positive result usually has not only poor experimental design, but almost always mentions the “P6 acupressure point” on the wrist. This is a sure sign that the article is written from a pro-acupressure perspective. “P6 acupressure point” is not a medical or scientific term and is only used in the acupressure community.

Although the placebo effect can be very compelling and creates passionate believers, the wrist simply has no connection to your body’s sense of nausea, and no plausible hypothesis has ever been suggested to explain how it might.

Read more student questions answered by Brian Dunning at Skeptoid

Alien Abductions (Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know)

Stories of alien abductions are found across the world. Yet according to mainstream science, there’s no evidence to prove these outlandish claims. Tune in to learn more about the controversy surrounding stories of alien abductions.

MORE . . . Alien Abductions – CLASSIC – YouTube.

Bad science in the paper ‘Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant GM maize’

This video is wee bit lengthy and with some geeky terminology, but definitely worth viewing if you’ve been following the conspiracy theorists‘ lies and distortions regarding GMOs.

MIB


A review of the paper Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant GM maize.

Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize
http://www.iatp.org/files/GMOtoxicity…
Spontaneous Tumours in Sprague-Dawley Rats and Swiss Mice
http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/con…

MORE  . . . Bad science in the paper ‘Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant GM maize’ – YouTube.

5 Things I’ve noticed about… Conspiracy Theorists on the Internet

Via The Soap Box

conspiracies06Ever encounter a conspiracy theorist on the internet? Most of us have, especially if you’re a skeptic like myself who has their own blog about debunking. At that point they tend to come to you.

While there are a lot of things about conspiracy theorist on the internet that I’ve noticed they tend to do, I’ve narrowed it down to five main things.

So here are five things I’ve noticed about conspiracy theorist on the internet:

5. They love using quotes.

Be it in their signature line on an internet forum, or in their timeline on their Facebook page, conspiracy theorists love posting quotes on the internet. Usually these quotes are allegedly from some musician, or politician, or philosopher, or just some famous person whom they think would share their beliefs. Sometimes these quotes are accompanied with a picture of the person who allegedly said it.

The problem with this is that (and this is true anytime someone quotes someone) is that the quotes can be taken out of context, the quote can be mis-quoted, or it could be something that person never said at all.

There is of course one truth about these quotes: they do absolutely nothing to back up what ever conspiracy theory they are claiming to believe in.

collage

4. They love collages.

Go to any conspiracy theorist group on Facebook or conspiracy theorist forum and you’ll usually find some collages of photo-shopped pictures along with conspiracy theory claims within the collage.

These collages are often times confusing at the least, and more times than not, disturbing looking.

Many conspiracy theorists might think these collages helps get whatever point they have across, but the reality is that they are really a turn off for normal minded people and makes them all look like a bunch of wackos.

3. They don’t have a sense of humor.

AlexJonesLunaticConspiracy theorists (at least on the internet) take things way to seriously, and when someone makes a joke or a sarcastic remake, they tend to go ballistic, either because they don’t think you should be joking about the subject at hand, or they think you’re being serious.

They also can’t tell when someone (or some website) is being sarcastic either. An example of this would be Skeptic Project. On the front page of the website it says “Your #1 COINTELPRO cognitive infiltration source.” To most people they are clearly being sarcastic. But apparently some people in the Infowars forums thought they were actually admitting to being a COINTELPRO website.

MORE . . .

Homeopathy Ramblings

by via Science-Based Medicine

ScamAlertThere needs to be a SCAM index, some quantitative tool, a formula for ranking the SCAMs, so one SCAM could reign supreme, to be definitely declared the the goofiest of all SCAMs. Perhaps (number of adherents)x(number of Pubmed publications)x(age of SCAM) all divided by a plausibility factor.

Homeopathy would win and any SCAM index that did not rank homeopathy at number one would have to put up a very convincing argument indeed that their formula was not somehow fundamentally flawed.1

For first time readers, homeopathy is based on several fictions, totally divorced from reality, made up in the 1800′s.

The first law,2 with less reality than Joe Abercrombie’s, is, “similia similibus curentur,” or “let like be cured by like”. Substances which cause specific symptoms can be used to cure diseases which cause the same symptoms.  If like cures like, I am uncertain what moonlight, one of many fanciful homeopathic nostrums, would cure. Lycanthropy?

homeopathic-remedy-lol_250pxSay you have a headache. What causes a headache? Being smacked on the head by a hammer. So in homeopathic thinking, being hit on the head with a hammer would cure your headache.

But you would not want to give known poisons like arsenic or belladonna to people in attempt for like to cure like, unless one would classify death as cure. Even the otherwise chemistry-challenged homeopaths know that would be a bad idea.

So there is the second law, that of infinitesimal dilutions, where the substances are sequentially diluted in either water or alcohol, and the potency increases with each dilution. And dilute it they do.

Take the hammer for the migraine. Take 100th of it. Thump the remainder against a Bible to activate it, the succussion of homeopathy. Then take 100th of that. Thump it against a Bible. Then 100th of that. Thump it against a Bible. And so on. Do that 6, or 15, or 30 or even 200 times. When finished you will have the an extremely small, perhaps nonexistent, but potentized hammer with power exceeding Mjölnir. Use that to hit the skull to relieve the headache.

It doesn’t get goofier than that. Homeopathy is one of those topics which demonstrates that I am not a true skeptic. A true skeptic would say that homeopathy is highly implausible. I tend to say it is wackaloon impossible on basic principles. Zero plausibility would make homeopathy infinite on the SCAM index.

Homeopathy and adverse effects

Given that homeopathy is nothing that does nothing, not only would I expect any homeopathic preparation to have no efficacy but also no toxicity. With the caveat that it is the dose that makes the poison. Any product with . . .

MORE . . .

YouTube University

I made this image today in honor of all those conspiracists who cite YouTube videos as their source of information to support their wacky theories. Enjoy and share everywhere!  🙂

MIB

tin foil hat graduate

How the attempt to sequence “Bigfoot’s genome” went badly off track

bigfoot right there
Humans interbred with an unknown hominin in Europe, then crossed the Bering Sea — say what?

by via Ars Technica

finding-bigfoot_250pxWhen we first looked at the report of the bigfoot genome, it was an odd mixture of things: standard methods and reasonable looking data thrown in with unusual approaches and data that should have raised warning flags for any biologist. We just couldn’t figure out the logic of why certain things were done or the reasoning behind some of the conclusions the authors reached. So, we spent some time working with the reported genome sequences themselves and talked with the woman who helped put the analysis together, Dr. Melba Ketchum. While it didn’t answer all of our questions, it gave us a clearer picture of how the work came to be.

The biggest clarification made was what the team behind the results considered their scientific reasoning, which makes sense of how they ran past warning signs that they were badly off track. It provided an indication of what motivated them to push the results into a publication that they knew would cause them grief.

Melba Ketchum and the bigfoot genome

The public face of the bigfoot genome has been Melba Ketchum, a Texas-based forensic scientist. It was Ketchum who first announced that a genome was in the works, and she was the lead author of the paper that eventually described it. That paper became the one and only publication of the online journal De Novo; it’s still the only one to appear there.

The paper itself is an odd mix of things. There’s a variety of fairly standard molecular techniques mixed in with a bit of folklore and a link to a YouTube video that reportedly shows a sleeping Sasquatch. In some ways, the conclusions of the paper are even odder than the video. They suggest that bigfeet aren’t actually an unidentified species of ape as you might have assumed. Instead, the paper claims that bigfeet are hybrids, the product of humans interbreeding with a still unknown species of hominin.

bigfoot_200pxAs evidence, it presents two genomes that purportedly came from bigfoot samples. The mitochondrial genome, a small loop of DNA that’s inherited exclusively from mothers, is human. The nuclear genome, which they’ve only sequenced a small portion of, is a mix of human and other sequences. Some are closely related, others quite distant.

But my initial analysis suggested that the “genome sequence” was an artifact, the product of a combination of contamination, degradation, and poor assembly methods. And every other biologist I showed it to reached the same conclusion. Ketchum couldn’t disagree more. “We’ve done everything in our power to make sure the paper was absolutely above-board and well done,” she told Ars. “I don’t know what else we could have done short of spending another few years working on the genome. But all we wanted to do was prove they existed, and I think we did that.”

How do you get one group of people who looks at the evidence and sees contamination, while another decides “The data conclusively prove that the Sasquatch exists”? To find out, we went through the paper’s data carefully, then talked to Ketchum to understand the reasoning behind the work.

MORE . . .

Mindscapes: First man to hear people before they speak

I am very fascinated by mysterious medical conditions – especially conditions affecting the mind and perception. I’ve never heard of the condition explored in the following article from New Scientist. Fascinating stuff.

MIB


by Helen Thomson via New Scientist

“I told my daughter her living room TV was out of sync. Then I noticed the kitchen telly was also dubbed badly. Suddenly I noticed that her voice was out of sync too. It wasn’t the TV, it was me.”

talking-headsEver watched an old movie, only for the sound to go out of sync with the action? Now imagine every voice you hear sounds similarly off-kilter – even your own. That’s the world PH lives in. Soon after surgery for a heart problem, he began to notice that something wasn’t quite right.

“I was staying with my daughter and they like to have the television on in their house. I turned to my daughter and said ‘you ought to get a decent telly, one where the sound and programme are synchronised’. I gave a little chuckle. But they said ‘there’s nothing wrong with the TV’.”

Puzzled, he went to the kitchen to make a cup of tea. “They’ve got another telly up on the wall and it was the same. I went into the lounge and I said to her ‘hey you’ve got two TVs that need sorting!’.”

That was when he started to notice that his daughter’s speech was out of time with her lip movements too. “It wasn’t the TV, it was me. It was happening in real life.”

PH is the first confirmed case of someone who hears people speak before registering the movement of their lips. His situation is giving unique insights into how our brains unify what we hear and see.

It’s unclear why PH’s problem started when it did – but it may have had something to do with having acute pericarditis, inflammation of the sac around the heart, or the surgery he had to treat it.

Brain scans after the timing problems appeared showed two lesions in areas thought to play a role in hearing, timing and movement. “Where these came from is anyone’s guess,” says PH. “They may have been there all my life or as a result of being in intensive care.”

MORE . . .

Is that a FEMA Camp? – June 29, 2013 Edition

Is that a FEMA Camp? is a blog dedicated to investigating claims of FEMA camp locations.
transparent
Below is some of their findings. Enjoy 🙂
fema_camps_full_200px

June 29, 2013 Edition

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

ccc

National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The claim: Dept. of National Defense reserveWhat it really is: The Department of National Defence is largest employer there, which means is that it employs both military and civilians. The largest base in Canada (in terms of personnel) CFB Halifax, is surrounded by both residential and commercial buildings, which would make it very difficult to hide an interment camp there (not to mention there isn’t much space there to build a prison camp either).

Ft. Providence, Northwest Territories, Canada

The claim: Located on Great Slave Lake.What it really is: A small village located next to a lake with a poorly chosen name…There are a couple of large buildings there. One happens to be a elementary school, and the other a college.

Ft. McPherson, Northwest Territories, Canada

The claim: Very cold territory ~ NW Territories.What it really is: A small village in the Northwest Territories of Canada. There’s some houses, a small airfield, a couple of abandoned quarries, and quiet a few same lakes, but that’s it.

Ft. Nelson, British Columbia, Canada

fort nelson_200pxThe claim: Northernmost point on the BC Railway line.What it really is: It’s a town in Northern British Columbia with a population of around 3,900 and a large amount of seasonal tourism. The area also has major natural gas reserves, including a large natural gas field a couple of mile south of the town.

Wainwright CFB, Alberta, Canada

The claim: halfway between Medicine Hat and Primrose Lake.What it really is: It’s a training base that at any given time will have about 1,000 personal located on the base, which grows during the summer when reservists undertake annual training there.

Primrose Lake Air Range, Alberta, Canada

The claim: 70 miles northeast of Edmonton.What it really is: First, the base is called Canadian Forces Lake Cold Lake, not Primrose Lake Air Range.While the base does have several large buildings there, most of them are either hangers or other support facilities for the base itself. There is also civilian housing there and a cadet summer training facility there too.

Suffield CFB, Alberta, Canada

r-CFB-SUFFIELD-large570_200pxThe claim: just north of Medicine Hat, less than 60 miles from the USA.What it really is: Canadian Forces Base Suffield is the largest base for the Canadian military (after looking are the place via Google maps I can tell you that it is huge), and is used for defense development and research by the Canadian military, and as a training base for the British.Not only is the base very vast, it also doesn’t contain that many buildings, and none are large enough, or in large enough concentrations to even look like a prison camp.

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

%d bloggers like this: