Category Archives: Mayans

Here Be Dragons (Brian Dunning)

Here Be Dragons is a 40 minute video introduction to critical thinking. This video is on my “must watch” list for skeptics and critical thinkers 🙂

Most people fully accept paranormal and pseudoscientific claims without critique as they are promoted by the mass media. Here Be Dragons offers a toolbox for recognizing and understanding the dangers of pseudoscience, and appreciation for the reality-based benefits offered by real science.

Here Be Dragons is written and presented by Brian Dunning, host and producer of the Skeptoid podcast and author of the Skeptoid book series.

Source: Here Be Dragons – YouTube.

The Crystal Skulls

Via Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know

When Anne Mitchell-Hedges found a crystal skull at a Belizean excavation site, rumors spread like wildfire. People claimed that the skulls possessed supernatural powers. Science has debunked these claims, but they still persist. Why?

Just a coincidence?

Click for larger image

Click for larger image

Delysid’s Guide to Thinking and Debating Like a (bad) Conspiracy Theorist

matrix_has_u_600px
by Delysid via dailypaul.com

conspiracist 1200Step 1: Start with the premise that any tragic incident is a massive, intricate government conspiracy.

Step 2: Denounce any information presented by a mainstream, non-conspiracy source that directly counters the predetermined conspiracy narrative as corrupt and part of the conspiracy.

Step 3: Monitor these same mainstream sources for information that supports the predetermined conspiracy narrative, even if only remotely. Mainstream media reporting mistakes that support your conspiracy (or any conspiracy really) must be treated as rare moments of truth, glimpses inside the Matrix. Any mainstream media reports in favor of the conspiracy should be treated like the word of God. Spam that information everywhere.

Step 4: Imagination is the same thing as undeniable fact. There is nothing wrong with manipulating Youtube videos and using Photoshop to edit information to make it more obvious for the stupid sheeple to understand.

Step 5: Reject the skeptics to the conspiracy theories aggressively. Call them out for being sheep, shills, Cointelpro, paid agents, et cetera. Do not ever doubt yourself, because if you think they are any of these nouns, then it is undeniably true. After all, the conspiracy theory you are trying to wake the world up to is a fact. Only a sheep would think otherwise.

conspiracist clicktivism_300pxStep 6: Bring up the founding of the Federal Reserve, the Bay of Pigs, The Gulf of Tonkin, and other well known deceptive schemes by the government often (every conversation if need be.) These actions were confessed by government, therefore every other conspiracy theory is true!

Step 7: Cite declassified documents often, as they are invaluable. If the government reports that a secret program was started and ended 60 years ago- DO NOT BELIEVE THEM. The secret programs for sure are still occurring and are now more massive, sinister, and successful than before.

Step 8: Remember that most of witnesses and victims involved in conspiracy event are actors. Medical examiners, emergency responders, the police, reporters, they are almost all in on it. The innocent people caught up in the conspiracy were either killed or have been threatened by the conspirators and are too afraid to come forward (or they possibly never existed to begin with.)

Step 9: Blitz the world with the truth until everyone deletes you on Facebook or you are banned from your favorite web sites. Lay low for a period, regroup at your favorite alternative web sites, get encouragement and reinforcement from the other awakened truth seekers, and start the process all over again with a new conspiracy.


[END]
matrix-sucker_600px

▶ James Randi – Fighting the Fakers

Via ▶ James Randi – YouTube

James Randi has an international reputation as a magician and escape artist, but today he is best known as the world’s most tireless investigator and demystifier of paranormal and pseudoscientific claims. Randi has pursued “psychic” spoonbenders, exposed the dirty tricks of faith healers, investigated homeopathic water “with a memory,” and generally been a thorn in the sides of those who try to pull the wool over the public’s eyes in the name of the supernatural. He is the author of numerous books, including The Truth About Uri Geller, The Faith Healers, Flim-Flam!, and An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural.

8 clues your friend is becoming a crazy conspiracy theorist

By via Death and Taxes

It’s happened to all of us. Some friend we had in elementary school or from an old job is all of a sudden making super weird comments on Facebook, or you’re in a bar and some random [person] is trying to talk to you about fluoride for some reason. It’s not always immediately clear. Like, I realized one day that people saying crazy things were always following it up with “Do your own research!” and then finally discovered that it was sort of a “buzzphrase” for conspiracy theorists.

So, I thought I’d compile a list of the ways to know that someone in your life is starting to head down to tin foil hat alley.

1. Says insane things (probably about chemtrails), and if you dispute, insists that you “Do your own research!”

"I'm a University of YouTube graduate!"

“I’m a University of YouTube graduate!”

This is one of the earliest signs of this type of crazy- and it’s also a major Glenn Beck-ism. I don’t know about you, but when I state a fact, I’m usually able to explain that fact. Especially if it’s something that may be controversial.

For instance, I do not so much believe that Joan Crawford beat her children. This is a thing that most people believe, because of the movie “Mommie Dearest”– however, when asked to explain, I don’t yell “Do your own research!” at people, I explain that all of the other children (save for Christopher) have refuted Christina’s book, as well as Crawford’s actual personal assistant, and Myrna Loy, and pretty much anyone else who was around during that time. I’m not saying I’m 100% definitely correct on this, but I err on the side of “probably not.”

Still, I don’t throw out something weird, get mad at people for not immediately taking me at my word, and then yell at them to do their own research. I mean, if they want to, that’s fine, but I’m usually quite able to support my arguments.

2. Freaking Flouride

Fluoride_YourNotGoingToPoison_200pxUGH. These people and their fluoride. They love to make up crap about how the government puts fluoride in the water to keep us dumb and rebellion-resistant, like no one has ever seen “Dr. Strangelove” before or something. This is usually what they start with, probably because it sounds slightly more realistic than like, Lizard People.

It is not, however, true. At all. And yes, I’ve “done my research.” But don’t tell that to these people, especially if they are drunk at a bar, because they will, in fact, start screaming at you about it. Fluoride and the “vaccinations cause autism” thing are like the gateway drugs into tin-foil hat land.

3. Rejecting the tyranny of paragraph breaks

I swear to god, this is a thing. Whenever I see a comment that’s just a giant block of text with no breaks in it, I immediately just go “Welp, this one’s gonna be crazy” and I am pretty much always right. I don’t know why this is a thing, it just is.

4. When a person who you already kinda know isn’t too swift starts trying to pretend that they are some kind of intellectual who is totally going to school you on “how things are in the world.”

Dork_175PxI hate to say this, but it’s true. It’s always the dumb ones. I feel bad, because like, they’re usually just coming across this stuff for the first time and it is totally blowing their minds. Like, I already know that some people think that the Rothschilds control the world and that there are Mason things on the dollar bill and also THE MOON LANDING WAS FAKED or whatever. I’ve known for years, and I’ve already figured out that it’s all bullshit.

The more you read about history, the more you realize that people are so not getting it together to form a whole “New World Order” anytime soon. While there have been “conspiracy” type things throughout history (MKUltra, Tuskeegee, Project Paperclip, the COINTELPRO that actually existed and not the one people pretend still exists), they have been discovered fairly quickly. Because someone always has a big mouth.

MORE . . .

Crystal Skulls Deemed Fake

A potpourri of analytical techniques reveals purported Aztec sculptures are not bona fide

By Sarah Everts via Chemical & Engineering News

Skull 200px

FAKE DENTISTRY
One of the suspicious features of this fake pre-Columbian Aztec skull is the impossibly perfect teeth.
Credit: James Di Loreto/Smithsonian Institution

Humans seem to have a predilection for fake quartz-crystal Aztec skulls. Since the 1860s, dozens of skull sculptures have appeared on the art market purporting to be pre-Columbian artifacts from Mesoamerica, that is, created by the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America prior to Spanish exploration and conquest in the 16th century. Three such skulls have graced the collections of major museums on both sides of the Atlantic: the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the British Museum in London, and the Quai Branly Museum in Paris.

As early as the 1930s, some experts began to have doubts about the authenticity of the skulls, says Margaret Sax, a conservation scientist at the British Museum. But for a long time researchers “didn’t have the scientific means to follow up” on their hunches, she adds. Over the past two decades researchers at all three museums have capitalized on analytical science innovations to show that these peculiar skulls are not unusual Aztec artifacts but post-Columbian fakes.

Nowadays the market for crystal skulls is limited to Indiana Jones fans, New Age devotees, and people in the goth and punk subcultures. But in the 1860s, when the skulls appeared on the market, many people in Europe sported little skeletons on rings, pendants, or other personal trinkets to remind them of their own mortality, says Jane Walsh, an archaeologist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. It was a French dealer named Eugène Boban who capitalized on this fascination with the macabre, as well as Europe’s growing interest in and ignorance of Mesoamerican artifacts, to slip some of the first sham skulls into museums.

Goblet 200px

GENUINE GOBLET
Researchers looked at the surface of this real Aztec artifact to help determine that the crystal skulls were frauds.
Credit: Museum of Oaxacan Cultures

Walsh has traced fake crystal skulls at the British Museum and the Quai Branly Museum back to Boban, who sold them to art dealers who then sold them to the museums more than 100 years ago. The Smithsonian skull, however, showed up in the mail in 1992, as an anonymous donation. Its arrival motivated Walsh to contact the British Museum to discuss the skulls. That conversation catalyzed the scientific and historical research that finally proved the objects were phonies.The British and American team were particularly suspicious of the skulls because they hadn’t come from documented archaeological sites. And something was wrong with the skulls’ teeth. Although skulls do appear as motifs in Aztec art, most representations of teeth in authentic pieces reflect the dentistry—or lack thereof—of the time. The teeth in the suspect skulls seemed too linear, too perfect, Sax explains.

So the team took a closer look at the skulls’ surfaces. As a benchmark, they borrowed a legitimate Mesoamerican crystal goblet from the Museum of Oaxacan Cultures, in Mexico. Then they used scanning electron microscopy to compare these surfaces.

It turns out that the surface of the authentic goblet has irregular etch marks, a sign that the pieces were carved with hand-held tools. But the surface of the suspect skulls have regular etch marks, evidence that they were made with rotary wheels and hard abrasives, which appeared only after the Spanish conquest of Mexico, Walsh says.

Looking even closer at the British Museum’s skull, the team discovered green, wormlike inclusions in the rock. Raman spectroscopy revealed that the inclusions were an iron-rich chlorite mineral. Although this kind of trace impurity is found in rock crystal from Brazil or Madagascar, it is not found in Mexican crystal, Walsh says.

The team also noticed a small deposit of something curious in the Smithsonian’s skull. By using X-ray diffraction they discovered . . . MORE . . .

The Periodic Table of Irrational Nonsense

This is some pretty funny stuff. Are you familiar with a periodic table? Well, this is the periodic table of irrational nonsense courtesy of Crispian Jago’s blog Science, Reason and Critical Thinking.

How does it work? Simply click on the image to be taken to the interactive page. At the interactive page you simply move your mouse over an element to view a short description.

CAUTION: SOME OF THE DESCRIPTIONS CONTAIN SOME VERY SPICY LANGUAGE!

Enjoy!     🙂

Clean Woo Table v1.4_600px

Click on the image to be taken to the interactive page.

The Mayans Aren’t the Only Ones to Get It Wrong – Worst ‘End…

via PRNewswire — LONDON, December 28, 2012
(H/T: Thomas J. Proffit)

meteor.jpg.w300h247Last week the world has seen yet another failed doomsday prediction, but far from this being the preserve of either the Mayans or modern day “preppers”, established religions and even esteemed scientists have also had their fair share of failed predictions. However, now we are left wondering what the next big end of world prediction will be.

Numerous, by Kelly Rogers , out now on Amazon Kindle, is a thriller written around the Papal Prophecy, by Ireland’s first ever saint, Archbishop Malachy, who correctly predicted each and every pope until the very last, as well as his own death. The 900-year-old manuscript still lies in the Vatican archives.

Modern-day readers may believe that this book has no relevance to our lives today, but think again. St Malachy’s prophecy predicts that the final pope will usher forth “The End. When the terrible judge will judge his people.” We currently see the penultimate pope, Joesph Ratzinger , in the Vatican and exactly what “The End” will be we can only guess at… But we’re sure this is going to be the next big thing in doomsday predictions!

The Modern Day Doomsdayer

Californian preacher Harold Camping took a very public climb-down in May 2011 when his end-of-the-world prediction failed to materialise, after a nationwide billboard and radio advert campaign. This was not Camping’s first failed foray into the world of divination; he inaccurately predicted the world would end on the 6th September 1994 and consequently some followers gave up homes, savings and jobs. When the end failed to occur he revised the date to September 29 and then again to October 2.

He said, “I don’t have any responsibility. I’m only teaching the Bible. I don’t have spiritual rule over anybody… except my wife.” We imagine everyone, including his long-suffering wife, will take any further predictions with a liberal pinch of salt.

2000 reasons to not believe

Apocalypse_by_DearJuneMany luminaries over the centuries predicted 2000 and the end of time, including: Blavatsky, founder of Theosophy; Edgar Cayce , world famous US psychic and healer; Sun Myung Moon , founder of the Unification Church; and even the esteemed and revered Sir Isaac Newton .

This also has to be the least original prophecy in history. At the turn of the first millennium many people expected Christ to return and ‘the end’ to arrive with him. Our prediction: expect more of the same for the year 3000.

The TV Evangelist turned would-be US president

Ex-Baptist minister and US TV evangelist Pat Robertson said that “God told him the end was coming”, but to avoid catastrophe we all needed to “pray real hard”. We can only assume that the world did just that as no cataclysm arrived.

Robertson’s power of prophecy has also evaded him in his own life; evidently not seeing his total defeat as a Republican presidential candidate in 1988.

False Witness

end-of-the-worldWe all know how tenacious Jehovah Witnesses can be when it comes to door knocking and it seems that they’re equally as dogged when it comes to doomsday predictions. They first predicted Armageddon in 1914, when disaster failed to appear they revised their prophecy to 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994.

No Method in the Madness

Charles Wesley , one of the founders of the Methodist church, predicted the end in 1794, as did the Shakers. Despite his obvious error Charles’ brother, John, joined in and predicted that 1836 would be the year of the Great Beast and would herald the beginning of the end.

However, Charles Wesley clearly had his shaky convictions; he begged to be buried in an Anglican not Methodist grave just before his death.

The Millerites were never right

William Miller (founder of the Millerites, now the Seventh Day Adventists) predicted the end would come between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. The dates came and went with nothing occurring so the date was revised to April 18th. Again nothing happened and the date was changed to October 22, 1844. Miller continued to wait for the end until his death in 1849, which certainly was the end for him. However, the modern-day church that Miller founded continues to claim to this day that the date was correct, but as it was an event that occurred in Heaven it went entirely unnoticed by us on the Earthly plane.

The Jupiter Effect

galactic-alignment1The Jupiter Effect was written in 1974 by two astrophysicists, John Gribben and Stephen Plagemann . Predicted for 10th March 1982 when all nine planets would align and create a gravitational pull that would cause a “huge increase in sunspots, solar, flares, and/or earthquakes”. Gribben later claimed it never was a prophecy but a theoretical “what if?” However, people did believe that it was actually going to happen, the credentials of the theorists adding weight to the calculations. And indeed an effect was measured on Earth – a 0.04 millimetre high tide!

MORE . . .
PageBreak_half
To read the first three chapters of NUMEROUS visit http://www.kellyrogersauthor.com and click portfolio.

Mayan prophecy 2012

via The Skeptic’s Dictionary

Note: by the time you read this, you won’t need to read this because you’ll know the world didn’t end as some people said it would on December 21, 2012. Doomsday predictions are a dime a dozen. Why anyone believes them is the real mystery.

In a nutshell: The Mayan prophecy for 2012 is something made up by people who don’t know much about the Maya. The Maya didn’t predict anything, much less the end of the world.

The idea that the Maya predicted the end of the world on 12-21-2012 is a hoax.

mayantempleThe Maya had several calendars and one of them starts over in 2012. Some people think this means they predicted the end of the world. Why? I don’t know. Maybe they like to scare people. The Maya didn’t predict the end of the world. But even if they did, so what? The Maya couldn’t even predict the end of their own civilization, which collapsed over one thousand years ago. Anyway, anyone can predict anything about the future. That doesn’t mean their prediction will come true.

Mayan civilization was at its peak for over 750 years in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and parts of Central America. The Maya, like all farming societies, had to study things that affect the soil and the growth of plants. They studied the pattern of the seasons and knew when to plant and when to store up food for the dry months. Their studies led them to create several calendars. We don’t really know much about these calendars. For example, we know that the Long Count Calendar—the one that ends on 12-21-2012—began about 5,000 years ago on August 11, 3114 BCE. 2012_failWe don’t know why the Maya started their calendar on that date and we don’t know why they ended it on 12-21-2012. We don’t even know if 12-21-2012 is the actual date the Long Count Calendar ends. All we know is that the Maya reset this calendar to day 0 every 1,872,000 days, a period known as The Great Circle. We don’t know why they thought this number was important. It’s a big number and amounts to more days than the oldest Egyptian pyramids have been around.

We know that the Maya had a large empire, but they were not able to solve some important problems. They had too many people on too little land. They destroyed their own environment by cutting down too many trees and by farming in ways that ruined their soil. Climate change brought long periods with no rain. Why should we think the Maya prophets would be any better at seeing the distant future than failed prophets of other times and other peoples?

The fact is that anybody can predict the end of the world, but nobody knows when it will happen.

MORE . . .

showimage

Mexico’s ethnic Maya unmoved by 2012 ‘Armageddon’ hysteria

By Alexandra Alper via Reuters

Mayan_018889_200pxIZAMAL, Mexico, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Thousands of mystics, New Age dreamers and fans of pre-Hispanic culture have been drawn to Mexico in hopes of witnessing great things when the day in an old Maya calendar dubbed “the end of the world” dawns on Friday.

But many of today’s ethnic Maya cannot understand the fuss. Mostly Christian, they have looked on in wonder at the influx of foreign tourists to ancient cities in southern Mexico and Central America whose heyday passed hundreds of years ago.

For students of ancient Mesoamerican time-keeping, Dec. 21, 2012 marks the end of a 5,125-year cycle in the Maya Long Calendar, an event one leading U.S. scholar said in the 1960s could be interpreted as a kind of Armageddon for the Maya.

Academics and astronomers say too much weight was given to the words and have sought to allay fears the end is nigh.

But over the past few decades, fed by popular culture, Friday became seen by some western followers of alternative religions as a day on which momentous change could occur.

“It’s a psychosis, a fad,” said psychologist Vera Rodriguez, 29, a Mexican of Maya descent living in Izamal, Yucatan state, near the center of the 2012 festivities, the site of Chichen Itza. “I think it’s bad for our society and our culture.”

MORE . . .

%d bloggers like this: