Category Archives: Physics

The Philadelphia Experiment

Nowadays many people are familiar with the legend of the Philadelphia Experiment — but how did it all begin?

The Law of Attraction – Debunked (The Secret – Refuted)

1. Pseudoscience:

So the first thing to be said, in my opinion, is that the Law of Attraction, and, to be blunt, New Age Thought altogether, is entirely predicated on dispensing meaningless drivel masqueraded as profound truth and wisdom… it is, to paraphrase Michael Shermer, the combination of scientific sounding words with New Age words to create the illusion that they’re somehow related…

For example, the term ‘Law of Attraction’ deliberately implies that it is a scientific law, just like the ‘Law of Conservation of Energy’ etc., and yet, science regards the Law of Attraction as pure nonsense and pseudoscience, and puts it in the same bin as creationism, homeopathy, climate change denial and tin foil hats!

2. Argument from Ignorance:

Anyhow, with that said, the first question to be asked is if the first premise is true – is everything really comprised of energy vibrating at different frequencies? Is the Law of Vibration true? Well, while it is true that everything so far appears to be an expression of matter and energy, and while matter and energy are indeed different states of the same thing (energy)… the only way someone can say that everything “vibrates” is by defining ‘vibration’ to be “energy in motion” – which only serves to confuse people.

What’s more is that if the proponents of this argument go a step further and assert that we know for sure that everything is vibrating energy, they’re actually committing an Argument from Ignorance, because absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

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String Theory Explained

What is The True Nature of Reality?

Get your geek on!

Is String Theory the final solution for all of physic’s questions or an overhyped dead end?

For the undying 9/11 MORONIC JET FUEL ARGUMENT – YouTube

With the anniversary of 9/11 upon us . . .

Correlation CAN Imply Causation! | Statistics Misconceptions

This video is about how causal models (which use causal networks) allow us to infer causation from correlation, proving the common refrain not entirely accurate: statistics CAN be used to prove causality! Including: Reichenbach’s principle, common causes, feedback, entanglement, EPR paradox, and so on.

$300 000 Self-Filling water bottle, SUPERFAIL!

Joe Rogan Experience with Mick West

Great conversation.

Mick West is a writer and debunker who runs MetaBunk.org and ContrailScience.com.

Followup from Mick West: Mistakes I made on my Joe Rogan Experience Flat Earth Episode

$300 000 ‘Self-Filling water bottle’ FAILURE

Related … DEBUNKED: Waterseer

Joe Rogan and Neil deGrasse Tyson on Flat Earth and Conspiracy Theories

Joe and Neil discuss a wide variety of topics, including the flat earth conspiracy theory.

The Brachistochrone

Michael Stevens (VSauce) does it again and this time with the help of Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame. Definitely worth watching.

Related: BrainCandyLive (with Adam Savage and Michael Stevens)

DEBUNKED: Waterseer

Thunderf00t crushes the Waterseer Project 🙂

Why There Are No Blast Craters Under the Lunar Module

For all those conspiracists who believe the moon landing was a hoax.

Is Earth Actually Flat?

By Vsauce via YouTube

25 Mind Bending Scientific Truths To Challenge Your Brain

By list25 via YouTube

From the video description:

It doesn’t take much to realize that science is awesome! For example, you probably already know that everything is made up of atoms. Those atoms have a few protons and neutrons in the nucleus and then they are surrounded by electrons that orbit the nucleus like little moons (simplified explanation). At any rate, the most interesting thing about atoms is that they are about 99.99% empty space. That’s right. This screen consists of atoms. And those atoms consists of almost nothing. So why is it that you don’t see right through the screen. In fact, how is it that we can see/feel/stand on anything at all? It’s because of forces. Those atoms in the table (in spite of just being mostly empty space) actually repel the atoms (aka empty space) in your hand. So what you are touching isn’t actually a “thing”. When you touch something you are actually experiencing a repulsive force, kind of like gravity. And since those empty atoms reflect photons, you cannot see through them. You only see the photons being reflected off of what is essentially empty space. Crazy right?!

See we told you science was awesome! Just wait til you read about all the other scientific truths found in this list! So if you’re ready to give your brain a challenge, read on! These are 25 mind bending scientific truths to challenge your brain.

Would Headlights Work at Light Speed?

By Vsauce via YouTube

If you were driving at the speed of light and turned on your headlights, what would happen?

Is Earth Actually Flat?

By Vsauce via YouTube

The earth is not flat, it is round, otherwise travelers would be falling off the edge. Right?

Wrong!

The Conspiracy That Isn’t: Debunking Chemtrails

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By Phil Derner Jr. and John Steffen via NYCAviation

contrails 01_250pxThere are several conspiracy theories that involve aviation. The most famous of these involve the aliens of Roswell and the tragic events of September 11th.  However, there is one conspiracy theory that has a measurable amount of believers that is easily refuted with the simple laws of science and statistics. This is, of course, chemtrails.

Those who subscribe to the Chemtrail theory believe that the entire aviation industry, military and civilian, are tasked by the U.S. government to spray artificial clouds high above the ground in our atmosphere with the intent of altering our climate or inoculating the population with inhalable drugs. This theory is based on the visible identification of the common aircraft contrail, and a reliance on the fallacy that it can be identified as something else.

So in a final sweeping motion, what do you say we explain-away this whole chemtrail thing after all, shall we?

The Science & History

When an organic material is burned, it will produce different compounds: soot, smoke, and various oxides.  What is produced will vary depending on the material that was burned and the process in which it was burned.  However there are two things that are generally universal in the burning of organics; water and carbon dioxide.

Generally, neither of these can be seen with the naked eye unless temperatures are cold and the steam condenses into visible water vapor.  This is common from smoke stacks, the tailpipes of automobiles, or even your breath in the winter months.

Not a chemtrail: Contrails stream out of the four Wright 1820 radial engines on these B-17 bombers during World War II.

Not a chemtrail: Contrails stream out of the four Wright 1820 radial engines on these B-17 bombers during World War II.

The gasoline engine creates about one gallon of water for each gallon of gasoline consumed.  When the engine is shut down, the remaining water oxidizes (or rusts) the exhaust and the engine’s cylinders.  This limits the life of the exhaust system and the engine, but is not a major problem and is accepted as part of the normal process and life cycle of the internal combustion engine.

This water, seemingly innocuous, became lethal in the Second World War for the crews of the Boeing B-17 bomber.  The four Wright turbocharged engines in the B-17 allowed it to climb above 30,000 feet.  The humid exhaust of the engines quickly froze in the minus 40 degree air (temperatures become significantly colder at higher altitudes) leaving long white clouds behind the bombers indicating their presence and precise location to the German fighters.  The safety of being at altitude was compromised by these telltale condensation trails, or contrails.

The military worked to find a solution and discovered that certain acidic compounds injected into the exhaust eliminated contrails.  This solution became available after the conclusion of the war and was immediately obsolete with the advent of radar, which allowed airplanes to be “seen” regardless of the time of day or weather.  This idea was later briefly resurrected with the Northrop B-2 stealth bomber, though ultimately not incorporated into the design.

The Commercial Jet Age

Not a chemtrail: A KLM 747-400 leaves four distinct contrails in its wake as it flies over Russia. Image courtesy Sergey Kustov via Wikimedia Commons.

Not a chemtrail: A KLM 747-400 leaves four distinct contrails in its wake as it flies over Russia. Image courtesy Sergey Kustov via Wikimedia Commons.

The post-war, high altitude commercial airliners typically operated around 25,000 feet.  Only the low production Boeing 377, though still propeller-driven, could climb above 30,000 feet and was most commonly operated as an intercontinental airliner.  Because of this, contrails were rarely seen in the United States prior to the 1960s.

The year 1958 was a watershed year in commercial aviation.  Boeing introduced the 707 and Douglas the DC-8, while a year later Convair debuted the 880.  The turbojet engines on these airliners thrived in the cold thin air found above 30,000 feet and they were routinely operated in these flight levels.  In the 1960′s, contrails became commonplace across the United States, especially along designated jet airways between ground based navigation aids.  When the temperature is low enough and the humidity high enough, the 1,500 gallons of water produced every hour by these jetliners was transformed into four cirrus clouds.

When the humidity is very high, the contrails will remain for hours.  In moderate humidity the contrails may last  .  .  .

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A Rather Embarrassing Night for Psychic Sally in Middlesbrough

Earphone claims: Psychic Sally is seen removing a microphone from her right ear, circled, and what appears to be an earpiece from her left ear.

Psychic Sally is seen removing a microphone from her right ear, circled, and what appears to be an earpiece from her left ear.

Myles Power

I recently went to to see the ‘psychic to the stars’ Sally Morgan at Middlesbrough town hall, and if there was one word I could use to describe my night it would be ‘boring’. First off I feel I have to say that I personally don’t believe that psychics exist so, as you can imagine, I find people like Sally distasteful. This, however, was not the reason why I found the night boring as I do love this kind of thing and was genuinely excited to not only see her, but to gauge the audiences reaction to her show. The reason that it was boring was because the audience did not respond well to her after relatively early on in her performance, she showed the level of her psychic abilities.

Psychic Sally Middlesbrough

For those who don’t know, psychic Sally Morgan is a British television and stage artist who claims to have (you guessed…

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Quantum Jumping, or Bullshit Overload

Story H/T: @ Skeptic Wars


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Via Enduring Beta

I stumbled upon the website Quantum Jumping from an ad for wooey pseudoscience that just seemed… too out there. But oh how I underestimate scammers! I was struck by the techniques used to trick readers into buying into the product and story, and then felt like tearing down some of the nonsense I was reading. Come join me for a hearty laugh, a face palm, and a clenched fist.

Here’s an opening quote from the site to get an idea of what they’re saying:

I would like to share with you a technique that has completely changed who I am. It has brought me everything I could have ever asked for in life – success, talent, wealth, wellbeing, happiness – you name it.

It stems from the aforementioned idea of ‘another you’ living in ‘another reality’. Whether or not this is possible will be debated for some time, and the answer may never be known, but it creates the mindset of what’s called…

The Most Advanced Creative Visualization Technique Ever Created

Now just imagine for a moment you could find a way to ‘jump’ into these alternate universes. That you could meet an infinite number of alternate versions of ‘you’…

Imagine that you could examine their ways and learn their methods, draw upon their skills, experience and wisdom, find out how they become so happy, talented or successful.

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This quantum disclaimer is from the quantumjumping.com customer reviews page.

Emphasis mine. This is a hallmark of pseudoscience to rope people in with a sensational claim like the title “Quantum Jumping” and buttress against criticism with a nod to the fact that it’s “still debated”. Or, in other words, “We’ll sell you on the idea without regard for if it’s real at all.” Legitimate self-help techniques and medicine should wait for the justification through evidence before making claims like this site does!

Burt Goldman says he developed the skills of painting, photography, writing, and business through, effectively, simply visualizing himself with those skills over time. I won’t deny that this mental technique might help with motivation, perseverance, clarity, and focus. But if you don’t have the skills to paint in your head and hands already, they’re not going to be revealed to you just by meditating. There are limits that the tone and language of this site refuse to address.

What’s further agonizing about this site is the dancing they do around whether or not they claim to Actually Contact Other Universes. For example:

[A]t its core, Quantum Jumping is simply an advanced visualization exercise. You’re tapping into your subconscious mind, where are infinite number of realities and possibilities are waiting to be discovered. Anything that can be, is.

“If a universe can be imagined, it exists.” Professor M. R. Franks

“There are vibrations of many different universes right here, right now. We’re just not in tune with them. There are probably other parallel universes in our living room–this is modern physics. This is the modern interpretation of quantum theory, that many worlds represents reality.” Dr. Michio Kaku

They tap Michio Kaku, Einstein, Planck, and more for fake science credibility. The site has moments of near-honesty, but they are sandwiched by the same vague language that can be interpreted in different ways and hollow appeals to unrelated experts and testimony:

Now I hate having to burst anyone’s bubble of having adventures through space – and Quantum Jumping was made to be an out of this world experience – but no, you wont actually leave this planet.

But what does one make of the first block? Are they claiming it or not? The real answer, of course, it that they are being intentionally vague to let the reader come to the most charitable conclusion. They are mentioning science related only in “theme” to give the quick reader, the casual glancer, the illusion of . . .

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