Tag Archives: Huffington Post

Surviving Whole Foods

Kelly MacLeanBy via huffingtonpost

Whole Foods is like Vegas. You go there to feel good but you leave broke, disoriented, and with the newfound knowledge that you have a vaginal disease.

Unlike Vegas, Whole Foods’ clientele are all about mindfulness and compassion… until they get to the parking lot. Then it’s war. As I pull up this morning, I see a pregnant lady on the crosswalk holding a baby and groceries. This driver swerves around her and honks. As he speeds off I catch his bumper sticker, which says ‘NAMASTE’. Poor lady didn’t even hear him approaching because he was driving a Prius. He crept up on her like a panther.

homeless whole foodsAs the great, sliding glass doors part I am immediately smacked in the face by a wall of cool, moist air that smells of strawberries and orchids. I leave behind the concrete jungle and enter a cornucopia of organic bliss; the land of hemp milk and honey. Seriously, think about Heaven and then think about Whole Foods; they’re basically the same.

The first thing I see is the great wall of kombucha — 42 different kinds of rotten tea. Fun fact: the word kombucha is Japanese for ‘I gizzed in your tea.’ Anyone who’s ever swallowed the glob of mucus at the end of the bottle knows exactly what I’m talking about. I believe this thing is called “The Mother,” which makes it that much creepier.

Next I see the gluten-free section filled with crackers and bread made from various wheat-substitutes such as cardboard and sawdust. I skip this aisle because I’m not rich enough to have dietary restrictions. Ever notice that you don’t meet poor people with special diet needs? A gluten intolerant house cleaner? A cab driver with Candida? Candida is what I call a rich, white person problem. You know you’ve really made it in this world when you get Candida. My personal theory is that Candida is something you get from too much hot yoga. All I’m saying is if I were a yeast, I would want to live in your yoga pants.

Next I approach the beauty aisle. There is a scary looking machine there that you put your face inside of and it tells you exactly how ugly you are.

Continue Reading at huffingtonpost – – –


Dire Warnings and Melting Starfish: Fukushima Fearmongering

Mike Rothschildby Mike Rothschild via Skeptoid

This is the third in a series of pieces debunking the scaremongering and hysteria regarding the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant. I believe the anxiety about the meltdown and its aftermath comes from a mix of negativity toward nuclear power, hostility toward plant operators TEPCO (which is well-deserved in most cases), a lack of knowledge about basic science, distrust of experts (who are seen as dishonest shills) and the common habit of sharing social content that’s driven by strong negative emotions – often without understanding it, and sometimes without even reading it.

fukushima bread 02Using links to good science and some basic concepts in logic, I’ve demolished two of the most prominent lies about Fukushima already, one that Pacific Ocean fish is unsafe to eat and the other that the West Coast is being “absolutely fried” by radiation from the disaster. This time, I’m not going to debunk one single post, but address a grab bag of myths, exaggerations and scaremongering racing around social media. Some of it you’ve probably seen many times, and some of it might be brand new, but all of it needs to be dealt with.

CLAIM: The ocean is broken. This is the title of an October article from Australia’s Newcastle Herald, chronicling the journey of Ivan Macfadyen, a yachtsman who retraced a voyage between Melbourne and Osaka, and ten years later found the Pacific Ocean virtually devoid of life but teaming with floating trash. With its attention-grabbing title and compelling content, it went viral, with over half a million views in three days. People connected the dots and linked the dead, garbage-filled ocean that Macfadyen encountered on his trip to Fukushima, and the piece has been used as part of the exaggerated story since then.

But the link between the two doesn’t appear to exist. As the ocean conservation blog Upwell points out, the story in the Newcastle Herald isn’t a hard science piece, and has no citations or links to relevant research. It’s not meant to. It’s a human interest story, the relaying of a personal anecdote, and rooted in emotion. It’s full of phrases like “nauseous horror” and “astounding volumes” – compelling writing, but not science.

Nuclear fuel rods

Nuclear fuel rods

The story is also not at all about the nuclear plant, but the damage done from overfishing and plastic pollution. It doesn’t even mention Fukushima by name. As such, it’s worth reading, but not useful for any discussion about the meltdown.

CLAIM: David Suzuki’s Dire Warning. The removal of the spent fuel rods from Fukushima could have apocalyptic consequences if done incorrectly, warn activists around the world. Chief among them is David Suzuki, a Canadian environmentalist, scientist and author, well known in his native country, but not elsewhere. A post containing video of him discussing the fuel rod removal, called “David Suzuki’s Fukushima Warning is Dire and Scary” went up on Huffington Post and was a viral hit. So what is his warning, and is it accurate?

MORE – – –

Not My Cup of Tea: The Tea Ghost

via randi.org

A few weeks ago a security camera video went viral on You Tube that reveals a man shopping in the Whitstable Nutrition Centre, a health food store in southeast England. As he browses, he is oblivious to a box of tea that floats off the shelf behind him and then appears to “levitate” mid-air. A second box flies off the opposite shelf and drops to the ground. The startled man bends over to pick up the box, at which point the box suspended in the air, drops to the floor. The video has some people convinced that this is a case of “paranormal active-tea”, and is the handiwork of a very British ghost who likes a nice cuppa tea.


Shop manager Michelle Newbold discovered the activity when she was reviewing footage from the store’s CCTV. In an interview with the Huffington Post she said, “I was perplexed I suppose. I just couldn’t believe it. I have no idea about how it has happened. It is just a complete mystery. ghost01I have never seen anything like it since I’ve been running the shop.” Newbold adds that she doesn’t believe in ghosts. However, the story has been good for business and the video has received over 800,000 hits and counting.

The Huffington Post interview also includes comments from my fellow investigator Bryan Bonner who suspects that the video is a hoax. He observes, “In the opening shot, it looks like there is one other person at the end of the aisle, but it’s actually two and they are in a perfect position to choreograph the tea bags. Also, the security camera is positioned so it focuses halfway down the shelf, not where it normally would be.” Bryan & Baxter and a few of our friends decided to make several recreations of the phenomena in [this] video:


The first recreation was filmed in a restaurant in Arvada, Colorado. Bryan and Baxter are seated at a table discussing the tea ghost video when a box of tea flies off the table. It is picked up and placed back on the table whereupon it occurs again. Behind them, another box of tea slides off the surface of a table and floats for a few seconds before it darts to the ground. This movement was achieved using . . .

. . . MORE . . .

Cornered and Someone Wants to Tell Me Their Paranormal Story

Sharon_hill_80pxBy Sharon Hill via Huffington Post

One of the hazards of being a “skeptic” about paranormal subjects is that those who have had their own personal experiences or investigated a peculiar case like to play “Stump the Skeptic.”

“Oh, you are a Skeptic. Well, I have a story for you,” and then I get an earful.

GhostGirl_250pxHow do you explain that?” they conclude, with added self-satisfaction of a story well-told.

I can’t. And I’m not going to try to explain it.

Unless it’s a well researched case which has published documentation, I can’t say anything about it. It’s just a story. If I accepted every story I heard at face value every day, I’d be broke and in a mess of trouble. I am not accusing people of lying. I’m saying “I wasn’t there. It was not my experience,” so I’m not going to speculate about what you saw or what may have happened.

There is nothing to go on when cornered with these stories. I can’t fact check or confirm. I can’t pull an explanation out of a hat. I have no place to go with them except to say, “Hmm, interesting.”

Paranormal books are primarily these types of stories. It’s unusual for a case to be well-investigated compared to the thousands of stories that are related from eyewitnesses or referenced from other sources. Too many stories aren’t referenced at all. I was recently reading a book on local monsters and some accounts lacked accurate locations. There was no town of that name or there were no details. Useless. That is such poor quality evidence, it might as well be discarded since it is more likely wrong than helpful.

anecdote_200pxAnecdotes do not necessarily garner strength in numbers — not for paranormal subjects. A pile of unreliable tales is no better than one unreliable tale. It’s all hollow.

When it comes to local ghost and monster tales, the stories just exist and it is unclear where they originated. Such tales are great as local folklore. A problem arises when these anecdotes are elevated to “evidence.”

There is an over-reliance on anecdotes in the paranormal community — for hauntings, cryptozoology and ufology — as the basis of investigation. A case will start with an observation but if that is ALL that it is, with no physical evidence, no verification and a cold trail left to follow, there is nothing you can do with it but document it.

Had your own experience? Cherish it as your own. I just can’t help you and it’s a bit rude to put me on the spot. You had the experience. It’s up to you to provide evidence to support it, not for me to disprove your claim.

[end]

via Huffington Post

British Psychic TV Channels Fined For Not Telling Viewers It’s All B.S.

By via The Huffington Post

Why don't you remember this headline?

Why don’t you remember this headline?

In a move no one saw coming, A British TV channel set up to offer dial-up psychic services has been fined for not telling viewers it’s all “for entertainment purposes only.”

Psychic Today, a 24-hour psychic network, was fined the equivalent of $19,079 U.S. for claiming on-air that its psychics could provide “accurate and precise” readings for callers, for offering anecdotal stories of successful predictions, and for making claims that presenters had helped solve crimes for the police, according to the Register.

Another TV channel, an interactive quiz channel called The Big Deal, was fined the equivalent of $15,262 for advertising psychic services.

The fines were laid down by Ofcom, an independent regulator of the British communications industry that has strict rules about how psychics can label their skills.

psychic_200pxIn one case, a psychic told viewers she was involved in the police investigation regarding the death of teenager named Milly Dowler, while another claimed she once accurately predicted that her friend would become friends with Michael Jackson.

Majestic TV, which holds the license for Psychic Today, told Ofcom that while the claims made in both cases were “factually correct,” the reference to Dowler was “unfortunate,” SkyNews reported.

According to a document the organization released in December 2011, anyone claiming to be in touch with a spirit guide or a dead person must qualify their powers by saying it’s “for entertainment purposes,” a phrase that must also be stated by the presenters and scrolled on screen.

Psychics are also prevented from predicting the future, offering life-changing advice, talking to the dead or even claiming to be accurate, the Register reported.

MORE . . .

Also see: Telly psychics fail to foresee £12k fine for peddling nonsense • The Register (UK).

psychic-john-edward-2012-events_02

Skeptical ‘Zombies’ Attack Alleged Psychic James Van Praagh (VIDEO)

A slightly dated story from October 2011, but still fun.🙂

Mason I. Bilderberg (MIB)


via huffingtonpost

James Van Praagh plays a kind of twenty-questions game with his audience.

James Van Praagh plays a kind of twenty-questions game with his audience.

Psychic James Van Praagh has made a fortune by allegedly speaking to the dead, but apparently he has no time for the undead.

That’s what a group of zombies recently discovered when they showed up at one of Van Praagh’s $100-a-head “spirit circles” hoping to pick Van Praagh’s brain about his so-called psychic powers.

For the record, the zombies were actually members of the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), an organization that works to expose paranormal and pseudoscientific frauds.

Still, that doesn’t mean they weren’t out for blood, as protest signs reading “Talk to us, we won’t bite,” and “Psychics do not talk to the dead” demonstrated.

According to head zombie D.J. Grothe, who is also the president of the JREF and a Huffington Post blogger, the zombie attack was a fun way to make a point the organization is dead serious about: People who claim to speak to the dead, such as celebrity psychics like Van Praagh, Sylvia Browne and John Edward, are taking advantage of grieving people.

“We’re not rabble rousing,” Grothe told HuffPost Weird News. “This is a guy who is taking advantage of people’s grief. He’s not performing for entertainment, he’s claiming he’s giving messages from dead relatives. He gets people when they are at their lowest and sees them as his target market.”

Grothe says the group decided to dress up as the undead because Van Praagh has, so far, dodged questions about whether he’ll accept the foundation’s million-dollar challenge to prove his claimed psychic medium abilities under scientific conditions.

In the video, Van Praagh’s representatives first promise to get someone to talk with the group, but instead have the group kicked out by security.

MORE . . .

James-Randi-Challenge_350PX

Top 10 Worst Anti-Science Websites

My list of the worst offenders on the web in the promotion of scientific and factual misinformation.

Brian DunningBy Brian Dunning via skeptoid
H/T: Thomas J. Proffit

Read transcript below or listen here

screw science_250pxThe Internet is a dangerous place. It’s full of resources, both good and bad; full of citations linking one to another, sometimes helpfully, sometimes not. Today we’re going to point the skeptical eye at ten of the worst web sites in terms of quality of science information that they promote. To make this list, they not only need to have bad information, they also need to be popular enough to warrant our attention.

Many of these sites promote some particular ideology, but I want to be clear that that’s not why they’re here. Sites that make this list are only here because of the quality of the science information that they advocate.

As a measure of each site’s popularity, I’m giving its ranking on Alexa.com as of this writing. Of course this changes over time, so I’m rounding them off to give a general idea of each site’s traffic. Also, I’m giving its US traffic ranking, as these are English language sites and the worldwide rankings are skewed by sites in China, Russia, and the rest of the non-English world. For a starting point of reference, Skeptoid.com’s ranking is currently about 40,000, meaning that 40,000 web sites in the United States get more traffic than I do. And, compared to the number of web sites there are, that number is actually not half bad — but note how it compares to some of these sites promoting misinformation.

Let’s begin at the bottom of our list of the worst offenders, with a site that nevertheless has staggering amounts of traffic:

10. Huffington Post

huffingtonpost.com
Alexa ranked #23
Google PageRank 8

alternative_759_300pxThe Huffington Post is arguably one of the heaviest trafficked news, opinion, and information sources on the Internet. Its many editors and 9,000 contributors produce content that runs the gamut and is generally decent, with one exception: medicine. HuffPo aggressively promotes worthless alternative medicine such as homeopathy, detoxification, and the thoroughly debunked vaccine-autism link. In 2009, Salon.com published a lengthy critique of HuffPo’s unscientific (and often exactly wrong) health advice, subtitled Why bogus treatments and crackpot medical theories dominate “The Internet Newspaper”. HuffPo’s tradition is neither new nor just a once-in-a-while thing.

Science journalists have repeatedly taken HuffPo to task for this, and repeatedly been rebuffed or not allowed to submit fact-based rebuttals. HuffPo’s anti-science stance on health and medicine appears to be deliberately systematic and is unquestionably pervasive.

9. Conservapedia

conservapedia.com
Alexa ranked #13,600
Google PageRank 5

Artwork: Nathan Bebb

Conservapedia was founded by Christian activist Andrew Schlafly as resource for homeschooled children, intended to counter what he saw as an anti-Christian bias in Wikipedia and science information in general. It is, in short, an encyclopedia that gives a Young Earth version of every article instead of the correct version. If you want to know about dinosaurs, geology, radiometric dating, the solar system, plate tectonics, or pretty much any other natural science, Conservapedia is your Number One resource to get the wrong answer. That it is intended specifically as a science resource for homeschooled children, who don’t have the benefit of an accredited science teacher, is its main reason for making this list.

8. Cryptomundo

cryptomundo.com
Alexa ranked #41,800
Google PageRank 5

bigfoot-2Run by cryptozoologists Loren Coleman, Craig Woolheater, John Kirk, and Rick Noll, Cryptomundo promotes virtually every mythical beast as being a real living animal. Cryptozoology may be a fun and illustrious hobby for some, but its method of beginning with your desired conclusion and working backwards to find anecdotes that might support it is pretty much the opposite of the scientific method. Cryptomundo only ranks as #8 on our list because, let’s face it, cryptozoology is not exactly the most harmful of pseudosciences. It’s more of a weekend lark for enthusiasts of the strange.

Cryptomundo’s forum moderators have something of a notorious reputation for editing comments posted by site visitors, and for deleting comments that express skeptical points of view. Some skeptical commenters have reported even being banned completely from the forums, not for spamming or trolling, but just being consistently skeptical.

See this screen capture of Cryptomundo’s amusing criticism of my inclusion of their site.

7. 9/11 Truth.org

911truth.org
Alexa ranked #109,000
Google PageRank 5

911outside-jobThe only reason this site has such a low traffic rating is that its field is saturated with competition. 9/11 Truth.org is only the largest of the many, many web sites who began with the idea that 9/11 was a false flag operation against American citizens staged by the American government, but unlike most others, it has stayed on topic. Even more than a decade after 9/11, 911 Truth.org still manages to find and post articles almost daily promising to reveal new evidence proving the conspiracy.

6. Mercola.com

mercola.com
Alexa ranked #650
Google PageRank 6

alternative-medicine-for-dummiesThe sales portal of alternate medicine author Joseph Mercola has received at least three warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to stop making illegal health claims about the efficacy of its products. A tireless promoter, Mercola has built his web site into probably the most lucrative seller of quack health products. But Mercola’s web site is not wrong because it’s lucrative; it’s wrong because the vast majority of its merchandise has no proven medical value, yet virtually all of its product descriptions imply that they can improve the customer’s health in some way. Today’s Featured Products include:

Probiotics supplements that can “boost your body’s defense against disease and aid your production of essential nutrients”.

and

Krill oil that provides “A healthy heart, Memory and learning support, Blood sugar health, Anti-aging, Healthy brain function and development, Cholesterol health, Healthy liver function, Boost for the immune system, Optimal skin health”.

At least Mercola.com usually includes the required statement (tucked way down at the bottom of the screen in a tiny font) that “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” Presumably that’s a result of all the regulatory action he’s suffered.

More . . .

Conspiracy Theories by Christopher Dorner Truthers Abound as Saga Ends

By Alexandra Ward via News Max

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Wallet

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Fire

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

MORE . . . .

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

The ‘Invisible Artist’, Disappears In His Work (PHOTOS)

If you know me, you know i love optical illusions. Try to find the “invisible artist” – Liu Bolin – in his photos. Enjoy🙂

MIB

via The Huffington Post.

Liu Bolin is the “Where’s Waldo” of the art world. But instead of a red skull cap and sweater, the Chinese artist dons his own painted artworks — ready-made disguises that allow the sly chameleon to hide in plain site.

Artist Liu Bolin is hidden in his work.

Bolin has been blending into his surroundings for some time now, disappearing amidst chaotic toy store shelves, grocery produce sections and graffiti walls around the world. This year, the internationally regarded “invisible man” is bringing his photographic illusions to New York City in a solo exhibition at the Eli Klein Fine Art Gallery.

Titled “Lost in Art,” the show will highlight Bolin’s newest photographs, capturing the artist and other cooperative assistants hidden in labyrinths of canned goods and barren rural landscapes. To create the images, the artist spends up to 10 hours on each of his detailed body paintings, obsessing over every crack and crevice of the scenes before snapping a photograph.

What’s the allure of being an invisible man, you ask? “Each one chooses his or her path to come in contact with the external world,” Bolin stated to The Daily Mail. “I chose to merge with the environment.”

Click on any image below to begin viewing the slideshow.

More photos:

Sacramento ‘UFO Explosion’ Mystery Revealed

By Lee Speigel via The Huffington Post

The explanation for what many people thought was an exploding UFO above Sacramento is no longer a mystery — it was a weather balloon.

After HuffPost reported how Elijah Prychodzko videotaped a circular, bright aerial object through his telescope over Sacramento on Dec. 20, 2012, the volume of explanations began rolling in for the possible identity of the object.

Those included alien spacecraft, military weapons test, a runaway planet, Doomsday rock headed to Earth and shot down by the Air Force, North Korea’s satellite, and, even, a hoax.

This exploding weather balloon over Tampa Bay, Fla., was recorded on July 2, 2012. It looks nearly identical to the object that exploded over Sacramento, Calif., on Dec. 20, 2012.

This exploding weather balloon over Tampa Bay, Fla., was recorded on July 2, 2012. It looks nearly identical to the object that exploded over Sacramento, Calif., on Dec. 20, 2012 (below).

If the images above and below look similar, it’s because they both show the same type of event as seen through telescopes — the difference being that the picture above was taken over Tampa Bay, Fla., on July 2, 2012, and the one below was the object photographed over Sacramento on Dec. 20.

o-SACRAMENTOUFO-570

This object exploded over Sacramento, Calif., on Dec. 20, 2012.

Many readers speculated that what Prychodzko captured on video was a weather balloon and not something that occurred in deep space.

“Obviously, something of this magnitude (planetary-size space explosion) would have been noticed by government (NASA) and or professional astronomers along with a host of amateur astronomers,” 40-year veteran UFO researcher Frank Warren told HuffPost in an email.

Warren, editor and publisher of The UFO Chronicles website, did a follow-up investigation of the Sacramento video and concluded the object was clearly terrestrial in origin.

“After reviewing several videos of ‘weather balloons bursting’ at altitude, it leaves no question as to what the image in the Prychodzko video really is. Like any case we dig into, one either finds ancillary evidence in support of a claim, none, or just the opposite. This one fell apart rather quickly — research 101.”

In videos of weather balloon explosions — which can be found on the Internet — it looks like something is “orbiting” the main balloon, when, in fact, it’s an instrument package called a radiosonde that swings under the balloon, giving the appearance of being in orbit around the balloon. As the balloon rises, the decreased air pressure causes it to expand until it eventually bursts.

According to NBC News.com . . . MORE . . .

Doomsday 2012 Hoax: NASA Scientist David Morrison Debunks End Of World Theories

via huffingtonpost.com

Is the world going to end right in the middle of the upcoming holiday season? While that wouldn’t be good for retail sales, many people feel that Dec. 21, 2012 is a date that will linger in our minds forever — assuming we all survive the calamities that are supposedly headed our way.

The ancient Mayan civilization calendar is believed to end this year on Dec. 21. And somehow, through word-of-mouth, movies, books, the Internet, etc., a cult-like belief system has sprung up in our culture suggesting any number of awful things will take place on that date.

Some of these include:

  • An unknown planet on a collision path with Earth.
  • A close encounter between Earth and a black hole in deep space.
  • More natural disasters around our planet.
  • A shifting of Earth’s magnetic poles.

But where did all of these rumors actually start?

Many believe it goes back thousands of years to the ancient Sumerian culture who reportedly discovered a twelfth planet they called Nibiru — aka Planet X — which was predicted to have a close encounter with Earth in 2003.

When that didn’t happen, a new Doomsday was moved to December 2012.

On the other hand, there are some who believe the December date heralds not doom and gloom, but a more positive transformative experience for Earth and its inhabitants.

It all sounds rather sketchy, especially to a scientist.

“It’s all a hoax, and it’s based on absolutely no factual information. None of the things that are supposed to happen are real, and so it’s kind of hard to even have a scientific discussion about what they’re worried about because there’s no science there,” said David Morrison, a leading space scientist and director of the Carl Sagan Center for Study of Life in the Universe at the SETI Institute in California.

Watch this Doomsday video with David Morrison

While SETI scientists are involved with the ongoing search for extraterrestrial intelligence, they also want to quiet any fears the public has about the alleged Doomsday.

To that end, Morrison created a special Doomsday 2012 Fact Sheet in September that’s posted on both SETI and NASA websites.

According to this fact sheet, “opinion polls suggest that one in 10 Americans worry about whether they will survive past December 21 of this year.”

“Think about that. It means when you walk down the street and look around, there are 25 million people who presumably have no stake in anything because their world’s going to end in [December]. That is scary,” Morrison told The Huffington Post.

When Morrison was researching information for his Doomsday fact sheet, he didn’t find anything that confirmed that the Mayans left us any dire predictions.

MORE (VIDEO) . . .

Bigfoot Bounty: Spike TV Offers $10 Million For Irrefutable Proof Of Legendary Creature

via huffingtonpost.com

What would it take to get you interested in heading to remote wooded areas of America to try and prove the existence of the legendary creature known as Bigfoot? How about $10 million dollars.

Spike TV is offering the largest cash prize in television history for its new reality show, “10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty.”

Hoping to whet the appetites of Bigfoot hunters everywhere, the cable television channel has partnered with the international insurance market, Lloyd’s of London, to put teams of explorers on the track of the elusive, tall, hairy, human-like animals that allegedly live in the wilderness areas of North America.

“If this series idea had come in without that Lloyd’s of London mark attached to it, I don’t think we would have taken it seriously, but that’s no small chunk of change,” said Tim Duffy, Spike TV’s senior vice president of original series.

“What it signified to us was an opportunity to attract the best scientists, zoologists, trackers and Bigfoot hunters in the world in an attempt to prove or disprove its existence,” Duffy told The Huffington Post.

[…]

The 10, hour-long episodes of “10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty” are in pre-production now, with teams being assembled that will travel to various locations in the U.S., applying different methods in the search for their evasive quarry. The show has a scheduled launch on Spike TV in the fall of 2013.

In an odd twist for a new television series, besides the outrageous dollar amount prize for the first person to prove Bigfoot’s reality, Duffy said he and other Spike TV executives actually hope the show doesn’t last more than one season.

“Yes, absolutely! No one has ever done anything like this before, and that’s what I love about this show,” he said. “We’re going to do this right, not fast, and we’re not going to do it purely for entertainment purposes.”

Certainly one question that must be considered is: Does the $10 million bounty depend on whether Bigfoot is captured dead or alive? In some states, like Texas, it’s perfectly legal to shoot the alleged creature.

“We haven’t gotten to that point yet with Lloyd’s of London. Because they are the guarantors of this prize, they have a huge say in it. We’re still in the process of figuring out what the requirements will ultimately be for the retrieval of the bounty by whoever is successful bringing Bigfoot in,” said Duffy.

The most controversial piece of evidence to date that has been …

MORE (including photos and video) . . .

Watch this analysis of the Patterson-Gimlin 1967 Bigfoot film

UFO over Chilean Air Base

by Steven Novella via NeuroLogica Blog

It seems the HuffPo, not content to promote medical pseudoscience, is branching out into UFO nuttery. UFO author Leslie Kean, blogging in the Huff Po Science section, give a breathless and completely gullible account of a recent apparent UFO encounter over an air base in Santiago. You can watch the video for yourself and decide how impressive it is. View the video before reading on, as it will put everything into context.

Kean gives us this quick summary of the UFO situation:

As agreed by authorities around the world, these truly unexplainable unidentified flying objects appear solid, metallic and luminous, able to operate with speeds and maneuvers that defy the laws of physics. And, most chilling of all, they often behave as if under intelligent control.

Let’s count the logical fallacies she packed into this one paragraph. First she opens up with an argument from authority (even using the term). I doubt there is any consensus among world governments or “authorities” (whichever authorities she is referring to) that UFOs are space craft. There is certainly no scientific consensus that this is the case. But even if your average politician thought that UFOs were alien craft – so what. Politicians are generally not scientists and not exactly authorities on such topics.

Next she commits the fallacy of confusing currently unexplained with unexplainable. Most UFO sightings, in fact, when investigated turn out to be completely explainable. UFO believers (meaning that UFOs are alien spacecraft) point to the residue of unexplained cases to support their claims. However, given the number of UFO sightings, and the number of quirky phenomena that could result in such sightings, it is not surprising that some sightings remain unexplained – simply because there is not enough information to nail down exactly what was seen. This does not mean we are dealing with an unexplainable phenomenon, or alien visitation (that would be the argument from ignorance).

She next gives a description of some UFOs that would be truly impressive if it were true, but it’s not. Once we exclude demonstrable hoaxes, we are left with blobs, points of light, streaks, and other vague and fuzzy objects. What we do not have is a single smoking-gun piece of evidence. There is no picture or video that clearly shows an artificial craft capable of flight with good focus and reference for scale. There is not a single unambiguous piece of evidence.

Keep Reading: NeuroLogica Blog » UFO over Chilean Air Base.

Ben Hansen Of Syfy Channel’s ‘Fact Or Faked’ Examines Your UFOs

Lee SpeigelBy via huffingtonpost.com

Armed with millions of available cell phone cameras and digital cameras, people are looking to the skies around the world, and posting images of apparent UFOs on YouTube every day.

It’s about time the FBI helped out with sifting through it all. Or at least former FBI Special Agent Ben Hansen, who now makes a living uncovering the truth behind strange and bizarre sightings.

“I think that having a background in formal investigation helps in a logistical part of how to manage a case, and also gathering information,” Hansen told The Huffington Post.

As the lead host and investigator of the Syfy Channel‘s “Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files” series, Hansen, seen at right, uses his FBI-trained skills to debunk fake material and search for the truth. He says most UFO sightings are easily explained.

“It probably falls in the range of about 95 percent. When you actually have a photo or video, I would say the percentage of the unexplained increases a little bit. However, the biggest factor, I think, in the increase [of claimed UFO videos] is due to the availability of computer graphic software.”

Hansen looked carefully at several videos for HuffPost Weird News and offered his expertise on whether they’re fact or faked.

Read More [videos too !]: Ben Hansen Of Syfy Channel’s ‘Fact Or Faked’ Examines Your UFOs.

‘Chasing UFOs,’ New National Geographic Show, Reexamines Famous Flying Saucer Sightings

This show is a real doozy – and i don’t mean that in a positive way. Here, i’ll let the Huffington Post give you their review, then i’ll post a YouTube review below from one of my favorite skeptics, V00D00SIXXX.

«For most people, looking for UFOs is more of a hobby than an actual occupation. Not so for Erin Ryder, James Fox and Ben McGee, members of a dynamic team starring in the new television series, “Chasing UFOs,” that premieres Friday on the National Geographic Channel.

One can imagine the theme music of the old “X-Files” series playing in the heads of Ryder, Fox and McGee as they travel the country looking for the truth behind reported unexplained UFO encounters, alien abduction and military cover-ups.

The three investigators bring different points of view as they chase UFOs.»

Keep Reading: ‘Chasing UFOs,’ New National Geographic Show, Reexamines Famous Flying Saucer Sightings (VIDEO).


YouTube Review: Chasing UFOs (or not finding flying saucers)
This video is 32 minutes long, i enjoyed it, i hope you do too.

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