‘Annihilation’: A Mixed Bag of Mystery

March 19, 2018

Annihilation is a refreshing and thought-provoking take on the alien contact genre and has some interesting ideas, but they are often mired in metaphors that never really gel. 

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The Shape of Water: A Look Below the Surface at the World of Mermen

March 08, 2018

The celebrated film 'The Shape of Water' co-stars a rarely-seen monster of folklore: a merman. Here's a look at merman lore from around the world.

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50 Shades of… Fear

February 19, 2018

Much of the criticism of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" erotic franchise is based on the assumption of real-world damage caused by the books and films. Is it fact or fearmongering? A closer look at the breathless claims.  

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Wild Bill Hickok Speaks from the Grave to the Stars of ‘Ghost Lab.’ Or Not.

February 05, 2018

I take a close look at the evidence for supposed "ghost voices" recorded by ghost hunters, including one of "Wild Bill" Hickok found on the TV show 'Ghost Lab.'

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Why Trump Is Always Right

January 18, 2018

It's not a popular thing to admit, but let's face it: Trump is always right. Here's why. 

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The Arrest and Conviction of ‘Blue Whale Game’ Svengali Filipp Budeykin

January 10, 2018

Russian news stories claim that a man named Filipp Budeykin was convicted of involvement in the 'Blue Whale Game.' But that doesn't mean it's real.

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Dieting Myths: New Year’s Resolution Edition

January 05, 2018

Losing weight is a perpetual top New Year's resolution. But what about the rest of the year, and how many people are really trying to lose weight? 

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‘Why Are You Asking?’ Reporting the Black Santa Story

December 18, 2017

A viral news story in 2016 about racial outrage against a black mall Santa Claus turned out, fortunately, to be false. So why was researching the truth seen as problematic? 

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The True, Heartwarming Story of the Mall of America’s Black Santa

December 01, 2017

One year ago today an ugly and widely-reported episode of racial hatred tainted the beginning of the 2016 holiday season. Fortunately it didn't happen.

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Gunmen or Maintenance Worker? Applause or Gunshot?  How Expectation Influences Perception

November 20, 2017

Countless real-life examples of false reports remind us that sincere, otherwise credible eyewitnesses can be influenced by many factors, including what they expect (or fear) to see.

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