Labyrinths, New Age Feminism, and Skepticism

March 21, 2012

Skepticism and feminism clash over the ancient (and New Agey) labyrinth symbol. 

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Rush Limbaugh, Being a Dick, and Skepticism

March 08, 2012

 The controversy over Rush Limbaugh's comments has implications for the skeptical movement. Why Rush is a Dick, and skeptics shouldn't be. 

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Oscar-Winning Film Highlights Acid Attack Domestic Violence

February 28, 2012

Though few have heard of it, the important Oscar-winning short subject film Saving Face may be the best film of the year, highlighting horrific abuse of women in Pakistan.

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A Skeptic’s Visit to Macchu Picchu

February 22, 2012

A skeptic visits the Peruvian ruins of Macchu Picchu and finds history tainted by pseudoscience.

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The Woman in Black: A Classic Ghost Story

February 06, 2012

In the new horror/thriller The Woman in Black, Arthur Kipps, a lawyer whose grief over his dead wife has put his career in jeopardy, is sent to a remote English village to sort out the affairs of a recently deceased woman. Upon his arrival, he learns that everyone in the town is keeping a deadly secret: the woman's house is haunted by a ghost-the titular woman in black. Much of the film is classic ghostlore, and scenarios I have seen enacted during real-life ghost hunts by psychics and ghost hunters.

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The Mayan Calendar, 2012, and Doomsday: A Primer

January 25, 2012

It's no secret that the ancient Mayans (as opposed to the modern ones, some of whom work in offices and use cell phones) had a famous calendar that "runs out" in December of this year. Just what that means--if anything--is the question. Does it hold any particular significance for Doomday, the Apocalpyse, or Armageddon? Here's a (very) short primer on the Mayan calendar.

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RileyGate: Lessons Learned

January 11, 2012

A recent blog I wrote about a viral video featuring a "pint-sized pundit" ranting about gender stereotypes was flawed in several ways, and deserved much of the criticism it got. 

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‘Expert Eyewitness’ Shoots Dog Walker: Skeptical Lessons from Tragedy

January 05, 2012

A woman was shot last week when a state trooper mistook her two retriever dogs for a deer; what does this say about expert eyewitness testimony?

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Rebecca and Riley: Tempest in a Doll’s Tea Party

January 02, 2012

Skepchick blogger and skeptical colleague Rebecca Watson wrote a scathing blog about a column I wrote on a viral video starring a girl named Riley, and her rant about gender-stereotyped colors and toys. How valid are her criticisms? Decide for yourself. 

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Five Solved ‘Unexplained Mysteries’ of 2011

December 27, 2011

Each year brings new puzzles and mysteries to challenge skeptics and put our wits to the test. Sometimes mysteries take weeks, months, or even years or decades to solve, and while most of the public's attention naturally focuses on the still-mysterious, it's always worth reflecting on former mysteries. Here are five high-profile (temporarily) unexplained mysteries that were finally solved in 2011.

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