‘Miss Representation’ and The Importance of Good Statistics

September 17, 2014

In my many years of fact-checking news media reports I'm continually baffled by the defensive stance that people often take when you fact-check their statistics. In fact I'm against misinformation and bad statistics--whatever the source, and especially when being offered in service of causes I support.

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Review of Jesse Ventura’s “American Conspiracies”

September 08, 2014

One verifiable fact I learned in the first few pages of Jesse Ventura's book American Conspiracies is that Ventura believes he's a hardcore, no-bullshit truth teller. He's bravely willing to stand up and tell it like it is, to cut through the lies, myths, and misinformation surrounding some of America's most cherished myths.

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The Myth of “The Media”

August 15, 2014

Blaming “the media” is not only vague writing and lazy thinking, but it is also ineffective. Here's why.

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Truth and Myth Behind “Magic in the Moonlight”

July 25, 2014

 A look at some of the real-life events and characters that inspired the new Woody Allen film Magic in the Moonlight.

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Acupuncturists Respond to Critics With Quiver of Fallacies

July 02, 2014

I recently wrote a piece titled "Acupuncture Can Spread Tuberculosis, Researchers Warn," which prompted many angry supporters of acupuncture to respond. Here's what they said. 

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Evolution of the Conspiracy Theorist

June 13, 2014

The conspiracy theorist is, of course, not a new breed of human. All the basic psychological building blocks of conspiracy thinking are inherent in the human psyche, including distrust of authority, wanting "inside information," and real or imagined persecution-and, to be fair, often a dearth of critical thinking skills such as the ability (or desire) to separate anonymous rumor from established fact.

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Amazing Spider-Man 2

May 10, 2014

Like many teenage boys I was a fan of comic books, and my favorite superhero was Spider-Man... Sadly the film version leaves much to be desired. 

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The Pseudoscience of Baby Gender Prediction

April 29, 2014

It's springtime and thoughts turn to romance and babies... And along with those thoughts are various superstitions about predicting the gender of those babies.

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Haunted Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: ‘Oculus’  Film Review

April 14, 2014

There is a long history of folklore and legends about magical mirrors, ranging from the Bloody Mary urban legends to the sycophantic mirror in Snow White to the centuries-old practice of covering mirrors in the room of a dying person lest either Death or the Devil be seen in them. The new horror film Oculus tells the story of a cursed mirror.

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Charles Darwin, Skeptic

March 31, 2014

Charles Darwin was much more than just a scientist and author; he was also a devoted family man and an explorer. Steeped in the ways of science, he was also a skeptic who demanded good evidence for extraordinary claims.

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