June 23, 2016

More funny riddles from a skeptical view.

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Vancouver’s “Haunted” Old Spaghetti Factory

June 17, 2016

The Old Spaghetti Factory in Gastown—Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood—is reportedly a very haunted place, but you couldn’t prove it by me (see photo). The popular eatery, which opened in 1970 in a former grocery wholesalers at 53 Water Street, houses an old trolley car and assorted other artifacts and antiques. It is also, reportedly, home to no fewer than four ghosts, one that of the old tram conductor himself.

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Sasquatch! Look Out!

June 08, 2016

After speaking at the Imagine No Religion Conference in Vancouver (May 20–22, 2016), I was able to spend some time investigating local mysteries. Notably, private investigator Dale Jackaman and I (see Figure 1) went into an area of prime Sasquatch country—the area around Chilliwack, Harrison Hot Springs, and Hope—where the fabled beast has long been reported, and in the future I intend to relate my investigations of specific historical sightings there.

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“Yeti or Not”—the Bear Facts

June 03, 2016

Tipped by a Huffington Post journalist, I watched Animal Planet’s Yeti or Not world premier, Sunday, May 29, 2016—part of a “Monster Week” lineup.

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“The Man Who Knew Infinity”: A Nickell-odeon Review

May 20, 2016

Buffeted by forces ranging from poverty to romantic estrangement, academic strictures, outright racism, and profound illness, math visionary Srinivasa Ramanujan lived a brief life that has yielded a rich study in perseverance and the triumph of genius. It is titled, The Man Who Knew Infinity.

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Dr. Kennedy’s Medical Discovery

May 17, 2016

The embossment, “Dr. Kennedy’s / Medical Discovery / Roxbury, Mass.”—on a bottle in my collection (see photo)—was first used in 1846 by Dr. Donald Kennedy. Or perhaps we should place the “Dr.” in quotation marks, since all of his early advertisements—including one from 1854—omit the title, as in “Manufactured by Donald Kennedy.”

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Sir Harry Kroto

May 06, 2016

English chemist, Nobel laureate, humanist, CSI Fellow, and all-around admirable human being, Sir Harold Kroto has left those of us who knew him saddened over his death, April 30, 2016, of Lou Gehrig’s disease.

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Dr. Hawks Universal Stimulant

May 04, 2016

The bottle shown here is embossed “DR. HAWKS [sic] UNIVERSAL STIMULANT”; the product was advertised at least as early as 1861.

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The Cascading House

April 25, 2016

My three previous blogs—including the last one, “Dispelling a Ghost at Fallingwater,” the stunning accomplishment of architect Frank Lloyd Wright—are the fruits of a long weekend with my wife Diana to Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, celebrating our 2016 anniversary. Here is one more, a poem about Fallingwater written in a style I have developed and call improvisational rhyming. (It is perhaps most effective when read aloud.)

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Dispelling a Ghost at Fallingwater

April 22, 2016

Is Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Fallingwater—built 1936–1939 as the home of Edgar J. Kaufmann, president of Kaufmann’s Department Stores—actually haunted, perhaps by the ghost of his wife Liliane?

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