Irish “Spontaneous Human Combustion”? Blarney!

September 27, 2011

In a classic instance of faulty logic—what is known as "an argument from ignorance"—an Irish coroner has proclaimed "spontaneous combustion" as the cause of death of a 76-year-old man, Michael Faherty, whose body was found extremely burned at his home in Ballybane, Galway. Although his remains were found lying "with his head closest to an open fireplace," fire officers nevertheless concluded that that blaze was not involved! They did not explain how they had ruled out the obvious source of the ignition (BBC News Online, September 23, 2011).

Read more… | 3 Comments

“The Debt” (A Nickell-odeon Review)

September 21, 2011

The Debt is a riveting thriller about Mossad secret agents David, Stefan, and Rachel, who are played—in scenes of 1966 and 1997—by two sets of actors.

Read more…

Outlaw-Imposture Syndrome

September 07, 2011

The targets of impostors are not only the noted but the notorious also. Numerous persons have claimed that they were an erstwhile presumed-dead outlaw, like Jesse James or—the latest target—Butch Cassidy. So similar are the features of such cases that they define what I now call the Outlaw-Imposture Syndrome.

Read more…

“Cowboys and Aliens” (A Nickell-odeon Review)

August 25, 2011

It's a cross between True Grit and War of the Worlds—with sequences of fine acting and great special effects worthy of either movie.

Why, then, is Cowboys and Aliens such a failure?

Read more… | 4 Comments

Midnight in Paris (A Nickell-odeon Review)

August 15, 2011

Ah, midnight in Paris!

Or anytime in Paris if you ask me—a place where I once had a magical time, until the Orient Express whisked me away, like a magic carpet, to Istanbul.

Read more… | 1 Comment

The Ghost Haunters

July 27, 2011

(What the spirited duo might say, if they weren't speaking through a ghost writer.)

Read more…

“Psychics” in the Casey Anthony Murder Case

July 11, 2011

In the travesty of justice that was the Casey Anthony Murder trial in Orlando, two things may have escaped the reader's notice. The first is that the O.J. Simpson jury must have moved with O.J. to Florida and made themselves available to serve at the Anthony trial. The second concerns the involvement of "psychics." Did, in fact, a "psychic" divine the location of the remains of little Caylee Anthony, who was long sought after she went missing from her Orlando, Florida, home in the summer of 2008?

Read more… | 4 Comments

The First Grader (A Nickell-odeon Review)

July 08, 2011

An inspiring narrative of humanity—of strength, values, and triumph—The First Grader should attract humanists in droves, perhaps especially secular humanists (i.e., atheists with hearts), since its messages are entirely secular. The story is all the more relevant for being "Based on a true story."

Read more…

Gay-Marriage Victory

July 05, 2011

I am proud that my state government has at last, on June 25, 2011, passed legislation to legalize same-sex marriage, and that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo—who personally lobbied for its passage, as I voted for him to do—promptly signed it into law.

Read more… | 1 Comment

Failed “Psychic” Tip

June 21, 2011

Do "psychics" really solve crimes or help police find missing persons? Not according to an incident that drew not only Liberty County, Texas, sheriff's deputies, but also Texas Rangers, FBI agents, and cadaver-sniffing dogs, as well as a swarm of reporters and a TV helicopter.

Read more…

« First  <  26 27 28 29 30 >  Last »