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Showing posts with the label skepticism

Saving The World - One New Podcast At A Time

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The Rational Crank has been away for a while, but I have something new, a PODCAST.  Every few weeks or so, a few of my friends and I will get together over a late night dinner and chat about stuff - some overlooked news, some strange  ideas and some bad jokes.  We start with a conspiracy game and end by solving all the world's problems.  If you like this, let me know and tell a friend.  You can also leave a review on iTunes, Digg or your portal of choice. 
Alright, honestly, I don't even know how to put this on iTunes, Digg or my portal of choice yet.  I don't even know what to call it.  One step at a time, ok.   Anyone know what an RSS feed is?   

I would like to give a big thanks to all of my friends on the show.I would also like to thank the podcasts that inspired me: the Skeptics Guide To the Universe, The Amateur Scientist, The Conspiracy Skeptic, The Dumbasses Guide to Knowledge, and Potter and Pals.I freely admit stealing a little something from all of these great…

This Could Be Craziest Post I Have Ever Written

A while back I spoke about pareidolia, the act of seeing specific images in vague random shapes. It was easy for me to find a bunch of pictures of the virgin marry to illustrate the phenomena, So I started looking for some pictures of the big man, himself. They were also easy to find - Jesus on toast, Jesus in an x-ray, Jesus in a Kit Kat bar. But, there was one picture in particular, that I came across, that I specifically did not use. When you stare at this picture, if you squint your eyes, and you use your imagination you can clearly see the image of Jesus in…I’m sorry, I can’t say it. It is too crude for my blog. Believe it or not, I DO want to maintain a certain civility in my posts. And this image of Jesus would be crossing the line.But I can’t stop thinking about it. Not because of where the image is, but because of what the implications of this image appearing in this particular place, are. You see, the fact that the image of Jesus can clearly be seen in… this place, could ver…

WALKING ON WATER

Who would have thought that all you have to do is use water repellant shoes.

PAREIDOLIA

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I found these and many more on Buzz Feed. They are a collection of Virgin Mary sightings for 2009. The phenomenon is called pareidolia, the act of seeing specific images in vague shapes or smudges. We all do this when we look at a cloud and imagine a dog or fire truck. We are also doing it when we look at a satellite image from mars and see a human face.And yes the one at the end is a condom. I am so sorry.

A MILLION DOLLAR CHALLENGE

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At parties, you’ve heard me say that when it comes to my world view I am a “Skeptic.” (Right now, I am addressing only the people I have gotten drunk in front of, which it turns out is more of you then I wish to admit) Some of you think I use the word Skeptic as a general adjective, as in: “I am skeptical, please refill my wine glass.” To be clear, when I say I am a Skeptic I mean, I belong to an organized group calling, themselves “Skeptics.” Yes, there is such a group. You’ll be surprised to hear there are a number of such grumpy sounding groups. They publish grumpy magazines like "The Skeptic” and “Skeptical Inquirer.” They have grumpy podcasts like “Point of Inquiry” and “The Skeptics Guide to the Universe.” They have grumpy congressional lobbing groups and they even hold grumpy conventions. They just had one this month in Las Vegas where I’m sure no one gambled because no one believed they could win. That’s all a pack of lies of cause. They are not a bunch of grumpy people.…

DRUNKEN DOWSING PART 2

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Here is the next installment of the dowsing test.

(DOWSER- TOM – not his real name)
Let’s make the Dowsing experiment into a kind of performance piece/party! I'll bring plenty of dowsing rods - I know that after I prove that dowsing is true, everyone will want to learn how. Maybe even you!

(ME)
A test at a party would be great but not at the one coming up. We have not yet come up with the protocol for the experiment. And as the Wicked Witch of the West has said, "These things have to be done delicately."
I would love to learn how to dowse. You may not know this but there are a number of science organizations around the world which will award you large sums of money (we are talking a million dollars) if you can demonstrate to them that you can do what you claim. But we are getting a little ahead of ourselves. Why don't we see if you can dowse first? Then we can have a dowsing rave because you are going to be rich.
From what I have read these science groups usually start out…

AS CLEAR AS MUD

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First off, I would like to say Happy New Year. I can’t seem to shake this nagging feeling that 2009 will be a really good year.
Recently our local, progressively minded, free newspaper, The Orlando Weekly, printed an article in which they asked local newsmakers what they thought 2009 will be like. They chose some county commissioners, a radio news personality, and some local charity board members to use their crystal balls to pear into the future. The responses the paper received were interesting but not outstanding with the exception of one, Kim Wade, resident “psychic” at a New Age Shop in Orlando called Avalon. I want to compliment Wade for her STUNNING AND DARING predictions for 2009.
Without the benefit of ESP, gay activist, Michael Wanzie foresees Florida’s ban on gay adoption being lifted in 2009. Kim Wade, on the other hand, went out on a limb to say “Political things will be front-row center” in 2009.
Because of the slowing economy, reporter, Mike Synan of WDBO radio was willing…

DRUNKEN DOWSING

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Well, I found myself at yet another party, with too much wine in me. There I was with five others arguing about the paranormal. As is generally the case, I alone was defending Science and Skepticism against assaults from all sides. I wasn’t doing very well. My losses were completely due to the amount of alcohol that I had consumed and in no way related to my position, which I assure you was rock solid. Or at least that’s how I remember it. Although the next morning I woke up with a terrible headache and my socks were missing.
Sensing vulnerability, one of my friends decided to attack on another front by reminding me that he is an accomplished dowser. They all know exactly where my buttons are and have no qualms in pushing them liberally.
The long and short of it is I have a challenge. I must come up with an experiment to test my friend’s abilities. I will try to document this experiment and keep you posted as to how it is progressing. The following is the first email exchange:

(ME)So I’v…

MESSAGES FROM WATER

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Last week at a party a friend of mine started talking about the experiments of Masaru Emoto. The following is an entry from Wikipedia:

Masaru Emoto , is a Japanese author known for his controversial claim that if human speech or thoughts are directed at water droplets before they are frozen, images of the resulting water crystals will be beautiful or ugly depending upon whether the words or thoughts were positive or negative. Emoto claims this can be achieved through prayer, music or by attaching written words to a container of water.

Two things came to mind when I heard this claim. Don’t you think it is an amazing coincidence that nice thoughts produced white orderly crystals, while angry thoughts produced black splotchy disorderly crystals? I understand that the bad guys are supposed to wear black hats and the good guys are supposed to wear white, but, come on. What are the chances that a chemical reaction would somehow correlate to old Hollywood western stereotypes? Couldn’t it have …