Kewaunee Lapseritis's Psychic Sasquatch and UFOs

Once in a blue moon, the great monuments of Woo come together in a synthesis of pure extra-dimensional pleasure. Such is the case with Kewaunee Lapseritis's account of psychic sasquatchery. Within his new book, you will find Bigfoot, UFOs, Starpeople, an account of human genesis, teleportation, secret underground laboratories, and psychic communications.

No doubt about it - this is 100% Grade A free range woo. Each page exceeds the recommended daily allowance, so use caution when reading!
From The Psychic Sasquatch and their UFO Connection:
When I asked a Bigfoot, "what about Adam and Eve?" he replied, "I don't know anything about Adam and Eve. If you want to know about them, you'll have to wait and ask our friends the Starpeople, because they are the ones who brought them." This was shocking to me indeed. He went on to say that we hairless humans were seeded later, each race being released on a continent best suited for its survival. This includes Homo Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon.
What I find peculiar about this passage is that Kewaunee still calls them Bigfoot. You'd think that after 50 years of study, he would have at least made the attempt to classify them under Linnaean taxonomy or given them a name, like Gigantopedipus.


The 30-Day Sex Challenge

What beats Kevin Trudeau's 15 colonics in 30 days? How about 30 days of sex? Only this isn't a cure for weight loss - it's what God wants you to do (although weight loss might be a nice side effect). The Relevant Church of Tampa, FL, to address breakups in relationships, has proposed a 30-day challenge which would have married couples engaging in the 'wink wink nudge nudge' for 30 days straight, while singles would forgo sex during that time. The challenge runs from February 17 to March 16, so if you're just now finding out - you've got some catching up to do!
Relevant Church
People are not having enough sex. An epidemic of breakups prove the needs that lead to a great sex life are being overlooked. Dirty dishes, frumpy clothes, and a lack of authentic connections are killing the romance. A great sex life is a challenge and takes focus, determination, and planning. Some say it’s an unrealistic goal, but we disagree. We believe you can have a great sex life, in fact we believe God wants you to have a great sex life.
That's some libido-draining church! Just pray God doesn't forsake you in your time of need.


Is Timothy Brantley the Next Kevin Trudeau?

Dr. Timothy Brantley is the naturopath to the stars, and he has a new book out: The Cure (Heal Your Body, Save Your Life Through Nutrition). Reading a review, one particular item stood out for me:
The Celebrity Cafe Book Review
Brantley’s personal experiences and statements about the American diet make a relatively convincing case for the causes of illness and the value of natural cures. His opinions echo those of Kevin Trudeau’s, author of Natural Cures: What They Don’t Want You to Know. The difference is Brantley’s personality and cognitive style; he is optimistic as opposed to Trudeau’s pessimism and paranoia, and seems able to offer reasonable natural alternatives without villanizing the entire medical industry.

Anyone who echoes Trudeau is not about truth in medicine...but is after a quick way to make a buck. But maybe I should reserve judgment until I read the book. Still, it's going to be hard to choke down echoes of Trudeau.

Of course, the colonic looks to be ever present. I wonder if he recommends the same regimen as Trudeau - 15 colonics in 30 days? At least, with the Colema Board, you can serve yourself in the comfy of your own home while catching reruns of Seinfeld. Take a look-see at the good time you could be having tonight:

Kevin Trudeau's Natural Cures For Wealth

Aren’t there times when you feel you have just too much money and you have no idea what to do with it? Well, “consumer advocate” Kevin Trudeau is here to help. Purchase any one of his books and he’ll gladly lighten your load through high shipping costs and subscription fees. And if you decide to cancel? Well he may just go on helping you by continuing to bill your credit card for something you don’t want. I call it "Kevin Trudeau's Natural Cure for Wealth”.

Kevin Trudeau's Natural Cures Agrees to Missouri Refunds

"I ordered a book from Kevin Trudeau (Weight Loss Cures)," wrote John C. of Indianapolis, Indiana. "They tried to sell me several other items while we were on the phone, but I told them I just wanted the book. This was in March of 2007."

John said ITV Global then charged his credit card $5.95 a month for the next several months.

"When I called them, they said this was for a newsletter," John told us. "I told them I did not order this and wanted the charges removed. Without even researching to see if I ordered this, they refused to credit all my money back.

"I did not order this product, nor did I receive a newsletter. The billing practices used by this company should be criminal," John said.

If you happen to be in Long Beach, CA this weekend, you can visit Trudeau at the Long Beach Natural Alternatives Expo. I'm sure he'll be happy to relieve you of your hard earned pay. You might be one of the lucky ones who continues to experience his brand of relief for months to come.

Russia Gets Their UFO On

The U.S. is falling behind in many areas and, despite the recent hullabaloo in Stephenville, TX, our interest in UFOs and aliens has been on the steep decline ever since the 1970's. Instead, we're more interested in the Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohans of the world. Thankfully, many other countries are picking up the slack. Russia is building a theme park that will cater specifically to alien hunters, a sure sign that they are catching up to the 70's. I wonder if we should warn them about disco...
Russia builds £3m UFO centre
It will include an observatory for people to scan the skies for UFOs, a special trail along sites of supposed UFO sightings, as well as displays and even equipment like infra-red cameras that can be rented by UFO spotters to catch aliens on film.

A lawyer is even planning to open an office there to give advice on compensation to people who have been the victim of alien abduction. Officials said they expect the centre to draw in thousands of visitors from across the world every year.


Will Kansas Slip Back Into the Past?

With everything else going on this election season, little notice is being paid to the Kansas school board whose 5 out of 10 seats are up for grabs. Currently there is a 6-4 moderate/liberal majority. Two of the staunchly conservative seats will be voted on and are expected to remain conservative. But there is concern over the other 3 which are mod/lib. Based on preceding elections, the conservatives lose out to public outcry, but in the intervening years, apathy sets in.

Evolution and the yo-yo effect

Voters took exception and the board changed hands after the 2000 election, sending Gamble to her first term. By 2002, however, apathy had set in and the moderates lost a seat, resulting in a 5-5 deadlock. Then two years later, conservatives gained a majority, and soon the board was sponsoring widely publicized hearings on evolution.

Abstinence-only sex ed was also on the agenda, and the conservative majority hired a commissioner of education with zero qualifications for the job but a warm feeling for school vouchers.

Voter outrage ensued and, once again, the balance shifted in 2006.

But as Gamble mentioned, nothing is ever “fixed” with the state board for longer than one election, and control could yo-yo again. Added to the equation above is the expectation that conservatives are expected to hang onto their four seats, including the two up for a vote this year. Both incumbents – Republicans Steve Abrams and Kathy Martin -- are running.

So, Kansas, are you going to get your act together or would you rather Intelligent Design rule the classrooms?

Vote, dammit!

Homeopathy as a Replacement for Goat Balls

In the early 20th century, Dr. John Brinkley made a fortune by transplanting goat testicles into men to cure their impotence. 16,000 people received the procedure, thanks to Brinkley's direct marketing campaign, including press agents, newspaper advertising, and a popular radio medical talk show. All these people were suckered in because Brinkley had testimonials. No evidence of efficacy, no explanation of how it worked - just testimonials.

The American Medical Association is gracious enough to label homeopathy as "untested" only because they haven't shown that homeopathy can lead to the delay of receiving appropriate therapy or diverts care to unproven methods. Otherwise, it would be called "quakery". One of the hallmarks of quackery is that anecdotal evidence or testimonials is the main basis for "success" of this modality.

The idea that water retains the memory of whatever substance it formerly contained is ludicrous. The idea that drinking this water can cure you of a specific ailment other than dehydration is ludicrous. The whole concept is laughable and absurd.

Yet homeopathy has testimonials and an effective marketing campaign.

Anyone care to give up their viagra for goat balls?


Liberty, Truth, and Ignorance

Ben Stein Wins Intelligent Design Award for 'Expelled'

Ben Stein has been named the recipient of the 2008 Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth. This award "recognizes...[the] pivotal role in advancing our understanding of design in the universe by opening up informed dissent to Darwinian and materialistic theories of evolution." This begs the question as to how our understanding of "design in the universe" is advanced by "informed dissent" of evolution. Since intelligent design is not a theory in and of itself, it resorts to pointing out supposed flaws in the theory of evolution. It does not provide any evidence in support of intelligent design. There has been no theory that has ever been supplanted with a new theory without supporting evidence.

"Liberty and Truth" in this award is a moniker for "Freedom to Remain Ignorant". Mr. Stein is well deserving of this reward.


Ass Psychic to the Stars

This is the first time I've heard about "ass psychics". I am already considering a new career as a fanny phrenologist, rump reader, or an Ass Wu Master. The fringe benefits are enticing, but I'm not sure I want to typecast myself as just a psychic of the posterior. Maybe if I became "Ass Psychic to the Stars"?

Yeah...I think I may have found my calling.
Lessons Learned From ‘Elle’ Editor's Derriere Diary -- The Cut: New York Magazine's Fashion Blog

But the tale of Slowey's ass and its hard path to shrinkage only gets weirder from there. Inspired by stories of pet psychics being in touch with Vivi, the whippet who ran away from JFK airport after appearing in last year's Westminster dog show, she called her own psychic to talk about her ass. According to her psychic, "[Slowey's] ass no longer wants to be fat. It just wants to be complimented. But you are putting entirely too much pressure on it. It keeps saying, ‘Free me! Free me!’" Um, right. This is how Slowey responded:

All I have to do for my derriere to be happy is moon people and scream, "Free your ass?" Sorry, butt psychic. I am electrocuting the hell out of it at Exhale, scrunching and bumping it at Physique 57, and doing another week of juice fasting with Jill Petitjohn. Putting my ass’s happiness before my desire for a svelte silhouette is just ass-backwards…I'm getting into that Lanvin skirt, even if it means I can't bend at the waist and need two goons hauling me around by the arms around like a rusted Tin Man. To hell with my repressed ass, it's Lanvin or bust.

Paranormal Ghost Hunting (A Load of Crap)

Bexhill ghosts may be full of shite.
Paranormal 'beings' reported at the sewage station
"The conclusion is, we can't prove it is haunted because of strong electromagnetic fields, which can cause the illusion of being haunted, the feeling of being touched or watched, but there is paranormal activity."

Psychic Night - Use the Woo, Paula!

My best advice to Paula Paradaema is to use her psychic powers before entering into these business transactions. I know that using psychic energy must be physically draining, but when it comes to money and if you have the woo - use it!
Police called to psychic night
Police were called to a Lancashire pub when a psychic night ended in a heated argument.
Clairvoyant Paula Paradaema appeared at The Flag, Parkside Lane, Nateby, near Garstang, but had to summon officers when, she claims, there was a dispute over her fee.


Kevin Trudeau's Valentine Day Motion

On November 16, 2007, U.S. District Court Judge Robert W. Gettleman said that Kevin Trudeau was one heck of a salesman, a prolific author, and an "exposer of corporate and government corruption". The Judge also said Trudeau was also in contempt of court.

In his opinion (pdf reference), Judge Gettleman wrote
As discussed above, Mr. Trudeau has violated this court’s order. He has misrepresented
the content of his book by stating in his infomercials that his diet protocol was “easy” and that it
allowed dieters to “eat whatever they want,” and he has misled thousands of consumers. For
these reasons, the court holds Mr. Trudeau in contempt. By separate order, the court will set a
hearing to determine the appropriate remedy in light of this opinion.
I guess those weight loss cures Trudeau touted were not as easy as he led everyone to believe. But I do wonder how many colonics it takes for some people to realize the same thing.

I also just happened to be checking the docket to see if the "appropriate remedy" will be dished out soon. All I found was a "Notice of Motion" in the FTC v. Trudeau case being heard today by the Judge. I wonder...d'ya think Trudeau might be entering a motion to wish the Judge a Happy Valentine's Day? Maybe send a box of organic chocolates and a "Thinking of You" card?


Indohyus - A Two-Fold Victory for Creationists!

Woo! Creationism is on the march! For a long time, intelligent design supporters like Dr. Geoffrey Simmons have argued that we do not have any transitional fossils between whales and mammals that walked on land. If that is true, we have to wonder why Dr. Hans Thewissen, an expert is whale origins, is still drawing a paycheck. However, according to the National Science Foundation (NSF), the long awaited for missing link between four-footed mammals and whales has now been found.
Missing Link Between Whales and Four-Footed Ancestors Discovered
Scientists since Darwin have known that whales are mammals whose ancestors walked on land. In the past 15 years, researchers led by Hans Thewissen of the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy (NEOUCOM) have identified a series of intermediate fossils documenting whale's dramatic evolutionary transition from land to sea.

But one step was missing: The identity of the land ancestors of whales.

Now Thewissen and colleagues have discovered the skeleton of Indohyus, an approximately 48-million-year-old even-toed ungulate from the Kashmir region of India, as the closest known fossil relative of whales.
"Wait-a-minit," you say. "How can this be a victory for the creationists?" Ahhh...let woo show us the way! Before Indohyus reared its furry little snout, we had

Land Mammal--->Missing Link--->Whale

or, two intelligently designed creatures and a missing link. However, now we have

Land Mammal--->Missing Link--->Indohyus--->Missing Link--->Whale

which, from where I sit, gives us three intelligently designed creatures and two missing links! And, as Dr. Simmons is fond of pointing out, not a blow-hole among anyone of them other than the whale. At this rate, he will have to re-title his latest book, Billions of Missing Links, to Bajillions of Missing Links.

As a side note, Dr. Simmons recently suffered a withering attack on his woo from the acerbic ridicule of Dr. P. Z. Myers of Pharyngula in a debate on KKMS Christian radio (listen). However, a week later and away from the critical stare of Dr. Myers, Simmons was offered redemption and his wounds were personally licked on air by the radio show's hosts (they're such nice Christian boys) (listen).


DIY - Telekenesis

Do you have psychic powers? Can you make an object move without touching it? From the good folks over at Bad KungFu, we now have a simple, at-home test for Chi.

How woo are you?

Test Your Psychic Powers - The funniest videos are a click away

Q&A with Eileen Cook

Eileen Cook is the author of Unpredictable, her debut novel. From the Amazon.com book description:
Sophie Kintock isn't crazy, she just wants her guy back. And posing as a psychic to give his new girlfriend a face reading designed to break them up isn't going overboard, is it? Don't answer that.

Faking psychic powers turns out to be easy and fun, especially after a few lessons from Nick, the cute (if a bit nerdy) skeptic, who knows all the tricks of the trade. But her readings do a lot more than she could have predicted, and soon Sophie needs to figure out whether the answers lie in the stars-or in herself.
Eileen, who is familiar with skeptics (her husband is a member of CSICOP), was recently interviewed on Ask Allison about how she got published. Her book came to my attention because of its logline: "She's no psychic - but she can fake it if she has to..." Doesn't it conjure up images of When Harry Met Sally Sylvia Browne? Well...maybe not, but her interview is worth a read.
I love the idea of being able to have super-human abilities. I also would love to be able to fly superhero style (except for the fact that I would look really bad in those Spandex suits). I think that sometimes in our desire to find something out of this world- we overlook what is right in front of us . We're so busy playing with tarot cards we miss the real magic- how you feel when you fall in love at first sight or finding a killer pair of shoes- IN YOUR SIZE.

How to Fake UFO Photographs

From the skeptical mind of Dr. Michael Shermer:


Entertaining Woo

One shudders to think . . .

Psychic Nikki with a dash of Tom Cruise

In an earlier posting, we described how Nikki, Psychic to the Stars predicted Heath Ledger's death after he died. We also saw that she did not predict Angelina Jolie's Oscar nomination after Angelina Jolie didn't get an Oscar nomination.

Yeah, I know. It's confusing. But then, most of her predictions are confusing. Nikki (aka Nikki Pezaro) has been making wild predictions for years, some very general while others are very specific. Above all, they are entertaining and nothing more. The vast majority of her predictions have been misses, and the few hits she's had (e.g. "an attack against Microsoft") are general enough as to be no surprise to anyone. Are they really any different than pure speculation?

Described as a "soulful eyed actress" (ref), Nikki played the part of a hooker in 1985's Psycho Girls (note, IMDB mistakenly lists her as Nikki Pezano, not Pezaro). In 1995, she was working the late night shift on a psychic hotline in Toronto. A revealing quote about her is found in a Maclean's Magazine article on psychic hotlines:
Ironically, the most scathing denunciations of phone psychics have come from Bob Garfield, the Washington columnist for Advertising Age. Despite the fact that their increasingly slick infomercials have proved a boon to the ad world, he rails at them as "sleazy. The ultimate product they're selling is company - to have someone to talk to at $5 a minute." Acknowledges Nikki Pezaro, a Toronto actress-psychic who works the 4 a.m. shift on one of Savard's rival's lines: "There are a lot of desperate people out there."
Preying on desperate people is perhaps the single biggest link connecting purveyors of woo. But maybe that was in Nikki's past. I see her today as a "psychic consultant" for TV Guide and the US Sun, or as someone to call upon for her Oscar and Golden Globe picks - just a little extra seasoning to throw into the pot of media frenzy. However, I would be interested in hearing from our Canadian friends if she's a bigger presence up north. Just send me an email. I'm here everyday...

As I said before, Nikki's accuracy is no better than pure speculation, but she does have some uniquely specific predictions, like
  • the Hollywood star who will be crushed by an elephant while on location in India
  • the Earth will move slightly off it's axis, causing some havoc
  • a transvestite will be a contestant in the Miss USA contest
But what if her predictions for the year don't come true (as is the case with most of them)? Psychics will be the first to say that no one is perfect. As for Nikki, it's just a matter of time.

She said some of the predictions she made for 2006 may not happen in that specific year but that her prophecies would come true maybe in 2007 or 2008.

"Sometimes when you make a prediction, the time frame could be off," she said. "[Sometimes] psychics have problems making the exact time frame, but eventually the prediction does happen."

Nikki's website is something of an afterthought. I giver her props for keeping all her old predictions online. Most psychics delete their past failed predictions (which doesn't leave much of a list). But Nikki has kept each and every one of hers online since 2002.

Well...maybe not everyone. Remember, she did delete that Angelina Jolie Oscar nomination prediction earlier this year and, with the wonders of the WayBack Machine, we can see if she changed any of her other past predictions. Astonishingly, I could find only one other case. That doesn't mean there weren't others - but if there were, they don't show up in the WayBack Machine.

Let me take you back to March 2004 when a small news item appeared about the breakup of Tom Cruise (may you've heard of him) and Penelope Cruz. Nikki had predicted that the couple would get married in 2003. Obviously, that was a big miss (but I suppose it could still happen if we give it time, right?) And she failed to predict that the couple would break up. Nikki makes no other mention of the two again...unless you use the WayBack Machine! The image below is a comparison of her website as it was in February 13, 2004 with what it became in April 15, 2004 (ref):

Up until this change, Nikki had predicted that Cruise/Cruz would wed and the have a child together. However, on March 26, 2004, the actor, through his publicist, notified the world that the couple had split up in January.
Tom Cruise has split from his actress girlfriend Penelope Cruz, according to the actor's sister.

The couple ended their three-year relationship at the end of January, said Lee Anne Devette, who the star has recently hired as his publicist.

So, this is yet another case of Nikki changing her predictions to conform with history. I guess this hadn't been noticed before because Nikki never deleted a lot of her failed predictions, or her wacky predictions. I'm sure there must be some rhyme or reason to her behavior. Or maybe not. Anyway, keep on prognosticating, Nikki. Your predictions are nothing if not entertaining.

OK...they're just entertaining.

Other links:
Nikki as Bette Davis
Seeing that Psychis Can do Harm, Bart Farkas
Macleans Magazine Article


Bad Psychic Gets Rich - Then Gets Caught

Psychics are notoriously deaf to their own warnings. Somehow, they just can't foretell when they'll be caught. In the following case, a psychic in New York (tammy Mitchell, aka Jillian) bilked people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are two lessons to be learned: 1) people will lie, and 2) other people will believe their lies.
Swindling psychic at it again?

A total of nearly $400 to start. Douglas Lonneker says he started small too, but ended up paying Mitchell, the psychic he knows as Jillian, hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Sarah: "How quickly did she get you into the big money?" Lonneker: "Pretty quickly. I mean the first week, I was in $200,000."

Read about her previous conviction here.

The Woo Way - Reducing the Burden on Mind

The Woo Way is "based on the ancient Taoist principle of wu wei, which means living in harmony with the Tao as the fullness of life...."

The Way of the Woo, on the other hand, is based on the principle of wei wu. Roughly translated, wei means 'action' or 'effort'. Wu is generally a negative meaning 'not have' or 'without'. So, wu wei is the principle of doing without actually doing, or natural action. That is, you do what you do without the knowledge of doing it, thus living a full, happy life because you have no need to question why things happen.

However, the Way of the Woo derives from the philosophy of wei wu, which examines the actions of the 'not doing'. Those who 'don't' while saying they 'do' - accurately describes the principle. They reflect on that which is not to affect that which is.

Nevertheless, the Woo Way can still provide us with some appropriate wooisms, to wit:
Like digging the ground to plant a garden, the work takes effort. By cultivating new thinking and behavior, you discover that life doesn’t have to be such a struggle. It can be easier and more fun. As you nourish that ease and playfulness, you realize the words of the Woo Master: "Reduce burden on mind and watch feet do little dance."


Ranking Woo

You can get an interesting glimpse of the online culture through the search terms entered most often in search engines like Google. Google's Zeitgeist is a fascinating comprehensive look at what we've been searching on during the past month, and their year end review gives a nice retrospective glance over our shoulder. In case you're wondering, for 2007 the fastest rising search term had to do with a little thing called the iPhone. Heard of it?

But maybe you want to know what people are entering in to those search engines right now. Enter Google Trends. Updated hourly (if not sooner), this is a great resource if you care to follow the herd. "Blooter" and "Juicy Campus" happen to be the hot topics as I write. I actually started a blog last year, posting about anything that was ranked among the top 20 hottest trends. I got a lot of drive by visitors, but I'm dubious about using this as a strategy to make money online. For one, it was a LOT of work and, given the random nature of the blog, the was no visitor loyalty. And the trends are fleeting, so by the time the post was uploaded, that particular search term had cooled.

Keyword Discovery provides quantitative data on search terms which can be used to generate a rank order of the terms. Naturally, I fed their query tool some words of woo, along with a few others for reference, to generate the following list.



Sylvia Browne.............28,397

Kevin Trudeau.............21,203
crop circles..............18,728
alternative medicine......15,477
stock market predictions..13,110
intelligent design........12,761

new age...................10,556

alien abduction............3,288
Uri Geller.................2,682
logical fallacy............1,937

Skepticism falls at the bottom of the list, but "evolution" trounces "intelligent design", "science" reigns over "religion", and "Randi" defeats "Uri Geller" in yet another domain. However, I can't form more than a passing judgment on these results. For one, I really don't know what the latency of this data is nor do I know the details of how it is gathered. I presume that a lot of this is driven by news stories and top TV programs - basically whatever happens to tickle our culture right now. Then again, order of magnitude differences are telling. That "psychic" far outranks "skeptic" (which is even lower than "skepticism") indicates that skepticism has yet to make it into the big time. Watching this list over time should provide an indication of how the "market" is being penetrated and by whom.

As for me, I just want to see "woo" climb the ladder, even if I have to enlist the help of one Kwon Sang Woo to make it happen. Whatever it takes. Eyes on the prize, baby.

Your Woo is strong, but mine is stronger.
And sexier.

UFO Hunters High Brow Review

An intelligent, high brow review of the new TV show(s) UFO Hunters can be found at UFO Hunters: Review - New York Times (NOTE: sophisticated readers only).

Quick and dirty translation: the woo is stupid and the show sucks. Now, get back to whatever it was you were doing.

Welteislehre: The Cosmic Ice Theory

Woo never ends. It seems like everyday I'm confronted with some new of woo I've never even heard of before. Today, it happens to be Welteislehre (e.g. see Science Gone Wrong: Welteislehre), the theory that "ice was the basic substance of all cosmic processes and that ice moons, ice planets and the "global ether" (also made of ice) determined the entire development of the universe." This theory was invented in 1894 and soon became very popular after its publication in 1913. The question is - why?

It's not too hard to understand how Hans Hörbiger arrived at his theory, especially given that he was an Austrian refrigeration engineer. To him, light strongly reflecting off the moon and a very shiny Milky Way was evidence that these were composed of ice or ice bodies. As far as comets and Saturn's rings go, he was not too far off the mark. However, the essential element of the theory is that some great glowing mass collided with a smaller mass of ice, giving rise to the universe and an endless struggle between fire and ice. Welteislehre became a mainstay of the new scientific age arising in Germany at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Again, why so popular?

I think the reason boils down to two things: 1) scientific illiteracy among the general public, and 2) the people's preference for a good story. According to Dr. Christina Wessley (ref) at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science,
...the popularity of the Welteislehre was to a large extent the result of its subversive attraction based on an unsettling and fascinating amalgam of scientific terminology and methodology with popular images and clichés.
Treating astronomical and geological processes as conflicts in a grand fantasy world, paralleling Norse mythology, is more palatable to an adventurous public than having to prove your point through abstract equations and the cold, hard steel of logic. The theory gained further support when it was adopted by the National Socialists of Germany as their de facto response to the "Jewish" Theory of Relativity.

Today, science as a discipline is more specialized than ever. It is hopeless for even the brightest PhD candidate to know the intricacies of much of science outside her own area of expertise. What hope, then, is there for the rest of us to command any semblance of intelligence over the subject? And I don't have to remind you that most people still prefer a good story over great science.

So - are we really any different today than the Germans of the early nineteenth century? Give Peter Jackson or Steven Spielberg a few hundred million dollars and, within a few years, they can have the majority of us believing once more in Welteislehre.

Attractive women also have to talk the talk: study

Attractive women also have to talk the talk
In the mating business, ignoring subtle signals that one is not wanted could be a waste of precious time and energy or worse, he says.

"(The) mating effort is a finite resource," notes Jones.
Is this really news? In my experience, a woman saying "I like you" is too subtle, no matter what the pitch of her voice. Then again, "I like you, take me home right now", though not subtle, leads to feinting and the unpleasant necessity of calling an ambulance. Despite the medical bills, I chalk those up to being nothing more than waking dreams.

"I want you, take me home right now," by the gruff voiced Sylvia Browne leads to therapy. A lot of therapy.


Ridiculing Woo

Is anything worth ridiculing by rational people? Consider the set of all phenomena that we have knowledge of. Through rapid communications with other cultures via the internet forums, email, etc., this society of ideas is continually expanding, so there is an ever richening pot to sample. While we remain culturally distinct, some new supposed phenomenon that appears in our pot from the other side of the world must surely leave us, at best, questioning its veracity. Planck’s idea of quanta comes to mind. We can categorize all the ideas within our set as “impossible”, “sufficiently proven”, or “possible”.

Naturally, each of these ideas have their supporters and those who find their pet theory labeled “impossible” may strive to place it in the “possible” category or, even better, into the “sufficiently proven” category. This will be an obvious source of friction and ridicule is one of the tools used to keep the idea labeled as “impossible”. Unfortunately, this tool is often the first one chosen and wielded with a heavy hand. But is it useful? How about when faced with the Flat Earth theory or the TimeCube missives?

Organized skeptics stylize themselves as the housecleaners of the “sufficiently proven” and the “possible”, sweeping entire concepts back to the “impossible” realm. There is no organized “believer” group that sweeps the other way. I don’t know of any that work to simultaneously remove Psi, ESP, telekinesis, hauntings, bigfoot, UFOs, Atlantis, homeopathy, faith healing, communications with the dead, gravitational energy beam technology provided by aliens, hollow earth theory, flat earth, or (fill in your pet theory here) from the “impossible” ranking. Certainly, there are people who say that “all things are possible”. I have to believe that even the most ardent believer must think that some ideas are profoundly ridiculous, just like there are skeptics who are not skeptical of everything - for them, there are some phenomena that “just can’t be explained”.

Ridicule may not be the most “gentlemanly” tool, but it can be effective. It won’t silence promoters of crackpot ideas, but it will help others to see that the ideas are crackpot. Even the believer must believe that some of the notions espoused are simply, if not absolutely, crazy. Whether you say so or not is another matter. Skeptics just happen to be predisposed to saying so.

Tom Brady is NOT a god

A god may test your faith, but he wouldn't do it by losing the friggin' Superbowl!


Psychics on the Run! Southern Skeptics Needed!

Hey there all you non-believers from the south. The cops in Florida are on the lookout for a psychic and her psipimp who allegedly bilked customers out of thousands of dollars in a none-to-clever scam. So, if you happen to see Senora Sara or Carlos Farias, do us all a favor and call the authorities and let's get them off the street. Don't try to take them on yourself. Their woo may be dangerous.
Investigators say psychic scammed customers

The couple was renting a residence in Sarasota. When authorities went to look for the duo, they were informed by neighbors that the couple had left several days ago.

It's believed the couple could be driving one of the following vehicles: green Mustang, white Ford Explorer, Lexus or a two-door Buick. They are said to be pulling a small, white trailer.


Sylvia Cold Reads Montel's Show

Montel Williams Cancels His Talk Show After Seventeen Years
[Psychic Sylvia Browne walks out onto an empty stage. Montel Williams sits in the audience, surrounded by empty chairs. She puts her hands on her hips. She is draped in rosaries.]



A Conspiracy to End a Conspiracy

A recent LiveScience article purportedly debunks the "myth" that drug companies suppress successful trial data on alternative medicines in order to keep you, the consumer, chained to Big Pharma for the rest of your miserable lives. By referencing two medical studies that indicated simple at-home remedies fared as well or better than medicine, whose results are published in respectable peer reviewed journals, the article suggests that the Big Pharma conspiracy is no longer justified.
These studies (only two of many) are just the sort of research that Kevin Trudeau, best-selling author of books such as "Natural Cures They Don't Want You to Know About," claims doesn't exist.

According to Trudeau and other promoters of "alternative medicine," big drug companies prevent medical research that doesn't promote profitable drugs.

Yet here are recent studies by reputable doctors, published in respected medical journals and widely publicized on major media outlets that conclude that the tested drugs don't work! Surely this is a disastrous failure of the pharmaceutical companies' plan to thwart studies proving their products worthless.
Can anyone tell me how this debunks the Big Pharma conspiracy? Because, personally, I don't see it. Only two studies are published in reputable journals claiming what we already know: that sometimes grandma is right and the doctors are wrong. But these two reports are just a drop in the ocean. There are thousands of other medical trials that tell us pharmaceuticals are way more effective than home remedies. We're inundated with literally reams of data which overwhelmingly trumps the alternative medicine market. Does LiveScience expect Trudeau to rush out and revise millions of his books to make them "factually accurate" based on just TWO measly studies?

Dream on.

The fact is that Big Pharma, the FDA, lawyers, doctors, and the medical insurance companies are conspiring to keep us hooked on injections, pills, ointments, capsules, serums, and antibiotics for our supposed benefit. Nothing has quashed the conspiracy. If the "intellegentsia" came out today with undisputed scientific evidence that steel does not melt at the burning temperature of jet fuel (1517 degrees Fahrenheit), the 9/11 conspiracy theory wouldn't be affected one iota. The same holds true here. As long as the profits from the pharmaceutical market outweighs Trudeau's own, there will be a Big Pharma conspiracy.