lundi 31 octobre 2016

Slavery was invented in the United States (Allegedly)

Some more nonsense courtesy of the 'Science Adviser' for Coast2Coast AM...


“Most of my students could not tell me anything meaningful about slavery outside of America,” Pesta told The College Fix. “They are convinced that slavery was an American problem that more or less ended with the Civil War, and they are very fuzzy about the history of slavery prior to the Colonial era. Their entire education about slavery was confined to America.”
The full article (from a blatantly right wing source) is below:

A less biased source confirming/disproving this would be welcome.

Though I would say that the story does fit in with many jokes told about the United States education system and with the way many Conspiracy Theorists seem to think the World ends at the continental borders of the United States.

via International Skeptics Forum

Classified vs. unclassified: How is this determined?

I'm wondering if anyone here has personal experience dealing with the classifying or declassifying of information and the rationale for various levels of access. I've been surprised in the past to discover what has been kept secret, because I don't know enough about the context. This is based on reading news reports of declassified documents, but unfortunately I don't remember details. So I am making up a scenario:

U.S. troops are massing on somebody's border as anyone can see from satellite surveillance. You can count the planes, the tanks, the number of soldiers etc. You can see the aircraft carriers, artillery pieces, the works. No one is even trying to keep it a secret. Yet some detail that might seem innocuous might actually have deep significance. Maybe there has been an inordinate uptick in deliveries of halal field rations, meaning the U.S. plans to be feeding a lot of Muslims for some reason. Planning an occupation maybe, or anticipating significant cooperation from local or regional militias.

I'm often surprised to find out what information is allowed out vs. secrets that are closely guarded for years or even decades. I'm putting it in U.S. Politics because of the way the issue has dogged Hillary Clinton, but mods it could be in history too. Forgive me if my scenario is totally silly; I just wanted to provide an example.

via International Skeptics Forum

Peter Thiel's speech at Nat Press Club

Matt Drudge calls this a star being born:

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Signs of the End Times - Part Two

Mod Warning This is a continuation thread from here; as is usual the split point is arbitrary and participants are free to respond to points raised in the previous thread.

Having said that, may I take this opportunity to remind all participants to observe their MA. I have just sent some 20 posts to AAH for various breaches of rule 0 and rule 12.

Will you all ensure that you remain civil and polite, and you address and discuss the arguments, not the people making them.
Posted By:Agatha


Originally Posted by Paul Bethke (Post 11565384)
Luke wrote under the guidance of of Paul--Peter never contradicted what Jesus decreed--even if you think he did--who is the head of the Church?

While it's often claimed that Luke was written by a companion of Paul's who was an apostle that's more of a second century tradition than actual fact.

I suggest Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew to learn a bit about the history of the text Christians deem holy. Luke was most likely written a generation or two after the time of Christ.

via International Skeptics Forum

Better ways to vote?

The writer makes the point that Trump is the Republican nominee primarily because the non-Trump votes were split as many as 15 different ways. He suggests alternatives, including "approval" voting, where voters would be able to give votes to all the candidates they like; "rank" voting, where voters would rank their preferences numerically; and "range" voting, where voters would assign points like hotel ratings. Discuss.

via International Skeptics Forum

Two billion children breathe toxic air worldwide, UNICEF says

Since there are 7 billion people, I don't need to read more to realise more than 50% of human beings breathe toxic air.
Everyone wants to live in cities because they are vibrant, communal.
The enemy of man is the logarithmic function. Here in New Zealand we are being instructed to enjoy rampant population growth with no supporting argument.
Why is there no understanding of finity? Is that even a word?

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Halloween Costumes.

I thought it was time for a little fun so I had to revive this Zombie thread.

What would the best truther costumes be?

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dimanche 30 octobre 2016

When Did Einstein Take and IQ Test?

1) Did Albert Einstein actually take an IQ test, and when if ever?
2) Is there any way to estimate a high IQ other than take the test?
3) Was Einstein a polymath, a dilettante, or other?

Albert Einstein’s opus, the theory of relativity, shocked the world by telling us what in physics is subjective and what is objective. So it seems ironic to me that he unscientific people pigeon-hole him with what maybe the most subjective quantity of all.

There have been claims in the popular press that Albert Einstein was the ‘smartest man in the world. This claim rings by BS alarm but I can live with it. His articles which I have read and the reviews of his work other scientists have made convinced me that Einstein was extremely smart. He showed both creativity and elegance in making this useful and elegant physics theory. He has also contributed to many other physics theories that are useful and elegant.

‘Smartest’ is a matter of opinion. The absence of basic cognitive skills is usually obvious in conversation and communication, so ‘not very smart’ is less subjective. Even ‘smartest physicist’ is a bit fuzzy. There are so many different types of physicists doing so many different things. There are so many engineers who could be called physicists. Therefore, the ranking of intelligence is a bit subjective.

I have a large problem when these guys get quantitative. Many are now saying that Einstein had a very high IQ. Indeed, I see authors actually post numbers estimating Einstein’s IQ.

I am a rather physics groupie. I think modern physics is a great achievement. In particular, I love relativity. I know enough special relativity to work my way through every one of the false paradoxes presented by cranks. I think the theory is a great achievement.

I am not skeptical of Einstein's accomplishments. He contributed to many fields.

However, I think less of psychology and sociology.So I sometimes wonder about what the Intelligence quotient really means. I am sure IQ has some objective significance, but I don’t see it as particularly precise.

Einstein was most definitely smarter than me. If I found out that he scored lower than me in an IQ test, then I would definitely call that IQ test wrong. He might even score higher than me. Maybe higher than you, reader! However, how can any of us be sure if Einstein did not take any IQ test?

Some links that give ‘estimated’ values to Einstein’s IQ.
‘9. Albert Einstein (IQ Level 160-190)
Now this man surely needs no introduction. He is the one behind most of the chapters in Physics. He was the one to develop the theory of relativity. He is a Nobel laureate who is best known for the discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect. He also extended his views and laws to the gravitational fields. Einstein was affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study in New Jersey. His brilliance and achievements were so immense that even today we relate brilliance and “Einstein” together.’
Estimated IQ's of Famous Geniuses
Albert Einstein (Physicist) 160

Let me repeat. I think Einstein made great accomplishments in several fields of physics. I will venture to guess that if he took a modern day IQ test, his score would be over 100.

However, I don’t see how anyone could be sure when Einstein didn't take an IQ test!!

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People who went from rational to woo

By this I mean instances of individuals who started out with what seemed to be a rational worldview but went off in a paranormal direction.

Wayne Dyer - started out a CBT acolyte of Albert Ellis, ended up consorting with Deepak and psychic surgeons

John C. Lilly

Colin Wilson

Wilhelm Reich

Annie Besant

Any others? Any thought on what happened to these people?

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Obamacare data point

Karen's rate for next year will be going up what appears to be 40%:

That's for her Bronze Plan in GA, and includes a bit of a subsidy. Without that subsidy, it would have been $723.56.

I'm already on Medicare, so not directly affected. Still, a bit of a hit to our discretionary spending.

via International Skeptics Forum

The South Korean President was under the control of the daughter of a "psychic"

who claimed to speak to her dead mother. Seriously.

The following is my summary of this article about it the whole thing. I suggest you read the whole thing. It is a good read and the whole situation is insane.

So the President of South Korea, Park Geun-hye, is the daughter of the former dictator, Park Chung-hee. In 1975, her mother was assassinated by a North Korean spy (the bullet was intended for her father).

Soon after she met a "psychic" named Choi Tae-min who claimed that he could talk to her mother. He soon gained her confidence and then leveraged the relationship to amass a fortune via influence peddling and bribery. Her father the dictator became aware of this but looked the other way. He was assassinated in 1979 by the head of the Korean CIA in part because of this.

Choi remained in control of Park until he died in 1994. Then his daughter Choi Soon-sil took over. Park entered politics in 1997 and was elected president in 2012. And it turns out that Choi Soon-sil owned Park just as her father did, using her influence to extort companies and even control policy. Choi also get her daughter preferential treatment in college admissions and this is what began the unravelling the whole thing. Apparently Koreans take that sort of thing really seriously.

via International Skeptics Forum

Trump/Clinton sign wars

Karen and I just did a dog rescue run from N GA to NJ. Probably about 1,300 miles altogether.

In so doing, we passed through NC, TN, VA, small bits of W VA and MD, PA and, of course, N GA and NJ.

We counted campaign signs.

As stated in another thread, on the way up the first sign we saw was a Stein/Baraka. But then it was essentially Trump all the way. Saw one Gary Johnson on the way home.

Overall, between 30 and 40 Trump signs. Zero Hillary signs, unless you want to include the one "Lock Her Up" posted alongside a Trump sign.

Given that most of the trip was up the Appalachians that part isn't surprising, but I guess we thought PA and NJ might be more "balanced".

No message here - just an observation.

via International Skeptics Forum

Hillary Clinton is Done: part 4

Mod Info The previous thread was getting long and generating duplicate posts, so I have opened this shiny new continuation thread. As usual, the split point was arbitrary and participants are free to respond to points made in previous iterations of the thread.
Posted By:Agatha


Originally Posted by Fast Eddie B (Post 11563507)
I suppose being dismissive and sarcastic about potential new evidence is one tack to take.

I'm willing to wait and see if there's anything there.

That seems sensible. And you're not even the Director of the FBI. Would that Comey had taken as sane an approach.

via International Skeptics Forum

LewRockwell: HDK a jailbird by week's end

Best explanation I've seen so far for what we're seeing says that both the Pentagon and the FBI are close to open rebellion and that Comey's hand is being forced:

Some of the letters Comey has been getting from former agents are incendiary:

That one letter by itself being published inside the FBI would create an existential problem for Comey.

Assuming the story on LewRockwell is true... My advice would be for congressional representatives to insist on one further condition to the deal:

That Obama do no further harm prior to 1/21/17: Just play golf, no pardons, no sweetheart deals, no meddling in Syria, no wars, no new immigrants, no orchestrated race riots, NOTHING!!!!

Obviously any sort of a pardon for either Clinton should be off the table.

My advice to readers: Assume the story on LewRockwell is valid and let your congressional reps know your concerns:

Insist that Obama do no further harm prior to 1/21/17: Just play golf, no pardons, no sweetheart deals, no meddling in Syria, no wars, no new immigrants, no orchestrated race riots, NOTHING!!!!

via International Skeptics Forum

Happy Halloween 2016

Happy Halloween 2016 to everyone here:

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samedi 29 octobre 2016

Questioning Sources Like Youtube

I have a pretty healthy relationship with what I call established sources. Some call them the MSM. So whenever I see something from elsewhere IE Youtube or something else. I automatically research the source and question it's reputation.

If I point out that the YouTube channel I have researched has videos about aliens and area 51 or sandy hook conspiracy videos all made by the same channel, that's alarming to me.

Yet, whenever I do this, CTs often claim that the source isn't important. Where it came from isn't important. Who is presenting their so-called evidence isn't important. The stuff presented in this one particular video or site is.

So do you guys do this when dealing with CTs? Do you try to point out to other CTs that the stuff they are linking to is filled with other crazy conspiracy theories as well?
The usual suspects are easy, but what about lesser known things like YouTube or satire sites?
What do you find reputable?
And do you automatically dismiss anything these people post?
Is that being objective? Or should one take a look regardless of posting history etc?

via International Skeptics Forum

Why the UK Auto Industry Died

The UK Auto Industry is dead. Although good cars are made in the UK today - it's all done by foreign manufacturers. This is because the UK Social/Economic System is incapable of meaningful organization, except for the Banks who always fond a way to organize and steal.

The most elegant example of the failure of the UK in Auto manufacturing - nay, the most elegant manufacturing failure ever pulled off in world history - was the Sterling Automobile Company (a division of Rover). The Sterling Car was a rebranded Acura Legend - all the engineering and parts were Japanese (Honda). As a result, this design and it's parts would be extremely reliable if they were just put together right. But....The Sterling Company couldn't even do that....and they failed.

If there ever was a car that embodied the moral and social failure of a nation, such would be the Sterling: the car that proved once and for all that the UK can't make a car worth having. Losers.

via International Skeptics Forum

PAYPAL: Money Transfer troubleshooting

Ok, please bear with me if this seems like an obvious question. This is my first time using Paypal.

I've been broadcasting myself on Twitch and yesterday I received two donations. One for 2 dollars and one for 3.

I went to the Paypal main page, which showed both transactions as "deposited"

So I clicked on "Transfer Money to your Bank" and it took me to a separate page where it prompted me to enter the amount. I decided to do it as two individual deposits as opposed to one 5 dollar deposit. So I started by entering two dollars and depositing in my account.

Everything went all right. Then I went back to the main page and clicked again on "Transfer Money to your bank", this time with the intent of transfering the other deposit for 3 dollars. Only instead, this time it took me to a page that says "There's nothing to Transfer right now. Try again when you have a Paypal Balance"

Why is it saying I have no paypal balance when I still have the three dollars that were deposited to me? (And yes, the deposit already went through. It's not pending)

via International Skeptics Forum

Frank Legge has died

Frank M. Legge has died on October 20, 2016 "after a long and stoic struggle with skin cancer":

He was a 9/11 Truther who has frequently published on the "Journal of 9/11 Studies". While he contributed to the general bunk with CD nonsense and his co-authorship on the Harrit et al 2009 "Active Thermitic Material..." hoax, he co-authered a few pieces that debunked the Pentagon no-plane silliness.

Too bad - he had once admitted that "of course" there are paint chips among the red/gray chips. I had thought of trying to contact him again and ask how he would distingish the paint chips from "thermitic" chips.

via International Skeptics Forum

Using tea tree oil for boils and cuts etc.

I bought a bottle of tea tree oil after I discovered a boil on my shoulder. It seems to have drawn the pus to the surface and dried the wound up. For instance, the pus is now clotting and the would is healing well.

The boil opened and then I started using iodine.

Anyone else have experiences using tea tree oil?

via International Skeptics Forum

Registered voter?

I've come to realize I do not quite understand something about the US election system.

From time to time I hear the term Registered Democrat/Republican.
Does that mean that ahead of time you need to affiliate with a party to vote at all?
And does that mean you cannot vote for the other side?
Can you vote without registering as either one?

Here in the Netherlands, once you are 18+ during election time you just get a card delivered to your home address which you need to turn in with a legitimization and you can vote. Being a member of a political party is not needed to vote at all, nor to be called to vote.

via International Skeptics Forum

Do presidential pardons need to be announced or recorded?

The latest kerfuffle about the Clinton emails and the unrelenting Republican hostility toward Democrats generally makes me wonder this: Could Pres. Obama sign a blanket pardon for anything Clinton might have done, but keep it secret? If she never needed it, no one would ever know, and there would be no public relations hit; but she could produce the document if she was ever threatened with indictment. For that matter, could Obama sign a secret pardon for himself against future investigations? Could the new Pres. Clinton sign her own pardon and keep it secret?

via International Skeptics Forum

android is it worse than win 10?

I dont want to drift the win10 thread

but android IS much much worse...

it constantly crashes, eats data like its free and I DONT WANT IT ANYMORE!!!

what I want is a linux replacement for my tablet, that works and is `droid' friendly

(already in this one post, chrome ha crashed and reloaded (sigh MORE data chewed up) one time...
dont expect quick
sighs and a second crash and more data...

every 1 gig costs me $10, so this is VERY expensive... around $30 a week...

via International Skeptics Forum

Requirements for a political attack TV ad


Stark, high-contrast, black & white still pictures or video of the target.

via International Skeptics Forum

vendredi 28 octobre 2016

Media player: replacement for Windows' POS

I'm sick to death of thing POS hanging on me (wow something crapass from MS, what a shock) so I decided to explore .02 so far:

Winamp: also blows. Unreliable as ####.

Kodi: looks really slick but ONLY operates in full screen mode. wtf? Bye.

GOM: this POFS on launch automatically connects to the net and spews all kinds of advertising drek at you. Please let everyone who worked on this die a slow fiery death, amen.

VLC: works great, but lame UI.

Foobar: see VLC. Not as bad, but still weak.


Anyone have an actual decent reliable player which doesn't pull the BS things stated above? Or am I dreaming? I just want a reliable player that's easy to use where I can easily create playlists and play music and/or the occasional .avi etc. It needn't be "fancy" but I'd prefer something that at least looks like it was designed after Y2K.

via International Skeptics Forum

Trump, Man of Science?


If you have been paying attention, even a little bit, you know that Donald Trump will become the Republican nominee. And he got here by ignoring facts, according to fact-checkers. Nor has he offered the level of policy details that pundits and voters alike say they want. Combine that with Trump’s non-mainstream ideas on climate change and it seems clear that Trump is not the candidate of science. And that’s a problem because we like science. Science is awesome.

But here’s the wrinkle with the view that Trump is not a man of science. One of the things science knows for sure – without a smidge of doubt – is that humans are irrational and we can be influenced by many things…except the truth. Truth is useless for persuasion whenever emotions are involved.
Little bit of advice folks. Might want to start being nicer to any family and friends and co-workers who support Trump. You've been a bunch of bullies, so sure you were going to win.

I can not post links, so google "Scott Adams Trump Man of science"

The problem with science is it can not take into account "irrational" human emotions, because rational and irrational are actually points of view, as witnessed by fivethirtyeight's spectacular embarrassment and discrediting of themselves by unequivocally declaring in seven, fully written out, condescending and acerbic articles, that there was absolutely zero chance Trump could win the primaries.

The Author is Scott Adams, Dilbert cartoonist, and hypnotist. An illusionist of the mind, as opposed to the eyes.

On November Ninth, crow will be in abundance here. You will hate me now, but some of you will be open minded enough to understand there are at least two types of magic, that which Randi practiced, illusion, and that which Adams, and indeed Trump is a master of, a sort of sorcery.

To wit, Randi is DEX based, Trump is CHA based.

And I'm going to call it on gut, not on statistics: Trump wins in a landslide. And not because of the new surprises to come for Hillary. It will not just be because people hate Hillary so much, it will be because people LOVE Trump.

enjoy the read.

via International Skeptics Forum

Southern Poverty Law Center's Anti-Muslim Extremists: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Maajid Nawaz

There have always been questions regarding SPLC's hate lists, but this seems interesting.


In response to the high levels of anti-Muslim extremists regularly provided a platform in the media and in the public eye, the Southern Poverty Law Center has partnered with Media Matters for America, ReThink Media and the Center for New Community to provide a resource on anti-Muslim public figures for reporters and media professionals.


“We wrote this manual because Muslims in America continue to be vilified by a network of anti-Muslim extremists spreading baseless and damaging lies and we think the media can play a role in helping to stop it,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center.

A shocking number of anti-Muslim, self-described “experts” are seen regularly in the media, where they spread falsehoods that too often go uncontested. Their rhetoric has toxic consequences, from promoting xenophobia, to poisoning democratic debate, to inspiring hate violence.


Other anti-Muslim extremists profiled are Ann Corcoran, Steven Emerson, Pamela Geller, John Guandolo, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, David Horowitz, Robert Muise, Maajid Nawaz, Daniel Pipes, Walid Shoebat, Robert Spencer and David Yerushalmi.

I am not well read on these things, but I do recognize some of these names. A number of them have responded.


According to the non-Muslims at the Southern Poverty Law Center, it's normal for Muslims who are "anti-Muslim extremists" like me (wtf?!) to:

1) Argue for a motion that Islam is a religion of peace at IQ2 in New York

2) Host Morgan Freeman in a mosque

3) Battle racist callers who want mass deportations via national radio

4) Defend Muslims from anti-Muslim bigots who think we Muslims are "taking over" on national radio

5) Have the support of the UK's only 'watchdog for anti-Muslim hate', Tell Mama UK

Despite all that and more, according to a bunch of 1st world American non-Muslim "progressives", I - a liberal reforming Muslim - am an anti-Muslim extremist?

via International Skeptics Forum

Vulnerable Republican senator gets nasty

I know this is the 2016 USA Presidential Election forum but can we branch out? (Pun intended)

Probably the most vulnerable sitting Republican senator is Illinois's Mark Kirk. During a televised debate with his Democrat challenger, Representative Tammy Duckworth, Kirk made some rather nasty remarks about Duckworth's heritage that seem to have further damaged his re-election chances.
When Duckworth said her family "has served this nation in uniform going back to the revolution" and described herself as "a daughter of the American Revolution", Kirk responded with "I forgot that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington". Duckworth was born in Bangkok to a Thai mother and an American father (a WW2 veteran) and has paternal ancestors who served in the American Revolution; she herself served with the US army in Iraq (helo pilot) where she lost both legs in an RPG attack.

So, is this a sign of the (Trumpish) times? Or just business as usual in USAian politics?
Though Kirk has described Trump as a "malignant clown". Either way in a no longer rare episode of gloating Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway mocked Kirk.

via International Skeptics Forum

Russia new nuclear missile, RS-28 Sarmat - SATAN 2

Russia has released the first image of its new nuclear missile, a weapon so powerful that it could wipe out nearly all of the United Kingdom, France or Texas. The RS-28 Sarmat thermonuclear-armed ballistic missile was commissioned in 2011 and is expected to come into service in 2018.

The RS-28 Sarmat missile, dubbed Satan 2, will replace the SS-18
Flies at 4.3 miles (7km) per sec and with a range of 6,213 miles (10,000km)
The weapons are perceived as part of an increasingly aggressive Russia
It could deliver a warhead of 40 megatons - 2,000 times as powerful as the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945

via International Skeptics Forum

Senator un-endorses Trump due to racist remarks; Senator makes racist remarks


At one point, Duckworth talked about her family's long history of involvement in the U.S. military, describing herself as a "daughter of the American Revolution" who has "bled for this nation."

When it was Kirk's turn to offer a rebuttal, he offered a single sentence: "I had forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington."

There was an awkward pause, and the comment left some in the audience with a look of puzzlement.

In this article, and their previous ones, the Tribune has really been pushing the "stroke" angle on his public gaffes and implies that he is hiding things about his health.

It is like a Clinton and Trump controversy rolled into one!

Kirk has been trying to be more centrist because his seat is probably the most likely to switch to Democratic, but Duckworth has been out-polling him bigly all along.

For her part, Duckworth is an adorable woman who has been handpicked by the machine (Blagojevich, Obama, etc.) to move up in politics, in spite of how lackluster her actual performance actually might be.

via International Skeptics Forum

jeudi 27 octobre 2016

Pence plane skids of runway

Mike Pence's campaign plane has skidded of the runway at LaGuardia in New York. CNN is all over the story. But they are missing the big picture. The BIIIG picture: Did it skid off to the left, or to the right?

It's clearly a conspiracy. The airplane is a Boeing 737. Built in hyper-liberal Seattle, by a company headquartered in ObamaLand Chicago. Need I say more? And there was something about thrust reversers. Trump and Pence only thrust forward.

via International Skeptics Forum


I am convinced about the multiverse and the "heaven" that we will enter. I think intelligent life being finite leads us to search for a beginning. This assumes the universe was created from nothing. There has never been an absolute nothing. Multiverses are eternal. Each Universe is born and dies, but new ones replace them. The never detailed description of heaven is this. Our heaven is granted when we die and are no longer aware. It will be so nice to no longer be alive and aware, nt even aware of our new non existence. Comments encouraged.

via International Skeptics Forum

Trump Unveils Infrastructure Plan

How do you spend a trillion dollars on new infrastructure with no tax hikes?

Toll roads.

Yes, that's the plan. More toll roads. Now there's a step forward for America.

And a tax by any other name is still just a tax. So he wants a road use tax. that a progressive or regressive sort of tax?

via International Skeptics Forum

mercredi 26 octobre 2016

You may be Pyschic, not mentally ill.

Just spotted this story today, why we should be worried about things like this should be obvious:


Quebec's Order of Psychologists has suspended a psychologist for three months for telling patients he saw to see a psychic medium.


Allaire was providing therapy for a 13-year-old girl who was suicidal. She was living in a group home in when her psychiatrist recommended she enter therapy.

A year after starting therapy, she started hearing voices and having hallucinations.

According to the Order of Psychologists discipline committee, when he learned of her symptoms, Allaire told her she might have a "gift" and not to tell her psychiatrist.

The above took place in 2012 and it was not the only patient this individual told that they should see if they were psychic rather than mentally ill.

The cause for harm is obvious.

via International Skeptics Forum

Death Valley heat record may be invalidated

An Investigation of Death Valley’s 134°F World Temperature Record


It is possible to demonstrate that a temperature of 134°F in Death Valley on July 10, 1913, was essentially not possible from a meteorological perspective, using an officially sanctioned USWB shelter and thermometer and following proper procedures observationally. Thus, the best explanation for the record high report(s) in July 1913 is observer error.
I lived and worked in Death Valley for five years. It is an amazing place, and was fun to work at due to the staff camaraderie.

Temps of 127 F were actually pretty common, but that seemed to mark some barrier. It got up to 128 once or twice while I was there and 129 a few years after I moved away. Since the 1913 record, the next highest temperature in Death Valley was 129.2. So this analysis seems pretty valid to me - and the 129.2 reading would now be the highest ever recorded (a tie with a station in Kuwait), so DV is still the hottest place on the planet, at least as far as daytime high temps in summer go..

via International Skeptics Forum

Looking for good biography of Swedenborg

There are plenty of Swedenborgian products available. I'm looking for something of reasonable objectivity. Any recommendations?

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Donald Trump is a libel bully. And a loser.

According to the American Bar Association anyway.

The ABA commissioned a group of attorneys to examine Trump's track record of filing lawsuits against his public critics. The report's opening line: "Donald J. Trump is a libel bully. Like most bullies, he's also a loser, to borrow from Trump's vocabulary."

Alas the ABA was too concerned about a lawsuit from the Trumpet to publish the report, however it can be found here (direct PDF link)

It goes on say that while Trump has been involved in a "mind-boggling 4,000 lawsuits" and "countless" cease-and-desist letters, he has "never won a single speech-related case filed in a public court." One of the examples cited is Trump's suit against Bill Maher after Maher challenged Trump to produce his birth certificate to prove he was not the son of an orangutan. That "frivolous" lawsuit was withdrawn, say the authors.

Further highlights.

Donald J. Trump is a libel bully. Like most bullies, he's also a loser, to borrow from Trump's vocabulary.
Trump and his companies have been involved in a mind-boggling 4,000 lawsuits over the last 30 years and sent countless threatening cease-and-desist letters to journalists and critics.
But the GOP presidential nominee and his companies have never won a single speech-related case filed in a public court.
This article examines seven speech-related cases brought by Trump and his companies, which include four dismissals on the merits, two voluntary withdrawals, and one lone victory in an arbitration won by default. Media defense lawyers would do well to remind Trump of his sorry record in speech-related cases filed in public courts when responding to bullying libel cease-and-desist letters.
Trump's lawsuits are worthy of a comedy routine, as when Trump sued HBO comedian Bill Maher for suckering Trump into sending his birth certificate to prove he was not the "spawn" of an orangutan, and Trump hit back with a $5-million breach-of-contract lawsuit, only to withdraw it after the Hollywood Reporter ridiculed it. Can anyone say Hustler v. Falwell?
Orangutans and joking aside, this examination of Trump's libel losses also provides a powerful illustration of why more states need to enact anti-SLAPP laws to discourage libel bullies like Trump from filing frivolous lawsuits to chill speech about matters of public concern and run up legal tabs for journalists and critics.

Trump filed his first and crankiest libel lawsuit in 1984 against the Chicago Tribune and the newspaper's Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic, Paul Gapp. Trump filed his libel lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York. Trump claimed he suffered $500 million in damages.
Gapp, who won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1979, dared to publish a "Design" column in the Sunday Tribune Magazine on August 12, 1984 ridiculing Trump's proposal to build the tallest building in the world: a 150-story, nearly 2,000-foot tall skyscraper on a landfill at the southeast end of Manhattan.

Trump's next big libel lawsuit was filed in New Jersey state court more than 20 years later.
This time, Trump alleged a whopping $5 billion in damages in his 2006 libel lawsuit against book author Timothy O'Brien and his book publishers, Time Warner Book Group, Inc. and Warner Books, Inc.
Trump's lawsuit claimed that O'Brien's 2005 book, TrumpNation, The Art of Being The Donald, falsely reported that Trump was "only" worth between $150 million to $250 million, nowhere near the net worth claimed by Trump, which ranged from $4 billion to $5 billion to $6 billion to $9.5 billion. Trump sued for libel, claiming he was really, really worth billions of dollars.

via International Skeptics Forum

mardi 25 octobre 2016

"Houdini's Girl Detective"

"Houdini's Girl Detective" is now available in both print and Kindle editions. The book is an anthology of articles by the fabulous Rose Mackenberg, an investigator of crooked "spirit mediums" who preyed on grieving families after WW1.

Rose was a heroine of both curiosity and rational skepticism and her adventures exposing the "ghost racketeers" of the 1920s make for edifying reading.

"Houdini's Girl Detective": The Real-Life Ghost-Busting Adventures of Rose Mackenberg

via International Skeptics Forum

Help with numbers, please.

I am currently engaged in a debate on Facebook with a group of truthers. I am, as most of you know, an English teacher and not an engineer or a mathematician. I'm in need of some figures, and am asking for help, as I know that several posters here will have them at their fingertips.
Apologies for this, as I know it's all been done before here, but I don't know the exact answers, and, if I were to search this sub-forum, I would get hundreds of hits that I really don't want to trawl through.
This is what I need:
  • How much thermite would have been needed to bring down each tower (WTC 1, 2 & 7)?
  • What quantity of explosives would have been needed, if it had been done this way?
  • If the towers had fallen at free fall, how long would they have taken to collapse?
  • How long did they actually take to collapse?

Appreciation in advance for your assistance. It's all in a good cause!

via International Skeptics Forum

2017 Australia gun amnesty.


.....Australia will launch a new illegal firearm amnesty from next year, with "thousands" of the estimated 260,000 guns on Australian streets expected to be handed over.
Those guns are really on the streets?


This is not a buyback, and it is not targeted at law abiding firearm owners," Keenan said.

"The amnesty will provide an opportunity for people who, for whatever reason, are in possession of an unregistered firearm to hand it in without fear of being prosecuted."

When the ban was first proposed, Keenan said he expected "thousands" of guns to be surrendered.
So thousands of the estimated 260,000 will be turned in? Would this be 1% or 2% of those illegally possessed?

It seems the Adler shotgun ban insanity will also continue for the time being. :)


via International Skeptics Forum

Did pre-Columbian Amerindians build stone chambers in New England?

The normal theory about the First Peoples of the Americas is that Native Americans traveled to North America from Siberia through the Bering Land Bridge, which was a land crossing 30,000-11,000 years ago. More specifically, they have been dated to the Clovis culture of 11,500 BC that spread across North and South America. A number of "pre-clovis" artefact findings have occurred to push back that date of arrival even earlier. Thus, the first Amerindians in the Northeastern US probably arrived in 15,000-10,000 BC.

As to their DNA, Northeast Amerindians carry X and R1 haplogroups, versions of which have been found in Western Eurasia, but rarely in East Asia:
For a map of Haplogroup X, please see:


For a map of Haplogroup R1, see:

(an image I made by combining R1 distributions in both hemispheres)

A map of two physically possible routes of entry into the Americas is here:
Some scholars have proposed in the "Solutrean Hypothesis" that stone age Europeans immigrated by following the ice sheet connecting Scotland, Iceland, and the Americas.

Ice Age West Europeans were not advanced to the extent of the Celts who arrived centuries later. Amateur drawing of pre-Celtic Picts:

An article Skeptic Magazine comments about a route into the Americas from Europe that just because transatlantic routes are possible does not make them likely:

Thor Heyerdahl was convinced that the ancient Egyptians had made the journey across the Atlantic. To underpin this conviction he crossed the Atlantic in 1969 on a small ship of ancient Egyptian design. In a similar quest, in 1977 Timothy Severin traveled from Ireland to Newfoundland in a primitive boat made of laths and animal hides. He took his inspiration from the legend that Saint Brendan of Clonfert, a 6th century Irish priest who claimed to have reached “a blessed island covered with vegetation” while sailing westward in search of the Garden of Eden. Although their Atlantic crossings were daring and inspirational, Heyerdahl and Severin showed us only that it is possible to cross the Atlantic using ancient European and Eurasian ship-building techniques, not that it really happened.

It's true that Inuits were able to make it to Greenland from North America before Columbus' time:

In 1420, Danish geographer Claudius Clavus Swart wrote that he personally had seen "pygmies" from Greenland who were caught by Norsemen in a small skin boat. Their boat was hung in Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim along with another, longer boat also taken from "pygmies". Clavus Swart's description fits the Inuit and two of their types of boats, the kayak and the umiak.[126][127] Similarly, the Swedish clergyman Olaus Magnus wrote in 1505 that he saw in Oslo Cathedral two leather boats taken decades earlier. According to Olaus, the boats were captured from Greenland pirates by one of the Haakons, which would place the event in the 14th century.[126]

A piece of evidence that some scholars use to propose prehistoric European contact with the Americas is to compare Clovis and pre-Clovis tools with paleolithic European ones. Similarities though are not actually a proof of a direct connection: Both groups could have carried similar designs with them from a common source in Eurasia, with Amerindians keeping clovis points as a tradition with them as they passed through the Bering Strait.

Based on the difficulty in crossing the North Atlantic for such a distance, even with an ice sheet for guidance, we can say that it's unlikely that prehistoric Europeans settled in eastern North America.

We can also conclude that precolumbian settlements in New England were not "Celtic" or "Bronze Age European" ones,
because we have not found bronze age artefacts at these sites. Bronze age sites in Europe will have bronze shields, swords, and other such artifacts not found in New England (minus hoaxes). The only possibility for this is if the supposed European explorers lost their bronze tools and artefacts and just used Stone Age tools and construction, which is extremely unlikely.

This leads us to the last question of whether Amerindians built the stone chambers and arranged the megaliths found in New England, or whether these were built by English colonists or fell randomly into place, respectively. Charcoal and other remains at stone constructions in New England have been dated to 5000-100 BC and later. Fire, tools, and ceramics found at the sites matches the technology of Native Americans. And alignment of the locations by astronomy or the earth's calendar suggests a dating preceding the Christian English colonists. However what especially makes the Amerindian connection less likely is that stone buildings by pre-Columbian Amerindians are quite unusual northeast of the Mississippi basin, if not the US Southwest.

It would be interesting to see what reliable archaeologists have proven about the dating of these stone constructions.

Pre-columbian Native Americans have been known to make petroglyphs and work with boulders. In 1690 the Puritan leader Cotton Mather described a New England boulder with petroglyphs, the Dighton Rock, that the Puritan colonists found:

“Among the other Curiosities of New-England, one is that of a mighty Rock, on a perpendicular side whereof by a River, which at High Tide covers part of it, there are very deeply Engraved, no man alive knows How or When about half a score Lines, near Ten Foot Long, and a foot and half broad, filled with strange Characters: which would suggest as odd Thoughts about them that were here before us, as there are odd Shapes in that Elaborate Monument.…”

Hypotheses about the creation of the markings include:

Indigenous peoples of North America – who were known to have inscribed petroglyphs in rocks (a schematic face on the Dighton Rock is similar to an Indian petroglyph in Eastern Vermont)

A photo of the rock can be seen here:

Paul Bell claims in his article "Who Built New England’s Megalithic Monuments?"
That this eyelike image ( can be found in numerous megalithic structures in New England. He proposes that Phoenicians could have traveled to America:

Around 1110 B.C., it is accepted by all historians, the Phoenicians were active throughout the Iberian region, settling the southern areas of Spain and mingling with an older, established civilization called the Tartessians. Not much is known about the Tartessians other than that they were an adventurous maritime people. ... After the fall of Carthage, the Mediterranean was completely closed to Phoenician traders, and historian Robert Ellis Cahill tells us they sailed away from North Africa in great numbers, never to be seen again.
According to author Louis A. Brennan, in his thought-provoking book No Stone Unturned, “float copper” (pure surface copper that need not be smelted) was abundant in the Michigan region and had been mined since 4,000 B.C. by an ambiguous culture known as the Lamokans—one he says was not related to the modern Athabaskan Indian inhabitants of the region.

Stone phallic monoliths have been found in prehistoric Europe, and Bell posts a photo of one in New England, writing:

Neolithic people probably danced around stone phalli like those still to be found throughout New England, their May Day festivals taking on a decided fertility aspect. .... Such stones remain standing at many New England sites, giving us an insight into the religion of the ancient Europeans.

But just because something is a standing pillar monolith doesn't make it phallic. He writes about other theories that I don't find likely, such as Celtic colonists in New England:

One reliable Norse account of the voyage of Thorfin Karlsefni in A.D. 1123 claims the Viking explorers came across blond-haired, blue-eyed inhabitants of New England who spoke a form of Gaelic. One account tells that these people lived in underground chambers, like those we find today in New England.
The Norse accounts I think are reliable to show Norse were in the Northeast of North America, but are not reliable to the extent they have strange ideas.

David Goudsward writes in his book Ancient Stone Sites of New England about "altar stones"

These tables are large, flat slabs of native stone, with a groove carved on the horizontal surface, ostensibly to channel the flow of liquid. .... Although the one on Mystery Hill, North Salem, NH is the most well known, other examples of these oversized slabs exist. .... Supporters of pre-Columbian contact with Europe suggest these stones are similar to Neolithic dolmens. More conservative identifications..... suggest more recent possibilities such as tar kilns, lye stones..... from the colonial era.... It is highly unlikely that any of these stone tables were used as commercial tar kilns. By the time the towns associated with these stones were founded, tar production.... was located predominantly in the southern colonies.
The author rules out the possibility that the table at Mystery Hill could be a "sacrificial table" if one imagines that it was founded by medieval Celts. The author points out how the altar table has a special alignment in the middle of the Stonehenge USA complex and is put into the side of a wall.

He notes:

There are a number of logistical problems with the theory that the Mystery Hill stone was a lye stone. First.... there is simply no reason to produce lye on a scale that the stone's size would suggest. The .... table would hold 4 to 6 hogshead barrels simultaneously - enough lye to supply the entire town of North Salem with soap. And there is no indication in the local history that anyone inthe region was attempting to make soap commercially. Lye stones are traditionally small enough to be moved and stored out of the way when not in use. A 4.5 ton stone is not portable by any stretch of the imagination.

.... when William Goodwin began to work on the site in the 1930's , the table was thought to be at ground level. Only when goodwin's crew removed soil and debris from around the slab was it discovered that the table sood in a manmade recess, three feet off the ground. ... Based on other areas of the site, it takes about 125 years for an inch of soil to accumulate undisturbed on the site. Three feet of soil would suggest that this lye stone had been abandoned over 4000 years in the past. This matches the C-14 dates at Mystery Hill.
Here you can see a photo of the "altar table":

The author discusses other "altar tables" in New England, and mentions some archaeologists who found similarities to a table slab in Malta from 2500-1500 BC.

via International Skeptics Forum

Scattering Ashes is not on Catholics


The ashes of cremated Catholics must be buried and should not be scattered on land, at sea or be kept at home, the Vatican has announced in new guidelines.


"It is not permitted to scatter the ashes of the faithful departed in the air, on land, at sea or in some other way, nor may they be preserved in mementos, pieces of jewellery or other objects," it said.

One has to wonder why the Vatican has to weigh in on stuff like this. Haven't they got enough to do?

Is this to do with the bodies rising from the grave thing maybe.

via International Skeptics Forum

Doctor Strange and the believers

So, after the Doctor Strange movie is aired for a time and absorbed by the cultic milieu, will we see a wave of people claiming to be and do things like the people in the movie? I realize that the comic is based on a lot of assorted old esoterica and pulp stuff, but it seems like that material never dies, only gets recycled into new forms. :)

via International Skeptics Forum

Friction heat and compression heat

This came up in another forum area but my query is more apropos here.


Originally Posted by phunk (Post 11556506)
I have never seen an explanation of the pressure/temperature relationship in a gas that attributed it to friction.

Yeah, I am trying to get a handle on why (not "if", that is very well established ) compression raises temperature. Obviously it has to do with the energy input required to push molecules of a gas closer together, increasing the density of the gas.
I am simply putting out a few thoughts on this and absolutely welcome informed explanation and corrections. It's een decades since I took physics classes.
In the bow shock wave of an object falling very fast there is no physical wall. Instead it is the gas itself that "can't get out of the way fast enough".
Why can it not get out of the way fast enough? Does it have to do with the inertia of the gas molecules? Does it have to do with bonds between molecules?

Then there is friction. Why does friction cause an increase in temperature of the surfaces involved? Again obviously there is the input of energy due to the relative velocities of the objects. One explanation I see on the internet is that molecules on each surface form a bond that gets broken as they move apart thus increasing the velocity or vibration of those molecules.

Friction is usually demonstrated with two solids in contact moving by each other. It could just as well be two fluids, or a fluid and a solid. The biggest difference I can see is that the fluid will form layers moving at different speeds. When the fluid is moving slowly there may be fewer, thinner layers meaning most of the friction is between solid and fluid. If the fluid is much faster the layer nearest the solid does not have the same freedom of movement and cannot form another layer. It must deal with the solid/fluid interface, ie friction, therefore it cannot move as fast as layers further from the solid. Essentially a limit on the friction between a solid and fluid. Layers further from the solid surface then are compressed against the contact layer. Most of the heat generated then is in this compression compared to the friction layer in contact with the solid.

via International Skeptics Forum

Trump's Little Stormtroopers....

Good article on how the White Nationalists have inflirtrated the Trump Campaign.

It does the best job of explaining why the White Nationalists have such love for Trump despite his Jewish connections and why Donald has de facto accepted their support,when any other GOP candidate would have ran away from them.

So the party of Lincoln has come to this....

via International Skeptics Forum

What happens to Muslim apostates.

I have just watched a documentary on ITV about Muslim apostates- those who have left their religion and profess atheism.
There has been a tendency, both in the media in general, and on this forum as well, to depict Islam as a generally benign religion, which has a few extremists at its fringes that give it a bad name.
The well-publicised series of brutal slayings of Bangladeshi atheist bloggers is just one example of a widespread intolerance of apostasy that leads Muslims to shun or even kill those who leave their faith.
I watched the documentary with a spectrum of emotions from anger, sadness and outrage, to respect and admiration for those brave soul who have defied death threats to speak their minds. I would encourage forum members to access a copy of this film and see for themselves. It does contain some pretty disturbing images.
The documentary also makes it quite clear that those responsible for the hatred and death threats are not at the fringes of the Muslim community in Britain: they are right at the heart of it. As Islamic teaching makes it quite clear that the penalty for apostasy is death, this should come as no surprise.

This is an issue that should not be ignored. These people need help, support and recognition. Moreover, it again calls into question the status of Islam as "the religion of peace".

via International Skeptics Forum

What Is Kellyanne Conway's Strategy?

I think it's pretty clear that Donald Trump has no strategy and probably never did. He's spending the last two weeks barnstorming Ohio, orth Carolina, PA, and Florida (with some others mixed in), but just with the same rallies as always.

Kellanne Conway, however, was a driving force in bringing women into he GOP and targeting messaging to them. Her poll company frequently shopped ideas for Republicans and other businesses to see what appealed to women. Now she's hitched her cart to a very sick (if not already dead) horse.

What is her strategy for winning this election or even for personally surviving it?

via International Skeptics Forum

Measuring lives lost

In another thread there is a brief discussion happening of how many people were killed by a particular accident. The lead to wonder if this number can even be considered to be meaningful by itself.

When an accident kills, say, 100 people immediately, it seems pretty clear the that's the best way to discuss what happened. A trail derailed and 100 people lost their lives (or whatever happened).

But what about something more complex like, for instance, a chemical spill which leads to the premature deaths of 100 people over the course of the next 40 years? I'm not questioning that we can do the statistics and say that ~100 people (+/- some number) died due to this accident, even if we can't say that any particular person lost their life from that cause. But it seems to me that if you live on for 40 years, even if your eventual demise is due to this accident, those 40 years have some value.

Anyway, this had me considering that perhaps the more meaningful metric is number of years of life lost. There was a study a few years ago showing that people living in certain Chinese cities have a life expectancy something like 3 years less due to the air pollution that they need to breathe every day. That seems like a more meaningful metric to me.

Of course this then seems to overvalue young lives, if I'm suggesting that when ten teenagers are killed in an accident we say that, say, 650 years of life were lost, whereas if it were ten 65 year olds it might be 150 years of life lost.

All I can say is I found the thought interesting and if the issue were totally clear to me I wouldn't need to start a thread discussing it. :o

via International Skeptics Forum

Latina Contra Trump

In one of those odd moments that occurs from time to time during a political campaign, Eric Trump (the son of 'the Donald') foolishly allowed himself and his wife to pose for photo with a woman wearing a t-shirt with the Spanish phrase "LATINA CONTRA TRUMP" which approximately means "this Latin American Woman is Opposed to Trump".

Why This ‘Latina Contra Trump’ Shirt Makes a Big Statement About Trump and Millennial Latinas


“We weren’t protesting the fact that he’s a conservative or a Republican,” Annie told BuzzFeed News. “We were protesting their particular treatment of Hispanics and Latino immigrants in this country.”

Added Ceci to BuzzFeed News, “We were kind of in disbelief that no one understood this protest. It really goes to show the lack of diversity in their team.”


At the end of the event, though, the sisters were shocked when Eric and his wife, Lara, beckoned the two forward and let them snap a picture.

“I couldn’t wrap my brain around it,” Ceci Cardelle told BuzzFeed News, “so I just stood there and smiled.”


via International Skeptics Forum

The insults of Donald Trump

via International Skeptics Forum

Spider versus Mouse


An interesting and brief video of a spider carrying away a mouse.
Australian of course, from Coppabella in Queensland.

via International Skeptics Forum

Sheri Tepper has died

Noted science fiction author Sheri S. Tepper (Shirley Douglas) died on Saturday aged 87. While best known for sci-fi, often with feminist and ecological themes (such as The Gate to Women’s Country and Grass), she also authored mysteries (as A. J. Orde and B. J. Oliphant), horror novels (as E. E. Horlak) and a number of educational pamphlets for Planned Parenthood.


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"Don't vote for Hillary, she's killing black people"

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lundi 24 octobre 2016

Woman sues KFC for 28 million because her breasts are too small

Sounds like a bit of a wing and a prayer


Woman sues KFC for $28m after chicken bucket isn't filled to top

Fast food never quite matches up to the poster, but a US grandmother is taking extreme action over an understuffed KFC chicken bucket - suing the company for US$20 million (NZ$28 million).

Anna Wurtzburger, from New York, recently bought a US$20 bucket from the fast food chain, and was outraged to find it looked different to the "overflowing" buckets in KFC's ads.

"I came home and said, 'Where's the chicken?' I thought I was going to have a couple of meals," she told the New York Post.........

via International Skeptics Forum

I have evidence of voter registration and absentee ballot suppression

I live in an area in Minneapolis that is historically democratic. Something like 3 weeks ago, my wife registered only to have a letter sent after the deadline saying that she used an obsolete form. The form was found on the official state voter registration website. They sent her an absentee ballot even though she was not registered so her vote wouldn't count. I asked for an absentee ballot, and even though I am registered, they are claiming it was sent back as undeliverable. I am trying to figure a way for my wife to vote but they are making it almost impossible this election.

via International Skeptics Forum

Jack Chick is Dead

Reported on the New Republic and other sites. I'm not allowed to post links yet.

via International Skeptics Forum

Jack Chick is Dead

Reported on the New Republic and other sites. I'm not allowed to post links yet.

via International Skeptics Forum


Is this a fallacious argument?

I think this video is a Snow Job, trying to defend a Straw Man.

Straw Man is that he says "Some people believe US immigration is a tool to help relieve poverty in the world" (I have honestly never heard or read that this is a goal of US immigration)

Then he uses all these props, and ridiculous gum balls to make a total Snow Job of the argument.

Do you agree with my assessment? or do you see some other problem?

via International Skeptics Forum

Why do some atheists lose their head when you suggest that Jesus did not exist?

A little background, I saw a discussion of if Jesus had a wife on another forum. I wrote that we cannot be sure enough of even the existence of Jesus to meaningfully discuss it. Suddenly a bunch of people started going nuts about me even suggesting it including a number of non believer.

Now, I honestly don't know if there was a historic basis of Jesus. I have read both sides and do not consider either side to have made a strong enough case to make a decision. The thing is that I have given some effort to learn about the issue as well.

So why do you think some atheists lose their head when you suggest the idea?

via International Skeptics Forum

White people destroying their community.

What is up with these animals?

They need to roll out the armored vehicals and bust some heads.

via International Skeptics Forum

Steve Dillon has died

I'm not sure if comic books/graphic novels count as "Literature" or "Other Entertainment" so I'm going to cross-post this.

The famous comic book artist Steve Dillon, the best known for his work on Preacher, Punisher, and 2000AD's Judge Dredd, but also the creator of Abslom Daak, died on Saturday aged 54.


via International Skeptics Forum

Trump allegedly tied up and raped 13 year old girl court documents released

via International Skeptics Forum

dimanche 23 octobre 2016

Triggering, Othering... Harden the **** up!

I've had enough.

This business of people being triggered or feeling "othered" can go and kiss my arse - the entire generation from about 1980 on needs to seriously and severely harden up.

Instead of being outraged, take it on the chin. When you lose, don't blubber like a bloody baby.

I think of it this way: when a teenage chick was really, really upset in the 1950s, '60s and '70d, she would at some stage burst into tears and her parents & friends would know something was wrong.

Now, when these same sheilas see a team of grown men blubbering over losing some game involving a ball, tears have lost their value and they cut themselves.

Self-harm in that group is up by 42% on a decade ago, according to The Guardian today:

A "haunted house" experience at Armageddon today had a sign notifying a safe word so that if anyone got scared, they could say the safe word and be escorted out.


This is paid entertainment. You cannot be in actual danger. What the hell is there to need a safe word for?

My 17 yo is currently undergoing her final school exams. We received a mass email from the school counsellor, reminding children that she was there if they felt too stressed or had anxiety about the exams.


We have stopped allowing kids to learn the lesson that failure is good. It gives the person a chance to learn from it. At schools in NZ, the system is so consumed with children not failing that they can gain seven times more senior credits for cooking than mathematics.

We turn out great baristas. Not so much mathematicians.

Stop this nonsense! Harden up, or face the consequences of not being able to handle the easiest life any group of humans has ever had.

via International Skeptics Forum

Eliminating Pure Methamphetamine

This is an interesting process in New Zealand. Dangerous, but since the Chinese have been shipping vast quantities of Pure Methamphetamine for Maori gangs to distribute, its use is out of control. China can export it legally, but shoot their own citizens if found peddling it locally. I am strongly opposed to Prime minister John Key selling New Zealand to Chinese criminals, but for now we are stuck with the process.

Any ideas if this method is the way of the future?

via International Skeptics Forum

Can a decapitated body walk for a few seconds?

This may belong in the paranormal section but once as a small boy I was watching an Alfred Hitchcock movie which was basically about a haunted house.

Apparently, the ghost in the house was a headless woman who had been staying with her sister when they both heard a noise. One of the sisters investigated and was decapitated by an escaped mental patient. When the other sister heard her now dead sisters footsteps she saw the body standing there with no head. This incidentally scared the heck out of my then ten-year-old self.

Is this a scientific possibility?

via International Skeptics Forum

Early life of Betty Hill

Hello, this is my first actual relevant post on the forum. I was wondering if anyone can point me to substantial information on the early life of alleged abductee Betty Hill? Interested in information regarding influences on her before the 'interrupted journey'.


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Clawing Back Enlistment Bonuses

Soldiers are being forced to repay bonuses give out at in '06 an 07. I don't know all the issues under this but in my opinion if the soldiers didn't do something improper someone else, like California, should b paying back the Feds.

This sucks, guys. People who got these bonuses aren't sitting on piles of cash. The payback can be taken directly by wage garnishment.

This is ugly stuff. If Hillary wants to have an army, this is a broken thing she needs to fix, first hundred days.

via International Skeptics Forum

New Russian attack on Clinton

They edited everything she says to make her look unprepared and a liar, but we won't believe them! Russia's attacks won't change our mind!

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Teen girl arrested after posting sick films of herself ‘torturing and killing animals

WARNING: Article is from The Sun, therefore may be apocryphal and wildly inaccurate. Oh, there are also pictures of dead/tortured animals and people dressing in bad taste...


A TEENAGE girl has been arrested for torturing and killing cats and dogs with her friend and then posting footage of their reign of terror online.

via International Skeptics Forum


HyperNormalisation is a new movie by Adam Curtis. You may have seen previous movies by him with the titles "The Power of Nightmares" and "Bitter Lake" which both used a lot of archive footage to tell some complex narrative about The Way the World is Today.

Although I often enjoy Curtis's films for the music and footage he edits together, I often find some of his theories to be a tad overblown and borderline conspiratorial.

I have not yet watched this one, but I am going to link to the video of it:


I have put this in Social Issues and Current Events because his movies are supposed to be about Current Events and why they are happening. I suppose it could have been in the Movies and Music forum, or even the Conspiracy Theories forum, or possibly the Economics forum, but I am going to put it here in the off-chance that others here are interested in discussing it.

So, has anyone watched it yet? What did you think of it? Was it believable or was it pretentious?

via International Skeptics Forum

samedi 22 octobre 2016

Nuclear on 9-11

There is evidence Nuclear was on 9-11. Watch this video and be honest, do you also see it?

via International Skeptics Forum

Man arrested for Krispy Kreme doughnut glaze - police test says crystal meth - sues!
Even though my taxes will pay for a little of his suit, hopefully it will improve police work a tad. Or tempt the police to carry samples of what they need to fake such with them.

via International Skeptics Forum

Did Hillary really say this?

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Trump Speech: Crossroads

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The 2000 election in Flori-DUH, what actually happened...

Basically, W. was up something like 60,000 votes with something like 25 minutes till the polls closed. Nobody makes up 60K votes in 25 minutes... Algor called up to concede.

Nonetheless, 25 minutes later, the world was being told that it was all even, i.e. that the demmunists had manufactured 60K votes and spread them around...

But they missed their tally by a couple of thousand. They tried recounting the votes every possible way but there was no way to get Algor over the top with other people's eyes on the process. A major demmunist attempt to steal an election had been thwarted.

Several organizations tried to determine what it would take to produce a hanging or "dimpled" chad by test with Flori-DUH voting machines; the only way anybody could do it was by trying to punch 20 or 30 ballots at a time. In other words, a hanging or dimpled chad was just an artifact of vote manufacturing.

Why was Flori-DUH still using that kind of technology in 2000 AD?? We heard all this stupid noise: "Oh, those poor, poor, impoverished people can't afford modern computer technology..."

********. There are hotels, motels, grocery stores and every sort of thing in Dade county and elsewhere in Flori-DUH, and none of them were still using punch-cards in 2000 AD. Hollerith cards were being used precisely because they were conducive and adaptable to voter fraud.

Dinesh D'Souza is right. Franklin Roosevelt was an aberration, the demmunist/de-moKKKer-Rat party throughout most of its history has been a criminal enterprise.

via International Skeptics Forum

vendredi 21 octobre 2016

Son removed from care after mother forced him to identify as girl

This is a little disturbing for a lot of reasons:


A UK mother who dressed her son as a girl because it made her "happy" has lost custody of the child over concerns about his emotional wellbeing.

Much is often made about alt-med believing parents treating their children with quackery and the harm that results.

In this case it seems that the mother was the one claiming the boy identified as female for her own self-gratification.

via International Skeptics Forum

New Version of Faust

The story of Faust is one of those tales which grabs the human imagination. Wikipedia lists the following versions of the story in opera:

Louis Spohr's Faust (1816)
Hector Berlioz's La Damnation de Faust (1846)
Charles Gounod's Faust (1859)
Arrigo Boito's Mefistofele (1868)
Meyer Lutz's romantic opera Faust and Marguerite and his burlesque Faust up to date (1888)
Ferruccio Busoni's Doktor Faust (1916–25)
Sergei Prokofiev's The Fiery Angel (1927; first performed 1954)
Hermann Reutter's
Doktor Johannes Faust, Op. 47 (1936, revised 1955)
Don Juan und Faust, Op. 75 (1950)
Gertrude Stein's Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights (1938 libretto)
Igor Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress (1951)
Hanns Eisler's Johann Faustus (1952 libretto)
Havergal Brian's Faust (1955–56)
Henri Pousseur (music) and Michel Butor (libretto), Votre Faust (1960–68), and related "satellite" works
Konrad Boehmer's Doktor Faustus (1983), libretto by Hugo Claus
Alfred Schnittke's Historia von D. Johann Fausten (1994)
John Coolidge Adams' Doctor Atomic (2005)
Pascal Dusapin's Faustus, the Last Night (2006)

But the grandest version of all such operas is waiting to be written, i.e. the husband/wife version involving SlicKKK and Hildabeast Dindu KKKlintler, assuming that Mephistopheles or somebody like that hauls the two of those lunatics away prior to the November election, which is what appears to be likely to happen.

You actually could make an opera out of the SlicKKK/Hildabeast story. Notice that in all existing versions, Margarita is virtuous and ultimately is saved as Mephistopheles hauls Faustus off to hellfire. Picture if you will, however, a version in which male and female protagonists are BOTH ********s, and the audience gets to stand up and cheer as Mephistopheles hauls BOTH of their goofy butts off!! I mean, you don't think Verdi or Richard Wagner would be slobbering over a possibility like that??

Act I Scene I starts out with Slick and Hilda both bemoaning their fates as 25-year-old washout super losers, Slick having been booted from the Rhodes scholarship program for one sexual assault too many, Hilda being fired from that Watergate Committee and unable to pass the D.C. bar exam, and Jethro Tull playing the locomotive song, "In the shuffling madness, locomotive breath, slouch the all time losers, headlong to their death....,"

The idea would be to try to get Jethro Tull's permission to use Locomotive Breath as an overture for the opera.

Act I, Scene I

SlicKKK and Hildabeast meet in a public park in Washington D.C., each sings an aria of despair:

SlicKKK bemoans his fate, thrown out of Oxford for trying to rape a blond coed who appeared frail and rapable enough but turned out to be a Japanese hard-style Shoryn-ryu karate artist (and also a neice of the president of Oxford University) who stomped the **** out of him, took his shoes and pants, the university heaved him into the street and Cecil Rhodes was haunting him in dreams, calling him the worst and stupidest piece of white trash ever to darken the land of Albion or the sacred halls of Oxford University.

Hildabeast follows with an aria of her own, no less a lamentation: heaved from the Watergate Committee by Jerome Zeifman for dishonest methods, failure to pass the D.C. bar exam, then tried her luck as a street walker and couldn't even get takers at $15, looking for a way out...

The scene ends with the two of them singing a lust duet (with apologies to Grace Slick...):

"When the truth is found, to be lies
and all the joy, within you dies,
don't you want somebody to pork
don't you NEED somebody to pork....

Scene II, the arrival of Mephistopheles, "Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and taste.... Do not despair young gangsters, I have the solution to all of your problems, wealth and power beyond your dreams, cocaine, teenage girls, whatever it is you need!!!"

Such an opera could have a long cast of characters, including the entire Bush family, Bork and Mike Obunga, Jim McDougal, Webster Hubbel, Monica, Vince Foster...

and it could have a long list of gangster activities to include as scenes:

Somebody like Jacque Offenbach could have a field day with this idea...

via International Skeptics Forum

Expansion, no expansion, slower expansion?

New study suggests problems with the standard model that has the universe expanding at an accelerating rate.

via International Skeptics Forum

Chinese woman charged with hate crimes over blessing scam. NYC

I thought this would make for an interesting discussion. I'm curious how they will make the hate crime charge for larceny stick. The women all speak Cantonese according to the articles. I'm imagining some ethnic/cultural divide that allows the hate charge, but am I overthinking this? Is it realistic that the charge is viable on the grounds stated below? That the victims were targeted for spiritual beliefs?


The so-called "blessing scam" has been around in U.S. Chinese communities for years, with victims targeted in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, and Hawaii, according to NBC New York. Following a rash of such cases in New York City, the New York Police Department began a public awareness campaign in 2013, hitting the streets and tacking up posters in Chinese and English to warn residents.


"In this case, the theory is that the victims were targeted because of their ethnicity, because they were Chinese, and because of their religious practices, their religious spiritual beliefs," Peterson said.

The New York Times won't allow me to copy/paste.......? I should send them a bill for sharing.

via International Skeptics Forum

Paul Watson: Dear Mainstream Media

via International Skeptics Forum

Massive internet DDoS attack?

Where's the thread on this?

Twitter is down, Netflix and many more.

Widespread Internet outage knocks out popular sites like Reddit, Twitter and Netflix

via International Skeptics Forum

Michael E. Tymn claims the Bangs Sisters communicated with spirits

Michael E. Tymn has a new article:

Tymn claims


It is difficult to believe these two sisters were anything but genuine mediums, even if modern references write them off as frauds.
However, according to Joe Nickell the Bangs sisters were caught in fraud many times. For example one researcher Stanley L. Krebs caught them out by the use of a secret mirror.


The Bangses were exposed as tricksters many times. For example a minister, Rev. Stanley L. Krebs (1901) sat for one demonstration that involved producing a “spirit” reply to a multi-paged letter that he had been instructed to bring, sealed in an envelope. At the beginning of the séance it was placed between two bound slates. Careful observation, and the use of a small mirror that permitted viewing under the table, allowed Krebs to see how the bound slates were secretly wedged apart and the envelope dropped into Miss Bangs’s lap from whence it was transferred to a tray on the floor and drawn under a closed door. In time, after her accomplice/sister had done her work of steaming open the envelope and penning a reply, the seemingly impossible effect was completed.
Any thoughts? Michael E. Tymn seems to ignore all the fraud and claim these mediums were genuine and that spirits had produced their paintings and pictures. How can modern spiritualists like Tymn to this very day still be defending outright fakes like this?

via International Skeptics Forum