Halloween Doubt and About

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Happy Halloween!

The net is full of silly ghost stories today. They are fun and enjoyable as long as they remain entertainment. But when ghost hunters claim to do science… I get to have some say. Here is a new piece I did for Huffington Post. Post it to the comments of your local ghost tales from the media.

Ghost Busters Was a Movie, Not Reality 

I got some nice press from NBC News today.

Time for an exorcism? Demons are on the rise for Halloween – NBC News.com.

Finally check out Virtual Skeptics from last night, we were very silly.

virtualskeptichalloween

Strange Pennsylvania Monsters: Book Review by a strange PA monsters aficionado

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Strange Pennsylvania Monsters by Michael Newton (Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 2012) is the second book of this type that I’ve read and reviewed. It is considerably better than 2011′s Monsters of Pennsylvania by Patty Wilson which I reviewed here.

These local guidebooks to monster lore are commonly categorized by type of animal. Pennsylvania’s most famous cryptids are Bigfoot and the Thunderbird, but we have an array of weirdness.

Even though I, personally, find rather little value in these stories which can’t typically be confirmed and lack any worthwhile detail, I think it’s nice to have a comprehensive volume about the monster tales associated with certain areas with one caveat – THERE MUST BE REFERENCES. This was my major gripe with Wilson’s version to the point where it was almost useless.

Newton’s book has references although some are highly questionable such as personal accounts gained privately or through newspapers. In the section on giant snakes, the stories were not believable. The memories were old and, as we know, memories change tremendously with age into something that may not resemble the original situation at all. These types of stories read more like tall tales and skew the data set of anecdotes by suggesting there are many of these odd animals around and there must be something to it.

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Doubt and About summer 2013

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I’m letting the blog go quiet for a while. My big projects are for other sources.

Finishing up my talk for TAM in Las Vegas (The Honest Broker of Doubtful News) where I am also moderating a panel on the Scope of Skepticism and participating on a panel about cryptozoology. Should be GREAT!  I will be doing a bit of traveling prior to that.

I’m trying to keep Doubtful News supplied with content and when I get the urge, I write for Huffington Post. This last post from yesterday seems to be popular. I dashed it off in a half hour at the library waiting for the dog to be done at the groomer. But it was simmering for a week or so.

Still doing Virtual Skeptics and Sounds Sciencey too.

I have a few hangouts and podcasts coming up but otherwise, August looks free. I’m preparing to make some changes and start some new endeavors. Time for a change. Change is good. Always have new things in progress and new ideas to jump on.

Hope to see you at TAM!

Good morning, I feel like sharing today.

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I’ve decided to try to keep this blog more active and take a slightly different approach to reflect day to day things that are happening. Visitors have been growing without me doing much of anything, which is cool. But the uncool reason is that they get here mainly due to “Bigfoot” search results. That should tell me something. I probably need to write more on that but it’s painful and it comes with unintended consequences. Besides, that makes my head hurt because Bigfoot stuff today is VERY stupid. I don’t call things “stupid” lightly. But this is nothing new. Many of you are fully aware of my *facepalming* past regarding cryptozoology.

Meanwhile, everyday, I check out what is delivered by two of the absolute BEST blogs out there ever: Science-Based Medicine and Respectful Insolence. Continue reading