Recent Entries in Skeptic

False.

The rumor becomes a way of passing along one group's disdain for another's sartorial practice. Communicating that the saggers are unwittingly offering their backsides to all takers when they think they are mimicking admired rappers and identifying with tough guys no sensible person would mess with becomes a way of saying "The joke is really on them." This same sense of surreptitious delight over being in on a prank someone looked down upon is unknowingly playing on himself fuels another urban legend that involves medallions flaunted by society matrons or Chinese character-emblazoned sweaters proudly worn by their knitters and even some of the "misunderstood souvenir" tales told about globe-trotting tourists.

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Risque (Sag Harbored)

False.

In 1670, Charles II of England granted a Royal Charter to Prince Rupert and seventeen associates (known collectively as "The Company of Adventurers") giving them the rights to "sole trade and commerce" within the entrance of Hudson Strait in North America. This charter effectively established the Hudson's Bay Company and gave them control over all lands whose rivers and streams drained into Hudson Bay, an enormous area designated "Rupert's Land," which encompassed most of Northern Ontario and Northern Qu´┐Żbec, all of Manitoba, most of Saskatchewan, the southern half of Alberta, a large part of the Northwest Territories, and much of what is now the U.S. states of Minnesota and North Dakota -- altogether about 40% of modern day Canada.

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Business (Fur the Queen)

The character of Ensign Chekov was added to the television series Star Trek because an editorial in the Communist newspaper Pravda had criticized the lack of a Soviet crewman on board the U.S.S. Enterprise.

Unknown....

We doubt Pravda actually did run an editorial about Star Trek, but we also doubt that even Gene Roddenberry would have forged a back-dated letter to support the claim that they did, so we think it likely he genuinely believed they had.

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Radio & TV (Russian Crewlette)

  April Fools' Day Origins

IT has become tradition on the first of April to pull jokes of the harmless variety on those near and dear to us. We plot and we scheme, and often the yuks are funnier in our imaginings than how they play out in reality, but that doesn't stop us from sending the little kid in us out on a rampage. Even the most staid among us have been known to indulge in a practical joke or two, so beware of trusting anyone on that day.

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Holidays (April Fools' Day Origins)

Photograph shows soldier shaking hands with Sen. Hillary Clinton while crossing his fingers.

True.

Military history includes many instances when soldiers who fell into the hands of the enemy were trotted out before photographers or television cameras by their captors for purposes of propaganda: -- to create false images intended to trick audiences into believing that the prisoners were actually well-cared for, sympathized with their captors, or were voluntarily denouncing the political policies of their home countries. Likewise, military history includes many instances in which such captured soldiers managed to inserted subtle and furtive signs into propagandistic images to express their defiance, to indicate that the information they were relaying was false, or to signal that they were acting under duress. (One of the most well-known examples of this phenomenon is the infamous middle finger gesture employed by the crew of the USS Pueblo in photographs after their ship was captured by North Korea in 1968.)

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Photo Gallery (Crossed Fingers)

The plastic strip embedded in U.S. bank notes enable the Feds to tell how much money you have on you.

False.

The ongoing effort to stay one step ahead of the counterfeiters has led to the inclusion of a number of security features in U.S. currency. One countermeasure in particular has come to be the focus of a widely-believed bit lore: the embedded inscribed security thread.

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Business (Cache Point)

False.

Few Americans have any inkling that there even is such a thing as Boxing Day, let alone what the reason might be for a holiday so named. However, before one concludes we're about to rag on Americentric attitudes towards other cultures, we should quickly point out that even though Boxing Day is celebrated in Australia, Britain, New Zealand, and Canada, not all that many in those
countries have much of a notion as to why they get the 26th of December off. Boxing Day might well be a statutory holiday in some of those lands, but it's not a well understood one.

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Holidays (Boxing Day)

  Cropless Crop Circles

Large designs have been appearing on San Francisco's ocean beach tidal flats at low tides.

Cropless Crop Circles - Phidelity.com content system

False.

An AOL spokesman explained to eWeek, the controversial clause was listed under the "Content You Post" section of the AIM Terms of Service to indicate that it applies only to material users post to public areas of the AIM service, not to user-to-user instant messages...

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Computers (My AIM Is True)

True.

The full story was far less titillating than one- or two-line summations of the incident made it out to be.

On 13 February 1985, a very pregnant Betsy Nelson of Arlington, Virginia, was detained on suspicion of shoplifting by Irving's Sport Shop, a sporting goods store in Seven Corners, Virginia. She had gone there to look for a rowing machine to help her get back in shape after the upcoming birth of her child, a joyous event not expected for another full month.

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Pregnancy (Cache and Carry)

No.

Urban legendry abounds with rumors concerning famous people who are supposedly the unacknowledged (and usually illegitimate) children of other famous people, especially within the Hollywood community (actors being noted, in the world of rumor, for both their promiscuity and their willingness to go to extreme lengths to avoid the disclosure of negative publicity.) One of the odder rumors of this variety posits that western film star Clint Eastwood is actually the son of comic great Stan Laurel (of the popular Laurel & Hardy comedy film duo). It's hard to imagine what could have fueled this wild tale other than a superficial facial resemblance between the two men, but similar rumors have been propagated based upon even less. (If people will believe that soap opera star Susan Lucci is really the daughter of comedienne Phyllis Diller, they'll probably believe anything.)

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Movies (Fortunate Son)

From the (student newspaper) Salt Lake Community Globe: CORRECTION REGARDING PREVIOUS STORY

In reference to the recent article entitled "Mother of the Matrix Victorious," some information has been deemed misleading. Ms. Sophia Stewart has not yet won her case against Joel Silver, Time Warner and the Wachowski Bros. The decision on October 4th enabled Ms. Stewart to proceed with her case, as all attempts to have it dismissed were unsuccessful. Ms. Stewart's case will proceed through the Central District Court of California.

The original story reads: Monday, October 4th 2004 ended a six-year dispute involving Sophia Stewart, the Wachowski Brothers, Joel Silver and Warner Brothers. Stewart's allegations, involving copyright infringement and racketeering, were received and acknowledged by the Central District of California, Judge Margaret Morrow residing.

Stewart, a New Yorker who has resided in Salt Lake City for the past five years, will recover damages from the films, The Matrix I, II and III, as well as The Terminator and its sequels. She will soon receive one of the biggest payoffs in the history of Hollywood, as the gross receipts of both films and their sequels total over 2.5 billion dollars.

"Mother of the Matrix" Victorious - Globe Link - Entertainment

  Napoleon Die-namite

Beginning in January 2005, rumors circulated nationwide that Jon Heder, the 26-year-old star of the film Napoleon Dynamite, had died in tragic fashion. Some people heard he'd arrived at his final destination via an automobile accident that snapped his neck; others heard the Grim Reaper came to him in the form of a drug overdose, most commonly cocaine or crack cocaine.

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Movies (Napoleon Die-namite)

Under the LARK program, Taliban detainees are being housed with liberals who disagree with the government's treatment of prisoners kept at Guantanamo Bay.

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Politics (LARK Spurred)

A Romanian tabloid said on Monday it had fired a reporter for making up a story about a couple who named their son Yahoo as a sign of gratitude for meeting over the Internet.

Bucharest daily Libertatea published a story this month saying two Romanians had named their baby for the popular Web site and printed a picture of his birth certificate. The news was published internationally, including by Reuters.

"It was the reporter's child's birth certificate, which he modified," said Simona Ionescu, Libertatea's deputy editor-in-chief. "We fired him."

Yahoo! News - Newspaper Sacks Reporter Over Fake Yahoo Baby

When we talk about communication with the dead, we are usually referring to "mediums" who talk to the dead on our behalf, or who allow the dead to speak to us through them.

What if, instead the dead could speak to us directly, without the middle person?

Electronic Voice Phenomena

  Psychic Predictions 2004

Osama bin Laden will die of kidney disease. Saddam Hussein will be shot to death. Fidel Castro will die. A live dinosaur thousands of years old will be captured. The Hoover Dam will collapse. And Rosie O'Donnell will adopt Siamese twin girls.

That's what the world's best psychics predicted for 2004. And with the year drawing to a close, the news is going to have to get pretty intense over the next few days if those forecasts are going to come true, according to Gene Emery, a contributor to Skeptical Inquirer magazine, who has been tracking tabloid forecasts for 26 years.

Actually, the truly unusual predictions of major news events almost never come true, and this year has been no exception, said Emery, who has been using the predictions to search for a psychic -- any psychic -- who can really predict the future.

CSICOP Online: Psychic Predictions 2004 & Naming a Star Info

October 31st is not only Halloween but also the 78th anniversary of the death of Harry Houdini. Houdini, one of the greatest magicians and showmen who ever lived, died on October 31, 1926 in Detroit of peritonitis due to a ruptured appendix. Famous in life, Houdini is even more famous in death because of his pledge to find a way to communicate from the grave.

"According to his wife, Bess, and contrary to many reports, Houdini never made contact from the great beyond," says professional magician and mindreader Bob Garner.

But does that mean it's impossible for Houdini or anyone else to escape the bonds of death and communicate with loved ones here on Earth? "I think it is possible," says Garner. "There are many who say that they have either communicated directly with their deceased relatives and friends or have received a sign from them."

"Harry Houdini ... Can You Hear Me Now?"

In today's edition of "they sky is falling," we pick up on the woeful predictions of one Dr. Hannu Kari, who pinpoints 2006 as the end of the Internet as we know it. Today the good professor warned that the fun bus could all come to a crashing halt in less than two years because of steady increases in everything that makes the Internet such a pain in the rear. Viruses, trojans, spam, and security flaws are all on the march in the view of the Helsinki University of Technology professor, and if current trends continue, their burden will topple the global network. In case you didn't get the memo:

"There are many bad people who want to create chaos on purpose," said Kari

Kari has actually been caught holding the "end is nigh" sign before. It seems that an independent media arm of Finnish business and industry published the missives of the researcher back in 2001, when Kari was giving the 'net 5 years to live. For those of you not doing the math, that means that his slavish dedication to 2006 as the year the 'net goes black has been consistent for a while. After a heart wrenching story of a bakery nearly destroyed by a malicious hacker, Kari got down to baking his own loaf.

Internet about to collapse, says Finnish scientist

  Déjà vu All Over Again

How did the Intelligent Design movement publish in a peer reviewed biology journal? A similar--and notorious--story from climate science sheds light on the question.

This is how it begins: Proponents of a fringe or non-mainstream scientific viewpoint seek added credibility. They're sick of being taunted for having few (if any) peer reviewed publications in their favor. Fed up, they decide to do something about it.

These "skeptics" find what they consider to be a weak point in the mainstream theory and critique it. Not by conducting original research; they simply review previous work. Then they find a little-known, not particularly influential journal where an editor sympathetic to their viewpoint hangs his hat.

They get their paper through the peer review process and into print. They publicize the hell out of it. Activists get excited by the study, which has considerable political implications.

Déjà vu All Over Again (Doubt and About)

Betty Hill, whose tale of being abducted by aliens launched her to fame and became the subject of a best-selling book and television movie, has died. She was 85.

Hill died at her home Sunday after a battle with lung cancer.

Hill claimed that she and her husband, Barney, were abducted by extraterrestrials in New Hampshire's White Mountains on a trip home from Canada in 1961.

The Hills were puzzled when they arrived home and noticed Betty's torn and stained dress, Barney's scuffed shoes, shiny spots on their car, stopped watches and no memory of two hours of the drive.

Newsday.com - AP News

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of Ten Commandments displays on government property, agreeing to address a church-state issue at the center of controversies around the country.

The justices said they will decide whether the Texas State Capitol grounds may feature a six-foot-tall granite monument depicting the rules that Jews and Christians believe God handed down to Moses on Mt. Sinai. The court also will consider a Kentucky case involving framed copies of the Ten Commandments posted in a county courthouse.

Bloomberg.com: U.S.


About Me

I suppose if you've been reading my site for any length of time, you're probably curious to know who the blogger is, and why he hasn't posted in such a long time. Is he dead? Busy? Lazy? What's his...
» More ...

Follow Me on Twitter


Recent Entries

Tag Cloud

politik / film / video / skeptic / cewl / techno / humour / haxors / nosh / can-con / gaming / religion / weird / sex / funny / eco / music / stupid / photos / cocktails / George Bush / blogosphere / flickr / travel / evolution / politics / creationism / creationist / mobile / awful / photography / Star Wars / awesome / geek / bartending / coffee / drinking / mixology / alcohol / liquor / bartender / cocktail recipe / cats / food / Savoy Cocktail Book / science / Lovecraft / parody / books / Cthulhu / TV / articles / pets / John McCain / promos / Movable Type / cartoons / sci-fi / Canada / Radio Zuckervati / cool / Roger Ebert / system / atheism / comics / reviews / technology / zombies / anime / anonymous / MMO / Star Trek / Alinea / animation / Batman / Futurama / Halloween / horror / molecular gastronomy / television

Twitter Stream

D H McKee's bookshelf: to-read

Sunset and Sawdust
tagged: to-read
The Thicket
tagged: to-read
Hyenas
tagged: to-read

goodreads.com
Close