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Ben Radford

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Benjamin Radford is a scientific paranormal investigator, a research fellow at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, deputy editor of the Skeptical Inquirer, and author or co-author of six books and over a thousand articles on skepticism, critical thinking, and science literacy. His newest book is The Martians Have Landed: A History of Media Panics and Hoaxes. Radford is also a columnist for Discovery News and LiveScience.com.

‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not’s’  Macabre Mistake

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
December 8, 2012
‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not’s’  Macabre Mistake

A ‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not’ factoid read, “You are more likely to die on your birthday then any other day of the year.” Well, yes and no.

In Science, Whose Department is the Ethics Department?: Part 2

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
December 4, 2012

What is the role of ethics in science? Part 2 of 2.

Art, Mysteries, and Context

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 36.5, September/October 2012

Article
Art, Mysteries, and Context

In my books and workshops on scientific paranormal investigation, I discuss how best to conceptualize a mystery: basically, an event out of context. A live dolphin lying on a Manhattan sidewalk is a mystery; that same dolphin in a tank at an aquarium is not.

Life of Pi: A Skeptical Review

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
November 26, 2012
Life of Pi: A Skeptical Review

The Life of Pi is a fable about a young Indian man who finds himself aboard a freighter headed for Canada. A storm sinks the ship and soon Pi finds himself the sole human survivor, trapped on a lifeboat with a tiger...

In Science, Whose Department is the Ethics Department?: Part 1

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
November 23, 2012
What is the role of ethics in science? 

Skewed Skepticism: Bizarro Piraro

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 36.5, September/October 2012

Article
Skewed Skepticism: Bizarro Piraro

A conversation with award-winning cartoonist, fine artist, and stand-up comedian Dan Piraro.

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Art and Skepticism Introduction

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 36.5, September/October 2012

Article

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Art and Skepticism

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 36.5, September/October 2012

From the Editor

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Tracking the Chupachameleon: Chupacabra Iconography

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 36.5, September/October 2012

Skeptical Inquiree

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln: A Man (and a Film) for the Ages

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
November 7, 2012
Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln: A Man (and a Film) for the Ages
It's easy to forget, when in a high school history class or reading a textbook, that the founders of our country were real people. We know them for their achievements, the highlights of history and thumbnail sketches. Benjamin Franklin flying a kite in a storm while planning to open the first post office and work on French diplomacy. George Washington crossing the Delaware river and defying the British. According to noted historian Sarah Palin, Paul Revere famously rode his horse by night to warn the British that they would not be taking away American's right to bear arms.

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Briefs Briefs

Skeptical Briefs Volume 22.1, Spring 2012

Briefs Briefs

Memories of Paul Kurtz

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
October 21, 2012
I heard with a heavy heart that CFI founder Paul Kurtz has died...

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Diving HeadOn into Pseudoscience

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 36.4, July/August 2012

Skeptical Inquiree

‘The Master’

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
September 30, 2012
In the new film The Master, Philip Seymour Hoffman plays the leader of a New Agey, quasi-religious cult which draws troubled people into their fold. 

Sexism, Activism, and All-Male Clubs

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
September 28, 2012
What should we do about private organizations who have sexist policies? Sometimes we stand up to them; sometimes we don't. 

The Zanzibari Cat

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
September 24, 2012
The Zanzibari Cat
Reflections of a feline-loving traveler in East Africa.

Public Figures Who Lie About Sports Achievements

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
September 13, 2012
Rep. Paul Ryan recently lied about running a marathon in under 3 hours, but he's not the first to exaggerate sports achievements.

Bearing the Burden: On Being Chosen to Suffer

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
September 6, 2012
Many people, from those taking care of disabled children to those dealing with traumatic events, believe that they have been specially chosen to bear that burden. Is this healthy or harmful?

Another Abduction/Rape Highlights Glaring Failure of Psychic Detectives

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
August 27, 2012
Another young woman abducted and raped for year highlights the utter failure of psychic detectives. 

One Month After ‘Batman’ Massacre, Still No Evidence of Film Influence

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
August 22, 2012
One Month After ‘Batman’ Massacre, Still No Evidence of Film Influence
A month ago, shortly after a shooter in Colorado attacked a premiere of the film The Dark Knight Rises, I wrote a piece addressing the then-circulating question of whether or not the shooter's massacre was inspired by the Batman film. Many readers suggested that my blog was too quick to dismiss the link, based on little information; a month later, what does the evidence show?

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Dealing with Believers During Skeptical Investigation

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 36.3, May/June 2012

Skeptical Inquiree

MacOzymandia: Visit to a Scottish Cemetery

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
August 3, 2012
MacOzymandia: Visit to a Scottish Cemetery
As the Ness River slowly weaves and wends through the town of Inverness on its way to Loch Ness, it passes under a white metal bridge walkway. That walkway continues across a small road and soon narrows into a brick-paved alleyway between two churches before ending at a modest street. A sign on the wrought-iron entrance reads, "Church of Scotland-The Old High Church." That's where I heard voices across the centuries.

A Spiritualist Ghostbuster’s Crystal Skull

Skeptical Briefs Volume 21.4, Winter 2011-2012

A Spiritualist Ghostbuster’s Crystal Skull

A Canadian spiritualist ghostbusting actor walks into a bar wearing New Age crystals and a crystal skull around his neck, goes up to the bartender, and orders a vodka. . . . No, this weird mashup is not the setup to a joke (certainly not a funny one) but instead more or less describes one of the strangest intersections of Hollywood, New Age paranormal belief, ghost hunting, and alcohol.

Real-Life ‘Dark Night’: Did Batman Inspire Killings?

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
July 20, 2012
Real-Life ‘Dark Night’: Did Batman Inspire Killings?
A mass shooting at the premiere of the new Batman film has cast a pall on the franchise and raised questions about media-inspired violence.

Science, the New Age, and the Search for Truth

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
July 18, 2012

Good science is universal. Properly controlled scientific experiments should yield the same results regardless of who is doing the testing. Male or female, British or Turkish, young or old, Muslim or Jew, it doesn't matter. Science's universality is one of its greatest attributes. Much pseudoscience and the paranormal, by contrast, is individual and idiosyncratic.

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Skepticism One Wikipage at a Time

Skeptical Briefs Volume 21.4, Winter 2011-2012

Interviews

Talking with Wikiskeptic Susan Gerbic-Forsyth

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Briefs Briefs

Skeptical Briefs Volume 21.4, Winter 2011-2012

Briefs Briefs

Seth MacFarland’s “Ted”: Rude Living Teddy Bear Takes Boston by Storm

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
June 29, 2012
Seth MacFarland’s “Ted”: Rude Living Teddy Bear Takes Boston by Storm
Seth MacFarland's new film is crass cross between "Greg the Bunny" and "Family Guy." 

Film Review: Pixar’s “Brave” Aims High But Falls Short

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
June 21, 2012
Film Review: Pixar’s “Brave” Aims High But Falls Short
The new film Brave, about a headstrong Scottish fire-haired archer princess, squanders one of Disney's best characters in a meandering and muddled script. 

Still Skeptical of Blogs

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
June 13, 2012
Why blogs suck: It's probably true that most blogs are crap-but it's a shame that we must work so hard to find the non-crap. 

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