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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.

Noah Nez, The Native Skeptic

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
March 5, 2013
Noah Nez, The Native Skeptic

I first heard about the Native Skeptic from Desiree Schell, the host of the Skeptically Speaking podcast. She mentioned a writer named Noah Nez who blogged about skepticism within the Native American community. He’s been a columnist for the Skeptical Briefs ever since. 

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The Mysterious Bee Deaths

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 37.1, January/February 2013

Skeptical Inquiree

Being ‘Over It’-And the Lack of Charity

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
February 19, 2013
On being "Over It," and the lack of charity in discourse. 

‘Over It’ Follow-Up: Why Would Anyone Criticize an Anti-Rape Poem?

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
February 18, 2013
Feminist activist Eve Ensler wrote a poem saying that she was "over rape" as part of an effort to stop physical and sexual abuse of women. I agreed with much of it, and wrote my own poem based on hers. We have both recently been criticized for it. 

Over It.

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
February 15, 2013
On Valentine's Day, feminist activist Eve Ensler asked women around the world to dance in an effort to stop sexual and physical violence against women in an event she called One Billion Rising. How big is the problem, and will it do any good? 

The Wisdom of Not Understanding

Skeptical Briefs Volume 22.3, Fall 2012

The Wisdom of Not Understanding

When people don’t understand something they are told, there are three possibilities or root causes.

Did Joseph Smith Predict Doomsday?

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
February 1, 2013
Did Joseph Smith Predict Doomsday?
Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church, said in 1835 that he had spoken to God recently, and during their conversation he learned that Jesus would return within the next 56 years, after which the End Times would begin promptly. Many Mormons have taken exception to this claim; who's right? 

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Briefs Briefs

Skeptical Briefs Volume 22.3, Fall 2012

Briefs Briefs

Near-Death Experience Expert Arrested in Daughter’s Torture / Conspiracy Theorists See UFO over Antarctica / NOAA Denies Existence of Mermaids

The House of Skeptics Serves Psi (And Crow)

January 18, 2013
The House of Skeptics Serves Psi (And Crow)

A review of Science & Psychic Phenomena: The Fall of the House of Skeptics, by Chris Carter.

Tripping on the Trebuchet: An Interview with George Hrab

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
January 15, 2013
Tripping on the Trebuchet: An Interview with George Hrab

 Not long ago, when George Hrab's latest CD Trebuchet came out, I sat down (not actually, literally, or even metaphorically) and asked him about his music and skeptical influences. And, really, things I probably shouldn't have asked, but there you go. And here you go. 

Trigger Warnings: Public Service or Fallacious Fad?

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
January 6, 2013

Proponents and critics of "trigger warnings" (warnings placed before discussions and descriptions of potentially traumatic events in articles and blogs) have argued that the warnings are either important, useless, a cynical attempt to get readers, infantilizing, considerate, ridiculous, and everything in between. There seems to be little real research into the validity and utility of trigger warnings; for those who wish to take an analytical look at the topic, here's a place to start. 

Questioning a Local Landmark

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
January 2, 2013
Questioning a Local Landmark
In my hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, one of the top tourist attractions is the Sandia Peak Tramway, "the world's longest." But is it? 

Bashing the BMI: A Closer Look at the Skeptics

December 31, 2012
Bashing the BMI: A Closer Look at the Skeptics

Why such hate for an otherwise boring, uncontroversial medical formula?

A Skeptic’s Brief Conversation With a TV Producer

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
December 20, 2012
A Skeptic’s Brief Conversation With a TV Producer
A brief recounting of what happens when the goals and demands of skepticism collide with the goals and demands of TV production.

A Book of Stories that Happened to a Friend ...

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 36.6, November/December 2012

Book Review
A Book of Stories that Happened to a Friend ...

A review of Encyclopedia of Urban Legends: Updated and Expanded Edition by Jan Harold Brunvand.

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Mystery Solved—According to Whom?

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 36.6, November/December 2012

Skeptical Inquiree

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Briefs Briefs

Skeptical Briefs Volume 22.2, Summer 2012

Briefs Briefs

‘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

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