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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.

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. 

How Not to Unexplain a UFO Debunking

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
June 4, 2012
A brief and enlightening exchange with a UFO believer over a skeptical analysis. 

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Skepticism One Wikipage at a Time

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 36.2, March/April 2012

Interview

Talking with Wikiskeptic Susan Gerbic-Forsyth

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Do Einstein’s Laws Endorse Ghosts?

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 36.2, March/April 2012

Skeptical Inquiree

Is The ‘Real-Life Barbie’ a Media Myth?

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
May 14, 2012
Is The ‘Real-Life Barbie’ a Media Myth?
News organizations around the world claimed that a young Russian model has achieved her desire to look like a Barbie doll, sparking discussion and outrage about the media's influence on women. But is it true? 

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Interviewing the Native Skeptic

Skeptical Briefs Volume 21.3, Fall 2011

Interviews

An interview with Noah Nez, who blogs about skepticism within the Native American community.

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Briefs Briefs

Skeptical Briefs Volume 21.3, Fall 2011

Briefs Briefs

People Don’t Read, and Why It Matters to Skepticism

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
April 30, 2012
A lot of the time people simply don’t read--and this hold implications for both skepticism and public discourse. 

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Briefs Briefs

Skeptical Briefs Volume 21.2, Summer 2011

Briefs Briefs

Psychic Claims to Have Predicted Japanese Earthquake, Psychic Claims Tip on Long Island Serial Killer, Russian Alien UFO Video Surfaces

A Skeptical Look at ‘Balance’

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
April 16, 2012
The idea of "balance" is very popular in both society in general and especially with New Age and alternative medicine crowds. While it offers a superficially appealing way to view the world, it is actually often incorrect, misleading, and potentially unscientific. 

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The Bell Witch Mystery

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 36.1, January/February 2012

Skeptical Inquiree

Labyrinths, New Age Feminism, and Skepticism

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
March 21, 2012
Labyrinths, New Age Feminism, and Skepticism
Skepticism and feminism clash over the ancient (and New Agey) labyrinth symbol. 

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A Skeptical Psychic’s Predictions for 2010

Skeptical Briefs Volume 21.1, Spring 2011

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New Mexico’s Mysteries and Mythtakes

Skeptical Briefs Volume 21.1, Spring 2011

Book Review

A review of Myths and Mysteries of New Mexico: True Stories of the Unsolved and Unexplained by Barbara Marriott

Rush Limbaugh, Being a Dick, and Skepticism

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
March 8, 2012
 The controversy over Rush Limbaugh's comments has implications for the skeptical movement. Why Rush is a Dick, and skeptics shouldn't be. 

Oscar-Winning Film Highlights Acid Attack Domestic Violence

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
February 28, 2012
Oscar-Winning Film Highlights Acid Attack Domestic Violence
Though few have heard of it, the important Oscar-winning short subject film Saving Face may be the best film of the year, highlighting horrific abuse of women in Pakistan.

A Skeptic’s Visit to Macchu Picchu

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
February 22, 2012
A Skeptic’s Visit to Macchu Picchu
A skeptic visits the Peruvian ruins of Macchu Picchu and finds history tainted by pseudoscience.

The Woman in Black: A Classic Ghost Story

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
February 6, 2012
The Woman in Black: A Classic Ghost Story
In the new horror/thriller The Woman in Black, Arthur Kipps, a lawyer whose grief over his dead wife has put his career in jeopardy, is sent to a remote English village to sort out the affairs of a recently deceased woman. Upon his arrival, he learns that everyone in the town is keeping a deadly secret: the woman's house is haunted by a ghost-the titular woman in black. Much of the film is classic ghostlore, and scenarios I have seen enacted during real-life ghost hunts by psychics and ghost hunters.

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Kinoki Drains Wallet, Not Toxins

Skeptical Inquirer Volume 35.6, November/December 2011

Skeptical Inquiree

The Mayan Calendar, 2012, and Doomsday: A Primer

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
January 25, 2012

It's no secret that the ancient Mayans (as opposed to the modern ones, some of whom work in offices and use cell phones) had a famous calendar that "runs out" in December of this year. Just what that means--if anything--is the question. Does it hold any particular significance for Doomday, the Apocalpyse, or Armageddon? Here's a (very) short primer on the Mayan calendar.

RileyGate: Lessons Learned

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
January 11, 2012

A recent blog I wrote about a viral video featuring a "pint-sized pundit" ranting about gender stereotypes was flawed in several ways, and deserved much of the criticism it got. 

‘Expert Eyewitness’ Shoots Dog Walker: Skeptical Lessons from Tragedy

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
January 5, 2012
A woman was shot last week when a state trooper mistook her two retriever dogs for a deer; what does this say about expert eyewitness testimony?

Rebecca and Riley: Tempest in a Doll’s Tea Party

Free Thinking (centerforinquiry.net)
January 2, 2012
Skepchick blogger and skeptical colleague Rebecca Watson wrote a scathing blog about a column I wrote on a viral video starring a girl named Riley, and her rant about gender-stereotyped colors and toys. How valid are her criticisms? Decide for yourself. 

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