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Skeptical Briefs

Skeptical Briefs is the quarterly newsletter of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. It is available by subscription. A subscription to Skeptical Briefs is independent of your subscription to the Skeptical Inquirer. It is published four times per year (in March, June, September, and December), and includes articles; news from skeptical groups across the country and around the world; and regular columnists Joe Nickell ("Investigative Files"), Lewis Jones ("Inklings"), Victor Stenger ("Reality Check"), Henry Huber ("Group News"); and Benjamin Radford ("Briefs Briefs"). It also includes a Hidden Messages puzzle in each issue by New Mexico physicist and skeptic David E. Thomas.

Adventures in SkeptiCamp

Adventures in SkeptiCamp

by Susan Gerbic
Volume 25.3, Fall 2015

We need face-to-face interactions. Some of our people tell me that our meetups are where they can be themselves; they don’t have to guard their language, and no subject is taboo.

Facing Art and Skepticism: Caricaturist Celestia Ward

Facing Art and Skepticism: Caricaturist Celestia Ward

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 25.2, Summer 2015

Interviews

In 2014, Skeptical Briefs Editor Benjamin Radford attended a caricature conference in Reno, Nevada. Inside a hotel ballroom full of ridiculously talented artists from around the world, he happened to meet Celestia Ward, a caricaturist who’s also a skeptic. Naturally, he had questions for her.

Bigfoot Roundup: Some Regional Variants Identified as Bears

Bigfoot Roundup: Some Regional Variants Identified as Bears

by Joe Nickell
Volume 25.2, Summer 2015

Investigative Files

Having long observed that many Bigfoot sightings seem consistent with bears, I have for some time been expounding on the subject—showing that, when bears stand upright on their hind legs, they become North America’s foremost Bigfoot lookalikes.

Studying Up with A Skeptic’s Guide to Conspiracy

Studying Up with A Skeptic’s Guide to Conspiracy

by Gurmukh Mongia
Volume 25.2, Summer 2015

Skeptical Podcasts

Now, in the age of the Internet, Bohler has decided to put his research on these fascinating topics online in the form of a blog and a podcast titled A Skeptic’s Guide to Conspiracy. Since 2011, he’s been putting all his exhaustive and thorough research to good use by providing a valuable resource for anybody looking for skeptical information about conspiracy theories.

You Can Lead Believers to Knowledge, but You Can’t Make Them Think

by Barbara Mervine
Volume 25.1, Spring 2015

“Give a person an answer, they will know Bigfoot isn’t real. Teach a person skepticism, and they’ll think Bigfoot isn’t real, aliens aren’t visiting from Venus, and they’ll vaccinate their children.”

Bitter(s) Medicine

Bitter(s) Medicine

by Joe Nickell
Volume 25.1, Spring 2015

Investigative Files

Bitters bottles are a window into an earlier era of quackery (although sometimes perhaps well-intentioned), as well as into the related worlds of unbridled advertising, liquor sales and consumption, and, of course, the very human need for relief from myriad ailments.

Myths about Nutrition

Myths about Nutrition

by Felipe Nogueira
Volume 25.1, Spring 2015

Skepticism and Science

As a PhD student in medical sciences, people often ask me questions about diet and nutrition. The problem is that several bogus claims have spread and are widely believed.

Paul McCartney Really Is Not Dead

Paul McCartney Really Is Not Dead

by Loren Collins
Volume 24.4, Winter 2014/2015

Paul McCartney was twenty years old when the Beatles came to fame, and only twenty-four when, as legend has it, he was killed in a car accident in 1966 and replaced with a lookalike.

Fortean Frog Falls: Facts and Fallacies

Fortean Frog Falls: Facts and Fallacies

by Benjamin Radford
Volume 24.4, Winter 2014/2015

The most likely explanation for how small frogs get up into the sky in the first place is meteorological: a whirlwind, tornado, or other natural phenomenon.

Dr. Pierce: Medicine for ‘Weak Women’

Dr. Pierce: Medicine for ‘Weak Women’

by Joe Nickell
Volume 24.4, Winter 2014/2015

Investigative Files

In the latter nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, alleged cures for “female weakness” were among the nostrums marketed by quacks.

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