Tuesday, October 6, 2015


The theory goes that there are only a certain number of combinations of particles possible. There's only so many possible combinations, and in a large enough universe, all those bits are inevitably going to wind up in the same place and create another you. Scientists don't actually know how big the universe is. If it happens to be infinite, which some think it is, then the fact that you have a cosmic twin is downright certain. It's not likely that you'll ever cross paths. Science's prediction is that your doppelganger lives about 10 to the 10^28 meters away. In movies, you always see that fight between the devil and angel versions of the characters. What if there really is a good and bad version of you?

Friday, October 2, 2015


Unidentified Flying Object. A.K.A. the UFO. You've read newspapers and online about their sightings, and videos claiming there's a UFO on film. So the question is, are these sightings and pictures real or photo shopped with lies? Well it's the latter. There's a reason why the photos are always blurred or fuzzy. To make it seem realistic without having proof available to show it's a lie. These fake UFO's are mainly a way to grab people's attention, as theorists believe people will believe anything they think they see. Basically if people think what they see is real, they will believe its real. If people can apply basic logic to these conspiracy theories, then they can figure out the real truth behind this so called rubbish.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Abtronic : Burning fat or brain cells?

We've all laid on the couch clicking through the channels when suddenly an infomercial flashes on the screen. These cheesy productions seek to peddle a bogus product to the masses; either an ingenious way to make the perfect meatloaf or exercise equipment to make up for all those meatloaves. Once we finish paying a leg and an arm in shipping and handling fees, plus ten "easy payments", a box arrives weeks later and we have something called The Abtronic. Simply spread some gel over your expanding gut and strap on this WWE-styled synthentic belt and let rapid weight-loss commence. The creator of The Abtronic, Danoz Direct, based out of Australia but did expand product placement to the U.S., claimed that The Abtronic could "flatten a person’s stomach once and for all" and through "just 10 minute uses of the Abtronic was the equivalent of up to 600 sit-ups". A lawsuit was filed against the company by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for its "electronic muscle stimulation device", on grounds of false and misleading claims. Duh. It was hard to believe how a Velcro vibrating belt couldn't "firm, tone and tighten your upper abs, lower abs and 'love handles', with no sweat".  As a result of the ACCC’s litigation, Danoz Direct provided the following undertaking to the court: "that it would withdraw the Abtronic from sale; that it would not sell the Abtronic in the future; that all existing stock of the Abtronic would be destroyed; and that it would not in the future sell a similar electronic muscle stimulation device."

Deja Vu

It's that feeling of "I've totally done this before" when you're sure that you haven't. The strange experience of deja vu involves having a feeling of prior knowledge in a situation that is completely new to you, and it happens to many people throughout their lives. But why does it happen? Are we able to see the future in a way? Is it happening because we might exist on multiple planes of reality and our memories are getting mixed together because science? Not really, the answer is actually far more simple. Psychologists and scientists conducted a study to determine the origin of deja vu and found that while we have a very good memory of objects, we don't have a good memory of the configuration of said objects. If you are in a place that has some unfamiliar objects, but they are set up similarly to a situation you have experienced before, you'll experience deja vu. Like if you're on a trail you've never been on before, but it's similar to a trail you've hiked in the past, you'll feel like you have, in fact, been on the trail before. Essentially, deja vu is an overreaction of your memory to tell you that you are in a familiar situation. 

Out Of Body Experience

An out of body experience is a personal experience in which someone feels as if they are seeing the world from outside of their physical body. Many things can cause this phenomena from happening. For example, it could occur from something as intense as a near death experience, or something small like being in a relaxed state. Another intriguing thing about out of body experiences is that they aren't rare. Instead this phenomena is actually very common. Studies show that as many as one in every ten people claim to have had one, and for some it has happened multiple times. When trying to figure out the nature behind these strange happenings people tend to believe it to be a person's spirit leaving the physical body and moving around on its own.  Others say they are just a form of lucid dreams. This is when we become conscious we are having a dream and can control what goes on in it. However, whether out of body experiences are astral projections or lucid dreams there just isn't any concrete evidence that can verify either one. Based on the fact that our senses are all linked to the brain, we can guess that they are just some brain function resulting from a type of stimulus.

Many people say "God bless you" after someone sneezes as a polite gesture.  What a lot of people don't know is why we say that. During the time of the plague, Pope Gregory the Great would say it to people that were sick because it was believed that the soul left the body when you sneezed and you were welcoming the person back to life by saying, "God bless you." Another common misconception is that when you sneeze, your heart stops, so by saying "God bless you," to people it would protect them from death. In some cultures, it was thought that sneezing was a way to force evil spirits that were trying to enter the body away. The blessing was a way to protect people around them.



Bigfoot. A giant, ape-like creature that has been seen all throughout the world in forests and mountains, even in China. He got his name from leaving behind huge footprints in the dirt and snow where he traveled, that is, before his footprints were revealed as fakes. The only evidence left for the big ape-man are first hand sightings which highlight pseudoscience's best friend- the burden of proof. There is no evidence of Bigfoot or any scientific reason why a 500 pound gorilla-looking creature would be wondering the world and not wanting to be seen, but people believe he exists. There are TV shows about him on Discovery Channel and Destination America that all rely on the evidence of the "smell of wet deer in the woods" or night vision cameras that could easily mistake a fly for a bear. Bigfoot isn't real and never will be, regardless of how many people swear to see him. 


The Lunar Effect

The Lunar Effect: Jason Weber

Do you believe that a full moon effects human behavior? There are many people who claim and believe that people tend to be more aggressive and active on nights when there is a full moon. Anything from crime to suicide to even birthrates are said to have correlation with a full moon. Many say that the full moon causes people with mental disorders to even act up or have seizures.Since the moon controls the tides of the ocean with its gravitational pull, many people assume that it messes with humans because we are mostly made of water. However, the moon only has an effect on the ocean because of its sheer size. Most other large bodies of water aren't even effected by the moon at all. The great lakes only show a tide difference of only one to two inches which is insignificant. Therefore, to think that humans are effected by the gravitational pull is foolish. Scientists have done many studies and they have come to the conclusion that the moon has no correlation with human behavior whatsoever. Although many people believe the moon is an excuse for odd behavior, odd occurrences, and "lunatics" scientists have come in and denied it. 

See this video for a brief explanation:


Did the Holocaust Really Happen?

The Holocaust, as everyone knows, was the genocide of upwards of six million Jewish people and five million non-Jewish people. Schools in the US include teaching of the Holocaust in the curriculum for children as young as fifth grade. We read books on it, watch movies on it, and discuss it very openly.

But, despite the millions of people that it has affected, some people believe it a conspiracy. One worldwide poll stated that [out of the 54% of people that actually have heard of the Holocaust), 32% of people believe it is faked or was exaggerated. Holocaust deniers claim that the energy that you would need to fire the ovens would be more than the country could afford during wartime, the six million Jewish deaths are exaggerated and that the Jewish people that emigrated to new countries were included in that final number, photos of the Holocaust was falsified propaganda created by the Allied Forces against Nazis, and that there is a conspiracy for the Allied forces to make Jewish people look victimized and demonize the Germans.

Holocaust deniers fail to realize the overwhelming amount of information and undeniable evidence that is out there. One website so eloquently states, "Holocaust deniers assert that if they can discredit one fact about the Holocaust, the whole history of the event can be discredited as well." If all of the evidence, emotions, and other plentiful reasons isn't enough to make you believe, you should at least know that Holocaust denial is illegal in sixteen countries.


Sugar is not to blame.

We all had that one friend growing up who was always way too hyper. My friend was always bouncing off the walls so to speak. Her parents would never keep sugar in the house, no candy and no soda, ever. They always said she couldn't handle the sugar so she only got it on rare occasions. While perusing through the book for this class, I found the section about common myths of children's behavior and was shocked. I was always a believer in the power of a sugar rush, but in the end, it is not sugar that is completely at fault.

Often when children have sugar, it is for a special and exciting occasion, as the book says, a birthday party or holiday such as Halloween. In reality, the child is most likely overwhelmed and excited about the situation, and the situation in which the child is eating sugar is often overlooked by the parents, causing them to blame the sugar alone. The book also point out that parents who let their kids eat whatever they want, including sugar, are more likely to let their children run wild and act out, so the sugar is not completely to blame, but mostly the parenting and the learned personality of the child with less rules and structure.

The moral of the story is don't blame the sugar. It is not alone in the crazy behavior of children. Instead, try setting ground rules and teaching children how to behave at home and out in different places. Also, regulate the sugar your children eat, they can have some, but it is better to teach them how to regulate and watch their eating so it is something they are used to when they are teenagers and want to eat everything in sight.

Malaysia Airlines MH370

March 8th, 2015 is a day most people remember not as a date, but as the day the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 lost contact with the world. Less than an hour after the plane took off,  communication with the flight was lost. The last thing heard was a cryptic message along the lines of goodnightBefore any information was gathered, many people from my hometown in New York thought it was another incident like 9/11. Little by little, parts and debris from the plane are being found, but yet the passengers have not. Where could they have gone? Were they kidnapped? This is an ongoing investigation that is still being discussed.  
There are many conspiracy theories started based on this event that need to be debunked. One of the more interesting theories is that the 370 trailed in the shadow of Singapore Airlines flight 68. Both planes were Boeing 777 models, appearing as a single blip on any radar. Around 18:00 UTC the two planes paths seemed to be very close causing this theory to be believable. Others that distrust the government believe the plane was landed on a U.S. Military base or in CIA care and is being used in an experiment.  
The movie The Forgottenis a similar situation to the second conspiracy theory. The movie details a mother losing a son and 10 other kids to a plane crash on the way to camp. Everyone around the woman is trying to convince her she never had a son, there was never a plane crash. She meets a man at the park who looks familiar. She believes he was the father of a child on the plane. She tries to make him remember his daughter but cannot. NSA comes after the two as a result of them beginning to remember. The psychiatrist takes the mother to an airport, where her son boarded the plane. The governments plan to take the children, fake a crash, and wipe everyone's memory  worked on everyone but this one mother and father. This relates to the Malaysia airline incident because people think their family has been kidnapped by the government. This has been one of my favorite movies for years and the recent incident makes me like it even more.  

Friday The 13th

Friday The 13th

One of the most popular superstitions of today is Friday the 13th. This day is commonly associated with bad luck and people tend avoid business meetings, weddings, and other large events. Due to the fear of so many there is actually a phobia for the day, Friggatriskaidekaphobia.

It is largely known that Fridays and the number 13 are unlucky by themselves. Much of this superstition goes back to early Christianity. Friday's have been quite unlucky in the christian faith. Apparently, Eve bit the forsaken apple on a Friday. It is said that this was also the day of the great flood. As for the number 13, Christianity also shows that Judas was the 13th member at the last supper and Jesus Christ was crucified on the 13th. Many other religions take note that the number 12 is especially lucky where 13 is unlucky.

Superstition grew fast in the middle ages during the rein of King Philip IV of France. The day the King would torture the Knights Templars would be Friday the 13th. Many movies have been created based off of the fear of the day as well.





The Bermuda Triangle

We have all heard stories about the Bermuda Triangle. It’s an area in the Atlantic Ocean between Puerto Rico, Bermuda, and Miami, Florida. According to legend, ships and aircraft disappear inside it without a trace. The legend as we know it started in 1945 when Flight 19, five Navy planes on a training mission, vanished mysteriously in that area. Pseudoscientists have jumped into action to try and explain these disappearances. Some claim alien abductions or paranormal magnetic fields are responsible.
There is no evidence to support that there is anything mysterious about the Bermuda Triangle. The amount of disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle is not significant when compared to other areas. Also, a substantial amount of the Bermuda Triangle’s history is embellished by writers. Some of the reported disappearances did not even take place in the Bermuda Triangle. The area is also known to be a hotspot for tropical storms, which could be contributed to the disappearances. Strange occurrences are rarely all that strange.


The Bloop Mystery

The Bloop Mystery

In the year 1997, a massive underwater noise prompted people around the world to start considering the possibility of underwater mega fauna. The Bloop was picked up by multiple underwater listening stations across the Pacific Ocean, and immediately reached fame among fans of the paranormal everywhere. The almost lifelike aspects of the mysterious sounds caused speculation that it must be the call of some yet undiscovered sea monster. Analysts found the sound to be several times louder than the call of the blue whale, which is currently the largest known marine animal. Once again science seems to have ruined the mystery, with the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmosphere Commission) releasing a report that theorizes The Bloop to be a boring old ice sheet breaking up. When played next to another recording, The Bloop does sound eerily similar to the destruction of a polar ice sheet. This new evidence has not stopped armchair theorists from deciding that the mystery of The Bloop is still alive. The internet is riddled with amateurs in love with the idea of a giant ocean creature. The weight seems to be with the report of the NOAA, as science normally prevails over people writing nonsense on the internet. 

Dylan Magee 

The Gamblers Fallacy

 Are you up for a win? The gamblers fallacy is the belief that if one continues to lose they are eventually up for a win. They also feel that if something occurs such as a coin landing on heads 10 times in a row that it is more likely that it will land on tails the next time simply because it hasn't occurred in a while. Their mistake is that their chances of winning are equal each and every time they bet so it is just as possible that they can continue to lose as it is that they will start to win. While doing some research on this topic I found an interesting article which explained the fallacy quite well but it also went into a pathological disease that people can acquire by believing in the gamblers fallacy. This disease causes the person to believe that if they just keep playing without rest that they will eventually win back all the money that they have lost and more, without treatment the disease will only stop when the gambler is dead or has run out of money. The link below gives the full story.   

Sunday, September 27, 2015

EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon)

Electronic Voice Phenomenon

Have you ever watched ghost hunters? They usually tape their sessions and replay them back with captions. They analyze the jumbled static as a voice and try to distinguish what it means. Well, this is an example of the EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon). The EVP is the alleged communications of spirits through tape recorders and other electronic devices. Is this just people creating meaning out of a useless noise? Some people say these "voices" are heard because of interference from a nearby CB operator or cross modulation. on the other hand, EVP researchers say highly interactive communication they have engaged in would be impossible to discount as interference or brain tricks. Sarah Estep helped to really flourish this idea in America. She even started the American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomenon and claims to have communicated with thousands of ghosts and aliens. 

Auditory pareidolia is a situation created when the brain incorrectly interprets random patterns as being familiar patters. EVP could be an example of this. The observer could just  be interpreting the sounds as familiar sounds and making a relationship that isn't there. Some of these alleged recordings could be hoaxes created by frauds as well. 



- Alexa Chiaro

Personality and Hand Writing Analysis

Personality and Hand Writing Analysis

What is Graphology? Graphology is the "scientific" study of a person's personality, all by looking at their handwriting. Supposedly, graphologists are able to determine one's psychological, social, occupational, and medical condition all by just looking at their handwriting. For example, graphologists say if one has large letters, they love to be center of attention- opposed to small lettered people, who are very introverted and shy. Now, although people call Graphology a science, there is no actual evidence that it really works. In fact, it has failed many tests in trying to prove it. Even when Graphologists do study one's handwriting, much information is already known about the person they are studying. Handwriting is a ridiculous way to detect personality because it is evident that personality can easily change without handwriting changing with it. If our writing implies our personality, that would mean our handwriting would also change drastically every time our personality changes, but it doesn't. For Graphology to be considered a science, graphologists would have to prove that everyone who has one trait in their writing is all the same in personality. Which, is utterly impossible for them to do, because there will always be an out-liar, thus rendering their theory false and proving Graphology unscientific.

Cancer healing rocks
Once at a festival, I met a lady who was trying to sell "magical rocks." Of course this woman seemed to be the epitome of peace, as if these rocks took away any negative energy she ever had and then some. But of course I did not believe that rocks could change my mood in anyway, it was simply a placebo and any well minded person would know that. Or so I thought. After I met this lady these rocks seemed to be all the rage, celebrities all over were endorsing these "healing rocks." In the link above is a website describing rocks that can cure cancer, as if the original idea wasn't ludicrous enough. The website goes on to explain how the rocks "relate to the chakra" and somehow magically cure your malignant tumors. As fitting, the pink rocks cure breast cancer but the green rocks are said to spread cancer because of the "growth promoting energies of green." I found myself laughing out loud at the absurdity of these claims but at the same time, I felt sorry for the poor people buying objects and believing that it can cure them.
Magic Cures or Just Rocks
 I then found a study in which scientists tested these New Age "magic rocks" by taking 80 volunteers and giving half of them the real rocks and the other half a fake knock off version, With the subjects all thinking they had the real rock, they then asked them to express the sensations they were feeling from the rock. Both groups reported almost identical testimonies to the true power of the rock despite the fact that half of them had a fake. This proves that these magic rocks have no actual effect on our "chakra" and that the simple suggestion that these rocks will work wonders is enough to let our brain do those wonders for us.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The art of Subliminal Advertising

Subliminal messages are something used in everyday life, mostly through the means of advertising and media, to get viewers to purchase a product, or follow a subconscious instruction.  Subliminal messages are used to make the subconscious pick up on, and retain specific information, and then recall this information when making a decision.  These messages can be found in 1 of 3 forms.  The first is Subvisual Messages.  These messages are visual cues, flashed so quickly that only the subconscious mind will pick them up.  These messages could also be hidden among pictures, almost in plain sight, so that the conscious mind can not pick them up.  The next form is Subaudible Messages, which are low volume sound cues, thrown in to not be noticeable, but to get stuck in the viewers subconscious mind.  The last type is Backmasking.  These messages are audio clips recorded backwards, with the intention of playing them forwards, to disguise the hidden message.  Subliminal messages can be found in thousands of products, commercial, movies, and songs around the world, and are slipped in carefully, as to not be found by the viewer.  The next 3 examples are all Subvisual.  The cans secretly spell out sex, the skittles package also secretly spells out sex, and the lettuce of the chicken has a sneakily placed dollar bill in it.  These are used to get consumers to buy the $1 chicken, and have sex.

 Source/video examples found here.

What is parapsychology?

The study of parapsychology is the study of occurrences that cannot be explained. These unexplained occurrences can be explained as "psi" which means psychic, telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, psychic healing and remote viewing. Majority of these occurrences contradict with what scientists believe due to the lack of proof behind many of the phenomenons. According to the Parapsychological Association, many surveys showed that people have said that they have experienced at least one thing that would fall under the category of parapsychology, in their life time. Although these "anomalies" have had research done in furthering the explanation of them, there is rarely proof paired with these experience to make skeptics and scientists believers of parapsychology.