Friday, July 30, 2021

Dog Telepathy


Telepathy, a common pseudoscience in the public sphere is highly popular. Telepathy is when someone uses their mind to see into the minds of others and communicate with them. Most telepaths claim to be able to hear your brain’s thoughts and/or see into your memories. One interesting branch of telepathy pet telepathy. Pet Telepathy is when an “Animal Communicator” sends telepathic messages to pets and receives them back. One of these “Animal Communicators” was interviewed to explain how her powers work and to show them in action. In the interview, a dog named Buddy was brought in. The telepath claimed that she asked Buddy how old he was, and he said an age younger than he was. She explained this as Buddy being young at heart. She also claimed that Buddy told her he was happy with his owners and that he viewed the start of his life as the time he was taken home by his owners. All of these “telepathic” questions could be made up on the spot by anyone. I could say I am communicating with your dog and say that he told me his age was 1. Even if the dog is older, I could just say that he told me that age because he is young at heart. Pet telepathy does not have convincing evidence.

Heaven's Gate/OBEs


Out of body experiences (O.B.E.s) are sensations of leaving your body but being able to observe yourself and things around you. There are many people and groups who claim to have had out of body experiences. O.B.E.s can be used by cults to entice perspective members to join. One such cult was the Heaven’s Gate. The Heaven’s Gate cult was created by a man named Applewhite and a woman named Nettles. This cult preached that Applewhite and Nettles were the key to heaven. The cult considered their bodies “vehicles” for their souls. They were planning a mass suicide to leave their bodies for a spaceship. Eventually, a comet arrived in 1996 which could be seen all over the world. Applewhite took this as a sign and prepared for their suicide. Then in 1997, the whole group committed suicide. They believed that their souls were transported to the ship as they died. The belief that the soul and body are separate is common in our society. The issue that causes mass suicide like this is when people view the soul as almost independent of the body or even better off without it. When this thought is followed through, it can lead to disastrous results.


      The term Sasquatch originated from carved totem poles and masks of the Kwakiutl Native Americans. Kwakiutl's were actually cannibals that lived deep in the forest and would hunt small children. They were mistake for "wild beasts" due to their large size and abnormally hairy bodies. Legend kept on and these carvings were turned into folklore. The new term Sasquatch began to catch on, and became the main folkloric concept. From then on Sasquatch would be known for any animal or thing that could possibly identify as a man-beast creature. With all this being, said the folklore began to spread to other parts of the world. 

    The earliest accounts of Bigfoot's existence in North American dates all the way back to 1811, where a record of potential man-beast footprints which was reported by David Thompson a trader/explorer. However, the name Sasquatch dates back much earlier than Bigfoot (which are often referred to synonymously). A Bigfoot tracks were discovered by Gerald “Jerry” Crew who was photographed with the tracks, began to be spread by a wire service across the country. After news had broke about the Bigfoot tracks the name “Bigfoot began to become a country wide phenomenon.

Thursday, July 29, 2021

The Reliability of Eyewitnesses and How False Memories are Implanted

 After discussing and reviewing the topic of hypnosis and memory recall, the reliability of one’s memory interests me because most of the time, we are not always as accurate as we think we are. Although people usually have a high confidence when presented with eyewitness testimony, the accuracy that people have in their own memory does not always lead to reliable results. But the reason why eyewitness testimonies can be problematic is that it relies on memory which is not always perfect. When presented with an external input, the brain first encodes the information so that it is placed into your memory, then that is where the memory is stored until we retrieve the memory for later use. However, crucial information can be lost at each step of encoding and retrieving which can lead to memory being reconstructed and including false information that was not present during the initial encoding.

Because memory is malleable and able to be reconstructed, this leads to people who practice hypnosis to be able to implant false memories onto others. Ways that false memories could be implanted during a hypnosis session could be through ways of confirmatory feedback, cognitive dissonance, and leading or suggestive questions that can lead people to believe that certain events happened when they did not.

These false memories can lead to wrongful convictions in court settings and further question the reliability of eyewitness testimonies. Below is a video of a college professor who does an experiment with his psychology class that tests their memory and confidence on their own eyewitness testimony.


Book Report: Factfulness by Hans Rosling

For this book report I will be discussing “Factfulness” by Hans Rosling. 

    In the current environment where lies and fiction are just as often believed as facts, Hans Rosling's book is a practical guide using facts, statistical data and reason to become a more well-informed global citizen. The premise of the book is that we, as a society, need to open our eyes up to the multitude of positive changes that are taking place in the world. The author uses data in the form of statistics and charts as well as vivid examples from his own life to carefully examine how positive developments in the world are systematically underreported, while disaster news is vastly over-reported. For example, the world is improving in key categories such as child mortality rates, per capita income, healthcare, and literacy levels to name a few. However, Roslin goes into detail explaining how media bias, incorrect preconceived notions, and statistical illiteracy lead to a relatively gloomy (and inaccurate) worldview. I particularly enjoyed how very early in the book Rosling deviates from the notions of developed vs. developing countries, arguing that it is simply an obsolete way of classifying the world  and adapts a new perspective; he proposes a classification system based on four levels wherein each of the four levels corresponds to daily income level. I truly believe that viewing it as such enables us to change our perspective and see how many people have moved up from extreme poverty (level 1) to higher levels. Moreover, this four income level system helps us realize a more accurate worldview of wealth when compared to the outdated system of “developed” and “developing” countries.  

     My favorite part of the book is where Rosling presents and outlines ten (10) basic instincts that we all possess which prevent us from seeing the world as it really is. The ten include: The Gap Instinct, the Negativity Instinct, the Straight Line instinct, the Fear instinct, the Size instinct, the Generalization instinct, the Destiny instinct, the Single Perspective instinct, the Blame instinct, and the Urgency instinct. Rosling subsequently goes into detail on each one of these ten and explains strategies on how to avoid them and keep them from plaguing our perception of the world. These cognitive biases distort our view of objective reality and create false assumptions about people and the world at large, thereby impacting how we think. 

     The reason I chose this book is because it connects right back into the class concept of rational thinking vs fast thinking. A “factfulness” mindset, as Rosling proposes, seeks to overcome all the  aforementioned inherent biases within our brains. These fallacies, however, arise from our heuristics and our propensity to be fast thinkers. During the entire course we have been learning about how slow, rational thinking is what science is all about while fast thinking and heuristics make up pseudoscience. With that being said, each of the instincts and their challenges are rooted in heuristics, our innate mental shortcuts that are always present in our decision making process. Through reading “Factfulness” I have become better at understanding and recognizing the common “fast thinking” heuristics and biases that betray our tried and true rational decision making process. In conclusion, critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking which requires rigorous standards of excellence and the mindful application of them. It establishes the commitment to constantly improve effective communication and problem solving skills within ourselves, which is the essence of this course. It is honestly tough to describe in words how genuinely inspirational and important this book is on a large scale. Rosling’s main idea is that the world has been getting better rather than worse, that it is better than we currently perceive it to be,  and that changing how we think, not what we think, is the key to thinking critically. These are some of the qualities that I hope to carry with me from this course and utilize in my personal life. For instance, the generalization instinct is one that, looking back, I have definitely caught myself using. However, after reading this book I have taken Rosling’s key advice and implemented it directly into my train of thought, including: looking for differences and similarities among groups, being aware of “the majority” and not assuming that what applies to one group applies to another. I have included some key charts that I found to be the most important for anyone interested.

Mass Hysteria: Murder Hornets!

     This summer I am taking an entomology (study of insects) class and recently the topic of the Asian Giant Hornet came up. In the beginning of 2020 hysteria gripped the nation, from the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, and the supposed start of World War 3, to the invasion of the so called “Murder Hornet”. At that time it seemed as though the hornet was destined to establish itself as a species we would have to look out for and worry about for the foreseeable future, but the news stories about it died down rather quickly. This made me wonder what happened to them, and recent reports seem to indicate that scientists took care of the problem but are still monitoring the species. But the hysteria surrounding these insects at the time was very real.  

The more correct common name for these creatures is Giant Asian Hornet, and the scientific name is Vespidae mandarinia. The name murder hornet only came about as a result of sensationalism in the media in order to drum up fear among the public. While the sting from one of these insects is extremely painful (as seen in video one), and can result in death, very few people are actually stung by these hornets and even fewer die. In Japan last year, where these hornets are native and abundant, only 30 people are killed by them per year (according to video 1). The hysteria created by the media would suggest that the west coast was being overrun by these hornets and they were killing people left and right, however there were actually zero deaths attributed to the Asian Giant Hornet in the United States last year, and scientists have the outbreak under control. So the moniker “Murder Hornet” is not exactly very fitting of an insect that murdered zero people and was nothing more than a tagline created by the media to indict fear and attention. The hysteria created around the “Murder Hornet” was mostly harmless (aside from it’s contribution to the villainization of insects in America) and made for some very interesting news stories and videos, it even had the positive impact of educating the public about how invasive species can damage the ecosystem and how fascinating insects can be, but it’s basis remains a product of hysteria in the media nonetheless, and reminded me of this class when I it was brought up.

Video 1: Man intentionally stung by hornet- 

Video 2: Nest Eradicated in 2020- 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The Brain

I remembered watching the movie Lucy; as interesting and entertaining it may be, it stills makes you wonder what would happen if that were to occur with every human on earth. Some people believe that we do not only use 10 percent of our brains but it is hard to determine what percentage of our brains we use. Even though the 10 percent is considered a myth, scientists still don't know the percentage of our brain that we use. The brain is always active, even when a person is sleeping, the brain continues to process information. There are other myths surrounding the brain like being a left-brain user and the right-brain user. But people are not limited to use one section of their brains but all sections. There's a tv show on Netflix called "Manifest" where a missing and never found plane returns after 5 years but to them, it was a couple of hours. All the passengers on the plane brains are somewhat linked to each other and they can see and hear things that help them solve a bigger picture. I believe that is some sort of out-of-body experience because when they receive these visions and voices, they are either visually taken somewhere or a voice combined with a messenger telling them something. That show opens a lot of possibilities that could happen to us if we were put in the "right" environment. But it's hard to know what more our brain can do because we don't have the resources yet to examine the on a deeper level without removing it from a body.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Origins of Out of Body Experiences and Astral Projecting

Although with no scientific proof, many cling to the concept of leaving one’s body and being able to claim that the soul is a separate entity of the body has been an idea that has long existed in religious and cultural backgrounds. In the West, the idea of out of body experiences explained that the astral body is an intermediate body of light that links the rational soul to the physical body while the astral plane is an intermediate world between Heaven and Earth and said that the astral plane contains sphere that were populated by angels, demons, and spirits.

In Ancient Egypt, the concept of soul travel appears in religious traditions. Ancient Egyptian teachings state that the soul (called ba) has the ability to hover outside the physical body thanks to the “ka” , another component  said to make up one’s body. However In Japan, the manifestation of the soul of a living person has more of a petty reason. It is said that if someone holds a sufficient grudge against another person, that a part of their soul can temporarily leave their body and appear before the target of their hate in order to curse or harm them. Similar to the concept of an “evil eye”.

However the term OBE (out of body experience) was popularized by Robert Monroe who from the years of 1971-1994 recounted his journeys to other realms and even founded an institute dedicated to research, exploration, and non-profit dissemination of auditory technology for assisting others in achievement projection and related altered states of consciousness. Although with no scientific backing, astral projecting has been used in various forms of entertainment and media to even further popularize this idea that one’s soul can leave its physical body.

UFO's/Aliens and Bob Lazar

     Ever since the early 1950's Aliens and UFO's or Unidentified Flying Objects have been a huge part of what many people believe to be a sci-fi fantasy world. However, there are many accounts of individuals seeing these objects or even having encounters with aliens themselves. One of my favorite stories and a commonly told one for that matter, is the story that Bob Lazar tells at Area 51 S4. Bob Lazar was a scientist  in the 1980's who supposedly was working on reverse engineering the UFO's that these Aliens used to travel in. 

    Specifically, Lazar said he was working on a project involving anti-matter reactors that could bend gravity itself. He also mentioned while he was working on these aircraft he saw a glimpse of what looked like a small gray figure in a confined room. In his accounts, he mentioned things like element 115 which was not a known element at the time (Now known as Moscovium). Lazar also had referenced biometric fingerprint scanners which was not technology that was known about at the time and the location of the top secret S4 base which was not known to the public or even the locals.

Sunday, July 25, 2021

The Process of Priming

 After rewatching the Ted talk "The Pattern Behind Self-deception," presented by Michael Shermer, I was fascinated about the phenomenon of priming and how our brains experience a certain stimulus and associate it with another. Shermer touched on this experience with certain paintings and photos priming different shapes and meanings from how the photo was presented. Typically, priming is used by introducing a stimulus to influence how people respond to a different stimulus. This works by activating an association or memory just before another stimulus is introduced. This occurs without our conscious awareness and yet it constantly can influence our behavior and performance at certain tasks. 

There are plenty of examples of priming but the most common is word association. For example, exposing someone to the word “Nurse” would expect a faster response to the word “Doctor” or “Hospital” then it would to words like “Banana”. This is because nurse and hospital are more closely related in memory and people associate them together more often.

Priming interests me because it can affect how people interact and interpret their surroundings. It reminds of back in 2018 when a viral video was being passed around asking people if they heard the word “Yanny” or “Laurel” with some people claiming that they can change what they hear depending on what they are thinking about. The fact that just being aware and primed to interpret a lyric in a particular way, people are more likely to hear it in a certain way based upon that priming.


Friday, July 23, 2021

The Mozart Effect

  The Mozart effect was an experiment that was conducted on a small group of college students in 1993. In the experiment, they listened to Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major and were then asked to do a spatial reasoning task and an intelligence test. The results generated from the study were not very significant at all. Each of the participants only showed an improvement of 8-9 IQ points. The belief the experimenters had was that listening to Mozart would temporarily increase the brain's ability to complete spatial tasks. This experiment was eventually replicated, and the results did not fully back the results of the original study.

    Although it was publicly stated that the Mozart Effect was proven to have a small effect, companies took this idea and ran with it. They would advertise CD's with the pretense that it would help boost their babies' intelligence.  In contrast to this theory, a study found that listening to Schubert or a passage from a Stephen King novel worked just as good when it came to helping at spatial tasks. Brain arousal was proven to be the reason for improved spatial skills, which is why other forms of music or enrichment provide the same effects as listening to Mozart. No matter what form of enrichment was used to stimulate brain arousal in babies, the effects were shown to only last for a short amount of time.


   Dualism is one of the main beliefs of many influential religions including Christianity, Catholicism and Judaism. It is the belief that our soul exists inside of our bodies and has the ability to leave it during and after life. In the Bible, the soul is said to be immortal and that it will live on with God after the body dies. The body on the other hand is not able to live without the soul, and is considered to be raised from the dead if the soul is returned to it.  I believe that because we have a soul it allows us to have a personality and differentiate us from others in society.

    I have read about people who have had out of body experiences. A good example would be Colton Burpo. In the book Heaven is for Real (which later became a movie), it details his trip to Heaven and back when he was just three years old. When Colton told his parents that he had gone to Heaven, he told them he had seen his grandfather who he had never met, and when shown a picture of him as a young man, he recognized him instantly. Colton also recalled seeing the doctors performing surgery on him as his soul was floating above his body. The experience this young boy speaks of seems to prove that the soul can leave the body but must return in order for that person to live.

False Memories

    The definition of false memories is a recollection that seems real in your mind but is fabricated in part or in whole. In this context it is shown that false memories can be harmless and essentially part of every day life. At some point in our lives everyone has had an experience with false memories. If you were asked to recall a family vacation you took to Florida 10 years ago, chances are there may be some discrepancies between you and your family members. The restaurant you ate at or what you were wearing that day may have changed due to the time gap or suggestions made by the person you are talking to.

    False memories may not seem dangerous, but many people have been accused of crimes and even arrested due to false memories. A prime example of this would be the story of the Beatrix Six. When each of them were arrested for rape and murder of a woman named Helen Wilson, all of them insisted they were innocent and tried to defend themselves. The police and a consulting psychologist would keep insisting that they had repressed the memory and that it would come back through dreams or time. Due to all of the coercion by the police, three of the six people believed that they were guilty of committing this crime.


 Like the jersey devil, chupacabras, and the goatsucker, Krampus is another mythical monster/character that people believe and tell all around the world. Krampus is mainly popular in Europe. Unlike Santa Claus, Krampus attacks children who have not been behaving and who have lost the Christmas spirit. Krampus carries around a sack where he put children to either get eaten, drowned, or taken to hell. He is a half-goat and half-demon monster. The Catholic church did not want people to celebrate but it became associated with Christmas when Christianity became spread a lot around the world.

Types of Thinkers

 There are a whole lot of different types of thinkers in the world. We have Naive thinkers, Selfish thinkers, and fair-minded thinkers. But those aren't the only types of thinkers known in the world of critical thinking. Holistic (nonlinear) thinkers see the big pictures and understand the different components that contribute to a system. Going back to the main thinking ways, Naive thinkers are seen in different groups of people. Those types of thinkers do not want to improve their critical thinking and tend to stay on the same level. Naive thinkers see the world from a different perspective than any other thinkers. They tend to believe information from others very quickly without researching if the information is corrort. Then we have the selfish thinkers, who believe the world surround around them. They only think of themselves and make decisions that benefit them the most. They backstab others and are not loyal to any other peoples feeling except for themselves 

The fair minded thinking is a combination of the naive thinkers and the selfish thinkers. The fairminded thinkers care about the decisions that they make and how it will affect others. This type of thinkers want the best for everyone and is always there to help others out when needed to be. Fairminded try to improve their thinking skills everyday. Most people practice different thinking skills depending on the situations they are in because thinking skills changes on the situations and event that may be occuring.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Learning Styles Debunked

    Let me start off by saying that I absolutely think there is a propensity for people to learn better under certain styles. In fact, learning something from multiple perspectives can prove to be helpful in many situations. The scientific explanation is called multi sensory learning (MSL) which helps an individual learn from more than one sense; it is tried and true and proven by science. However, there is a big difference between MSL and teachers changing their instructional techniques to mold to the "learning styles" assumptions. 

Learning Styles” Are a Myth | Emerging Education Technologies

    Now, the key distinction lies within the assumption behind learning styles. For example, take someone saying "I am a visual learner." This is a common statement that is based on the belief in learning styles which assume that this particular individual would learn better by looking at photos. Teachers would attend learning style lectures to teach differently to different students and some instructors go as far as to adapt their classroom and instruction. This assumption has influenced teachers for decades now, even though evidence does not support that these styles even exist. Numerous studies have shown us that there is no correlation between childrens' learning styles and instructional methods. Moreover, these studies have further debunked learning styles as time progressed. For instance, in 1979 Arter and Jenkins reviewed 14 studies and concluded that the the assumption of matching instructional methods with childrens' learning strengths appeared "to lack even minimal empirical support." The research continued among many individuals and continued to develop, as in 1992 Snider found that it actually proves to be detrimental to low performing students. The continued scientific support indicates that learning styles are a myth, a mere misconception about learning and the brain. Therefore, from the early 1970s research has churned out nothing short of scientifically established facts that show no empirical evidence that learning styles are real. As part of being a critical thinker these facts cannot be ignored.

    The interesting part I find about all this personally is that for the longest time I can remember considering myself a "visual learner". However, after reading into the subject further and delving into a bit of my own personal research I have come to the conclusion that this is simply not the case. On the contrary, while I may have preferred visual learning, learning styles themselves are nothing more than a myth and there is no scientific evidence to support them. So, instead of limiting myself to a visual learner I now see myself as an all round learner, something I genuinely believe is within all of us. 

How To Communicate Telepathically With Your Pet

     After watching the interview with Donna Velardi from Zodiapet, and Jessica Flemming along with her dog Buddy, my eyes have opened in terms of communication with my own animals. It was a really intriguing interview where Donna Velardi explains she communicates with animals via internal thoughts and signals which are sent to the animals, and in this case were sent to Buddy. Along with telepathically communicating with the dog, Velardi explains she also has some special abilities as well, that maybe some other people aren't aware of in themselves or just do not possess it. She has physic intuitive abilities where she can read not only human thoughts, but animals as well.

    The importance of understanding what is on an animal, or your animals mind can be the difference in positive or negative behavior, that is why I believe this interview is so important. In order to understand your pet you need to be very in tune with them and understand them- their actions, vocals and certain cues. In one instance Velardi asks Jessica's dog how old he is telepathically and Buddy responds he is five. When she asked Jessica his age, she explained he was actually ten, and what this proves is that Buddy is a kid at heart. To me this is somewhat obvious in animals, especially when trying to understand my own dogs. One of my dogs loves to play fetch, run around with me outside, he enjoys the beach and long walks. However my other dog is a lot more reserved, she likes to be outside only for brief periods of time and is not as playful. The difference in the two is my boy dog is still a kid at heart and I observe this through speaking to him and watching his actions. They are both the same age, but just different types of animals, which I have come to understand by just being in tune with them.


    It is very interesting that when we speak to our animals, just like when we speak to other humans- we must understand that each word has energy behind it. Animals are extremely receptive to positive tones, and I know this through experience as my dogs have only learned all of their abilities through positive speech and tone. It is the same with humans, as we are all much more responsive to positive words that have positive energy behind them. Being patient is also one of the best ways to be able to communicate with your animals, as when we are not patient we lose our ability to remain positive. This interview was so informative and very relatable because my animals are so amazing, and I would do anything to be able to be more in tune with them to make them as happy as possible.


The included pictures are my dogs!



     Recently there has been a lot of talk and speculation about aliens and UFOs due to the release of an unclassified report from the US intelligence community regarding unidentified flying objects. The report examined over 100 instances of unexplained objects caught on camera in order to look for both signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life or advanced technology from another country. The report essentially concluded that there is not any sufficient evidence of either of these, yet offers no definitive answer for what the objects are. Because there is an absence of explanation people on social media have jumped to the conclusion that because the sightings have no perfect explanation, it must mean there are aliens coming to earth in futuristic spaceships that defy physics as we know it.

These claims fail to consider the parts of the report that say there is not sufficient evidence to conclude that these sightings were signs of extraterrestrial life, and because of this the people who are immediately jumping to the conclusion of aliens are displaying fast thinking. For one thing most of these people likely have believed in alien activity on earth already, or they want to believe it, and because of this bias and presumption they have used  this report as confirmation bias. They also likely fall victim to theory induced blindness due to their willingness to believe in aliens as a result of their theory and belief that extraterrestrial beings have visited earth. However believers are not the only ones who have fallen victim to fast thinking in this situation, as many deniers have displayed similar behavior in order to defend their theories and confirm their biases. A slow thinking fair minded critical thinker in this situation would acknowledge the fact that the explainability of these occurrences is likely due to things such as lens flares, party balloons caught in high speed atmospheric winds, or other logical explanations while also admitting that while the existence of extraterrestrial life is likely, it is not confirmed by these occurrences.  



Wednesday, July 21, 2021


 I was really interested in learning all about Aromatherapy in the Mass Delusions and Hysteria. I was always a bit of a skeptic when it came to really dramatic health claims, especially because a lot of these claims come straight from aromatherapy marketing and not actual doctors. I personally am a huge fan of lavender and eucalyptus scents in candles, bubble baths and other things. I also know that lavender isn’t going to eradicate all my stress before a big exam. That all being said, I do believe there is a time and place for aromatherapy. It is no question that smells impact us as humans. Familiar scents can bring comfort, so I do still like lavender sleep before bed. Has there been times when I doused myself in lavender and I did not sleep at all? Yes. I think the aromatherapy market can also be dangerous as well. First, some of these oils have toxic and unsafe ingredients in them that cause problems when applied to skin or adjusted. I have also read some things about how certain oils that are diffused can be unsafe for dogs and pets.  I also think this is something that some people can be fooled into thinking will replace modern medicine. I had a coworker who refused to take advil for headaches and only rolled on peppermint oil. I think there needs to be more actual research into these aromatherapy products, especially the brands that are sold as part of a Pyramid scheme or multi level marketing. 

Subliminal Messaging in Disney Movies

  After watching the class lecture on subliminal messaging, it made me remember a viral conspiracy theory that was going around for a while. As we know subliminal messaging is something that can be used to essentially influence your behaviors subconsciously. This can be done through advertisements, quick flashes of pictures, or messages embedded in media. There is a conspiracy that Disney movies that we all know and love, have hidden messages to brainwash young children. Some people believe that these images or sounds that are at times, sexual in nature were put there for an evil reason. Others believe the animators did this as an inside joke. Personally, I don’t believe that these are real subliminal messages put there to harm kids. Maybe a few are really things put in by animators as a joke. As kids even subconsciously I don’t believe we were watching or listening to these films closely enough for any of it to be impactful. Even if they are just things that are mistaken as hidden sexual messages. While I don't agree with this theory I do find it interesting. It resurfaces every once in a while on social media and so I think it is important to address. Linked below is a huffington post article that points out some of these examples and disputes them with input from a professional animator.

End of The World Media

 After going through the class lecture about the end of the world, I thought about why we care so much. If the world ends we would all just be gone and our thoughts and feelings would be no more. (Depending on your beliefs about the afterlife, of course). For our lives to end as we know it so quickly, it is hard to believe so many people enjoy consuming media that revolves around the world ending. In my personal experience, I am terrified of any end of the world related books, movies or television shows. . Shows like the Walking Dead, or the movie The Knowing freak me out. Part of the reason is these scenarios always begin way too realistically. Let’s take the walking dead for example, which I could only handle watching the first few episodes. Zombies started as a result of some sort of Pandemic. We know  that a pandemic resulting in people becoming zombies is not scientifically possible. However, we are still wrapping up two years of the COVID Pandemic ravaging the world. Now, I don’t believe that victims of COVID will be popping out of their graves soon. I am saying that when you mix science fiction with science fact it creates plots that don’t seem so far fetched. When I think of The Walking Dead, I think about how much I prefer my lifestyle now instead of fighting for my survival in a world taken over by zombies.   In the media where the world ends by natural disaster we see information about climate change in the news everyday. Overall, I enjoyed the class lecture and seeing how people actually prepare for a doomsday they are anticipating. I felt they paralleled a lot of what we see in media depictions of the apocalypse. If you enjoy The Walking Dead or other shows and movies that center around the Apocalypse feel free to let me know why!

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The Jersey Devil Inconsistency


Everyone living in southern New Jersey is familiar with the Jersey Devil. The Jersey Devil was supposedly born as a human baby but transformed into a bloodthirsty monster just moments after its birth killing the midwives who helped it be born. Then it went on to slaughter most of its family members before breaking out through the chimney. Even to this day many people claim to have encountered this creature. They say it has bright red eyes, stands a little taller than a man, and screams like a woman. In the 1900s the sightings were so common that schools and places of work were shut down for days. An interesting thing to note is that the more recent encounters from 1900 to the present day have never included deaths. This is very much contrary to the origin story of the creature. I believe the fact that this devil has never killed anyone in recent times shows that it must be a different creature or not exist at all. Below is a picture taken of a supposed Jersey Devil Sighting.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Psychic Crime Detective - Site Post 3

     Out of all of the paranormal that we have learned about throughout this course, the one I definitely feel drawn to the most is about psychics and mediums. For as long as I can remember growing up, my grandmother was very keen on a famous psychic who helped police officers solve crimes and she was known as Sylvia Brown. In the early 2000's, she was extremely popular, with many books published and her own television show. Our slideshows also talked about a psychic who was also a help in crime investigations, Noreen Renier. She was known to help police officers in finding the body of Charles Chapel. Although some believe her to not be of that much assistance in this, I tend to believe otherwise. I think that psychics are very real. While she may not have solved the case herself, there were clear given clues that seemed to help in the search of Chapel. There are of course many people who claim to be psychics for the fame and the money, but for example, Sylvia Brown refused to ever take money when helping police officers or other situations. Although it is not much, it does leads me more to believe that she just wanted to use her gift for the benefit of others. There are so many different situations in which something happens that you cannot explain. I do feel there are people who are given the gift of intuition and seeing what those without it cannot. 

UFO Abductions - Site Post 2

    Amongst all myths and legends out there, one of the most popular and most talked about seems to be about aliens, UFOs, and alien abductions. While there has not been too much proof or evidence on these sightings and happenings, this deems more believable to me than the Jersey Devil or Big Foot. This reason being because there is so much out there in the sky that we can't possibly know about. To think that we are the only living beings in this universe is a bit naive. Just like thinking there isn't more unknown creatures roaming our oceans, being that only five percent of it is discovered. Everyone will always have their own opinions and reasonings for what they believe in and that is of course acceptable. However, there seems to be a lot of people that have come forth with stories in which they have been abducted by aliens. There have been numerous documentaries and television shows with those claiming that they were abducted, and then brought back down to Earth. Although I do believe there are beings out there, I'm not sure what my stance is on the abductions. In our class slideshows, it states that a lot of these abduction reports are from people who have higher fantasy proneness, and even sleep paralysis. Sleep deprivation is also when these experiences seem to happen for some people. This would also make my beliefs lean more towards not being true. 

The End(s) of the World?

I remember sitting in school in January of 2013, about a couple weeks after the infamous 12/21/12 date. That infamous date was a major topic of discussion, with many people chalking it up to be the "end of the world" per say. Now, I remember my teacher at the time saying something that has stuck with me to this very day; she said she has lived through three or four of these supposed "end of the world" dates. This very statement put things into perspective for me because it clicked and I realized that all of those ending dates are speculation, mere guess work surrounding a date that in all honesty nobody can predict accurately. Just look at the most recent example of Mr. Chris McCann. Chris, leader and founder of the eBible Fellowship, believed the world would end on October 7th 2015 based on a Bible verse in the book of Revelations. Despite being absolutely and utterly certain of this, his date clearly turned out to be another erroneous attempt at predicting the end of the world. This is one of many misguided predictions that have sought to pinpoint the end of the world. The Y2K is another prominent event I would like to hone in on, because it was the date the computers were going to run out of digits (supposedly). One theory behind Y2K that I find particularly intriguing includes the software and hardware malfunctions in key aspects like mainframe computers in banks and agencies that were expected to break out following the end of the millennia. So while doomsday predictors went crazy anticipating chaos and madness in the days following 12/31/1999, logic tells us that there is nothing materially different between 12/31/1999 and 1/1/2000 and simple computer science supports this. 

So, whether based in astrology, faith, spirituality, or religion, one thing these predictions are not based on is truth. I believe that confirmation bias plays a major role in this thought process, which I think is clear when you actually analyze the doomsday predictors. The confirmation bias makes us highlight info which supports our current beliefs and simultaneously ignore information that does not. Many of these doomsday prophets not only ignore evidence that refutes their prediction, but in fact they fall farther into their belief system by finding evidence to support their theories in ambiguous astrological or religious texts.  In my own personal opinion I do not think any one person knows when the “end of the world” will come, but I do believe there will be an end of the world which falls in the hands of a higher power (whatever that may be)... 

Motivated Confirmation Bias - Home | Facebook

The Jersey Devil - Site Post 1

     When you're someone who lives in New Jersey, chances are you've been told stories about the Jersey Devil at one time or another. It's presented in numerous places such as in the books "Weird NJ", on labels of local wines, and even a statue stands proud in front of one of South Jersey's well known bars, Sweetwater. Especially when you are someone who has been born and raised in Jersey, the tales never shy away from the residents. The legend goes that the Jersey Devil was born to Mother Leeds from the Pine Barrens, and was in fact her thirteenth child. Apparently he came out with obvious abnormalities such as a head shaped like a horse, and wings. Of course this would come of a shock to any mother, and it led to so many rumors of sightings and that may or may not have been proven true. Just like a lot of other myths and legends, there isn't a whole lot of proof on whether or not the Jersey Devil exists. According to so many people throughout the years, they have claimed to have seen his wings swooping overhead or heard him in the deepest parts of the woods. In my own personal experiences, I've had plenty of family members and friends insisting that he exists. However, because many things are needed to be seen to believe, I think the Jersey Devil falls into that category. I am of course not a professional on this matter, and could be very wrong.

The Jersey Devil: Fact or Fiction?

     Pseudoscience is by definition,"a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method." And as we have learned through our course, pseudoscience relies on fast thinking and heuristics, whereas science relies on slow and critical thinking. Please keep that in mind when you read this post about the New Jersey Devil and draw conclusions based on your own beliefs.

    According to, there are many stories about the New Jersey devil and his origins. One of the most common stories takes place in Leeds Point, and on a stormy night a woman known as mother Leeds (who had been known to be a sorceress) gave birth to a deformed child. This child was confined until he one day broke free, creating the birth of the Jersey Devil. His birthplace is called the pine barrens which is located 1700 square feet across southeastern New Jersey. 

    There have been many word of mouth stories of sightings from 1735 until this day. However, things turned when actual police reports were filed after nearly 30 sightings of the Jersey Devil in one week around 1909. At this point scientists were asked to help determine what this creature could be- a prehistoric creature? Was the creature a sandy hill crane, or something else? No one could or can come up with an answer. 

    As the Jersey shore has become a very populated and place for vacation, less sightings of the devil have been reported. However people still believe in his existence and more stories of the Jersey Devil are certain to come. Personally, it is hard for me to fathom the idea of the Jersey Devil without any real scientific backed evidence. Theres no proof of him, not even a scale or a piece of his body- whatever it may be made of. 

    Pseudoscience contains many different beliefs in many different topics, such as the Loch Ness monster, the Abominable snow man and even topics such as astrology. For me, I need to see it to believe it. When I think slowly and critically as science requires, it is hard for me to imagine such things existing without any sort of proof. Until the day evidence proves me wrong, these topics will remain unbelievable to me.




Video: "What your handwriting says about you."

 This class site post is based off Lecture #8 provided by Professor Berg. This lecture is having to do with "Graphology." 

I had no idea what graphology was or what it meant all I knew was that the term means some type of subject of study. Now this specific subject of study really caught my eye and interests me. What is Graphology? Graphology is the study of handwriting. What is being studied is how a person's handwriting infers their personality and character. When I first found out what the study was, I was like "What does this even mean." How can someone study a person's handwriting and then say "Oh he's mean because his handwriting is sloppy." I thought this type of theory was nuts. But once looking deeper into the lesson, I can relate. 

The video: "What your handwriting says about you," pretty much lays out many different types of handwriting and what those types of handwriting says about that writer. Now when I say type of handwriting, I mean things like word and letter spacing, silently writing, how much pressure is put on the paper while writing, or even the size of the letter writing. One example in the video was small handwriting/writers. They were given traits seen as shy, studious, concentrated, and meticulous. Now, I just want to add that not all are true. At least in my opinion, there is no way all small writers in the world are ALL shy, there's definitely small writers who are out-going and not shy. This is theorized. 

Now, the part of the video that really struck me was that, people who write their words spaced out (Like I do myself,) are described as people who enjoy their freedom, don't like crowds and don't like being overwhelmed. That's me, spot on. 

There are so many types of writer and types of writing styles and types of people and types of personalities in the whole world. So many! This study was very interesting to me because some definitely prove to be true.


Upon first glance of this word, "Cryptozoology," I had no idea what to think of it or expect besides the fact that it has the word "Zoo," in it. So, cryptozoology is the study of hidden animals. Cryptozoology is basically a study that tries to form closure/a conclusion on animals who's existence is disputed and unsure of. Three examples that we all have probably heard of are: Bigfoot, the loch ness monster, the abominable snowman, or the yeti. All of these creatures existences are unsure of but they definitely live in our heads rent free. 

The specific paranormal myth I will be discussing briefly is "Bigfoot," also sometimes known as "Sasquatch." Bigfoot is to be described as a wild, massive, hairy, man-like/bear-like creature. Now remember, the "Bigfoot," is mythical.... Or is it. The earliest sighting in relation to the "Bigfoot," dates all the way back to 1811 and David Thompson swore too had found potential "Bigfoot," footprints. I won't get into the exact specifics of all of his potential findings or clues or possible sightings but just know they date back to when before we were born. So do we really know? All we hear now is what we see on the media and by word of mouth. There has even been shows made, documentaries, and etc. featuring this mythical creature. Is he real or not? You do your own research and you tell me.

Now, do I believe he is real. I'm going to be completely honest with you, and this is where I think the mind comes into play when it comes to "Cryptozoology." I personally believe "Bigfoot," is exactly what they say he is... A MYTH. But it's my mind who likes to test the theories of his existence. It's hard to just flat out say "No he doesn't," and combat all these potential findings and potential sightings and etc. But nobody has ever seen it. Or has someone? So let's say someone said they have. I mean I haven't so how can I believe it. I think there's a lot of critical thinking to be done when it comes to mythologies like the examples I've listed, especially when so popularized by the world. Some people's minds truly believe "Bigfoot," is out there. But I can't blame them. 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Thinking About Critical Thinking

Why is fair-minded critical thinking necessary in multicultural teaching?

Becoming a fair-minded critical thinker is not something that happens overnight. Instead, it is something that requires dedication and perseverance, much like an art or a craft. It involves the growth and development of the mind, the fibers of what makes us who we are. They say a thought turned into an action becomes a habit which directly leads to who you are. With this being said, I have learned in the lectures that there is a list of what are known as intellectual traits that dictate or, rather, define how we live our lives. Therefore, it is so vital to be in touch with our intellectual character for this very reason. I work on my mind and soul on a daily basis, and it is one of the greatest pleasures I personally have in life is growth and development in these key aspects. From the interactions we have with others to the interactions we have within ourselves, our intellectual standards are key to being a fair minded critical thinking. For instance, being clear, accurate, relevant, and logical are all ways to ensure you are thinking critically and not letting irrational judgements cloud your mind. Moreover good critical thinkers use fair-mindedness and reasonability to dictate their actions/beliefs. Developing our intellectual character involves the habits and traits that make us who we are, such as intellectual integrity. This involves holding ourselves to the same standards to which we hold others. It is simply unreasonable to expect people to respect you if you do not show respect, and this is one of the values I carry highest with me is to show everyone the respect I believe I deserve. In addition, intellectual empathy involves understanding another person's viewpoints thoroughly. Understanding is to the soul what oxygen is to the lungs. This is especially helpful for diffusing arguments, especially unfounded ones as listening is twice as important as speaking when it comes to understanding. I feel as though being empathetic comes natural for some while it is something that others, like selfish critical thinkers, lack. This is a separate issue, although one I would like to touch on very briefly in this blog post. It is impossible for a self centered thinker to understand the thoughts and emotions of others, leaving them limited in understanding. Additionally, other short comings surrounding this self centeredness include: people who claim to know more than they do know, also known as intellectual arrogance; giving up quickly when faced with a challenge rather than intellectually persevering and working through complexity and frustration

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

The Pattern Behind Self-Deception

     After watching the Ted Talk, "The Pattern Behind Self-deception," presented by Michael Shermer, I have learned as humans we contain a belief engine in our brains. This belief engine allows us to connect the dots, example: A appears connected to B, and we are association learners. On the other hand, we as humans also have, "patternicity," as Shermer calls it. This patternicity allows us to sometimes believe a pattern is real when it is not, or not believing a pattern is real when it is. 

    Dopamine also plays a significant roll in the way our brains work as Shermer pointed out. If dopamine levels are too low,  we tend to not believe a pattern is real when it is (type two error). When it is just right, it can lead to a perfect amount of creativity in our brains. However when it is too high, we tend to see patterns everywhere, an example being when someone is looking at you, you think people are talking about you- this leads to madness. 

    Shermer goes through a multitude of photos which allow our pattern detectors in our brains to be fooled, or see patterns that simply aren't the reality of the photo. These illusions come from our temporal lobe. He concludes with the video of women testing lip gloss- thinking they are going to kiss men, but are actually kissing monkeys to conclude. It was very interesting to see some of the science behind why our minds create some patterns that exist when they really don't, and vise versa. I believe agenticity- the tendency to infuse patterns with things such as invisible beings is the reason we make connections that are not usually reality. 

    This was great to watch as I know myself and my crazy ability to create situations in my head that never really exist. Seeing some science behind why we react and act certain ways, was almost comforting. Here is a link to the Ted talk.

Book Report Post - Thinking Fast and Slow

    In Daniel Kahneman's best selling book "Thinking Fast and Slow", there is one main point in which the author wants to get across to his audience. This point being that there are mainly two ways of thinking, and depending on which one that you chose, will ultimately determine the outcome of any situation. Just like in the title, there is a way in life to be able to think fast, quickly and on your feet, or slowly, more detailed and time consuming. For example, there are so many different situations we are presented with throughout our lives in which we must make a decision. When you are thinking fast - it can tend to be more impulsive and an instant decision. When you are thinking slow - this can be more thought out, and aware of your options in which you help make your decision. Say that you are in class, and a professor calls on you to answer a question. This would be a situation in which you must think fast so that you can answer your awaiting professor and classmates. Say your friend who you've known for years asks you out on a date, but tells you that you can think about it and get back to them later. This would be a situation in which you can think slowly, and weigh out your options before making your choice. The takeaway from this book would be that although our experiences change every day, the way that we are able to think about them will always remain the same. As humans, we are able to do so by thinking fast or slow.
    My personal favorite part of this book overall was how informative it was from start to finish. I never put much thought into the fact that there are two major ways to make the choices we do, but it does help in that decision making process. Throughout the book, Kahneman really shows his readers how using Systems 1 and 2 (fast and slow) correctly, will benefit yourself in making decisions that will effect your long term. Instead of jumping right away on something, he explains how taking your time to do so is more effective. It is not safe to constantly and only be impulsive, because that can definitely cause emotional turmoil in the relationships you have presented in your life. In our lectures, there are three kinds of thinkers. The "Naive Thinker, the "Selfish Critical Thinker", and the "Fairminded Critical Thinker". As a naive thinker, a person may be more of an only fast thinker because of the fact that they don't really care about how their thinking may affect themselves or others around them. A selfish critical thinker is going to be more of a slow thinker, because they are good at thinking, but can be unreasonable to others. A fairminded critical thinker is the best combination of the two, because they are a slow thinker, while also being fair to those around them. In closing, Kahneman proves that being a slow thinker is the most beneficial, and being fairminded critical thinker is the best possible. Fast and slow thinking are going to get you through every aspect of life, and now that I am more conscious of the two, I will definitely be thinking about them the next time I have to make a big decision.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Ways of Thinking

 First, I want to start this blog post by stating that the mind's thoughts are endless. The "Ways of Thinking," lesson really got me too critically think and really take into perspective these thoughts I have everyday. Whether they are fast thoughts or critically thought. According to (,) I researched that humans have over 6000 thoughts per day. Now what we are thinking about one might ask. It varies. I learned that there are three kinds of thinkers, and I'd like to classify myself as a "Fair-minded critical thinker." These type of thinkers aren't selfish thinkers. They are thinkers who not only want best for theirselves but for people around them and the world. I put myself under this category, 1. because I am a deep thinker. I think outside the box and really really put things into perspective when thinking, and 2. because I am fair minded when I have thoughts. 

I wanted to include this image that professor provided for us in the slides because I think the two most important amongst these elements of thought, are YOUR point of view. I say this because I feel like without your own point of view, how are you supposed to have your own thought or idea on whatever the case may be. I also feel like PURPOSE is huge because there is always a purpose behind thoughts whether we know it or not, there is always purpose. And that purpose is the goal or objective. We must use these elements of thought if one wants to "learn how to think slow and critically." This is more of slow thinking compared to fast thinking. Slow thinking has to do with these elements more in terms of critically thinking compared to fast thoughts that require little to no effort and are more "automatic," to us. Something like Professor included : "How did you get home?" A thought like this is simple minded, requires no extra elements so to speak. 

Friday, July 9, 2021

Think Fast?

Many of us have heard the phrase "think fast" throughout our lives, usually followed by a friend or relative tossing an object our way.  The expectation is that we will either catch the object, which mostly elicits a positive response; or drop the object, which often is followed by some friendly brow beating.  Why has fast thinking often been related superior to slow thinking?  Quick wit is often praised with laughter, while duller responses may not even warrant an acknowledgment.  These examples may be what has driven our culture to view fast thinking as more preferable to slow thinking.  Fast thinking is often related to success on a certain level, but we rarely consider the costs involved on a cultural level.    

In our evolutional history, there is no doubt that fast thinking has often saved our lives and promoted our flourishment as a species.  In today's world however, fast thinking is often the basis of our biases and other heuristics which hold us back from cultural growth and enlightenment.  With the surge of information and media in our modern lives, it is imperative that we reconsider our thinking.  If we are to create positive change in our world we are now required to take a more critical approach when making our decisions .  The era of slow thinking is now!  I encourage you to watch this brief video which is a summary of Daniel Kahneman's book "Thinking, Fast and Slow".  Kahneman is an Israeli psychologist and economist who is best know for his work in the psychology of judgement and decision making.  I hope this influences you to consider your own methods of thinking and how they may influence your beliefs.