Thursday, December 26, 2013

5 Things I've noticed about... Drunk Driving

This time of year like with every year many people are in a festive and partying mood, and with that mood comes drinking (the alcohol type of drinking I mean).

Now some people are not only going to go to parties and drink, but also drive home after they have done drinking. In other words, drunk driving.

Now there are many things that I have noticed about drunk driving, but I have narrowed it down to five different things.

So here are five things I've noticed about drunk driving:

5. It's costly.

If you get pulled over by the police while you are drunk, it's going to cost you quite a bit.

The fines you can pay for being found guilty of drunk driving can be upwards in the thousands of dollars, not to mention the lawyers fees, court costs, loss of pay from the days you'll miss from work for when you go to court, or if you have to go to jail, loss of income if you get fired your job because of this, increases in insurance rates, having your car taken away by the state... and that's only if you don't hit someone.

If you actually do hit someone then those thousands quickly turn into tens of thousands of dollars, even hundreds of thousands of dollars, because not only do you have to deal with everything I mentioned above (many of which the cost of and time will increase) you'll also have to pay whomever you hit after they sue you (or if their loved ones sue you if you kill that person) and in the end it can end up costing you every penny you have, plus your freedom.

4. There are better alternatives to it.

If you're planning on drinking this holiday season (or any time for that matter) and you need to get home, there are far better alternatives than getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and turning it into a one and a half ton weapon.

You could call a cab. You could call a friend to drive you home. You can have a designated driver at whatever party you go to inorder to drive you home. You could moderate your drinks to one drink an hour, and have water and food along with your drink, and not drink for atleast an hour and a half before you drive home, and not drink anything with a high alcohol content. Or you could just not drink at all.

Regardless of what you do it is far better to do something other than driving home drunk.

3. It's socially unacceptable.

Lets be honest, who wants to be around a person who has been convicted of drunk driving, especially if you killed someone as a result? Not me, and not to many other people do either.

Face it, not to many people want to be around a person who has been convicted of a crime, especially one as reckless and stupid as drunk driving. People do not want to associate with people whom willing put other people's lives at risk, especially when there is no reason to do so.

Besides just ruining your social life by people not wanting to associate with you, it can ruin your social life by leaving you unable to go anywhere. You could lose your license, or your insurance, or your car, or your movements could be restricted by court order. Or you could just be sent to jail, the ultimate social life killer.

2. It's deadly.

Around 40% of all the fatal automobile crashes that occur are the result of alcohol being involved.

Drunk driving kills thousands of people every year, and not just the drunk driver themselves, but passengers being driven home by the driver, and innocent people in other vehicles who are not drunk and are just trying to get from one place to another (or trying to get home).

Not only does drinking increase you likelihood of getting into a deadly automobile crash, the more you drink the odds of getting into a deadly car crash increases even more so.

1. It's stupid.

The fact is that drunk driving is one of the dumbest things a person can do. It can result in a person going to prison, being left broke, losing friends, losing their job, killing themselves, and killing someone else.

What makes drunk driving especially stupid isn't just what I just stated bove, it's also the fact that it's completely preventable. No one has to die because of someone else's selfishness and stupidity. Either have someone drive you home, or don't drink, it's that simple.

If you drink, do not drive!

Friday, December 20, 2013

5 Things I've noticed about... The Illuminati

The Illuminati. That secretive group conspiracy theorists believe have a great amount of power and want to take over the world.

There are a lot of accusations leveled against the Illuminati, and out of all of those accusations I've noticed many things and traits about the group.

Now out of all of the things and traits that I have noticed about the Illuminati I've narrowed it down to five distinct things.

So here are five things that I've noticed about the Illuminati:

5. They are the most patient people in the world.

The Illuminati has to be composed of some of the most patient people in the world. I say this because according to people who "investigate" the Illuminati (i.e. people who spend most of their free time watching or creating Youtube videos about the Illuminati, and listening to Alex Jones) have been doing stuff for years in order to get ready to take over the world, as well as kill 80%-90% of the population, and enslave everyone else.

Now as to how long the Illuminati have been plotting to take over the Earth no one (and by "no one" I mean conspiracy theorists) is really sure because no one is really sure how old the Illuminati is. Most conspiracy theorists say they're around two and a half centuries old, although others say they're as old as civilization, or even older, while others say they're only about a century or so old.

Regardless of how old the Illuminati is, the fact that they have been allegedly at this taking over the world thing for a very long time clearly shows that they are composed of the world's most patient individuals... or the world's worst procrastinators.

Now I would think that there would be atleast a few people in the Illuminati who wants to really push forward in taking over the world. I say this because apparently the Illuminati has a huge membership, so I would think that there would be atleast a few ambitious individuals amongst themselves.

Infact when thinking about that huge membership of their's it almost seems like that...

4. Everyone is apart of the Illuminati.

According to conspiracy theorists there are a huge amount people (probably in the tens of millions) who are members, or atleast works for, the Illuminati. This alleged list includes actors, musicians (actually any celebrity really), rich people, politicians, high ranking military officers, anyone in the CIA, or FBI, or NSA, whistleblowers, religious leaders, myself and fellow skeptics, and even other conspiracy theorists. Heck, even Alex Jones whom constantly "speaks out" against the Illuminate has himself been accused of being a member of the Illuminati.

Now taking all of this "information" (a.k.a. accusations) into account by my estimates I believe there are only eight people in the world are not apart of the Illuminati...

I admit I might be a little off on my math there, but still that's an awful lot of people who are apart of this super secret organization (so secret that there is no real proof of it's existence).

Ofcourse when you also consider how many people who are apart of this alleged secret organization it shouldn't also be surprising to know that...

3. They control everything.

According to many conspiracy theorists the Illuminati controls everything from the media, to the military, to the manufacturing industries, the airline industry (because how else are they going to spray chemtrails), the entertainment industry, the UN, the European Union, the Free Masons, the US government, law enforcement, major religions, minor religious, cults, the Democrats, the Republicans, the banks, most other governments, the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry... the list just keeps going on and on.

I'm not sure what is crazier: the fact that the Illuminati allegedly controls all this and so much more, or the fact that the Illuminati allegedly controls all of this and hasn't even bothered to officially take control of the world and continues to lurk in the shadows while leaving symbols on things that have little to no meaning to most people inorder to show those people that they are incharge despite the fact that most people don't even believe that the Illuminati exists, and with good reason...

2. There's no evidence of their existence.

There is no proof that the Illuminati exists. Despite the amount of people who have been accused of being apart of the Illuminati, and despite the numerous tragic events that the Illuminati are accused of orchestrating, no one has ever brought any proof that they do exist, nor that they were once a member of the Illuminati, nor that they are involved in any events what so ever.

The only thing that conspiracy theorists have that even comes close to being "evidence" (and even that is a stretch) are the numerous "symbols" that the Illuminati allegedly likes to place up on everything. Despite what conspiracy theorists believe these symbols are not evidence of the existence of the Illuminati, and most often times means something else entirely than what a conspiracy theorist (and even non-conspiracy theorists) believes it to mean.

These Illuminati conspiracy theories are just a bunch of blame redirecting by people who believe that all of the world's problems, or their own problems, are being caused by some shadowy group that controls everything. These conspiracy theories are entirely made up... well, maybe not "entirely" made up, because...

1. The Illuminati conspiracy theories sound an awful lot like the old Jewish conspiracy theories.

One of the most common traits that I have noticed amongst the Illuminati conspiracy theories (especially the basic ones) is that they very closely resemble the antisemitic, Jewish conspiracy theories of a few decades ago. Infact if you were to replace the word "Illuminati" with the word "Jewish" or "Jew" it would sound exactly like one of the old Jewish conspiracy theories.

I'm not sure if the people who created these Illuminati conspiracy theories either ripped off the old Jewish conspiracy theories and replaced the words "Jewish" and "Jew" with "Illuminati", or if "Illuminati" is a code word for "Jewish", but the people who created these conspiracy theories sure did get a lot of inspiration from the older Jewish conspiracy theories.

Also it shouldn't be to surprising that many of these Illuminati conspiracy theorists are they themselves antisemitic and often times try to tie in the Jewish people (or to a lesser extent Israel) with the Illuminati.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Anti-Vaccination pics should come with a disclaimer...

This morning while I was going through my Facebook page and looking around at some of the skeptics groups that I belong to I came across this anti-vaccination photo in one of these skeptics groups that was posted there for the sheer means of mocking and criticizing the anti-vaccination movement for their blatant hypocrisy:

Now ofcourse anyone who is either a skeptic or a medical professional can clearly see why this picture is being mocked and criticized, but for those who don't I'll explain why:

It's mocked because of the irony that people in the anti-vaccination movement actually believe that getting "information" off of a website that promotes pseudoscience and alternative medicine rather than a legitimate science and/or medical website or journal apparently makes you well educated, and that those who are in the anti-vaccination movement actually believe that they are well educated about vaccines.

Also, it's criticized because it gives the impression that people who advise against vaccination are themselves well educated, which is often not the truth and that in reality they are actually to dumb to realize that they don't know anything about vaccines other than what they've been told (or scared into) by the anti-vaccination movement. Even those that really are well educated have either just been fooled by the claims of the anti-vaccination movement into believing that vaccines are dangerous, or are just lying about their beliefs for reasons that are their own (usually because they don't want to admit that they are wrong).

If pictures like this were truly honest they would contain a disclaimer at the bottom that says either "all the information about vaccines that we get comes from websites that promote subjects that are considered to be pseudoscience and/or conspiracy theories" or "all information we get about vaccines are from sources that are not considered to be legitimate medical and/or scientific sources" or "it is against professional medical and scientific opinions that a person should not vaccinate their children, as well as may be in violation of the law in some areas" or perhaps even "many scientists consider this picture to be an example of the Dunning-Kruger effect and should be ignored and disregarded".

Regardless of what disclaimer should be placed on an anti-vaccination picture such as this one (or any anti-vaccination picture for that matter) it does show the arrogance within the anti-vaccination movement in that they regard themselves as being intelligent and well educated when it comes to vaccines, when in reality it is often the exact opposite, and that they actually don't know anything about vaccines and simply blindly follow some quack that poses as a doctor or as a medical expert that goes around claiming that vaccines are dangerous and can create all of these health issues in children rather than actually prevent health issues.

Perhaps one more type of disclaimer that should also be included with such a picture should say "all information we have regarding the dangers of vaccines have been discredited by legitimate scientific and medical institutions, or have been shown to be fraudulent."

Thursday, December 12, 2013

11 Ways to REALLY destroy the Earth

For years and years everyone from science fiction writers to scientists have been talking about all of these scenarios and what not about how the world will end (be it by our own hands, or a random act of nature).

While I find many of these scenarios interesting, many of them have a common flaw: they don't actually end the Earth, just human civilization, and perhaps the human species.

So, how exactly could the Earth REALLY be destroyed (as in cease to exist)?

Well I've thought about it, and I've come up with about 11 different ways of how it could happen.

So if you don't mind possibly being scared to death, below are those 11 possible scenarios:

Planetary impact

We all know the dangers that a direct impact from either a comet or meteor poses to the Earth as it has been the subject of several movies and books, and is a legitimate threat because it has happened before, and it has wiped out entire species and caused major damage to the Earth throughout our planet's history.

While some people might believe that it would be the end of the world if a large meteor or comet was to hit us today, it wouldn't be. It might be the end of human civilization, maybe even our species, but the world will still exist... unless something really big, or really heavy was to hit us...

Lets say something nearly the size of the Earth, or bigger, was to hit us, or something very heavy like a neutron star. The fact is that there would be no way for the Earth to survive an impact by something close to, or larger, or heavier than the Earth. Our world would be broken apart and probably turned into an asteroid field by such an impact.

High speed impact

The amount of damage a object can do not only depends on how large an object is, but also by how fast said object is going.

A one mile wide meteor hitting the Earth would be devastating. If that one mile wide meteor was to hit the Earth while traveling nearly the speed of light, the amount of kinetic energy released from such an impact would rip the Earth apart, and we wouldn't even know it until it actually happened (assuming we survived long enough) because such an object would most likely be impossible to find, let alone track.

von Neumann machine

A von Neumann machine is a type of robot first conceived of by John von Neumann (hence the name) that can basically self replicate, and could even manufacture materials on it's own inother to do so. It would even be possible for it to seek out the resources it needs to manufacture those materials.

While such a machine would be an extraordinary leap forward in terms of robotics and manufacturing, some people fear that one day one of those robots could go haywire (or someone could build one for the purpose of unregulated self replicating) and continue to self replicate without knowing when to shut off, and ultimately end up destroying the Earth a small part at a time until there is nothing left.

While a larger machine might not actually be able to do this before we stopped it, a small machine like a nano-probe might just be able to do this.

Knocked into the sun

Lets say a very large object (like a star) was to pass through our solar system, what do you think would happen?

The answer is that the Earth would be knocked out of orbit.

After that one of two things would then happen: The Earth would be knocked away from the sun and become a rogue planet (as well as a giant ball of ice), or we would get knocked into the sun and be burnt into nothing.

Super Laser

If you've ever seen Star Wars then you probably know what I'm talking about, if you don't then I'll explain (although I do still recommend seeing Star Wars).

laser is a device that creates a focused beam of light that can actually be quiet destructive, and depending on how much energy you put into the laser, it's destructive power can range from being harmless (unless you look directly into the beam) to being used to take out a vehicle. Taking this in mind it is theoretically possible to build a laser powerful to destroy the Earth.

Fortunately we don't have to worry about this one right now due to the fact that the total amount of energy produced world wide is no where near enough to power a laser that would be capable of doing so.

A bomb

A bomb is the most powerful weapon that has ever been invented. We have bombs that are so powerful and destructive that they can wipe a large city off the face of the Earth in an instant, and also leave the area surrounding it uninhabitable for years, so it shouldn't be to surprising that a bomb could be used to destroy the Earth.

The only real problem with this would be finding either a material that could produce a explosive force powerful enough to actually destroy the Earth, or enough explosive material to destroy the Earth.

The Earth stops

If the Earth was to suddenly stop rotating on it's axis or revolving around the Sun the results would be catastrophic.

It might not seem like it to some people, but the speed at which the Earth is both rotating on it's axis and going around the Sun is pretty high, and with that speed brings with it a lot kinetic energy. If the Earth was to suddenly stop rotating or revolving around the Sun... well that kinetic energy has to go somewhere.

Suffice to say that the end result would be the Earth ripping itself apart.

Black Hole

A black hole is one of the most destructive forces in the universe. It's gravity is so strong that nothing can escape it, not even light, so if one was to fly by us, or to hit us, or if we accidentally created one that we couldn't control, the planet wouldn't just be ripped apart, it would be sucked in and cease to exist.

The Sun expands into a red giant.

In about 4 to 5 billion years or so the Sun is going to expand into a red giant, beginning it's final stages before it's own death.

While no one is really sure how far out the Sun will expand, it is possible that the Sun will expand enough that it will either expand into the Earth's orbit and incinerate the Earth, or cause the Earth to fall into the Sun.

The Sun goes nova

Even if the Earth does survive the expansion of the Sun, it is very unlikely that the planet would survive the Sun blowing it's outer layers of gas off before it finally became a white dwarf.

The destructive force would be so huge that not only would the Earth not survive, nothing in the solar system would survive.

The Universe ends

Even if by some miracle the Earth managed to survive the end of the Sun, ultimately the Universe itself will end, and so will it the Earth as well.

No one is sure when or really even how the Universe will end, but some day it will end, and if somehow the Earth is still around, it will go along with it.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Is that a FEMA... truck?

Reposted from my other blog site Is that a FEMA Camp?

Recently on a Facebook skeptics group that I belong to someone posted a very "curious" looking photo, along with the commentary by the person whom posted photo the somewhere else on Facebook:

Now the first thing that came to my mind when I saw that photo was, "Wow... that trailer needs a good wash."

All joking aside ofcourse what really came to my mind was that the words on the truck looked like it was put on there via digital photo manipulation (i.e. photoshopped) and even if it wasn't, then so what?

Now my first argument for why it is photoshopped is because of another photo that looks almost exactly like the first one provided to me via

Now clearly the second picture is photoshopped, and to be all honest it's not even that good of a photoshop job either.

Ofcourse just because the second photo has clearly been digitally manipulated, I have to admit that it does not mean that the first photo has been digitally manipulated as well. If you look closely at the bottom words "FEMA DISASTER RELIEF" that while the font style used for the letters are similar to the ones on the top, they are infact different.

If the first photo was photoshopped, the second photoshopped photo was probably done by someone else whom used the closest font style that they could find to the original words... unless the person whom created the original photo forgot the original font style that they used.

Now another reason why I think the photo has been digitally manipulated is because of the trailer itself.

Besides just being in need of a good wash, it is clearly a used trailer due to the fact that there is a company logo right next to "FEMA DISASTER RELIEF", as well as a logo on the truck that is pulling the trailer.

So if this photo was real, what it would tell me isn't that FEMA is planning on "something" evil, it's that they're moving a trailer from one location to another to another, probably for some bureaucratic reasons, or it's being driven around just to make sure that everything is okay with it and the truck that's pulling it (and before you point out that the person claims that it's coming from a FBI building in Virginia I should like to point out that I don't take such claims seriously unless I have more proof that it really did come from a FBI building in Virginia).

Also, if the photo is real then it tells me is that FEMA is pretty underfunded if the only big rigs they can afford to buy are used and can't be washed every so often due to funding...

Now this brings me to another reason why I'm pretty sure the photo was photoshopped, that being that the government does not buy used stuff (with the exception of law enforcement buying used vehicles for undercover purposes). Even if the government did infact buy used vehicles, they would have atleast have given it a new paint job, and have put FEMA's actual logo on it rather than in big red words "FEMA DISASTER RELIEF".

Also, there is one more thing about the photo that has lead me to believe that it is fake, and that being the comment of the person themselves.

The comment made on the photo says that it's heading north after "leaving" the FBI building in Virginia. My question which one?

The obvious answer would ofcourse be Quantico, which is the location of both the FBI Academy and the FBI Laboratory. But thing about all of this (besides the fact that the person making the comment might have been mislead about where the truck is coming from and going to, or is just outright lying) is why would the FBI employ FEMA to do something that it itself could do? More importantly if the FBI was trying to do something secretive then why wouldn't it use either a blank vehicle, or a vehicle that has a name on it other than the name of another government agency on it in such clear, bold letters?

All the evidence put together has lead me to concluded that the photo is fake, and that either it was created for the purpose of fooling conspiracy theorists and having a good laugh at their gullibility, or by a conspiracy theorist whom wished to make his or her claims about police state conspiracy theories seem more legit.

Friday, December 6, 2013

5 Thing's I've noticed about... 12/21/2012

It's been almost a year since 12/21/2012, the day that the world was suppose to end... or change (depends on who you asked).

Now there was a lot that didn't happen that day that was suppose to, and there were certain things that day that did happen, just not what some people were expecting.

I've looked back upon what did happen that day, and I've come up with the five different things that I've noticed about that day and the whole doomsday prediction itself.

So here are five things I've noticed about 12/21/2012:

5. Nothing really important happen that day.

Well... not necessarily nothing per say, but in terms of the world shattering event that was suppose to occur (at least according to some people who mistook the ending of the Mayan calendar as being a Mayan prophecy foretelling the end of the world) nothing happened that day that was even worth bothering to remember.

The only thing that I really remember from that day is that me and several fellow skeptics laughed at all of those people who seriously thought the world was going to end that day, and the History Channel showing a bunch of programs about doomsday (because that is what the History Channel does).

Basically that's all that happened that day. Skeptics had a good laugh, the History Channel showed a bunch of BS (well a little bit more BS than usual) and that's it... well, that and fact that...

4. Millions of Doomers realized how stupid they were.

The amount of people who thought the world was going to end that day (or atleast something big was going to happen that day) was probably in the millions, most of which I'm pretty sure were relived that nothing happen (although I'm sure a few were disappointed, especially those who thought it would bring about some kind of human "transformation").

I say again that while I am pretty sure that most people who believed that the world would end that day were relived that it didn't happen, I'm also pretty sure that a lot of those people felt stupid for trusting some non-prophesy that a few people who were allegedly smarter than them completely mis-interpreted and got it into the public mindset in such a way that it ended up taking off like wildfire...

Ofcourse what probably made a lot of people feel stupid for believing in the 12/21/2012 end of the world prediction is the realization that...

3. It's not the first time a major doomsday prediction has fail.

The 12/21/2012 was not the first major doomsday prediction to fail, nor was it the first major one to create a kind of mass hysteria that caused people to waste their time and money on to prepare for, as well as possibly ruin relationships with the people in their lives. The 12/21/2012 prediction wasn't even the first major doomsday prediction of the century that failed. Infact it was the third major doomsday prediction of the 21st century that failed (the first one was the Y2K prediction, and the second one was Harold Camping's Rapture prediction of 2011).

Now I went to the Wikipedia page listing doomsday predictions (and these are just some of the more famous ones) and there were huge amount of them, and obviously they've all failed to come true. Infact I actually counted the number of doomsday predictions between the time I was born and the 12/21/2012 prediction, and according to the list the world should have ended atleast 47 times since my birth...

Now in my opinion the whole 12/21/2012 should never have been taken seriously in the first place. This is not only due to the sheer fact that doomsday predictions always fail, it's also due to the fact that...

2. It was pretty vague.

The people who believed in the 12/21/2012 prediction all agreed that "something" major was going to happen that day. It's just what that something was is where people who believed in that prediction disagreed with one another.

According to all of those who believed in the 12/21/2012 prediction that what was going to happen that day ranged from that we were suppose to enter a higher stage of consciousness, to that the world was suppose to be reduced to asteroids... and everything else you can possibly think of.

The main reason why so many people were claiming so many different things was that the Mayans themselves never said what was suppose to happen that day. Ofcourse the Mayans never actually said that anything was suppose to happen that day really.

The fact that nothing happened that day, combined with the vagueness of the "prediction" should have ended all of this doomsday stuff on 12/21/2012, but unfortunately...

1. The 12/21/2012 doomsday predictions didn't end on 12/21/2012.

While most people who believed that something was going to happen on 12/21/2012 have accepted the fact that this prediction was BS and that the world was never going to end, some people haven't.

There are actually a few people out there on Youtube and blogging sites who are claiming that the 12/21/2012 doomsday prediction was actually just the beginning of a process that was going to end several months later either with our transformation into higher beings, or destruction (depends on the person who is making the claims).

It shouldn't surprise anyone however that none of predictions came true either. Infact really the only thing about doomsday predictions that can be predicted is that they will fail.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The 10 most bizarre, absurd, and dumb conspiracy theories of 2013

Throughout this year there were a lot of new conspiracy theories going around. Some of them were scary. Some of them were weird. And some of them were just bizarre, absurd, and dumb to the point where one would either have to laugh at them, or pull their hair out in frustration.

The following list are ten of what I feel are the strangest and most bizarre and/or absurd conspiracy theories of 2013:

10. Robert Sarvis was a Democratic plant to help Terry McAuliffe win the Virginia gubernatorial election.

(Author's note: being that I am from Virginia, I just felt that I had to mention this one)

In the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial election there were a lot of accusations that went back and forth (some true, some not) but one of the biggest accusation didn't come during the election, but afterwards. The accusation that I'm talking about is the one that claims that Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis was actually a shill or plant by the Democrats inorder to steal votes away from Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli and to help guarantee victory for Terry McAuliffe.

Now as plausible as this may sound, there are just two problems with this: First there is no guarantee that the people who voted for Sarvis would have voted for Cuccinelli, and second most of the polls before the election showed that McAuliffe had an over 50% lead, and thus a spoiler candidate would not have been needed inorder to win. Also, besides those facts and the fact that there is no actual evidence that Sarvis was a Democratic plant, it's just as likely that Sarvis actually took away votes from McAuliffe as it is from Cuccinelli.

9. Anti-GMO/Monsanto claims.

While conspiracy theories against GMO foods are nothing new, what is new is that the Anti-GMO movement now seems to be focusing their claims on one company: Monsanto.

From what I can tell from their claims Monsanto pretty much controls the FDA, the farming industry, the food industry, Obama, the media, the U.S. Supreme Court, law enforcement, any blog that debunks the anti-GMO movement's claims, all the science organizations, and that Monsanto is responsible for every atrocity committed in the world since World War Two.

According to many in the anti-GMO movement Monsanto does all of this inorder to sell you a product that (insert the anti-GMO claim of your choice).

8. The Boston Marathon bombing was a false flag attack.

On April 15 one of the worst terrorist attacks in the U.S. since the 9/11 attacks occurred at one of the largest sporting events in the U.S., the Boston Marathon. Three people were killed, and 264 people were injured, many of who also lost limbs, or were otherwise permanently maimed in some way. Also, like clock work, conspiracy theories about the bombing started to be posted all over the internet within minutes of the attack.

The most common of the claims were that it was a false flag attack, and then later de-evolved into stranger conspiracy theories in that both the suspects, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, were under some kind of government mind control, right on down to the most absurd claim of there being no attack at all and that the whole thing was staged and that no one was actually hurt or killed.

Besides the fact that all of these claims were absurd on face value alone and were quickly debunked, they were also very disrespectful and just plain disgusting.

7. Amanda Bynes became a victim of Illuminati mind control.

Over the summer actress Amanda Bynes began engaging in behavior that ranged from bizarre to down right dangerous. This behavior of her's eventually lead to her being involuntarily committed into psychiatric care.

Now to most people this looks like a simple enough case of a young woman whom is mentally ill and whom's mental illness has caused her to act out in bizarre and dangerous ways. To a conspiracy theorist on the other hand it's a clear case of Illuminati mind control.

The main theory that is going around is that Amanda was being groomed by the Illuminati as part of a youth indoctrination program, and that she had decided to break away from them. When Amanda did allegedly break away from them one of two things happen: Either that the indoctrination was so intense that she could not function on her own and her mind snapped, or she was driven insane via remote mind control.

While this explanation kind of makes sense in a weird way, the one theory behind her behavior that makes even more sense is that she is either schizophrenic or bi-polar. Combined with her age, and her escalating erratic behavior over the past few years, this makes a lot more sense than a couple of conspiracy theories that range from being far fetched to pretty much impossible.

6. The Xbox One can see you naked.

When the Xbox One and all of it's feature were announced there were many concerns (some legit, some not) but one of the biggest concerns that in itself became a conspiracy theory is that the new gaming counsel (through it's inbuilt motion sensing Kinect system) can see you naked, even with your clothes on. The reason behind this claim is due to a photo of a test subject seen through the view of the Kinect that allegedly shows his ding-dong, despite the fact that he is wearing clothes.

As it turns out that wasn't the man's private parts, but was actually a fold in his pants that people mistook for his you-know-what. Although it should be noted that the Xbox One can see you naked... if you're actually playing a video game infront of it while naked (and if that's your thing then have fun playing with it... the Xbox One I mean).

5. Something about Comet ISON

The passing through and eventual destruction of Comet ISON was considered one of the biggest astronomical events of this year, not to mention the fact that we gained a ton of data on not just this comet itself, but comets alone through our observations of the comet, including it's destruction by the Sun.

Besides just destroying the comet, the Sun also (hopefully) destroyed something else that went along with the comet: Conspiracy theories.

From what I can find there were three primary conspiracy theories concerning the comet: That the comet was going to hit the Earth and that NASA was covering it up (clearly not true, and would be impossible to cover up) that it was an alien space (if it was I would think that it would have maneuvered itself into a non-destructive path, unless the aliens were suicidal) or that it was a sign of the Rapture (which clearly didn't happen).

Regardless of whatever conspiracy theorist claim was being made about Comet ISON, they all turned out to be wrong.

4. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge wasn't actually pregnant.

This year Catherine, wife of Prince William and future Queen of England, gave birth to their first child, Prince George... or did she?

According to several conspiracy theorists the Duchess of Cambridge was not pregnant, and that the child was born from a surrogate mother chosen by the Illuminati (whether or not Prince William was the father depends on which conspiracy theorist you ask).

Now the reason why some conspiracy theorists were making this claim is also as absurd as the claim itself: she didn't really look pregnant, and in her first public appearance after the birth, she didn't look like she had just given birth...

3. Chemtrails are being used to poison angels in Heaven.

Probably one of the most absurd conspiracy theories that I read about this year was one that claimed that militant Atheists are using chemtrails to poison and kill angels. Sounds extremely absurd, right? Well, it is. Also sounds like satire too, don't it? Well, it is.

So right now you are probably asking "if it is satire, then why is it on this list?" Because a lot of conspiracy theorists didn't realize that it is satire and actually reposted the original article on their websites as if it were a real conspiracy theory, rather then something that some creative person just made up as a joke.

Come to think of it, that's how a lot of conspiracy theories are like (minus the joke part).

2. Gay people are deliberately spreading HIV with special rings.

This bizarre claim was made not by some random homophobic whack job with a blog or a Facebook page, but a famous homophobic whack job with his own nationally syndicated television program, Pat Robertson, and it was made on said television program.

Robertson's claims were that homosexuals wore special rings that were designed to cut people (usually via a hand shake) and that these rings had HIV on them, and that homosexuals used these rings to infect people (especially people they don't like).

These claims were extremely absurd. Infact they were so absurd (and embarrassing) that CBN removed them from their website and tried to get the videos of Robertson saying them removed from the internet (and utterly failed to do so), which shows two things: The people incharge of CBN do realize that certain bigoted remarks can go to far, and that people incharge of CBN do not know how the internet works.

1. President Obama and George Soros planned to nuke 300 million Americans.

According to Jim Garrow, a right wing activist whom now claims to be a former intelligence officer, claimed while on Erik Rush's radio show that President Obama was planning to drop nuclear bombs on the population and was going to kill around 300 million people. This "plot" was stop by three military officers whom he claims were fired because they stopped the President's "evil plot" (turns out they were relieved of duty due to behavior unbecoming of an officer).

The whole conspiracy theory in itself is absurd just on the those claims alone, but it goes even further into the land of bizarreness for the reason why President Obama was planning on doing this: to make George Soros richer via betting against the U.S. Dollar...

So there you have it folks, the ten of what I feel are the most bizarre, absurd, and dumb conspiracy theories of 2013. If you have any conspiracies theories that were created this year and feel they should have been on this list, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

5 Things I've noticed about... Social Media

Social media is probably one of the greatest inventions of the computer age.

It allows people from all over the world to interact with other people that under normal circumstances they would never have had a chance to interact with, and it has become an outlet for many to express either their thoughts or emotions.

Now there are a lot of things that I have noticed about social media (trust me, it's a lot) but I have narrowed to five different things.

So here are five things I've noticed about social media:

5. It's basically blogging.

Probably one of the biggest things that I really have noticed about social media that a lot of people probably overlook (mostly because they don't have a real blog site) is that everything that I can do on social media I can basically do on here. From posting photos and videos, to writing up long, drawn out rants that I hope people would read first in it's entirety before commenting on it, I can just as easily do here as I can on Facebook (only I can be a little more creative here with my posts).

I guess you could say that blogs (especially those that you can comment on and interact with the author) are the first types of social media. Infact some websites that are considered by many to be social media websites are actually blogs. Probably one of the best examples of this is Twitter which many people regard as one of the largest social media websites in the world. Infact it's actually a mirco-blog website in which many people express their thoughts on... 140 characters at a time.

4. They always change stuff.

Probably one of the biggest complaints about social media websites is that every once in a while they will change something about it that some people will complain about, regardless if the change is a good or a bad thing.

Many times these changes are minor, and are often times not that noticeable, and is really nothing to get in an uproar about, but sometimes the changes are major (like a complete redesign of the whole layout of the site's pages) and is something that no one has any say in whether or not they want to keep the old style that they have gotten use to and have modified to their liking.

3. They have a weird way of enforcing they TOS agreements.

Whats easier to get removed from a social media website? A picture that a model has uploaded of themselves in a skimpy bikini that doesn't actually violate the site's TOS agreement, and might be being used for legitimate business purposes, or a rant about Jews that clearly violates that website's rules about hate speech?

If you answered the picture of a model in the skimpy bikini, then you answered correctly.

The fact is that social media websites are probably far more likely to remove content from a user, or punish that user in some other way, for content that would only be offensive only to the most uptight or jealous of individuals and doesn't actually violate the TOS agreement, and doesn't hurt anyone, rather than remove content from someone whom post harmful and/or bigoted content that really does violate the TOS agreement of the website, and could incite a person to commit violence or do something else that is harmful.

Because of social media websites seeming unwillingness to remove content that really is or could be considered harmful or bigoted, and because it's just so easy to create a new account incase a person is kicked off of a social media website...

2. It has become a haven for whack jobs.

Social media is a great place to interact with like minded people who share the same or similar interests as you do. If I want to join a group for Walking Dead fans that's no problem because there are several of them on Facebook. Or if I want to join a group for skeptics, no problem there either. If I want to join a group that promotes conspiracy theories, or alternative medicine, that unfortunately is also no problem because there are a lot of groups like that on Facebook alone.

The fact is that social media has attracted a lot of people who believe in either really strange and/or possibly harmful stuff (i.e. conspiracy theorists, pushers of alternative medicine, bigots) mainly because it's both far easier and cheaper (most often times free) to set up a page on a social media website than it is to completely create your own website. You also have a better chance of reaching more people as well.

Now of all of the different types whack jobs on social media, there is one type of whack job that truly loves it, because...

1. It's become a paradise for stalkers.

Back in the pre-social media days if you wanted to stalk someone you really had to put some effort into it. Now many stalkers don't have to do much of anything inorder to stalk someone. All they have to do is check their victim's social media page and know where they're going or where they are at and really don't have to do much if any investigating inorder to do their stalking. Heck some stalkers don't even do that and stalk people exclusively online.

Social media is such a time saver for stalkers that if they are psychologically capable of it they can actually have a social life while screwing with someone else's life...

All joking aside, stalking is a big problem on social media, and while it is partially because some people put out more information about themselves then what they really should be putting on the internet, the main reason why stalking is such a big problem on social media is because people who stalk via social media do it because it is easy, and because they believe they can get away with it, which is not always the case. Infact some people might stalk a person over the internet and not even realize it. Also many people might get stalked on social media and not even know it.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Could the pyramids be 28 million years old? Answer, no.

Recently I read an article on a website that promotes Ancient Aliens and trying to rewrite history in the strangest way possible about how the Pyramids in Egypt are 28 million years old (read the article here).

Now the article tries to link a comet that allegedly exploded over the region 28 million years with the creation of the pyramids, but really when I tried to read it, it just sounded like a bunch of nonsense. Infact most of it made no sense what so ever and was actually hard to read at points.

At the end of the article it makes it sound like aliens might have built the pyramids due to the sheer fact that humans were not around 28 million years ago (atleast they got the fact that humans weren't around 28 millions years ago right).

So, are the pyramids 28 million years ago?

Not a chance.

First, if these structures were 28 million years old, then the only parts that would be left of them would be the foundations, and what ever was underneath the pyramids. Everything above would have eroded away by now.

Infact many of these pyramids are in various states of erosion due to where they are located and are almost gone. Some of them don't even look like human made structures anymore, and look more like hills or small mountains out in the middle of the desert.

Pyramid of Amenemhat III (Dahshur)

And while others are in far better conditions then the one pictured above, even they are visibly eroding away. One day they will disappear. It might take 10,000 years, or it might take 20,000 years, but they will erode into nothing one day.

Besides all this, if these structures were 28 million years old, they would most likely be in far better condition than what they are today (not only are they suppose to be surviving erosion, but also climate change, continental shift, and a whole lot of other stuff) nor would they have been built out of limestone, or any stone at all.

The article is nothing more than a prime example of what pseudoscience, and is nothing than a bunch of nonsense that tries to make it sound like aliens built the pyramids, and that they are far older than what they are when say a person with even a junior high school level of science education could debunk this.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Did we come from another planet? No.

Recently I forced myself to read an article about certain claims by made by one Dr. Ellis Silver, an ecologist, about how humans came from another planet (read the article here). Now most people would think that any proof that we do not come from this planet would be in our DNA (and I'll get to that later) but the article doesn't even make mention that. Infact it claims because of certain aliments that humans tend to have that there is only one logical conclusion as to why we have them: We came from another world.

One of the first claims made by Dr. Silver is that a lot of us have bad backs, and because of this he believes that humans must have evolve in a lower gravity environment then that of Earth's.

Even if this was true that we did evolve in a lower gravity environment than that of Earth's it wouldn't be the cause of our bad backs. Eventually our bodies would adapt over a few generations to Earth's gravity, and this guy is suggesting that we have been here for tens of thousands of years (actually between 60,000 to 200,000). This is more than enough time for our bodies to have adapted to Earth's gravity.

Now the real reason for our bad backs isn't because of the gravity, it's actually a number of different things. It can be from placing to much stress on our backs (which other species do not do unless we make them) or injury, or sitting in a chair wrong for to long of a period of time, or being overweight, or a lack of exercise, or lifting up heavy objects in an improper manner. I'm not sure if Dr. Silver ignored these facts or not, but the sheer fact that some humans have back issues is not evidence that humans are from another world.

The second claim made for why humans are from another planet is because it can be difficult for women to give birth due to the size of a baby's head, and that it can result in fatalities for both the mother and infant. He also claims that no other species on this planet has that problem.

This claim is just weird and flawed on several levels. First we are not the only species that has big heads when we are born. Infact many species of primates have big heads when they are born, as do many other species, and do experience complications from childbirth which can result in the deaths of both the mother and child.

Also, if it is true that having a big head when we are born which makes it difficult for a woman to give birth meant that we didn't come from this planet, then why would we have evolved this trait on another planet also? We shouldn't have, and therefore we shouldn't even exist...

Just because we are born with big heads does not mean we did not come from this planet.

The third claim made for the believed reason why humans cannot have come from this planet is because we cannot stay in the sun for long periods of time, unlike lizards.

Well, we're not lizards, which are cold blooded and actually need the heat from the sun inorder to function. We're warm blooded, as are all other mammals, and do not require as much exposure to sun as a lizard does. Infact many mammal species are even less tolerant of the sun than we are, and either spend a lot of time in shaded areas, or are nocturnal and live underground, or in trees and bushes until night time.

Dr. Silver is also suggesting that because we can be harmed by the sun (i.e. get sunburned) that we must have come from another planet.

Actually the reason why we get sunburned isn't because we evolved on another planet, it's because we have a lot of exposed skin. Most other mammals have thick hair (i.e. fur) that protects their skin from direct exposure from the sunlight. Infact we're not the only mammals that have a problem with getting sunburn. Pigs for example are very well known for getting sunburned, which is why they tend to roll around in mud. It's not because they like it, it's so they don't get sunburned.

Now the forth claim that is made is that we have a strong dislike of naturally occurring foods, and for this reason we're probably not from this planet.

This is completely bogus. A lot of people love naturally occurring foods, which is why we still have people who hunt and fish, or go into the woods looking for wild fruits and nuts and plants and berries to eat. The reason why some people don't like natural or wild foods is because their taste buds are not use to them, but given time a person will get use to it and even like natural foods (especially if that's all they have to eat).

The fifth claim made (at this point in time I'm trying not to tear my hair out of my scalp do to the sheer ridiculousness of this) is that because we have high rates of chronic disease (that's a matter of opinion) is that we may have evolved to expect 25 hour days (i.e. we evolved on a planet that has a 25 hour a day rotation) and therefore we might not get enough sleep.

Evolving on a planet that has only a 25 hour day would not have been a big deal to us. It's only a one hour difference, plus, if what Dr. Silver is suggests is true and we did come here tens of thousands of years ago, we would have adjusted to a 24 hour a day cycle a long time ago.

The real reason why we are prone to chronic diseases has nothing to do with being from a planet that has a 25 hour day, but has everything to do with our habits, our diet, our genetics, and yes, even a lack of sleep. Also we're not the only species on this planet that suffers from chronic diseases. Infact I'm not even sure if there are other species on this planet that do not suffer from some chronic diseases.

Now Dr. Silver also suggests that when we allegedly came here that we crossbred with other hominids, such as homo erectus.

Besides the genetic improbability that it should be impossible for two different species that have evolved from two completely different genetic lines and have no common ancestors what so ever to be able to crossbred, why would a species that is advanced enough to get from one star system to another even want to crossbred with a species that is barely advanced enough to make crude stone and stick tools?

It should also be noted that he suggests that we came here (apparently from Alpha Centauri, according to his suggestions) as fully evolved homo sapiens. But if this is true, then why would he have suggested that we crossbred with homo erectus? If we came here the way we are today then we shouldn't have any genetic connections with homo erectus, which infact we do.

Did we come here and crossbred with another species to create our modern species, or did we come here the way we are? You can't have it both ways.

Even if we did crossbred with another species it would show in our genetic makeup and our DNA that we are not from this planet. Infact on a genetic level we are closely related to every other species on this planet. We actually share about 99.6% of our DNA with chimpanzees and bonobos. It shouldn't be anywhere near that if we came from another planet, even if we did crossbred with a native species.

Another suggestion that Dr. Silver makes as to why we must have come from another planet is because many people do not feel that they belong on or are at home on the Earth.

This doesn't mean anything really. There are a lot of different reasons why a person might not feel like they belong on this planet. It could be because they want to explore, or they may just have a bad life and feel that they are not meant for the world.

In conclusion these claims by Dr. Silver are just flawed beyond compare, and are easily disproven. His book about this is not going to create debate as he believes. At best it will be used as an example of bad science.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Death of Sylvia Browne

Yesterday one of the world's most famous fake psychics (I know, that's redundant) died.

Sylvia Browne, who had made many appearances on TV (most notably The Montel Williams Show and Larry King Live) died yesterday at the age of 77 (she had predicted should would die at age 88).

Now being a skeptic and someone whom believes that all psychics are frauds (apart form those that are mentally ill and really do believe that they have psychic powers) many people might assume that I am rejoicing, and perhaps even celebrating her death (especially those who believe that people can have psychic powers, or just people who don't like skeptics).

To be quiet honest I'm not sure how I should feel about her death, because there are just so many feelings I have about it that I can't seem to focus on one to just go with.

On the one hand I am sort of glad that she's gone because now she can no longer hurt people and mess with their emotions with her stage magician like "readings" while at the same time exploiting those people for fame and money.

On the other hand I'm also a bit angry, not only because of her exploitation that she basically got away with up until she died, but also because she would never would come clean about being a fake, despite the numerous failed readings and predictions she has had. Now that she's dead, she never will.

Yet on the other hand I also feel a tad bit sad for her, not only because she died having many people despise her, but also because she is leaving behind family, friends, and fans who all loved her and will miss her greatly, as well as got some inspiration from her.

Yet still I also feel a tad bit ashamed as well for being glad, and anger, and sad that she's gone.

I do infact feel ashamed for being sort of happy that she is gone, because despite the fact that she did exploit people for fame and money, I don't believe she was a truly evil person, plus you really shouldn't be happy that someone has died anyways.

I also feel ashamed for being angry that she's dead, because while she never did stop or ever come clean about her "powers" I also know that she'll never be able to hurt anyone again, and that I should let any anger for her go.

Yet I also feel ashamed for feeling sad about her death because despite the fact that she will be missed by many people, she also hurt a lot of people, and so therefore it might not be appropriate to feel sad about her death.

In the end I think it might be best that the only appropriate emotion to feel about here death is to feel no emotion at all about her death, and to let her fade from memory.

Help stop DMCA abuse and homophobia at the same time

Today I found out that former U.S. Navy chaplain turned far right fundamentalist Christian and notorious homophobic, Gordon "Dr. Chaps" Klingenschmitt, manged to get Right Wing Watch's Youtube account suspended after filing a series of bogus copyright claims (I.E. a DMCA attack) because the page hosted several one to two minute video clips showcasing his blatant bigotry.

This is the second time this has happen in the past two weeks (read about it here, here, here, and here) and despite already having restored it once after RWW filed a counter claim that clearly demonstrated that they do infact have every right to use those video clips under the FAIR USE Act (not to mention the 1st Amendment, which also allows Mr. Klingenschmitt to continue to spread his hate speech, as well as allows me and RWW to call it hate speech), Youtube decided to side with "Dr. Chaps" and took down the page again.

Youtube is ofcourse notorious for taking down both videos and entire pages after someone files a false DMCA claim, and not even doing any investigation into the claim to see if there is any validity to the claim (as is the case here). The way that Youtube handles these DMCA claims basically allows most people to get away with suppressing information about a group, or a single person, or themselves, that puts them in a bad light (again, as in the case here). That, or it's used as a form of information gathering because Youtube requires a user to send a certain amount of personnel information that would be made available to the person filing the DMCA claim to begin the counter claim process.

This type of abusive behavior needs to stopped, and it can be stopped, and here are a couple of ways you can do that:

First, you can go to Youtube's Twitter page and tell them to restore Right Wing Watch's account and to revise there takedown policy to keep abuse like this from happening (go here to ask them).

Second (and the one that I most recommend), you can sign a petition started by Right Wing Watch and it's parent group, People For the American Way, asking Youtube to restore RWW's account, and to stop abuse of it's own takedown policies (go here to sign the petition).

This in my opinion is just another example of why the DMCA needs either a heavy overhaul, or needs to be repelled entirely and replaced with something much better, and also what lengths that a homophobic bigot will go to (or really anyone with a extremist and/or harmful agenda) inorder to suppress criticism not only of themselves, but also what they claim to believe in.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Frankenbull: GMOs run amuck, or a deception of the Anti-GMO movement

Recently I saw an article on a conspiracy theorist website concerning what they claimed was a genetically modified bull called the Belgian Blue (read the article here).

As you can clearly see that is one right big bull (although most bovine species do tend to be big creatures) and looks like a result direct genetic manipulation. Also, the way the article is worded (and the fact that the title of the article is "FRANKENBULL: GIGANTIC GMO BULLS Are Now A REALITY") makes it sound like the species was only recently developed, and that is was the result of direct genetic manipulation. This is not true for either one.

While the species is the result of a kind of genetic manipulation, it is not however the result direct genetic manipulation (which involves directly manipulating a life form's DNA) but instead indirect genetic manipulation through the use of selective breeding.

Infact the breed itself was first identified in the early 19th century, and the modern beef breed was developed in the 1950's through the use of artificial insemination. So it is not a new breed, and was not developed by messing with it's DNA (which is technology that scientists did not have back then). The article ofcourse doesn't mention any of this.

Heck, one of the photos in the article is also clearly not a modern photo either, and appears to be from atleast from either the 50's or the 60's:

Now by the standards of the Anti-GMO movement this freakish looking bovine is not a GMO animal because it's genetic manipulation is not the result of manipulating it's DNA, but the result of genetic manipulation through selective breeding (which almost all other species of domesticated plants and animals that are used for food are the result of in one form or another) and by their standards is okay to eat (which apparently it is).

The article is clearly being deceptive, and was only posted inorder to scare people away from GMO foods by making it appear that if scientists are willing to create something like that through direct genetic manipulation, then who knows what they are willing and able to do with the rest of our food. Infact you'd pretty much have live off the land and eat nothing but wild plants and animals inorder to have a diet that consisted of no foods that are the result of genetic manipulation of one form or another.

If the anti-GMO movement is so blatantly willing to lie about something like this that was so easy to find the truth about and debunk, then who knows what else they're willing to lie about inorder to make GMO foods look dangerous?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Of Elves, Abductions, and fake News Stories

The other day I came across this very strange "news" story on an blog that's been going around the internet about a Danish anthropologist by the name of Kalena Søndergaard, whom had apparently been abducted and held for seven years in Iceland.

Now normally this would be a tragic and horrible story, except the strange fact that (at least according to author of the story, C. Michael Forsyth) her abductors were elves (read the story here).

That's right, I said elves.

Obviously I'm skeptical of the story, and for good reason (mostly being that it is ridiculous as hell, and that the story itself written by a horror fiction writer).

Besides the obvious fact that the story was written by a horror fiction writer, and that it just sounds fake, the story itself has no links or references what so ever to show to show that this woman had ever been listed as missing, a major red flag telling that it was fake.

Infact when I did a Google search on her the only thing I could find out about Kalena were just copied and pasted portions of the story (or the whole story in itself) written by C. Michael Forsyth.

The second red flag that shot up for me was the fact that in the story there was information in there about the Homo floresiensis, a diminutive hominid that was very closely related to modern humans, and according to the story was a major part of the woman's doctoral thesis... about elves and how they might exist.

While I found the information to be interesting, the fact is that it had nothing to do with the story, and seemed to have been added in to attempt to prove that elves exist, or atleast give the possibility that elves exist more credibility.

The third red flag that shot up for me was the photos.

First the two photos showing a naked woman trapped on a cliff. I'm not sure whom that woman is, but I can tell you these two things about those photos: they are not of Kalena Søndergaard, and they weren't taken in Iceland. Infact they are of a nude sunbather who got trapped on a cliff while trying to get to Black's Beach in San Diego, California. The story itself is 2 1/2 years old and has nothing to do with Kalena (read story here).

The third photo of whom is suppose to be her shows a head shot of "Kalena" taken some time before here abduction. Now I'm not sure who that woman is either, but I can tell you one thing about her: She is not Kalena Søndergaard!

Again I did a Google search on the image found it to have no relation to Kalena except to the original story written by Mr. Forsyth. Infact the photo appears to be a stock photo as I have found this photo in numerous other websites that make no mention of Kalena, including Russian bride sites...

Now if the things that I mentioned above don't scream that this story is fake, the final piece of evidence does, and that is immediately after the end of the story there is an advertisement for the latest horror novel written by Mr. Forsyth. Not only is that very odd to me, it also seems very unethical as well to do something like that when concerning something as serious as this, and that the only type of person whom would do something like that is someone whom didn't take the story seriously.

Considering all the evidence here, and the fact that Mr. Forsyth is a fiction writer, I can only come to one conclusion: The story is completely fake.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

5 Things I've noticed about... AIDS Denialism

AIDS Denialism.

Despite all the we know about HIV and AIDS from the many years of research into it in hopes of one day finding a cure for it, there are still people out there who do not believe that HIV causes AIDS, or that it even exists.

There are a lot of things I have noticed about AIDS Denialism (and none of them are are positive, pun not intended) but I have narrowed it down to five different things.

So here are five things I've noticed about AIDS Denialism:

5. It's a very dangerous and deadly form of Pseudoscience/Alternative medicine.

Of all the different types of pseudoscience and alternative medicine out there, AIDS denialism is one of the most deadly types of pseudoscience and alternative medicine there is.

HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is a very deadly disease, and if left untreated it can kill someone within a few years of being infected (this does vary from person to person), and will kill 100% of the time.

AIDS denialists deny that AIDS even exists, or that at least HIV doesn't cause AIDS, and encourage people not to take any medication after they've been diagnosed with HIV.

This is why AIDS denialism is considered to be so deadly. Because they are denying that HIV is dangerous, and that AIDS doesn't even exist, AIDS denialists are basically encouraging those who have been infected to shorten their lives.

In fact many people consider AIDS denialism to be the second most dangerous form of alternative medicine and pseudoscience there is. Only the anti-vaccination movement is considered to be more dangerous, and that's only because a lot of the diseases that vaccines are meant to prevent are a lot easier to get than HIV (although many of the diseases that are prevented via vaccines are usually not as deadly as HIV is).

4. It denies over three decades worth of research into HIV.

We know a lot about HIV and AIDS. We know how it's transmitted from one person to another. We know how easy it is to prevent getting it. We know the average life expectancy of a person after they have contracted HIV, and we have known all of this for almost 30 years now.

Also, through the decades of scientific and medical research, we have developed medicines that can drastically extend the life expectancy of a person who has HIV by years, even decades, and even reduce the chance of a pregnant woman with HIV transmitting the virus to her unborn child to almost 0%. There are people who are alive today who were diagnosed with HIV back in the 1990's who wouldn't be alive today without all of this research (which has gone into the billions of dollars worth).

AIDS denialist just look at all of the research and all that we know about HIV and AIDS and says nope, it's all fake...

3. It's self destructive.

It shouldn't be surprising to to many people but many AIDS denialists have also been diagnosed with HIV, and also not surprising many of them have died as a result of complications due to AIDS. A recent example of this would be former professional boxer Tommy Morrison, whom's death was clearly a result of complications due to AIDS (although AIDS denialists will say otherwise).

Another example of AIDS denialists self destructiveness would be the magazine Continuum, which was run by AIDS denialists who had also all been diagnosed with HIV. The magazine shutdown in early 2001 due to all of the magazine's editors dying of AIDS...

To put it to a point, if you have HIV, but don't believe it's going to kill you, you're sentencing yourself to an early grave. And not only is it self destructive, also...

2. It encourages dangerous behavior.

Besides just being self destructive and outright deadly, AIDS denialism also encourages dangerous behavior as well, either indirectly, or directly.

AIDS denialism indirectly encourages dangerous behavior by making it seem okay for a person whom has HIV to continue to engage in whatever lifestyle that they were engaged in that caused them to contract HIV in the first place. Or they may feel that it is okay to continue to have unprotected sex because if they believe that HIV isn't deadly then there isn't any reason for them in their minds to use protection, or even tell a sex partner that they have HIV.

AIDS denialism also directly encourages dangerous behavior by making it appear that because HIV is allegedly not deadly that people don't need to take any drugs that can hold HIV at bay, or even get tested for HIV if you believe you may have contracted it. Infact many AIDS denialists say that you shouldn't take any of the drugs that hold HIV at bay, and that the drugs are what make you sick, and that there is some kind of conspiracy by pharmaceutical companies to keep the "truth" about HIV hidden so that they can keep selling these drugs to people with HIV.

1. AIDS denialists use one small fact about HIV to try to back up there claims.

While everything that AIDS denialists claim have been completely discredited and debunked for years now, they do use one small fact about HIV that AIDS denialist do use that is actually true: HIV in itself is not a deadly disease and has never directly killed someone. What they tend to ignore is that HIV is an indirectly deadly disease because it destroys a person's immune system and causes other diseases which would normally not do anything to someone to kill that person.

This is somewhat similar to person dying in a car wreck. While the injuries they may have gotten from the car wreck is what ultimately killed them, the car wreak itself is what caused the injuries that killed that person. Same thing with HIV. While other diseases in a person that has HIV were the actual cause of a person's death, HIV is the cause of that person's immune system being destroyed which allowed those viruses to kill that person. This is why when someone dies in a car wreck, or dies as a result of HIV, it's not listed as cause of death being due to a car wreck or HIV, but instead it is listed as being whatever injury or disease as being the directed cause of what killed that person.

Just because HIV isn't listed as a direct cause of death doesn't mean that it isn't the cause of someone's death.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

9 Reasons why people use Alternative Medicine

Why do some people continue to used alternative medicine?

Despite all the information there is about alternative medicine and how not only does it not work, but that infact it can even be harmful, people still use it and believe that it really does work.

So why is it that people still use alternative medicine? Well, I've been thinking about that, and I've come up with quite a few reasons why:


Science based medicine is an incredible thing and can cure many diseases and fix a lot of things that can go wrong with the human body, but unfortunately it can't cure every disease, or fix everything that goes wrong with our bodies (not yet atleast). So when science based medicine can't fix or cure what ever is wrong with us (or atleast not doing so in a way that is fast enough for us) some people, even rational people, might become desperate enough to use alternative medicine.

This sort of situation especially happens when someone has a terminal disease and they are told by their doctor that there is nothing they can do to cure what ever it is that is killing them. Some people will not accept this and will seek out anything that is claimed to be able to cure them (even if all the evidence says otherwise).

They think it's cheaper

Because alternative medicine isn't manufactured by the pharmaceutical companies (who are for profit businesses) it is assumed by some people that alternative medicine must be cheaper than science based medicine because they believe that the people who are manufacturing these alternative medical products are not doing it for a profit, plus when a person is told about a product that is suppose to be cheaper and work better than the conventional product, people tend to buy the supposedly cheaper product.

Now if you seriously believe that alternative medicine is cheaper than science based medicine, and that people who make these alternative medical products are not doing so for a profit, then I know a Nigerian prince that wants to give you $15,000,000.

A friend told them it works

Probably the best form of advertising there is is word of mouth. You don't do have to pay for anything, and people tend to trust the opinion of a friend or family member over a creative ad in a newspaper or a TV commercial. Same thing holds true with alternative medicine.

Lets say you've been sick for a while and you have been taking some medicine for what ever has been ailing you, but so far it has had little to no affect. You tell a friend or a family member about your health issues and they might recommend that you take some herbs, or to go see this "doctor" that they recommend (who turns out to be an alternative medicine practitioner and not a real doctor) because they claim that it helped them, or it helped someone they know. Because you trust the person whom is recommending this "doctor" or this product, you might be more willing to see this "doctor" or try this product than you would if some stranger had told you.

Science based medicine can be harsh

Science based medicine (or modern medicine, or real medicine as some people like to call it) is a great thing. It has cured a lot of stuff, and has extended our average life expectancy by years, but it can also be pretty harsh at times as well. Because of this some people might either choose to stop using a science based medical treatment because they feel that it has become to harsh on them and that they believe that it might kill them if they continue to use, and so they decided to use alternative medicine instead because they believe it will help them without any side effects, or they might already know (or atleast believe) that the medical treatment that they've been recommend that they do could or will be harsh on them, and they decide to forgo it and use alternative medicine instead.

It goes with their beliefs

Whether is be religious, or cultural, or even personal, our beliefs in whatever form it may be shapes our thinking and what we do and what we trust, and if there is something about an alternative medicine that appeals to a person's beliefs, or if there is something about science based medicine that person considers taboo, the person might be far more willing to use alternative medicine even when it clearly doesn't work and that science based medicine clearly does work.

They believe that science based medicine is dangerous

Some people might chose to use alternative medicine rather than science based medicine not simply because they believe it is better than science based medicine, but because they believe that science based medicine is actually dangerous.

It shouldn't be to surprising that many supporters of alternative medicine also tend to be conspiracy theorists who believe that pharmaceutical companies are greedy and are only putting out products to make money without care of whether or not a product is dangerous, or intentionally putting out a product that will make us sick so that they can make more money off of us that way, or are part of some "New World Order" and are putting out dangerous products as a way to either control us or slowly kill us.

It should also not be surprising that many people who believe such conspiracy theories also believe that pharmaceutical companies are also trying to suppress information about alternative medicine, and are even going so far as to try to outlaw alternative medicine. Because of this belief it can make many people believe that alternative medicine is not only the right choice, but the only choice.

They used alternative medicine before and believed that it worked

One of the main reasons why some people use alternative medicine is because they already used it before for something else and as far as they are concerned it worked.

Now the two biggest reasons why someone might think that alternative medicine actually works after they already used it and it appeared to cure what ever was ailing them is either because they took it along with the real science based medicine and they simply assumed that the alternative medicine either helped cure them, or was what really cured them. Or they might not have used any science based medicine and that their body simply healed itself, but because that they used alternative medicine they assume that it was the alternative medicine that healed them and not their own bodies.

Because some people who have taken alternative medicine and believe that it really did work they might forgo using any science based medicine and use only alternative medicine, or atleast continue to use it along with science based medicine.

They read information about it that makes them think it works

There are a lot of websites and books out there about alternative medicine and it's alleged "benefits". Many of these books and websites contain "information" mostly in the form of positive stories about alternative medicine and how it's "helped" certain people by telling you their stories of how it's supposedly cured them while at the the same time bad mouthing science based medicine by claiming it wasn't working, or that it was killing the person, or by putting in information that makes science based medicine look harmful, or just insert a bunch of pharmaceutical industry conspiracy theories.

Sometimes these books and websites will take it a step further and have a real doctor claim that some kind of alternative medicine really works, or perhaps the book was written by a real doctor, or the website is run by a real doctor, and because something is written or run by a real doctor, it might cause some people to believe that there is something to this alternative medicine.

They got scammed into it.

Despite all that we've learned from snake oil salesmen of the 19th century, people still get scammed by con-artists and quacks who get people to buy useless products because they have been lead to believe that said product works and will cure what ever is ailing them when all it is is really junk.

Be either through an ad on the internet, or directly from the mouth of the person selling what ever they are selling, people to this day still get suckered into buying stuff that does not work. The fact that alternative medicine even exists today and that there are companies that manufacture and make billions off of this stuff is proof of that.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The big winner in the VA. Governor's race: Reason

Yesterday during the Virginia elections of 2013 there were many winners last night, the two biggest being Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam, both Democrats who won their bids for Governor and Lt. Governor, respectively. On the other hand the two biggest losers yesterday were Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson, both Republicans who lost their bids for Governor and Lt. Governor, respectively (the Attorney General's race is still to close to call at this point). But the biggest winner of this election didn't even run at all, and isn't even a person, but a philosophical ideal: reason.

With this victory over both Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson, Virginia voters have basically reject both men's extremist views and their blatant disregard of the law, civil liberties, and science when it suits them.

Both Cuccinelli and Jackson are notorious homophobics, and have made it very clear that they believe that homosexuality is wrong, and Cuccinelli even attempted to get U.S. Supreme Court to overturn it's own ruling that declared that archaic sodomy laws were unconstitutional, probably so he could have a legal way to prosecute homosexuals. He also wanted state colleges and universities to stop including sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or like classification from their nondiscrimination policies.

Cuccinelli is also a climate change denier, and not only attempted to sue the EPA over it's findings of greenhouse gases being a danger to public health, and the federal standards for fuel efficiency for cars and trucks under the Clean Air Act, he even pretty much tried to use his own office to harass climate scientist Michael E. Mann, using the dubious claims that Dr. Mann had possibly violated state fraud laws in relation to five research grants by allegedly manipulating climate change data. Fortunately Cuccinelli lost in his attempts to prosecute Dr. Mann.

Cuccinelli is also extremely anti-abortion, and sponsored numerous bills to try to "discourage" women from having an abortion (aka try to intimidate women into not having an abortion), but also tried to alter licensing and regulations of abortion clinics in the state of Virginia in a blatant attempt to shut them down. Heck, he even tried to ban birth control (which actually would have cut down on the number of abortions in Virginia).

There are ofcourse numerous other reasons why it was a good thing that Cuccinelli and Jackson did not win yesterday, and while McAuliffe and Northam were the winners, the big winners were science, tolerance, equality, civil rights, women's right, the poor, the environment, and ultimately reason and everyone in Virginia.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

5 Things I've noticed about... Zombies

Well it's Halloween time and so I decided to do something special and talk about a monster that everyone seems to like these days: Zombies!!!

Zombies are ofcourse the reanimated corpses of people who's only goal in their new life is to eat other people (preferably living).

Now there are lots of things that I (and I'm sure many others) have noticed about zombies, but I've narrowed it down to five different things.

So here are five things I've noticed about zombies:

5. They're hard to kill.

(Author's note: before anyone says it, yes I know zombies are technically dead, but because saying that you're killing them is the simplest term I can come up with when it concerns taking one out, I've decided to use that.)

Thanks to movies and television shows many people have been led to believe that zombies are easy to kill, what with many screens of only a few people taking on huge hordes of the undead, I would believe that too. The problem with this is that this is unrealistic (besides the fighting zombies part) and it would actually be pretty difficult to kill a zombie.

I'm sure that everyone knows that you have to destroy a zombie's brain inorder to kill it (you can cut a zombie's head and the head will still be alive) but this is not as easy as it sounds because the brain is actually a pretty small target. For most people they would have to get pretty close to someone if they are shooting them inorder to hit their brain, especially if you're using a pistol or even a shotgun, and if you have a melee weapon, you have to get up close regardless.

Now some people might think that it is okay to fight up close against a zombies because that is how it is often depicted in movies and TV, but infact...

4. People fight them the wrong way.

I know that in movies and on TV that often times battles with zombies are depicted as being up close and personal type of combat, and if you were to fight one or two of them up close there wouldn't be any problems, but if you were to fight an entire zombie horde... you're zombie food, because while you might be able to take a lot of them out, unless you can escape as quickly as possible, the zombies will overwhelm you and eat you!

The best way (and safest) to fight zombies is from a distance with a rifle, which is more accurate and has a greater range than a shotgun or a pistol.

Also, being up high (like in a tree) helps as well, just be sure you have a way to escape quickly incase a zombie horde is coming and you have to get out of there.

3. The supernatural explanation for them makes more sense than the viral explanation.

In almost all modern versions of zombies they are most often depicted as becoming member of the undead via a virus of some type, and while this make seem like a rational and logical explanation for why a zombie would exist in the first place, really the old traditional way that a corpse reanimates itself, via voodoo magic, makes more logical sense if you think about it.

Once a body is dead, it is dead, and short of a miracle or some break through in science, there is no way to bring it back to life, especially with a virus. A virus might stay in a dead body for a while, but eventually it to will die. Viruses and human bodies simply don't work the way they are depicted in zombie movies and TV shows, and despite sounding logical, it really isn't.

Magic on the other hand would make more of a logical sense of how a zombie comes to be, because magic tends to ignore those annoying little things like "science" and "biology" that would much make the possibly of zombies becoming real via a virus all but impossible.

2. Hollywood tries to make their existence logical.

While zombies have in the recent years have been depicted in many good (and bad) horror movies and TV shows, Hollywood also tries to make a rational, logical, and science based explanation for the existence of zombies, usually as a result of a virus reanimating a corpse, and as I said above, while this may sound plausible, it is almost certainly impossible.

Ofcourse Hollywood being Hollywood has found a way around this by creating zombies that were never dead, but infact is a person whom was infected by a virus that makes them act like zombie.

Despite how far more logical this is than a virus bringing a corpse back to life (kind of) or magic, the person is not really a zombie because they are not dead, they're just someone whom was infected with a virus that made them become insanely violent.

1. They turn people into psychopaths.

While many people might believe that a zombie apocalypse would be fun, the fact remains is that any apocalypse (including one involving zombies) would still be extremely dangerous, and you're still killing people (I know they're already dead and are trying to eat you, but still...). I don't see how anyone could possibly considered that to be fun... unless you're a psychopath.

Now I'm not saying that everyone who wonders or even believes that they would enjoy a zombie apocalypse is psychopath, I'm just saying that if you really do want one, or if you truly believe that it would be fun shooting walking corpses, you should probably have head examined.

Sure, it might seem fun in video games and movies, but really, who other than a psychopath would seriously enjoy shooting people in the head, or taking a chainsaw to them?