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The mission of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry is to promote scientific inquiry, critical investigation, and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims. The FDA is giving serious consideration to our petition to require that all over-the-counter homeopathic drugs meet the standards of effectiveness applicable to non-homeopathic drugs. Read the letter from the FDA » Employment Opportunities: The Center for Inquiry is looking for a Web Developer. Read more » November/December 2013

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How to verify photos and videos on social media networks This image was mistakenly broadcast by one of France’s largest TV channels, France 2. The scene was described as having unfolded in Iran, back in December 2009. A cursory glance reveals a range of details that could allow us to verify its authenticity. Are Iranian police shields the same colour as in this image?

News Magnificent desolation There are some questions you don’t ask Buzz Aldrin - clichis he’s heard so often that they set his teeth on edge. Chief among them: How did it feel to walk on the moon? “I try to answer,” he admits wearily. “I say, ‘It felt terrific. Tremendously satisfying. Blog Posts The Problematic Process of Cryptozoologification How did the traditional character of the cannibal ogress Dzunuk’wa come to be claimed by cryptozoologists as a depiction of their hypothesized “Bigfoot” cryptid species? (Kwakwaka’wakw heraldic pole. Carved in 1953 by Mungo Martin, David Martin, and Mildred Hunt. Thunderbird Park at the Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria. Photograph by Daniel Loxton)

Identify a Lie with 6 Simple Questions post written by: Marc Chernoff Email We all fall victim to at least a few lies during the course of our lifetime. Ancient writing system gets Internet update Ancient writing system gets Internet update By Dan Vergano, USA TODAY From the baked-tablet remains of an ancient civilization, scholars are now moving the oldest written language into the 21st century. With recent funding boosts and increased scientific appreciation for the World Wide Web, the 5,200-year-old cuneiform writing system is going online in dictionary, photographic and 3-D forms. Starting around 3200 B.C., the civilizations of Mesopotamia — such famed empires as Babylon and Chaldea, located in present-day Iraq — began making wedge-shaped cuneiform symbols on clay tablets. At first, the symbols were simple pictures representing cattle or other goods involved in transactions.

Critical Analysis of Pop Phenomena There are different ways of learning, but they are not mutually exclusive. Battling and countering myths is, of course, something we skeptics do a lot, especially here at the Skeptoid podcast and blog. But once in a while, some organization outside of the skeptical circle also tackles the topic of countering common myths. No, this time I’m not talking about Playboy, but about the consulting company McKinsey. In their July issue of their McKinsey Quarterly, they critically analyze three myths about learning. As others have said elsewhere (such as Jozef Van Giel, on his Belgian skeptical podcast Kritisch Denken) and as I’ve experienced myself, the workplace and HR are sadly riddled with a lot of myths and woo.

6 Best Fact Checking Websites That Help You Distinguish Between Truth and Rumors The Internet has been called “The Information Super Highway” and rightly so. It’s now the epicenter of breaking news and the free flowing information has brought the world and the people closer and made us aware of other cultures and traditions. But all this comes with a flipside. Phobos Mission International project PHOBOS was devoted to the investigations of Mars and its satellites. Two interplanetary probes were launched in 1988, one of them had reached the Phobos and carried out some experiments before it was lost. The on-board video spectrometric system (VSK) was created by international cooperation of the scientific and industrial facilities from the USSR, Bulgaria and GDR. The system has provided 3 spectral bands TV observations, spectral analysis of the images, and the navigation of the probe to the satellite surface. TV data were processed by the international team, including the USSR, Bulgaria, Germany, Finland, Great Britain and USA scientists. The basic steps of data acquisition and preprocessing were performed in IKI using the image processing computer system, based on PDP11/40 compatible host.

Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors The sharp increase in popularity of social media networks (primarily Facebook) has created a predatory secondary market among online publishers seeking to profitably exploit the large reach of those networks and their huge customer bases by spreading fake news and outlandish rumors. Competition for social media’s large supply of willing eyeballs is fierce, and a number of frequent offenders regularly fabricate salacious and attention-grabbing tales simply to drive traffic (and revenue) to their sites. Facebook has worked at limiting the reach of hoax-purveying sites in their customers’ news feeds, inhibiting (but not eradicating) the spread of fake news stories.

Phobos Rebuttal One THE KING OF ASSYRIA A Rebuttal To The Possible Finding of Phobos or Deimos An answer to Glen Deen's critical review of The Four Horsemen Article by gary d. goodwin & Ray Ward Our recent article on Phobos and the objects now in orbit above the earth, seems to have caused quite a stir. Through a lengthy discussion in that article, we attempted to help our readers understand the strains upon the scientific method, among many other things. 6 Quick Ways to Spot Fake News The spectrum of less-than-credible links posted to social media sites is vast. In addition to deliberately written fake news stories (often somewhat inaccurately tagged as “satire”), the online world abounds with articles that are based on exaggerated, misconstrued, manipulated, misrepresented, or outright deceptive premises. It’s fair to say that the majority of users on social media sites wish to share interesting, funny, compelling, unique, or otherwise discussion-worthy material without having to run full-scale fact checks on everything. It’s also reasonable to observe that every so often, not-so-trustworthy information will sneak into posts despite the best efforts and intentions of social media users.

PLANET X, NIBIRU, 10TH PLANET, SUMERIAN 12TH PLANET, NASA, MARS, EARTH - JASON MARTELL This is an illustration entitled "The Birth of Christ" from a 12th century greek manuscript "The Book of the Evangelists". If you look to the right of the picture there two figures looking up at a semi-circular object with figures inside. The object appears to be shining a beam of light down onto the birth. One of the pair of observers is shielding his eyes, possibly the artist was trying to convey the brightness of the object. The above image comes from an ancient eastern text Prajnâpârâmita - Suna.

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