Sunday, February 28, 2010

It's In There

"That is when she saw it, the image of a man with long hair and a beard in the leftover sauce."

So here we go again, simple pareidolia is seen as a sign by the faithful.

This time, the long-haired, beared man has chosen to appear in a West Scranton Pizzeria shop who to their benefit is now receiving free advertising. (Not to say the discoverers of the visage necessarily have ulterior motives.)

"Maryann Marsico, who works at Brownie's, said even an atheist would find it unmistakable." Of course the long-haired, beared man could have been Charles Manson, Zeus or even Mohammad. Whatever you want to see, it's in there.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What is Drinking Skeptically?


In November 2008, The Cleveland Skeptics joined the national Drinking Skeptically network. Drinking Skeptically is, "an informal social event designed to promote fellowship and networking among skeptics, critical-thinkers, and like-minded individuals."

Some Cleveland Skeptics meetings are lectures, activities, or  meals out without alcohol, but Drinking Skeptically is a more casual monthly get together where drinkers and non-drinkers alike can kick back at the bar and feel free to have a drink or two. But you do not have to drink and in fact, usually only about half of attendees actually drink.

We host Drinking Skeptically usually on the last Saturday of the month. We have members from all over so we try to mix up the locations, but because there are a lot of beer appreciators in the group, we will favor those with the best beer selection. Suggestions are very welcome; send us an email at the address in the footer.

Please don't feel you have to be a drinker to join us, and those of us who do drink, please drink responsibly.

RSVP for a Drinking Skeptically today!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Holy Crap!

Holy Crap! And I do mean Holy. And I do mean crap. Through Skepchick.org I learned of a new show called, "Possessed" staring Reverend Bob Larson, a new reality show in which the good Reverend travels the country exorcising demons from the supposedly possessed. Apparently this is not the first time Bob had dabbled in the entertainment world. I remembered a clip fellow Cleveland Skeptic blogger once sent me in which Bob Larson and Joe Nickell go head to head about a show called, "The Real Exorcist" (see below).

Reverend Larson claims that these people are "troubled souls" who are "emotionally fragile" so he must be careful not to psychologically damage them. Although Reverend Larson may truly believe that he is helping these people, how is it not hurting these people with serious problems by not only distracting them from a real solution but by doing it on camera for the world's amusement?

Furthermore, how many of the "possessed" are just taking Larson for a ride? From his testimonials page is a letter that reads:
My life is a living hell. I practice the occult every night with Lucifer. I signed a pact in my blood and buried it with real human bones. My fingers make the shape of claws. I wake up at night growling. I throw up if I go to church. PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!
Lori

Lastly, is Larson taking his followers for a ride as well? He offers dozens of books, pamplets and DVDs for sale in which one can find out if one is possessed or cursed and how to take part in "spiritual warfare."

Be sure to check out all of the links above and browse his site. It is really amazing. It offers such goodies as the "Demon" test on which I fortunately scored at low risk for demon possession. (Whew! I was worried there for a moment!).







Edited to Add: I found this youtube video in which a local newschannel tries to expose Bob Larson's finances, although it is unclear what the truth is and the amounts of money involved are not that big.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Myths of the Revolutionary War

Skeptics often focus on the natural sciences. Well here is an interesting article about some myths of history in Smithsonian found via www.fark.com.