Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Join the Cleveland Stop on the Paranormal Road Trip!

Saturday, October 20th at 8PM you are invited to join The Cleveland Skeptics while we hang out with Richard Wiseman, Jon Ronson and Rebecca Watson as a part of their Paranormal Road Trip! We are honored and excited to be hosting Richard, Jon and Rebecca as a stop on their road trip down to the CSICon in Nashville, TN. While on the road, they will be going on skeptical investigations of spooky (and spurious?) things perfect for a trip in October. The Cleveland Skeptics is hoping to meet some new area skeptics at this event and introduce you to many of our fantastic members. You do not want to pass this up.

(Text below has been updated 9/29/12)
Please join us at Mavis Winkle's, 5005 Rockside Road  Cleveland, OH 44131 on October 20, 2012 at 8 PM. You must RSVP, please keep reading. Seating is limited so save a spot today! If you are already a Cleveland Skeptics member, please RSVP here. All others, please email theclevelandskeptics at (we use g mail) for further instructions because seating is limited and reservations are filling up fast.  We hope to hear from you!

Jon Ronson is a writer and documentary filmmaker. His books, Them: Adventures with Extremists, The Men Who Stare At Goats, and The Psychopath Test, all internationall best sellers.

Rebecca Watson leads dozens of skeptical writers, artists, and activists on the Skepchick Network. She also cohosts The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast.

Richard Wiseman, PhD, is Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire in the United Kingdom. He is one of Josh's favorite authors having written many books, including 2011’s Paranormality: Why We See What Isn’t There.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Why would someone trap a kitten in cement? Let's DO something.

This story is making the rounds today.

Why would anyone encase a tiny kitten in concrete up to its neck? (WARNING- Link includes upsetting picture/video) Isaac Wyler, who left the Fundamentalist LDS church (of Warren Jeffs fame) 13 years ago thinks he knows. He found the kitten but has been receiving what he perceives as "death threats" involving dead animals for many years since he's left. ENRAGED? You should be. And here's one way to do some good with that rage. Help The Cleveland Skeptics raise $1,000 for homeless and neglected animals. (Update: disturbing images/video have been removed from link.)

Stasy (to honor Isaac's apostacy and bravery in remaining in the area in order to help fellow apostates) was freed from the cement and taken to Best Friend's Animal Society, a wonderful rescue sanctuary in Utah. Although they were not able to save poor Stasy, they are still helping and hope to help, many more animals in need for many years to come. Let's make that happen. Don't let the unreason that led to this innocent death be for nothing. Don't let Stasy be forgotten!
UPDATE: There is now a petition to the Governor of AZ on

Here are some of the kitties they have saved who you'll be helping-
Smokey Bones

We are up to $560! Thank you so much everyone, we can do this!
Update 7/14/12- We are up to $785, just $215 to go!

And of course please spay or neuter your pets and adopt a shelter animal if you can.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What's new with the Cleveland Skeptics?

The last few months have been very busy for TCS. There have been many changes and a lot more activity. You might say we've been, born again. Wait. Let's not.

First, we have a new slogan:
The Cleveland Skeptics
Cleveland's Candle in the Dark

Expect new buttons in the weeks to come. They will be freely distributed at our events to spread the word.

Next, we have a new twitter account @CLEskeptics. Once we get a critical mass of members following, we may start using this to send event related alerts such as, warning, traffic jam, avoid intersection of Mayhem Blvd. and Angry Ave. This is also linked to our Facebook fan page so that things we post on the fan page pop up in the twitter feed.

Finally, the most important change has been a wider variety of more frequent and fun events. We've been doing more purely social activities such as Bowling for Reason (which will be semi-regular), movie nights, hikes, and as always since 2008, the ever popular Drinking Skeptically. In fact, as of this Saturday, we will have had 20 events in the last four months! A little something for everyone.  Other highlights include a trip to the first Mormon temple built by Joseph Smith, a lecture by Peter Salk about his father's legacy, The Mythical Creatures exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and our 4 year anniversary. In the months to come, James and Michael will be hosting regular Gaming Nights for us to exercise our brains, make friends and have fun.

Lastly, the most important thing to celebrate is our wonderful members and their ongoing contributions to the mailing list, Facebook page and of course, our events. You are an ever intellectually challenging, fun, creative and wonderful group. As Josh loves to say, "Stay Skeptical!"

Friday, March 16, 2012

Psychic Predictions 2011: Update

It's time to take a look at our psychic predictions for the year 2011. We'll take a look at what the hits and partial hits were for 2011.

Ginger had several predictions that were hits and partial hits. Although, our standards for what qualifies as a "hit" is different from that of the psychics and their proponents.

Ginger's first prediction was, "There will be a major internet outage through much of the US." Little did Ginger know that 2011 would have headlines like:

Web chaos as Amazon cloud failure crashes major websites...

Amazon EC2 outage downs Reddit, Quora

Millions of internet users hit by massive Sony PlayStation data theft

Also, we should not forget when there was a PlayStation Network outage that left millions of gamers stranded in their parents' basements. This can definitely be considered a hit by "professional" psychic standards.

The next prediction on Ginger's hit-list was, "Jack Lalanne will die of a massive heart attack." While Jack LaLanne did die, he did not die of a heart attack. In fact, LeLanne died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia on January 23, 2011. If we were using strict standards, this would be only a partial hit. Again, we're using "professional" psychic standards. Therefore, this is another hit.

Unfortunately, another one of Ginger's predictions came true. I say unfortunate because it was the prediction that "Christopher Hitchens will pass away, but no death bed conversion." Sadly, Hitchens died on December 15, 2011. This was bad news for the skeptical and secular world at- large, but that means Ginger gets another "hit" for her psychic predictions. That's three hits for Ginger.

Mark T. had his own "hit" with one of his 2011 psychic predictions. Mark predicted "A Republican will say something stupid." All one would really have to do to find proof that this prediction was a "hit" is watch The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Ray and Mary had several predictions that were "hits" for the year 2011. Their first prediction was, "FOX News will produce false-negative reports about the Obama administration." Good for Ray and Mary because their prediction was a "hit", bad for Gretchen Carlson when she claimed that the Obama administration was going to impose a "Christmas tree tax." That's one point for Ray and Mary.

Ray and Mary also got a hit when they predicted, "Extreme weather will occur in the US and the rest of the world. (This has nothing to do with global warming)." As long as they are saying that "this has nothing to do with global warming," this is a hit. You can check out this page from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's website to see that this is definitely a hit.

Ray and Mary's prediction, "Glenn Beck will be involved in a big scandal and fired from FOX," became another hit. In April of 2011 FOX News announced that Beck would, "transition off of his daily program." That's three points for Ray and Mary.

Randy S. had a "hit" of his own when he predicted, "people will begin seeing Michael Jackson in high-end antique stores, or cub scout meetings." While those two specific places were not hit upon in 2011, this can still be considered a hit. There's a website dedicated to Michael Jackson sightings and it does feature "sightings" from 2011. That's one point for Randy S.

Randy P. gets a point for predicting, "A magnitude 8.0+ earthquake will strike Sarah Palin's Alaska." While there was not an earthquake of the magnitude Randy P. predicted, he still gets a point for the 3.9 earthquake that occurred in Anchorage in late December 2011. That's a point for Randy P. He also got a hit with, "The sky will turn dark once in 2011 somewhere on Earth during daylight hours." There was more than one eclipse in 2011 according to NASA. Randy P. had another "hit" when he predicted "The sky will be filled with blazing trails of light on Monday, January 3."

Wendy had a hit when she predicted, "There will be a big earthquake in California." While "big" was not defined or explained, it can still be a hit because of that 4.1 earthquake that occurred January 8, 2011. That's one point for Wendy.

Finally, I myself had a few hits from my 2011 predictions. First, I predicted, "Steve Jobs will come out with a new version of the iPad." This most definitely became a hit when Jobs introduced the world to the iPad 2. Unfortunately, I just happened to miss the whole Steve Jobs dying part of 2011. Oops! I still get a hit and that's one point for me.

My proudest prediction is, "Oprah's new network will fail miserably." It turns out that Oprah had a very disappointing first year of her new OWN TV network. Maybe she'll be able to turn it around...maybe not. That's two points for me.

That does it for our Cleveland Skeptics' Psychic Predictions: 2011 UPDATES. Who knew that even skeptics can be "psychic?" Maybe the James Randi Educational Foundation will reward us the Million Dollar Prize. (Wink, wink),