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Can I claim to be psychic? I predicted this. I wonder what the next fad will be. The latest superfruit fad is Kakadu plums, an exotic fruit from Australia. It is said to be a powerful antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiviral agent with anti-ageing properties. The fruit can be eaten raw, but it is sold in many forms: as a juice; as a powder to be added to smoothies, breakfast cereals, and desserts; and even as face masks and scrubs.
Natural News , one of the most notoriously unreliable sites on the Web, makes these claims for the health benefits of Kakadu plums:. There are lots of Kakadu plum products available on various websites, and they are not cheap.
Here are a few examples:. It contains a lot of vitamin C. So what? Are you deficient in vitamin C? Do you have scurvy? They say the vitamin C improves brain function; which brain functions, exactly, and how do they know?
They say it fortifies the immune system; which of the many functions of the immune system does it fortify, how do they know, and what if your immune system is already overactive from an autoimmune disease? They say it can treat allergies and cancer and prevent premature aging; where is the evidence?
They say it works for constipation and weight loss because it is rich in fiber, but according to one product website, their daily dose contains only 1 percent of the recommended daily amount of fiber. In short, they make a lot of unsubstantiated claims, but there have been no scientific studies suggesting that eating Kakadu plums or products derived from them would have any impact on health.
I see no reason to add superfruits to a diet that is already nutritionally adequate; it would certainly be foolish to eat them and use that as an excuse to skimp on your diet. Just when I thought superfood silliness had reached its peak, NPR announced another new potential superfood: cockroach milk. A researcher in India analyzed it and found that it is one of the most nutritious substances on Earth, rich in fat and protein, contains all the essential amino acids, and is three times richer in calories than buffalo milk.
But the researcher warned that there was no evidence that it is safe for human consumption. The yuck factor might interfere with marketing even if real or fake cockroach milk becomes available. While researching this I learned a new word: katsaridaphobia , fear of cockroaches. When I lived in Florida I got very irritated when one of them ruined a glass of champagne by drowning in it when I left it unattended for a few minutes.
I guess I should at least give them credit for having good taste; I never found one in a glass of water. Cockroach milk? Good grief! How can the superfood marketers ever hope to top that? Never fear! Dream on…. Joe Nickell, PhD and senior research fellow at CSI, has been investigating strange mysteries, miracle claims, the paranormal, and occult activities for close to fifty years.
Most know him for his work as a columnist in the Skeptical Inquirer science magazine and his books, which range from solving historical mysteries and examining questioned documents, to poetry anthologies, to a recipe book for mint juleps, and, of course, the paranormal. One aspect common to his life as well as his work: Joe is a hands-on investigator.
Unlike many investigators of these mysteries, Joe has physically examined crucial evidence firsthand—whether looking at a haunted house in Connecticut, a Bigfoot sighting in Western New York, or the purported diary of Jack the Ripper.
This, and his ability to not dismiss out of hand despite his years of experience, makes him a true investigator. What do you think makes you different from these other investigators? Joe Nickell: I think I bring to my work as an investigator two main motivations. The first stems from curiosity. I want to learn, for example, exactly what are the explanations for the alleged occurrences in a particular case that have prompted some belief. Secondly, I am convinced that a hands-on approach is essential to that end.
It is supposedly still home to a murderous slave named Chloe, who, it is said, sought revenge on her cruel master by poisoning his wife and their two daughters. But I think their lack of curiosity prevents them from seeing the real question: What, in a given instance, causes people to think they are experiencing spirits? The debunkers—with their smarter-than-them attitude—speak only to their fellow doubters. They would apparently rather be right than effective.
How much more likely they would be to convince others of the non-ghost probability if they actually learned the true facts in a case and could therefore teach—perhaps not to die-hard believers but the curious ones who are willing to listen and possibly have their minds changed.
Therefore, I accepted the invitation of the Discovery Channel in to spend a night alone in the old plantation house, and I also investigated the historical facts about the case. Moreover, the three who died at the Myrtles actually succumbed not to poison but to a yellow fever epidemic. The ghostly phenomena also yielded to investigation. For example, I found a loose shutter that could account for some mysterious banging noises at the site.
You revisited these topics recently. Can you tell me about it? Its tale is Hollywoodized from a trilogy by Andrea Perron, the eldest of five daughters of Roger and Caroline Perron, who lived in the eighteenth-century house for a decade, beginning in Although the alleged demonic activity was reported sporadically over the years, the movie sprang exaggerated horrors on a credulous public, yielding a major box-office success.
Meanwhile, Norma Sutcliffe has lived in the house with her husband Gerry for some three decades. Nickell: Norma called me for help, and I set aside a week for a drive to Rhode Island to examine her restored house and property.
Nickell: Well, as it happened, Norma and Gerry also experienced the mysterious cellar door, but on examination they saw the cause: a warped door that kept the latch from fully engaging.
Nighttime cooling of the woodwork and an easily depressed floorboard did the rest. I also learned that Bathsheba Sherman was no witch but a practicing Christian wife and mother. She killed no one, as far as any known records show, and not only never lived in the historic house but did not hang herself in the barn or anywhere else. The Perron case turns out to have been one of hysteria, misperceptions, exaggerations, and falsehoods.
Binga: Regarding the Warrens, I know you have some personal history with them…. The Warrens made something of a career of claiming to see and exorcise demons. I appeared with them on Sally Jesse Raphael for a pre-Halloween promotion of their book, with Allen and Carmen Snedecker, which was the basis for a hit film The Haunting in Connecticut. I found Ed Warren now deceased to be a belligerent and manipulative character who, backstage, swore like a sailor and was given to making veiled threats.
If someone really could come back as a demon, Ed Warren would seem just the type. Lo emite un canal generalista cuya matriz es la reina de lo que se ha dado en llamar telebasura. La estrategia no es nueva.
Porque ellos tienen su bando muy claro. O se juega en su terreno o no se juega. Maria Konnikova has the kind of quietly commanding presence and eloquent speech that makes you want to record her every word and play it back in case you missed something.
Fortunately for me, I got to speak with her in preparation for her upcoming talk at CSICon , so I could, in fact, record her every word. She studied psychology, creative writing, and government at Harvard and earned her PhD in psychology from Columbia.
Her writing largely focuses on psychological issues, including deception. I spoke to Konnikova over the phone, to the occasional tune of New York ambulances on her busy street. Konnikova: As my book, yeah. About the nature of belief and why con artists are so effective.
What it is about us that makes us believe them; what it is about them that makes them do what they do. Which part of the psychology, there, are you more interested in?
It was a very purposeful decision on my part to focus on the victims. It was one of the reasons I wrote the book. I felt like they often get the short end of the deal. That people are so just blown away by these stories of these cons and escapades and tend to look down on the victims. How could you be so stupid? This could never happen to me. Which I think is absolutely not true.
Konnikova: Um, not well. Poppy: Yes. Do you see something that skeptics get wrong? This belief that all you need to do is be cynical and skeptical to avoid being conned.
I think people really have a narrow view of what cons are possible, of what it means to be conned, of what can protect you against being conned. And people get very defensive. And what I say to that, and this is a point that I may or may not make in my actual talk, is that con artists get conned all the time—the best con artists in the world!
Poppy: Are skeptics any better protected than the general public, do you think? Konnikova: Sure, from some cons! So, one of the things I found is that those same things that make you vulnerable to one kind of con are protective against another.
So, for instance, high intelligence is protective against lottery scams, but investment fraud [victims] are much more likely to be highly intelligent and well-educated. And so, what I want to stress—and this is a very central point of my book and my argument, and I borrow it from this guy David Sullivan, who before he died, he was a cult infiltrator.
So, he spent his life going after the most profound con of all.
EL LIBRO DE LOS ANTIGUOS ASTRONAUTAS
La realidad es que los globos tradicionales de gran altitud y los reflectores de radar ya van de la mano. En otras palabras, no estaba haciendo maniobras extremas de rendimiento mientras estaba dentro del alcance visual. En cambio, estaba actuando como, bueno, un globo. En , los submarinos estaban ejecutando operaciones complejas, de alto riesgo y secretas para evaluar las habilidades del aire enemigo. En el impresionante libro Lockheed Blackbird: Beyond the Secret Missions , una de estas misiones se describe con detalles notables y muy relevantes. El resto es historia:.
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Can I claim to be psychic? I predicted this. I wonder what the next fad will be. The latest superfruit fad is Kakadu plums, an exotic fruit from Australia. It is said to be a powerful antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiviral agent with anti-ageing properties.