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We get spam

January 6th, 2011 by

WordPress does a pretty good job of filtering out spam comments. We get lots of them at the BEAST, many of which are pretty funny because they’re awkwardly worded (“I very much enjoy this content, please continue,” etc.). But this one I took note of was weird in both its approach and the actual product/service it was trying to sell. Read More

25 Comments

African-American Jim

January 6th, 2011 by

Twain classic whitewashed by PC thug

asdfsafasfa

One of the literary controversies that’s always left me the most befuddled is the reaction to Mark Twain’s portrayal of racism in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Critics of Twain’s portrayal of racist characters as… well, racist, have for a long time been trying to either censor or water down some of the language used. And now it looks like they have to some extent succeeded. From Reuters: Read More

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5 Psychological Effects Which Cause People to Believe in Nonsense

December 16th, 2010 by

All of us humans are the result of an unconscious biological process called evolution. Based on the conditions at the time, lots of different pressures selected for certain traits. And after those conditions changed – for example most of us don’t need to prioritize escaping from predators on the savannah anymore – all of the selected-for traits remained. We can’t just say, “Hey! Now that we have houses and locked doors and stuff, I don’t need to wake up in the middle of the night whenever there’s a loud noise because chances are very good that it isn’t a fucking tiger here to eat me and dismember my children!”

Nowadays, lots of these psychological traits have become a target for charlatans and frauds out to scheme you out of your time and money. Here are a few of them to bear in mind the next time one of them approaches you. Read More

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Everyone Must Die at Lily Dale

August 29th, 2010 by

Medium burned by poorly-Photoshopped ghost of James Randi

BY JOSH BUNTING


In the mid-19th century, three sisters from a sleepy upstate NY community managed to convince the world that they could communicate with the dead. Late in their lives, two of the Fox sisters demonstrated how they pulled off this fraud (one of them simply cracked the knuckle in her big toe). Unfortunately, their confession wasn’t enough to change the minds of true “spirit world” believers, and the legend continues to the present. So does the tradition of bilking the gullible. Read More

4 Comments

The 5 Worst Quacks Around Today

August 17th, 2010 by
quacks

I’m going to have to limit this list to people who are currently practicing some form of quackery, because if I tried to make a historical list I’d feel compelled to handicap for that person’s period in history. So Isaac Newton, who was literally one of the smartest people ever, believed in alchemy. The great 17th century astronomer Johannes Kepler believed in astrology. Lots of the ancient Greek philosophers believed in demons. Demons that controlled their thoughts. Seriously. But you’ve really got to cut them some slack because of how primitive human understanding was in their times. If you’re living in a technologically advanced society today, as the five below are, you really have no excuse for that kind of ignorance. So to make it a level playing field, here are what I think are the worst purveyors of antiscientific pseudomedicine around today. Read More

16 Comments

The 5 Best Cases of Religious Schadenfreude

August 12th, 2010 by

Schadenfreude isn’t even the best word to describe what you feel when you hear about cases like these. It’s a very specific kind of schadenfreude: one where you know that the subject’s irrational beliefs somehow shaped their own downfall, so that their own life becomes a case study against the very worldview they had adopted. We’re all happy that Hitler killed himself in the end, but how much sweeter would it have been if rumors of him being part Jewish had sent him to his own gas chambers? Clearly, that would have been awesome. So let’s look at some cases like that.

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SECRET PAGE!

April 14th, 2010 by

Hey, you made it. Good job!

You deserve a Wookie:

wookie

Thanks for playing, and donate to Murphy’s campaign.

_______________

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