Monday, March 10, 2014

Around the ‘Net

One of the most informative sites on the ‘net is Skeptoid, created and hosted by Brian Dunning. I have a deep and abiding interest in “weird phenomena” investigation, and Brian is one of the finest experts in the business. Each week, he does a short podcast about unexplained phenomena or a famous urban legend. He investigates each subject as scientifically as possible and forms intelligent, rational explanations for some of the stories we’ve all heard. Particular favorites include Nostradamus (#66), ghost hunting (#81 and many others), Pope Joan (#353), 9-11 Truthers (#85), UFOs (#94 and many others), the Mothman (#159) and Astrology (#173). The Kelly-Hopkinsville Encounter (#331) is a particular favorite, since it takes place in Kentucky. I heard the story years ago and it was so bat-crap crazy I couldn’t make heads or tails out of what really happened. Turns out no one else can either.

Brian Dunning, Head Skeptoid

Dunning also deals with food fads, the Men in Black, Area 51, local monsters, crop circles and hundreds of other subjects. Some of the most interesting are the “Real or Fictional” entries, which deal with incidents, historical figures and historical places. I consider myself knowledgeable about some of those subjects and can never get all of the “real or fictional” questions right. I listen to Skeptoid as a podcast—I’ve listened to all 404 episodes so far, with new ones each week—but it also comes as a weekly printed email if you would like to read it. It’s a quick and interesting way to stay informed on urban legends and unexplained phenomena from all over the world. Unexplained that is, until you experience Skeptoid.

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