The Media

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Kudos to Reporter Steve Rubenstein

 A New Living Expo treatmentFrom A New Living Expo treatment San Francisco Chronicle reporter Steve Rubenstein gets the tone perfectly right in his review of the New Living Expo taking place in San Francisco this week.


Bottles of organic agave nectarOh, Apartment Therapy, your credulousness is the gift that keeps on giving (specifically, giving me things to write about in blog posts).

This time, someone discovered an article that says, oh my god, agave nectar is not a magical health food: it is actually sugar! And just as bad for you as some other types of sugar, like, for example, sugar. Or even, maybe, high fructose corn syrup, which we all know is basically heroin because it will addict you and then kill you.

Berkeley High School Laboratory Story Generates Much Misinformation

Readers of stories about Berkeley Unified School District considering scrapping before and after school science laboratories should not misconstrue these deliberations as anti-science activities. As with almost everything else, we can't understand the present unless we understand the history.

Bigfoot talk blog roundup

Couldn't make it to Tuesday's Ask a Scientist lecture on Bigfoot? Well, eventually you'll be able to watch it on, but until then, here's a bit of blog coverage to tide you over:

The Snitch (SF Weekly): Ask a Scientist: Sorry, Bigfoot Probably Doesn't Exist. But If He Did, He Would Be Taller Than a Bear

BAS Officer on Skeptic Zone

Skeptic ZoneSkeptic ZoneThe Skeptic Zone is a site maintained by the Australian Skeptics. On Friday November 7, they posted a podcast recorded between Australian Skeptic president Richard Saunders and me. It was rather a lot of fun, since Richard is a good interviewer.

New Skeptic Blog Debuts

For all of you who can't get enough skepticism, there is a new skeptic blog to set your RSS feed to. Called Skepticblog (natch), it can be found at It is written by some familiar names from the skeptic world: Michael Shermer, Phil Plait, Steven Novella, Kirstin Sanford, Brian Dunning, Yau-Man Chan, Ryan Johnston, and Mark Edward.
Skepticblog logoSkepticblog logo

Nova: "The Case of the UFOs": Starting the Season Off Right!

Robert Sheaffer
Originally published in BASIS
December 1982

We have all seen the sensationalized treatment that UFOs have received on TV, even from "responsible" news organizations, with their exciting but unsubstantiated claims of dramatic UFO encounters. A refreshing change was the season opener for NOVA (actually a production of the BBC) telecast on PBS stations October 12 and 13.

The Sacramento Scene

Terence J. Sandbek
Originally published in BASIS
July 1982

Although Sacramento may not have the emotional appeal of San Francisco or Los Angeles in the minds of people when they think of California, it has symbolic significance by virtue of being the state capitol. Nevertheless, it shares with its bigger sisters the dubious distinction of being a hotbed of distorted thinking on paranormal events. This strange attraction to the irrational is best seen from the vantage of the city's talk shows. With two local radio stations competing for people's attention, audience response can vary from apathetic to frenetic.

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