Two Preteen Girls Stab a Friend 19 Times to Please “the Slender Man,” a Recent-Vintage Internet Monster

When myths and superstitions take hold in impressionable minds, the results are sometimes deadly. Even brand new myths have that potential.

Case in point: Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, two 12-year-olds from Wisconsin who, on Saturday, stabbed a friend multiple times “to please a mythological creature they learned about online,” according to the AP story.



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Two Years Later, the Indian Skeptic Who Debunked a “Miracle” is Still in Exile in Finland

Sanal Edamaruku — a.k.a. “the Indian James Randi” — has debunked a lot of sacred cows in his life. In 2012, after explaining how a statue of Christ could be dripping water seemingly on its own, he was charged with “hurting the religious sentiments of a particular community.” The “crime” could have resulted in a prison sentence of up to three years in addition to a fine, so Edamaruku fled from his home before he could be punished (or physically attacked).

Since then, Edamaruku has been in Finland. And according to Samanthi Dissanayake of BBC News, he still can’t go back home:

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For April, “Astrologer to the Stars” Susan Miller Predicted a Historic Stock Market Meltdown. Guess How She Did.

Back in January, I bookmarked an interview with well-known charlatan Susan Miller (pictured, center) that was published in the U.K. Observer — but the paper didn’t call her that. Her fans never do, of course, and journalist Aaron Hicklin is a fanboy for sure. He declared himself bewitched by “America’s most popular astrologer,” and gushed that [Read More...]

These New Age Bullshit Generators Will Help You Sound Like a Guru

I learned a great new word from Daniel Dennett recently, one that I can see myself using rather a lot from now on (you’ve been warned): deepity. Deepity is the quality found in a statement whose author takes a failed stab at profundity. It seems deep at first glance, but it’s actually squishy and meaningless when you examine it. Deepity is probably the most useful neologism since Stephen Colbert‘s “truthiness.”

Here’s some deepity for you:



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Jenny McCarthy, Who Still Promotes Misinformation About Vaccines, Now Says “I Am Not ‘Anti-Vaccine’”

After years of pushing dangerous ideas, such as the never-proven claim that there’s a link between vaccines and autism, model Jenny McCarthy is trying to reinvent herself as someone who’s totally pro-science.

Good luck with that.

In an op-ed published by the Chicago Sun-Times (where she also writes a column about dating and parenting), McCarthy explains that she’s been misunderstood this whole time:

I am not “anti-vaccine.” This is not a change in my stance nor is it a new position that I have recently adopted. For years, I have repeatedly stated that I am, in fact, “pro-vaccine” and for years I have been wrongly branded as “anti-vaccine.”

Whoa! That’s incredible! We’ve had it wrong this whole time!

… or maybe not. Because everything she writes after that opening paragraph establishes that her critics have been right all along.

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