All Posts in Category "History"

Toronto Media, false balance, and the lack of evidence for claims about MIA vet John Hartley Robertson

Toronto Media, false balance, and the lack of evidence for claims about MIA vet John Hartley Robertson

16 May 2013 by Karl Mamer

Is there any evidence for the claim? The short story: very little. Many skeptical of the claim have a very hard time believing a person can forget to speak English. Oddly this is the most believable and easy to verify of all the claims made by the movie. First language attrition is a real phenomenon. Anecdotally, […]

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Posted in Conspiracy Theories, History, Skepticism3 Comments

How Western journalists in Vietnam and POW NGOs were not fooled by tales of MIA Vet back from the dead

How Western journalists in Vietnam and POW NGOs were not fooled by tales of MIA Vet back from the dead

15 May 2013 by Karl Mamer

The known facts: John Hartley Robertson went down in a chopper crash in Laos. Over flight suggested no one could survive the crash and burn. Over flight by other Green Berets saw no survivors and the crash did not look survivable. JHR was declared MIA, presumed KIA. His name is on the memorial wall as […]

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Posted in Conspiracy Theories, History, SkepticismComments Off

Did a Canadian filmmaker find a left behind Vietnam vet or did credulous Toronto media give new life to an old scam?

Did a Canadian filmmaker find a left behind Vietnam vet or did credulous Toronto media give new life to an old scam?

14 May 2013 by Karl Mamer

A man approaches you and claims he has a box with a dragon in it. He offers to sell you the box with the dragon. There is one caveat. You cannot open the box to see if there’s an actual dragon in it. You can hold the box. Shake the box. Smell the box. Weigh […]

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Posted in Conspiracy Theories, History, SkepticismComments Off

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Skeptic Movie Review: Lincoln (2012)

10 January 2013 by Ethan Clow

  Movie fans are no doubt aware that the Academy Award nominations came out today (Thursday the 10th) Leading the pack in total number of nominations with twelve is Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” including ‘Best Picture’, ‘Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis’ and ‘Best Director.’ I’ve seen it. It was an impressive film, with high quality acting […]

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Posted in History, Media, Reviews2 Comments

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The New Enlightenment

29 August 2012 by Ethan Clow

To imagine a world that was poor, nasty, brutish, and short (a world Thomas Hobbes imagined) we modern Westerners, might turn to fiction. Fantasy, science fiction, and horror all have their dystopias which serve as a dark inspiration for a world like the one described by Hobbes. We could also look in history books and […]

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Posted in Critical Thinking, History, Skepticism, Social Sciences15 Comments

A&E – Brad Meltzer’s Decoded

Brad Meltzer’s Anomaly Hunting

15 February 2012 by Ethan Clow

Recently I was watching the History Channel when a commercial for Brad Meltzer’s Decoded came on. At first I found the commercial enraging and further eroded my lingering embers of hope that the History Channel had a legitimate interested in promoting actual history and not bunk dressed up to look like a Dan Brown book. […]

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Posted in Conspiracy Theories, Critical Thinking, History, Media, Reviews, Skepticism, Social Sciences3 Comments

The Mayans Went Down to Georgia

The Mayans Went Down to Georgia

05 January 2012 by John Underhay

The Mayans have been in the news a lot over the past couple of years, particularly due to their (supposed) prediction that the world will end in December of this year. This has been so thoroughly debunked that I hardly need mention it here. Reminiscent of the response to Harold Camping, there are those who […]

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Posted in History, Social Sciences5 Comments

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Climate Change: 400 Years Too Late for Henry Hudson

05 July 2011 by Ethan Clow

Despite the onset of summer and the melting ice in and around Hudson’s Bay, Henry Hudson must have felt particularly cold that day of June, 1611.  Along with his son Jon, and six other crewmen, Hudson was bound by his former crew and left in a small shallop and set adrift in the bay that […]

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Posted in Canada, Environment, History, Science, Social Sciences, Territories1 Comment

Lessons from the Toulambis, a Stone Age Tribe

Lessons from the Toulambis, a Stone Age Tribe

27 June 2011 by Erik Davis

  There’s a viral video doing the rounds — an edit, set to music, of footage from a documentary about a stone-age tribe in Papua New Guinea making contact with modern humans for the first time. It’s an astounding thing to watch. The Toulambis, as they are known, trepidatiously approach the modern man on the […]

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Posted in Cognition, Critical Thinking, Culture, Environment, History, Skepticism, Social Sciences15 Comments

Book Review: Voodoo Histories by David Aaronovitch

Book Review: Voodoo Histories by David Aaronovitch

25 March 2011 by Ethan Clow

I have a little game I play when I go into book stores. First I make a prediction, then I head over to the history section and see if my prediction is on the ball or not. My prediction will be how many books of pseudo-history, works of outright fiction, conspiracy theories and tirades on […]

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Posted in Conspiracy Theories, History, Media, Reviews, Social Sciences2 Comments