Contributions

Post-Mortem on a Misunderstood Post: Online Misunderstandings and How to Avoid Them
August 3, 2018


I’m always fascinated by how thinking goes wrong. Given an Event A or a Factual Statement/Observation B, what are the ways in which people come to misunderstand the nature of that event or statement? Sometimes it’s the result of intentional deception or obfuscation, such as is often found in advertising or political speech. But more …

Physicist Summits Everest for Girls in STEM
July 19, 2018


I interviewed physicist Dr. Melanie Windridge, author of Aurora: In Search of the Northern Lights, last year for a Special Report on the CFI website. No armchair-ridden ivory tower egghead, Windridge is a veteran of days-long treks and wilderness expeditions. Her website features photos of her summits, and her book contains many compelling first-person adventures in Iceland, …

Sarah Ann, Fort George’s Most Famous Ghost
July 12, 2018


Located a short walk from the picturesque Canadian town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Fort George is an impressive hidden little gem of history. Comprising about a dozen wooden buildings scattered around a roughly coffin-shaped outer wall supported by six blocky bastions, the fort is a popular attraction for tourists and history buffs alike. Replica cannons appear …

Dangers of Rumors: Faked Walmart ‘Abduction’ Goes Viral
June 25, 2018


It was a scary if common social media warning, an example of what folklorists call “scarelore.” On June 9, 2018, Joshua Hatley, a Kansas man, posted a message on Facebook with information claiming a woman attempted to abduct his child at a local Walmart. The post, since deleted, read: “I’m posting this as a warning …

Solo: A Star Wars Story
May 30, 2018


Despite a loud and clunky middle third, Solo is an enjoyable Grade-B popcorn muncher.

Why People Burn Themselves Alive: A Look at Immolation Suicides
May 14, 2018


The recent self-immolation suicide of a prominent lawyer raises questions about the motives for such acts. 

Prosecutors Win, Journalists Fail in Cosby Retrial
May 4, 2018


In the wake of the guilty verdict for Bill Cosby on three counts of sexual assault last week, the news media predictably jumped on the story. One angle, however, was more opinion than fact.

Popobawa vs. the Skeptics
April 25, 2018


The Popobawa is known for attacking skeptics, and a new book about the topic takes much the same tack.

Logic Shusshed in ‘A Quiet Place’
April 18, 2018


The new Emily Blunt film ‘A Quiet Place’ would have made an interesting and compelling short film. 

‘Annihilation’: A Mixed Bag of Mystery
March 19, 2018


Annihilation is a refreshing and thought-provoking take on the alien contact genre and has some interesting ideas, but they are often mired in metaphors that never really gel.