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Canadian Info Ninjas

August 5, 2020

Help us out here. New Jersey’s legislature is considering another one of those let’s-make-naturopaths-like-real-doctors bills, and we need to stop it. If you live in New Jersey, hop over to our action alert and make some noise. Share the alert with your tough-as-nails New Jersey friends if you don’t live there. Yes, I’m from New Jersey.

Charlie Warzel talks to game designer Adrian Hon about how the QAnon cult mirrors what are called alternate reality games, games that are like “networked treasure hunts,” taking place throughout the web and spilling into the real world. “In both cases, ‘do your research’ leads curious onlookers to a cornucopia of brain-tingling information.”

This is really interesting: A study in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion—which, it must be noted, has not been peer reviewed and is funded in part by the Charles Koch Foundation, for whatever that’s worth—shows that Christian nationalism is the greatest predictor engaging in “incautious behavior” such as going to bars and restaurants, and the second-greatest predictor of refusing masks and hand-washing. Religiosity more broadly, however, predicted more precautionary behaviors.

23 percent of folks in Quebec think the coronavirus was made in a lab on purpose, and 35 percent of them think the provincial government is hiding things about the virus from them. Health officials in Montreal, however, are sending out “info ambassadors” to hand out fliers that address misinformation and some of the social angst over the virus. “They’re like ninjas.” Hehe cool.

Yes, things were fuzzy around the importance of mask-wearing at the start of this whole mess, but not anymore. The data is in, and “masks reduce the transmission of the coronavirus and other respiratory diseases by the general public.”

Epidemiologist Michael Osterholm: COVID-19 is “just going to keep burning hot, kind of like a forest fire looking for human wood to burn.” Oh.

Hemant Mehta rounds up the nones-of-various-labels who won Arizona primaries yesterday: Delina DiSanto, a candidate for the U.S. House, State Sen. Juan Mendez, and State Rep. Athena Salman.

The Satanic Temple gets to keep going with its lawsuit over a monument it wants to erect in Minnesota, but gets all its constitutional arguments dismissed.

There is some slight disagreement among scientists about the age of the Universe, which means of course that science is wrong and God made everything like a few days ago.

Steven Novella facepalms over the UK’s National Institute for Health Care Excellence and its recommendations about acupuncture.

I hate that this sentence must now come into being by my own hand: Trump will do anything Lou Dobbs says in regard to UFOs.

Nerdist says, “Perhaps the most widely known and talked about modern myth is that of the Mothman,” and I don’t think that’s even close to being true, but yeah, Mothman is a thing a lot of folks think is real, so okay fine. I am won over by this:

We, as a people, love a good mystery and will away reasonable explanations in favor of fun hypothesizing. It’s why folklore continues in every tradition and culture. Because it’s entertaining. Or maybe that’s what the Mothman wants us to think.

Working its way toward a huge Mars spaceship, which is super cool, SpaceX briefly launched a giant thermos. Or maybe a big Amazon Echo.

Folks are rediscovering Carl Sagan’s refutation of flat-eartherism from the first episode of Cosmos 40 years ago, and I am here for it.

We’re keeping track of COVID-19 pseudoscience, snake oil, fake cures, and more at CFI’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Separate fact from fiction and inoculate yourself from misinformation at

Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is.