Author Archives: Bruno Van de Casteele

About Bruno Van de Casteele

Philosopher by education, IT'er by trade. Allround Armchair Skeptic, History Enthusiast, Father of Three. Twitter @brunovdc Personal website: www.puam.be

First-Night Effect: A Well-Known Nuisance for Humans Abroad

Holidays! Time to get away from school or work and leave the daily grind behind oneself when you part on a holiday trip. Sounds great, right? Sure it does—but there is a catch for many people, including me. I seem … Continue reading

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Scoring a Goal Just Before the Break: A Myth That Doesn’t Score

The European Football Championship is currently running in France. This has occasioned, of course, multiple self-declared experts and whatnots to discuss various aspects of the game (sometimes called “soccer”): how the players, the fields, or the coach’s tie color might be influential to … Continue reading

Posted in Cool Stuff, Science | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Grinding Grains, Then and Now

In many science and heritage museums, especially when there is a focus on archaeology or how our ancestors lived, there is the possibility to grind your own grain. You have two stones, throw some grains in it, and grind away … Continue reading

Posted in Cool Stuff, History | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Never Throw Anything Away: The Wealth of Science Archives

Our sciences are advancing at a rapid pace. New technologies emerge that help scientists dig deeper into the fundamental particles or peer farther away into our Universe. So I was quite happy when the following news item appeared. It combines two … Continue reading

Posted in History, Science, Space | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

How “May” and “Could” Improve Science Reporting

When reviewing a couple of my past articles, I noticed a trend: in several cases I have lambasted media that reports wrongly or without nuance on science. My recent post about “poop pills” covers a story that’s probably a magnet for less-accurate … Continue reading

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An Unexpected Gift

We’ve known for some time that our Homo sapiens ancestors mated and mixed with Neanderthals in what would later become Europe. As a result of these mixed couplings, up to four percent of our DNA comes from this other human species. What … Continue reading

Posted in Health, History, Science | Tagged , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Enter the Poop Pills…

Just over three years ago I reported on a very promising scientific result battling C difficile infections. This infection has the debilitating effect of chronic (think years on end) diarrhea. The proposed but experimental way to cure it was doing fecal transplants, … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

False Discoveries and True Science

Last month the science sections of various media were ablaze with the “discovery” of a ninth planet in our Solar System. Or at least, that’s the impression one could get when skimming the titles. Some less reputable media I saw … Continue reading

Posted in Science, TV & Media | Tagged , , , , | 20 Comments

2015 Technology Predictions: Some Good, Some Bad, None Impressive

For a couple of years now I’ve been following Mark Anderson’s yearly top 10 tech at Strategic News Service. It is claimed that he has a 94% success rate (though it’s unclear if this claim comes directly from Anderson himself). Last year, … Continue reading

Posted in Technology, TV & Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

ESP: not pseudoscience but a new European Skeptics Podcast

I’ve written previously on these pages about the active european skeptical organizations. I wrote about the European Skeptics Congress in Stockholm in 2013. I got it from good sources that this year in London was also a blast (couldn’t attend sadly … Continue reading

Posted in Education, TV & Media | Tagged , | 4 Comments