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

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

Enjoying Movies, with Science of Course!

With all the hype going on for the new Star Wars film release in a couple of weeks, it’s a good idea to also consider why we enjoy movies, from a scientific point of view. What makes us go to a … Continue reading

Posted in TV & Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Rap: Partial Reporting on Partial Rhymes

I just don’t “get” rap music. That is not a value judgment, just my personal opinion, and your own may vary. The bad lyrics, the (lack of) music, the bling… it’s just not for me, I guess. However, one needs to … Continue reading

Posted in Science, TV & Media | Tagged , , , , , | 44 Comments

Finally, Some Good Science Reporting!

My last couple of posts had a theme: it was about how news gets spun or derailed (for instance by a sensational title) into something that’s no longer about the actual facts. So time to point out something good this time! … Continue reading

Posted in Science, TV & Media | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Art of Selling a Mule Story

I’m convinced that there are two distinct career paths in journalism. One is (hypothetically speaking) the journalist proper who pens a well-written piece showing the different, nuanced aspects of a story. The other one is the title editor, whose job … Continue reading

Posted in Cool Stuff, History, TV & Media | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Marshenge: Seeing Squares and Circles Where There Aren’t Any

I’m all in favor of citizen-science. It’s great that people are, for instance, poring over photos from NASA’s HiRISE mission to Mars. But sometimes that leads to aberrations: people mistaking very normal things to “mysterious” remains of civilizations. A recent one (which … Continue reading

Posted in Space | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Basque DNA Analysis Shows They Were Isolated a Long Time

That the Basque people are a bit special in Europe was already well known. The Basque are the inhabitants of a region in southwest France and northern Spain. They have a language (Euskara) that is difficult to link to other known … Continue reading

Posted in History, Science | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments

How Does an Airplane Stay in the Air?

For the longest time, I thought I knew why an airplane stayed in the air. It was because the wings were curved, and in such a way that the top was more curved than the underside. Air moving over the … Continue reading

Posted in Cool Stuff, Science, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 55 Comments