This is not a Skeptoid post, I have one that will go up later today. This is a personal post for a person that helped inspire me to be a skeptic. I am saying goodbye to an actor/director and I am thanking him. He smoked cigarettes and early reports indicated that he died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Of all the behaviors I see that are self destructive, that one is the most insidious and prevalent. Continue reading
Safety is something that weighs on the minds of most folk, I think it’s safe to say. We worry about many perceived risks and dangers of the world around us. Parents worry about keeping their children safe, people worry about their own safety, pet owners about their beloved animal’s safety, and so forth. Safety is a major component of advertising, Internet campaigns, political agendas, and lifestyle choices.
The Skeptoid Blog’s volunteer contributors are spread out all over the United States and even the world. I happen to live in New York City, where we’re currently experiencing winter weather. The following story might strike some readers as too local and small beer, but I think it offers some valuable lessons.
I love cold weather and snow, though a lot of people don’t, understandably. It has been very surprising to me to see how exercised people get about the routine business of being chilly this time of year. And we just recently went through what appears to be an annual tradition: public shock and outrage at a blizzard. We a lot of snow overnight on this past Monday and Tuesday. The storm of exaggerated anger the weather incited was almost as much fun to watch as the kids running around pelting each other with snowballs.
People sometimes ask me how I find the stories that I discuss in my blog posts. Sometimes my wife or friends send me stuff that I should discuss, but most of my ideas come from news aggregators. I have, for instance, several “Google Alerts” on various topics around archeology and history, including specific ones on topics that I’ve previously written about (for potential follow ups). Brian has also developed a daily extract of various sources for Skeptoid bloggers to use.
There is, of course, a disadvantage, in that the collected stories are not vetted. You can have stories from reputable sources followed by a completely bogus website in the same automated email. As always, as Brian recommends us bloggers (and indeed all skeptics), we need to verify and research. A linked story is just a trigger for ideas. Continue reading