Jun 152015
 

Governments spying on citizens has been a perpetual boogeyman for many Americans, and the topic is in the news once again. In my new blog on the subject of privacy I discuss the medieval Peeping Tom demon Asmodeus and some myths about the seemingly sacred principle of individual privacy. I argue that personal privacy is a relatively new idea and that its value is exaggerated. You can read it HERE. 

Jun 112015
 

Earlier this month an infographic circulated on social media comparing the number of people killed by different animals. By far the highest of the group was mosquitoes, and that’s not only misleading, it’s simply wrong. I’ve traveled extensively in South America and Africa and am very aware of the dangers of malaria and the need to fight it. But mosquitoes (specifically female mosquitoes) do not kill humans through malaria; a different organism, a protozoan called Plasmodium, does. Some infected mosquitoes can transmit Plasmodium to humans, but they don’t “kill people” in the same way as the other animals listed. I’m all for education, but get your facts right. 

If the11425848_10205625736136981_277207288052384716_n argument is that any animal that can spread a disease is responsible for the deaths caused by the virus or disease they spread: Since humans spread countless deadly contagious diseases including flu, tuberculosis, HIV, plague, Ebola, etc. they should also be in that category. We don’t consider humans (as a species) to be the threat that kills others, we recognize that it’s the protozoan/bacteria/virus that kills. So why the different category for mosquitoes?

Apr 302015
 

Arguments in a sensational murder trial wrapped up recently in a New York City courtroom. The victim was 6-year-old Etan Patz, whose 1979 disappearance shocked and riveted the city. A man named Pedro Hernandez is on trial for Patz’s murder, but the prosecution has a problem: The boy’s body was never found and there is no direct evidence connecting Hernandez to Patz — only a confession. My article on why this may be a problem is HERE.

Apr 232015
 

My research and investigation into the famous “White Witch of Rose Hall” in Montego Bay, Jamaica (the topic of chapter 12 in my book Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries) appears on the April 25 season premiere of the Travel Channel TV show “The Dead Files.” Check your local listings, and you can see a sneak preview HERE.

Apr 122015
 

In case you missed my piece on this last month: 

Four police officers who helped rescue a baby from an overturned car in a Utah river last weekend claim that they heard an unexplained voice calling from the car. The accident occurred after a car driven by Lynn Jennifer Groesbeck, 25, ran off the road and into the Spanish Fork River. Her 18-month-old, Lily, was found in her car seat upside down just above frigid river water, and had been there for a least 12 hours… You can read more HERE

Apr 062015
 

One of the most difficult aspects of being a skeptical ghost investigator is trying to help people who sincerely believe they’re experiencing a haunting; it’s the subject of my new article “Playing Witch Doctor: Hidden Ethics in Skeptical Ghost Investigation.” You can read it HERE.