Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Monsters & Psychics

The Year in Monsters

Monster Talk is a perennial bang-up podcast, although for the last third of 2012 the number of releases was unfortunately thin.  However, Blake Smith, Karen Stollznow, and Ben Radford began 2013 on a exceptionally interesting episode with a look back at the top monster stories of 2012.  The panel was joined by Sharon Hill of Doubtful News and Virtual Skeptics to cover the year.  

No trolls were discussed
In little over an hour the foursome covered a lot of material many of the items of which I had nearly forgotten.  The panel discussed how this was a bad year for The Loch Ness monster, and of few good U.F.O. stories.  However, the panel cover that these are salad days for Big Foot enthusiasts.  There is the Sykes and Ketchum Big Foot DNA projects.  The alleged killing of a Big Foot or two in the Sierras as well as the popularity of the Big Foot's cousin the Yeti in Russia.  A large portion of the episode was dedicated to Big Foot, but it was a story heavy year for the slippery large man/ape beast of the wilds.

Also covered on the episode, of what was eventually determined to be a hoax, was the video of a wholly mammoth in Siberia.  This was a story I completely forgot about until it was discussed.  Also, falling into this I forgot about that weird monster category was the Icelandic river worm video, which was later determined to be a net in the water.  However, its weirdness fed into a local river worm lore and put the two together and we have a neat story.  

The episode ended with a list of of items including zombies, mermaids, things washed up on various shores, big cats in suburbia, and a failed expedition by squeaky clean band of American youth to look for giant spiders and dinosaurs among other items in the Congo.  It was jam packed, but an entertaining and enjoyable episode.  Hill obviously clicks with the Monster Talk crew, which made the amount of material covered not seem overwhelming.  

Crystal Ball is a bit cloudy

damn thing is busted
Dr. Stuart Robbins of the Exposing PseudoAstronomy blog and podcast has authored a report on the accuracy of psychic predictions made at the end of 2011 on what would occur in 2012.  Well, as the world has not ended ,Dr. Robbins was around to record, note, and tabulate the results.  Spoiler Alert! The professional psychics' predictions as well as the amateur psychics who call into Coast to Coast AM all fair poorly in their prognosticating.  The report is quite an impressive effort and it is well worth the time to review it.  The report is in PDF.  

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