Outside Publishings

JREF Posts

A Review of the Newest Conspiracy Theory Movie Thrive

Science as Magic (Viewing science as a way of knowing about the magic of reality)

Skepticism and Authority (How to deal with scientific authority)

Skepticism on the Road: A Glance of Alternative Medicine in China (A journal of my pseudoscience filled journey in mainland China)

Loving a Conspiracy Theorist

Grassroots Skepticism: Skepticamp Chicago 2012

An Introduction to Human Information Processing (Part 1) (A primer on what my research is about)

Understanding Coincidence (How an understanding of randomness can help us grasp coincidence and how it can do away with seemingly “miraculous” events like having a “predictive” dream)

What is a Good Study? Questions You Can Ask (About the questions that you should ask yourself when judging the credibility of a scientific study)

An Introduction to Human Information Processing (Part 2) (The second installment of a primer on how people seek and process information)

Living Without Free Will (I throw in my lot with Sam Harris and his arguments against free will. I also discuss how we can live better without it)

Risk, Emotion, and Global Warming (I discuss why cognitive biases are causing us to systematically underestimate the risks from climate change)

How Should We Argue For Vaccination? (I take a look at a recent study which found that, counter intuitively, the stronger we word our arguments that attempt to beat back harmful anti-vaccine propaganda, the more we raise people’s perception of vaccine risks.)

The Skeptical Disconnect (Summarizing two recent science conferences, I notice a troubling divide between the atheist and the skeptic community.)

Are Smart People Really “Stupid”? (I respond to the New Yorker and look at a new study which shows that more intelligent people may be more unaware of their own biases.)

The Opposite of Debunking (I make a call to the skeptical community to more vigorously promote the positive aspects of science and skepticism.)

The Skeptical Disconnect Redux (I again note a disturbing trend in skepticism; the lack of significant acceptance of climate science)

CAM and the Language Problem (I discuss a literature review I did exploring how the terminology of complimentary and alternative medicine or CAM affects the perception of medicine)

There is Nothing Wrong With “I Don’t Know” (I talk about the perils of tribalism in skeptical circles and how it can create a facade of expertise)

Are Surveys Scientific? (I try to answer this seemingly simple question)

The Ethical Case for Pink Slime (Putting aside the fears of ammonia and the “ick factor” of gooey pink animal protein, the practice saves many animals)

Inoculated Against Illusion (I look at a new study which finds that believers are more prone to recognize faces, and given meaning to them)

Enjoy the Show (I look at the state of science on television, and suggest a change in focus)

Taking the Lift Out of Street Levitation, With Physics! (I use a picture provided by Michael Shermer to discuss how physics fools us on the street)

A Skeptical Gag Gift that Might Actually Work (They make a Power Balance band for your..member. Really. And it might work)

Why The Zombie Apocalypse Wouldn’t Happen (Thinking critically about the end of humanity)

The Lurking Pornographer: Why Your Brain Turns Bubbles Into Nude Bodies (The science of why “bubbling” works)

The Snake and the Preacher: Skepticism on Primetime TV (FX’s Justified skeptically explores snake handling while I explore the science)

The Lady Who Is Impossible To Lift (How can this small women make herself unmovable? It’s all physics!)

SkyMall Bugs Me (SkyMall thinks it can save you from bed bugs with a sleeping bag, I think otherwise)

Teaching Chemistry With Homeopathy

Nature Education Posts

I have also written for Nature’s Student Voices blog where I tackle scientific issues for a student audience.

Cell Phones and Health Hazards (I explore the supposed connection between cells phones and brain cancer and explain why you can bet on physics that you are safe.)

The Great “Detox” Deception (I explain the fallacy of commercial detoxification.)

Skepticism and the Second Enlightenment (How the findings of psychology and neuroscience have helped skeptics re-light the candle in the dark.)

How We Represent Risk Isn’t Helping Medical Screening (And How To Change It)

If Your Head Is In the Clouds At Least It Won’t Get Wet (Just how wet is a storm cloud?)

Wired Posts

Firefly Fan Tries to Retroactively Save Dead Character With NASA Data (A bit more discussion on my immensely popular Scientific American post)

A Real-Life Cupid Would Have the Wings of a Giant Vulture and a Crossbow (Yep, I proved it)

How the Star Wars Kessel Run Turns Han Solo Into a Time-Traveler (My first feature deals with Star Wars and time travel, what more could you want?)

Popular Science Posts

What If Oscars Were Made Of Solid Gold? (I have a little fun with Oscar night and explain what would happen if Daniel Day-Lewis grabbed an Oscar made of antimatter)

io9 Posts

Could You Actually Build BioShock Infinite’s Floating City in Real Life?

Scientific American Posts

Bill Nye is Not a Businessman (I critique a critique of Bill Nye’s now viral video against the teaching of creationism to children.)

This is Your Brain on the Internet (Maybe) (I explore how theories of information processing could help us understand our cognition on the web.)

Of the Creation Persuasion (What is the best way to communicate a potentially worldview-shaking scientific message?)

Dangerous Optimism: Risk, Bias, and Smoking (Why do smokers think that they are at less of a risk from smoking? Because optimism springs eternal)

How Long Will a Lie Last? (What a new study can tell us about repressed memories, the half life of lies, and viral falsities)

The Death of “Near Death”: Even If Heaven Is Real, You Aren’t Seeing It (I discuss a study showing that near death is not required for a near death experience)

Edward, Bella, and McGurk: Why Bad Lip-Synching is So Funny (How multimodal speech perception can make a ventriloquists’ dummy out of anyone)

Saving Lives in Serenity: Can a Fanboy and Physics Change a Movie? (I try to use NASA data to save one of my favorite characters from Firefly)

The Last Thing The Squirrel Saw (This beautiful imprint is really a picture of death)

The God of Thunder, and Momentum (I explain, with the help of Neil deGrasse Tyson, how Thor could fly!)

The Ocarina of Time Travel, Extra Dimensions and Branching Universes (It doesn’t get much nerdier than this: The Legend of Zelda and physics.

The Mechanics of the Pull-Up (and Why Women Can Absolutely Do Them)

Superman Explains Why He Didn’t Destroy the Russian Meteor

The Komodo Dead: What Really Kills in The Walking Dead

The Animals Hiding in a T. Rex’s Roar

The Coroner Report: Weekend at Bernie’s

What Mushroom Clouds Can Reveal About The Waco Explosion

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