James Randi, star sceptic and subject of the documentary An Honest Liar, is dedicated to exposing magicians and spoonbenders. Is he guilty of a little sleight of hand himself?

The Telegraph


Last month brought a great deal of fanfare, and accompanying snarky outrage, about a new “Satire” tag on Facebook for content sources like The Onion. Yet fake “news” items — which run deeper than satire — continue to propagate rapidly across the site, as well as on other social media platforms, such as Twitter.

Washington Post

Note: I usually avoid TEDtalks because they tend to be peppered with over-generalizations and oversimplifications presented as facts. [They also have the feel of a public confession with the inevitable “feel good” bonding.] In Breel’s talk, he makes two inaccurate statements:

1. “Real depression is being sad when everything in your life is going right.” That excludes every case in which a person is depressed because they have, or had, stress and trauma. A common reason a person can become depressed is when s/he feels little control over what happens to him or her or over their lives. Which is why a person may become depressed not just when faced with a major loss or severe abuse but also when promoted (with new responsibilities) or when experiencing success that draws a lot of public attention.

2. “Depression isn’t chicken pox. It’s not something you beat and it’s gone forever.” Not true. There are individuals who may be depressed just once or a few times and never again.


Comics are peddlers of fun, truth and taboo, but more often than not, they’re an introspective bunch, too. They hawk their jokes in places with names such as the Laugh Factory or the Comedy Cellar — hardly the sort of venues where one goes to hear banter suited to a therapy session. And yet, for the past three years, the Laugh Factory has provided both: Once they’re done with a set, comedians can see an in-house psychologist.

Washington Post

Israel’s incursion into the Gaza Strip triggered a bloody war. Brutal images of dead and injured Palestinians have circulated widely, but a cease-fire still appears to be a long way off.

Spiegel Online

The White Knight

June 19, 2014

Nicholas Kristof wants to save the world with his New York Times columns. Why are so many of them wrong?


You can trust your own memory — right? Wrong. Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus shares decades of research showing that when it comes to remembering things, what we swear is fact is often fiction… and sometimes, the consequences of trusting our own memories are life and death.


In 1992, Stella Liebeck spilled scalding McDonald’s coffee in her lap and later sued the company, attracting a flood of negative attention. It turns out there was more to the story.