Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Skepnews – 8/21/08

Posted in Skepnews by Skepdude on August 21, 2008

  • Marla Steele makes pet talk a two-way street – For as long as I can remember I’ve had psychic dreams. And I’ve always had lots of pets — dogs, cats and horses. Sometimes when my cats were away from the house for what seemed like a long time, I would call them home in my mind and they would show up a few minutes later. Or when I was in bed and wanted to snuggle up with my dogs I would do the same thing, call them in my mind and they would come into my room. This happened enough times that I knew it wasn’t just coincidence. The more I paid attention to my dreams and the information I was picking up from my animals while I was awake, the clearer they became.
  • Woman gives birth to cups !!!A Mozambican woman recently gave birth to three cups in the southern province of Gaza, independent television channel Stv reported on Thursday, showing images of the crockery. The Mozambican association of traditional healers (Ametramo) told the station that there was nothing strange about the story.
  • Records show more Texas sect members wed minorsFive men from a polygamist sect raided by Texas authorities in April stand accused of sexually assaulting children, but they may not be the only ones. Church documents disclosed as part of a separate child custody case over the last several months identify at least 10 other men as allegedly having married girls who were 16 or younger. The girls’ fathers and stepfathers blessed the unions and sometimes even presided over ceremonies between other young girls and adult men, the documents show. In all, about 20 underage girls, a few as young as 12, are identified in the documents as having married jailed sect leader Warren Jeffs or one of his followers.
  • Man accused of killing stepdaughters in Satanic ritualProsecutors say 26-year-old Lawrence Douglas Harris Sr., who faces two counts of first-degree murder for allegedly killing his 8- and 10-year-old stepdaughters in January, was practicing satanism and carefully planned the killings as a part of a spell or ritual from “The Satanic Bible.” Harris owned a spell notebook, prosecutors say, that contained references to and drawings from “The Satanic Bible,” widely considered the founding document of the Church of Satan, “Necronomicom,” the so-called dangerous book of the dead invented by author H.P. Lovecraft and “Pagan Ways,” an introduction to Paganism. Firefighters found the girls, 10-year-old Kendra Suing and 8-year-old Alysha Suing, stabbed and strangled in their bedrooms on Jan. 6. Authorities had been dispatched to the house at 1420 Nebraska St. for a fire in the basement.
  • Increase in measles spread mostly due to anti-vaccination parents The number of measles cases in the U.S. is at its highest level since 1997, and nearly half of those involve children whose parents rejected vaccination, government health officials reported Thursday. Pediatricians are frustrated, saying they are having to spend more time convincing parents the shot is safe. The CDC’s review found that a number of cases involved home-schooled children not required to have the vaccines. In a typical year, only one outbreak occurs in the United States, infecting perhaps 10 to 20 people. So far this year through July 30 the country has seen seven outbreaks, including one in Illinois with 30 cases, said Seward, deputy director of the CDC’s Division of Viral Diseases. Of this year’s total, 122 were unvaccinated or had unknown vaccination status. Some were unvaccinated because the children were under age 1, making them too young to get their first measles shot.
  • Nigerian man faces death over his 86 wives – Nigeria’s Islamic authority has told the man who has 86 wives to choose only four and repent within three days or else he will be sentenced to death. Talking to the media then, Mr Abubakar challenged Muslim scholars, saying there is no punishment stated in the Koran for having more than four wives. “A man with 10 wives would collapse and die, but my own power is given by Allah. That is why I have been able to control 86 of them,” he told the BBC.

Skepnews – 08/20/08

Posted in Skepnews by Skepdude on August 20, 2008

  • Bigfoot hoax revealed – The body of a supposed ape-man found in the North Georgia mountains was an empty rubber monkey suit embedded in ice, according to California Bigfoot enthusiasts who got a chance to examine the find over the weekend. The two Atlanta men who stood up at a news conference in California on Friday and tried to convince the world they had found Bigfoot apparently can’t be located, just like the real Bigfoot. The answering machine on a “tip line” connected to the pair’s Web site, which advertises $499 Bigfoot “expeditions,” said they’re out searching for Sasquatch, in addition to leprechauns, dinosaurs, unicorns, Jimmy Hoffa and Elvis.
  • The Jewel of Medina pulled from bookstores in Serbia – A novel about the Prophet Muhammad was pulled from bookstores in Serbia to avoid conflict with the country’s Muslim minority, its Serbian publisher, Beobook, said Tuesday. The book, “The Jewel of Medina,” by Sherry Jones, an American journalist, describes the relationship between Muhammad and his wife Aisha.
  • Judge orders girl in sect back to foster care – SAN ANGELO, Tex. (AP) — A 14-year-old girl believed to have been married at age 12 to the jailed polygamist sect leader Warren S. Jeffs with her parents’ blessing was ordered back into foster care on Tuesday by a Texas judge. The judge, Barbara Walther of District Court, said that there was “uncontroverted evidence of the under-age marriage” and that the girl’s mother, Barbara Jessop, refused to guarantee the girl’s safety. The girl, shown kissing Mr. Jeffs in photographs submitted to the court, must immediately enter foster care, the judge ruled.
  • KC church close to $10M settlement for child abuse charges – The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City and St. Joseph says a tentative $10 million deal has been reached to settle 47 sexual abuse claims against a dozen clergy or former clergy. The deal will settle all current sexual abuse lawsuits pending in Jackson County against the diocese and its priests for incidents alleged to have occurred between 1951 and 1992.
  • Church sues HIV positive ex-member– A CHURCH in Kampala has sued a woman living with HIV/AIDS and a pastor for defamation. Last year, Frances Adroa and Pastor Solomon Male accused the Universal Church of The Kingdom of God of taking Adroa’s car with promises of healing her but her condition did not change. The church’s leaders, Gilson Costa and Gerald Nkayi, were not in court but their lawyer Deepa Verma Jivram said Adroa and Male caused publication of defamatory statements which injured the status and character of her clients.

Skepnews – 8/14/08

Posted in Skepnews by Skepdude on August 14, 2008

  • Mob kills 50-year old “blasphemous” Nigerian man – A 50-year-old Muslim man, who allegedly made a blasphemous statement against Prophet Muhammad, was beaten to death in Kano on Saturday. The man was killed at Sheka Aci Lafiya quarters when some angry Muslim youths besieged his house and beat him to a state of coma. He was beaten and left unconscious before the police intervened and dispersed the crowd.
  • Saudi man kills daughter for converting to Christianity – A Saudi man working with the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice recently killed his daughter for converting to Christianity. According to sources close to the victim, the religious police member had cut the tongue of the girl and burned her to death following a heated debate on religion.
  • Saudi mother takes husband to court to stop marriage of 8 year-old daughter to 50 year old man – The Saudi Arabian mother of an eight-year-old girl is trying to stop her marrying a middle-aged man who made a marriage contract with the girl’s father in the province of al-Qasim, in the centre of the country. According to the Saudi newspaper, Okaz, the news emerged after the mother of the child reported her husband and took him to court to prevent the marriage from going ahead.
  • Netherlands allows polygamous marriages for Muslims only – Although polygamy is banned in the Netherlands, the marriages of Muslims who have several wives are recognised by Dutch authorities. Registrars in the major cities, in particular, record dozens of bigamous or polygamous marriages per year. These marriages are prohibited and an offence in the Netherlands. However, polygamous marriages that take place in countries where more than one wife is permitted, such as Morocco, are accepted, newspaper NRC Handelsblad reports.
  • Saudi woman arrested for driving a car – Saudi religious police have arrested a woman in the region of Qatif in eastern Saudi Arabia for driving a car. The woman was later released after her family posted bail, and will now be put on trial. Conservatives argue that if women were allowed to drive, this would lead to women being able to mix freely with men, to corruption and the destruction of family values.