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June 2009
The highlight of Sunday night's MTV Movie Awards came when Sacha Baron Cohen, dressed up as Austrian fashion reporter Bruno, floated across the room on wires, but then somehow fell and landed face down in Eminem's lap (his butt in Eminem's face). Subsequently Eminem stormed out of the show.

The award show's head comedy writer, Scott Aukerman, is now admitting it was not a spontaneous mishap. The entire scene was choreographed and rehearsed. In fact, Paris Hilton had reportedly been Cohen's first choice of victim, but she declined to participate.

I can't imagine this revelation will surprise anyone. It would only have been a surprise if the stunt wasn't staged.
Categories: Entertainment
Posted by Alex on Tue Jun 02, 2009
Comments (8)
In the forum Captain Al linked to a recent Newsweek article that's well worth reading. It details how Oprah Winfrey has routinely promoted dubious medical/pseudoscientific nonsense on her show. It appears that the only standard of evidence important to her is whether a claim is emotionally appealing. If a claim passes that test, then it must be true!

Some of the nonsense promoted on her show includes:
  • Suzanne Somers' vitamin/hormone cure for aging.
  • Jenny McCarthy's crusade to pin the blame for autism on vaccines.
  • Dr. Christiane Northrup's theory that thyroid dysfunction is caused by repressing your emotions.
  • Radio-wave skin tightening treatments.
  • And "The Secret", that by "thinking positively" you can attract success and good health to yourself.
The article doesn't even get into her relentless promotion of psychic scammers.
Categories: Health/Medicine
Posted by Alex on Mon Jun 01, 2009
Comments (29)
Gawker devoted a series of posts last week to shockjock Erich Muller, aka Mancow. First they praised him for having undergone waterboarding so he could decide for himself whether or not it was torture. But then they obtained a series of emails from Mancow's publicist suggesting the entire thing was a hoax, that Mancow faked being waterboarded.

Mancow insists the waterboarding wasn't faked, despite what his publicist's email may suggest. Apparently there's no video of the event, which is the only thing that would conclusively end the debate.

Frankly, I find it hard to care one way or the other. Whether Mancow had water poured on his face for six seconds or not, the whole thing was a publicity stunt. He's a loudmouth trying to get attention, and contributing nothing intelligent to public debate. It's unfortunate he does get attention.

Thanks to Bob and Joe!

Update: My mistake... there is video of what happened. So I guess the debate is about whether he faked his reaction, not whether the waterboarding itself was fake. (Though some might argue that since his hands weren't bound, it wasn't really waterboarding.)
Categories: Hate Crimes/Terror
Posted by Alex on Mon Jun 01, 2009
Comments (8)
People who spend far too much time staring closely at the TV have identified an extremely small, blurry dark shape that appears to move rapidly across the stage during a semi-final performance on Britains Got Talent. (Embedding is disabled on this video, so you've got to go to YouTube itself.)

It took me a while to even be able to see the "ghost." It starts at 0:51, at the right side of the stage. By 0:53 it's gone, darting off the left side of the stage. (Warning: it's really, really small!)

I think it's just a lighting artifact. Dave Tolomy, who gave me a heads up about it, thinks it may be something an audience member is holding up. Or maybe it really is a ghost! Decide for yourself, if you have nothing better to do.
Categories: Paranormal, Pareidolia
Posted by Alex on Mon Jun 01, 2009
Comments (8)
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