The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Posts Tagged ‘conspiracy theories’

Whoopi Goldberg’s Comments on the Moon Landing: Amazing *Facepalm* Moment

Posted by mattusmaximus on July 24, 2009

Whoopi Goldberg on “The View” earlier this week seriously entertains some of the Moon Hoax conspiracy woo…

Who took the photos, Whoopi? It’s called a tripod…

This one’s just for you, Whoopi…

facepalm

Posted in conspiracy theories, media woo, space | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Buzz Aldrin Punches Moon Hoax Conspiracy Theorist

Posted by mattusmaximus on July 20, 2009

This Youtube video is making the rounds on the Internet, so I figured that I would pass it along, mostly for the entertainment factor 🙂

In 2002, as part of a shameless and rather obvious publicity stunt, conspiracy nutjob & fledgling stalker Bart Sibrel ambushed the Buzz Aldrin (the second man to walk on the Moon)  and publicly defamed him in front of a film crew, thrust a bible in his face and demanded that he swear on it that he really did walk on the moon.  Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, Sibrel called Aldrin a liar.  The 72-year old’s response to this harassment? See for yourself…

I’m not one to advocate violence, but upon seeing this footage – and Sibrel’s harassment of Aldrin – I have to admit that I gave ol’ Buzz an “atta boy!” when he socked it to Sibrel.

Just in case you know someone who may doubt we ever sent amazing men like Buzz Aldrin to the Moon, check out these websites which systematically demolish the claims of the Moon Hoax conspiracy theorists

Bad Astronomy: Fox TV and the Apollo Moon Hoax

Moon Base Clavius

Wikipedia: Apollo Moon landing hoax conspiracy theories

Face it, folks, we went to the Moon, and if we’re smart we’ll go back someday in the near future.

Posted in conspiracy theories, humor, space | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Apollo Landing Sites Photographed on the Moon!

Posted by mattusmaximus on July 17, 2009

I just saw this post over at the Bad Astronomy blog by Phil Plait, and seeing as how the media is crawling all over the touched up NASA footage of the Apollo 11 landing, I wanted to share it with you.  That’s because, as I suspected, while the media is giving NASA some attention, they are – sadly – also giving the conspiracy nuts some attention as well.

Well folks, for those of us whose brains are not addled by conspiracy-mongering, here you go: photographic evidence of the landing sites on the Moon, taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)…

That first one is of the Apollo 11 landing site, with the Eagle lunar module clearly visible.  The LRO website has images of the Apollo 14,15,16, and 17 landing sites as well, including this incredible shot of the Apollo 14 site which shows the tracks left in the lunar dust by the astronauts!

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Posted in conspiracy theories, space | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

“New” NASA Video of Moon Landing Not So New

Posted by mattusmaximus on July 16, 2009

As I outlined in my earlier post – Old Moon Landing Tapes Found – Conspiracy Nuts Still Lost – there were rumors going around about “lost” footage of the first Apollo Moon landing being found by NASA.  Well, yes and no.  As this news article points out, the footage is old but it was never lost…

600px-Aldrin_Apollo_11

NASA refurbishes video copies of moon landing

With the help of Hollywood, those historic, grainy images of the first men on the moon never looked better. NASA unveiled refurbished video Thursday of the July 20, 1969, moonwalk restored by the same company that sharpened up the movie “Casablanca.”

NASA lost its original moon landing videotapes and after a three-year search, officials have concluded they were probably erased. That original live video was ghostlike and grainy.

NASA and a Hollywood film restoration company took television video copies of what Apollo 11 beamed to Earth 40 years ago and made the pictures look sharper.

NASA emphasized the video isn’t “new” — just better quality.

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Posted in conspiracy theories, space | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Old Moon Landing Tapes Found – Conspiracy Nuts Still Lost

Posted by mattusmaximus on June 28, 2009

**Update: There is some question as to the validity of the story that new tapes of the Apollo 11 landing have been discovered and that the news story itself might be a hoax.  Read more about it at this entry on the Bad Astronomy blog. Note that my criticisms of the anti-moon landing conspiracy theorists still stand.

I just read this really cool story — World Exclusive: NASA Finds Missing Moon Landing Tapes. As the article states…

ECSTATIC space officials at Nasa could be about to unveil one of their most stunning discoveries for 40 years — new and amazingly clear footage of the first moon landing.

The release of the new images next month could be one of the most talked about events of the summer.

The television images the world has been used to seeing of the historic moment when Neil Armstrong descended down a ladder onto the moon’s surface in 1969 is grainy, blurry and dark.

The following scenes, in which the astronauts move around the lunar lander, are so murky it is difficult to make out exactly what is going on, causing conspiracy theorists to claim the entire Apollo 11 mission was an elaborate fraud.

Here is the current footage we have of the Apollo 11 landing to which the article is referring available on Youtube…

600px-Aldrin_Apollo_11

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Posted in conspiracy theories, space | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Shout Out: An Open Letter to Oprah

Posted by mattusmaximus on May 17, 2009

In keeping with Carl Sagan’s adage that it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness, I want to pass along something which I think does just that.  I recently blogged about Oprah Winfrey’s ill-conceived decision to give anti-vaccinationist Jenny McCarthy her own show.

Personally, I have been at a loss as to how to respond – but fortunately, Shirley at the “I was lost but now I live here” blog has a great response, and I wanted to share it with you here.  Please consider passing it along, so that perhaps we can get Oprah to rethink her decision…

An Open Letter to Oprah

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Posted in medical woo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Birthers Conspire Against Each Other

Posted by mattusmaximus on May 10, 2009

I’ve written before about the Birther Movement, which is basically a group of right-wing ideologues who are convinced there is a conspiracy to conceal the supposed fact that President Obama isn’t a U.S. citizen.

I won’t go into detail here about why the Birthers are off their collective rockers (see my earlier blog post – Citizen Obama – for more info).  What I wanted to do is just give a brief update about a hilarious development: it seems the Birthers are now conspiring against each other!

The following article in Salon.com elaborates on this latest development in the Birther drama…

Pity the poor members of the Birther movement, those people who believe that President Obama was not born in Hawaii or is otherwise ineligible to be president. They’ve been rejected time and again by a justice system sadly uninterested in their crackpot legal theories, and ignored by a media that’s for some reason unconvinced by the complete lack of evidence for the movement’s claims. And now, some of their leaders, once friends and allies, are very publicly slamming each other.

Politico’s Ben Smith reports that one group of Birthers (the “East Coast faction,” in his words), led by early crusader and 9/11 Truther Philip Berg, has filed suit against the West Coast branch of the movement, as represented by the dentist-slash-lawyer Orly Taitz. Berg and his fellow plaintiffs claim, among other things, that Taitz and her crew have been defaming them. The complaint, if you want to read it, is here — it is, as you might expect if you’ve been following this saga, long, rambling and a bit incoherent.

This sort of development is not unsurprising – when you have a group of people who are committed to a conspiracy-driven worldview like that of the Birther Movement, it is not uncommon to see members of that group eventually fight each other, claiming that they are the “true” believers while others are not.  Such is the level of suspicion and paranoia that is often displayed by conspiracy theorists – in fact, the behavior exhibited by the Birthers in this respect is almost cultish.

It’ll be interesting to see how this all shakes out.  I’m always amused to see the nutters fight against each other 🙂

Posted in conspiracy theories | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Oprah Winfrey Gives Platform to Anti-Vax Movement

Posted by mattusmaximus on May 7, 2009

Oh boy, this is not good news.  It seems that media mogul and daytime diva Oprah Winfrey has given a platform to the face of the anti-vaccination movement, Jenny McCarthy, by giving McCarthy her own show.  I cannot even begin to express how colossally stupid this is…

mccarthyoprah_l

Jenny McCarthy inks deal with Winfrey’s Harpo

McCarthy has inked a multi-year deal with Winfrey’s Harpo Prods. to develop projects on different platforms, including a syndicated talk show that the actress/author would host.

The first collaboration under the pact is a blog by McCarthy on Oprah.com, which launched Friday. Like other Winfrey proteges-turned-TV moguls, among them Rachael Ray and Dr. Phil, McCarthy has been a frequent guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

McCarthy talked to the chat queen about her struggles with her son’s autism in conjunction with the publication of her best-selling books “Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism” and “Mother Warriors: A Nation of Parents Healing Autism Against All Odds.” McCarthy also has participated twice in Winfrey’s Friday Live panels, most recently this past Friday.

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Posted in medical woo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Martian Madness

Posted by mattusmaximus on May 4, 2009

Recently, while I was hanging around on the JREF Forum – an awesome place to go chat about science, skepticism, and critical thinking – someone posted the following image, taken by the NASA Spirit rover, from the surface of Mars…

PD*28522608

What, if anything, do you see?  If you’re like me, you see a rocky surface with a particularly big rock (relatively speaking) right in the middle of the photograph.

Well, it seems that some in the UFO-alien woo crowd has decided that this image constitutes “evidence” of past or present alien intelligence on Mars, because – here it comes – the “rock” in the middle of the picture is actually an alien skull.

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Posted in aliens & UFOs, space | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Swine Flu Quackery

Posted by mattusmaximus on May 3, 2009

If you read this blog regularly, you recently saw where I predicted in an earlier post – Swine Flu Conspiracy Hogwash – that pretty soon some pseudoscientific woo-monger out there would be prescribing nonsense as a “cure” for the swine (or H1N1)  flu. Well, I was right; maybe I’m psychic? – nah, more likely it’s that the woo-mongers are all too predictable in their parasitic opportunism to push their idiocy when people are scared.

It ends up that a writer over at the increasingly nutty Huffington Post, Matthew Stein, wrote an article titled When a Superbug Strikes Close to Home, How Can You Deal With it? Essentially, this article is a simultaneous attack on science-based medicine, through the all-too-familiar conspiracy theory about Big Pharma & the medical/scientific establishment, while promoting a wide variety of non-scientific quackery which I like to collectively refer to as sCAM.

facepalm

**Aside: if you want to see a more detailed debunking of this HuffPo balderdash, I highly recommend Orac’s post over at Respectful Insolence 🙂

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Posted in medical woo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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