September 4, 2002 |
Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine and director of the Skeptics Society, has an idea for a TV show that would debunk psychics, faith healers and other mysterious phenomena that he deems a fraud or simply explainable in less-than-supernatural terms. So far, no one has bitten. And surveying the TV landscape, it's not hard to understand why--the strange and unexplained having been very, very good to television, providing scant incentive to suggest otherwise.
April 30, 2002 |
After 12 years of not hearing from my dad, I was starting to get worried. I mean, just because he's been dead the whole time doesn't mean he can't stay in touch. With so many talented psychics running around, including several who have their own TV shows, the lines of communication should be wide open. Unfortunately, even though my job as a journalist has required me to interview psychic dogs, psychic humans and the occasional Magic 8 Ball, my father's spirit has never materialized. Until now.
October 30, 2001 |
While making "The Omen," the 1976 horror thriller, producer Harvey Bernhard wore a Coptic cross on the set for protection. Bob Munger, an advertising executive who'd brought him the concept of the arrival of the antichrist in the form of a cherubic-looking young boy named Damien, had warned Bernhard that "things were going to happen" of a distinct satanic bent on the set. "He warned us that he thought the devil didn't want us to make the picture," recalls Bernhard.
August 15, 2001 |
A memorable episode of "The X-Files" featured a serial killer who preyed upon psychics and fortunetellers. "You really should have seen this coming," he says, almost apologetically, as he descends on one of his victims. While psychics and spiritual mediums may provide a good laugh to skeptics, they are also big business, as the proliferation of late-night TV gurus such as Kenny Kingston and Miss Cleo demonstrates.
October 31, 1999 |
we survive each day by the tangible evidence of science's intangible truths. Airplanes take off, lights switch on, microwaves and microchips and microscopes do their tasks. And yet, in the still-ancient reaches of our brains, we cannot always credit these marvels of our minds' own making. Our old brains saw a face in the moon and mythologized it. Our old brains still see a savior on a tortilla and sacralize it. Maybe we do it in part because knowing is hard and believing isn't.
October 30, 1999 |
Is Halloween getting scarier? More people apparently believe in ghosts and witches than two decades ago. A third of the people surveyed in a new Gallup Poll said they believe in ghosts, three times the number that said that two decades ago. One in five said they believe in witches, twice the rate of the late 1970s. The telephone poll of 1,005 adults, taken Oct. 21-24, had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.