Quickies: Conspiracy Theories, Books Featuring Black Female Protagonists, and the Cost of Cheap Chocolate

  • Maths study shows conspiracies ‘prone to unravelling’ – “It’s difficult to keep a conspiracy under wraps, scientists say, because sooner or later, one of the conspirators will blow its cover. A study has examined how long alleged conspiracies could “survive” before being revealed – deliberately or unwittingly – to the public at large.”
  • Controversial ‘Transmittable Alzheimer’s’ Theory Is Starting to Look Plausible – “Back in September, researchers in the UK discovered that brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s may be transmissible through certain medical procedures. Skeptical scientists urged caution, but now a different set of autopsy results have shown the same thing.”
  • 11-Year-Old ‘Sick of Reading About White Boys and Dogs’ Launches #1000BlackGirlBooks – “Marley is looking to collect 1000 books featuring black female protagonists by February 1. She is nearly halfway to her goal.” From Courtney.
  • Anti-Planned Parenthood filmmakers to turn themselves in – “The announcement follows a Harris County grand jury’s indictment of David Daleiden, the director of the Center for Medical Progress, and his employee, Sandra Merritt, on felony charges of tampering with a governmental record. The grand jury, assembled last fall to investigate accusations of misconduct against Planned Parenthood, cleared the organization of all wrongdoing Monday and pinned fault instead on the duo who sparked the inquiry.”
  • The Women Who Rose High in the Early Days of Hot Air Ballooning – “When the Central Bureau of Police got wind of the upcoming stunt, Garnerin was forced to appear in front of officials, who feared the implications of a man and woman being alone together. They also were concerned that air pressure might damage a lady’s delicate undercarriage. “
  • Slave Labor, the Mast Brothers, and the Looming Crisis of Cheap Chocolate – “But the true controversy surrounding premium chocolate is bigger than the Mast Brothers. It concerns the price of chocolate throughout the industry, because a high-end chocolate bar shouldn’t cost $10. It should cost far more.”

Featured Image



Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

Previous post

A Rapper Says the Earth is Flat! All of Recorded Scientific History Disagrees

Next post

NECSS Dumps Richard Dawkins Over Hate Tweet


  1. January 27, 2016 at 12:25 pm —

    IIRC, didn’t Shakespeare have some comment to that effect in Julius Caesar? (which is, of course, about a real conspiracy that actually happened)

  2. January 27, 2016 at 7:00 pm —

    Hmm. How did ‘hot air’ become part of the word balloon?

    While the Montgolfier’s first ascents were in hot air balloons, the fire hazards were so great that the vast majority of later 18th and early 19th Century ascents were in balloons lifted by coal gas or hydrogen. I don’t know when the modern hot air balloon became standard. Wiki says they were first available in 1960…

Leave a reply