Anti-ScienceMeta Stuff


Thanks to everyone who has offered help and kind thoughts during my bathroom debacle. I’m now waiting for a call back from housing inspectors who will hopefully cite the landlady and verify that the apartment is unliveable. I’ve also found a new, much much better place and faxed an application off. I’m really hoping they accept my offer and I can move in by October 1.

On the brighter side of things, at least I didn’t kill an uncooperative goat, only to have the corpse magically transform into that of my brother (for whose murder I was then prosecuted), like this poor sap. This isn’t exactly a new defense for murder in Nigeria, where many people believe evil spirits can possess humans and make them do their bidding. Good thing we don’t have nonsense like that around here, eh?

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. Ironically, I've found that nice big cold impersonal corporations make better landlords than private individuals. Of course, this is based on a sample size of 4 total, 2 of each type.

  2. I'd agree with you there, TheCzech. Corporations care a lot more about reputation and customer satisfaction than private landlord/lady (and this applies to most other commercial fields as well). A citation for an "unlivable" apartment could be big trouble for a corporation, but a private landlord/lady could fix the problem and trust that no new clients will know about it.

    On that autism exorcism link, I have to say that in my opinion the people involved are guilty of manslaughter, or at the least child endangerment. Will they get convicted of it? Unfortunately, they've got religion on their side, so it seems unlikely.

  3. Yeah, I concur. I definitely prefer “hands-off” landlording, at least until it comes time to get something fixed. And, even then, the management companies are pretty quick. Like y’all just said, they have to worry more about reputation: since they have multiple properties, they could potentially lose a lot of business if their tenants all start complaining.

    I remember apartment hunting a couple of years ago. I responded to an ad on Craigslist, and I went to check it out. The owner was this old Chinese guy who lived the floor below the apartment. None of the tenants were home, and he just walked me through the apartment poking into all of the rooms. Call me crazy, but I’m not comfortable with the idea of some old Chinese guy who doesn’t see a problem with bringing strange people into my room when I’m not home. A management company would never do something like that.

  4. I remember seeing something on National Georaphic about a particular justice ritual. The claim was the African tribal version of most of the Judge Judy stuff. Only here, the two opposing parties were lead to a kettle or cauldron of boiling oil, and then both the claimants had to put their hand in the cauldron and pick something out, one after the other. They believed that if you were innocent, you wouldn't burn yourself, and usually, the guilty party chickened out before putting their hand in. However, in the documentary, the innocent claimant did put his hand in, which makes me think it wasn't really boiling oil at all, but something else less hot that looked the part, and peer pressure and fear gets the guilty to crack.

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