Skepchick Quickies 12.18

  • Top 10 Astronomy Pictures of 2008 – Phil Plait does his yearly round up. 
  • Tree lobsters! – Bug says, “What an awesome name. And something that Steven Colbert should clearly fear more than bears! They drop from the trees and snap at you!   AAAAAGH!”  Except, sadly, they’re not actually lobsters so they don’t snap at you.  But still, tree lobsters!
  • Necessary angels – “They are not doctors. They are not nurses. They are illiterate women from India’s Untouchable castes. Yet as trained village health workers, they are delivering babies, curing disease, and saving lives—including their own.” Thanks John.
  • 6 Famous Unsolved Mysteries (with really obvious solutions) – Including my favorite not-a-mystery mystery, the Starchild skull. Thanks Steve.
  • Still wondering what to get your favorite skeptic for Christmas? The obvious answer is the avenging unicorn playset! Includes a new age lady to impale, mwahahaha.  Thanks Mattison.


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. Beat me to the Astronomy pictures… :-(

    I think the late Carl Sagan would be “stunned” by these pictures…

  2. “And that they then left their shitty colony forever to go live happily ever after on Croatan Island, and to have impressive amounts of sex with the natives.”

    I like this plan. This is a fantastic plan. I have a hard time thinking of a better plan.

  3. The list of the six unexplained mysteries is hilarious… and, at the same time, it is sad. It’s sad because, outside of specifically skeptic sites, you have to go to a humor site to find a skeptical take on paranormal phenomena, while “serious” media use to treat them as “OMG it’s all true!”.

  4. I’ve always wanted to do a horror movie called “CROATOAN” set in Roanoke. And, YES, I know that the neighboring island caled Croatan is the most likely explanation… but it would still be a fun idea for a movie.

    It opens in a peaceful wood, with a cute animal eating or something. Then a ghostly-white colonist comes running past, pursued by something unseen. She runs for a while, directly into the settlement and the arms of the first settler she encounters… she cries and panics, looks up into the settler’s face and says “CROATOAN!”

    Then she drops dead.

  5. Thanks for the link to the Unsolved Mysteries site! I laugh-snorted several times while reading it. The “laugh-snort” index (LSI) pretty much defines quality humor for me.

    Sigh… It’s only 9:45AM and already I was in need of something to cheer me up. And the day is only going to get worse.

  6. I guess I’ll never get to see an alien. Since I seem to passout long before I ever reach “mid 50’s Kentucky rural drunk”

  7. In regard to the 6 unsolved mysteries article, I wonder if it has become impossible to discuss or report on the merits of this claim or that claim without the seemingly perpetual embedded sneer
    the authors put in there….

  8. @Kimbo Jones:

    @Expatria: Just don’t dick us around like “The Village”.

    Why not? It’s the perfect setting for a Shyamalan movie! In the end, the mysteriously disappeared settlers just happened to have moved to another island. What a twist!

  9. @Expatria:

    Actually, I take it back. Tree Lobster sounds like an ethnic slur, or perhaps a derogatory name that green folk use against lumberjacks.

    “Hey you tree lobsters, how many habitats did you ruin today?” or “This is a carbon neutral vegan restaurant. We don’t serve Tree Lobsters here.”

  10. The list of diseases and defects can cause this kind of abnormality is extensive. The list of paranormal reasons that have been proven to cause this isn’t a list at all, it’s more of a napkin smeared with Cheetoh smudges and crazy.


    Can it be given to the cracked writter of this gem?

    Pretty please with unicorn farts on top.

  11. I’d like to see a comic called Tree Lobsters. Something along the lines of Dinosaur Comics. Just clip art lobsters sitting in trees discussing philosophy.

    Tree Lobster 1: There’s a new study that says rain causes autism.
    Tree Lobster 2: Sounds like a typical post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.
    Tree Lobster 1: Sure, but you still have to account for the correlation.
    Tree Lobster 2: How about this? Let’s assume that autism is hereditary and that a lot of nerds are borderline autistic. Now, a rainy environment means that people don’t get much sun, which levels the dating playing field a bit for nerds, which in turn increases their chances of getting laid. Hell, the fact that Microsoft is headquartered in Redmond is probably enough alone to skew the data!
    Tree Lobster 3: Hey, did you hear that Jenny McCarthy is lobbying to get umbrellas classified as medical devices?

  12. @Gabrielbrawley: I laughed so hard at that part. An archaeology prof of mine addressed the Starchild skull hokum in class and it was so funny to watch her struggle to not just say, “That shit is bananas.”

    @Steve DeGroof: Is treelobsters.com taken? Hurry, you could have the next internet craze!

  13. Tree lobsters sounds like some kind of pubic infestation one might get while mid 1950’s Kentucky rural drunk.

  14. I wonder if it’s fair to nominate the whole Tree Lobsters discussion as COTW, even though I participated in it.

    Eh, screw decorum. COTW noms for all :)

  15. @Gabrielbrawley: I’m coming close to that myself from reading this thread of comments. My diaphragm certainly hurts.

    Tree lobster crotch infestation agh! Did you see the size of the legs on those things?

    @Expatria: Yes, definitely, COTW nominations for all.

  16. Y’know, there’s probably enough source material on here to support a web comic. Just looking at the past few days I see: starchild skulls, acorn shortages, anti-radiation chips, hypersonic Santa Claus, bear vs shark, internet vs sex…

  17. “Maybe tree lobsters are the real reason that all the Croatan colonists are missing,” said von Daniken…cue the eerie music…

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