Skepchick Quickies 3.13

  • Elf detection 101 – “According to a poll conducted in 2007, 54 percent of Icelanders don’t deny the existence of elves and 8 percent believe in them outright, although only 3 percent claim to have encountered one personally.” From Michael.
  • Vampiric exorcism skull found in Italy – “Among the many medieval plague victims recently unearthed near Venice, Italy, one reportedly had never-before-seen evidence of an unusual affliction: being “undead.”” From amelinamel.
  • How to understand risk in 13 clicks – What do things like “Drinking one serving of alcohol a day increses risk of cancer by 12%” actually mean?  From Mazlynn.
  • And hey, it’s Friday, time for some cheering up with cute animals! I think all the Skepchicks need that this week.  First up, Elle sent in this tiny pony that has been confusing people.  And then there’s this red panda, which all the other zoo animals agree is just too cute to eat (from Emory).  For an added dose of cute, there’s a puppy and cheetah cub frolicking together.


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

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  1. The partial body and skull of the woman showed her jaw forced open by a brick —an exorcism technique used on suspected vampires.

    Okay, I’ve watched a lot of vampire movies; so I feel entirely secure in saying “DO NOT REMOVE THAT BRICK!”

  2. The elf report reminds me of the shows where 2 guys named Mark and Olly lived with tribes in New Guinea that believed there were supernatural bloodsuckers called Swangi (spelling?). A number of the tribes’ members claimed that had encountered Swangi. Even worse was the claim by a village leader who became ill that he knew a young woman was a witch who came in at night and sucked his blood causing his illness. The whole village became afraid of her and Mark and Olly feared she would be killed and suggested to her she should leave. She was gone the next day supposedly leaving for another village but I wondered if she had been killed. I also wondered if the married guy had a dalliance with her and wanted a convenient way to get rid of her.

  3. So, three percent of Icelanders are ?…

    I like the stumpy pony, but am worried about what’s coming in Round IV or V for the cheetah and dog.

  4. I can see elves. For a small fee (payable in advance) I will determine if your personal realm is infested with them. Cyberelves are no problem, as I can see into cyberspace.

  5. In my opinion , red pandas are one of the most beautiful animals around. Margays are a close second (Felis wiedii or Leopardus wiedii, depending on source). But then there’s the Jaguarundi, the rusty-spotted cat, the marbled cat…

    I admit it, I like small mammals.

  6. My mother lived in Njarvik for three years, and it was a nice place to visit. It was not uncommon for people to have elf houses in their backyards, for the comfort of the little people. Of course they could just be a traditonal decoration. I wish I had one here, as they tended to be beautiful copies of traditional Icelandic houses.

    They also traditionally believed in trolls. Big, dirty louts, who liked to party all night, but would turn to stone if they stayed out too late and got caught in the sunlight. Some of the locals would make trolls out of boulders when they were doing any construction, so there were several sets of them around the area. And every now and then some new ones would suddenly appear.


  7. @mikespeir: It’s actually fairly common for cheetahs in captivity to be paired with a slightly older dog, usually a vary calm breed like a golden retriever. The older dog becomes the dominant partner. Cheetahs tend to be nervious, and look to the dominant partner when they don’t know what to do. When they see the calm dog, it calms them down.

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