Skepchick Quickies, 10.27


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. The article about the boy who wanted to be a princess was very sweet, but as usual, whenever I read an article than impresses me with its rationality, the comments make me want to find a clocktower.

    And the cell phone thing is funny. Many of the reactions on that page are: “You skeptics make a lot of valid points about why it’s probably not a cell phone, but you don’t have an alternative explanation for what it actually is, so obviously it has to be a cell phone.” *sigh*

  2. The 1928 “time traveler” looks to me like a lady having some kind of hat/hairpin issue.

    With that said, I have to admit that – if I were to travel back to 1928 – appearing in a Charlie Chaplin film would be high on my list of things to do!

  3. Man, it really does look like that person is on a cell phone. She’s even moving her lips a bit.
    Still, I was about to dismiss it out of hand. Then I noticed, that is a ZEBRA in the foreground, after all! Maybe this deserves more scrutiny ;)

  4. @durnett: You are socially obligated to say that you would kill Hitler first, durnett. Since you didn’t, we’ll just have to assume you’re a terrible, selfish human being.

  5. I’m going to guess the woman in the film had an ear trumpet. At least that’s what someone in 1928 would’ve assumed if they’d seen her. Also, the nearest cell phone tower would’ve been 45 years away.

  6. Thanks for posting the teething tablets article. I shared it on Facebook and a friend of mine threw away the box of tablets he had for his son. Of course, right after that, a friend of his was suggesting amber necklaces, but at least it isn’t nightshade.

  7. OMG! Has anyone noticed, on the Chaplin film, there’s an oblong bluish object hovering stationary over the zebra’s ass?!? I can’t think of anything else it could be so it must be an alien spacecraft!

  8. I’ve actually heard similar stories about boys who want “girly” things. The only argument I’ve heard against it is to avoid other people teasing him. But parental dissaproval is often just as bad or even worse than peer dissaproval, especially at that age. I haven’t experienced this particular thing because I’m not a man, but I there have been times when my parents forbid something to try to prevent other kids from teasing me and it was far more hurtful than any teasing that kids actually did to me.

  9. @delphi_ote: Durnett specified 1928, which is well before the point of Hitler’s death. The only sure way to kill Hitler would be to travel back to his bunker in Berlin as the Soviets are invading and shoot him in the head after forcing him to swallow a cyanide pill. It’s the only method that’s been proven to stand the test of time.

  10. @delphi_ote: Extremely dangerous. What if the Nazis had a competent, slightly less insane leader instead? Millions more murdered, even if the war had lasted just a month or two longer.

    Dr. Pangloss may have been right. Just because it sucks doesn’t mean any alternative world wouldn’t be worse.

  11. @Rei Malebario: I was thinking along the same lines… The reason the woman looks like a man in drag as because it is a man in drag; Donna Noble’s grandfather is calling the Doctor on his modified mobile.

  12. @catgirl: Yesterday’s Nemo post comes to mind… Nemo’s dad only wanted to protect him.

    Very sad that the little boy is afraid to be what he wants to be, but maybe it is a sign of glacially slow progress that this is even being discussed.

  13. @Rebel 16: I’ll leave straightening out history to the professionals from Past Watch. I’m just going for the tourism. I want to see Charlie Chaplin perform live, visit the Hagia Sophia in its prime, build some pyramids, and stamp on a butterfly or two.

  14. OK, I downloaded the embedded video of the “cell-phone” lady to look at it in its original aspect ratio of 4:3, and the first playback at normal speed makes it look much clearer: She’s scratching her head and looking around like she’s lost.

    It only looks weird because it’s been stretched to 16:9, and slowed down.

    How people can watch distorted video confounds me in any event, and I personally have to wonder at how people’s brains are wired when they can’t see how wrong it looks. It makes all sorts of things look off. How do those people (who seem to be about 70% of humanity) react to funhouse mirrors? Do they not see the distortions? It boggles the mind. Or my mind anyway.

  15. You can tell there’s something wrong with those homeopathic teething tablets, because they actually produce a physical effect, thereby going against all the rules of homeopathy.

  16. The cell phone is clearly just the woman’s fingers (look at second 0:50). It seems clear to me that she is itching something, mostly with her middle finger.

  17. @Skept-artist: And look how well that’s worked. As soon as it’s always been that way, I’ll accept it as a viable possibility.

    The one that interests me, though, is Fidel Castro. Apparently the world of the future is so utterly horrible without him having remained in power that time travelers have apparently blocked more than 600 attempts on his life – and those are just the ones the CIA admits to.

  18. I can’t help but doubt the boy is a boy (not saying he’s not, just that I doubt it). But, that is probably because my girlfriend used to be one.

  19. @catgirl:

    I’ve actually heard similar stories about boys who want “girly” things. The only argument I’ve heard against it is to avoid other people teasing him.

    I have heard women claim that our culture’s ideas about what are appropriate “girly” things, and the Disney Princess trope in particular, are harmful to girls. I don’t doubt that this is true. But for me it raises the question: Why would it be any less harmful for boys?

  20. @jtradke:

    I had a friend tell me that neti pots (those nasal irrigation thingies) were “homeopathic”. Had to explain that no, pouring salt water into your face is not homeopathic.

    But it does do a good job of getting the snot out of your nose now, without the use of chemicals that carry warnings against using them more than twice a day.

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