Bjørnar

Bjørnar

Bjørnar used to be a CompSci-major high school teacher in Norway, but has now followed his American wife's career to Boston, Cincinnati and finally Chapel Hill. When not writing for Skepchick he gives his actual-scientist wife programming advice, works as a tutor, updates rusty programming skills and tries to decide what to be when he grows up.
  • FeminismPaper headline: Experimental studies, old and new, on menstrual toxin

    Secretly Murdering Your Husband: The one weird trick that baffled researchers

    When a European research group submitted a paper this year on their use of menstrual blood-derived stem cells (MenSCs) to a respected medical journal (which also, presumably, exists in this year), they did not expect a reviewer would claim that “everyone” knows you can secretly kill your husband with menstrual blood. But that is what happened. They presumably knew menstrual…

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  • Skepticism

    Dowsing in genealogy

    Last week I put this post aside as being a bit too niche, but then Rebecca posted this great takedown of dowsing and all of a sudden my topic is downright topical. Did you skim past the subtitle and want to guess how dowsing is used in genealogy? Personally, I would have guessed pendulum dowsing to test hypotheses. And I…

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  • Skepticism

    Astrology says HODL! your bitcoins

    In case it needs to be said, let me open with a plea for you not to listen to astrologers or astrology apps, and for you not to buy bitcoin unless you like your wild gambling to come with an unnecessary contribution to global warming. And with that out of the way, let me get to the actual post. Just…

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  • Skepticism

    Norwegian conspiracy theorist dies with COVID

    Yes, I wrote “with” COVID. 60-year old Hans Kristian Gaarder had not been receiving medical treatment before his death and the positive COVID-test was done post mortem. The news do report him having symptoms for one to two weeks before dying on April 6., but as an absolute skeptic about the role of the health care system in “creating” this…

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  • SkepticismTwo identical spam tweets promoting hematite rings.

    Hematite rings are fragile, not magic

    I know. If you’re a Skepchick reader you are very unlikely to think hematite rings are magic, and you’ve probably encountered the “magnetism/crystals cure everything”-woo before. My wife frequently states it’s very cute how I manage to be surprised at the continued prevalence of solidly debunked nonsense, but maybe I’m not alone and some of you need a refresher on…

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  • Book Club

    First Mary Sue? First SciFi?

    ... the Thrice Noble, Illustrious, and Excellent Princesse, The Duchess of Newcastle publishes a book that has been called the first example of science fiction and the first occurrence of the Mary Sue trope. Its full title is The Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World and while I don't exactly recommend reading it, you should know about…

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  • ScienceGraphical summary of hypothesis

    What does COVID, Jade Amulets, Earth’s Weakening Magnetic Field, Atmospheric CO2-increase, and the kitchen sink have to do with each other?

    I learned about this paper from the early twitter buzz, but it took so long to write that title and subtitle I got scooped by Retraction Watch. Their write up is a bit brief, barely skimming the surface on how far out there this paper is, but they did receive comments from the author and the editors, and you should…

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  • SkepticismThe "fake" vs the real DKE graph

    The Dunning-Kruger effect: Misunderstood, misrepresented, overused and … non-existent?

    A couple of weeks ago a statement popped up in my Facebook feed that surprised me. New evidence suggests that the Dunning-Kruger effect doesn’t exist – people who don’t know what they’re talking about are aware of that fact. The post came from the QI Elves who delight in posting quirky and unexpected scientific trivia, but rarely include sources and…

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