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Episode 94 - Psychic Hot Takes on the Holly Bobo Case

Squaring the Strange

Release Date: 06/13/2019

Episode 122 - Plant Folklore (Bring Us a Shrubbery!) show art Episode 122 - Plant Folklore (Bring Us a Shrubbery!)

Squaring the Strange

We chat a bit about various news, including the passing of physicist Peter Brancazio, who explored popular sports illusions, and Ben's recent outreach project attempting to get answers from the "Plandemic" filmmaker. Then our main segment covers a veritable salad of plant-based folklore. From very old tales to modern misconceptions, we touch on the ancient Greek dryads and related myths, how to safely dig up a mandrake root, and whether or not houseplants purify the air.

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Episode 121, Noah Nez, Native Skeptic show art Episode 121, Noah Nez, Native Skeptic

Squaring the Strange

First we touch on "Plandemic," then we talk "murder hornets" with Heidi McMaster, an invasive species coordinator. Noah Nez, who blogs as the Native Skeptic, opens up on a variety of topics: the noble savage trope, crown dancers, clowns/tricksters, and the co-opting of native traditions in cryptid pseudohistories. The varied nature of native legends makes for an easily misinterpreted, commodified, and exploited landscape. From herbal remedies to horror films to Skinwalker Ranch, we see what we can learn.

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Episode 120 - Emery Emery on Science Friction show art Episode 120 - Emery Emery on Science Friction

Squaring the Strange

First, Ben, Celestia, and Pascual discuss a few pandemic-related things that set off some skeptical alarms over social media this past week. Then we are joined by comedian and film editor Emery Emery to talk about his project with Brian Dunning. With the help of many science communicators and experts (Ben himself among them), Emery and Dunning have crafted a documentary called Science Friction, revealing the myriad ways experts have been misrepresented by producers of questionable documentaries.

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Episode 119 - Poll Lotta BS show art Episode 119 - Poll Lotta BS

Squaring the Strange

Ben came up with this title and we are just so darned proud of him for coming over to the pun side of life. We chat about various Covid-related topics and then dive into examples of bad or misleading polls. First we cover a few harmless topics, like beard sexiness or beer preference. Then Ben dissects some bad reporting on polls that relate to much more important topics like discrimination or the Holocaust, and we see that learning how polls can be misrepresented is a vital part of one's skeptical toolbox.

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Episode 118 - Our Third Anniversary! (While Sheltered in Place) show art Episode 118 - Our Third Anniversary! (While Sheltered in Place)

Squaring the Strange

For anyone who has been craving an episode with far less research, facts, or formality, this is the episode for you! Ben, Pascual, and Celestia, reflect on their various circumstances during the coronavirus national emergency, and then we talk about this, our third year in podcasting. We dish on past guests and future guests we have in the works, answer a couple of listener questions, and Ben quizzes Pascual about the finer points of air guitar. Enjoy the podcast--it's almost as fun as other people!

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Episode 117 - Testing Psychic Detectives in Real Time, part 2 show art Episode 117 - Testing Psychic Detectives in Real Time, part 2

Squaring the Strange

Part 2 finishes our discussion on three missing persons cases that Ben, Celestia, and Kenny followed in real time and tracked with psychic detective predictions. This episode features Ben's examination of the Harley Dilly case, and the same content warning applies: we discuss some details of the case that may be disturbing to some listeners. It's clear that well-meaning (and sometimes not-so-well-meaning) psychics waste police time and cause distress to families at their most vulnerable times.

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Episode 116 - Testing Psychic Detectives in Real Time, part 1 show art Episode 116 - Testing Psychic Detectives in Real Time, part 1

Squaring the Strange

After some discussion on the pandemic and social distancing most of us now face, special guest Kenny Biddle joins us (remotely!) to look at some missing person cases as they unfold in real time and how psychics have helped (or interfered). This first part has cases Celestia and Kenny looked into, and we talk about why debunking this type of psychic activity falls to grassroots skeptics. Content warning: missing child cases and psychic pronouncements on what happened to these victims are discussed.

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Episode 115 - A Few Angles on the Bermuda Triangle show art Episode 115 - A Few Angles on the Bermuda Triangle

Squaring the Strange

Ben still gets calls regularly from students eager to ask him questions about the Bermuda Triangle, a perennial favorite for seekers of the strange. We look into its history and a few factors that influenced its popularity. What does the Bermuda Triangle have to do with a college French class? What does a bit of 2020 shipwreck sleuthing have to do with the legend? The one thing the Bermuda Triangle does seem to attract is a kitchen sink of weird, from Atlantis to UFOs to magnetic time-space anomalies.

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Episode 114 - The Minnesota Iceman with Ron Pine show art Episode 114 - The Minnesota Iceman with Ron Pine

Squaring the Strange

Ben and Celestia discuss one of the most memorable fakes in Bigfoot history: a side-show exhibit that ended up the center of multiple origin stories, a tale about a reclusive California millionaire, and a possible homicide. Dr. Ron Pine, zoologist and former curator at the Smithsonian, tells us about what it was like to see the Patterson-Gimlin footage as well as the Minnesota Iceman for the first time, from the point of view of a scientist reviewing "evidence" from hopeful Bigfoot enthusiasts.

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Episode 113 - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Myths & Misinfo, Plus a Virus Lesson from Doctor Dan show art Episode 113 - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Myths & Misinfo, Plus a Virus Lesson from Doctor Dan

Squaring the Strange

Due to the late-breaking nature of the Wuhan/novel coronavirus (now officially named COVID-19), Ben discusses the latest misinfo in terms of recurring folklore, distrust of foreigners, and the psychology of why people grasp for simple memes over complex medical science. Then special guest Doctor Dan Ketterer goes over some of the nuances of viruses and how we treat them. There's a lot we don't yet know about COVID-19, but the public health measures should be making us feel safer, not create more panic.

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More Episodes

We begin with Ben's breakdown of the just-released documents that show FBI involvement with Bigfoot. Then Celestia examines an "uncanny" drawing of a child that didn't exist yet. Our main topic is a deep dive into Ben's real-time analysis of psychic predictions about the Holly Bobo murder. An assortment of predictions followed predictable social scripts and serve as a good example of the vast stream-of-consciousness non-information generated whenever a widely publicized crime is unsolved.