Skeptophilia (skep-to-fil-i-a) (n.) - the love of logical thought, skepticism, and thinking critically. Being an exploration of the applications of skeptical thinking to the world at large, with periodic excursions into linguistics, music, politics, cryptozoology, and why people keep seeing the face of Jesus on grilled cheese sandwiches.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Weekend wrap-up

It was a busy weekend here for your investigative reporters at Worldwide Wacko Watch.  So much so that we checked last night to see if it was a full moon, which it wasn't -- in our clear post-blizzard sky hung the faintest thin crescent.  It's just as well, because here at WWW we don't believe in the whole phases-of-the-moon-causing-nutty-behavior thing, anyway.

But whatever the cause, it seems like in the last couple of days the loons have been migrating.  A few examples follow.

1)  A couple in Malaysia are claiming that a tree in their yard in Penang is giving forth showers of holy water.

Odd-job worker Abdul Ghani Mohammed Hussein, 41, who owns the tree, reports that he first felt the showers one afternoon when he was heading out to feed the chickens.

"My wife, Norhayati Abdul Karim, also felt the showers," Hussein states.  "But there was no rain at that time."

Hussein goes on to say, "The clear water sprinkles are heavier at night and we collected about a pail of water over the past week."

Norhayati, 38, a housewife, said that she had no problem with people coming to collect the "holy water," and stated that many considered it a blessing to wipe their faces with it.  However, if people didn't want to wait, she'd be happy to sell them some for RM5 (about $1.65) per cup.

Dr. Zaidi Mat Isa, an entomologist from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, has other ideas, however.

"It's cicada urine," Dr. Isa said.  Apparently the cicadas, which are present in large numbers, drink the tree's sap in large enough quantities that some of it gets forced out of their nether regions, to fall as a gentle rain upon the upturned faces of the devout.

Alarmed by the fact that some of the enthusiasts were observant Muslims, the Malaysian State Islamic Religious Department has put up a sign warning Muslims against worshiping the tree.  The sign threatens a fine of RM3000 (about $1000) and up to two years in jail.

Myself, I think that finding out that I'd just rubbed bug pee all over my face would be penalty enough, don't you?

2)  Moving from being pissed on to being pissed off, from Salem, Massachusetts comes the story of a warlock who is angry at Charlie Sheen.

Salem, as I am sure you already know, was the site of the famed 17th century witch trials that resulted in the deaths of nineteen innocent men and women.  The children who were responsible for the accusations recanted their testimony one and all within ten years of the executions, essentially stating that they'd made the whole thing up.  Having thus demonstrated that witchcraft is nonsense, Salem of course became a mecca for people who claim to be witches and warlocks.

And now this weekend, a Salem warlock who is ironically named Christian Day has said that he is going to cast a spell on Charlie Sheen.

Apparently, the people in Day's coven are pissed because Sheen made a comment in an interview last week that he was a "Vatican assassin warlock."  Evidently being the only people in the world who are taking anything Charlie Sheen says seriously, the coven declared Sheen's use of the word "warlock" offensive, and Day now says that his group is going to cast a "binding spell" on Sheen to prevent him from using the word in such a fashion again.

I'm doubtful that the whole operation will be effective, but hey, why not?  If there's even a chance that it'll get Charlie Sheen to shut up, I'm all for it.

Day, however, is open to other solutions, and suggests that Sheen come to the coven for a "cleansing" of "him, his home, and his career."

Myself, I think that Sheen needs a little more in the way of detox than a magical cleansing, but I suppose it's a start.

3)  In a recent post I commented upon the British Ministry of Defence(MoD)'s recent release of thousands of documents relating to UFO sightings in the UK, and I referred to the case of the bright lights seen over Bromley (Kent) in 2003 as one of the more interesting, and unexplained, cases.

Now Stephany Cohen, a "spiritual healer" in Bromley, has said that she knows why the aliens were there: they were coming to Earth to have sex with her.

The aliens, whom Cohen says are called "the Grays" and are from a planet called "Cirus D," appear only to those who believe.  "They are very loving and intelligent, and will only present themselves to those who accept them," she told a reporter for the Kent News-Shopper this weekend.  "They are a good race who only likes to help others."

She then goes on to tell how they helped her, in particular.

"Sometimes you get raptures like strong orgasms," she said, "and you don't know where it comes from.  It is energies being passed down to their children on Earth."

The whole thing kind of puts a new spin on the phrase "the aliens are coming," doesn't it?

Roy Lake, chairperson of the group London UFO Studies, expressed interest in the Bromley case, but delicately declined to comment on whether it was good for him, too.  "I believe they are already here," he said, at least agreeing with Cohen on that point.  "All I can say is, keep a vigil, and keep looking up."

So, that's about it for now here at Worldwide Wacko Watch.  Like I said, a busy weekend, but we're willing to put in the extra time and effort to keep you informed.  "Ever vigilant," that's our motto.  That, and "Keeping the world safe from bug pee, Charlie Sheen, and horny aliens."  But it's hard to fit all that on a logo, so we'll stick with "Ever vigilant."

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