It’s Been A Long Time Coming
Well, October is nearly over, but we still have Halloween and World Series baseball. This year is historic in baseball because two teams who haven’t won that championship in a long time are in the series. For the Cleveland Indians it’s been 68 years. Impressive until you realize the Chicago Cubs haven’t won the Fall Classic since 1908. That’s 108 years!
So, this year one of those teams is going to end their drought. The popular favorite is the Cubs, which, I admit, is the team I’m pulling for, but I won’t be disappointed if Cleveland wins. Cleveland gets an NBA Championship this past spring and now, perhaps, a World Series? Next the Browns will… Oh, right. The Browns.
I hope for a good series. Seven games would be best. I love seventh games. The Cubs trail in the series 3 – 2, so we shall see.
On to Cleveland.
Tales Of Halloween Past
My friend Michael Noble allowed me to have a week off from blogging for Warehouse Find by doing a bit of guest blogging. He told the story of one particular Halloween when he was a boy. He and two of his friends finally braved the neighbor’s “haunted house”. This was something they hadn’t be able to get the nerve to do in past years.
The results of their bravery can be read here.
Michael’s remembrances got me to thinking about how dedicated my brother and I were to canvasing as large an area as possible, hitting some areas twice and staying out for hours, to get plenty of treats. We were on a mission and each year’s mission was a resounding success.
My son, on the other hand, did like to dress up and get candy, but a half hour or an hour of trick or treating was plenty for him. I would take him out most years and ask are if he was sure he wanted to go back home after so little time. He did.
He’s 13 now and he’s gonna stay home and hand out the goodies. Don’t worry. We bought plenty of candy to have leftovers for us.
LA County Medical Examiner Finds Katie May Died From Chiropractic Treatment
Back in February of this year, I talked about Katie May’s untimely death. May was a model and the self-named Queen of Snapchat, who, while on a photo shoot, fell and injured her neck. It was painful and she sought out care for her neck from her chiropractor. After a couple treatments, Kate May was dead at age 34.
Skeptics critical of chiropractic, myself included, speculated that neck manipulation might have been the cause. There is a risk, it is small, of arterial tearing with such manipulation which can lead to stroke. Stroke can result in permanent injury or, at worst, death. It is fairly rare that that happens, but when you consider there is no benefit from neck manipulation, that risk though small isn’t worth it.
Skeptics were speculating until, months after her death, the LA County Medical Examiner’s report listed “neck manipulation by chiropractor” as the cause of death. Certainly, chiropractors will disagree and site the rarity of such results and say there are no studies confirming a causal link, but there is a strong association. And, as I said, the risk is too great.
If you insist on seeing a chiropractor, don’t allow him or her to crack your neck.
Phoenix Lights Redux And A Dimland Radio Science Zero
Back in 1997, many people in Phoenix, Arizona spotted flares floating down in the night sky. Of course, most people jumped to the conclusion those fuzzy lights were extraterrestrial spacecraft. Yep, that seems like the most reasonable explanation for flares being dropped during a military operation. People didn’t know what it was (but it weren’t no flares!) so it had to be aliens! (Argument from ignorance.)
There were actually two sightings of lights that night over Phoenix. As I stated earlier, flares were most likely responsible for the later incident. For the earlier incident that explanation was a formation of airplanes. The explanation for both sightings can be found here.
Well, just recently, the daughter of fellow Z Talker, Kale Kelly, was able to capture video of more fuzzy lights in the night sky over Phoenix. Again, they were probably flares, but she concluded aliens were involved.
Of course, the local news station credulously reported the incident. That’s how these news stations operate. On these “fluff” stories, it’s all about the mystery, never the explanation. They even talked to Dr. Sky. Dr. Sky is Steve Kates and, as far as I can tell, he’s an astronomy enthusiast, if not an actual astronomer. He’s called an astronomer in the report, but I couldn’t find anything that stated he is a trained astronomer. But an amateur astronomer is going to know a hell of a lot more than me when it comes to what we see in the night sky. Still, his statements really aggravated me. At first, I was angry with his mystery-mongering, but, on a second viewing of the report, I noticed some editing. So, despite his quick dismissal of the flares explanation, I’m going to cut him some slack, but not much.
However, the reporter Vivian Padilla and the station ABC 15 Arizona, are both Dimland Radio Science Zeros for their mystery-mongering.
I even wrote to the reporter. Here is what I said:
I have watched your report on the recent “strange lights” seen over Phoenix. I understand these sorts of reports are treated differently by news organizations. The mystery is more interesting than the solution. I get it. But you are a news reporter, you should be properly informing your viewers.
Is Dr Sky really an astronomer? I’ve looked on his website and I can’t find where he studied astronomy or if he had earned a degree. He appears to be an amateur astronomer who works in media production promoting science. Amateur astronomers are fine, but I would have hoped you would have talked to a professional astronomer. If Dr Sky is a trained astronomer then I am mistaken, but maybe even more disappointed.
UFO means UNIDENTIFIED Flying Object. Not an extraterrestrial spacecraft! Sure, Dr Sky doesn’t say that’s what it is, but he glosses over what these lights most likely were: flares. It looks to me that they are flares being dropped from a plane or helicopter at a distance, with the flares igniting as they are being dropped. That’s why they appear to blink on out of nowhere. And they blink off possibly due to going behind something, say a mountain range, as was the case in the Phoenix Lights flares sighting in 1997.
I should say I’m not an astronomer. I’m sure Dr Sky knows more about the night sky than I do, which is why his conflating the possibility of life on other planets with the possibility of intelligent extraterrestrials actually visiting this planet has me so disappointed. Sure, it’s arrogant and naive to think earth is the only planet out of billions and billions in our galaxy alone to support life, as he indicates in the report, but it’s not arrogant and naive to doubt extraterrestrials are visiting us or ever have. Any astronomer worth their salt (and not trying to mystery-monger) knows that’s not a proper argument to support extraterrestrial intelligent lifeforms visiting earth. Just because it is very possible (perhaps likely) there is life on other worlds, that doesn’t mean we are being visited. But, maybe Dr Sky knows this and it’s the way you edited the report that makes him appear to be conflating extraterrestrial visitation and extraterrestrial life.
Space is huge! How would an intelligent extraterrestrial lifeform even know we are here, let alone be able to cross the vast expanse of space to get to us? Astronomers know this. They of all people know best how big space is and how unlikely is extraterrestrial visitation. The woman who took the video images can be excused for not understanding that unlikelihood as she misuses the term UFO to mean alien spacecraft.
If Dr Sky is conflating these two related, but separate topics, he ought to know better. If you edited your report to make it appear that way, then shame on you for misleading your viewers for a bit of mystery-mongering.
I have yet to receive a response.
Movie Recommendation: None
I ran out of time this week, so you are on your own.
Music heard on the show…
Dimland Radio opening theme song: ‘Ram’ by The Yoleus First ad break bumpers: ‘Stigmata Martyr‘ by Bauhaus & ‘Intruder‘ by Peter Gabriel
Closing song: ‘Angler’s Treble Hook’ by $5 Fiddle
That’s it! See you next Saturday night for Dimland Radio 11 Central, midnight Eastern on www.ztalkradio.com you can also download my show from the z talk show archives page. You can email your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
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