Monthly Archives: December 2012

Skeptikai’s 2012 Year-End Review (July – December)

containing art space photo background wallpaper winter color fantasy

The year has come to an end, and it’s time to look back at some of my favourite pieces from 2012. The latter half of the year has been full of fear, stupidity, and hysteria; but even when it seems that times are the most bleak, it’s best to stay optimistic about our current situation and about the future. So the following articles are my favorites for each month. Click the picture if you want to see the article.


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Skeptikai’s 2012 Year-End Review (January – June)

Awesome 'water-color portrait'

The year has come to an end, and it’s time to look back at some of my favourite pieces from 2012. The first half of 2012 saw lots of misconceptions. For example, hypnosis, neuroscience, intelligence, etc. These are some of the things people constantly misunderstand because of the way they are being reported in the media by people who likewise have only a rudimentary understanding of it.

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Should Parents Tell Their Kids “The Truth” About Santa?

The whole truth about Santa Claus

Spoiler Alert! Santa is a dangerous alcoholic, suffering from obesity, and doesn’t exist.

Actually only one of those is true. Well, maybe two… but if you pass the age-test, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Posted in Biographical, Culture, Japan, Skepticism | 7 Comments

The Apocalypse 2012 is Real (…but not at all what you think)

Apocalypse background

If a credible source told you the precise day you were going to die, it would presumably cause a great deal of anxiety. So maybe you decide to take actions to minimize the chance of this happening. You watch what you eat more carefully, you exercise intensively to stay fit – just in case you need to act swiftly – and you otherwise change your daily routine to stay prepared for any possible difficulties that might befall you on your predicted date of death. This existential preoccupation may alone be the difference between life and death. For example, maybe you were mentally distracted while crossing a street and got hit by a car, or you worked out so much to keep fit that your heart failed because it didn’t have enough time to rest. Or perhaps you couldn’t take the suspense and decide to end your own life. Regardless of the details, it’s this type of anxiety that makes doomsday prophecies come true for individuals.

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Abortion? There’s an app for that

Nowadays, missions aren’t the only thing you can abort in video games. The new Mexican-based video game is called ¿No Te Baja?, which means “Missed Your Period?” and it teaches players (i.e., pregnant senioritas) to safely perform a medical abortion on themselves. As you can imagine, the game has caused a lot of controversy, and there are even people on the pro-choice side of the abortion debate who are against the game. But are they right?

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The 2012 Kanji of the Year: 金 (KIN)

2012 Kanji of the year KIN

Japan’s “Kanji of the year” was just released, revealing that the recent achievements by Japanese experts were largely influential in the year-long feelings of the country. The character last year was “bonds,” because of the bonds that Japanese people were so ready to keep, create, and remember, after the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. This year, the character is 金 “KIN” which means gold (and also means money).

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If Toby Becomes Japan’s New Prime Minister, Will Japan Cease to Be a Pacifist Nation?

Toby’s at it again. The dream of having to never blog about Tokyo’s most famous bigot – who I hesitate to call anything other than Toby (explanation here) – has been short lived. A few days from now, the country will vote in a general election. Having been a governer of Tokyo for over a decade, Toby has proven that he is a stable leader, which has become an increasingly attractive quality for a prime minister here. Is it possible that he could become the leader of the country? And what would that mean for Japan?

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Baby Names – The Best and the Worst of 2012

As we all know, celebrities like to name their children weird names; such as English model Katie Price who (married to Peter Andre at the time) named her daughter “Princess Tiaamii Crystal Esther Andre.” But people also take names from popular culture and use them in their own life. The following are baby name lists that include the most popular and the weirdest of the year.

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The Psychology of Workplace Boredom
Forbes asks if it’s “the new productivity killer;” Cachinko calls it “the silent killer of employee morale;” CNN says it’s “the new stress.” Just what is plaguing so many employees throughout the world? Boredom. “It’s repetitiveness that’s the culprit” says Angelo Kinichi, a management professor at Arizona State University. As we have known for a long time, a lack of variety and monotony leads to boredom (Smith, 1981), but monotony is really in the eye of the beholder (Shackleton, 1981). While boredom may intuitively feel like a relatively trivial subject at first, just think of all the doctors and peacekeepers who deal with saving lives, as well as the productivity that’s at stake for every other job. Boredom is a serious issue.

Posted in Culture, Psychology, Science, Social Psych | Tagged | 1 Comment