Category Archives: Aggregators/lists/rankings

Everything You Need to Know About Prism, Internet Freedom, and Edward Snowden (Updated)

This is Edward Snowden

The case of Edward Snowden has not only polarized the United States, but it has raised concerns from people all over the world. But it’s not just the US – the UK is now getting a lot of attention for creating a fake internet cafe just to steal passwords of foreign diplomats at the 2009 G20 summit in London. Some are even arguing that they have even more access than the American NSA (National Security Agency); but the NSA is understandably getting the most heat, especially from places outside of the US. I say “especially from places outside” because the mainstream US news is clearly on the side of the government. Indeed, it seems that the narrative within the  mainstream media is not about the message so much as the messenger. This post aggregates news programs outside the US to tell the real story of exactly what’s going on with Edward Snowden and the NSA.

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The 2013 Pigasus Awards

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Every year, the James Randi Educational Foundation gives awards to recognize the special few uncritical thinkers who do more to peddle pseudoscience and damage the public in ways that only celebrities could. Below are five “winners” of various categories whose success in nonsense have given actual science communicators like myself a greater challenge – not only to inform the general public of the way things are, but to do so while battle the faulty preconceptions caused the non-scientific thoughts and beliefs caused by such purveyors.

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What are the Most Corrupt Countries In the World Today?

North Koreans Marching

There is plenty of malice, crime, and corruption in today’s political systems around the world. Elections are sometimes paid for, politicians often work only with their own self-interest in mind, and citizens around the world are fighting uphill battles against authorities at every level. But recent reports show us where each country stands in comparison to the other, and that is the topic of this article. Which countries are corrupt to the core? Which are a model for the world?

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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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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 Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of China Copying Everyone Else

Anyone who knows China well enough can attest to the fact that a lot of what you see in China was taken from elsewhere. That’s why there are high profile cases like the Huawei telecommunications company, which was featured on 60 Minutes – the investigative American TV program – for its alleged role in stealing trade secrets and espionage. But not all of what China has been doing – stealing, copying, imitating, or whatever you want to call it – is a bad thing. In fact, there are some imitations that should even be celebrated.   The question is really about how much should be celebrated vs. condemned.

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Top 5 Quotes of Stupid America’s War on Smart People

The American war on smart people is incredible. For some reason, there has been a growing disdain for intellect and distrust for education in the “Greatest Country in the World,” and this year’s presidential election has never ceased to amaze me at every turn. The idea that people should not be educated, think critically, or be honest is ridiculous, foolish, and dangerous. Obviously not all education is equal (i.e,. unaccredited universities are garbage) and not all smart people are educated (nor are all educated people smart). But in general, no one should dismiss or denigrate education. So here is a list of the five most egregious quotes that demonstrate the growing animosity towards intelligence and education in America.

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Skeptikai Notices (October 6) – Not-so-United States of America

The last few weeks have been considerably disconcerting from the United State of America. They may as well start calling it the States of America, because the political climate in the country seems to be polarizing that “unity” is now practically a foreign word. The excerpts that follow are from stories that were in the news over the last few weeks; stories that may be as shocking as they are dumbfounding. But then again, this is America we’re talking about – the land of the free and the home of the brave. After all, it takes a brave man to yell at people from a street corner. And he’ll be damned if you take away his right to do so.

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Top 50 Universities of 2012-2013 (World, Continent, and Subject Rankings)

The new ranking of best universities in the world for 2012-2013 has just been released, showing that – once again – America has the highest amount of prestigious schools in the world. The top ranking school was the California Institute of Technology, which was also #1 last year, and #2 the year prior. But which universities faired the best on their respective continents? And which countries had the highest rankings for specific areas of study? And does it even matter anyways?

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