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'Nation's Foremost Skeptic' Dead at 92

Magician devoted his life to exposing psychics, spoon benders, and quacks

(Newser) - James Randi, a magician who later challenged spoon benders, mind readers, and faith healers with such voracity that he became regarded as the country’s foremost skeptic, has died, his foundation announced. He was 92. The James Randi Educational Foundation said simply that its founder succumbed to "age-related causes”...

Fallout From Hacked Climate Change Emails Intensifies

Scientists worry backstabbing could derail emissions agreement

(Newser) - The planet-sized rift between climate scientists skeptical about man-made global warming and the rest of the field has been getting even wider this week as the fallout from last week's hacked emails continues. Some experts fear that the emails—in which climate scientists insult skeptics and discuss ways to block...

Climate Skeptics: Hacked Emails Prove We're Right

Scientist talks about adding a 'trick' to graph

(Newser) - Hackers have gotten their hands on a trove of emails from leading climate scientists, and global warming skeptics are rejoicing. They say the emails prove the crisis is overblown and are crowing about one in particular, from 1999, in which a scientist plans to add a "trick" to a...

Noonan: Set Aside Cynicism, and Soak It In

Forget past, partisanship and absorb inaugural magic

(Newser) - The sights and sounds of a presidential inauguration are enough to inspire the most jaded of observers, if they’re so willing, writes Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal. Sure, presidencies come and go, with victories and failures. But at the majestic ceremony, the best option is to forget...

Is Something Rotten in the Bard's Works?

Debate over who really wrote Shakespeare's plays rages on

(Newser) - Did William Shakespeare really write the plays attributed to him? The question remains the subject of an intense academic debate, NPR reports. Those who doubt the “man from Stratford” penned his plays point to a lame rhyming epitaph on the supposed bard’s headstone, and to lack of documents...

Sham Study Tricks Climate Skeptics

Warming blamed on bacteria; pundits trumpeted the news

(Newser) - Turns out undersea bacteria don’t cause global warming after all. But they were on trial for 70 minutes last week after a British prof's email chain linked to a sham study. Climate skeptics and conservatives—Rush Limbaugh included—trumpeted the study until a University of Colorado prof smelled something...

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